John Baillie.

A memoir of Adelaide Leaper Newton online

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"He is the happy man wliosc life e'en now
Shows somewhat of that happier life to come;
Content, indeed, to sojourn while he must
Below the skies, but having there his home." — Cowpbs,



18c 9

"We can make our lives sublime.
And, dcpartinij, loave bfihind us

Footprints on the sunds of Time:
F?ot]irlnts which pcrluips another.

Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother.

Seeing, shall take heart again."


■ itntoTrrED »r printed bt

TllllVAH n. DMIld, K. O. J E X K I !< Ir

BJ A M Uickmau SjreeL 24 Frankfort St.


The Authoress of the " Song of Solomon compared
with other Parts of Scripture" scarcely needs to be
introduced to the Christian public. But many will
be interested to trace, in her personal life, a singu-
larly vivid pattern of the heavenly walk there so
touchingly portrayed. It is in compliance with a
widely expressed desire to have that mind and heart
embalmed that the present Memoir appears.

The poet Southey once wrote to James Mont-
gomery : — " I am one who shrinks in like a snail,
when I find no sympathy ; but, when I do, I open
myself like a flower to the morning sun." Such was
A-delaide Newton. Not many knew her thoroughly ;
but there were two or three select hearts to which she
"opened herself." To the letters thus called forth
this Memorial mainly owes whatever of the life-like
it may possess.

A critic lalelv said of a ^Memoir now issuing from

IV p u E F A Tout X o r k .

the press : — " We wanted a marble bust, with the
features delicately chiselled and the features pre-
served — and we are threatened with a colossus in
bronze." It would have been easy, in the present
instance, out of the vast mass of letters and papers,
to cast a colossus ; but the Author has aimed rather
at the marble bust.

The writer is sensible how imperfectly Le may
have caught the delicate lineaments of her inner life.
But he is not without the hope that He w' o made
her what she was, will graciously use thi^* " living
epistle" to solace some wearied pilgiimj /.nd t«
quicken the steps of some loiterers by the w .»y.

London, December, 1855.


After these pages had passed through the press,
the Author received fi'oua the Rev. Canon Stowell,
of Manchester, a communication respecting the sub-
ject of this Memoir, in which he writes thus :

" Seldom or never has it been my happiness to see the
mighty power of grace so marvellously manifested as in her.
She seemed to dwell in the vestibule of heaven — to live on
the steps of the throne of grace. The vigour of her under-
standing, the acuteness of her judgment, the force of her
reasoning, the originality of her ideas, and the beauty of her
style, astonished me. You could not converse with her
without being charmed with the freshness, the vividness,
the activity, the refinement of her mind. Tlie spring of
all was love to her Saviour, intense desire to glorify Ilia
name. This strung up all her energies ; this animated all
her pursuits. Grace clianged the whole tone of her char-
acter. From the flexible, tasteful, buoyant girl, she rose
into the earnest, elevated, reflective woman ; yet all was
artless and easy, clothed with humility, and adorned with

" The one grand instrument of the work was the Word
of God- She lived on and ia the Bible. It savoured every
Bftntiment and toned every thought of her ?oul. She caught


tho faintest whisper, and analysed the minutest expressions,
of ' the lively oracles.' Tho Scriptures were wrought into
the very texture of her inner life; she fed upon them in her
heart. Hence the newness, the unction, the savouriness of
ber writings. Like the silk-worm, which spins her
thread from her own vitals, fed by the mulberry leaves — so
she, from the experience of her own spirit, nourished by the
leaves of the Tree of Life, wrought out her lovely tissues of
heavenly wisdom. Flesh and blood had not taught her,
but the Spirit of her Father in heaven.

•• In all she wrote, and said, aud did, to glorify Christ was
her single aim. This desire was as a fire in her bones. Iler
zeal was ever burning. Nor was tho light of her joy less re-
markable. Whilst most humble, she was most assured.
Doubt seemed never allowed to overshadow her soul, anx-
iety to disquiet it. When you entered her chamber, you felt
that she was enveloped in an atmosphere of heavenliness
and peace. When she mingled with the family-circle, she
seemed like the denizen of a higher world come down on
some errand of love.

" Assuredly, grace has seldom shone brighter in any
vessel of cla}-. And for tho honour of the Saviour and the
consolation of His Church, tho memorial of what was done
in her, for her, and by her, ought net to bo lost.

"Manchester, Dec. 4, 1865."




Tlie key-note— Ancient fable— The earthen pitcher-Bacon— Birth-
place— Early years -Natural attractions— Henry Martyn— "A
religious man"— The bede-roll— The attic— C:onflict—" Two
niastci-s"- The "three hundred and sixty-five religions"— Leila
Ada— The "new expedient"— The bosom friends— Cowper—
The felon— The pardon— The turning-point— "Seeing Jesus"-
Brainerd— Keligiousness and godliness— "Annihilation of Kell
glous self" — Eepose


Ilenry Martyn— " A resignation of the heart"—" Whoso am I?" —
Tlie alternative— The test— The Geranium— "A living sacrifice"
— Self-surrender- The "better part"- The harvest— Worldly
society— The line— Tersteegcn— Self-denial— The now affection
—"Degrees of worldliness"— llalf-rcconcilcd— Blackheath—
Winning cheerfulness— Ireland— A duty— "Kept from the evil"
" Jesus in company" — " Conscience in secret"


Lord Bacon— " Another himself "—New friendships— Instinct and
grace— The "truant flower"— Heart never poor— Family-gather-
ing- The Sunday-school— The district— " Win souls"— "Old
Betty"- The prayer at the door— The sickle— The "blessed
hope"— Schiller 83

Vm C O N T K N


The preparation — Labours — Health broken down — Ylnet — Chas-
tisements, sacrifices — Chain of sin — Cecil — " Do something' —
Terstecgen — "Bringing up," and "Bringing down" — The Invalid
at the window — " Uncrossed lives" — Irish readers — A gleam of
sunshine 44


The Blumlis Alp— Torquay — Increasing illness — " Image of a suf-
fering Saviour" — Praising the Lord in the fires — A snare of Satan
— Kcal experience — "God's gentle pressure" — Unworldly, not
unhunian — An incident — Lonely Sabbath — Idolatrous attach-
ments — Herbert — A visit — Patience under little trials — A train-
ing-place for heaven — " A secret" 62


' Our business" — "Absorption in the Bible" — The two silences —
Walk with God— Letter-writing— Christ's sympathy— Thorn in
the flesh — Canticles — New devotedness — A congratulation —
"Little confessions" — "Mounting to the sky" — A silent commu-
nion — The cloud of witnesses — "Married to Christ" — Entering
into Jesus — Fruit — Present service and future glory — God breath-
ing througli us — Return to Torquay 08


'Living martyr" — Bacon — Cecil— "New tent in the wilderness" —
"Clinging In the d.irk Prayer — The consecrated chair — A con-
version-" Only one llle" — Second Coming — Humility — God
satisfied— The seed-basket— Love — Tlie blank — "Marry In the
Lord"— Improved health— Christ's Life -The vnll of flesh— The
pruniiig-ktiife — Another con version — Leaves Torquay — Sympa-
thy with Christ's joy




Bath — Return horuc — Chariots of angels — " Thought I was dying"
— Anotlicr separation — "Iloart deep" — Worlc on Canticles —
"Drawing on God's forgiveness" — The '>'je Book — The conflict —
The muddy stream — Ood in littlo tlungs — Forget-me-not — Self-
examination — Watchfulness — " Bible enough'"— Ragged-school —
The earthly bouse— " Balancings of. the clouds" — Return to Tor-
quay 100


The "highest attainment" — Another conversion — "In the world
again" — A pervert — A Personal Christ and a personal devil —
Cross-bearing — Discipline, its aim — Closer intimacy with God —
"Eccentric philantlirophy" — Home-affections — The earthen ves-
sel — The earnest— " Cannot be agitated" — A snare — The look —
Working — The "talents" — "Dashing on the rock"^I'ayson —
Ridley — A longing — Not Christianity, but Christ— The "meet-
ing-place" — Wilderness-lessons — A communion — "This do" —
A retrospect — Final leave of Torquay 117


Diary — "Not streams, but wells" — Letter-writing— A test — Mar-
liage — The "fatal calm" — "Ripen for glory" — "Senses exer-
cised" — The primitive taste— Spirit breathing through us —
Genial affections — Self-reproach — The Magnet — "A bettor com-
munion" — "Treasures in heaven" — A bereavement — "An eter-
nal present" — Meditation — Grace and sin — A gourd withered —
"Expect" — Impotence and Omnipotence — "Playing with
flowers"— Habakkuk — David — " Live upon God" — Self-sacrlfico
— " Money, money !" — " Ourselves" — The love-token — Christmas
thonghts 1-lS




Work on Cftntlclcs— The press—" SUshtlng the "Word"— Gliding
the pathway— A birthday wish— "Xcarinc: the port"— "Viva-
clous self-intcrost"— The thorns -" Dacis"— The furnace-" Only
two men" — The Father's eye— Thankfulness— "Tides of love"—
Cbri-;t for us — The two tliinjjs- Hor church — "My baseness" —
Kmblttcrlng the world— "The earthly hut"— The Evil One—
Kellgious dissipation — "My leanness" — Christ and bodily tired-
ness — The three vl>itors — A Tuscan prison - Sealinc and witness-
Inft — Unbelief and humility—" Our own clay" — Haifa Saviour —
"That brink" — Christ leadlnq; the praises - Outward adorning —
Clothed with iniinortality- Tinging of the dark cloud — Jesus a
personal Friend — " The balm ' 168


The daily resurrection — Mental trials and bodily— Another conver-
sion — The heliotrope— "Seeing Jesus" — "Looking on lllm" —
"Handling" Him— "^fearer to Thee"- The blood— "Do all for
Christ"- Infancy of the heart- Christ in His risht jilace— "The
Church and the Churches" — Manifold discipline— Her bonk blest
— Hours at the Throne — Strength revived — TVit- lesson — Hebrews
— Guidance — "One indulged sin" — Sanctiflcation — Bright side of
tbo cloud— Diary — Lowering lessons — "Covered with Jesus"—
Battle-Held 185


The ftjmlly-anectlons — Christ and Antichrist — Her father's last Ill-
ness— "Cried myself to sleep" — Diary — Fruit ripe — Insensibility
— " Falnteth not" — " But one sting" — " Wc shall meet again" —
Polishing other side of the stone — Occupy to-day— Anticipations
— Closing scene — " All Joy" — "Go np" — Kesurrection — Recogni-
tion — "Jesus wept" — "Come forth'" — Unclothed state — At home
In the body — Absent from It — " Clothed upon"— Left behind —
Uppcrmoa*. feeling — Adoration — " Hajipy In his happiness" 10$

C; O N T K X T 3 . XI



School of aflBlctlon — Now lessons — Isolation and desolation — Christ's
body — The " daylight" — Diary— Breathings — " Glory" — Eivcr's
brinlc and river's side — A retrospect — The waves and the haven —
"A thorough pilgrim" — " Not satisfied" — The "higher occupa-
tion" — Satan's method of temptation — "Fighting in Canaan" —
The burnt-offering — Visits — "Each moment's need" — "Not un-
derstood" — Suffering and service — "Strengthening to carry the
cross" — The worm at the root — Restraining grace — Study of
Hebrew — Sanctifying wealth — A "weight" — "Sensitive to sin"
— "Better home" — Future recognition — "Shut up to Jesus" —
The oak and the storm 210


Kitualism — "Outside things" — "Visiting the people" — High-
Churchism — "My notions of the Church" — Only true value of life
— Henry Martyn, at Calcutta and at Dinapore — Congenial home
— The eternal day — Braincrd — God, not self—" Never wearies of
me" — "No silent moments" — "Turn your bed" — Sick-room —
The reward — Luther — Atonement — The " living sacrifice" — ^The
fashioning of the " mystical body" — Infancy and manhood — Per-
son of Christ — Answer to prayer, why delayed^" Within three
days" — The ravens — The "bruising" and tho " darkness" — The
"sacrifice" and the "burning lamp" — The misty atmosphere —
Tho lambs and the sheep-" Dread not" 229


Portrait — Bible In hand — "Absorbed in God"— Strong Conflicts —
Mental habitude — Diary — Tho orange -tree — Life a business —
" Joy of the Lord" — The preparation — Krummacher — " The holy
dove'" — "Purging the floor" — The "two rests" — Unuttered
groaning?— Prophetic study — Tho "conflict in the land" — The
" garment of praise" — The " waves" — " It is I " — Waiting — Evans
— Hewitson — Intercession — " Unripe fruit"— The valley — Health
stationary — The Spirit and the flesh — Secret of usefulness Ten-
derness and hardness — Earnest labour 24T

jnl C O X T K .V T 3 .



" A real Btratagem" — Tho child and Iho dojr — Glimpses through
the lattice— '• A pasp of His hand" — Soft wliispers — The shell
and the kernel — "An uncertain sound' — " Conio up hi;:hei" —
"Tender papes"— Watch! -The narrow wny — Infidelity — Sinai-
tic inscriptions — The buds and the fruit — Memoirs — The un
clouded sunshine — Bodily depression — The white hyacinth —
"Solitariness" — A "beloved Persis" — Maturing experiences —
Intimacy with Jesus — The " wheel full of iron spikes" — The now
wine of the kingdom — Melchizedec— The Man of Soitows — Re-
surrection — Ever-varying tiilos — " Tiaitor-like character" — The
blind children — " Wailing upon God" — Bible's adaptedness — A
cure for " wretched spirits" — Ripened Christians 266


Augustine — The Bible — A glimpse Into her chamber — The bee—
The exotic — " Sharpness" — " Perfect through sufferings" — " A
little while"—" Brilliantly happy"— The Jew— Egypt— Sinaitlc
inscriptions — TlieroglyphUs— Alphabet— Researches — " Harbour
In sight" — God's iinniensitj- — Permisslc^n of evil — Prayer, " set
speaking" and "silent breathing"— Martin Luther — Thankful-
ness — vralching for souls — New sorrows and new joys — Aged
Christians — Subduedncss — Satanic agency— The two ends — Oil-
painting — Consecrated to God — Strokes upon the stones — The
"south wind" — "Beg yourselves rich"— Self-possessedness —
Light of alBictlon'8 fire—" All known to Thee ' 2?1


The shell — Its native sea — Land of Bculah— Breaks in communion
—Robert Bolton—" When shall I be dissolved ?"— " Exalted"—
" Going to be with Him" — Pilgrim experiences—" Momentary
catches''— " A time-state"— The "perfect"- 1 'ps and downs—
The four wings— Self-sacriflce— The flame— The "house-devir*
exorcised— Soul-nakedness— Apathy— Foretastes-Emma Maur-
ice—" Stdf-crushcd"— Increasing weakness— " Singing for Jesus''
—Enoch— Tlio pilgrim— Looking back— "Exalted above meas-
ure"— Faith and Conception— Bishop Ridley—" Ileaveu of com-
munion"— David's life— The Potter's field— The spiritual body—
The Lord's appearing J108




Bpenser— The " dark cottage"— "New light" — "Now come I to
thee"— " Pity thyself"— The vails — Kuffled spirit — External
ease — Diary — Visits — Work on Hebrews — Energy of purpose —
" I owe it so much''— "What sin is' — " My face on the ground" —
Sympathies — Jobs three friends — Longings — "Downright stag-
gered" — The Great-hearts — "Heaven's own bliss" — David — The
Psalms — "No other path" — "The provocation" — "Continued
with me" — Cowper— Contemplation — The eagle-pinion — Caleb —
"God'sjoy" — Anticipated evil — " The Nazarite" — New discipline
— Christian love — " Godliness " — Sin of unbelief — " Useless grief"
— " Sonship-positioii" — God in sufl'orings — Renewed elasticity —
A glimpse into the sick-chamber — " Maturing for removal" 818


' Heaven begun" — Payson — Celestial city in view — " Most of me
fled'' — Diary — Labours — " Mastering death" — A message — God's
pleasures — "Sinking into Christ" — Jesus prays — The bright
cloud — The unchanging Priest — " Deep waters" — " Spoken for
to God" — " Feeling the bottom" — God unchanged — Mists —
Brightened — " Verifying my experience by the Word" — Work on
Hebrews — Irish Missions — Christ "showing Himself" — "Sim-
ple faith' — Prostrated — "All bright yonder" — "The grand
whole" — A farewell — " Foundation-realities" — " llemembering
Him in the night-watches" — Legh Richmond — Silent fortnight
— "Looking heaven" — "Rock -like peace" — Payson — "Praise
waiteth" — "Higher up" — A parting gift — "Never mind' — Rev.
A. Dallas — The silent tear — " I tcill get up" — Heavenly peace —
Dismissal — Polycarp — Living martyrdom — " Sweetest Canticle"
—The Epitaph 84)



" I LONG SO earnestly to be growing in grace hour-
ly—* filled with the Spirit'— burning with love tc
Clirist, and Christians, and sinners — to be a rcflectio]\
of Him in the world, and working whilst it is day."
So wrote, on one occasion, the beloved disciple whose
brief but bright course we are now to sketch. That
aspiration was the key-note of her life.

It is fabled by an ancient poet, that, " when Her-
cules went to unbind Prometheus (a figurative per-
sonification of human nature), he sailed the length
of the groat ocean in an earthen pot, or pitcher."
And Lord Bacon, applying the fable to the Christian
lite, describes the saint as sailing most marvellously in
the frail bark of the flesh, through the waves of the
world, to tliat home where he shall be "free indeed."

It was emphatically a frail bark and a stormy ocean
which carried Adelaide Newton to her haven. And
others who are still on that ocean, " toiling in rowing,"
may be comforted mightily as they hear the articulate
voice of Him who so often came to her, saying, " It
is I ; be not afraid."

The town of Derby cannot boast of many holy
memories. But He who noted Bethany as " the


I own of Mary and of her sister Martlia," has noted
the birthplace of Adelaide Leaper Newton. It
was on 1st March, 1824, that an infant, who was to
leave behind her so precious a fragrance, was ushered
into this vale of tears.
" Life," it has been said,

" Beginneth as a little path edged with the violet and prim-
A litllo path of lawny grass, and soft to tiny feet."

To Adelaide Newton, life's early years were eminently
smooth and pleasant. Of a good family, and sur-
rounded by every earthly luxury, she gi'ew up into
girlhood, her sunny morning betokening a cloudless
day. " This sweet spot," we tind her writing to a
friend, on her return home after a short absence,
" seems like an earthly paradise." And a singular
aptness in acquiring each accomplishment to which
she successively devoted herself, threatened, as she
rose into womanhood, to entangle her still more
firmly in the world's meshes. A surviving sister
speaks of " her peculiarly sweet touch in playing, and
voice in singing," which " made her music unusually
attractive." Her delicate pencil, too, seemed to maik
her out for no ordinary success in drawing. And
graver attainments were added. "A natural talent
for languages" found its development in the acquisi-
tion of vaiious of the modern tongues; and, in later
years, she added to them Greek, Hebrew, and even a
little Arabic. She " i)articularly delighted also in
mathomatics." And wlien, added to all tlii^, was tho

EARLY I0Y6. 17

idornmeiit of a "cliarminij iiiannev," whose ejraceful
iiodcsty was " never for an instant spoiled by tlio
Draises which were continually heaped npon her in
he social circle," it will be seen that seldom has the
world held out a more attractive allurement than to
the subject of our Memoir.

'' Like yourself," she wiites, long afterwards to a
<*chool-companion, describing that season of her early
joys, " mv heart naturally clung very much to the
world. Music was my great snare. I took infinite
pains to play well, and delighted secretly in the com-
mendation I got whenever I played before any one.
Fancy now its being nearly four years since I have
touched either piano or organ. And my singiiig,
which I had once even more reason to be satisfied
with, is probably for ever silenced. You cannot think
how I thank God from luy heart that Ho would not
let me gratify the secret pride wiiicli was lurking in
it, and which was stealing my love from Him."

Henry Martyn tells, that, in his student-days,
when self and self-pleasing was as yet the centre of
his soul, he contrived to pronounce hiinse.f "a reli
gious man." Adelaide Newton, also, had, for many
days, inscribed her name in the same bede-roll.

A child of parents who loved the Lord, scarcely
liad she known the time wlien the "things of tlio
kingdom" were strangers to her ear.

" Pleasant as it was," writes her governess, " to

teach her in the school-room, it was still more so to

be vvith her at the season for spiiitual instruction,

She always appeared to enjoy those opportunities •



and on one occasion I remember she said, ' Tiiatik
you, I shall now go to sleep on the RocV of
Ages.' "

And, as years went on, the " reli^riousness" bad
grown more intense. " On one occasion," says, her
sister, "in 1835, when Mr. Grev-ille was here 1 »r a
few days, much that he said, both in the farailv and
to herself, deeply impressed her. And I well rei, em-
ber how, about that time, we were constantly ref. ling
Doddridge's ' Rise and Progress,' Fletcher's 'Add'C-ss,'
and James' 'Anxious Inquirer.' " And in the fo'^.ow-
ing summer the "religiousness" assumed a still d. rpcr
hue. The family had remo\-ed for a few montrs to
a neighbouring village, to escape the small-pox winch
had seized virulently a member of the houser.old.
In an unfurnished attic of the house, Adelaide, and
three others, used to spend — each unknown to the
rest — many solitary hours in "devotional readmg
and in prayer." And the family governess writes :
"From the beginning of 1837 to the end of 1839,
I liad a daily course of private Bible-reading and
prayer with dear Adelaide at her own particular re-

But the " religiousness " did not give her rest. " I
am the victim," we find her writing, " of the most
distressing and pairful contlict. Sometimes I feel
ready to give myself up almost to despair, while at
other times I seem to enjoy religion. When I look
back ujx)n the time when I think this conflict first
began in me (which I believe is now six or seven
vears ago), I am tempted to believe that it is quit«


impossible that one who has triflerl so long mth such
things, sinning Against such light and knowledge as
I enjoy, shall ever be forgiven." And again: "I
am so careless, and so unwilling to pray. Pray
earnestly for me, and write faithfully to me. It will
not be a small thing to deceive myself on so all-im-

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Online LibraryJohn BaillieA memoir of Adelaide Leaper Newton → online text (page 1 of 23)