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We have already seen, was formed by a long period of time, during which an association of the particular friends there was some hope that their son and adherents of that eminent preach might be alive, and the grief which er. Mr. Hodge “ used the office of a they suffered when they were at last deacon well ;" sustaining it with great obliged to consider it as a melanchcly fidelity and reputation to the day of fact that their only child was no more, his death. On his side, as well as can better le supposed than describ. on that of his wife, & regard to relj. ed. It is of more importance to regious comfort and improvement had mark, that their distress, great as it a governing influence in the choice was, never sunk them into dejection which they made of each other as or despondence, never brought from partners for life ; and experience fully them any unavailing or unchristian demonstrated, that on both sides à complaints, but was borne with a wise and happy choice had been resignation truly Christian, and a formed. Seldom has religion appear. fortitude truly exemplary: Mrs. ed to more advantage in the conjugal Hodge, who had both hopes and fears, relation, than in that which subsisted in regard to the real piety of her son, between Mr. and Mrs. Hodge. For told the writer of these memoirs that nearly forty years they were emphati. she had passed many an hour in mus. cally “helps-mete” to each other in ing on what was probably his eternal Christian duty, and in their journey state. “After all," said she, “it to the heavenly rest. “They walked must be left entirely with a sovereign before the Lord in all his ordinances and holy God; but I may, must, and and commandments," with a blame. do hope, if I get to heaven, to find lessness of which the examples are him there." rare.
The death of her daughter, who Coming together with a very small was her first child, she has been portion of worldly property between heard to affirm, gave her very little them, they bad to provide for their disturbance. “I had been married subsistence by their own efforts. eleven years," said she to an intimate These efforts were mutual, strenuous, friend, and had no child. Nor was I aud constant; and by the smiles of very anxious on the subject, till on a Providence, such was their success certain occasion, I was much interestin business, that they were able noted in seeing an infant devoted to God only to live in a comfortable and re in baptism, in our church. I was putable manner; but to show a most then forcibly struck with the thought, amiable example of hospitality, to that a Christian parent possesses an perforin numerous acts of charity and unspeakable privilege, who gives birth liberality, to be among the foremost to an immortal being, and is permit. in the support of the gospel, and, af- ted to give it away to God, in this his "ter all, to remain possessed of a hand. instituted ordinance. On the spot I some capital,
fervently prayed for this privilege, if This pious couple had two children, it should be consistent with God's a son and a daughter. The daugh- will to grant it; and I solemnly vow. ter died in infancy; but the son lived ed that if it should be granted, I to grow up, to receive a liberal educa. would, by his grace assisting me, tion, to study physic, and to give unreservedly devote to him the child promise of future usefulness to the which he should give me. My world, and of comfort to his parents. prayer was answered, my vow was But these expectations were soon performed, and my child was taken blasted. During the revolutionary to God, all within a year.” war, he went to sea, on a voyage of During the life of deacon Hodge, enterprize, with a number of other his house was constantly open for the promising youth of the city of Philadel. reception of all evangelical clergy men nhia, and no certain information was who visited the city. The cordial erer received afterwards, either of welcome which always met them them, or the vessel in which they there, and the pleasure which they sailed. The probability is, that all both gave and received, made them were buried together in the bosom of love to resort to this happy dwelling. the ocean. The anxiety which Mr. To many of them it was, for several and Mrs. Hodge experienced through years, a home, to which they went
with as much freedom as they would have felt in going to a house of their own. Such, indeed, was the deep interest which both Mr. and Mrs. Hodge took in every thing that re. lated to the church, such their emi. nent piety, and such the influence of their opinion upon others, that their sentiments on many interesting subjects, were asked by their clerical visitors, and are well known to have had weight in several important pub. lic concerns.
The house of deacon Hodge was also remarkable as a place in which religious associations, and assemblies of various kinds, were frequently held. Pious conferences, Prayer meetings, and the exhortations of the ministers of the gospel to as many as the house and yard could contain, #ere here always welcome, often witnessed, and in many instances eminently blessed.
A general outline has now been exhibited of the life and habits of this pious couple, for a long series of years. Harmony between themselves, active attention to necessary worldly business, with a singular beneficence, charity, and piety, rendered them shining examples of practical and primitive Christianity. * Deacon Hodge died A. D. 1783. By his will he left the use of nearly his whole estate to his wife during her life, and at her death, made it a fund for the education of poor and pious youth for the gospel ministry, in the college of New Jersey. Mrs. Hodge bore the loss of her husband, not indeed without keen distress, for all her feelings were remarkably acute, but yet with such a becoming and sweet submission to the divine will, as was extremely amiable and instructive. She cherished a fond remembrance of her husband through the whole remainder of her life, on all occasions she honoured his memory, often spoke of him with tenderness, and yet, after her first sorrows, nerer with much apparent emotion, but in the same manner in which she would have mentioned a dear absent friend, whom she shortly expected to meet again. Happy spirits ! ye are now united, never more to part.
The house of Mrs. Hodge, after the death of her husband, was the same hospitable mansion as before, the
same place for sacred conferences, and meetings for prayer aud religious improvement. One of these meet. ings was held weekly at her house till a short time before her death, and was, as she acknowledged, a valuable substitute for the privilege of public worship, from which her in. firmities at that time often detained her. For many years after the death of her husband she likewise continued the business of shop-keeping, to which she had long been accustomed. He had left her an easy maintenance, independently of any exertions of her own. But she continued in her for. mer occupation from considerations, which manifested equally her benevolence and piety, and her good sense and knowledge of human nature. The income from her shop, which was considerable, was almost wholly applied to charitable uses, aud seme. times she even added to it from her other resources. Thus, though she did not labour for her own subsistence, she had the satisfaction of providing more extensively than she could otherwise have done for the poor, the friendless, and the pious : and while she performed an important duty, gratified highly the feel. ings of her heart. But she also well knew the effect of habit on herself, She kuew that having long been accustomed to fill up a large portion of the day with active business, she would be likely to feel the want of it, both in body and mind, when it should be discontinued. According. ly, when her infirmities at last com. pelled her to relinquish her employ. ment, she declared that she regretted it, principally because she found it unfavourable to her religious state. “ You are very fortunate, madam," said a friend to her pleasantly, “very fortunate, indeed, in having no care or anxiety about the world; no busi. ness to take up your time or attention ; nothing to do from morning till night, but to read, and meditate, and pray, and converse with your friends." “ For all that," answered she, “I have not half so much com. fort, not even in religion, as when I was bustling half the day behind the counter. I need more variety than I now get. I become moped and stu. pified for the want of something to rouse me. Besisle all this, vain, fool.
ish, wicked, and vexatious thoughts be useful. They will be closed with are almost constantly working their an attempt to give the most striking way into my mind, because I have features of her character, so much of that time, which you talk Among the natural powers of her of, for meditation. And, in addition mind, sbe was most of all distinguishto all, I become lazy and indolent, ed by that faculty which has been deand do nothing as I ought to du. No, nominated common sense, and of which I was a great deal better off when I it has been truly said, that “though had some worldly business to which no science, it is fairly worth the sevI could attend moderately. It did en.” Except on the subject of religme good in every way. I must get 10n, she had read but little ; and in along as well as I can, now that I am what is usually understood by mental incapable of business, but I find it no improvement, she had made no great advantage, but the contrary, to be progress. Her powers of judging without it.” It is believed that this and distinguishing were naturally was the language of truth, of nature, strong, and these she had improved of experience. Those who have led a by thinking much, and observing busy life, should contract their busi accurately. Hence she seldom gave ness as age advances, but they will an opinion which did not deserve to seldom find it beneficial, even to a be heard with respect, and which was bife of religion, to be wholly unemploy.
not proved by experience to be just. ed in worldly concerns.
This was the source of the influence Mrs. Hodge had three attacks of an which she possessed, and which was apoplectic or paralytic kind, within singularly great. Often has the wri. the last sixteen years of ber life. But ter of these sketches remarked, that she wonderfully recovered from them, she was a striking example of what and possessed all her faculties, in a solid sense, sterling integrity, and degree of vigour beyond what is usual. sincere piety will effect, without the ly seen in persons of her age, till advantages of refined education, great about two years before her death. wealth, or even of that sex which Then her decay became rapid and usually claims the highest respect. visible. On the 16th of Dec. 1805, It was his belief that for many years, in going to bed, she was seized with her opinion had more influence in a fit. Medical aid was used to re. the large religious society to which store her, and she recovered so far she belonged, than that of any other as to know and speak to those who individual in it. Yet it may be rewere about her, especially to the pas. marked with truth, and the truth is tors of the church to which she be much to her honour, that she did not longed. In the course of the evening, appear to know the influence that she they both, at different times, prayed possessed. She was truly diffident with her, and she appeared capable of and unassuming, and never intruded joining in the service, at least for a her opinions upon others, nor deliverpart of the time. But her mind was ed them as if she supposed they were evidently in a broken, wandering, and important." enfeebled state. Still, however, it She possessed great sensibility, and seemed to draw to the centre which strong passions, which caused her mahad so long attracted it. Help, ny a sore conflict. Yet the united inLord Jesus! help ; come Lord Je. fluence of religion and good sense, sus, come quickly,' were sentences had given her as a habit, a remarkathat she often repeated. She had a ble self-command; so that she was succession of slight paralytic affec. capable of managing, with a happy tions during the night, and early in address, the most refractory spirits of the morning, fell asleep in the Lord, others. She could remain self-posexpiring without a sigh, a struggle, sessed and silent, till the time for or so much as the motion of a single administering reproof was come, and muscle.
then give it with the most complete Few persons in the city of Philadel. effect. Many examples of this were phia had so extensive a religious known to her acquaintance. acquaintance as Mrs. Hodge. To Kindness and affability were dis, them these memoirs will be interest. tinguishing features of her character: ing, and to others a part of them may They rendered her company unusual.
ly agreeable and pleasing ; so that conversion and piety of a native Afrieven the young and the gay sought it, can woman, whom her husband had and were often delighted with it. purchased, and whom she had assid. They could not but admire in her a uously taught the principles of relig. strictness of piety, united with a ten- ion. This woman died at last in derness, an attention, and a desire to Christian faith and triumph, uttering, give pleasure, which they seldom in broken English, sentiments that found. To the last she was visited would have adorned the lips of the by the young as well as by the old. oldest and best instructed saint.
Her benevolence and liberality hare already been mentioned. Many will deed eminent, but its peculiar charac. feel their loss, and, ungrateful as the teristic was humility. Those who world is, many will long remember had heard much of her did not al. with gratitude the benefits she con- ways find their expectations realized, ferred.
when they became acquainted withi She was remarkable for sincerity. her. They found that she was not There was nothing that she abhorred one of those who anticipate continumore than dissimulation or hypocrisy ally and with confidence the heavenly She could not endure it in others, joys, who are raised by this above all and she stood at the greatest distance fear of death, and who seem to be from it herself. She loved to hear rapped into a better world while they and to speak the truth in all its sim. remain in this. A person who, from plicity. On some occasions, the what he had heard of her, was led to frankness and explicitness of her believe that she possessed something manner gave offence. Such instanc. of this character, after a short ac! es, however, were not numerous; for quaintance, offered to present her though she would never speak what with a handsome copy of Mrs. Rowe's she did not believe, she was often si. Devout Exercises of the Heart. lent, when she differed from the Her reply to himn was this : “I know sentiments of others, and when she soviething of that book, Sir, and I thought that speaking would do no thank you sincerely for offering it to good. But her silence on many such me. But I must say that it is a book occasions was eloquent, for it was which does not suit me. I wish I not easy for her countenance to con was more like Mrs. Rowe than I am. ceal any sentiment that she strongly But her exercises were so far superior felt.
to mine, and her descriptions of them In domestic life she was indeed a are so strong, that, to tell you the bright example. Intent on doing truth, they rather discourage me than good in this, which is the principal help me. If you please, let the book sphere of female usefulness, and hav. be given to Mrs I think it will
she brought up a number of orphan or destitute children, received several female boarders into her house,* and made it a charitable asylum to others who had once seen betier days. Ma ny of these, especially the youth, re. ceived the most essential benefit from her example, her conversation, her instruction, her admonitions, and her prayers. A domestic incident on which she loved to dwell was the
no affectation, to which indeed she was a stranger. She believed that others had made attainments far beyond her own, attainments which she wished to make, and mourned that she wanted ; but to which, as she believed she did not possess them, she would make no pretensions. There were some considerable por. tions of her life, and many short sea. sons scattered through almost the whole of it, in which she rejoiced and triumphed in God her Saviour. But as a habit she did by no means possess the “full assurance of hope."! On the contrary, she had frequent doubts and fears, and great anxiety about her spiritual state ; though never, after her first exercises, did she sink into any thing like despon,
* The last of these was the aged and amiable wiriow of the late Rev. Dr. Finley, whose company and conversation Tere the principal eurihly solace of Mrs. Hodge in the last years of her life: And to whom the writer here begs leave to dedicate these memoirs of her dear departe i fricad.
much greater effects will result unto God, that which I see nos, from the influence which God teach thou me. The Psalmist has upon man. If we can alarm uses the language of a child unone another by exhibiting dan- der a humble sense of his need of gers ; cannot God alarm the sin- parental instruction. Shew me ner by convincing him of his dan- thy ways, O Lord, teach me thy ger? If we are sometimes able, paths. Lead me in thy truth and by various means and long im- teach me ; for thou art the God of portunity, to alter the determin- my salvation ; on thee will I wait ations and change the course of all the day. Good and upright is our neighbours, as to earthly the Lord ; therefore will he teach objects; cannot God, by some sinners in the way. Solomon, of those innumerable means, when he came to the throne of which are always at his com- Israel, impressed with the immand, alter our determinations, portance of the station to which and change our course as to heave he was called, sought direction and enly things? If we can comfort strength from above. Give, thereand confirm one another; can- fore, to thy servant an understandnot God give consolation and es- ing heart,to judge this people, that I tablishment to the Christian's may discern between good and bad. mind?
The way of man is not in himBut even if the doctrine of di- self, and it is not in man that vine influences were less intelli- walketh, to direct his steps. The . gible than it is, we could not for prophet Isaiah speaks of gospel that reason reject it, as it is days, as a season, when the Spirclearly and strongly asserted, it of God shall be, in unusual both in the Old and New Testa- measures, poured out from on ment. We say in the Old Tes- high. In allusion to gospel tament, because, although the times, God speaks thus by the law, of itself, does not contain so mouth of Joel; It shall come to much grace, as is implied in pass, that I will pour out my God's communicating aid and Spirit upon all flesh, and your help to sinners, in their endeav- sons and your daughters shall ours after holy obedience ; yet prophecy, your old men shall God has never, even in this re- dream dreams, and your young spect, left himself without a wit- men shall see visions, and also on ness ; but conferred on the Jews, the servants and handmaids in out of mere favour, that influence those days I will pour out my of the Holy Spirit, of which the Spirit. This prophecy was sullaw made no mention. Petitions filled, according to St. Peter, at for divine influence, acknowl- the feast of Pentecost, when so edgment of dependence on it, and many were converted, and the promises of the outpouring of converts received miraculous the Spirit, are very profusely powers. Acts ii. Now, although scattered among the Psalms and it is evident, both from the proProphecies. T'each me to do thy phecy, and the fulfilment, that will, saith the Psalmist, for thou miraculous powers, such as art my God. Thy Spirit is good; speaking in different languages, lead me into the land of upright. were to be one consequence ness. Surely it is meei to be said of the outpouring of God's