Page:Letters to Mothers (1839).djvu/281

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prominent gain. What sorrows can be more peculiar and poignant, than the desolation of parents, from whom all their children have been removed, and who stand in hopeless solitude, the last of all their race? Are they not incited to eminence in those efforts of benevolence, which contain balm for the chastened spirit? [213]

There was one, and my heart holds her image as among the most perfect of earthly beings, who in early life was written childless. Her three beautiful sons were taken from her in one week. In one week! and their places were never supplied. The little student of seven years, was smitten while over his books, the second at his sports, the youngest on his mother's knee. The deepest humility, the most earnest searchings of heart, were the immediate results of this bereavement. It dwelt on her mind, that for some deficiency in her christian character, this chastisement had been appointed. The language of her contrite prayer was, "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" And he told her. And she became a "mother in Israel." A sleepless, untiring benevolence, was the striking lineament of her life. After the stroke of widowhood fell upon her, and she stood entirely alone, it seemed as if every vestige of selfishness was extinct, and that her whole existence was devoted to the good of