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to pray for it. This threw me into such agitation, that I was forced to leave the room ; yet I cannot prevail upon myself to tell him the real state of his case, my own mind is so greatly agitated.
June 7.For two months past I have been employed in attending the dying bed of Mr Sheriff, who this day lies at the point of death. He has borne a noble testimony to the power of faith in supporting and quieting the mind under bodily distress, and the certain approach of death. For six weeks past the Lord has given me much heartfelt submission to his will in this trial. He has shown me wherefore it was sent, vinced me of the expediency and necessity of it, to subdue my will in those things I judged not only lawful, but in which I thought I might be zealous. He has brought me to give up the chapel wholly to himself, being the Head, Governor, and Lawgiver of his church; and last night and this day he enabled me to surrender up myself and all my plans wholly to him, without any known reserve.
I got power to ask much for the chapel for ages to come,—that it might be a lamp and a witness for the doctrines and discipline of the true church in future generations. A place where true vital experimental religion might be taught, and where souls might daily be born again, and savingly united to Christ. I had some degree of faith for this, and that a proper pastor would be provided for it by the Lord in his time, and I sought patience to wait upon him for the answer of this prayer. And now, O my gracious Saviour, as I have devoted myself, and all that I am and have unto thee this day upon my knees, and with my heart and tongue, I would now in thy presence confirm it with my hand, and with all the sincerity of heart with which
I am capable, solemnly giving up and committing to thee my soul, body, and spirit, my life, reputation, goods, friends, relations, health, and outward comforts—my understanding, will, and affections; in short, all that I am and have, to be disposed of as shall be most for the glory of thy name, and the eternal good of my soul. Guide and conduct me through life,–be with me to support and comfort me in death, -and receive me at last into thy kingdom and glory, to be ever with thee throughout eternity. And the whole glory and praise shall be ascribed unto the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
W. GLENORCHY. Barnton, June 7, 1778.
The closeness of Lady Glenorchy's attention to Mr Sheriff in his illness, and the edification she derived from it, will be seen from the following note which she at this time wrote to her friend Miss Hill.
Lady Glenorchy to Miss Hill.
My dear friend will pardon my sending her a very few lines, when I tell her that my worthy pastor lies in the next room at the point of death. He has been growing weaker every day since he came here, and now is confined to bed, every hour expecting the joyful summons from his dear Lord to enter into eternal glory. His mother and I attend him constantly, and as she has not yet attained a taste for spiritual conversation, (though I hope she is in a fair way of doing so), he has nobody but myself to whom he can open his mind on spiritual things. This makes me incline to be with him constantly, as also to hear the many precious things that drop from his lips from time to time. I never saw any person enjoy so much uninterrupted peace of mind, or so strong a faith as he does. The particulars I shall send you after his decease, when I get time to write out at length the notes I am taking from day to day.”
Saturday, June 13.—Yesterday, at nine o'clock, it pleased God to take to himself my very dear friend and pastor, Mr Sheriff. He was enabled on Thursday to speak from ten in the morning till near ten at night, almost without intermission, to the praise of glorious grace. He gave me many exhortations, and said, Submit, it is the Lord's doing ; we shall live together with him for ever: he has saved me; he will save you, my dear friend. His last words were- All is well. The Lord most wonderfully supported me during the last two days and nights of his life, enabling me to attend him during that time, without weariness.
I felt uncommon power to believe and acquiesce in the Lord's will. He is now with his God. O that his dying words may make a suitable impression on my heart; may I never forget the awful but instructive scene; may I listen to the voice of God through him, and persevere in his work to the end. May I give up all for Christ, and bear all his dispensations with patience. May I see my friend in glory, and be for ever with the Lord. Amen and Amen.
Sabbath, June 14.- This day I was enabled to attend public worship, after which I visited the place where Mr Sheriff was to be laid. These words came with much force to my remembrance, His flesh shall rest in hope-sown in weakness,-raised in power !
Afterwards I was present at the * chesting, and I was supported wonderfully through the whole ceremony ; and at the evening sermon in the Barnton chapel, I was enabled to believe that all was well.
• The last melancholy services due to the dead, are not, in Scotland, left to undertakers and their attendants.- The body is washed and swathed, and laid out by the sick-nurse, or servants of the household. When it is to be put into the coffin, the relations, and most intimate friends, to whom affection and respect are intended to be shown, are invited to attend as witnesses. The performance of this duty is done by the nearest relations, with great solemnity, and profound silence. This office being performed, if a clergyman is present, which is often the case, he closes the solemnity by appropriate prayer, and this is called the chesting.
When the company invited to the funeral are collected, immediately before carrying out the corpse to the grave, a clergyman also offers a suitable prayer ; and this is the only religious funeral service used in Scot. land, excepting by those of the Episcopal Church.
Lady Glenorchy directs her attention to supply the vacancy occasioned
by Mr Sheriff's death—The offer of the chapel is made to the Rev. Mr Hodgson-Extracts from Diary–Lady Glenorchy goes to Taymouth-Extracts from Diary, from July 13, to September 2, 1778 Lady Glenorchy returns from Taymouth, and comes to EdinburghMr Hodgson declines accepting the chapel-Lady Glenorchy again thrown into perplexity-Mr Dickie sent to London to offer the chapel to the Rev. Mr Clayton-Extracts from Diary, from October 28, to December 8, 1778_Letter from Lady Glenorchy to Mr Jones, requesting him to aid her in inducing Mr Clayton to accept of the chapel-Mr Clayton declines—Letter from Lady Glenorchy to Mr Jones, inviting him to supply the chapel for a few months, which he complies with Offer of becoming the minister of the chapel made to him, which he accepts His ordination in London Returns to Edinburgh, and enters on his ministerial duties—Extracts from Diary, from January 3, to May 30, 1779.
WHEN Mr Sheriff's remains were removed to their long home, and his mother, and other friends who had attended him in his last days, had departed, Lady Glenorchy left Barnton, and went to Edinburgh. From the comfortless state in which her mind is usually seen, it might be thought that this event would have much increased it; but it should be remembered, that it was not temporal afflictions altogether that occasioned her distresses; for these she could bear with a fortitude rarely shown by her sex; her distress was occasioned chiefly by spiritual mortifications, on account of imperfection in the sight of God, and these may be said to be the only source of her mental pain: lience, on this occasion, her attention being turned aside for a