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JERSEY, Wednesday, 7th. I am just arrived from St. Malo. We spent a most delightful day yesterday with Miss Surtees. I doubt whether this will reach you before I do, but I am trying to avail myself of the Weymouth steamer tomorrow, which does not regularly carry letters. How joyful I shall be to be with you again.
WIDOWHOOD SECOND MARRIAGE MISCELLANEOUS
LETTERS DURING HEREFORDSHIRE RESIDENCE-THE
To Rev. W. T. BULLOCK.
December 19th, 1857. MY DEAR BULLOCK,- If you have heard of the depth of my sorrow from some other quarter, you will not (I know) think me unmindful of our friendship in not writing to you before. I have been stunned. My beloved wife was better than usual on Wednesday, and especially in the evening, and I was fondly dwelling on hopes of her speedy recovery to health. Soon after midnight she awoke with a sense of numbness, in less than ten minutes she was speechless, and though medical aid was prompt, she ceased to breathe within two hours.
Her lamp was burning, and she is a saint in glory. But I am in thick darkness, and have to fall back upon my knowledge, rather than my feeling, that this visitation is in love. Pray for me, my dear friend. Tell your mother and sisters of the fact, and how much I rely on their sympathy, for I believe that they loved her as I know she loved them. I
DEATH OF HIS WIFE.
do not yet see how I can live without her. But God will teach me in His own time patiently to put my sacrifice on the altar. No one but God knows what a light and guide she was to me.—Ever yours affectionately,
BATTERSEA, February 7th, 1858. MY DEAREST GEORGE,—Rebecca will have told you of my sorrow.
As regards the mode in which God has struck the blow, I thank Him from my heart. My beloved Ellen was spared the usual pain of dying, and the far worse misgivings in taking leave of those whom she loved best. It was as well that she whose lamp was never dim, never in want of oil, should be called by her Lord on a sudden, and at midnight. She truly walked with God. Her last act was prayer. Like the worthy of old, I feel that I may say, 'she is not, because God has translated her.' It was most fit that she, who was so exact in the discharge of every practical duty, should not have been hindered from a single act by any decay of her natural powers.
. She is a saint in heaven. A beautiful death has crowned a beautiful life. I wish you had known her. Never have I witnessed as I did in her the most earnest, habitual humbling of self, combined with the most sustained cheerfulness and courage in reliance on her Saviour. Faith, truthfulness, love, and earnestness were ever alive. The remembrance of the glorious struggles and victories of grace which I have seen in her, seem at times in themselves more than a compensation for the desolation of my present widowed life.
My nine years of married life have been a steady
growth of happiness. I believe that she was happy too. We used sometimes to express a sincere apprehension lest our happiness was too near perfection to last upon earth. The only very serious draw back, her frequent weak health, was kept constantly in the background by her sustained cheerfulness and energy of will. We were almost always together. In the greater part of my work she was with me and helping
She knew all our students, and exercised a marvellous influence on them. Without being clever or accomplished, she had a power of judging character, and of deciding in practical matters, which was like inspiration. I never did anything without consulting her, and I never consulted her in vain.
God only knows what I am to do, how I am to live without her. The bright summer of my life has been cut short. The autumn with its soothing influences has been cut out. Stern winter has come upon me all in a moment. I seem like an old man. And though I know that in God's time it will be otherwise, at present my work and everything else seems stale and unprofitable.
I ought indeed to be most thankful for a share of sympathy, expressed in every way that is tenderest and warmest, from hundreds (from all who knew her), such as I believe has not often been manifested. My little Willie, also, is a most sweet comforter. He has felt his loss just in the right way; and I believe and am sure that his mother, being dead, is yet speaking to him. I have, in short, no lack of blessings; I know it, and I try to be thankful for them. But for the present, the deep waters flow over my soul. Comfort I can find. May God give me strength, which is better
LETTER TO HIS CHILD.
than comfort. I believe that for men in Christ, the right thing is to look sorrow in the face boldly, and to ask not for any mere alleviating influence, but for power of endurance.
I have forgotten to tell you that dearest Ellen, though we knew it not, had a settled impression that she should not see Christmas. In condoling with a friend who had lost a child about five months ago, she plainly said so, though he thought little of it, and said nothing till the sad prediction was realised. In her journal, about the middle of October, she speaks as a dying woman, and quotes, as her own, Bishop Ken's confession of faith in this manner–I can adopt Bishop Ken's words: “I die in the holy Catholic faith,” &c. Many other little circumstances which we now remember tell the same story. But yet I can say with confidence that she was never more cheerful, never more observant of every practical matter, than she was during the last three months of her life. . . . May God bless you all.—Your most affectionate brother, —
BRUSSELS, January 7th, 1858. MY DEAREST LITTLE WILLIE,—I am now in the city of Brussels, in which the King of Belgium lives. Your dear Aunt S. will show you where it is upon the map. It is a beautiful place, with trees all round it. I went to-day into a great crystal palace, with many kinds of trees and flowers in it, and a great many beautiful aquariums. Some of them had salt water, and contained anemones, oysters, winkles, and shrimps; and some of them had fresh water, in which were gold and silver fish, carp, perch, and other fishes, and some