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MEMOIR 



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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 



^ 




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TMnk who has died bis be lov - ed to save.