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of this course. We know the character and dispositions of our own inmates by frequent association with them : and if this fidelity to the internal law, and consequent knowledge of the internal world, be acquired in early life, the parent may reasortably hope that it will never wholly lose its efficiency amid the bustles and anxieties of the world.
AN INTERESTING BIOGRAPHY.
Charleston, June 29th, 1836. MESSRS. EDITORS,-By presenting your readers with the following obituary notice, you will no doubt promote the good cause of experimental and practical piety among them.
Thomas Fletcher Sewell was born in Staunton, Va., 18th Sept., 1822, and died in Charleston, S. C., June 25th, 1836, aged fourteen years, nine months, and seven days.
From the first dawn of reason it was a matter of solicitude on our part that Thomas should have a religious education, hence, while his teachers were engaged in cultivating his mind, we put forth our humble endeavours to impress his heart with the great doctrines and moral duties of the Gospel. It will be seen, in the sequel, that our labour was not in vain in the Lord. Nearly two years have passed away since our dear boy (at the Wesley chapel in Baltimore city) was brought to experience a radical change of heart.
He joined the Church on probation, and after the expiration of six months, was admitted into full membership by the Rev. William Hamilton. When his name was announced, Brother Hamilton observed, that he was the son of one of the stationed ministers, and then prayed that the choicest blessings of Heaven might rest upon him. It will afford my former worthy colleague some satisfaction to learn that his prayer was answered.
We can truly say, that our son was a thoughtful, intelligent, and obedient child. The ordinances of the Lord's house and the means of grace were his delight; when his strength would admit, his seat was never vacant in the sanctuary or in the class-room.
To a considerable extent, he was a counsellor to me, a comfort to his mother, and a guide to his younger brothers and sisters. Often would he take his seat in the family circle, and edify all around with his pious conversation and modest deportment. His disease terminated in an obstinate chronic affection of the stomach and bowels, which it was beyond the power of medicine to remove. He observed to me on one occasion, that he was altogether resigned to his affliction;" I added, "Well you may, my son ; when God has declared, that all things shall work together for your good, and an apostle could even rejoice in tribulation. He replied, " Tribulation worketh patience, patience experience, experience hope, and hope maketh not ashamed, because the love of God is shed abroad in the heart,” (here he was so full he could proceed no farther,) I subjoined, " by the Holy Ghost, which is given unto us.” At another time he remarked, “ I have not been tempted for some weeks until yesterday, when the thought rushed into my mind,—'all Christians are tempted, you are not tempted, therefore you are no Christian. I soon saw," said he, " that this was a stratagem of the enemy to rob me of my confidence; for at the moment that he was telling me I was not tempted, he was tempting me to believe I was no Christian."
Often, when going to fill my appointments, this dear child would take me by the hand and in great weakness walk by my side to the place of worship, and having been seated, he would listen with prayerful attention to the discourse, and on our return from church, he has more than once given me an epitome of the sermon worthy of an older head.
We did hope, that our removal to the south would have produced a favourable change in his health ; this also was the opinion of his physician. The subsequent history of his case proved, however, that we were mistaken. Paroxysm followed paroxysm, until he was reduced almost to a walking skeleton. Finally, he was thrown upon his bed; here he lay for upwards of seven weeks, but, during the whole of that time, I do not recollect to have heard a murmuring word escape his lips. He was a monument of meekness, patience, and resignation. In his sufferings the grace of God was manifested in an eminent degree. He would often say, " The will of the Lord be done,”—“Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him.” He said to me, with peculiar emphasis, “ I am a poor, unworthy, unprofitable servant, but
Redeemer is very good to me, better to me than all my fears." He requested me to send his love to his friends and relations in Baltimore, and inform them of his peaceful and happy end.
Having, on one occasion, been told he desired to see me, I entered his room, and found him solemnly engaged in self-examination. He observed, “ There are certain marks laid down in Scripture by which we may try ourselves, and come at a knowledge of our state." He then quoted, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one for another.” “Now," said he, (with tears gushing from his eyes,)“ I love every creature God has made." He went on,
“ This is the love of God, that ye keep his commandments.” He then remarked, “ Here I have failed and come short." After a little conversation, in which I endeavoured to encourage him, the clouds were dissipated, and never again were they permitted to darken his prospects. He would sometimes say, “ Glory, glory to God; all is well-all is peace—no pain—no doubts--no fears; my way is straight to the haven of rest.” Coming in to see him early on Sabbath morning, he reached out his arms, and having embraced and kissed me, he gave me to understand he wished to have the sacrament administered to him. His request was attended to on the afternoon of the same day. It was a feeling time; we wept, and sung, and rejoiced together. At a subsequent period, the sacrament was again administered to him by the Rev. J. M'Coll, one of my colleagues, who was about to travel for his health, and whom Thomas greatly loved; but never expected to see again in the flesh. “On Jordan's stormy banks I stand," was his favourite hymn; he would pitch the tune, and when we supposed he was almost too feeble to speak, he would sing so loud, that the sweet intonations of his voice could be heard in the next room.
Many persons would call in to see him, and while they were seated at his bedside, it would frequently appear as if the eloquence of heaven flowed from his lips. One of the visitors remarked, “I
have doubted sometimes of the accounts I have read of the happy
“God nothing does or suffers to be done,
The end of all events as well as he !"
In the same proportion that the prospects of his recovery grew dark, the prospects of his future felicity grew bright. He would say,
"Jesus can make a dying bed
Feel soft as downy pillows are, &c.” He observed to me, “ My home is over Jordan;" and to his dear mother he remarked, " The Lord has cleansed my heart.” To the sisters, who sat up with him night after night, (for they were very kind,) he said, “ May the blessing of an obedient son come upon you," (at the same time looking at his mother and myself, and adding,) “ if you say so.” On Saturday morning we saw that he was sinking fast into the arms of death; but his soul was untramelled by the weakness of his body. He whispered out, "Glory, glory.” After this he said but little until near five o'clock in the afternoon. Having obtained relief from a violent struggle, his mother said, "Do not fear, or be dismayed, my dear son.” He replied, “O no, no, no!” Some of the friends coming in, we commenced singing his favourite hymn. He lay in a listening attitude, and at times a smile would steal over his countenance. Having finished the hymn, he asked for some drink; but on making the attempt, he failed to swallow it ; discovering this, he said, “I shall drink the flowing fountain.” Pointing to his mother, he intimated, that he would be her guardian angel. He then gave us the parting kiss, and, reaching out his dying hand, bade those friends farewell, who were surrounding his bed. I asked him, if all was peace, to raise his finger; he did so, and having opened his expressive eyes, as if to give the last lingering look of love, he immediately afterward, without a struggle, sigh, or groan, fell asleep in Jesus.
The loss of this our eldest son is a heavy stroke, but we regard it as a stroke of love. We mourn, we deeply mourn; but grace has kept us from murmuring. The most beautiful flower of our little
garden has been cut down. We cannot theorize on a subject of this kind; experiment will tax our feelings, and test our principles. We may say of our child, in conclusion, that he ripened soon, and soon he was taken from us. I remain, yours in the best of bonds,
For the Magazine and Quarterly Review.
THE DYING SAINT.
But in that final hour I crave, as boon
'Midst friends and scenes like these, with ev'ry care,
Causes and objects of the General Deluge, its history, and the tradi
tional evidence corroborating the Mosaic account. The following article is contained in a recent publication entitled, “The Sacred History of the World, attempted to be philosophically considered, in a series of letters to a son; by Sharon Turner, F. S. A. & R. A. S. L."-Harpers' edition. It embraces the subject of three letters, and is considered under three distinct heads.
1. "A few considerations on the causes and objects of the General Deluge, and on the state of our historical information concerning it.”
2. "Ancient traditions of the Deluge in Chaldea, Assyria, Egypt, Greece, Rome, Phenicia, Syria, Armenia, and Persia.”
3. “ Traditions of the Flood in China–in the Parsee Booksmin the Sanscrit-in Arabia and Turkey-and various nations of South America-also in North America and the South Sea Isles.”
We place these captions here that the remarks of the author may be embodied in the form of a regular article, and perused by the reader without interruption. We also omit his notes of reference, because we have not space to insert them ; they can be of little use except to such as may have a curiosity to examine the grounds of the evidence he adduces, in which cases reference may be had to his work. The author proceeds thus :
My Dear SYDNEY,-I have now to call your attention to that great event from which our present natural and social worlds have more immediately proceeded.
The anterior state of both was so different from what followed the awful revolution which terminated their previous condition, that the new order of things had many of the effects of a new creation. It established that system of life and course of nature under which the human race have ever since been subsisting. It is from the deluge that we may date the more direct commencement of the present state and mode of existence, and laws of human life and society; and therefore it deserves some consideration of its cause, objects, effects, and evidences.
It is a waste of ingenuity or labour to seek to account for it by natural causes; partial inundations may arise from local circumstances, and partial operations of ordinary agencies; but no existing laws could produce a universal destruction, because the regular course of nature is to continue as it is, and not to subvert itself. It is made to subsist, and to be what we find it to be; and it looks like a contradiction which approaches an impossibility, that established laws and agencies can at the same time be both preserving and destroying. We may likewise say, that if natural laws could then have produced a universal deluge, they would have since repeated the operation with reiterations like the cometary visitations;