A SERMON Preach'd at the FUNERAL OF Mrs. Ann Margetson, A Young LADY, under the Age of Fourteen Years.

IN THE Church of Clerkenwell: ON Sunday, November the 12th. 1693.

By RALPH LAMBERT, Chaplain to the Right Honourable, the Earl of Montague, and His Lady, Her Grace, the Dutchess of Albemarle; and Rector of Grindon in Staffordshire.

LONDON: Printed for Peter Buck at the Sign of the Temple, near the Inner-Temple-Gate in Fleetstreet, 1693.

Imprimatur,

Guil. Lancaster.

TO THE HONOURABLE ALICE MARGETSON.

Madam,

IT is not without good reason, that I presume to address this Sermon to Your Ladyship, though it be the meanest Offering that could be made, to the Memory of your deceased Daughter. All that is exhortatory in it, will more nearly concern your Ladyship than it can any other: Though I confess, 'tis an unwarrantable Assurance to imagine, That your Ladyship should regard such weak Argu­ments from me; who, in so many Occurrences of your Life, have been the highest Instance and Ar­gument of Religious Patience.

You know, Madam, that this Discourse was made publick first in the Pulpit, and now in the Press; by their Solicitation; whom I could neither with good Manners, nor good Nature deny; though [Page]I am sensible how much it will expose me. It is true, this is but a miserable Excuse for Printing so poor a Trifle; yet I am confident, that your La­dyship (to whom I think my self chiefly accountable in this Case) will allow it for reasonable. I am afraid it will as little prevail with my Reader for a favourable Reception, to tell him that it was begun, and finish'd in a piece of a Night: and at a Time, when my thoughts were under very great Disadvantages, from a most sensible Concern, for the Loss of so good and valuable a Friend. As your Ladyship knows the Truth, so I doubt not, you will grant the Equity of this Apology, and allow it as an Extenuation of its Defects; for others, I ex­pect to be told that the hasty Birth should as hastily have expired, and died immediately after the De­liverance. Perhaps, I am much of the same Opi­nion my self; but since I am much of the same Opi­nion my self; but since I am assur'd by some, and those no incompetent Judges, that the Sermon may be tolerable in the Perusal, and possibly, not wholly unprofitable; I chuse rather to believe them impli­citly, and so to comply with the Desires of several, who would have it Publick, than to be guilty of perhaps, a less pardonable Vanity; that I should fansie it worth any one's while, but especially, some of good Sense, and much Honour, to Flatter me.

The Subject I am sure, needs no Defence for be­ing Publish'd; and had it met with one capable of doing it Justice in the Inlargement, ought not in Reason or Charity, to be Suppress'd. As it is, I hope it may be Ʋsefull to some of Your Excellent Daughters, Young Relations, (Your Surviving Daughter particularly) who may be won to a con­stant Perseverance in the Ways of Religion and Virtue, by having so Fresh, and so Extraordinary an Example in their own Family.

I can hardly fear so ill an Effect from this, as that of making Your Ladyships Wound Bleed anew: For as it gives but a very imperfect Idea of Your unspeakable Loss, so I think it carries with it a lit­tle of the Weapon-salve Virtue, and if it Wound, it may Heal too. At least it should give Your Lady­ship some Comfort to remember, That You have gi­ven to the Choire of Heaven, an Eminent, Glorious Saint, and to Earth, one of its most perfect Pat­terns: And that, under the Age of Fourteen Years, and in the midst of all the Temptations of a very Vain, and Deceitful World.

So sublime a Theme, thus meanly handled, will very much need Your Ladyship's Pardon, and it will I hope, be some Plea for it, that I was not a willfull Offender: However, it is some Satisfaction [...]o me, thus to own the great Obligations that I [Page]have to Your Ladyship's Family, under whose Pa­tronage I first entred upon the Duties of my Fun­ction; and to whom, I shall think my self Happy to be any way Serviceable: And if my Capacities must be always Limited, nothing shall set Bounds to the heartiest Wishes, and most fervent Prayers, of theirs, and

Your Ladyship's Most Humble and Obedient Servant, R. LAMBERT.
EZEKIEL XXIV. 15, 16.

Also the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,

Son of man, behold, I take away from thee the desire of thine eyes with a stroke: yet neither shalt thou mourn nor weep, neither shall thy tears run down.

IF ever it were necessary to stay the violence of humane Passions, and stop a flood of Tears, which otherwise cannot but flow from the impression of a stroke so sudden, and heavy as the loss of the Lady, who now lies here before us.

If to be unexpectedly robb'd of the desire of our Eyes, one whom every Soul which knew, did love most passionately, does need all the arts of perswasion, to furnish us with Submission and Patience. In a word,

If the taking away one of the most perfect works of the God of Nature, at a time, when God and Nature had made her the most delightful and desirable, does extort all the powers of pious eloquence, to move us to resignation; Then, I presume, I have pitch'd upon a Subject, which must on this sad occasion, be more pertinent, and seasonable, than any other.

To all that knew her, I am sure it must be so; to those who did not, I am confident, that feeble, disproportion'd Character, which even in this hurry, and distraction of thoughts, I shall endeavour to give of her virtues, will make them judge it proper, convenient and reasonable.

We have lost the desire of our eyes, by a fatal, surprizing stroke of providence: but since an all-wise Providence has given it, we must neither mourn, nor weep, nor must our tears run down,

To discourse in some method on these words, I shall endeavour these three things,

  • I. First, To give you the full scope, meaning, and intention of them.
  • II. I shall shew in general, that tho the desire of our eyes, all that our souls pant and languish after, be taken away by a stroke of divine Ju­stice, yet it is our duty not to repine or grieve im­moderately,
  • [Page 3]III. I shall, in the third and last place, by a particular application to the subject before us, shew, what violent temptations we have to un­bounded sorrow, if the spirit of God had not by this caution forbid us to lament or mourn, or that our tears should run down. And first,

1. For the due explaining of the words, it is necessary to have recourse to the occasion of them. Which was this:

The Prophet Ezekiel had it in charge, to de­nounce God's just and terrible judgments against the stiff-neck'd, rebellious Jews: whom he warns of their approaching vengeance, by many signifi­cant, but mysterious symbols: and 'tis probable, that they persisting impenitent, the pious Pro­phet was tired out with making so many and so fruitless addresses to them: and therefore might with some reluctance, continue the task of ineffectual preaching, which God had laid upon him; and perhaps like Jonas, did fear, ra­ther the peoples fury against himself, than that a Mercifull God, would perfect the judgments which he was to declare against them; and as it should seem, he was touch'd with an unwar­rantable compassion, towards his obstinate, and utterly rejected Countrymen.

Now it pleas'd God to bring him to a perfect, [Page 4]and obedient sense of his duty, by inflicting a sud­den and severe judgment upon him; to make him perservere in a ready exercise of his prophetick office. His Wife, the desire of his eyes, is taken away by a stroke; and to make it at once a Judg­ment, and a Prophecy, he is neither to mourn nor weep, nor give any other instance of sorrow. So that the primary sence, seems to be this. Because, O son of Man, you have an irrational, and ground­less compassion for your degenerate Countrymen, therefore the word of the Lord comes unto you saying; I will punish you for endeavouring to spare those, whom I have destin'd to destru­ction. I will take away the Wife of your bosom, the beloved of your soul, with a stroke; with a sudden and unexpected execution; and as I do to her, so I determine to do to the stiff-neck'd Jews; but neither for her nor for them, shall you weep or mourn, or shall your tears run down. This I take to be the first and literal intention of the Words.

But because it is usual with the spirit of God, besides the literal and immediate sense which the words of a Prophecy import, to contain under them a mystical, or a moral sence, relating either to the coming of Christ, or to some religious duty thereby injoyn'd us to be perform'd: I shall venture to give you one instance of the first, and [Page 5]then shew, that the words of my text are a plain evidence of the latter.

That besides the direct sence, and first intention of a prophecy, it does sometimes include a My­stical sence, more agreeable to its natural import than the other: I shall produce that celebrated Pro­phecy of Isa. 7.14. Behold a virgin shall con­ceive, &c. The Occasion of this Prophecy was King Ahaz's dread of the Kings of Syria and Israel, and distrusting of God for his deliverance from them. But the Prophet gives him a sign of God's intenti­ons to deliver him: viz. A virgin shall conceive, &c. Now 'tis plain, the Words must in their im­mediate sence, referr to something which should come to pass very shortly; otherwise, how could they be on assurance to Ahaz of a speedy delive­rance? It could not import him, that the Messias should be born of a Virgin about 700 years after: but allowing the first intended sence to be, that before one who is now a Virgin, can conceive and bear a son, and that son know how to refuse the evil, and choose the good, God will deliver Ahaz. Then it evidently carries along with it, a Mysti­cal, prophetick sence, of the Messiah to be born of a Virgin, so long time afterwards.

And thus, the Words of my Text, tho' they pri­marily import, that the Prophet should lose his Wife, [Page 6]and the Jews suffer vengeance for their sins; and that by reason of his error, and their obstinacy, he was to lament for neither. They do besides this, con­tain a most profitable and necessary Injunction, and which is the genuine meaning of them, no less than the other; and that is, that though it please God to take away the Desire of our Eyes, all that is most dear and valuable to us upon Earth, and that with a Stroak, with a suprizing, unusual Effect of his Wise Providence, yet we must neither mourn, nor weep, neither must our Tears run down. That is, we must not suffer our selves to be so carried away by the Impetuousness of our Passions, or the Resentment of our Loss, as to murmur or repine against the Almighty; forget his Dominion and Soveraignty over us; find fault with the Dispensations of his Providence, or do any thing else, which may give the least cause of Suspicion, that we do not intirely resign our selves to every Effect of his infinite Wisdom and Power. And thus I have endeavoured to give you the full Importance and Meaning of the Words.

II. I come now in the Second Place, to shew you the Reasonableness of the Duty; that though the Desire of our Eyes, all that our Souls Pant, and Languish after, be taken away by a Stroke of Di­vine Providence, yet it is our indespensible Duty (in [Page 7]general) not to repine or grieve Immoderately.

And here, I might Proceed to shew, upon what Foundation, this intire Subjection to the Will of Heaven, does depend: That when we Consider the unlimited Power and Dominion, which the Almighty has over us, and every thing to us be­longing, as he is our Creatour and Governour, our Redeemer and Preserver; as he is the Sove­reign Disposer of all the Works of his own Crea­tion, we ought never to be uneasie, however in­supportable we may fansie any Evil that befalls us. Had it pleas'd him to make our whole Life on Earth, one unallay'd Composition of all that we call bitter and tormenting; yet when we reflect, that it is the Work of the Omnipotent, and that he is accountable to none for his Actions; this one Consideration should suppress and stifle all the Clamours, that peevish humane Nature is apt in these Extremities, to send forth against its Maker. But we should never repine, even at such a con­tinued Scene of Sufferings, if we remember, that upon these Terms, Heaven is a great and happy Purchace, and to be one Moment there, is more than sufficient Recompence for whole Ages of Mi­sery. Where then is the least shadow for immode­rate Grief or Murmuring, if never ending Ages of infinite Bliss, be the Assurance, and Reward of [Page 8]what is not comparatively one Moment of Pain▪

I might likewise here argue from the Wisdom of God in the governing of the World, What an Absurdity it were to give Vent to any of our unruly and unmanerly Passions, and suffer them to reproach God for the Effects of his Providence▪ who not only once by his Word made all things, but in the Psalmist's Phrase, has made them conti­nually, i. e. Were his wise Influence one Mo­ment withdrawn, the World with all things in it, would immediately cease to be: And since we are assur'd, that his Wisdom is exerted in go­verning every particular Event and Action here below, it were the most irrational Madness in mortal Man, to controul the Wisdom of his Ma­ker, and charge the Author of his Being and Preser­vation, foolishly.

I might deduce from every Attribute of God, most certain and infallible Arguments, for an ab­solute Submission to his holy Will and Pleasure; and shew from each of them, that no Evil, how intolerable soever we think it, can at all justify the rude, daring Out-cries of any Tongue or Heart against him, since he is Righteous in all his Ways, and Holy in all his Works: And that if we had only what we deserve at his Hands, to us belongs nothing but Shame and Confusion of [Page 9]Face for ever. But I shall not insist on these plain, and irresistable Reasonings from the Con­sideration of God and his Attributes.

Nor shall I spend your Time, in exposing the Vanity and Emptiness of those things, by the loss of which we are pleas'd too often to make our selves Miserable; such as the Rich­es, Honours, and Preferments of this World, the Pleasures of Sense, and infinite other tran­sitory Enjoyments, which we by lusting af­ter them, do make the Desire of our Eyes, and busie the Faculties of our Souls: It were easie from the very nature of these unsatisfy­ing, empty things, to shew, that it were the ex­tremest Folly, for the loss of them, to Weep, or Mourn, or suffer our Tears to run down: But I chuse rather as more pertinent to my Text, and suitable to this melancholy Occa­sion, to inquire how far an immoderate Grief is justifiable, for the irreparable loss of a Dear Friend, one that is truly the Desire of our Eyes, and the Joy of our Hearts, the Partner of all our Enjoyments, and of all our Afflicti­ons, one endued with all the engaging good Qualities we would wish for, to settle our high­est Affections upon: (In a Word) one by the loss of whom, we may justly say, we have lost [Page 10]the better, and dearer part of our selves. If a grief without bounds for such a one as I here de­scribe, be utterly inexcusable, then certainly it is so for any one, that we can suppose to die, and our selves to be sufferers by their deaths. If we may be allow'd to afflict and torment our selves for any, it must be for those, who leave the world, and their friends destitute of those extraordinary accomplishments which they own'd and made all others sensible of.

But alas, if we indeed fansie that our departed friends were owners of those excellent endow­ments which made them admired, and desirable in the eyes of men: I mean such men as are proper judges of what is excellent and what not; will we not allow the searcher of all hearts to distinguish those qualities as well as we? Or shall we dare to re­pine, because he has chosen what is fittest for him­self? If God has endow'd them with such graces as make them quickly ripe, and early prepared for Heaven; shall we envy him the fruits of his own in­finite bounty? and murmur because he receives the interest and improvements of his own talents? This were, besides the Presumption, one of the most unreasonable, and unjust quarrels against Heaven, that aspiring man could think of to forfeit the protection of Almighty God, and ruine him­self and his hopes withall.

Shall we arrogantly expostulate with God, because he has taken out of this vale of sin and misery, one that himself had qualified to add to the number of the Heavenly Choir, and to sing everlasting Hallelujahs before the Throne of Infinite Purity? I suppose, if the question were fairly stated to every immoderate Mour­ner, whether they grieve, because the friend they have lost is more happy, than 'tis possible he or she could be upon Earth; I think none would venture to talk so in­consistently of Friendship it self, as to answer in the affirmative: But would (if they have any sense of the joys of ano­ther Life) readily own, that their sor­row proceeds from some other motive; and they durst not reflect so unthankful­ly on Heaven, nor wish so injuriously to their Friend. So that they can own no real spring of immoderate grief, to come from any change that has happen'd to the person, they so dearly lov'd. It must therefore flow from the alteration, that is come to themselves; that they have lost somewhat which possibly might have made them more happy, and their life [Page 12]more comfortable; and this is the most usual and truest original of all our grief; but let it not be call'd a grief for a depart­ed friend, but an indecent fondness of surviving self: It all undoubtedly pro­ceeds from the consideration of our own particular happiness, and can be ascrib'd to no other, than the worst of all passions, that of self-love. We love our selves so wonderfully well, that we cannot be sa­tisfied, our friend should gain, even infi­nite happiness, by our loss. This, and no other is the genuine interpretation of all violent sorrow, where we suppose the deceas'd person, happy: And how far this is lamenting for a friend and not in­dulging a most inexcusable passion, let who will judg: I know, where the stream of sorrow runs with a full current, 'tis in vain to oppose Counsel, whilst the Floodgates are open: Passions are deaf to all manner of arguments, and not in this only, but in every other strong inordi­nate emotion of the Soul, one may as lit­tle expect to compose it, while the pa­roxism lasts, as to silence and calm a tempestuous Sea with Syllogisms. But [Page 13]let it have leasure to recollect, to consi­der when the hurry and disorder is over, and it cannot but assent to the truth of this self-evident Assertion, That who­ever believes his friend infinitely happy, by a change of Earth for Heaven, must own all indecent grief to be the effect of his own loss and resentment; and not at all of the others glory.

Indeed, if one to whom I was bound by any tye of Relation or Friendship had clos'd an impious Life (as is most usual) with a wicked and despairing death; then I have too just reason to mourn for the de­ceased, especially if I have been instru­mental, or accessary to the course of his impieties: I may then perhaps fondly hope to quench his flames by a Flood of Tears; but sure they would be much bet­ter spent in washing away the guilt of our own sins, and not in striving to revoke the fixt unalterable Decrees of Heaven.

Now for those who are under no such apprehensions, about the state of the per­sons Soul, whom they lov'd; but have good and sufficient grounds to reckon, up­on its Eternal bliss; I must confess, I [Page 14]know not by what name to call their un­accountable trouble; they cannot surely grieve, that their friend has obtain'd that Crown of Glory which it was his whole Study and business to press for­ward to; a Crown so infinitely more glo­rious, than all the varnisht greatness of this life, that it bears not the least con­ceivable proportion to it. A Crown, of which this deceas'd young Lady had an anticipating Vision in her sickness, & such lively apprehensions in her health, That by patient continuing in well doing, she made it evi­dent, That she sought only for glory, honour and immortality, and has now, (I doubt not) obtain'd Eternal Life.

I could easily enlarge on this second head of discourse, but designing it ra­ther as an introduction to what follows, and to shew what grounds we have to obey the Prophets injunction, not to weep, nor, mourn, tho' we have lost the desire of our Eyes: And because I knew this a most seasona­ble Topick, when so many of this young Ladies Friends and Relations are present; I cannot in Justice to a most devout young Virgin, and (I had almost said) [Page 15]in charity to all that hear me, forbear my weak endeavours, to make the subject I have insisted on, pertinent and useful, upon her account to Strangers.

3. And therefore I shall in the third and last place, by a particular applicati­on to the subject before us, shew what strong and violent temptations we have, to unbounded sorrow, if the word of the Lord, had not come unto us also, and said, that we should neither weep, nor mourn, neither should our Tears run down.

The departed Virgin Saint, the eleva­ted subject of this sad solemnity, had not attain'd to the age of fourteen Years, when the Angel of the Lord, found her fit for Heaven, and therefore took her away in the blooming of her perfections; to present her a spotless, glorious Soul to his, and her great Lord and Master. And perhaps it may raise admiration in some, to think, what can be said of a person so young, as to need a caution a­gainst immoderate Grief, before we dare to attempt her Character. I am not ig­norant, how usual it is, on these occasi­ons to talk Hyperbolically, and to mag­nifie [Page 16]the smallest glimmerings of virtue, into the bulk of perfect, and solid habits; but I must reckon my self secure from any, danger of out-stripping my Subject, as she was, from being equal'd by any competitor of her Years, in the paths of Religion and Virtue: And I have just reason to fear falling far short, in the Description of her Divine Excellencies, which nothing, but being a constant witness of them, both in her health and sickness, could enable me to display tole­rably, or give any real and just Idea of them.

And to begin with those, which were, and which she thought, less properly her own. Nor should be mention'd at all, if her circumstances, as a Person of qua­lity, and a stranger, did not seem to ex­tort it.

She had the advantage of an honoura­ble parentage, both by her Father and Mo­ther; by him, being the Grandehild of the late Lord Arch Bishop of Armagh, and Primate of all Ireland. And by her, Grand­child to the late Lord Viscount Charlemont of Ireland: Known best in his own Coun­try, [Page 17]by the inseparable Epithet of The good Lord Charlemont. This noble des­cent she yet made much more so, by ad­ding many New Virtues to those which are hereditary to both those Families. She was born to a very plentiful Fortune, which I name, merely to shew, that she was never once exalted with the thoughts of it: And tho' it has been for some time, much at her own disposal, she desir'd to be distinguish'd by it, no other way than in taking very frequent opportunities of doing good; and I have never observ'd her more chearful on any occasion, than when it came in her way, to give Alms to the poor.

I shall add to these exterior qualities, that of a Body most perfectly beautiful; adorn'd with such and so many delightful Elegancies, that I think, very few of her Years could pretend to be her Paralles, and wholly without any of those Arts; and Affectations, by which too many fancy, they improve their Makers Han­dywork: and yet so far was she from as­suming any thing to her self, upon the score of this or any other endowment, [Page]that I never heard any one mention'd as her Rival, to whom she did not heartily and readily submit. Nor was she ever pleas'd, (that I saw) with those insinua­ting impertinencies, so powerful upon many others, of being told, that she was extraordinary handsome. No, all her care and sollicitude about her Body, was to make it a Temple fit for the reception of the Holy Ghost. But I dwell too long on these outward transient accomplishments, when so many internal excellencies deserve a more particular and suitable [...]arge­ment, than I am able to give them.

Her Wit was great and solid: Not sub­ject to those flashes of Repartee and Ral­lery, which some young Ladies esteem to be the Abstract and sum of all ingenuity, and place their whole endeavours to gain a pert, canting Faculty, which when ob­tain'd, makes them despis'd and hated. But hers, was like that of her Saviour, and it was all laid out on that saving knowledg, how to grow in Wisdom, and Piety, and Favour with God and Man.

To her God she never neglected her Duty; for besides frequent occasional de­votions, [Page]she paid a constant Sacrifice of Prayers and Praises, Morning and Even­ing to her Creator: Nor was it a duty perform'd only for custom, and form's sake, as it is by many at her Years, not sensible of better motives; but having the advantages of an excellent example and education, Her devotions were all Solemn, Fervent and serious; and it was her con­stant custom, after having pour'd out her Soul to God in Prayer, to read the Psalms, and Lessons, and publick Service of the day, before she address'd her self to any other employment.

And then, she did not apply her self to those diversions, which are the usual en­tertainments of her Years, and her For­tune: But the greatest part of her time was divided, between her Book and her Needle. And 'tis strange to observe her choice of Authors, being not restrain'd from the use of any, except such as were sinful. But her Piety carried her prin­cipally to the perusal of Religious and moral Books, in these she busied her self with the greatest pleasure, and (I think) never had the patience to read through [Page]one Play, or Romance, tho' sufficiently qualified to apprehend all that was witty and pleasant, and to distinguish what was useful in them.

This fixt and constant employment of her time, had begot in her such due and lively apprehensions of the Majesty of God, that she fear'd no evil in competition with that, of committing any wilfull offence against him. She had almost a natural an­tipathy to Lying, nor was her passion a­gainst any person ever rais'd so high, as when she was provok'd by being told a palpable and impudent Lye. She had an equal aversion to the Epidemical sin of railing, and could not with any patience endure to hear another secretly and inju­riously traduc'd, and ever would extenu­ate what was hardly said, if the case could bear it. Such a veneration she had for the Name of God, that, as I never heard her speak with the least shadow of Irreverence, in matters relating to him, so I am sure, she never had the least reverence for any, whom she thought guilty of that presum­ption. And as it was scarce possible at her Years, to have a more perfect knowledg of [Page]the duty she ow'd to her Maker, so she was no less scrupulously careful in observing it, allowing for humane infirmities: And thus much for her Duty to God.

As for her obedience to the Commands of the second Table; never any shew'd it more intirely, and more chearfully: Since the Death of her Father (Major Marget­son kill'd at the first Siege of Lime­rick. who lost his Life not long ago in the defence of his Reli­gion, and Country in Ireland) her Mother has reap'd all the solid bene­fits of an unerring duty: And as she never disputed her Commands, so she shew'd her obedience to be the effect of choice, and not constraint; by following chiefly the Pious president of a discreet and virtuous Mother. And she exerted all the Powers of her Soul, to endeavour the comforting her afllicted Mother, when any trouble had befallen, or any Melancholy had seiz'd her. So true a Comforter she was, that I doubt her Mother will think the in­junction of my Text, a very hard saying, and who can bear it, not to burst into Floods of Tears, when the desire of her Eyes and the joy of her Soul is ravish'd from her.

I shall not need to say that she never was immodest, even in a Thought; for I always look'd upon her, as approaching very near a state of innocence: And as in her recol­lections on her death Bed, she said, she hop'd, that she never had done an injury to any Body: So I am confident, she never admitted one thought unworthy of her self: In short; to speak of her general de­meanour, let it suffice to say that she was Affable, Civil, and courteous to all: And that, as she never willingly disoblig'd the meanest; so she never was guilty of a com­plaisance to the greatest, which had the least appearance of criminal or sinful. And, having said thus much imperfectly, of the excellencies of her Life, I shall pre­sume to detain you a little longer, in the most useful exemplary passages of her Death.

Oh! That it were as easy to imitate her, as it is, never to forget her. We must all sooner or later pass the same way, how happy, if with the same innocence, and resignation of mind? She sicken'd just a week before she died; and tho', all that time she lay under the terrible pains, of a [Page]Fever and a Pleurisie; yet not one word escap'd from her, to betray the least mur­muring or impatience. But in her seve­rest Agonies, had always that Heavenly Ejaculation; My God, my God look upon me: And when ever exhorted to resign her self, to the will of the Almighty, with what an astonishing chearfulness did she do so, and would say, I put my trust in thee O Lord! Into thy Hands O God, I put my self.

One thing very remarkable in her beha­viour I cannot omit: Upon her first fall­ing ill, she desir'd most ardently to receive the blessed Sacrament (the reason and end of its institution, with the requisite prepa­rations, she understood clearly) but her Distemper growing violently upon her, gave me some cause to fear, that she might not have an intermission of pain, to receive it with all necessary devotion; Yet, how wonderfully did the mercy of God, con­cur with her most Holy desire? So far, that tho' in the midst of her torments, she never once groan'd, during the time of the Celebration; but receiv'd it, with so much piety, such Heavenly aspirations of Soul; that sure, the Symbolical Body of our Sa­viour, [Page]was never a Guest to greater purity, or to more passionate Holy desires: And when it was finish'd, said, now I hope, my God will have mercy upon my Soul; be­fore this I was under apprehensions and doubts of danger. Her thoughts were al­most constantly fixt, in meditating on ano­ther life, and such an humble sense she had of her own merits, or fitness for that state, that, when she ask'd one who attend­ed her, whether they thought she should be receiv'd into Heaven? And being an­swer'd yes: she had no reason to doubt, or to that purpose: Oh (she replied) I hope the Lord will be merciful, tho' I be unworthy.

I frequently discours'd to her of her dis­position to die, if God should ordain that sickness for her last: But O! What Hea­venly, what religious, what more than human answers have I receiv'd from that departed Saint; that she saw nothing in the World that could tempt her to a wish to live in it; that she was happy being now to be deliver'd from a wicked and false World: (which was her own fre­quent expression) and so lively a Sense she [Page]had, of the joys of Heaven, that she told me, they had made her in love with dying, as a sure and sudden method of instating her in glory.

It was wonderful to see how all along she suppress'd her Groans and Sighs, lest she might give disturbance to those about her, who had too sad reason to be con­cern'd, and till her last day, would beg of her nearest Relations, to keep out of her Chamber: being more sensibly afllicted with their sorrows, than her own suffer­ings.

But when she found the time of her Death draw near (for she was sensible to the moment of her dissolution) with what eager embraces did she clasp, her almost dying Mother, and with her latest Breath, beg'd earnestly of her not to grieve, or be afllicted for her, for she was happy. And observing the Tears to fall from her Mo­thers Cheeks; she then, tho' in the Agonies of Death, yielded to a filial Sympathy, and it was the only time of her sickness that she let fall any Tears from her own Eyes, lest she should be thought repining, or impatient; but she quickly ceas'd, and [Page]repeats her dying requests to her belov'd Mother, that she would forbear to grieve for her, knowing, how infinitely through Gods mercy, she should be a Gainer by the change. And here the Scene grows too sad and tragical for any description; I have not words, and if I had, I am not a­ble, nor unconcern'd enough to represent her in her last expiring Gasps. I can only say, she resign'd her Soul, with a most pious chearfulness, with an humble Holy confidence, into the Hands of a most faith­ful and merciful Mediatour, who I doubt not, has embrac'd and bless'd it, and en­throned it in one of the most glorious mansions of Heaven.

Let us Christians endeavour to lead the innocent Holy Life of this extraordinary example; and then we shall not fail to die the Death of this Righteous Virgin, and that our last end, may be like hers. Which God grant, &c.

The END.

This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. Searching, reading, printing, or downloading EEBO-TCP texts is reserved for the authorized users of these project partner institutions. Permission must be granted for subsequent distribution, in print or electronically, of this EEBO-TCP Phase II text, in whole or in part.