Images de page

Judge ye, who know a mother's cares
For the dear tender babe she bears,
The parent's anguish-ye alone
Such sad vicissitudes bave known.

Deep was the wound; nor slight the pain Which made the Rose-tree thus complain: Dear little darling! art thou gone

Thy charms scarce to thy mother known!
Remov'd so soon !-So suddenly,
'Snatch'd from my fond maternal eye!
What hadst thou done?-dear offspring! say,
So early to be snatch'd away!

What! gone for ever! seen no more!
For ever I thy loss deplore,
Ye dews descend, with tears supply
My now forever tearful eye;

Or rather come some northern blast,
Dislodge my yielding roots in haste.
Whirlwinds arise-my branches tear,
And to some distant region bear
Far from this spot, a wretched mother,
Whose fruit and joys are gone together.'

As thus the anguish'd Rose-tree cry'd,
Her Owner near her she espy'd ;
Who in these gentle terms reprov'd
A plant, though murm'ring, stili belov'd.

'Cease, beauteous flow'r, these useless cries, And let my lessons make thee wise, Art thou not mine? Did not my hand Transplant thee from the barren sand, • Where once a mean unsightly plant, Expos'd to injury and want,

• Unknown, and unadmir'd, I found,
And brought thee to this fertile ground;
With studious art improv'd thy form,
• Secur'd thee from the inclement storm,
And through the seasons of the year,
Made thee my unabating care?
Hast thou not blest thy happy lot,
In such an owner--such a spot ?

樓 now, because thy shoot I've taken,



Thy best of friends must be forsaken. Know, flower belov'd e'en this affliction 6 Sha'l prove to thee a benediction:

Had I nor the young plant remov❜d,


(So fondly by thy heart belov'd) O me thy heart would scarce have thought, "Wh grantude no more be fraught: -Yea-thy own beauty be at stake Surrender'd for thy offspring's sake. 'Nor think, that hidden from thine eyes, 'The infant plant neglected lies'No-I've another garden where In richer soil and purer air 'It's now transplanted there to shine In beauties fairer far than thine.

Nor shalt thou always be apart 'From the dear darling of thy heart; For 'tis my purpose thee to bear • In future time, and plant thee there, "Where thy now absent off-set grows, And blossoms a CELESTIAL Rose. Be patient, then, till that set hour shall come When thou and thine shall in new beauties bloom: No more its absence shall thou then deplore, Together grow and ne'er be parted more.'

These words to silence hush'd the plaintive Rose, With deeper blushes redd'ning now she glows, Submissive bow'd her unrepining head, Again her wonted, grateful fragrance shedCry'd, Thou hast taken only what's thine own, Therefore thy will, my Lord, not mine, be done.'





EARLY in October, 1798, Mr. Pearce at tended at the Kettering ministers' meeting, and preached from Psalm xc. 16, 17. Let thy work appear unto thy servants, and thy glory unto their children. And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us and establish thou the work of our hands upon us: yea, the work of our hands e. tablish thou it. He was observed to be singularly solemn and affectionate in that discourse. If he had known it to be the last time that he should address his brethren in that part of the country, he could scarcely have felt of spoken in a more interesting manner. It was a discourse full of instruc on, full of a boly unction, and that seemed to breathe an apostolical ardour. On his return, he preached at Market Harborough; and riding home the next day in company with his friend, Mr. Summers, of London, they were overtaken with rain. Mr. Pearce was wet through his clothes, and towards evening complained of a chillness. A slight hoarseness followed. He preached several times after this, which brought on an inflammation, and issued in a consumption. It is probable that if his constitution had not been previously impaired, such effects might not have followed in this instance. His own ideas on this subject, are expressed in a letter to Dr. Ryland, dated December 4, 1798, and in another to Mr. King, dated from Bristol, on his way to Plymouth, March 30, 1799. In the former, he says," Ever since my Christmas

journey last year to Sheepshead, Nottingham, Leicester, on the mission business, I have found my constitution much debilitated, in consequence of a cold caught after the unusual exertions which circumstances then demanded; so that from a frame that could endure any weather, I have since been too tender to encounter a single shower, without danger; and the duties of the Lord's day, which, as far as bodily strength went, I could perform with little fatigue, have since frequently overcome me. But the severe cold I caught in return from the last Kettering minister's meeting, has affected me so much, that I have sometimes concluded I must give up preaching entirely; for though my head and spirits are better than for two years past, yet my stomach is so very weak, that I cannot pray in my family without frequent pauses for breath, and in the pulpit it is labour and agony, which must be felt to be conceived of. I have, however, made shift to preach sometimes thrice, but mostly only twice on a Lord's day, till the last, when the morning sermon only, though I delivered it with great pleasure of mind, and with as much caution as to my voice as possible, yet cost me so much labour as threw me into a fever till the next day, and prevented my sleeping all night.” In the letter, he thus writes- "Should my life be spared, I, and my family, and all my connexions will stand indebted, under God to you. Unsuspecting of danger myself, I believe I should have gone on with iny exertions, till the grave had received me. Your attention sent Mr. B (the apothecary) to me, and then first I learned what I have since been increasingly convinced of that I was rapidly destroying the vital principle. And the kind interest you have taken in my welfare ever since, has often drawn the grateful tear from my eye. May the God of

heaven and earth reward your kindness to his unfaithful servant, and save you from all the evils from which your distinguished friendship would have saved me!"

Such were his ideas. His labours were certainly abundant; perhaps too great for his constitution; but it is probable that nothing was more injurious to his health, than a frequent exposure to night air, and an inattention to the necessity of changing damp clothes.


Hitherto we have seen in Mr. Pearce, the active, assiduous, and laborious servant of Jesus Christ but now we see him laid aside from his work, wasting away by slow degrees, patiently enduring the will of God, and cheerfully waiting for his dissolution. And as here is but little to narrate, I shall content myself with copying his letters, or extracts from them, to his friends, in the order of time in which they were written, only now and then dropping a few hints to fur nish the reader with the occasions of some of them.



Birmingham, October 8, 1798.

"OH ! my dear brother, your letter of the 5th, which I received this morning, has made me thankful for all my pulpit agonies, as they enable me to weep with a weeping brother. They have been of use to me in other respects; particularly, in teaching me the importance of attaining and maintaining that spirituality and pious ardour, in which I have found the most effectual relief; so that on the whole I must try to

glory in tribulations also.' I trust I often can when the conflict is past, but to' them

« PrécédentContinuer »