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Sketches of Virginia
Chapter XL VII. - Fredericksburg - John B. Hoge and James H. Fitzgerald


On the Southern bank of the Rappahannock, where the swift current of the falls has subsided in the stillness of the sluggish tide that flows up from the Chesapeake, stands Fredericksburg, noted for the fascinations of its accomplished ladies, honored in years gone-by, as the residence of Mary Washington, and now as the place of her tomb. Here have risen and set days of gallantry, when at the word of beauty’s lip, or the glance of her bewitching eye, or the crimson of her blushing cheek, the gallants would put their lives at the hazard of a pistol-shot at the Alum Spring. Here was the rallying place of brave men in times of the Indian wars, and the war of Independence. And here was the scene of Washington’s farewell visit to his mother. Here also was the home of the illustrious Mercer, who poured out his blood for his county at the battle of Princeton.

There is a corner in this city, away from the noise and bustle of trade, with which are associated recollections of days, and things, and persons, long passed, but not forgotten; persons and things that shall fill a chapter in the book of everlasting remembrance. Up from the crowded street of business, along Amelia street, is the spot. There stands a neat, spacious building. The few words graven with the pen of iron on tablets of marble, tell its objects. An Asylum; the Female Orphan Asylum; in many senses of the word, female; planned by females, erected by the untiring efforts of females, managed by a band of females, and for female orphan children; for poor friendless female orphans, the most desolate, and helpless, and pitiable of the human family. A short visit within these walls, spent in looking over the arrangements for comfort and neatness; the school-room, where these desolate ones receive instructions from hands, and heads, and hearts, that wealth would gladly employ in nurturing her favored children; the housewifery, employing and instructing the young lambs ; the room for the operations connected with sewing and knitting; the place for morning and evening worship in company, would surely impress deeply the conviction, that the little sum, which, year by year, yields such blessedness, opening a refuge for her that has no parents, no money, no experience, and perhaps not even a penniless friend, a refuge that saves her from becoming a poison to our families, and a curse to our cities, is doubly blessed, “blessing those that give and those that receive.” The history of this asylum, is the history of female benevolence; the development of that tenderness that dwells in the heart of mothers, and sisters, and wives, and daughters; and in the growth and full expansion of little orphan girls, to women, wives, mothers, Christians and saints in heaven.

This corner is associated with scenes of elevated feeling, that shall be bright and fair in that day when immortality shall blossom in every flower, and penitence and charity bring forth their fruit in eternal fragrance, and the meek be beautified with salvation. There stood, where this Asylum stands now, a house for public worship, for the Presbyterian congregation which now assembles, Sabbath by Sabbath, in that spacious and beautiful building, surmounted by a cupola. It was the first house of worship for that denomination in this city, built on this corner lot, given by the daughter of the lamented Mercer, of revolutionary memory; a house small in dimensions, but abundant in blessings showered down on the worshippers assembled, as multitudes, that now are seated in other houses, could abundantly testify, if they would, or could tell the blessings that fell here on their parents’ heads. How wonderfully the spirit of the founder lives, for ages, in the society of his gathering. His weaknesses and defects shall be forgotten, and the excellent only, survive the waste of time, and work on through generations. John Mark still lives in Fredericksburg; his bones rest elsewhere; his impress is here. An emigrant from Ulster, that inexhaustible source of the best of citizens, he came in his youth, alone, to America, high in hope, with a good conscience toward God and toward man, counting it honorable to stand firm for the church of his fathers, the church of the living God, built on the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner-stone. His first years of residence, in America, were in the great valley of Virginia, and were prosperous and happy, employed first in the instruction of youth, and then in honorable traffic. As he advanced m years he came to this place to pursue his trade, and brought along with him the religion he so carefully cherished in Shepherdstown, and nurtured it here, where practical godliness was less esteemed than at present. After repeated efforts, he at length obtained a minister of his own race and faith, from the mountains of North Carolina, trained in Lexington, Virginia, under that singularly gifted, simple-hearted man, George Baxter; and was the leading person of the three, who, as professors of religion, 'welcomed, in 1806, the first Presbyterian preacher in Fredericksburg, the Rev. Samuel B. Wilson. Quietness, devotion, straightforward honesty in his business and his religion, and generosity in his piety, adorned him, and have graced the church he assisted his pastor to gather. Activity in benevolence is their praise. May it be so for ever!

RECOLLECTIONS OF TWO YEARS OF WORSHIP, BY ONE WHO FREQUENTED THIS CORNER IN 1816-17-18.

“I was not born in Fredericksburg; I never lived there. But for two years I was not a stranger at the Asylum corner, on Amelia street; and the men and the things that became familiar then shall live in recollection till earthly things pass from these eyes, and the visions of past excellence can charm this heart no more. In the year 1816, on a beautiful Sabbath day in June, I first entered the house, a stranger, to join with the congregation in the worship of the Lord God Almighty, as I had been accustomed from my youth— from my very infancy. For a succession of months, from Sabbath to Sabbath, I met with a church few in numbers, and a congregation not numerous, but such as may not, cannot meet again. I love recall the events and scenes connected with this place of worship. The persons, alas ! that used to meet here, like the house of worship, have given place, and live in the heart of memory. How wonderful the power of memory and recollection! 'Times past are brought to present view,’ we know not how. The dead come up from their sepulchres, not in mouldering forms, or the habiliments of the grave, but in the beauty and freshness of their every-day life. Here came always, at the hour of worship, the manly form and benevolent face of Daniel Grinnan, leading his lovely and devout wife, a daughter of the mountains ; the man that felt himself obliged by having an opportunity of showing kindness. He sat half way from the right-hand door of entrance to the pulpit, with that peculiar contemplation seated on his face, that lacked but a single touch of enthusiasm to have made him a chosen leader of God’s host, in perilous circumstances. How many, in his quietness, he was the means of leading to Christ, can be known only at the great day. The company that shall meet him then will fill him with amazement. With him usually came his friend, John Mundle, with his calculating mind, and friendly heart, and overhanging brows, and orthodox creed, of the true Scottish mould ; and sat between the two doors, by the wall, immediately in front of the pulpit, with all the grave attention of his church-going native land. Just before him was often seen that very pink of military courtesy, and gentlemanly intercourse, a member of Washington’s military family, and like that great man, always true to the moment of his appointments, Major Day, with his powdered head and cue, and beautiful bouquet hanging from the third button-hole, on the left side of his coat, the very beau ideal of an old Virginia gentleman. A little in advance sat Seddon, from Falmouth, with his bold forehead, and cheerful face, over 'which gravity and merriment passed as in a twinkling, merriment without wildness, and gravity without severity; to his fellow men always kind; in the house of God always grave; the widow’s friend. His household would often fill the whole pew. Near him, on the right, sat Vass, also from Falmouth, the warm-hearted, busy, music-loving, church-going Scotch merchant — his business always a pleasure, and his religion his inheritance. His family filled a pew. Devout in his worship, and social in his intercourse with his fellow men, prosperous in his business, he generously sustained the institutions of religion. By his side sat Morson, of Hollywood, that abode of hospitality, a Scotchman’s son, firm in his purpose, unbending in his integrity, unwavering in his friendship, manly in his appearance, generous in his feelings. About midway from the pulpit to the right hand front door, sat the dignified, the majestic Patton, from the beautiful residence near the falls. And from the hills, above the falls, often came Thornton, the most amiable and gentlemanly of men; and with him, from Cumberland, not unfrequently, his no less amiable and gentlemanly son-in-law, Fitzgerald, tall, erect, a specimen of the present, as his father-in-law of the past, generation of Virginia gentlemen. Just in front of the pulpit sat Henderson, silent, thoughtful; prospered in his business in his manhood, and devout in his age; like Mark, from Ireland, unlike Mark in becoming religious late in life. Near by Grinnan, when his profession permitted, sat Wellford, the physician, of extensive reading, and wonderful memory, and great skill in the healing art; his amiable wife and his sons by his side. Not far from the pulpit sat the polite lawyer, Briggs, with his rosy cheeks and powdered head, a Scotchman’s son. Here often came those amiable merchants, Scott and Ross, both Scotchmen. Many others I often saw. But can I pass thee by, Philip Alexander, the amiable, from Falmouth, always kind, and often heart-sick? And thou, too, my friend Brooke, so roughly handled by a world that knew not thy heart? And from the same village the two Gordons, Scotchmen, eminent for their correctness and success in trade, and the amiable Forbes, and Beale, and the Misses Barnes?

Of the female hearers let me name a few more. Here, in front of the pulpit, sat the dignified and devout Mrs. Lewis, an early member of the church; too polished to be charged with rudeness, when strictness in religion was in danger of being called ungenteel; and too religious to permit her polite attentions to the forms of society to wound her conscience ; familiar in the highest circles, connected with the family of Washington; too kind and Christian not to bend to the humble in society; always at church, and ready to do good. And a little to the right sat one whom infirmity often barred from the house of God; her simple dress, mild, placid face, and black eye would not let you pass her by; shall never forget the venerable Mary Alexander? or the no less valued friend, her daughter Morson, of Hollywood, who cheerfully rode her ten miles to attend upon the worship of God’s house; with that lovely, frail, short-lived flower, her daughter Marion, and the retired and amiable sister Eliza? And here, too, was the delicate, conscientious and devout Mrs. Patton, the donor of the ground, Mercer’s daughter, as frail as her husband was majestic, and often exercised with spiritual troubles. Just by sat Miss Stevenson, prayerful and devoted, and Mrs. French, chastened and afflicted, and the Misses Lomax, since so indissolubly interwoven with the asylum; and last, though not least, Mrs. Allison, from Hartwood, the cheerful, the pious, with her two daughters, and that devoted and retired child of God, Marion Briggs from Hartwood. Should I mention the worshippers from a distance, that at intervals, with some regularity, united with this congregation, I could not pass over the Kincaids and the Paynes, of Fauquier, whose visits were always anticipated with delight; or that genuine Scotch elder from Madison, tender of heart, but unconquerable in spirit, Andrew Glassel, with his short grey hair and Scottish accent, his long boots, and his small-clothes buckled at the knee, bending with age, but quick in his step; a full believer in his own creed, yet kind to those that differed, and charitable if their lives were correct; nor the Messrs. Gordon from Germanna, nor the staid Skinker from Yellow Chapel.

These formed an audience to preach to; people asking for the plain, simple announcement of the truths of Almighty God sent forth by him in such majesty. As I speak of them their persons seem to arise around me; I seem to hear their salutations full of kindness and urbanity, as they meet at the church doors; and see their solemnity as they enter the house of God. What silence reigned within ! A whisper, a rustle would have been rude while these gentlemen and ladies worshipped God with their beloved pastor. But the communion seasons! When the church was all assembled ; and Williamson came down from Fauquier with his heart warm, and “his face as a flint,” for the truth; or some brother from a greater distance, to spend a few days. After the preachings and fasting and prayers on Friday and Saturday, on the Sabbath company after company sat down at the table near the pulpit, and delivering up to the eldership their tokens of admission, were served with the bread and wine consecrated to the communion of the Lord Jesus Christ. Tears of penitence flowed. The heart was comforted in its contrition and its faith. Hours were not counted in those solemn feasts. Spectators, and there were always many, often felt the separation made by the companies rising from around them, and going at the call of the pastor, to be like the division in that day when Christ shall separate the assembled multitude to the right hand and to the left; and many a heart was troubled at its own want of penitence and faith. But the Presbytery and Synod, the first I ever attended; their memory is dimmed somewhat by the multitude of novel things that blend and mingle light and shade, character and event in sweet confusion. Clergymen of different denominations were not then in such brotherly contiguity as now. The assemblage of the ministers was called large, though the Presbytery then consisted of but ten members, and the Synod of about forty; and but about half of each attended. I remember the two brothers, Robert and Joseph Logan, amiable and laborious men, and Glass, with his kind heart and metaphysical mind, and indomitable will, and Speece, with his gigantic frame and power in debate, and Mitchel, that seemed a patriarch that from bitter experience could comfort the children of God, and could lift up his voice like a trumpet; and that wonderful compound of awkwardness and eloquence, of simplicity and shrewdness, strength and tenderness, of supreme devotion to heavenly things and wisdom in earthly things, Moses Hoge, the Synod’s professor and President of Hampden Sidney College. His two sons, John Blair and Samuel Davies, came with him. I remember Rice, of Richmond, and his younger brother from Petersburg. And I heard one sermon from Archibald Alexander, from Princeton, on the saints being satisfied with the likeness of God in heaven. I also remember the sermon by the younger Rice on the parable of Dives and Lazarus; and know the effect produced by the one from a young man on the barren fig tree. Hill was there from Winchester: and who that ever met him forgot him if he read an ode of Horace with him. Crowds assembled to hear, and listened always; and at times were solemn as the subjects were grave.

One night a full house assembled to hear John B. Hoge on his first appearance in the pulpit, in Fredericksburg, after his return from Europe. Report had more than whispered that the young man excelled in his pulpit addresses. His text that night was — ‘And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled and said —go thy way for this time, when I have a convenient season I will call for thee.” His first appearance was not prepossessing. His manner was unconstrained, but somewhat awkward. A slight hoarseness, and the heaving of his chest, evidenced the difficulty with which his lungs, not yet restored by a visit to the south of France, poured out the volume of sound. He gave a short history of the parties grouped in the text and context ; and by his graphic skill we saw them all living and moving before us, the judge, the splendid company, and the prisoner, all in our “mind’s eye.” As he went on, his strong features softened and beamed with tenderness and intellect; and any want of gracefulness was lost in his dignified bearing and commanding manner. The speaker, in fact, was often forgotten in the subject and the personages before us. The inquirer after gospel truth heard truth in its beauty, — the reasoner heard reasoning along with the truth that required no reasoning, and permitted it only incidentally; and those that cared for neither, saw, heard, felt descriptions, figures, groupings of persons and passions in wonderful succession. The attention deepened. All were motionless but the venerable old man, whose varying countenance and agitated limbs exhibited the deep emotions of a father listening to a son in the ministry. As the scenes and subject changed from righteousness to temperance, and from temperance to judgment to come, we heard his husky voice, and saw his strong ungainly gestures, with his stretched arm and extended fingers; but they were all lost sight of again, as with a sweep of his strained arm, and half shut hand and laboring chest, he made us see his mental visions, and feel the truth his struggling lungs announced. Felix trembled before us. The discourse on judgment brought to his mind the judgment before the tyrant at Koine, and the double judgment made him tremble; and we heard him say—“Go thy way for this time, when I have a convenient season I will call for thee.” We all felt sad; as lookers on we felt sad at the sight of an immortal man letting pass the golden moment for securing his welfare for eternity, when his hopes in time were so faint and few. Suddenly the scene changed, as with the motion of his hand. We ceased to be spectators; we were now actors. He was addressing us like Paul; and we like Felix were trembling on the brink of decision, — should we, in view of the judgment to come, cry out like Felix, “Go thy way,” or in sight of our sins cry out with the publican — “God be merciful to me a sinner?” He paused a moment, and then bid us cry out to the King of kings for pardon and for life. Pointing up with a voice sinking under weariness and emotion, he cried out — “O, thou recording Angel! dip thy pen in the blood of the everlasting covenant, and beneath this record of sins and transgressions, write forgiven”- The book of remembrance seemed open in the ceiling, and by it stood the angel as about to write, with his pen bloody from the fount of Calvary, on the dark leaves. The silence was awful. Bursting hearts were ready to cry “ Write mine.” The vision grew dim; we turned to the speaker; he had disappeared. But the deep impression remained. The name of the man was connected with the subject: probably no one that heard that sermon ever forgot either the man or the subject.

On the Sabbath of Synod, Dr. Alexander preached the sermon before communion. In setting forth “Christ our passover,” he gave a specimen of the simplicity of the graphic art as complete as the gorgeous display of Hoge; perhaps superior, as from the first to the last no one remembered anything of him, of his voice, tones or gestures, except a single one, after the first few short sentences; and then he stood before us an unpretending and somewhat abashed man, who had not. raised his eyes to the view of the assembly. And yet there we sat, thinking of Christ our Passover slain for us. What thoughts ! what scenes ! so perfectly natural! The sermon passed: was it through? What a man to talk to people from the pulpit! Near the close, when he said — “There is our Lamb,” a Frenchman, unaccustomed to our worship, arose, and with his eye followed the direction of his finger — the only gesture remembered, to see the Lamb for sacrifice. Father Mitchel, in assisting at the communion lifted up his voice like a trumpet. Nobody knew what Alexander’s voice was : the church was not big enough for Mitchel’s. We felt as we reflected on the scenes of those meetings, that we iiad listened to the gorgeousness, the simplicity,, the earnestness and pathos of the Virginia pulpit.

So passed two years of worship at this corner of the Female Orphan Asylum, with the church under the care of the present Professor of Theology in Union Theological Seminary, Samuel B. Wilson, D. D.

John B. Hoge died of consumption, on the 31st of March, 1826, and lies buried in Martinsburg. Born in the year 1790, he grew up in Jefferson County, Virginia. His education was paternal, being obtained in part at a private school taught by his father, while minister at Shepherdstown, and partly at Hampden Sidney College, of which Dr. Hoge became president, when his son was about seventeen years of age. After serving in the office of tutor, young Hoge commenced the study of law with Henry E. Watkins, of Prince Edward. His instructor remarked the ease with which his pupil mastered the principles of law; and that he possessed the faculty of generalization, embracing analogies, to a high degree. To this was united an imagination that could invest any subject with interest, by its gentle touches, like the morning light upon the hills and valleys. After much reflection he came to prefer theology to law, the ministry of the gospel to the bar; and in face of great inducements to prosecute the legal profession, he made preparation, under his father’s teaching, for the ministry. He was licensed by Hanover Presbytery, at Old Concord, April 20th, 1810, in company with Charles H. Kennon. In 1811, he was transferred to Winchester Presbytery; and accepting a call from the churches of Tuscarora and Falling Waters, he was ordained in the regular form, Oct. 12th, at Tuscarora Meeting House, near Martinsburg, after sermon, by Bev. William Hill. His preaching attracted attention, both for its matter and manner. On some important truth he usually erected a fabric inwrought with metaphysical reasoning, more or less apparent, gospel explanation, and discussion. He interwove, everywhere, figures, graphic scenes, and flights of fancy, and the visions of a gifted imagination, at times with simplicity, and at times with gorgeousness, and carried his hearers along with him, deeply interested. All classes loved the man. The unpolished and uneducated hung upon his lips, and admired the same sentiments and sentences that charmed the refined and well disciplined. They gave as a reason—“ It was beautiful, and spoke to the heart.” The stream that flowed from his fervid soul electrified his hearers. His mind acted quickly. His imagination lent its aid at his pleasure. A close student, his health failed. He sought relief for his laboring lungs in the south of France. He was absent from his native land, on the ocean and in Europe, from the fall of 1814 to the summer of 1816. His residence in Europe was a source of great physical improvement, and mental development. In his preaching, after his return, he appeared to take larger views, and to express himself with a still greater degree of earnestness; and was more popular. The effect of his sermon in Fredericksburg was not dissimilar to the experience in other places.

This admiration abundantly expressed produced no visible signs of self-gratulation. He' bore himself with unusual dignity and kindness, never visibly puffed up, or cast down, or deprived of his entire self possession.

On the 6th of May, 1819, he was united in marriage to Miss Ann K. Hunter, of Martinsburg, Berkeley County, Virginia. This lady, left early a widow, with two small children, was blessed to rear those children, and still lives. When -the church on Shockoe Hill was prepared for the Presbyterians that were gathered by Rev. John Blair, Mr. Hoge was removed to Richmond, and became their pastor; having been released from the pastoral charge of Falling Waters, April 19th, 1822, and from Tuscarora on the 19th of the following June, and transferred to Hanover Presbytery on the 7th of the following September. In this new field his popularity and usefulness were enlarged; and for a time his health improved. The climate of Richmond was more genial to his lungs. But in two or three years it became evident that the race of this beloved and laborious minister of God must soon end. While in Richmond he compiled a volume of his father’s sermons, which was sent forth by the Franklin press; and was making preparations to give to the public a memoir of that same father, written out with care, whilst residing in Martinsburg. He was active in giving permanency, and extensive efficiency, to the Theological Seminary in Prince Edward, taking his stand among the foremost in the Synod. But the hand of death was on him : and he passed away. Noble in mind, dignified and courteous in church business and in social intercourse, devoted to works of benevolence, and the building of the church of the living God, one of nature’s gentlemen, and Christ’s humble servants, multitudes mourned what seemed to them a premature grave.

Mr. Fitzgerald, mentioned as an occasional hearer, at the Asylum Corner, became, in a few years, a resident at the Falls, and a regular worshipper with the congregation, and a ruling elder in the Church. Born in Cumberland County, liberally educated, and inheriting a competent estate, he was enabled to fill up the measure of duty as a private citizen, and to devote himself to labors for the welfare of his fellow men. Early in life he was called out from his retirement to represent the county in the Legislature of the State. The sphere of politics, however, was not the one in which he most delighted to serve his generation, and do good to the human race. Becoming connected by marriage with a family whose residence was at the falls of the Rappahannock, in the neighborhood of Fredericksburg, he was led to make his home in that healthy and beautiful situation. And as elder in the Church, trustee of Hampden Sidney College, director of Union Theological Seminary, President of the Central Board of Foreign Missions, and a helper in every good word and work, he expended his strength, and the resources of an ample income. His much beloved wife, the daughter of Francis Thornton, Esq., united cheerfully with him in his principles of religion, domestic action, and public intercourse; and was, with his full approbation, a hearty directress and patroness of the Orphan Asylum in Fredericksburg, a founder of schools of merit in Fauquier, where . they, for a series of years, passed their summer, and an active co-operator with the little church at Warrenton, in her efforts for excellence and enlargement. Tall, erect, symmetrically formed, with light hair, and an early tendency to baldness, with a countenance expressive of frankness and benevolence, easy and gentle in his motions, he mingled dignity and kindness in his manners; and at the first appearance prepossessed strangers. The favorable impression was not lost by prolonged acquaintance. Intimacy always ripened into friendship; and his friendships and his friends were abiding. Unostentatious in dress, or equipage, or style of living, he practised a generous hospitality. An economist of the highest kind, producing, and avoiding useless expenditures, he devoted his ample income as a Christian benefactor. The kindness of his disposition was equalled by the firmness of his moral principles. He carefully avoided prominence in any cause or act in which he was associated with others. When compelled to take the highest seat, his refined moral sympathies made him peculiarly careful of the boundaries of right, and feeling, and propriety. He seemed to make every one a leader rather than himself. In doing a kindness he seemed to be the obliged person. In the good order and quietness of any assembly over which he presided, which generally might be remarked for its completeness, he seemed to have received a favor for which he thanked the body. With all this, there was a resolution to defend the right, which became the more evident, the greater the necessity for its exercise. Naturally gentle, he was truly brave; retiring and unpresuming, he was strictly honorable. No man ever saw him tremble in danger, or agitated in perilous circumstances. In the judicatories of the Church, which he very generally attended as representative, he was always a welcome member, a model of propriety in action, and coolness of judgment, and correctness in decision. Through him the influence of the Church in Fredericksburg was commanuing; and in him the Church in Warrenton had a firm friend and generous helper.

In those times and trials of the Church, commonly referred to as the times of 1837, Mr. Fitzgerald had a part. He read and pondered much on the condition of the Church and the current of events; and was one of those who believed, in 1837, that the first step towards peace and prosperity in the Church, was the separation of the discordant elements. In reference to the acts of the Assembly of 1887, of which he was a member, from Winchester Presbytery, he said, while they were in agitation, “I do not see how we can do better;” and, after they were determined upon, he often said, “I do not now see how we could have done better.” He had never cherished unkind feelings for the brethren from whom he was separated. lie cherished nothing but kindness for them after the separation, while he maintained, always and everywhere, that the different portions of the Presbyterian Church, having different principles and plans of church action, and different views of some important doctrinal subjects, would be in less harmony, in one Assembly, than in two; and that by consent of the prominent actors on both sides, the time had arrived, in 1837, for some decisive steps to be taken. The particular mode and line of divisions adopted, were esteemed preferable to further contention, or any other proposed plan of separation. The difficulties he understood, the perplexities he. felt, and the consequences he was willing to abide, and never regretted the part he had acted.

For various reasons relating to his health, in the year 1851 he visited Europe, accompanied by his wife. For a time the change of climate, the journeying, and the medical assistance obtained in Paris, had an apparent beneficial effect, and he was preparing to return to Virginia, with cheering prospects of prolonged usefulness and health. Suddenly, the symptoms of his disease assumed a fatal aspect. He heard the announcement of his physician, that the surgical operation, which had been altogether favorable in its appearance, would soon terminate in . death, with a calmness that showed that the thoughts of death were not strangers to him, and preparation for its approach not a new work. The physician stood amazed at his patient. He had wondered at him, during the whole attendance upon him. His calmness, his entire politeness, his carefulness of the comfort of others, his occasional pleasant reference to religion, its principles and hopes, all had made a deep impression. The composure with which the dying man set about the arrangement of his affairs, for immediate dissolution, affected all beholders; and the quietness with which he committed himself to the Lord Christ, consoled his wife, whom, in anticipation of her trial and loneliness, he had affectionately committed to the same Lord. In the clear exercise of his reason, and in full faith, hope and charity, he met death in the city of Paris, May 6th, 1852. The habits of that city, in disposing of the dead, rallied the widow from her deep astonishment at the unexpected departure of her husband; and, without a single relative or American friend, she speedily embarked with the body of her husband for America. With appropriate services, his friends and members of the Church in Fredericksburg, deposited the remains of Mr. Fitzgerald in the private burial-ground at the Falls, on the second day of June. The sermon delivered by the Rev. G. W. M’Phail, on the occasion, is preserved in print, and characterizes the departed Elder as a model of the Christian gentleman. No one great act immortalized him: but a constant succession of duties well performed, filled up the beautiful picture of Christian excellence.

THE END


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