Google This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project to make the world's books discoverable online. It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover. Marks, notations and other maiginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the publisher to a library and finally to you. Usage guidelines Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing tliis resource, we liave taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying. We also ask that you: + Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes. + Refrain fivm automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help. + Maintain attributionTht GoogXt "watermark" you see on each file is essential for in forming people about this project and helping them find additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it. + Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liabili^ can be quite severe. About Google Book Search Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web at |http: //books .google .com/I irappan PresDylerlan flssoclalion IjIBRARY : VresenUd hy HON. D. BETHUNE OUFFIELB From Librarv of Rev. Geo. Duffield, D.D ^/-Ct^f t ^/9 • / j» . •y/ * ^ V .-^" BK nz£ .L^1- St4-. • /^. ' / * t f •>.•' r f V. _, r' MEMOIR w MRS. LOUISA ADAMS LEAVITT; COMPRISED IN A SERMON OCCASIONED BY HER DEATH, AND A SUPPLEMENTARY SKETCH. NEW- YORK : JOHN F. TROW, 194 BROADWAY. 1843. Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1843, by JOHN F. TROW, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Southern District of New- York. AlfD E8PECIALLT TO TO THB 5&urbtbfnfl Stttntis unti ^cquafntanccis OF S MRS. LEAVITT, V > THE CHURCH OF WHICH SHE WAS A MEMBER, THIS LITTLE VOLUME, PRBPABXD ACAINIiT 70B THSIB BENEFIT, IS ATTXCTIONATELY I2T80RIBZD BY THS AUTHOR. PREFACE. A DESIRE was expressed, soon after the death of Mrs. Leavitt, that the Sermon preached on that occasion might be published. As it was prepared in unusual haste, and aimed at no extended course, either of practical remark or doctrinal discussion, the interest felt in it arose mainly, it was pre- sumed, from the facts it contained — from its ac- count, especially, of the closing scenes in the life of the deceased. It was thought that some permanent memorial of one so uniformly faithful to her divine Master, and so remarkably comforted and sustained by him in death, would at least be profitable to the very large circle of surviving acquaintances and friends. The question was even started, whether a formal and extended memoir should not be prepared. But it was soon recollected, that there was in the life of Mrs. Leavitt little of striking incident She was of a quiet spirit. The tenor of her way was even and noiseless. It was remembered, also, that she was D PREFACE. always at a great remove from every thing that sa- vored of ostentation. She instinctively, and on prin- ciple, shrunk from all ambitious publicity. What- ever memorial, therefore, friendship might construct, would be most appropriate, it was judged, if of the simplest and most unassuming character. The conclusion was, as the following pages show, to pubUsh the Sermon substantially as de- livered, with a brief additional memoir. The in- terest of that memoir is greatly enhanced by the fact, that it is composed in considerable part — as is the narrative portion of the Sermon eJso — of what Mrs. Leavitt herself either wrote or uttered. Thus, being dead, she yet speaketh. Surviving friends, as they read, will seem again to hear the kind and gentle tones of her voice, again to mark the smile, which, like a reflection of heaven's opening glory, lingered on her death-stricken countenance. To the church of which she was a member, she will seem present again, at all those posts of duty, in all those walks of usefulness, with which in life she was so familiar. And with her will be associated others of their dead, with whom she was wont to take sweet coimsel, and go to the house of God in company, whose voices are doubtless now blent with hers in the praises of the upper sanctuary. Nor will it be uninteresting to the stranger, PREFACE. 7 whose eye may rest on these pages, to be thus di- rectly introduced to her of whose life and death they treat. We are ever best pleased when we are enabled to know a departed worthy, much as he was known by the companions of his life. Know- ledges of this sort can scarce be too greatly multi- plied. They are fraught with dissuasives from all sin, and with potent inducements to all goodness. They have, in some respects, greater power than even the familiar example of the holy living. By the hand of death — a triumphant death especially — all preceding excellence is invested with an unearthly charm. It has not merely the nearness of life's palpable things, but there is linked with it something of heaven's sanctity and sublimity. Both the warning and the persuasive which have long been powerless, become prevalent ofleB, as they is- sue from the grave— as they come from above rathe^^ through that heaven-illumined avenue. That of such benefit the following pages may be instru- mental, in the case of memy surviving friends and acquaintances of the deceased, and, if God please, of others, is the highest aim and earnest prayer of THE AUTHOR. New- York) June 1, 1843. CONSISTENCY OF CHRISTIAN CHARACTER: A SERMON, Preached in the Brainerd Presbyterian Church, New-York, June 19, 1842, ON OCCASION OF THE DEATH or MRS. LOUISA A. LEAVITT. FUNERAL SERMON. II. Peter i. 5—8. *' And besides this, giring all diligence, add to your faith virtue ; and to virtue, knowledge ; and to know- ledge, temperance ; and to temperance, patience ; and to patience, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, charity. For if these things be in you and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." In all God's works, so far as we under- stand them, we perceive a most admirable completeness and symmetry. There is no- thing wanting, nothing superfluous, nothing out of place, or proportion. Part answers to part, and to the design of the whole, and system is connected|^d congruous with sys- tem. Or if, in any quarter, there seem to be inconsistency and conflict, it is but apparent — a mere illusion of bur ignorance. We have ample reason still for pronouncing « " All discord harmony not understood." 12 BIEMOm OF MRS. LEAVITT. The same beautiful symmetry, as was to be expected, is discoverable in the word of God — in the plan of salvation, especially. The harmonies of redemption are the wonder and joy of all heaven. Angels desire to look into them. The mingled song of Moses and the Lamb is ever on the lips of the blessed. And forever shall they delight to remember, how in man's amazing history " mercy and truth have met together, righteousness and peace have kissed each other." Nor is the characteristic of which we speak limited to tlie doctrinal portions of the Bible. It is equally apparent in its preceptive parts. In what fair proportion are all the various constituents of Christian character set forth ! Not a single element of excellence is omitted. No one grace is magnified at the expense of another. Such monstrosities of virtijjj^as have sometimes afflicted the church, find in it neither com- mendation nor warrant. Its language is, " The body is not one member, but many. And the eye cannot say to the hand, I have no need of thee : nor again the head to the feet, I have FUNERAL SERMON. 13 no need of you." The model it presents is not as the mutilated and unsightly trunk, but rather as the complete, synunetrical, and beau- tiful human form. The words of our text afford a happy il- lustration ol these remarks, The apostle ex- horts his brethren not to any one attainment merely, but to the diligent and abundant ex- ercise of every grace. He seems intent on guarding them against a partial and ill-consti- tuted piety. He would have them add virtue to virtue, until nothing shall be lacking in then: Christian character. And how felicitously are the cardmal graces here linked together ! How beautiful and imposing the combination ! " Add to your faith," says the Apostle, " vir- tue," or as it might be rendered, courage — Christian courage ; a quality so needful amid the ancient trials ofi&ith, and so needful even now. " And to ilrtue, knowledge ;" that in- timate and spiritual acquaintance with divine truth, without which courSige would often be ill-directed, and might even degenerate mto rashness and presumption. " And to know- 2* 14 BfEMOm OF SIRS, LEAYITT, edge, temperance ;" that amidst all your suc- cesses, and all the bounties of divine Provi- dence, you may still wisely regulate and re- strain all your appetites and passions. " And to temperance, patience ;" for days of dark- ness will come, when you will have special need of this grace. You must be furnished for the storm as well as for the sunshine. " And to patience, godliness ;" or that spirit and habit of devotion which shall confirm your faith ; which shall strengthen you both for suffering and doing God's will ; which shall lend an unearthly charm to prosperity, and a most precious solace to adversity ; which shall be ever assimilating you to the glorious object of your worship. " And to godliness, brotherly kindness ;" that precious grace, which shall bmd you to all God's people below, and ensure the discharge of ^pery duty you owe them ; and which shall fit you for the com- munion of the church triumphant. Nor is this all. " To brotherly kindness, charity ;" that love of benevolence, which embraces in the wide compass of its mns and efforts the FUNERAL SERMON. 15 whole human race, which is meek, forbearing, and forgiving ; which would relieve temporal misery wherever found, and lead every perish- ing sinner to the cross of Christ." W«ll might the apostle add, " If these things be in you and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the know- ledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." It is not my purpose to enlarge on the several particulars embraced in the text ; but to consider it rather as inculcating complete- ness and symmetry, or, as we may say in a single familiar phrase, consistency of Chris- tian CHARACTER. This crowning grace is set forth in the Scriptures, not only, as we have said, by pre- cept, but in the winning form of example also. Above all, in the example of our blessed Lord. The excellod^ice of his character ap- pears not so much in the perfection of any one virtue — though here were cause enough for ad- miration — ^as in the harmonious blending of every conceivable grace, in the entire consis- tency of his whole life. Qualities the most • • • 4 16 MEMOm OF BIRS. LEAVITT. difficult to combine, were exhibited by him in perfect unison. As he gazed on Jerusalem, and depicted the fearful guilt of her children, and uttered terrible comminations— yea, even while he spake — tears of compassion flowed from his eyes. He could reprove his disciples for their unbelief, their earthliness, their pride, their ambition : yet when the parting hour drew nigh, and sadness filled their hearts, with what more than paternal kindness could he soothe their sorrows and allay their fears ! As the torches of the ruffian band glared fearfully upon the gloom of the garden, he could go forth to meet them with an undaunted heart — with a majesty at which even they were awed : yet at Pilate's bar, amid all the in- dignities he suffered, how meek was he — how silent ! " As a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth." He could see, and he could feel, on the cross, the terri- ble guilt of his murderers ; yet his dying prayer was, " Father forgive them !" And how, at all times, did he blend zeal with pru- dence, courage with gentleness, dignity with FUNERAL SERMON. 17 condescension, abhorrence of sin with pity for the sinner, regard for God's justice with infi- nite love for the souls it condemned ! How congruous his demeanor in the house of the Pharisee, with his deportment in the favored family at Bethany ! In his kind discourse with the woman of Samaria at the well, what entire consistency with his own glorious self, as it shone forth in his synagogue-teach- mg, or in his Sermon on the Mount ! What perfect congruity between his communings with the cavilling Jews, and his free and • tender colloquies with his disciples ! How ac- cordant his private with his public acts ! What complete harmony between all the vari- ous periods of his life, his earliest childhood being but his manhood in miniature. Con- template his earthly course as you may, what completeness, what symmetry, what consisten- cy, do you see ! The example of Christ were enough, it would seem, to urge upon us effectually the prominent lesson of the text. But we would briefly enforce it by several additicxial consid- erations. • "V 18 MEMOm OF MRS. LEAVITT. 1. Consistency of character is essentiaUL to evidence of good estate. It is very properly^ mentioned by President Edwards among the signs ,of truly . gracious affections. "In the truly holy affections of the saints," he says, " is found that proportion, which is the natural consequence of the universality of their sane- tification. They have the whole image of Christ upon them ; they have put off the old man, and have put on the new man entire in all his parts and members." Where there is great disproportion between the various spirit- ual exercises, and a palpable and gross inconsis- • tency of outward conduct, we have good reason for doubting whether there be real piety. Such doubt is strengthened as we call to mind the demands of the Gospel. They have respect not merely to one class of affections, nor to any single department of life, or form of conduct. They reach the whole man — in all his facul- ties, relations, and ways — ^in every thought, word, and deed. And what, we may add, is the mind of the sanctifying Spirit ? Hates be not all iniquity ? Designs he not a thorough FUNERAL SERMON. 19 Jlwork ? Is he not mtent upon the entire sanc- tification of his people? Nay, we further remark, such b the very nature of true religion, that it must be symmetrical. If you are truly conscientious in one point, you will exhibit a like tenderness of conscience in all other points. If sin be hated, in any one of its many shapes, because it b sin, it will for the same reason be abhorred in^very other. There is a most intimate connection, indeed, as well as a fami- ly likeness, between all the Christian graces. They are a holy and indissoluble sisterhood. That was a profitless inquiry, once urged so earnestly, whether faith or repentance come first. The exercise of the one involves, sub- stantially, the exercise of the other. A like identity have love, joy, peace, gentleness, meekness, and all the fruits of the Spirit. We do not deny that, under certain circumstances, there may be a peculiar development of some one grace. But we do affirm that where one exists, they will all exist, and where one is strengthened, they must all be strengthened. And where any one of them seems to be want- 20 MEMOIR OF MRS. LEAVITT. ing, or where from any one department of life, religion seems to be excluded, one of the most important and precious evidences of true piety is lacking. 2. Consistency of character is essential to the strongest and best Christian infltience. The world are commonly intelligent and can- did enough not to look for perfection in God's people ; but they do expect, ind they have a right to expect, consistency. Where that is greatly wanting, my brethren, your hold on their consciences is gone. Not only your own profession but religion itself is brought into discredit. You may seem, in the religious meeting, to be raised above the world, to be filled with the very spirit of heaven. Most gracious words may fall from your lips. But what will it avail, if you are seen the next hour or the next day in as eager pursuit of the world as the most earnest of its votaries i The ungodly will be likely to say, as they listen to your prayers and exhortations, that you have but assumed your Sabbath-day garments. He ivho makes great professions of love for the FUNERAL SERMON. 21 souls of men, but cares little for their^mporal miseries — ^he who has great discov(^es and raptures, and is marvellously zealous in* reli- gious matters, but can scarcely be kept within the bounds of common honesty — ^he who pro- fesses to be filled with the liberal and loving spirit of the Gospel, and to have his heart en- larged by its expansive benevolence, but can yet drive a bargain with as stem a countenance and as grasping a hand as the most hardened miser — ^he who makes great general professions of humility, but is slow to acknowledge any particular fault, and takes fire at the slightest appearance of neglect — he \yho loves the brethren much in word, and but very sparingly in deed — ^he who pretends to consecrate his priceless soul to Christ, but is reluctant to cast into his treasury even a pittance of his gold and silver — all these, and others like them, are a hinderance rather than a help to the cause of Christ. The inconsistencies of pro- fessing Christians, my brethren, are the stum- bling-blocks over which multitudes of souls &11 into perdition. 3 22 MEMOIR OF MRS. LEAVITT. 3. It is by a consistent life alone, that good preparation can be made Jor death. This might be inferred from the very nature of the cas«. It is by such a life, alone, that all the Christian graces are fully developed and ma- tured — ^that patience and faith, especially, acquire the depth and strength so needful on a dying bed. The peace which the departing believer sometimes feels, is not the result of a single volition ; it is not something which has sprung up suddenly, having no particular con- nection with his past history. It is the legi- timate issue, rather, of a life of consistent piety. By all that life, the spirit has been trained and furnished for the final conflict. In the solemn self-scrutiny which then takes place, how comforting is the evidence of union to Christ which the recollection of uniform consistency affords ! How sad, then, to be conscious of an ill-formed, unsymmetrical character, and to look back on gross deficien- cies, on palpable and painful incongruities of conduct ! What gloomy doubts, what sad misgivings, must such a retrospect bring upon n # FXJNEHAL SERMON. 23 the soul ! We would not, indeed, limit the grace of God. But he offers no bounty to inconsistency of Christian character. The closing hours of his children have commonly a natural and fitting correspondence with the general tenor of their lives. Would you havi^ peace, then, my brethren, when flesh and heart shall fail you, " giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue ; and to virtue, knowledge ; and to knowledge, temperance ; and to temperance, patience ; and to patience, godliness ; and to godliness, brotherly kind- ness ; and to brotherly kindness, charity." See to it that " these things be in you and abound," that there be no hiatus in your course of duty, no suspicious discrepancy of character or conduct. 4. Consistency of character renders the Christianas memory more jpredous and profit" able. We are prone, I know, to forget the faults and magnify the virtues of the dear departed. We are slow to doubt whether it be^well with them ; and our charity some- times hopes against hope. Yet when gross 24 MEMOIR OF BOIS. LEAVITT. incongruities have been apparent in the life, we cannot utterly banish them from our thoughts. Nay, it may be diiBcult to repress all solicitude respecting the soul's final des- tiny. And how sad is such solicitude ! Who of us would bequeath it to those who shall mourn our departure? How heart-rending the fear, the slightest fear, that the firiend we have loved in life, and over whose grave our tears are flowing, was self-deceived, and is lost forever ! But when the elements of character have been all harmonious, and a steady, seemly, consistent Christian walk has been maintained, how delightful our assurance of the well-being of the departed, and how precious their memory ! How does it bless us, as with better than their former pre- sence ! They come back to us, as it were, from the heavenly world, sin and infirmity gone forever, and their virtues all made per- fect. They linger in their old familiar haunts, that they may win us from earth, and fix our aflfections on things above. They warn us against sin^ and with more than mortal elo- /■ FUNERAL SEEMON. 25 quence persuade us to holiness. Thus, at least, are they ministering spirits, sent forth to minister unto us, that we, like them, may be- come heirs of salvation. The train of thought we have thus pur- sued, is intimately connected, it may have already occurred to you, with the memory of her who has so recently been taken from us. The most striking trait in the character of our departed sister, Mrs. Leavitt, was her emi- nent consistency. Her piety was of no showy cast. It was calm, simple, unpretending and unobtrusive. There was no imposing promi- nence of any one grace, but a felicitous com- bination of all, a completeness and symmetry of character, in remarkable accordance with the spirit of our text. For about nineteen years, she had indulged the hope of accept- ance with God through Jesus Christ. And those who knew her best bear testimony, that during all that period she was " steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.'' They do not suppose, indeed, that there was no variation in her religious 3* 26 MEMOIR OF MRS. LEAVITT. feelings. They are far from claiming that she was " already perfect." But they can call to mind, in all her course, not a single season of apparent declension and lukewarm- ness ; they are pained at the recollection of no gross deficiency, or excrescence, or deform- ity of character. During the eight years in which I was intimately acquainted with her — having peculiar opportunities for observing and understanding her firames of mind, and having conference with her often on religious subjects — I have no recollection of ever finding her in a state of spiritual languor. She was ever alive to the worth of souls, the welfare of the church, and the honor of her divine Master. To the praise of the glory of God's grace, would we declare these things. None was more ready than she to say, "by the grace of God, I am what I am." It has been often observed, that the tenor j of a religious life is much affected by the \ character of its beginning. The Christian course of Mrs. Leavitt affords, if we mistake not, a confirmation of this remark. It was in FUNEEAL SERMON. 27 circumstances in some respects unfavorable to the cultivation of piety, that she first de- voted herself to the service of God. But there is good reason to believe that her stand- ard at the very outset was high, and her Christian fidelity exemplary. There has been found among her papers, bearing date July 30, 1823, a solemn covenant with God, in her own hand-writing, and subscribed with the initials of her name. The self-consecra- tion it expresses is most hearty and entire. And there is ample evidence, both firom the recollection of her friends, and the general tenor of a diary which she early kept, that it wa#no unmeaning form. I might give you touching extracts from that diary. I might enlarge on some of the main excellencies combined in her character. I might speak of that kindness which she ever manifested — a kindness, the result in part of natural tempera- ment, but refined and exalted by grace. It is the testimony of the partner of her life, that during the seventeen years of their conjugal unioD; be never received firom her a single 28 BIEMOIR OF MRS. LEAVITT. hasty or unkind word — ^nay, not a single un- kind look. And her deportment toward all was of a similar cast. I might speak of that indomitable perseverance, that unwavering adherence to her purpose, which was ever in singular harmony with the affectionateness and gentleness just referred to. I might dilate on her evident spirit of prayer ; and to those of you, at least, who were wont to hear her voice in the female praying circle, I should be in little danger of seeming to exaggerate. I might speak of her fidelity as a Christian mother ; though I should scarce do justice to the touching remembrances of these sorrowing children. I might enlarge on her readiHSess, while strength was granted her, for every good word and work. Among the last walks she was able to take, she went at one time to invite some of her sisters in Christ to the female prayer-meeting ; and at another, to soli- cit contributions for an important object of Christian benevolence. It was for this latter purpose, I think, that she went out for the very last time. But I did not intend to speak FUNERAL SERMON. 29 her eulogy, or even to dwell minutely on her character. I hasten, therefore, to glance at the scenes of her last illness — a fitting close, as they were, of her eminently consistent life. It is about a year ago that she was first confined to her sick chamber. By a slow and protracted process, trying to patience and every Christian grace, has the silver cord been loosed. She regarded her re- covery from the first as doubtful, and for a long time before her decease was in calm and confident expectation of that event. To the will of God she was entirely resigned. I cannot say that there was never a struggle with maternal feeling, in respect especially to the youngest lamb of her flock, the little one who needed so much a mother's care. But the struggle was soon over. She committed her family to a covenant-keeping God ; and the peace which passeth all understanding pervaded her heart. I cannot better exhibit the habitual state of her mind, than by repeating a few of the remarks which firom time to time fell firom 30 MEMOIR OF MRS. LEAVITT her lips, and were briefly noted by her friends. She said at one time, early in her sickness, as she lay down at night, " This is not the rest that I hope to enjoy." And I may add here, that she was much occupied, through- out her illness, in the delightful contempla- tion of heaven. She remarked again, " My sickness and sufferings as yet have been nothing. Oh, it is every thing to be delivered from doubts and fears, and the sin of unbelief." She said, at another time, " I desire that the children may have their minds filled with the Bible while young. What I learned then is such a comfort to me now." Again she remarked, " I cannot feel but that I am safe, and my hope is good. Christ is so precious to my soul. I have such mani- festations of his love. But I am a poor sin- rf tier." She added, " I think Christ is much more ready to answer prayer than we sup- pose. I have a growing sense of this." Again, she said, '^ I had great enjoyment FUNERAL SERMON. 31 this morning in thinking of Christ — ^how I shall be like him, have his spirit, his temper, his benevolence and kindness of feeling toward others." On her husband's saying to her, when she had become very weak, that she felt unable to take her food, she replied, " Oh I have the sweetest and most nourishing food to sustain me. You will know about it by and by." She remarked to him at another time, " You cannot think how my love seems to increase, for you especially, as I draw near to the time of separation. This is in some measure natural, I know ; but I do not think it altogether so. It springs^ I think, from contemplating that love of the Saviour which tuiU unite together all the blessed above.'^ She remarked, not long before her death, that she was wearied by the visits of her friends when they talked only of the world, saying nothing on the subject of religion ; but if their discourse was of heaven, she did not feel Jitigued but rather strengthened. << Such P 32 MEMOIR OF MRS. LEAVITT. visits," she said, " must be something like the enjoyment of heaven's society, where there is perfect love and confidence. The train of thought, which is sometimes induced by ex- pressions which fall fix)m my Christian firiends, affords me comfort and joy for days after. How good it would be if Christians made heaven more firequently the subject of con- versation. How it would lighten the cares of life. In visiting the sick room, especially, no one can tell wha has not experienced it, the comfort and peace which even a few words of such conversation imparts." " I have found great consolation," she said again, " in calling to mind the acts of love which Christ performed while on earth. This has given me more enlarged views of his infinite compassion, and of hb readiness to receive all who come to him. I have felt that his love is the same now as when on earth, and that he is as ready to save. Christ died to save the ungodly. When Prrf Hfljlp . * sick, my heart went out after hiiar iioi JoVbJ^ Sometimes the thought that I hi\f iii|[ii|j|rifr^ *L -»...■ FUNERAL SERMON. 33 religion so long, and been so unfaithfiil, press- ed me down. Then this verse would come sweetly to my mind : * Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but ac- ca>rding to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost.' I have found very great pleasure and consolation," she added, "in dwelling upon the mfinite love of Christ, and the various offices he sustains." At another time, she said, " Oh, it is sweet to lie passive in his hands, and know no will but his. I can sing of nothing but mercy and kindness which have followed me all my days. The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want." In the state of mind sufficiently indicated by such remarks as these— and what I have now repeated is but a specimen of her con- versation — she passed away the weeks and months of her tedious illness. She was habit- ually cheerful. Never, for a single hour, did 3l€r mind ^eem clouded with doubt ; never di4jha evkf^Q the slightest impatience under 4 ■»1. 34 BIEMOIR OF BIBS. LEAVITT. her sufferings. When enduring severe pain she would often exclaim, " Oh what is this compared with what Christ suffered for us ?" As her end approached, the river of her peace seemed to grow broader and deeper. On Monday of the week she died she said, " Yesterday and to-day, I have had increased enjoyment. I think my faith increases, and can feel that my inward man has been strengthened. I can repeat the hymn, * Jesus can make a dying bed Feel soft as downy pillows are, While on his breast I lean my head And breathe my life out sweetly there.' The Lord Jesus will do what is best. He will cause us to triumph through himself. My views of death have undergone a great change. It is disarmed of all its terrors. I feel that it is but as going from one room into another. The whole 15th chapter of the first Epistle to th» Corinthians, is most delightful to me. It is all to me perfectly clear." The morning of the day preceding her death, those who stood by her b^iside^^lr >». FUNERAL SERMON. 35 nessed ^ scene which will never fade fix)m their remembrance. At about four o'clock she thought she was dying, and requested one of the watchers to call her husband. As he approached the bed, she welcomed him with a sweet smile and said, " I thought you would rather be by me. What do you think of me ? Do you think I appear like a dying woman ?'' As he replied in the affirmative, she noticed his agitation, and said, " Oh, don't feel bad, I am only going home. You will all come soon. ' In my Father's house are many mansions. If it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.' How very, very gently God deals with me. When I think what an unprofitable servant I have been, how little I have done for Christ, it seems strange, almost, that he should love and comfort me to the end. But the love of Christ passeth knowledge. He was never more precious to me than now. I never felt more sensibly his presence : He seems to be right atibut my bed. But these feelmgs are jDO0i^ to what I shall have when I see him % 36 MEMOIR OF MRS. LEAVITT. face to face. Flesh and blood cannot see him as he is." She then desired one of the watchers to read the hymn, commencing, " Go worship at Immanuers feet ; See in his face what wonders meet. Earth is too narrow to express The power and glory of his grace." And she commented on it in a most heavenly strain. She also repeated portions of the hymn which was sung at her funeral, begin- ning, <* Now let our souls on wings sublime, Rise from the vanities of time ; Draw back the parting veil, and see The glories of eternity." "Oh, such happiness," she exclaimed, "I never expected to enjoy ! I thought I should not be able to speak at the last. But God seems to have changed my disease, and given me lungs to utter his praise." She dwelt in the pfoat rapturous terms on the love of Christ, luptdher trust in him. She spoke of herself as viewing the promised land from the top of FTJNEKAL SERMON. 37 ^ Pisgah. She declared that the adversary hadr, . no longer any power to trouble her. " Soon," she said, " I shall be in a sea of glory. Oh, how I long to be gone ; but I must be pa- tient, and wait God's time." Thus she went on for a considerable time, giving utterance to her feelings of love, and joy, and hope, and tri- umph, and mingling with that utterance the most touching exhortations to her family and the friends around her. The place seemed truly the very gate of heaven — ^nay, its open gate, through which sweet symphonies of the blessed were falling upon mortal ears. Contrary to her expectation, she at length revived somewhat, and continued till the even- ing of the next day. She had afterward less ability to express her feelings ; but she re- mained evidently in much the same state of mind. About noon of the day she died, she conversed tenderly and faithfully with a be- loved relative who called to see her. In the afternoon and evening, her strength was r^u, * pidly failing ; but she continued to assuJr tho3f aroimd her that she was in perfect 4* 38 MEMOIR OF MRS. LEAVITT. peace- And thus was she manifestly kept, until her spirit was loosed from its fleshly tabernacle, and winged its way to the rest which remains for the people of God. For a considerable time before her death, she employed herself, as her strength per- mitted, in dictating communications to her children and friendls, to be read by them after her decease. Over these precious legacies, it has been my privilege to look. Some of those addressed to her children, especially, I would gladly, were it proper, here repeat. But though I may not thus trespass upon their privacy and their sacredness, there is one of her dying messages which I am at liberty now to commu- nicate. It is to the church of which she was a member : " I wish," she said, " before I leave them, to express my gratitude to the beloved mem- bers of this church, for their prayers, and the peculiar interest they have manifested in me, iriiig the whole of my long illness. They have their reward even here, if they J^nffW the sweet seasons of peace and ccyiso- FUNERAI^ SERMON. 39 lation which the knowledge of their affection- ate remembrance has afforded me. And here I would also express my gratitude to God, who led me to unite with this church. I remember with delight the many sweet sea- sons I have been permitted to enjoy in this sanctuary. Surely I can say, I have sat un- der his banner with great delight, and his fruit has been sweet to my taste. Smce I have been deprived of these privileges, the sweet peace and consolation I have derived from the visits of ray Pastor, and the affec- tionate interest you have all manifested in me, has endeared the church more than ever to my heart. And, now my dear brethren and sisters, as I lie on this dying bed, in view of the realities of eternity, I would beseech you, with the holy apostle of old, to love one another. This is essential to the growth of every Christian grace. I would thank our Heavenly Father, that so much harmony has. hitherto existed among us. But as yott * crease in numbers, and consequently b less acquainted; it will require an une •••< 40 BfEMOm OF MRS. LEAVITT. spirit of watchfulness and prayer to preserve this union. -The peculiar temptation of the times, to seek our own and not another's good, requures a double care to preserve a consistent Christian character. This we can only do by living daily near to Christ, seeking the constant aid of his Holy Spirit, and taking such views of the world as we shall do on a dying bed. Then we shall find, that the only part of life which will afford us consolation, is that which has been spent in promoting, in some way, the cause of Christ, in doing good to the poor around us, and the faithful dis- charge of every duty. " M;^ d^ sisters I would entreat, especially, to be faitU^ in their attendance on the female prayer-meeting. I have always found it high- ly beneficial to my own soul. It has a ten- dency to unite us more closely to each other, and to kindle up in our hearts love to Christ. We find in our prayers a similarity of feeling, and a sympathy in each other's joys and sor- Jp^s; to which but for this meeting we should be strangers. These precious truths you have FUNERAL SERMON. 41 often heard. I do not write them because you are ignorant of them, but wilKthe hope, as the apostle says, of stirring up* your pure minds by way of remembrance, that you may be led to be more steadfast and unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord ; and so much the more as you see the day approaching. " I find my strength fast fails me, and I can only, in conclusion, say farewell, — ^hoping to meet you again in that world of purity and bliss, where separation is unknown, and * Sabbaths never end.' Again, I say. Fare- well ; pray much for each other, and for your Pastor, and exercise a spirit a^jbuinility, forbearance, and mutual love." Such, my brethren, was the dying message of our departed sister. Let us lay it to heart. And let us walk in her footsteps, so far as she followed Christ — aiming, especially, at that consistency of character which makes her memory so precious, and which alone cad prepare us for a death like hers. To my impenitent hearers, let me say, in 42 Bi£MOIR OF MRS. LEAVITT. closing, wliere will you look for consolation and supportjpi^hlll your own dying hour shall come ? Have you any trust like that of our departed friend ? Have you any reason to expect that peace like hers will pervade your fainting heart ? How worthless, then, will be all the cherished things of earth ! How desolate, and portionless, and wretched your spirit, if destitute of faith in the Lamb of God ! Come, then, now, to Christ, that you may both live the life and die the death of the righteous. v; ■ri^l SUPPLEMENTAEY SKETCH. SUPPLEMENTARY SKETCH. Individual history is, on many accounts, never more interesting, than when it assumes the form of auto-biography. Something of this sort, though much more limited and general than could have been desired, Mrs. Leavitt has left behind her. Nearly six months be- fore her death, though with that event dis- tinctly in view, she dictated to one of her sisters, for the benefit of her children, and m the form of a communication to them, a very brief outline of her own life. This she did without the slightest expectation of its ever meeting the public eye. But there is no rea- son why it may not be mainly introduced here, as the commencement and foundation of this supplementary sketch. For reasons al- ready indicated, this and other remains of Mrs. L. will be given, with slight verbal changes, in just her own simple and familiar style. 5 46 MEMOIR OF " New- York, Dec. 26, 1841. My dear Children : While lying upon my bed of sickness, my mind naturally reverts to the scenes of my past life, and especially to those incidents which have had a peculiar bearing on my future well-being. As an expression of my gratitude to God, and that you, my dear children, may praise Him for his goodness to your departed mother, I leave you this little record to be read by you when you can hear my voice no more. And O, may that covenant-keeping God, to whom I have often endeavored in the arms of faith to bring you, give you hearts not only to thank Him here for his great mercy, but to unite, as I humbly hope, with your mother and all glorified spirits, in that eternal song of praise which is sung in Heaven. I was bom m Andover, Dec. 28, 1803, being the seventh child of my parents, and their fifth daughter. I have no very distinct impressions of my earliest years, except of a M&S. LEAVITT. 47 severe sickness that I suffered when between two and three years old. This sickness my mother supposed might lay the foundation of a feeble constitution, as I seemed to lose, in a degree, my native sprightliness, and was sub*- ject to frequent illnesses. I remember to have had serious impressions when I was about six years old. Little books containing accounts of pious children were put into my hands, and I conceived a great desire to be like them. I can scarcely remember the time in my early life when I had not a strong desire to be a Christian. Although there was no Sabbath-school in my native place at that time, 1 was very fond of committing hymns and catechisms. I can now remember hymns that I learned in the morning, before eating my breakfast ; and I remember trying to sing them after laying my head on my pillow in the evening. And here, my beloved children, let me recommend to you to treasure up hymns and portions of Scripture while young. Your mother has 48 MEMOm OF found them sweet food on her sick bed, when not able to read. From the age of twelve to sixteen, my health was very good. During this time I was very fond of my school, much engrossed m my studies, and too forgetful of my obliga- tions to be a Christian. I was not, however, entirely careless. I remember saying to my mother, that I should be willing to be sick, if I might become a Christian ; little thinking at the time that the Lord was about to bring this trial upon me. At the age of sixteen, when nursing my dear mother with a severe attack of fever, I took the disease, which left me with a cough and other unpleasant symp- toms, from which I did not recover for many months. I was very ill. My friends at one time entirely despaired of my recovery ; still I had no realizing sense of my situation, no anxiety for the salvation of my soul. But it pleased God, in his infinite mercy to restore me in a very unexpected way. By mistake of the apothecary, a dangerous medicine was lifts. LEAYITT. 4d administered, which in almost a miraculous way broke up the disease. It produced ex- treme prostration, but by the very affectionate and faithful attentions of the best of mothers, my health was gradually restored. The fol- lowing summer, a journey to the springs con- tributed to the restoration of my strength. Notwithstanding my ingratitude for such distinguishing goodness, the Holy Spirit con- tinued to strive with me. When about nine- teen years of age, a theological student, from the Seminary in my native place, called at my father's,con versed with me faithfully, and spoke to me especially of crucifying the Lord Jesu9 afreshy by living in a state of unbelief. This thought melted my before unyielding heart. It caused my tears to flow.^ I retired to my room alone, and could only say — " Here, Lord, I give myself away ; 'tis all that I can do." And I can truly say, that I afterwards found joy and peace in believing. In a visit at Boston, at my sister's, (Mrs. A.,) soon after- ward, I had the great delight of finding mjrself where there was a powerful revival of religion. 5* 60 MEMOm OF I availed myself of the privilege of attending the inquiry meetings, where I received such advice and encouragement as tended greatly to strengthen my determination to consecrate myself to the service of Christ. Had not my father been greatly opposed, I should have united myself with the Church in Park-street at that time ; I had conversation with Rev. Mr. D., the pastor, who wished me to do it. I could never join the church in my native parish, of which my father was a member, it being Unitarian. I was not permitted, there- fore, to enjoy the precious privilege of com- memorating the dying love of my Redeemer, until after my marriage. Thus withholding for some time the public acknowledgment of my belief in the Saviour, I think my growth in grace was hindered, as was my actively engaging in the cause of Christ. I would here say, as an encouragement to the older children in the family, that I have ever considered the frequent admonitions, prayers and correspondence of an elder sister, as bemg greatly instrumental in this work of MRS. LEAVITT. 51 grace in my soul, I was blest, too, with one of the kindest and most tender of mothers, who was ever ready to encourage me in every thing good or praiseworthy. It was about this time that I was much interested in learn- ing the Book of Psalms, from which I have derived great consolation in my sickness.* I was married to your dear father,* Dec. 7, 1825. In a short time afterward I united with the church in South Andover, under the care of Rev. Dr. Edwards ; Bnder whose ministry I sat with great delight for about two years. In the autumn of 1827, we removed to this city, your father having come previously, and established himself in business here. Through the kindness of some friends of Dr. Patton's church, we soon felt ourselves at home. The Christian friendship and sym- pathy we have ever enjoyed in this city has been above all price. We first removed our relation from the South Church, in Andover, to Cedar-street * Mr. Jonathan Leavitt. 53 MEMOIR OF Church, under the care of the Rev. Mr. Ma- son, as we were then boarding in that part of the city. The following spring, having changed our residence, we removed our con- nection to Laight-street Church, under the care of Rev. Dr. Cox. Here we enjoyed precious privileges, and while here your father was chosen one of the deacons of the church. The delightful employment of ad- ministering to the necessities of the poor mem- bers was afforded us, of which no small share was assigned to me. And I would say to you, my dear children, that you will ever find it true, that if you are disposed to do good to others, you will find yourselves amply reward- ed in blessings upon your own souls. In the year 1831-2, we enjoyed a remark- able revival of religion throughout the city. Our dear pastor was very deeply interested in it, and remarkably successful in bringing his hearers into the fold of Christ. About one hundred were admitted into the church at one time. Two of the members of our family were hopefidly the subjects of this work of MRS. LEAVITT. 5^ grace ; all the others (in a family of nine be- side our little ones) were previously members of the church. In the year 1832, your little brother John died of cholera, when only three months and seventeen days old. The same year I was visited with very severe illness, and were it not for the very faithful nursing of my kind mother, who was with me about three months, it would seem as if I could not have recov- ered. Many of my friends considered my case hopeless, but through the goodness of God the coimtry air in a measure restored my health. Dear mother went with me to sister Martha's at Charlton. In 1834, Rev. Asa D. Smith (who after- wards became our own dear brother) was or- dained pastor of the Brainerd Church. The church was in its infancy. It was considered desirable that members of large churches should make an effort, by their attendance and pecuniary aid, to build up the church. Your fa- ther, with several other members of the Laight- street Church, removed their relation to the 54 MEMOIR OF Brainerd Church. It was tlierefore necessary diat we should remove to this part of the city. We first came to Broome-street. That sea- son I accompanied your father to Europe. You will remember, that you were left under the care of your aunt Mary. We were ab- sent from home about seven months. We passed through various mteresting scenes. In every place, both on the Continent and in Great Britain, where we stopped for any time, we found those with whom we could have sweet intercourse in heavenly things. While we were travelling my health was much improved; but I experienced the ill effects of a rough passage homeward. My health was feeble during the winter. Our kind physician, Dr. C, was again made in- strumental of great good to my impaired health. We removed to the house where we now dwell, in the winter of 1836. I account it among the signal mercies of my life to have been so long connected with this dear church, and to have so long enjoyed the precious re- ligious instructions of our beloved pastor. MRS. LEAVITT. 55 Our dear Willy was bom ninth of May, 1838. That year I had severe sickness in the winter, and then again in the summer. I took cold on my way to Andover, which princi- pally affected my lungs; and it seemed un- certain for some time, whether I should ever return to my home again. It pleased God, in his infinite mercy, to restore me once more to comfortable health. The illness now upon me, by which I ex- pect this body will be dissolved, commenced about the first of last July. The first symp- toms were very alarming ; I was prostrated inmiediately by hemorrhage of the lungs. Al- though disease has not left me, my health and strength have varied up to this time. I thank you all for the many little acts of kindness and attention you have shown me during my long sickness. And now, what shall I say to you, my pre- cious children, while I am yet with you? What can I say more than I have often said, that it is the first, the strongest desire of my heart, that you may all become the children 66 MEMOIR OF of God ; and however lowly your earthly portion may be, that you may be truly the meek and humble followers of Christ, and heirs of his heavenly kingdom. But let me remind you, my dear children, that you can- not obtain an interest in Christ, but by earnest prayer and diligence in the use of means. Make no compromise with the world, but be resolved that you will without delay con- secrate yourselves to the cause of piety and holiness. A word to my eldest son.* It has been with eager desire and expectation, my dear George, that I have looked forward from year to year to the time when you would embrace religion. I remember the tenderness you have at times manifested. And how often have I thought of the happy influence you might ex- ert on your younger brothers, if you were an humble follower of Christ. How great are your obligations to love and serve God ! The world is a cheat — take care, my son, that it * To this son, and his sister Elizabeth, Mrs. Leavitt sustained the relation of a step-mother. urns. LEAVITT. 57 does not cheat you of your precious soul. Turn away from its snares and entreaties, and seek heavenly treasures before the season of youth has passed and you have become en- grossed in worldly cares. And for my sake, dear George, be careful of your younger brothers. Love them, and treat them with all that ci^'ility and kindness you would wish to receive from them. To my dear Elizabeth : Your name is en- rolled among the followers of Christ. O that you may strive to be an ornament to the re- ligion you have professed. By so doing you will rejoice the heart of your beloved pastor and dear father ; and O, let me entreat you to be careful, that your dear brothers see no- thing in your treatment of them, or any one else, that shall lead them to think lightly of religion, or that meek and lowly spirit which should ever characterize the followers of Christ. Be faithful in closet duties, faithful in every duty. To my dear son, Jonathan Edwards, I would say, that the seriousness of your dis- 6 58 MEMOIR OF position in early childhood, your interest in religious reading and instruction, gave me sanguine hopes that long before this you would have become a decided follower of Christ. It is still a cherished expectation, that my dear son will choose the good part, that he will become a faithful minister of the gospel. Seek, my dear child, to be thoroughly converted to Christ. Consider it your highest honor and privilege, to be found among the flock of Christ, to labor for Christ. He is all in all to your poor mother on her sick bed ; may he be all in all to you, whether living or dying. My dear affectionate son Henry : notwith- standing the natural vivacity of your disposi- tion, I often find my heart swelling with hope, that you will, in early life, become a disciple of Christ, and be made the honored instru- ment of bringing many souls into the kingdom of the Redeemer. I have been delighted, at times, to see in you apparent contrition. Seek, my son, for true penitence, and delay npt to consecrate your energy and warm affec* KRS. LEAVITT. . 59 tions to the best of causes. My dear child, beware lest your natural love of society should tempt you to go astray: if snares are thrown in your pathway, avoid them. Remember your little motto — " wh&n you are temptedy learn to say, noJ* Remember your mother's love for you, and her strong hope of meeting you in heaven. A word for my little Willy, the youngest, but not the least precious, of the dear ones given to us. My heart sometimes beats quick with emotions of sadness, when I think of leaving you, in your tender years, when you most need a mother's care. My conso- lation is, that a covenant-keeping God, who provides for the wants of his children, will take care of the little ones of his flock, and I hope will graciously answer my prayers, that your heart may be sanctified in early life, and be preserved from the sins and follies of childhood and youth, and that you may be- come a useful servant in the vineyard of our Lord. I trust, my sweet child, you will not forget the dear mother you have so often come 60 ^ MEMOIR OF to the bed to kiss, before leaving the room on going to sleep. O, do not forget her; but remember how much she desires you to be good, to be obedient to your dear father, to do all you can to comfort and assist him. And this I would especially say to all the children : love your father, be obedient, be respectful, and you can do much to cheer and comfort his heart amidst all his cares and anxieties." The main incidents of Mrs. Leavitt's early life, are briefly adverted to in the pre- ceding paper. To this part of her history we have little, therefore, to subjoin. Her deport- ment was, even in childhood, remarkably cor- rect and amiable. She exhibited then, as ever afterward, unusual equanimity of mind, and great kindness of disposition. At school, she was eminently studious. "Often," says an elder sister, " when the other girls havmg got their appointed lessons, would go away to play, Louisa would mark out additional stu- dies for herself, preferring them to permitted recreation." This happily foretokened what MRS. LEAVITT. 61 marked her whole life, a habit of untiring, well-directed, useful industry. In subsequent youth, and at the head of her family, she was ever reluctant to lose a moment of precious time. Those who had opportunity to ob- serve her domestic habits can testify, that from the earliest to the latest hour of every day, she was wont to keep herself in some way profitably employed. In respect to this habit she often referred gratefully to her de- parted mother's influence. The example of that excellent woman, it may be proper to remark in passing, was, in many respects, a blessing to her children. Her character was ever, in some important points — in its domestic virtues especially — eminently worthy of im- itation. And for years before her death, as in the closing scene, she gave delightful evidence of living faith in Christ. How in- numerable the evidences of a mother's potent and abiding influence ! It is well to note them as they meet us. There was ample reason why, in recording the reign of the good King Josiah; the sacred historian should say — 6* 62 MEMOIR OF after his manner in other like cases — " His mother^ s name was Jedidah." So unexceptionable was Mrs. Leavitt's out- ward deportment, and so much interested was she in serious and sacred things, that had she professed hope in Christ years before she did, most of her acquaintances would have hardly- doubted her sincerity. She understood, how- ever, her own case. Her clear knowledge of divine truth forbade her to rest either on a mere external morality, or a round of religious forms. She was fully convinced — though other doctrine often fell on her ears — that a radical change, a change of heart, could alone prepare her for the blessedness of heaven. However the sophistries and de- lusions of "another gospel" might prevail with many around her, her own unaltered be- lief was, '* The sinner must be born again, Or sink to endless wo !*' When during the dangerous illness she suf- fered in her sixteentli year, an elder sister said IfRS. LEAYITT. 63 to her, " I hope you are prepared to die ;" she seemed surprised at the remark, and promptly answered, " I am sure I am not." The immediate means of her conversion deserve a moment's notice. We have here another illustration of the power of personal effort for the salvation of souls. But for that private, faithful conversation, who can say whether she would ever have found peace in believing ? We may fairly ascribe to it, as an agency appropriate and chosen of God, whatever good has resulted to her or toothers* fix)m her acceptance of the Saviour. She had long known her duty ; she had often been eloquently and impressively reminded of it from the pulpit. But it was reserved for the private, direct appeal to subdue the heart. So has it been in cases innumerable. The public speech of Nathan may be lucid and pungent, and the royal transgressor be still unmoved. It is his private "thou art the man," that calls forth tears of penitence. Would that all the followers of Christ had a practical understanding of thb matter. Then 64 MEMOIR OF would they all, each in his lot, " shine as lights in the world, holding forth the word of life." The grand motive, too, wherewith to ad- dress the perishing, the case of Mrs. Leavitt suggests. It was the thought of " crucifying Christ afreih^^ she says, which " melted her heart." No view of sin is so affecting as its relations to the cross. Sin against Sinai is fearful enough ; but sin against Calvary is doubly so. Show the impenitent that it rests upon them — that they are sanctioning, nay^ re-enacting the part of the Jews — that guilt is theirs, as much greater than that of the . Scribes and Pharisees, as the light of the W^ nineteenth century can make it — and then, if ever, will you prevail over their obduracy. The solemn covenant with God referred to in the funeral sermon, appears, on compariscm, to be substantially that recommended to a ^nitent in Doddridge's " Rise and Progress." As in this connection it may have a special in- terest, it may not be amiss to copy it entire. MRS. LEAVITT. 66 " Monday, July 30, 1823. " Eternal and ever blessed God ! I desire to present myself before thee with the deepest humiliation and abasement of soul, sensible how unworthy such a sinful worm is to ap- pear before the holy Majesty of heaven, the King of kings, the Lord of lords, and espe- cially on such an occasion as this, even to enter into solemn covenant with thee. But the scheme and plan is thine own. Thine in- finite condescension hath offered it by thy Son, thy grace hath inclined my heart to ac- cept of it; and I am encouraged by the words, 'He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not, with him, also freely give us all things?' " I come, therefore, confessing myself to be a great offender, smiting on my breast, and^^ saying, ' God be merciful to me a sinner.' I^'*^ come invited by the name of thy Son, and wholly trusting in his perfect righteousness, entreating that for his sake thou wilt be mer- ciful to my unrighteousness, and no more re- 66 MEMOIR OF member my sins. Receive, I beseech thee, thy revolted creature, who desires nothing so much as that she may be thine. " This day do I surrender myself to thee. I renounce all former lords that have had do- minion over me, and I consecrate to thee all that I am, and all that I have ; the faculties of my mind, the members of my body, my worldly possessions, my time, and my influence over others ; to be all used for thy glory, and reso- lutely employed in obedience to thy conmiand, as long as I live ; with an ardent desire and humble resolution, to continue thine through all the endless ages of eternity. " To thy direction also, I resign myself^ and all I am and have, to be disposed ^of by thee in such a manner as thou shalt, in thine infinite wisdom, judge most subservient to the urposes of thy glory. To thee I leave the anagement of all events, and say without reserve, * Not my will, but thine be done ;' re- joicing with a loyal heart in thine unlimited government, as what ought to be the delight of the whole rational creation. m MRS. LEAVITT. 67 " Use me, O Lord, I beseech thee, as an in- strument of thy service. Number me among thy peculiar people. Let me be washed in the blood of thy dear Son. Let me be clothed with his righteousness. Let me be sanctified by his spirit. Transform me more and more into his image. Impart to me, through him, all needful mfluences of thy purifying and com- forting Spirit. And let my life be spent un- der those influences, and in the light of thy gracious countenance, as my Father and my God. " And when the solemn hour of death oc- curs, may I remember thy covenant, * well ordered in all things, and sure,' as all my salvation, and all my desire, though every other hope and enjoyment is perishing; and do thou, O Lord, remember it too. Look down with pity, O my heavenly Father, on^^^ thy languishing, dying child. Embrace me" in thine everlasting arms. Put strength and confidence into my departing spirit, and re- ceive it into the abodes of them who sleep in Jesus, peacefiilly and joyfully to wait the ac- 68 MEMOIR OF complishment of thy great promise to all thy people, even that of a glorious resurrection and of eternal happiness in thy heavenly presence. " And if any surviving friend should, when I am laid in the dust, read this memorial of my transaction with thee, may he make these engagements his own ; and do thou graciously permit him to partake in all the blessings of THY COVENANT, through Jcsus Christ, the great Mediator of it ; to whom, with thee, O Father, and the Holy Spirit, be everlasting praises ascribed by all the millions who are thus saved by thee, and by all those other celestial spirits, in whose work and blessed- ness thou shalt call them to share. "L. A." \^ The reference to "the solemn hour of ^^ death," in the preceding paper, has a touch- ing interest, when taken in connection with the actual manner of he;: decease. Her prayer was answered. Her Redeemer did " put strength and confidence into her departmg MRS. LEAVITT. 69 spirit." What a motive to surviving friends to make the God in whom she trusted their stay and portion ! It was about three years, as Mrs. Leavitt's narrative shoWs, from the da e of her earliest hope in Christ to the time when she made a public profession of her faith. That this delay was in itself, as she believed, unfavor- able to her growth in grace, there is no reason to doubt. The ordinances of the Gospel were designed, by Him who " knew what was in man," for the benefit of his people. If ever useful, they must be so in the earlier stages of the Christian course. Then, indeed, the aid they afford would seem specially desirable. Just so soon, in all ordinary cases, as satis- factory evidence of piety can be afforded, it is both for the good of the convert and the honor of Christ that a connection with the visible church should be formed. Yet, in Mrs. Leavitt's case, there is no evidence that the delay referred to, resulting as it did from cir- cumstances beyond her control, was the oc- casion of decline in piety. Portions of a 7 70 BfEMOm OF Diary, kept during a part of this period, have been found among her papers. A few ex- tracts from it follow, enough to indicate the general state of her mind. " Andover, June dth. [The year is not noted, but it is believed to be 1823.] I have this evening resolved to note down the principal events of my life, and the states of my mind ; as I think the review of them may be both useful and profitable. Last evening, enjoyed the precious privilege of meeting with some Christian friends. Drank tea with Mrs. P. It was, indeed, a delight- ful season to sister M. and myself. We united in prayer. Mrs. P. appears to have the true spirit of devotion. May her example quicken me to more engagedness in the cause of my Saviour — ^if I may be permitted to call him mine. O Lord, wilt thou sanctify my heart, that I may have clear evidence of being a child of God. For I am, indeed, an unprofit- able servant." ^' Have had a pleasant season of prayer this evenmg, for which, O Lord, I would bless BiRS. LEAVITT. 71 thee. May I pray and never faint I have abundant reason to mourn over my cold and heartless performance of religious duties. I constantly need the quickening influences of thy Holy Spirit." ^^ Boston, Sabbath, June 15. Arrived here last evening with Brother A. I feel it to be a peculiar blessing from a gracious Benefactor, that I am enabled again to enjoy such distinguished privileges. May I improve them aright. Have heard some ex- cellent sermons to-day. This evening the subject was the day of judgment. I desire ever to act under a deep sense of my account- ability ; but my thoughts have this day wan- dered much from thee, my God ; and I have reason to fear my heart is not right. May I DOW have that repentance unto life, and that faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, which are ne- ^ cessary to salvation." " June 16. Trust I have this day felt something of the presence of God ; but my heart has not been so exclusively his as I do hope it will be. Come, thou Heavenly Dove, 72 MEMOIR OF dwell for ever in my heart. Purge it from every corruption. Make it meet for thy re- sidence. Make it truly humble and contrite. " This evening attended a meeting for inquiry. There were many there who had submitted themselves to Christ. There were many also who were deeply convinced of sin, and some who had attended these meetings for months without making any progress. O Lord, wilt thou have mercy on all such. Let them delay no longer to repent and believe. And may I realize how awful is this place ; for God is truly here, displaying his power and his infinite mercy to sinners." " June 17. This morning awoke early, and at five o'clock attended a meeting for prayer. A very pleasant season. Grant me, O Lord, a heart to pray with greater fre- quency and fervency." " June 19. Hope I did this morning feel some disposition to praise God for the bless- ings with which I am surrounded. These priv- ileges are too great for such a poor unworthy creature to enjoy. May the gracious influ- BIRS. LEAYITT. 73 ences of thy Spirit, O Lord, attend them, that they may prove a savor of life unto life to my soul." " June 20. In the morning attended the prayer meeting. A very interesting season. What is more delightful than prayer and praise ? O that I might have intimate com- munion with my Saviour. This evening at- tended a meeting to dedicate the house of Deacon P. to the service of the Lord. O that every house and every heart of our own dear family might be thus consecrated. May I be enabled, O God, to devote myself, and all I possess, entirely to thee." " June 25. Attended a prayer meeting this morning at Essex-street Church. I heard yes- terday some delightful news — that the attention to the one thing needful was increasing, and that Miss B. was under deep conviction. Does not such intelligence give me joy ? O Lord, if my joy is not yet such as angels feel, grant that it may be. May I be interested, as they are, in every thing which promotes the cause of the Redeemer." 7* '» 74 MEMOIR OF ^^ Andover, June 1, 1825. Sister M. and myself have to-day resolved, looking only to the guidance of our heavenly Father, to at- tend more diligently to the one thing needful. But alas ! this day's experience shows, that unless I feel more my entire dependence on the Saviour, and pray more frequently for His all-sufficient grace, my resolution will be in vain. " Walking out this evening, and seeing one degraded to the lowest state through in- temperance, it forcibly reminded me of the importance of seeking above all things to avoid the broad way to destruction, that I may not have with such an eternal portion." " June 2. I have failed to-day to keep my mind in the devotional frame I had hoped to maintain ; but it is my own fault. No outward circumstances need confine our thoughts to earth ; they should habitually ascend to hea- ven. Wean my affections, heavenly Father, from this ensnaring world, and fix them on thyself." These extracts may be regarded as speci- mens of her Diary. They exhibit clearly the MKS. LEAVITT. 75 main elements of that excellence which shone more and more unto the perfect day. She was evidently humble, watchfiil, prayerful, jealous over herself with a godly jealousy, ever reaching forth unto those things which were before. Prominent among her first gracious affec- tions, we have seen, was a sense of sin against the Saviour, grounded of course on a conviction of his excellency, and the rightful- ness of his claims. Throughout her whole course, as might be expected from such a be- ginning, she was wont to magnify Christ. He was the Alpha and Omega of her faith and practice. She was satisfied with no re- ligious book, no preaching, no schemes of doctrine, which failed properly to exhibit and exalt the great Redeemer. Often would she say, while listening to prose or poetry claim- ing to be religious : " It puts Christ too far off." She once, during her last illness, men- tioned it as, in her own view, an exception to the general excellence of " Pilgrim's Pro- gress," that it did not present the Saviour 76 IfEMOIR OF with sufficient clearness. " I prefer," she said, " the simple words of the Bible." Her meaning evidently was, that she desired to gaze directly on Christ, just as the New Testa- ment presents him, with no intervening vail, either of ancient type or modem allegory. In her conversation, her prayers, her instruction of her children — ^in all the developments of her heart — it was manifest that the Saviour was to her " all in all, " " the chief among ten thou- sands," the precious " corner stone," on which she built for eternity. To this state of mind she was doubtless the more disposed, fix)ra having personally observed the chilling, with- ering, soul-destroying influence of a Christless theology. But in her own experience, she found still stronger reason for magnifying the Saviour. She had made trial of his sufli- ciency. Not in theory alone, but in fact, had he been her light in darkness, her guide in perplexity, her strength in weakness, her com- fort in sorrow, the ample and abiding portion of her soul. Hers was no merely speculative or imitative piety. She could say, with Paul, " I MRS. LEAVITT. 77 KNOW whom I have believed, and am per- suaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed to him against that day." On being asked, during her last illness, if she had not, sometimes, doubts and fears, she promptly replied, " How can I, when I have such a Saviour ?" She loved to contemplate Christ as " Head over all" — to recognize his hand in every passing event. She one night expressed a fear that loss of sleep might in- jure the health of a friend who was in at- tendance upon her. That friend assured her that she had not been so unpleasantly affected by watching with her, as in some other cases. With a heavenly expression of countenance, she replied, " Ah ! it is the Saviour that has preserved you." When favored herself with a comfortable night, she was wont to speak of it as a blessing bestowed by Christ. All her mer- cies, indeed, she ascribed directly to Him. And in all her sufferings, she expressed an un- wavering confidence that he had done, and would still do, all things well. " Oh ! how I love," she said at one time, " to have Christ 78 BIEMOm OF take me in his hand, deal with me, and disci- pline me, till I am made meet for his kingdom above." Mrs. Leavitt was always inclined to speak of herself in modest and lowly terms. Hence the brevity of her allusion to her labors for the poor while connected with the Laight- street Church. What she did deserves to be more fully mentioned " for a memorial of her." The church being large, the number of the poor who fell to the especial care of her hus- band was considerable. Much occupied as he was with business, it was very convenient to employ her kindness and assiduity in look- ing to their wants. For offices of this sort, indeed, the female sex is, in many respects, eminently fitted. It has been seriously ques- tioned whether the modem church has been wise in dispensing entirely with the ancient office of deaconess. Be this as it may, they who, by affinity, do in a sense sustain that office, have a rare opportunity of usefulness. So Mrs. Leavitt felt. And the service to which the Providence of God had thus called her, IfRS. LEAYTTT. 79 was perfecdy consonant with her inclination. She loved to go from house to house, as the ahnoner of the church to the Lord's poor. She loved to grace and endear the gift she bore, by the utterance of her own deep and ready sympathy. Nor did she care for the body alone. She ministered, as she could, to the soul's necessities. Many a time has she been known as she carried relief to persons of her own sex — ^in the case of the sick espe- cially — ^to 'commune with them tenderly and faithfully respecting their spiritual condition, and close her interview with prayer. It is not surprising to those who had knowledge of such labors, that she looked back to them fix)m her dying bed, not indeed with self-com- placency, but with gratitude to God, and with an earnest desire that her children might know the blessedness of doing good. Nor was it merely as the agent of others that she loved to dispense charity. She al- ways cared for the poor. In a more private capacity, and of her own means, she was " a mfccaser of many." Nor did she wait to be 80 MEMOIR OP beset by importunate need. Like Job she could say, " the cause which I knew not, I searched out." A poor and pitiful charity is that which is doled out, only on the principle of the unjust judge. Mrs. Leavitt was ac- customed, as she was able, to inquire into the case of those who she suspected might be in want, well knowing that the most needy and deserving will often suffer in silence. That she might the more abound in beneficence, she was wont to practise in her family that in- junction of our Lord, " Gather up the fhig- ments that remain that nothing be lost." She was careful to save for the poor what some would have thrown away, and to convert to ^eir benefit what many would have allowed to lie oiseless in their dwellings. It must not be supposed, however, that her charity was indiscrimmate. In all true benevo- lence, there is discretion as well as feeling. Seldom would she bestow alms, till she had visited the dwelling of the needy person, and iiatisfied herself as to the propriety of render- ing aid, — a precaution specially necessary in MBS. LEAvrrr. 81 a city like New- York. In her private gifts, no less than in what she did as ^' a servant of the church," she had an eye ever to the soul's welfare. I shall not soon forget the terms in which a poor but pious woman — a widow in feeble health — whom she had been wont to aid, spoke of her after her departure. She declared herself bereaved of one of her best friends. " And what rendered her kindness more precious," she added, "when she brought something for the body, she had al- ways a word for the soul." Mrs. Leavitt's charities were not confined to the poor. Her heart was deeply mterested m every department of Christian liberality. Never was she known to speak complainingly of the multiplicity of calls on the benevolent. She rejoiced rather that such fields of useful- ness were opened before God's people. Every appeal in behalf of the great religious enter- prises of the day, she regarded as a new op- portunity to lay up treasure in heaven. No cme ever heard her speak with a sneer of 8 82 MEMOIR or " begging sermons." Nor did she ever de- cline giving, on the ground of her husband's contributions. She had a duty to do for her- self, which he could not discharge for her ; a privilege to enjoy, a means of grace to use, of which she would not be deprived. That she might be the more liberal, she was strictly economical in her personal and family ex- penses* Very unlike those professed Chris- tians was she, who spare no cost in the deco- ration of their own and their children's per- sons, and the adornment of their dwellings, but who give, if at all, with a tardy, reluctant, niggardly hand. To a friend who expressed a doubt whether she was sufficiently liberal in her domestic arrangements, she replied, " But for the practice of economy, we should be unable to give away half what we do." Never was she inclined to limit her husband's eharities. It is not recollected that she ever dissuaded him from a gift he had thought of making, or induced him to diminish its amount. She would always say, " Yes, MRS. LEATITT. 83 pve ; we shall never be the poorer. What are we intrusted with property for, but th at we niay do good with it ?" She had no desire, as she often said, to hoard for her children. Wealth bequeathed to them, she knew, would be very likely to prove a curse ; and she wished for nothing more, so far as they were concerned, than the means of giving them a good education. It were well if views like these were entertained by Christian parents generally. Not only would they do more for the cause of benevo- lence, there would be greater hope both of the temporal and spiritual well-being of their children. " I have been intimately connected with the instruction of youth," said an eminent teacher, " for more than thirty years ; and I have very often been led to believe, that the greatest misfortune which can befall a youth endowed by nature with promising talents, is, that his parents should be rich." How greatly is the evil aggravated, if to the present in- fluence of wealth, is superadded the confident expectation of a large patrimony ! What a 84 BIEMOm OF tendency has it to paralyze industry and ent- terprise, and to foster pride, arrogance and self-indulgence ! There have been parents not a few, who, by warranting such ap expec- tation, " have pierced themselves through with niany sorrows." No less poignant would have been the anguish of others, had they foreseen all the evil which was to result from wealth actually inherited. To the statements of Mrs. Leavitt re- specting the removal of herself and family to the Brainerd Church, a few particulars may be added. An individual prominently con- cerned in establishing that church, made an lamest appeal in its behalf to several mem- bers of the Laight-street congregation. This appeal was in the form of a written commu- nication. When it reached Mr. and Mrs. lieavitt, it was made the subject of serious and protracted consideration. The views and feelings she entertained and expressed are distinctly remembered. For some time pre- vious, she had thought it their duty to dissolve their present connection. Not that they had MRS. LEAVITT. 85 ceased to love their Pastor, or to esteem his mmistry highly. Nor was there aught un- pleasant in their relations to the people. It was a serious trial, rather, to break away firom a church with whom they had taken sweet counsel, to whom they had become more and more attached, as the work of God had been remarkably revived among them. But the place of worship was crowded, the number of church-members was large, and it seemed to her that, comparatively speaking, their services were little needed. She judged it their duty to dispose of themselves with chief reference, not to their own personal con- venience and pleasure, but to the promotion of Uie cause of Christ. She had no sympathy with those who say, in their practice, " Am I my brother's keeper ?" — ^whose chief object it is, in matters of religion, to enjoy themselves ; who even make their church connections sub- servient to their worldly aims — ^to success in business, or rank in society. She remem- bered that her Redeemer went about doing good; and her desire was, in the contem- 8* 86 MBMom OP plated change, as in all her ways, to imitate him. She was intent on going where they were needed, and where they would be most useful. In doing good, she was well assured they would get good ; according to the pro- mise, " He that watereth, shall be watered also himself." After looking at the various con- gregations around them, she was satisfied that duty called them to the Brainerd Church. With what comfort she reviewed that decision on a dying bed, the reader has already seen. The tour she made in Europe, in company with Mr. Leavitt, was quite an extensive one. It was undertaken, so far as she was con- cerned, mainly for the benefit of her health. They visited various parts of England, Scot- land, France, Switzerland, and Germany. Of the incidents and observations of this tour she made many notes. But they were evi- dently not intended for the public eye ; and it would, besides, hardly comport with the de- sign or the limits of this sketch, to copy them even in part. Suffice it to say, they aflford abundant evidence that foreign travel had not iGfts. LEAvrrr. 87 the injurious effect on her spirituality, so ob- vious in many other cases. The religion of some is of so frail a texture as scarcely to en- dure a voyage to Europe. Amid the novel- ties of the British metropolis, and the glitter and gayety of the French capital, they seem almost to forget) that the vows of God are upon them. With the poor excuse, that while in Europe they wish to see and hear all they can, they visit places where no Christian should show himself; and they of- ten allow themselves in practices, of which at home they would be ashamed. Observations to this effect, Mrs. Leavitt's journal contains. But widely different was her spirit and de- portment. During the whole time she was abroad, she maintained a devotional frame of mind. In all her joumeyings, she was par- ticularly desirous of having daily prayer, whenever practicable, with her companion. *' It would sometimes happen," he remarks, " when the time for our devotions had come, that our Bibles would be packed away m our trunks. She would then say, ^ I will repeat 88 IIEMOIR 09 a passage of Scripture ;' and from the ample stores of her memory would rehearse a Psabn, or some other portion of God's word." She delighted in making the acquaintance, wher- ever she could, of spiritually-minded people ; and was always most interested in what re- lated directly to the kingdom of Christ. Mrs. Leavitt was ever much engaged in the perusal of the Scriptures. She regarded it as a duty, indeed, bot not as a task. It was one of her most valued privileges. From other books she derived much spiritual benefit, but they were no substitutes for God's word. Her spirit, in this respect, was much like that of Henry Martyn, of whom his biographer says, " When a suspicion arose in his mind, that any other book he might be studying was about to gain an undue influence over his affections, he instantly laid it aside, nor would he resume it till he had felt and realized the paramount excellence of the divine oracles." When in charge of a large family, and much occupied with domestic cares, she would still find time to read the Bible in course ; and UBS. LEAVITT. 89 her faitbfulness in this duty was often a re- proof to those who had abundance of leisure. Nor was she less exemplary, as preceding notices have intimated, in the duty of prayer. Of the importance of secret prayer especially, she had the deepest impression. She often expressed her convictions on this subject ; and whenever she knew a person had begun to visit the closet daily, she had strong hope of him. So far as her habits could be known, she was eminently faithful in her own private devotions. She would often, when in health, rise at a very early hour, before any other member of the family was up, that when all was still, and no domestic cares could intrude, she might commune with God. She greatly delighted, also, in social prayer. Wherever she lived, she would seek out a female praying circle, and aim to be always present* at its meetings. Whoever was accustomed to listen to her voice on such occasions, could stand in no doubt, either of the delight she took in them, or of the frequency and fervency of her secret supplications. The last prayer she 90 hemoir op offered in the maternal association with which she was connected, has been particularly spoken of as one that could never be forgot- ten. A remark she made to her husband dur- ing her last illness while conversing with him about certain worldly troubles, did but express what she had always felt : " Any change," ' said she, ^^ in our circumstances or condition, that leads to £;reater faithfulness in prayer, is Mrs. Leavitt was always deeply interested in the welfare of the church. She looked not on, after the manner of some, as a cold-hearted spectator. Nor did she merge her individuality in the mass ; she ever felt her personal re- sponsibility. Few could say of Zion with greater sincerity : *For her my tears shall fall ; For her my prayers ascend ; To her my cares and toils be given, Till toils and cares shall end." At the weekly prayer-meeting, when her health permitted, she was a constant attend- t iiRs. LEAvrrr. 91 ant. She made her arrangements with refer- ence to it, and was careful to give it the pre-eminence above every worldly engage- ment. She entered most heartily into every judicious plan for the advancement of religion. For active service she was often incapacitated by bodily infirmity. But she did what she could ; nay, she often went beyond her strength. Of some of her labors, mention has already been made. It may be liirther noted, that she was always much interested in the system of Sabbath-school instruction. At those periods of her life when her health and circum- stances admitted, she was either engaged as a teacher, or connected as a pupil with a Bible class. She spoke in strong terms, during her last illness, of the good she believed the rising generation were deriving from their Sabbath- school privileges. — ^From no sacrifice *which the interests of religion demanded, was she wont to shrink. Sustaining, as her husband did, for the last seven years of her life, the office of ruling elder, his church engagements were numerous, and they often encroached on the 92 MEMOIR OP time he would otherwise have spent at his own fireside. Yet never did she complain of his absence^ In not a single instance, till the latter part of her last long illness, did she wish him to stay away from a religious meeting, or omit any official duty on her account. H6r own pleasure and convenience she deemed of little moment, wheq compared with the Sa- viour's cause. On her dying bed, her heart was still occupied with Zion's welfare, still fraught with love for her kindred in Christ. Of this the reader has already seen evidence in her message to the church, as contained in the funeral sermon. She said, at one time, " The church are not sufficiently alive to their privileges. They do not make the catLse of Christ their oum, as they should J ^ About that time she dictated the following note, re- questing that it might be presented at the weekly prayer-meeting : — " A member of this church, now Ijring on a bed of sickness, desires your prayers, that she may have clearer views of the infinite love of Christ, and entire submission to his holy BIRS. LEAVITT, \ will ; and that she, together with he^ brethren and sisters, may be morei .. in prayer, for the descent of the Holy Spirit upon this church and congregation." It not unfrequently happens, that one who seems eminently pious abroad, appears in quite a different character at home. There the heart exhibits itself without restraint. There •* Tired dissimulation drops her mask.'* Even the real Christian finds there a severer test than in many a more busy and public scene. The rertiark has been often and justly made, that to know a man thoroughly, you must observe him and commune with him, day after day, at his own fireside. Never was the excellence of Mrs. Leavitt's character more evident, than when thus scrutinized. Though ever ready to do good abroad, she was yet a lover of home ; and in every do- mestic duty was most exemplary. Milton's beautiful summary of a housewife's excellence * might well be applied to her : — — — " To study household good, And good works in her husband to promote ;" 94 MEMOIR OF or the not less beautiful language of the wise man : " Her children rise up and call her blessed ; her husband also, and he praiseth her." She was strict and steady in parental dis- cipline. Though her heart was full of mater- nal tenderness, she gave heed to the injunction of Scripture : " Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his cry- ing." Whatever threatening she had occasion to utter, she was careful to fulfil. Even on her dying bed, as long as her strength would permit, she would herself, when she judged it necessary, correct her youngest child — ^the little one so soon to be left motherless. When too weak for such effort, she would invariably refer the case to his father, on his return from business at evening. It was her custom, when she inflicted chastisement, to remind the of- fender that the Bible required it of her, to ^ speak of his sinfulness in God's sight, and to engage in prayer with him. Repentance toward God was what she chiefly sought to promote. BIRS. LEAVITT. 95 She was aware, however, that laxness erf discipline is not the only fault to which parents are liable. They sometimes fall into evils of an opposite kind, such as excess of govern- ment, a forbidding sternness, or a suspicious temper. On the last mentioned point, she was specially guarded. She deemed it im- portant to gain the confidence of her children, and for that purpose to give them her confi- dence. It has been well said, " love, and love only, is the loan for love;" and with about as much truth might we add, confidence only is the loan for confidence. She was not, like some, forever addressing her children in terms of doubt or distrust — forever presuming that where they could do wrong, th^y would. Such a habit has not only a repellent influ- ence, it is positively demoralizing. Human nature, old or young, is very apt to become what all around take it to be. If she had clear proof of misconduct, she would distinctly ^ charge it on the offender, and deal with him as seemed best. But it is well recollected by those who were cognizant of her domestic 96 MEMOIR OF habits, how careful she was not to utter in the hearing of a child a mere suspicion of ill be- havior. It was her aim, also, not to make her authority onerous, by the unnecessary multiplication of specific rules, restraints, and prohibitions. The Bible is a book of princi- ples, few comparatively, and simple ; and such should be the family code. Often would she gain her end by the gentlest suasion, where others would have resorted to stem compulsion. In her most rigorous processes of discipline, the kindness of her heart was still apparent — ^her deep, maternal feeling reaching and subduing the heart of theoflfender. Her firown, " When most severe, and mustering all its force, Was but the graver countenance of love." She spent much time in the religious in- struction of her children. Highly as she valued the Sabbath-school, it was in her view DO adequate substitute for parental teaching. In the discharge of this duty, the Bible was her guide and her text-book. She was par-. MRS. LEAVITT. 97 ticularly solicitous that their minds should be early stored with Scripture truth ; she endea- vored not to let a day pass without their committing to memory, or at least perusing, some portion of the sacred volume. Often and earnestly did she enjoin this upon them ; and various were the means by which she sought to interest and encourage them in the study of God's word. As long as she was able, while she lay on her dying bed, she would hear them recite their Scripture lessons. She was very desirous to form in her children habits of industry. To be reared in idleness, she thought, would be one of the greatest evils that could fall to their lot. She took great pains, also, to cultivate in them a benevolent spirit, well knowing how much their character in future life would in this, as well as other respects, depend on their early trsdning. She taught them to contribute — commonly of what they had in some wtjr earned — ^to the various objects brought before the congregation. Particularly did she enjoin 9* 98 MEMOIR OP this, in regard to the monthly concert collec- tion. Home associations and influences, if of the right kind, she always regarded as of great value to children. There is scarce an earthly instrumentality, she judged, that has greater power to preserve them from evil. But to this end, it is not enough that the domestic fireside be sanctified ; it should, in all fitting W^ySf be rendered attractive. Under this lAq^ession she ever acted, and it suggested one of her last requests. She expressed a desire, not long before she died, that to some money of her own enough might be added to purchase a parlor organ, and that the children might be taught to play on it. As they were all much interested in music, this would tend, she thought, " to make home pleasant to them." Of the earnestness of her secret supplica- tions for her children, they could have no doubt ; but with these she was not content. Nor was, it enough to lift up her heart for MRS. LEAVITT. 99 them as they gathered around the family altar ; she was accustomed to retire with them, one by one, that they might hear her voice in prayer, and that she might present the case of each before God, with a minuteness and a fulness unsuited to more public devotions. How potent the influence which a Christian mother may in this way exert ! The memory of prayer thus offered, a child can never lose.* Often does it steal over the heart with awak'*^ ening and saving power, when the voice that uttered it has long been silent in death. Mrs. Leavitt was much intent, as a Chris- tian mother, on sowing the seed which might yield hereafter a precious harvest. It was not merely at present effect she aimed ; she prized highly those gradual, and almost im- perceptible influences, which result often in the highest good. She was careful to lay broad foundations for coming years ; yet she never ceased, to the latest day of her life, to seek most earnestly the immediate conversion of her children. There was nothing, she judged, either in the nature of things or the 100 IfEMom OP word of God, to forbid the hope of their being led to Christ at a very early age ; there was much, rather, to warrant such a hope. As illustrative of her feelings on these last men^ tioned points, and of her unvarying fidelity as a Christian parent, the following extracts are given from her letters to her eldest son. At the date of the first, he was about nine years of age. ♦ ''New-York, Jan. 3, 1832. " My dear Son : " We were very glad to hear fix)m you, and that you had recovered fi-om your cold. How grateful ought you to be, when so many others have been called from time into eter- nity ! Must I tell you, that your dear uncle John is among that number, and that you will never see him again in this world ? He died last Sabbath morning, the first day of the year. He was sick only nine days. His funeral services were performed yesterday, and his body has been sent, in a vessel, to be MRS. LEAvrrr. 101 buried in Andover. We are all very much afflicted by his sudden death. We feel, too, that it is a solemn voice saying to us, that while in health we must prepanB to die. I hope, my dear son, that you will think se- riously of it. Do not neglect to seek the salvation of your soul ; but pray often, read the Bible, and love Jesus Christ. A great many children die here this winter. You cannot be safe and happy, even in this world, till you love the Saviour, and you know you cannot in another. « * * # I ^as rejoiced to hear that some of your teachers are converted. That you, my dear son, may soon become a true Christian, is the sincere and daily prayer of " Your affectionate mother, "L. A. Leavitt." TO THE SAME. " New-York, Nov. 25, 1833. " My dear Son : " I trust I do feel thankful and rejoiced in spirit, at the great and special mercies God 102 MEMOIR OP has been pleased to vouchsafe to your com- panions and others in Andover. Yet when I understood, that amidst all those solemn ex- hortations and warnings, those powerful exhi- bitions of God's eternal truth, and while so many were turning unto righteousness, my dear son remained unaffected, my heart was saddened. I felt as if I longed to be with you, that I might entreat you to accept the precious invitations of the Gospel, which are just as freely offered to you as to any other immortal soul. We have prayed most ear- nestly that you might come over now to the side of Christ, which is your only safety, your only happiness. But all the prayers and efforts of your friends will be unavailing, un- less you seek earnestly and pray for yourself. " Suppose you were sure of living to be as old as was poor J. H. when he died — about a year older than you now are — ^would it be safe, would it be wise, to continue to prefer the pleasures of this world to the love of the blessed Saviour, and run the risk of losing your precious soul ? But, my dear son, you BIBS. LEAYITT. 103 are not sure even of to-morrow. Now is the accepted time. You do not give up real pleasure when you love Christ ; no, you gain It, There is nothing equal to the hope that Jesus is our friend, and that our sins are par- doned through his blood. There is nothmg equal to the delightful thought that heaven is our home, and that when we lay aside these bodies, we shall be eternally free from sin and sorrow. Now, my dear George, I desire that you may taste these joys while you are young, before your heart becomes hardened. If you do not know them now, I fear you never wiU. " Can you not, when you think of the love Christ has shown you, and of the many blessmgs you have been receiving all your life, can you not be sorry that you have not been truly thankful, that you have not loved that blessed Being who made you, and who died to redeem you ? You know what it is to feel sorry when you have afflicted youi* earth- ly parents. Can you not feel grieved for having sinned against your Heavenly Father ? 104 MEMOIR OP Can you not go to Him, like the repenting prodigal, and tell him you are soni|pf and re- solve now to love and serve him ? But it b quite late, and I can only add, read your Bible, and pray much. I hope that when we hear from you again, you will be numbered among those who love the Saviour.'/ TO THE SAME. « New-York, Dec. 30, 1833. " My Dear Son George : " We received your letters by Mr. W. on Saturday evening, and were very glad to learn that you are so well and happy. We had been expecting Mr. W. all the week, and longed to have him come, that we might hear particulars from you. " We did not allow any of the children to see your letters till last evening after tea. Yesterday, you know, was the holy Sabbath, and we are commanded to spend that day for God. We thought your letters might lead them to forget him. We ought not to read or MRS. LEAVITT. 105 talk about any thing that would draw away our minda^i|t!om our Heavenly Father, on the day he has set apart for himself. He has ap- pointed it that we may be prepared to spend an eternal Sabbath in his kingdom above. But we shall fail of that preparation, unless we love his Sabbaths here, and spend them as we ought. " You have never written us how you employ your Sabbaths, whether you read any good books beside your Bible, which I hope you always read, what lessons you get, and whether you always go to the Sabbath school. I should like to have you give me some ac- count of the sermons and the good advice you hear. These things interest me more than any thing else you can write about, be- cau^e they are what I love, and are of the greatest importance. I know that you have an immortal soul, which must live forever and ever in another world, and we cannot tell how soon it will be summoned there. Are not tiiese things, therefore, of the utmost conse- quence ? Should you be called into eternity 10 106 MEMOIR OF as you are, you could not go to that heaven of joy and love, where those children who give their hearts to the Saviour will forever dwell. " It would give me the greatest pleasure to know that you were among the number of those little boys who love heavenly things more than they love their play. But instead of that, it made my heart ache, and my eyes fill with tears, to hear from your teacher, Mr. T., that our dear George did still prefer the pleasures of this world to Christ, that he did not love to go to the meetings, and had not been anxious to know what he should do to be saved. My dear son, if you love Christ you will not have to give up pleasure. No, your happiness will be greatly increased; you will feel that God is your friend, you will love to think that he is all about you, and will keep you safe from all evil, and that Je- sus Christ died to redeem you. " Can you doubt the Saviour's love ? If you go and tell him that you are a poor sin- ner, and need to be forgiven, and say, ' bere^ MES. LEAVITT. 107 Lord, I give myself away ; 'tis all that I can do/ — ^if you do this sincerely, he will receive you, and you will love to think of him, and pray to him, and read your Bible. You would enjoy this more than skating ; though you could enjoy that too, and your other amusements, but not prefer them, and have them employ all your thoughts. " You are soon, my dear George, to begin another year ; and it is my earnest wish that you would now resolve to attend seriously to the concerns of your soul. Go to the inquiry meetings, if you think you desire to become a Christian, and to the other religious meet- ings, with A., who, I am rejoiced to hear, loves to go. Do not, I entreat you, let this precious season pass by without your becom- ing a Christian. The longer you put it off, the less you will feel inclined to attend to it, and the harder it will be to repent. Delay it now, and perhaps you vnU never repent. I have written a good deal upon this subject, because it grieves me so much to think of the possibility of your growing up, if your life 108 MEMOIR or should be spared, * an enemy to God, refusing' to love and obey the blessed Saviour, after all he has done for you." TO THE SAME. " New York, Jan. 20, 1835. " Only think, you will soon be thirteen, and you have not yet become a decided Christian. I did think when you were young, and your conscience seemed so tender as I talked with you about your soul, that you would become a pious boy before this time. Why will you not, before another birth-day, seek the Liord with all your heart ? Think how wicked and ungrateful you have been, to live so many years without loving that Saviour, who has at so dear a rate purchased such infinite blessings for you. There is no- thing would so rejoice our hearts, as to hear that your behavior was serious, kind and affectionate. Try to please your kind friends ; but, above all things, try to please God. And remember, that for these days and years which are so fast passing away, we must give ac- count to him. BIRS. LEAVITT. 109 " * * * Our minister talks a great deal to the children, and wants to have them become Christians now. O, we are not safe a mo- ment without loving Christ, that our sins may be pardoned through his blood. That such may be your happy case, my dear boy, is the earnest prayer of Your affectionate mother." In every thing that pertained to family religion, Mrs. Leavitt was eminently exem- plary. She was ever careful, that none of the family should be unnecessarily absent from household worship. When her husband was away from home, she was accustomed to conduct it herself. Like fidelity did she ex- hibit in respect to the observance of the Sab- bath. It was to her *' a delight, the holy of the Lord, honorable ;" and she was ever deeply solicitous that all under hwcare should duly regard it, and secure to the utmost its pre- cious benefits. Many there are — some, it is to be feared, who bear the Christian name— who make the Sabbath a carnival, rather than 10* 110 BfEMOIR OP a spiritual feast-day ; and who seem less to regard the salvation of their domestics — ^not to say their own — than the gratification of a pampered appetite. Not so with the subject of this memoir. She provided for her family no luxurious Sunday dinner. She so arranged her domestic affairs, that as little labor as possi- ble need be done during holy time, and that all the members of the household might have the best possible opportunity for reading, me- ditation, private arid public worship. It was a special grief to her, if any one of them was needlessly absent from the house of God. She was ever careful, both beforehand and when the Sabbath came, to preclude such neglect. It were well if all heads of families had the sense of responsibility, in this respect, which she exhibited. It would greatly increase the aggregate attendance on the Sanctuary. It would mulnply, doubtless, the triumphs of grace. Who can tell when the " saving word" is to be uttered ? How can the father or the mother know but the very sermon which a child or a domestic may unnecessarily fail to IfRS. LEAVITT. Ill hear^ would have proved as "a fire and a hammer which breaketh the rock in pieces ?" Mrs. Leavitt's good influence over her do- mestics was not a Uttle enhanced by tfle gen- tleness and kindness of her demeanor toward them. She was ever mindful of their tem- poral comfort. She was careful not unneces- sarily to wound their feelings. Her wishes were made known to them, not in a haughty, imperious tone, not commonly in the form of mandates, but rather in the shape of requests. It was not, " Do this," uttered as to a slave, but " Will you do it ?" as to a child. If she had occasion to reprove them, it was not in harsh, bitter terms, but with a calmness and affectionateness well suited to touch their hearts. It will occasion no surprise, after what has been said, that most of those who were for any considerable time conne6tmt with her family, became hopefully pious. In what de- gree her fidelity contributed to that result, it is impossible, of course, accurately to say. That it was largely concerned, no one can 113 MEMOm OF doubt who remembers how potent is the influ- ence for good or for evil which the mistress of a family must needs put forth, and who calls to mind, It the same time, the manner of her do- mestic life. Of the persons referred to, one is now an esteemed and successful minister of the Gospel, and several others are either ofB- cers or prominent members of churches, in New- York or elsewhere. Two others, it is know n,have passed in the triumph of faith ot their rest, and are now, doubtless, communing in glory with her, to whose Christian faithful- ness they delighted to bear witness in life. Of the last long illness of Mrs. Leavitt, many particulars were given in the funeral sermon. Allusion was made to her uniform calmness in ^dew of death. It may be added, that this calmness was unbroken even by those sudden and threatenino; changes in the course of disease, a^hich those around her were much alarmed. Her malady was consumption ; and she suffered, in several instances, a prostrating and perilous hemorrhage of the lungs. At other times she experienced a faintness so J» MRS. LEAVITT. 113 deathlike as to awak^ni the fear in others that her end was at hand. Such, however, was not her own impression. She seemed always to have great confidence, that in the hour of death God would give her dymg grace. When asked, on the occasions just referred to^ whether she thought her last hour had come, she would reply in the negative, intimating that she expected to have different feelings th^i — ^more abundant communications of di- vine grace. Nor was she disappointed. As her dissolution actually drew near, she said, in answer to the mquiries of her friends, " I think my time b at hand. I have such feelings as I expected to have. Several months before she died, one of her sbters asked her, if she were not concerned and distressed at the prospect of leaving her children motherless. " Oh, no ;" she replied, " if I can but feel sure that they Will be saved at last, it matters little what is their lot in this world." She remarked, at another time, re- ferring to a former illness, " It is a great mercy that I was not taken away then. For 114 MEMOIR OF now I feel that I can more safely leave my children, as they have acquired good prin- ciples, which I trust will save them from do- ing wrong." , She seemed very desirous that her sickness and death might be made the means of great spiritual good to her family. While her strength permitted, she ceased not to utter in their hearing precious words of in- struction, persuasion, and warning. She re- marked, a short time before her death, when the violence of her disease had greatly in- creased, " How good Christ has been to me, in fJlowing me to finish about all I wished to say to the children, before my present severe sickness." Yet she said, at another time — ^so deep was her humility and self-abasement — " It always brings tears into my eyes, when I think of my unfaithfulness to my family ; but we are saved by grace." She delighted, throughout her sickness, to speak of the goodness of God. " I can sing of nothing," she said at one time, " but mercy and kindness, which have followed me all my 'days. * The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall MRS. LEAYITT. 115 not want.' " Agam, " I often thmk of the hymn, ^ He is good, immensely good, And kind are all his ways.' I soon forget my sufferings." She remarked at another time, " We may have a more abiding sense of the goodness of God by ob- serving it in small things, than by merely no- ticing greater mercies." And she proceeded to speak in the most grateful terms of her or- dinary privileges and blessings. It was remarked in the funeral discourse, that her mind was much occupied with medi- tation on heaven. Whatever related to the saints' everlasting rest, was especially delightful to her. She borrowed of her Pastor two ser- mons he had preached on this subject, and had them both read to her— one of them more than once. So familiar had she become with her home above, and so near did it appear to her, that she once remarked, it hardly seemed to her she should die, but merely that a change would pass upon her. What rendered heaven chiefly attractive to her, was the thought, that 116 MEMOIE OF there she should be free from sin, and be forever with the Lord. Often would she re- peat the language of David, " I shall be satisfied when I awake with thy likeness." To- ward the close of her course, she would some- times intimate, that were it possible for her to recover and remain yet longer away from her rest, the thought of it would be rather painful than pleasant to her. Yet she would say, " All the days of my appointed time will I wait till my change come ;" "I know my Saviour will do all things well ;" " I have in- creasing confidence in God, that his time is the best time for me to die." An intimate and valued friend, with whom she had fi-equent communion during her illness, repeated to her, as they were one day convers- ing on her favorite theme, the heavenly state, some beautiful lines on this subject, by Caroline Bowles, now Mrs. Southey. She was deeply interested m them ; and often, afterwards, as her fi'iend visited her, expressed a desire to hear them agam. As these lines are at present not accessible to most readers^ they are in- MRS. LEAVITT. serted on tiro. They are worthy of perusal, even by those who have met them before, for their })oetic merit. But they have a super- added chami, as having faUen sweetly and sootliingly on the ear of a dying saint — seeming to lier but as the feHcitous expression of her own musings, the echo of her own cherished hopes and aspirations. HEAVE N. () tiilk to. ?no of hoav(Mi ! I love To h(»ar about my home above : For tliore cloth many a dear one dwell, In liffht and iov ineffable. () tell me how they shine and sing, While every heart rings echoing; Ami every glad and tearless eye Reams like tin? bright sun gloriously. Trll me of that victorious palm, Each hand in glory bearcth ; Tell me of that celestial calm Each face in glory weareth. O happy, happy country, where There entereth not a sin ; And death who keeps its portals fair Can never once come in ! 11 118 MEMOIR OF No grief can change their day to night ; The darkness of that land is light. Sorrow and sighing God hath sent Far thence to endless banishment. Nor ever more may one dark tear, Bedim those burning skies : For every one they shed while here, Mid fearful agonies, Glitters a bright and dazzling gem, In their immortal diadem. O lovely, blooming country, where Flourishes all that we deem fair. And though no fields, nor forests green. Nor bowery gardens there are seen. Nor perfumes load the breeze ; Yet joys at God's right hand are found. The archetypes of these. There is the home, the land of birth Of all we highest prize on earth. The storms that rack this world beneath. Must there forever cease ; For all the air the blessed breathe. Is purity and peace. O happy, happy land ! In thee Shines the unveiled divinity. Shedding through each adoring breast, A holy calm, a halcyon rest ; And those blest souls whom death did sever. Have met to mingle joys forever. MRS. LEAVITT. 119 O goon may heaven unclose to me ; O may I soon its portals see, And my faint, weary spirit stand Within that happy, happy land. Allusion has often been made to the kind- ness of disposition and demeanor so habitual in Mrs. Leavitt. It was remarkably apparent through all her final illness. She observed on one occasion, to those around her, " My heart seems sometimes to be surcharged with love. I feel as if I could clasp you all in my arms, and kiss you for your kindness." She said at another time, " I feel as if I loved every body, and could overlook all their faults." To the necessity and blessedness of Christian forbearance, she often adverted. It was one of her remarks on the day of her death, " If we would live pleasantly with all, we must be willing to overlook their faults." Under all her sufferings she was at the great- est possible remove from what pains us so often in the sick room, a petulant, querulous spirit. For even the slightest attentions she was ever grateful. And she would often men- 120 MEMOIR OF tion with pleasure and thankfulness, acts of kindness done her in years gone by. To each of her domestics, and to several other persons who had been occasionally with her during her sickness, or in whom she had other- wise become interested, she requested that a particular book, which she specified, might be given after her decease. The books she se- lected were such as Doddridge's Rise and Progress, Pike's Guide, Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, and, best of all, the Holy Scriptures. On a blank leaf of each of these volumes she directed her husband to write as follows: *' Presented to by Mrs. Leavitt, on her sick bed, as a testimony of her desire that she may be a true disciple of Jesus Christ, and be prepared for his glorious presence.'* Thus did her kindness centre in the spiritual good of its object. Thus did she strive to secure for it a posthumous being and power. She was deeply impressed, as she had ever been, with the importance of having an eye single to the glory of God. " I think," she said, on one occasion, "my desire in- MRS. LEAVITT. 121 creases that God may be glorified, whether I live a longer or shorter time." Nor were her views, in this respect, of a visionary, imprac- ticable cast. She added, " I think I feel more deeply than ever the meaning of the words, — Sweet to lie passive in his hands, And know no will but his.' This kind of feeling so tranquillizes my mind, that outward things do not affect it as they once did." To glorify God, she judged, in one of its most important points, was to be cordially submissive to his will. But she deemed it not merely a passive virtue. As she bade one of her sisters, who visited her on her dying bed, a final farewell, she said, among other things, " O, be useful, and glo- rify God,^^ — adding, as a fit commentary on this last expression, " We must be willing to renounce self, must forget our own comfort and convenience, in order to do good to others." Nothing, certainly, can more truly 11* 122 MEMOIR OF and fully glorify God than self-denying bene- volence, in the name of Christ. It has been intimated that during her ill- ness, as strength and opportunity were granted, she dictated various messages to her children and others, which were to be communicated after her decease. In these were evinced not only a mother's tenderness, a sister's love, a friend's unfaltering fidelity, but that ardent desire to do good, which might properly be called her ruling passion — or more exactly, her ruling principle. The counsels thus im- parted would be more impressive, she thought, than when uttered by her in life. They might profit those addressed — in some cases, it might be, even to the saving of the soul — when the tongue from which they first dropped had long been silent in death. With one of these messages, that to the church of which she was a member, the reader has already met. The others, with such oc- casional omissions as propriety may require, will here be introduced. They are marked by the utmost directness and frankness, and MRS. LEAVITT. 123 were evidently designed only for those im- mediately concerned. But they will, on sev- eral accounts, be read with pleasure by others. They embody some of the main principles of her own life, and are richly fraught with Christian feeling. They are, indeed, but the outpouring of her inmost heart. The coun sels and views of duty they contain, though marked by no striking originality, are yet in- teresting for their truth and appropriateness ; and above all for that simplicity, and deep though quiet earnestness, which constituted the main charm of all she wrote or uttered. To a widowed sister, residing at a dis- tance, who had visited her, and spent several weeks with her, after she became dangerously ill, she dictated what follows : " To MY DEAR Sister C. : " It has pleased the Lord, beyond my expectations, to give me a little more time and strength, that I may thank you again for the many favors I have received from you, botli before and during my present sickness. 124 BfEMOIR OF And I would once more, as a beloved sister, earnestly beseech you not to be satisfied until you believe you have wholly given your heart to the blessed Saviour. Let his love have possession of your soul. Be willing to deny yourself for his sake ; and be faithful in the performance of those duties which you know ought not to be neglected, such as pray- ing with your dear children, and manifest- ing to all around you that you are indeed a follower of Christ. Many a time have I thought how brightly you would shine as a Christian, if you were as much engaged in promoting the cause of Christ as the temporal good of those around you. Do, my dear sister, the remainder of your days, which may be but short, exercise true repentance for past negligence in duty, and let your time be spent in the service of God. " Be very diligent in searching the Scrip- tures, and seek the teaching of the Holy Spirit. Let your mind while engaged in earthly cares — for cares, I know, many and MRS. LEAVITT. 125 great devolve on you — dwell much on the in- finite lov^e of Christ. Nothing will so lighten your burdens, and cheer you in the perform- ance of your arduous duties. I am glad to hear that R.* is better. Do not let her put off preparation for death, for life is very short, at the longest, and now is the accepted time. Much love to all the dear children. Tell them to prepare to meet their God. Fare- well — ^with the hope of meeting you all in that world of bliss where separations will be no more." TO ANOTHER SISTER. " My dear Sister : — As I am a little re- vived this afternoon, and do not see you, as I expected, face to face, I wish to call to remembrance the happy hours we have spent together, more especially since we have been in this city. Ties stronger than mere natural affection bind us together, and increase our * A daughter of the sister addressed, who had been ill. 126 BiEMOm OF desire to promote each other's welfare. Many, many thanks for your kind attentions to me. Often have you seemed, in your visits, like an angel of mercy. And now, as I am about to leave you, I do most deeply feel the sorrow which agitates your bosom. But, oh ! the unspeakable compassion, the infinite love, the unbounded mercy of our all-powerful and glorious High Priest, who has invited us with such tenderness to cast all our burdens upon him. Do not hesitate, my dear sister, to go with the simplicity of a little child, and tell him all your wants and sorrows. His love and watchfulness far exceed that of a tender mother ; and what that is, your own experi- ence has taught you. " I regret very much that in my inter- course with you the past winter, my conver- sation has not been more spiritual. I have in- dulged myself too much in speaking of the faults of others. Were my life to be pro- longed, I now think I should make every ef- fort to overcome this propensity. The more we have of the spirit of Christ, and the more MRS. LEAVITT. 127 we feel our own sinfulness, the more ready shall we be to overlook the faults of others. " In your situation, my dear sister, it is of special importance that you be watcliful. You are, indeed, ' as a city that is set on a hill,' which 'cannot be hid.' It becomes you, therefore, to be truly circumspect. And may you so let your light shine, as to 'glorify your Father which is in heaven.' You will say, ' Who is sufficient for these things ?' Christ says, ' My grace is sufficient for thee.' Therefore, as a little child, rely daily upon his strength. If you do this with true hu- mility, he will never leave nor forsake you. Though you now feel much sorrow at parting with me, I hope you will find it among your most precious mercies. It will be so, if it leads you to more intimate communion with the blessed Saviour. Farewell, till we meet in the blessed world above." To another sister, residing at a distance, who had spent considerable time with her since her sickness commenced, and from whom she had recently received a brief note, con- i 128 MEMOIR OF taining several appropriate passages of Scrip- ture, her message was as follows : " My dear, precious Sister : — I can hardly express to you the sweet peace your lit- tle note afforded me. Through great languor and disease of body, I felt myself sinking into the grave on Friday evening last. How refreshing, even in the night season, were those precious words to my soul. The sin- cere expressions of affection which you have made toward me during my whole illness, have endeared you to my heart here ; and tliey will increase the happiness of that ever- lasting communion which we hope to enjoy hereafter. " I am now experiencing the consolation which is derived alone from believing in Jesus. He is faithful to all his promises. He has in- deed been my strength and portion, when heart and flesh have failed me. Farewell, my dear sister. Many, many thanks for the numerous kindnesses I have received from you since our separation. You will enjoy the reward of those who minister to the saints." MRS. LEAVITT. 129 She dictated what follows to another sister, the wife of a clergyman, whom she had not seen for several months : " My dear Sister : — I have a strong de- sire to see you once more, that I may say fare- well to one whom I love so ardently, to whom I am bound both by natural and Christian affec- tion. But that will never be permitted. I am fast hastening to the port of peace. I shall soon rest in the bosom of the great Cap- tain of our salvation. There I hope to meet with you, and all who love our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in sincerity and truth. " I hope, my dear sister, you will strive to enjoy more of the happiness a Christian may share while on earth, by living near to the Saviour, by spending more time in secret prayer, which is of the greatest importance, by being more engaged in seeking the good of those around you, and by entering heartily into all the plans which may be formed for the salvation of souls, and the promotion of Christ's cause. In your situation especially, 12 130 MEMOIR OF much good can be done in this way ; but what you do, must be done quickly. "When I had written thus far, I was obliged to stop, I became so weak. I thought I could dictate no more. This morning they thought me dying. I have had much en- joyment during the day, though my pain has been great. I was just now waked from sleep by it. I felt it in my heart to say, wel- come pain, welcome suffering, if it will only increase the happiness and glory I hope to enjoy with those before God's throne. I know that ^the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.' " My strength again fails me. My dear sister, farewell, till we meet in that blessed state, where parting is unknown." She left the following message for a young woman, who formerly lived in her family as a domestic, and who, while thus engaged, be- came hopefully pious : " Say to S. F., I thank her for the inter- est and affection she has always manifested MRS. LEAVITT. 131 for me. Tell her it is ray earnest desire, that she may live near to Christ, be faithful in his cause, and be careful not to neglect se- cret prayer, and reading the precious Bible, that she may, when she comes to die, have that consolation and support which the Sa- viour always gives to those who sincerely love him, and trust in him alone for salvation." To another person who had once a sister residing with Mrs. Leavitt, she wrote as fol- lows. The sister referred to was converted while with her, and it was in her family she fell sick of her last illness. TO s. s. "While I am dictating this message to you, I am lying in the same place where your dear sister was while with us. Were her spirit here, she would unite with me in saying, pray much, Uve near to Christ, and let the precious Bible be your daily guide, support, and consolation. I thank you for the kind- ness which you and your other friends have 132 BfEMOm OF manifested toward me and mine. It is my desire that you may all experience the hap- piness which your dear sister enjoyed, and which Christ does now vouchsafe to me his unworthy servant. I bid you farewell, hoping to meet you in that world above, where sin and sorrow forever cease." To a domestic who had been long with her, and who had become a professor of re- ligion while in her family, she thus addressed herself: " My dear M. : — I wish to express my gratitude to you, for your very kind and un- ceasing attention to me during my long ill- ness. You have, indeed, contributed much to my comfort. I cannot reward you as I could wish, but my heavenly Father can ; and I pray that he may abundantly recom- pense you with spiritual blessings. But for these you must seek. Suffer not the world with its cares so to occupy your mind, that you neglect your duty to God and your own soul. Pray earnestly for grace to overcome that irritability of temper, which has caused MRS. LEAVITT. 133 you and others so much unhappiness, and which, if indulged, must bring reproach on the name of the blessed Saviour. The fruit of the Spirit is meekness, long-suffering, kind- ness, humility, and a forgiving spirit. Culti- vate these graces, and you will be prepared for a peaceful death-bed and a happy eter- nity. Above all, do not neglect secret prayer, for you cannot be a Christian without attend- ing to this duty. Read the Bible much. Meditate often on the infinite love of Christ. This will lead you to feel your unworthiness, and to exercise that penitence and love for him which are essential to salvation. I write this, because of the feebleness of my body. I have not been able to speak to you much concerning the interests of your soul. My earnest prayer is, that you may be truly a praying Christian." The remaining communications were to her children, the eldest of whom was about twenty years of age at the time of her death, and the youngest four. 12* 134 ItfEMOIR OF TO HER ELDEST SON. " My dear George : — You have always manifested towards me an aifectionate and obedient disposition ; and whenever I have given you advice, have received it with kind- ness and respect. Though I cannot now say any thing new, I wish once more to urge upoa you an unmediate attention to interests of in finite importance. " My first request is, that you would be in the daily habit of reading the Bible and of prayer. You are aware that the former duty you have too much neglected. To do this is to despise the blessed word of God, which offers to us eternal life. Do not, therefore^ longer neglect it. " You know it has been my most earnest desire, that you would become a follower of Christ, while I was with you. That hap- piness has not been allowed me ; but may I soon in heaven be permitted V> rejoice with glorified spirits in your conversion. Suffer not the world and pride to be such obstacles MRS. LEAVITT. 136 :as they have been in the way of giving your heart to God. Seek earnestly the enHghten- ing influences of the Spirit, that you may have a knowledge of yourself and the holy character of God. Then you will be penitent and humble. " Be faithful in the observance of the Sab- bath, attend public worship constantly, at one stated place, and diligently improve all the appointed means of grace. Be kind, and set -a good example to my dear children, for my sake ; and affectionately admonish them when- •ever they need it. In the choice of your com- panions, be careful to select none but those who fear God. " Life is short. A long eternity is before you, and what you do in preparation for it, must be done quickly. * The Spirit and the bride say come. And let him that heareth say come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.' Farewell." TO HER DAUGHTER. " My dear Elizabeth : — ^As I am drawing 136 MEMOIR OF near to the close of life, I would thank you for having administered to my necessities dur- ing my illness. I hope that when you come to die, you will experience the rich consolation which Christ imparts to all those who love him. To this end, your life must be consist- ent with the spirit of the Gospel, which is a meek and quiet spirit, full of kindness and good fruits ; you must not be engrossed with the follies and fashions of the world, but seek to promote the cause of Him whom you have professed to love. How solemn are your covenant engagements. Often think of them ; and pray much for grace, that you may so walk, as not to bring reproach upon the blessed Saviour. " * * * Consult your dear father freely about all your concerns ; and seek in every way to promote his happiness, which is more particularly your duty, as being an only daughter. Be kind and condescending to your brothers, and attend to their wants cheerfully. Endeavor to speak in soft and gentle tones of voice, that all may love you. MRS. LEAVITT. 137 Seek diligently to improve the precious mo- ments as they pass by, doing something pro- fitable, that you may be of the number of those who use well the talents God has given them, and receive the reward of good and faithful servants." TO HER SECOND SON. " My dear Edwards : — I feel that I must soon leave you a motherless child, in a world full of sorrows and temptations. Yet I have often, and I trust sincerely, commended you to the care of my heavenly Father. Yea, even before your birth, did I entreat him, that your heart might be early sanctified, and he be your God and everlasting portion. He who is a faithful and covenant-keeping God, I trust, will answer my prayer, and prepare you, if your life is spared, to become a devoted serv- ant of Christ, an honored instrument of pro- moting his cause. " Your amiable and pleasant disposition has endeared you very much to my heart. The conscientiousness in respect to religious 138 MEMOIR OF things, which you exhibited in your early years, led me to hope, that you would be- fore this have become a decided follower of Christ, and have publicly professed faith in his name. I beseech you, now, to hesitate no longer, least you grieve that blessed Spirit, who has so long and so often urged you to give your whole heart to the Saviour. " Strive to overcome the habit of delaying duties which ought to be done immediately, especially your devotional duties in the morn- ing. I particularly request that you will at- tend to these duties early, for the hour of school soon arrives, and then you have no time. Remember, every day, that you need the blessing of God in your studies, and his restraining grace to keep you from sin. " When at school endeavor diligently to improve your time. Be careful with whom * you associate. Choose for your companions those who fear God, according to the words of David : ' I am a companion of all them that fear thee, and of them that keep thy pre- ^epts.^ Let your intimate friends, if you MRS. LEAVITT. 139 have any, be very few. Many have had reason to regret the formation of bosom-friend- ships ; so few there are who are found to be sincere friends. "As we cannot look into the future, I know not what your calling for life may be. But it has always been my desire that you might be fitted for the gospel ministry. Should that desire be fulfilled, look well to your mo- tives, that nothing influence you but the love of Christ and of souls. Strive to become a faithful ambassador of the Lord Jesus Christ. Much prayer and a diligent study of the Scrip- tures is very necessary, in order to this high attainment. « * * * I iiope you will, by your good behavior, prove a great comfort to your father, and that your influence upon your younger brothers will be very salutary. Be very careful what you say. Use no lan- guage that is immodest or vulgar. How cor- rupting to those over whom you have any influ- ence, would be low and obscene conversation. * * * Love to do kind offices to your 140 MEMOIR OF brothers, and those around you. It will not only render others happy, but promote your own enjoyment, and make even strangere your friends. If you are separated from your brother Henry, write often to him, that the strong mutual attachment, you seem now to have, may continue. " Another duty I \^ ish to remind you of — that is, takins: care of vour clothes and books. Endeavor to have a place for every thing, and every thing in its place. I have not, I know, been so particular with you on this point as I ought to have been ; and I regret that you have not such a habit of neatness and order as I could desire. But you are old enough now to see the importance of this yourself. Such a habit is not only a duty, but will save you a great deal of time and trouble. " There is one more important duty I would mention, and that is, a strict observ- ance of the holy Sabbath. Endeavor to rise early on that day, that you may have more time than is barely sufficient to get ready for the service. I trust you will always be con- MRS. LEAVITT. 141 stant in your attendance upon public worship. And I wish you would accustom yourself to taking notes of the sermons. I know, fix)m what little experience I have had, you will find such a practice very proCtable, it so fixes attention and assists the memory. If you are ever tempted to break the Sabbath in any way, look into your Bible, and see how abun- dant are the commands and warnings in regard to keeping it holy. My earnest prayer is, that you may^ so love it, with its precious privileges, that you may be prepared for a glorious and eternal Sabbath in God's king- dom above. " Now, my dear Edwards, farewell ! When you read this, you will see my face no more. But I have strong confidence, that through the faithfulness of my covenant-keep- ing God, I shall meet you in that happy world where separations will be unknown;" TO HER THIRD SON. " My dear Henry : — ^My heart yearns over you, when I think of leavbg you with 13 142 BIEMOIR OF your ardent temperament, in this world of snares and temptations. But all I can do is, to commend you to the care of the same covenant-keeping God to whom you were de- dicated in baptism. He alone is able to save you from all contaminating influences, and sanctify your heart, that the energies of your mind and body may be employed in the service of the Redeemer. " This b an age of the world, in which it seems that God has a peculiar demand upon the services of the rising generation. Exten- sive fields of usefulness are opening on every side ; and never had children such means of acquiring a knowledge of God and their duty as at the present time. Therefore, my dear boy, do not spend your youthful days in folly, wasting your precious time, but endeavor to give your heart now to the Saviour. Read often the account of his life on earth, and strive to follow his example. Then will you be safe and happy, whether you are called to an early grave, or live yet many years. " I am sorry you have hitherto been so MRS. LEAVITT. 143 much interrupted in your studies ; but I do hope that a desire to acquire knowledge will be awakened in your bosom, and that you will diligently improve the advantages of edu- cation, which, I trust, you will enjoy here- after. Wherever you may be situated, be obedient and kind to those who have the care of you. Seek daily for grace to govern your temper. Be very watchful over your conver- sation. Do not, I beseech you, indulge in any low, vulgar, or indelicate language ; for this would be not only a disgrace to yourself, but corrupting to others. Endeavor to store your mind with texts of Scripture and hymns, that by good thoughts you may shut out evil ones. The word of God is the armor he has given us, with which to resist the temptations of the adversary. Be always careful to ad- here strictly to the truth. Never even mis- represent any thing, though it might favor your own cause ; for the Lord is * a God of truth, and without iniquity, just and right is he.' 'He that covereth his sins shall not prosper ; but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.' Be very careful as 144 BIEMOm OF to your associates, for your character will not only be influenced, but judged of by the com- pany you keep. Let your plajmaates be very few, and only those who are free from all wicked habits. Make it a subject of prayer, that your companions may be such as fear the Lord. Books do much towards forming the character of the young. Be very careful, therefore, to avoid such as are, in any re- spect, of injurious influence, even such as are of a frivolous character, and would give you a disrelish for the Bible and all solid readmg. Read history, and memoirs of good men and women, such as Henry Martyn, whose zeal, humility, and love for Christ, how should I love to have you imitate. " Aim at order and regularity in all your habits. Rise early. Take good care of your clothes, and be clean in your person. As I have often said before, do make it your first busi- ness in the morning to read the Bible, learn your verses, and attend to your devotions. You know how much happier you always feel when you do this. Another important duty I would mention is, the strict observance of the MRS. LEAVITT. 145 holy Sabbath. Do not indulge, in the least, your natural levity of character on that day, either at home or in the sanctuary. Avoid all trifling conversation. God is very jealous for the keeping of his Sabbath ; and many are the blessings he has pronounced on those who make it their delight, and thus honor him — many and awful are the curses on those who violate it, walking in their own evil ways. I wish you would make it a practice to take notes of the sermons you hear. It tends to fix the attention, and truth makes a deeper im- pression on the heart. Jft " I feel it in my heart to praise the Lord that I have kind sisters, who are so much in- terested in the welfare of my children. I hope you will ever love and respect them. * * * You have a beloved father, whose comfort and happiness I hope you will always seek to pro- mote, by your obedient and respectful behavior towards him. Make him your adviser and coun- sellor, and do nothing at home or abroad that would give him any uneasiness. Do nothing in secret which you think would meet his dis- 13* 146 BIEMOIR OF approbation. To this, I trust, your warm affection for him would lead you. He is al- ways seeking your good, and he is worthy of your love and confidence. When you are absent firom him or your brothers, make it a rule to write them often. " Endeavor to cultivate gentleness of man- ners. Be kind and courteous to all around you. Rude and sarcastic speeches may amuse and cause laughter at the time, but it will lower your character in the estimation of others, if . you indulge in them. Endeavor to govern your tongue, and let no corrupt conmiunica- tion proceed out of your mouth. I will re- peat it — on my dying bed I entreat you — avoid all low and unchaste language. Seek for that purity of heart, which those must have who enter the kingdom of heaven. " As I close, let me once more remind you, that the salvation of your precious soul is the one thing needfiil. O ! how could I bear to think that any of my dear children, who have the seal of the covenant on their foreheads, should be found at the left hand of Christ MRS. LEAVITT. 147 when he cometh to judge the world. My earnest prayer is, that we may all meet, as one unbroken family, around the throng of God, to Jbe forever employed in his praise* And now, my dear Henry, farewell. When you read this, these lips will be silent ; but your mother will not cease to exist, and it may be she will have a knowledge of your conduct. But in that world above, where she hopes then to be, grief and sorrow will never enter her bosom. Again, I pray God to bless you, and make you his own dear child." M TO HER YOUNGEST CHILD. '^^ " What shall I say to my darling Willy, whom I must leave, while m such tender years, a motherless child ? Your little affec- tionate heart has strongly entwined itself with mine. I sometimes feel that, were it the will of God, I should love to have you go with me to the heavenly rest, that you might escape the snares and temptations of this wicked world, and join with the happy ones above, and with your little brother, who is al- 148 MEMOIR OF ready there, in praising the Redeemer. These are the natural feelings of a mother's heart. Yet I have far more comfort in committing you to my heavenly Father, who is so wise and good, and will take care of you. He pities little boys who have no mother, and will give them friends and make them very happy, if they are obedient and good. There is another who loves you most tenderly, your dear father. I hope you will do every thing to please him, and he will not let you forget your dear mother when she is dead and gone. He will tell you how HQQuch we both loved you, and how we watched over you when sick, and prayed God to spare you, and give you a new heart, that you might love Jesus Christ and serve him. You will re- member also, how often, while your dear mother was sick, you made her heart ache, by dis- obeying her, and speaking naughty words, and not always speaking the truth. Sometimes your mother could not correct you for these things. She could only talk to you, and pray for you, that God would give you a better heart, and make you sorry for having so sin- MRS. LEAYITT. 149 * ned against him, and grieved your poor sick mother. And now, my dear little Willy, I want you to pray to God that he would forgive you, and keep you, hereafter, from all disobedience and wickedness, and that you may become truly the Saviour's little lamb, and a blessing and comfort to those around you, especially to your father, who loves you so dearly, and who will now be a father and mother both to you. " Although you have sometimes grieved me, yet your smiling face and affectionate manner, have often cheered and comforted me, and made me wbh that I could join you in your play, and do something to make you happy. The pleasant way in which you have often waited upon me, the care you have frequent- ly expressed lest I should be alone, your sor- row when any thmg has troubled me, and your unwillingness to go away to be absent long, have touched the most tender affections of my heart, and made me long to press you to my bosom. Your sweet kisses morning and evening, I shall never forget, nor your prayers when I was able to hear them. * 150 MEMOIR OF " My dear William, you are a child of many prayers. Particularly have I prayed that you might love the Savioiu* in early life, that you might give your heart to him now. I hope that as you grow up and learn to read, you will love the Bible, and love to learn verses, and go to the Sabbath School. When you are there, be sober and obey your teacher. Love to sing hymns, that you may praise God ; and never forget to pray to him every morning and night. Remember, also, to keep holy the Sabbath day. Be very obedient to those who have the care of you ; and be careful always to speak the truth. If you tell a falsehood, though others may not find you out, God will ; and he hates all liars, and hath said they "shall have their portion in the lake that bumeth with fire and brimstone." Never touch any thing that is not your own ; do not even go to the closet to take any thing to eat, without first asking liberty. * * *. Never play with the boys in the street, because they are generally bad boys, and you will be considered ' such if you go with them. Indeed I should MRS. LEAVITT. 161 be very much afraid y6u would become such, if you did. But I trust you will regard my advice. I never allowed your brothers to play in the street when little boys. " I could say much more, but I hope you will have others to instruct you, who are more capable, and who will lead your young mind in the way to eternal life. And now, my dear Willy, I commend you to the care and bless- ing of Him who said, " suiFer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not." In concluding these messages to her chil- dren, she thus addressed herself to them all : — " My dear children, — I have dictated this, my best advice, in great weakness, which has occasioned much interruption, so that you will observe a want of connection. But my object has been, to repeat to you, once more, those important truths which I have so often lU'ged upon you, thinking that they might make a deeper impression, as coming from the lips of a dying mother. But all will be in vain without the influence of the Holy Spirit. I would, therefore, once more, commend you to our 152 MEMOIR OF covenant-keeping God, in whom alone we can be blessed ; who alone can change the heart, and make us new creatures in Christ Jesus. My strength so fails me, that I can only say, in conclusion, my dear children, my heart's desire and prayer to God is, that you may all be saved." It was not strange that her heart should cling with peculiar tenderness, submissive and peaceful though it was, to her youngest child — the little one to whom the last of the fore- going messages was addressed. Her consola- tion was, that she had sincerely consecrated him to God, and with strong crying and tears had sought for him, as for all her children, the divine blessing. " If I was ever in earnest in prayer," she said, " it has been that he might be early sanctified. This was my special sup- plication before he was bom." She was par- ticularly desirous that he might have no un- pleasant impressions about her death. " Let him be made to understand," said she, " that I have gone to a most delightful world." It was at her request that he learned to sing that MRS. leaVitt. 163 sweet and touching piece in Mrs. Dana's Southern Harp — "Shed not a tear." The words of this piece, with one part only of the music, will be found on the next two pages. Though there was a single expression in these stanzas not applicable to Mrs. Leavitt's case, yet their general scope and spirit were alto- gether appropriate. The reader will see why she wished her little son to learn them, and why she loved to listen to them, as in the im- perfect accents of childhood they fell from his lips. A moving sight it was to behold this youngling of the flock, singing beforehand a mother's requiem, while her eye, moistened by maternal tenderness, was fastened upon him, and the calmness of Christian faith overspread her countenance. 14 154 Hfltom OF SHED NOT A TEAR. Words by Mrs. Daw^. Music by T. H. Ba-Txt. ^^ m 3 j^ Shed not a tear o'er yoor friend's early bier, M M 3 5 AVhen I am gone, When I am gone ; ^^ 5 d d ^ Smile if the slow-tolling bell you should hear, b-A-J- 4*H*- When I am gone, I am gone. '^f=0 - ^ W ^ ]5i: Weep not for me when you stand round my grave, J!^ _^ i ^ ^ TMnk who has died bis be lov - ed to save.