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she had little, if any evidence that he was prepared for this event. I begin now to find, for the first time, that by doubling myself, I have doubled my sorrows, and rendered myself a broader mark for the arrows of misfortune. However, I am content to meet with a few deductions from the happiness which wedlock affords. I should, otherwise, be almost too happy for my spiritual welfare. I am fully of your opinion, that marriage is a wonderfully wise and gracious institution, and shews, in a striking point of light, the goodness of our heavenly Father. I am also convinced, that, when properly managed, it is no less favorable to religion. You will think that I write like a new-married man; and will, probably enough, conclude that, in a few years, I shall feel differently. It is very possible that I may; but hitherto my happiness has been continually increasing. We are much more attached to each other, than we were at first; and daily see new cause to admire the wisdom and goodness of him who fitted us for each other, and brought us together. I have, I may almost say, more temporal mercies than I wish for, and they are continually increasing; they come without asking; but neither by asking, nor in any other way, am I equally conscious of obtaining those spiritual blessings, which I wish for, and which seem indispensably necessary. However, I do not flatter myself that my present happiness will continue long. Perhaps a few weeks will deprive me of her, whose society constitutes so large a share of it. God's will be done. I trust that he has, in some measure, prepared me for such an event. I have viewed it in every possible point of light; and, so far as I can judge, feel willing, yes, blessed be his name! perfectly willing, that he should do what he will with his own.***We shall have
your prayers, I doubt not. O how much am I already in
debted to them!
"I cannot close, without adverting again to the blessed change you mention in our family. Give my love to E. Charge H. and P. to strive as well as seek; to repent and pray-and not to pray first, in order to repent afterwards. And urge Eliza to follow the example of her brothers, and remember her Creator in the days of her youth."
" March 27,
"MY EVER DEAR SON,
"Your last was, indeed, fraught with precious tidings; -and we are now to view you and your dear Louisa, as sustaining a new, and very important relation in life. May gracious Heaven look with benignity upon this dear object of your mutual affections, and realize your best wishes in its behalf. Precious babe! already do I clasp it in my affections, and implore the blessing of heaven upon it. Great is the fatigue, the care, the anxiety, of rearing a family; but if it is performed aright, it is a blessed work. -You have yet to learn how difficult the task, and how much patience, prudence, and grace, are requisite to qualify us to be faithful to the sacred trust deposited in our keeping. Yet, for your encouragement, and as a debt of gratitude due to our most gracious Parent, I freely acknowledge myself amply compensated for all I have ever suffered or done for my Edward. Alas! I have been exceedingly deficient in my duty to my children; but with what ineffable goodness has God pardoned my unfaithfulness, and noticed every sincere attempt to discharge, in any measure, the important duties of a mother; and, in some instances, done more for them, than I ever thought or asked. May He enable you to receive this little one from his gracious hands, and, as he requires, bring it up for him. You were very kind to write me so soon; it was a proof of affection, for which my heart thanks you— but we are looking impatiently for another letter.
"Your good father put on one of his best smiles, upon hearing he was a grandfather. "Ah!" he says—“ what is it? a son? or a daughter?" with other inquiries. He smiled when he read-" Babe made the house ring ;" and observed, you would not want for music of that kind, he supposed. He is in very good health, and now attending a conference in a remote part of the town.
* * *
"May you be guided safely amidst the innumerable snares which await our every step, and your path, like the rising light, shine more and more unto the perfect day. Thus prays
Your affectionate Mother.
In December, 1811, the sole care of the church and
parish devolved on him, in consequence of the dissolution of the senior pastor's relation to the church, agreeably to the advice of Council mutually called.
An event of this kind is usually of all-absorbing interest to a people, and seldom fails to divert attention from the important concern of personal religion. But such does not appear to have been the effect, in the present case, to any very lamentable extent-the accession to the church, this year, being thirty-nine, and, the subsequent year, considerably greater than any preceding. He closed the labors of this year with a most seasonable discourse from 2 Cor. IV. 13, We also believe, and therefore speak, in which he attempted to state the principal doctrines, which Paul professed to believe-to show that he did actually believe them-that he had sufficient reasons to believe them-and that this belief necessarily led him to preach and conduct in the manner he did. It was a popular and useful defence of evangelical doctrines, and of ministerial zeal, and was applied to the auditory with pungent force.
His diary, during this year, authorizes some inferences, besides that of his spirituality and devotion to his work. A few short extracts of each kind will form an appropriate conclusion to the chapter :
"July 17.-Heard much, to-day, of the rage of opposers; found others much discouraged by it. Was driven by it to the throne of grace, and there found unusual enlargement in pleading for the effusions of the Spirit. Never felt more drawn out in prayer for this, and could not help hoping that he would espouse our cause. Was deeply affected with the sovereign goodness of God. "Aug-O, what a privilege it would be, to have strength to labor all the time for God.
Sept. 24, 25.-Was called up at midnight by some mischievous person, and sent off to see a person said to be dying.... Found it a serious joke to me, for I took cold, and was sick several days.
Sept. 29.-Had a most refreshing season, this morning, in prayer. Felt most intense hatred of sin, and desire to be free from its power.
"Oct. 5.-Have been abundantly convinced, to-day, that it is not a vain thing to call upon God. Was remarkably assisted in preparing for to-morrow. In the evening, was favored with an uncommonly precious season in prayer. O, how different does every thing appear, when God is present. He is indeed all in all to me.
"Oct. 8.-Enjoyed a most delightful season in prayer. Had such strong confidence in God from a view of his willingness to give, that I felt ready to ask and expect every thing in his power to bestow. Knew not how to stop, till I was utterly exhausted.
"Oct. 10.-Had some different views of Christ and heaven, from any I ever before enjoyed, so that I felt the fullest assurance of salvation; and wished to be saved, that I might praise and love God perfectly.
"Oct. 22.-Was enabled to cast all my cares on the Lord, and felt lightened. Never did the Bible seem so sweet, never did the light of God's countenance seem so exquisitely precious as now; nor did I ever more need it.
“Oct. 24.—In the course of the day, saw an Indian. Was instantly struck, and much affected with a sense of his wretched condition. Never had such feelings before. In the evening had great freedom in praying for poor savages and others, who are destitute of the light of the gospel.
Set up a little prayer
"Nov. 7.-Felt a little revived. meeting in my family, for a revival, and had some liberty.
"Nov. 28. Had a most refreshing and delightful season in prayer this morning. Felt something of the life and power of religion through the day. In the evening preached, .... and was uncommonly assisted, and the people appeared much affected. Felt much gratitude to God for his assistance, and much encouraged respecting a revival."
Forms of prayer-Thoughts on public prayer-His sincerity-the importance of this quality to a minister's
"You would greatly oblige me, by loaning me a copy of your prayer, to-day"-said a distinguished lady to Dr. Payson, as he was retiring from the house of worship on a memorable occasion. She was surprised on being told, that it had vanished with the breath which gave it utterance. This lady was not an attendant on his ministry; but had come, at this time, with the expectation of seeing La Fayette in the assembly; and, in common with many others, was filled with admiration of the intercessory part of the exercises, as differing from all she had ever heard, in richness and appropriateness of matter, as well as in fervor of utterance. Few, it is believed, ever heard him, for the first time, even in the family, or on the most common occasion, without experiencing kindred emotions. The wonder, too, was enhanced, rather than diminished, by every repetition of the exercise. To those, whose devotions he led for twenty years, in the sanctuary, in the conference room, by the sick bed, at festivals, and funerals, every prayer seemed to have all the freshness of originality. His resources for this duty appeared to be absolutely inexhaustible. There was something in his prayers, powerful to arrest and fix attention-something, which seized and absorbed the faculties of the soul, and separated it, for the time being at least, from its connections with "this present evil world." The full, deep, reverent, flexible,suppliant tones of his voice, as far removed from the cant of the fanatic, as they were from the levity of the witling, contributed something to the effect of his public devotions. The question has been asked by more than one distinguished minister, since Dr. Payson's death, whether he left behind him any written forms of prayer. So far from this, it is believed he never wrote a prayer. There are,