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The Lord's Supper is begun to be administered in Lady Glenorchy's
chapel every second month-Lord Breadalbane's death-Extracts from Diary, from January 1, to March 3, 1782—Lady Glenorchy's health rapidly declines—Two Letters of Lady Glenorchy's
Extracts from Diary-Lady Glenorchy's health somewhat revived—Her Ladyship goes to Moffat with Lady Henrietta Hope -Letter from Lady Glenorchy to Mrs Bailie Walker -Lady Glenorchy and Lady Henrietta Hope return to Barnton-In order to extend her sphere of usefulness, Lady Glenorchy purposes to sell Barnton-Extracts from Diary, from January 1, to June 8, 1783– Almost all the remaining part of Lady Glenorchy's Diary lost-In 1784, Lady Glenorchy accompanies Lady Henrietta Hope to Moffat Proceeds to Carlisle-Reaches Matlock-From a singular occurrence in Providence, is led to purchase a chapel there—Returns to Edinburgh–Is again in bad health-Leaves Barnton, and never returns Purposes to reside in future at Matlock-Concluding extract from her Diary-She sells Barnton-Death of Lady Henrietta HopeLetters from Lady Glenorchy to Lady Mary Fitzgerald-Letter to Mr Jones-Letter to Lady Maxwell—Lady Glenorchy settles a plan for Hope Chapel-In her way to Scotland, purchases ground for a chapel at Workington-Returns to Edinburgh-Her health declines -Completes the sale of Barnton-Her last illness-Death-Character -Funeral_Will_Conclusion.
[1782.] THE Lord's supper was at this time in Scotland rarely celebrated more than once a-year, excepting in cities and great towns, where it was generally celebrated twice during that period.
On those occasions, it was the practice to have public worship on other days besides the Sabbath. One whole day was set apart for humiliation and prayer, generally a Thursday. On the afternoon of Saturday there was an exercise of preparation; on the forenoon
of Monday there was another of thanksgiving; and on the Sabbath two long sermons were usually preached, besides the other acts of devotion, which were considerably extended. This practice began in the hateful days of persecution under the Stuarts, when numerous congregations, collected from every district and corner of the land, were constrained to encamp, and hold their solemn assemblies in the fastnesses of the mountains. As these meeting could only be held in the middle of summer, the people, when they came together, devoted the whole time to religious purposes, and could not therefore employ it more reasonably or usefully, than in their fasts, and preparations, and thanksgivings. But this practice, like many other ancient customs, has extended to times which do not require it, and in which,
the least, has the inconveniency attending it, of preventing the more frequent celebration of the ordi
Lady Glenorchy, and the congregation worshipping in her chapel, were aware of this, and venturing to face the prejudices which ran very strong against any innovation, they, on the second Sabbath of the the month of January this year, began to celebrate it with public worship only on the Thursday and Saturday evenings preceding, and which they have continued to do, much to their comfort and edification, without intermission, every alternate month, for these forty years, excepting in May and November, when they observe the fast, preparation, and thanksgiving days, with the other churches of the city. This practice is now adopted by some parish churches in the Establishment, by many chapels of ease, and by a great proportion of the Presbyterian seceding congregations, so that it is no longer considered as a novelty or peculiarity
In the end of January, Lady Glenorchy was called upon to perform the last sad offices to her valuable friend and much revered and beloved parent, Lord Breadalbane, who died at an advanced age, on the 26th of the month, in his apartment at the Royal Palace of Holyrood-house.
Lady Glenorchy could not be indifferent to his spiritual state, and she omitted nothing, through a long course of years, that she could with propriety do to direct his attention to the things which belonged to his peace, and there is reason to hope her attempts were not altogether in vain. The writer of these pages has been informed by the late Mr Lee, who for many years was his household steward, and always about his person, both by night and by day, and whose veracity, integrity, and piety, were well known, that for years before his death, and much more so at the time of its approach, his Lordship was frequently employed in reading his Bible, and in fervent prayer; and that he repeatedly told him his only hope for a happy éternity was founded on the mercies of God, and the merits of Christ Jesus his Saviour.
The state of Lady Glenorchy's mind at this period, and for some months after, may be gathered from the following extracts from her Diary.
Barnton, January 1, 1782.-Blessed be God for the mercies of the past year, and a happy commencement of a new one, begun indeed with pain and weakness, but with strong desires for spiritual blessings, and grace to glorify him more than I ever yet have done. The Lord was pleased to give me a minister this morning to speak to my family in a suitable manner, and we began this day with exhortation and prayer. I was afterwards enabled to speak to three of my family
with earnestness about their souls, and felt comfort therein. O to be thankful for undeserved mercies ! my soul is too full for utterance.
I cannot express what I see in the wisdom, goodness, and compassion of the grace of God to me, a poor sinner. Surely none ever had such cause to praise, yet no one has been ever so remiss in this duty as I have. Open my lips, O Lord, and let the dumb speak.
January 13.-This day the ordinance of the Lord's supper is to be dispensed in my chapel, Edinburgh, for the first time without being accompanied with the usual days of devotion, and at a different time from the churches of the city. I am detained from being a partaker of it by ill health, but I have endeavoured to have fellowship in spirit, exercising faith on the body and blood of Christ. I felt my heart drawn forth in desires for the whole body of Christ, that as our head is holy, we also might be holy through his grace imparted to us, that he may be glorified. My soul has been led to seek more sensible fellowship with the Father and the Son, through the Spirit, and to know my union with Christ by his Spirit.
Sunday, January 20.—I am still detained from public worship, but the Lord has made it up to me by giving me liberty in prayer, and comfort in reading the Scriptures.
This last week I have been called to a trial in seeing my very aged parent, Lord Breadalbane, deprived of his mental faculties, and laid to all appearance on his dying bed: but with God nothing is impossible ; he may yet be restored to bear testimony to the truth, if it seems good unto the Lord. May his will be done, and his name glorified, in all things.
Sunday, January 27.— Yesterday it pleased God to take Lord Breadalbane suddenly away, ten minutes after Dr Cullen had pronounced him much better, and that he probably would be up in his chair in a few days. I have cause to remark many kind providences in this event with regard to myself, that I was so much recovered as to be able to go to town on Thursday to attend him, and had the comfort to see him pleased and happy in having me about him. This day I feel more sensibly the loss than yesterday, yet I dare not murmur,
—to the Lord belongeth the disposal of all events, to his sovereignty I desire to bow, and to rest assured that he doth all things well. What am I that I should reply against God ? Be still, my soul, and harbour not a thought inconsistent with total submission to God! The Lord he is God: Let his blessed will be done!
Thursday, February 7. General Fast.-This day I arose early, and attempted to humble myself for my sins, and those of the land, but with what coldness! I read Henry on Isaiah the lviiith, and other similar passages of Scripture. I prayed for holiness, and for a revival of vital religion in the churches of Christ in general,—for the out-pouring of the Spirit, as in former years,--for quickening grace to ministers, and for furnishing them with every necessary gift,-for the congregations and schools in which I am particularly interested for friends,-for relations--for my parish and its minister,--my tenants and servants,—the afflicted, the sick,—the wounded,--the dying, - the destitute,—the unconverted,--for prisoners-and for those who have begun to seek God,-for the king and for all in authority.
I gave thanks for private mercies, and for public blessings. I felt some measure of faith. I went to public worship, but was cold and lifeless in hearing,