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a mournfully interesting subject,the Tears of Parents.
THE TEARS OF PARENTS.
For the Christian Observer.
To the the of
Jan. 2, 1832 The writer of the cursory letters to My dear friend,—Yesterday was a friend, entitled “ A Visit to a Ca- the first Sabbath, and the first day, thedral," respectfully submits to the of a new year : what that year may readers of the Christian Observer bring with it, or what it may take the following to another friend, on
away, He only knows who has all
“ James Kemp was a native of Scots of that parish. He remained in the charge land, and was the son of pious parents, of the same parish, greatly esteemed and who gave his mind an early direction to beloved, till the year 1813, when he was the path of religion. At a suitable age called to succeed the Rev. Dr. Bend, as he entered the Marischal college, Aber- associate rector of St. Paul's parish, Baldeen, where he completed bis education. timore. Previously to this removal, he When he had graduated, a friend made received the diploma of Doctor in Divihim liberal offers of patronage and assist- nity, from Columbia college, New York. ance, on condition of his remaining in his • In 1814, the Convention of Maryland own country. But, like many others of chose him their bishop, to act as suffragan his young countrymen, he was captivated during the life of Dr. J. T. Clagget, the with the prospects of success and useful. then bishop, who was prevented from ness which were opening in America, on fully discharging the duties of his office the acknowledgment of the independence by great bodily infirmity, and to succeed of the United States by Great Britain. him on surviving. It is right to state, for He accordingly embarked for America, it is matter of record, that considerable and soon after his arrival engaged as a pri- opposition was made by a portion of the vate tutor in a respectable family in Dor- minority of the Convention and others to chester county, on the eastern shore of his consecration ; but this, in the case of Maryland. In this situation he passed most of those concerned, was a mere some years.
At length, determining to effort of party, though in a few it was pursue the study of theology, his attention doubtless caused by a want of right prinwas drawn by the circumstances in which ciples, as well as an absence of Christian he was then placed, to the Episcopal feeling. He lived to have full justice church. He had been educated a Presby- done to him in this point, and to see terian, and till his coming to America had among his most respectful friends, some of known little or nothing of the Episcopal those who had on this occasion manifested church. The members of that church, different feelings towards him. He was in his own country, suffering under the consecrated in 1814, by Bishops White, heavy operation of penal laws, were obli- Hobart, and R. C. Moore. On the death ged to withdraw from the light, and to of Bishop Clagget, in 1816, he succeeded worship in retired places, with closed him as diocesan, and faithfully discharged doors. (?) Of course, there was nothing the duties of that high and important ofto remind a young collegian that such a fice, till the very sudden dispensation which church existed in his native land. But removed him from the world.” in Maryland it had been, up to the period “ The late bishop was a well-read diof the revolutionary war, the established vine. He had found time while engaged religion, and at the time of his arrival, in his parochial cure in Dorchester, comthough suffering from the great changes prising several churches, and although which the Revolution had produced, her obliged in the early part of his ministry claims to attention presented themselves to cultivate a farm, and subsequently ento Mr. Kemp in a very imposing light. gage in teaching, for the support of his Her mode of worship to him was novel, family, to read the works of many of the her institutions were peculiar, and he im- best writers on theology, and its kindred mediately began the inquiries which would subjects. His letters to Dr. Miller, enable him to understand the utility and which were published in the Churchman's propriety of these peculiarities. He soon Magazine, at New York, in 1809, shew that determined to apply for admission to the he had made himself well acquainted with ministry of the Episcopal church, and ecclesiastical history, and that his adophaving for some time pursued the neces- tion of the Episcopal church was not a sary studies under the instruction of the mere casual expedient.” Jate Rev. Dr. Bowie, then rector of “ He was able and instructive Great Choptank parish, he was admit- preacher. His discourses were prepared to deacon's and priest's orders, by with care and patient reflection. He did Bishop White, 1789, and the following not view the duty of the pulpit as one ycar, succeeded Dr. Bowie in the charge which might be carelessly and hastily
events in his hands, and all issues un. away. The year that has commenced der his controul. We live wisely, we may be eventful, as indeed what porlive happily, when we live beneath tion of human existence is not eventthe shadow of his wings ; content to ful? Yet peculiarly may this be so, enjoy or to suffer, to diminish or to whether we regard the political, the abound, to live or to die, as He moral, the religious, or, so to speak, knows best; for He is too wise to the physical aspect of the times. mistake, and too merciful willingly We have a disturbed political hoto grieve the children of men. In rizon both at home and abroad; his favour is life; in his smile is fe- there is an universal turmoil for relicity; and approaching him with a form, and no reform, and anti-reform, true and lively faith as our recon- and ultra-reform, and ne-plus-ultra ciled God and Father in Christ reform : our church is also unsettled; Jesus, we have a peaceful content- our religious societies are unsettled ; ment of spirit, which, as nothing rent, trade, tithes, and every species worldly could give, so, blessed be of income and property are unsettled; his name, nothing worldly can take the public feeling is unsettled, even
performed. It was not to produce ex- was strong and abiding, leading him to
affected grace, adorned his station, has “ He was a devoted Christian. His been removed from us, in the full vigour piety was deep, controuling, evident, and of life, and all his faculties; when his unfeigned. No one could have been in character had developed the fulness of dulged with a familiar acquaintance with its virtues—when the tongue of slander bim without feeling this to be true. Nor had ceased its busy defamations, and none was it such as to be hidden from the sight withheld the meed which was his dueof others. His piety was never obtrusive, when he had attained an eminence of ofbut it could be readily seen to be a habit fice and of character which gave ample of his mind, exhibiting itself naturally, influence and operation to every quality of and in the most attractive way. His faith his mind, and every virtue of his heart.”
to the extreme of alarm, from the since were pledged kindred vows by fearful prospect of a desolating pes- one who said even then that her tilence : in short, what is there set- lengthened race was run, that that tled but that infinite Being who is was the last time her name or her immutable ; that Saviour who is the pledge was likely to be given to a same yesterday, to-day, and for ever; new denizen of earth ; a new heir of that haven where no storm pene- immortality; a new candidate for trates, and where the wicked cease eternal glory: yet such are the falfrom troubling, and the weary are at lacies of human computation, while rest? In our God we have certainty; an infant is taken to the bosom of in him we have repose; and com- its Saviour, our beloved and revered mitting to him our souls, our bodies, friend is still spared, or, as the old our property, our character, our epitaphs would say, she still “ decomforts, our beloved families and frauds the skies,” to edify, by the friends, our distracted country, the mild and holy splendour of her last universal church, and the whole hu- days, a world which she had so long man weal, we may enjoy amidst instructed in lessons of “
prayer, every trial a peace which passeth and “ Christian morals,” and pracunderstanding; we can weep with tical piety." Memory, my dear those that weep, and rejoice with friend, on the recurrence of the those that rejoice; we shall learn opening hours of a new year, might to feel happy in the duties and the turn to scenes like these : anticipamercies of the passing day; and tion also might be busy in cogitacontentedly leave the prospects of tions for the future; but the present eighteen hundred and thirty-two, moment presented the most interwhere alone they can be left with esting and pressing duties; plans safety, in the hands of Him who were to be laid and vows formed for makes all things to work together another year; there were blessings for good to them that love him and to be acknowledged, and mercies to are the called according to his pur- be enjoyed, and petitions to be ofpose. And what is that purpose? fered, and smiles to be met with A purpose of love and mercy in smiles, and perhaps sorrows to be Christ Jesus, to all who in a world soothed, and instructions to be gaof sin and sorrow flee to him for thered, and tokens of affection to be pardon and peace.
exchanged; and then, when the To this conclusion, very common- whole was over, and the group had place I allow, and said and sung dispersed, and musing had re-kintimes without number, but not on dled, and the heart had expanded that account the less practically from what was passing around one important, had I arrived in my silent domestic altar, to the kindred scenes meditations at the opening of this in many a household and many a new year, surrounded by those do- land, and friends were remembered mestic blessings which a merciful and their names were heard in heavenFather pours so richly into our cup, ward breathings, the pen that adin order that we may learn to love dresses you was taken up, and the him more in his gifts. It was not stream began to flow, and
became indeed an unbroken circle ; alas, my destined, little knowing it, to receive dear friend, what on earth is un- as a new-year's gift, or a new-year's broken? One for whom in Christian infliction, which you will, one or paternity you vouched with hallowed more rambling epistles upon TheJOYS vows at the altar of baptism was not present to enliven it; he had But the subject is too large-let joined a circle that is unbroken, and us leave out at least one half; and had found there an elder olive branch which half shall it be? It shall be transplanted from the same table, the joys. And now, my dear friend, over whom some thirteen years have I truncated the larger or the
AND TEARS OF PARENTS.
lesser portion? There is a thesis must we admire that blessed book for your meditations; I say nothing which is so constructed as not only upon it : perhaps in a large number to tell us all that ever we did, but of cases the division is equal, in all that ever we felt, and whose others it preponderates on the one graphic pictures—nay, whose most side or the other; whether by cir- didactic arguments, become affecting cumstances not under humancontroul, and personal appeals. or more often, perhaps, in consequence To that blessed book then let us of the good or evil conduct of parents first turn, for some memorable illusthemselves. But I must leave the tration of the funereal sorrows of paphilosophy of the question to your rents. If you have never looked deeper meditations, and hasten to my through it in this view, you may be theme, The tears of parents. surprised at observing how much of
And now that I have cut off one it relates to this very subject. Its half of it, and chosen the sadder opening pages commence with it ; portion, the remainder is still too for the first history after the Fall is large. There are tears both of joy a tale of family woe, and other narraand grief, from the first moment of tives of bereavement, more or less hope to the final adieus of bereave- painful, occupy many a subsequent ment; the infancy, the childhood, page. But I pass over ante-diluvians the youth, the riper age, of a son or and patriarchs, and the tears of pridaughter, are all full of anxieties to vate life, to select a scriptural exthe heart of a parent; health, edu- ample in the highest range of human cation, worldly prospects, mind, dignity. I will tell you of one who morals, religion, what word is there was a king and a conqueror, with connected with this hallowed relation every thing that earth could give at but carries with it a scroll, not indeed his command; but who" went up by written wholly within and without the ascent of mount Olivet, and wept for our God is toomercifulto allowsuch as he went up, and had his head a desolating tide of bitterness to over. covered, and he went barefoot; and flow every blessing—with mourning, all the people that was with him lamentation, and woe ; but at least covered every man his head, and blotted on one side with these darker they went up, weeping as they went characters, even though the pencil that up;” and all this for an ungrateful inscribes the other should be dipt in and rebellious child. And yet when light and sunshine. Totake the whole the welfare, the very existence, both range would be an encyclopædia; let of the monarch and the state deus narrow it down to one point, and pended on the defeat of the young that will be amply large for the grasp profligate's parricidal enterprise, the of two or three cursory epistles : that parent shed still more agonizing point shall be, The tears of parents over tears at the peril, than he did at the the grave of their offspring. These are treason, of his child; for he sat benot, indeed, always the bitterest tears tween the gates, and gathered every -00, there are others more bitter; passing rumour from the watchmen, but still bitter they are, as you, my till the nation's deliverance and his friend, can tell, who have not been own overwhelming grief burst upon spared them, as you bent over the him in one thrilling annunciation, tomb of one who bore the name and “ The enemies of my lord the king might by the blessing of God have be as that young man is ;” and then copied the heavenly virtues of, I "he went up to the chamber over believe, the most sainted man who the gate, and wept; and as he wept, has adorned the annals of the modern thus he said, O my son Absalom; Christian church. But I must gene- my son, my son Absalom; would ralize-yet generalize as we will the God I had died for thee, O Absalom, heart will individualize; and much my son, my son.” Let us analyse in that respect, as in every other, the constituents of bitterness in these tears in another letter. For the the death of pious children, of wicked present, I must conclude ; but I children, of precocious children, of leave you subjects sufficient for children dying in infancy, and many thought, if I recommend you to others that will occur to your fertile consider such cases as the following: and meditative mind.
REVIEW OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.
The Offices of the Holy Spirit ; Four setting forth the same important
Sermons, preached before the Unic theme, with the accumulated scripversity of Cambridge, in November, tural knowledge and practical spi1831. By the Rev. C. Simeon, ritual wisdom derived from long M.A. Senior Fellow of King's study, much prayer, and enlarged College.
experience. We cannot but notice
the earnest zeal tempered by meekIf the Christian mind has sickened ness, sobriety, and equanimity, which and saddened at the mistaken notions are conspicuous in Mr. Simeon's which of late have been obtruded writings. When accused, as upon the world in relation to the he was wont to be, of fanaticism, agency of the Divine Spirit of grace because he insisted so strongly upon and consolation, it will be comfort. the doctrine and details of the Holy ing and instructive to forget all Spirit's influence; he did not allow painful scenes and overheated spe- himself to be chafed by opposition culations, and to turn to this rich, to an unguarded and overstated edifying, and scriptural production manner of explicating this solemn of a master in Israel. Mr. Simeon, subject, or cease to be practical during a long and eminently useful under a notion of being more spirilife, has been endued with grace, tual. And now, when fanaticism is wisdom, and courage, to stand up really afloat in the world, and cermanfully in defence of the Gospel, tain preachers and writers are reparticularly in reference to some of proaching those who have long its essential verities which half a dwelt upon the necessity of supercentury ago were grievously neg- natural influence, and of prayer for lected, deteriorated, perverted, or the effusion of the Holy Spirit, as almost lost sight of in the pulpit being blind to the alleged answer to ministrations of Established their own petitions, evinced in the Church. Among these verities he late claims to Divine manifestations, has been ever assiduous in inculcat- and as resisting the very grace they ing the momentous doctrine of the had implored; we find Mr. Simeon Holy Spirit's influences, and his equally imperturbable, and not in the operations upon the hearts of men, least inclined to detract from the as an Enlightener, a Sanctifier, and pressing importance of the scriptural a Comforter; convincing them of sin, doctrine on this subject, because working in them repentance and it has been lamentably mistaken faith, leading them to the cross of and abused. To scepticism on the Christ, regenerating their souls, sus- one hand, and to fanaticism on the taining them under trial, purifying other, he offers the same reply, and them, and progressively making that reply the best-he sets forth them meet to be partakers of the solid, simple, Christian truth. Are inheritance of the saints in light. you doubtful about the nature or And now, in the work before us, we reality of Divine influence? it is find this venerable servant of Christ here described. Are you inclined