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upon him; and once, when he had received more books than others, my son told me that Mr.
desired them not to fall out by the way. “Soon after this the School for Religious Instruction was most happily instituted, by which he obtained help from the different superintendants; but, being more immediately under Mr.
I must beg to refer to him, as well as to the other gentleman, for the observations they made on his conduct; and also to Mr. Mathews, the schoolmaster, as to his behaviour during the time of Divine service.”
From these gentlemen, and from Mr. Mathews, we learn that William Watt was of a sickly. habit, but had a strong memoryThat his great attention to instruction encouraged those who taught him, and naturally drew their attention to him in return. The physician found him reading his Bible whenever he visited him; and never heard bim utter a murmur under his sufferings.
“ At home,” says Mr. Watt, “ he was pious, dutiful, and obedient; chiefly employed in reading his Bible, the Pilgrim's Progress, (of which he was very fond) and other religious books. He often explained what he read, in a manner that surprised us. He seldom mixed in play; and when invited to a schoolfellow's house, I have been told he has left his playfellows for the parlour and a book. What is remarkable in a boy of his age, he had not at the time of his death, a single plaything. His books he desired to be given to his brother, and to four other boys belonging to the school; and to all of them (as I shall have occasion to mention again) he left a charge that they should prepare to meet their
This is not put down as if there was any harm in a child's having a few playthings: but to shew you that while even old people will have their playthings and amusements, for want of a heart towards something better; so, on the contrary, the heart of a child may be so renewed and exalted by divine grace, as very early to put away childish things.
“I will mention,” says Mr. Watt,“ only one out of many other instances of his dutiful affection to his mother, who, being unwell one night when he was in bed, he offered to rise and go out for any thing she might want that might do her good. To try him she desired he would; on which he immediately arose and dressed himself. He strictly observed the truth; and always spoke to us in a thankful and obliging manner. When I conversed with him on religion, he listened with reverence, and would make happy observations thereon. In
company, he was reserved, yet would readily sing a hymn if requested.”
We have never observed a child, which, like this, was dutiful to his parents, upon whom God did not set some mark of his approbation.
Honour thy father and thy mother, is the first commandment with promise: Eph. vi. 2. And, if God spares your lives, Dear Children, you may also observe how often he sets a black mark upon such as have been undutiful.
His father goes on to write, “In a former illness in which we thought we should lose him, he said many comfortable things: he was much engaged with the Scriptures, and in prayer. I have no doubt but the instruction that he received from Mr.
and the other gentlemen, together with the sanctified affliction which he underwent, were the grand means of his being brought to the knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus.
“I will now come to the close of his life. On the morning of Sunday the 26th of October, he hastened to be in time at the Chapel; and, though he had an umbrella, he got wet. He went through the Scriptures appointed him to learn; and then came to me, informing me that his clothes were wet. I bid him mention it to Mr. Mathews, the schoolmaster, who immediately gave him leave to go home: he returned, had his clothes changed, and continued at home the remainder of the day, reading the Book of Martyrs. His breath, however, began to fail: we therefore found it necessary again to call for the assistance of Dr. who, much to his honour, has displayed a truly Christian benevolence in his kind offices and ready VOL. III.
attention to my children, which I shall ever regard with gratitude.
“ The dear boy, however, grew worse; and awaking, after a short sleep, he said to his mother, • I never was sure I should die before, but now I am sure I shall die, and go to heaven.” He begged her to forgive him all he had done amiss; and, after a pause, he said “God hath forgiven me all
“ I came into the room at this time, when he said to me, Our light afliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. He went on, saying, The Lord is our shepherd: we shall not want. Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly-Come unto me, all ye that are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest." - Here you see, Dear Children, what true faith does. It brings a burden of guilt and sorrow to Christ the Saviour: it takes Him for its teacher-trusts his word-depends on his power-is satisfied with his favour-endeavours to obey his will – and confesses him before men. And, that the Holy Spirit can make a YOUNG CHILD such a true believer, as well as its parent, you plainly see in the case before you. We could also tell you of many other such instances, if it were necessary.
« On my asking him," continues Mr. Watt, " whether it was not a great mercy that he had such Scriptures, he said, 'I feel great comfort from them; and then said. Prepare to meet your God.' On asking him whether he was not thankful for the instruction which he had received at St. John's Chapel, he said, “ Tell Mr. I thank him for teaching me.' Afterwards he said, • I feel comfortable: I think I shall go to heaven. On my asking him, what I should tell the boys at St. John's, he said, Tell them to prepare to meet their God; and tell them that I said so.'
Seeing his mother shed tears, he requested me to tell her how Abraham offered up his son Isaac; and not to grieve.” Observe, Dear Children,
that your schoolfellow (like young Timothy*) knew, while a child, the Holy Scriptures, which were able to make him also wise to salvation, through faith which is in Christ Jesus. God made this child not only a comfort to bis mother, but a comforter; and thus, out of the mouths of babes and sucklings he perfects praise.
Looking at his brother,” says Mr. Watt, said, “ Jem, you would be happy to be in my state, but prepare to meet your God.'-He now grew worse; and was greatly convulsed during the night, and departed the next day in perfect ease (Friday the 2d of November, 1800) aged twelve years and nine months.”
2 Tim. iii. 15.