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to them of the nature of public worship,-the value of the sabbath, the duty of regular attendance on its services; and urged their serious attention to the means of grace. I shewed them the sad state of many countries, where neither churches nor Bibles were known; and the no less melancholy condition of multitudes at home, who sinfully neglect worship, and slight the word of God. I thus tried to make them sensible of their own favours and privileges.”
The following passage contains a vivid description of the scenery with which he was surrounded.
“In the widely sweeping curve of a beautiful bay, there is a kind of chasm or opening in one of the lofty cliffs that bound it. The steep descending sides are covered with trees, bushes, wild Aowers, fern, wormwood, and many other herbs ; here and there contrasted with bold masses of rock, or brown earth.
“ In the highest part of one of these declivities, two or three picturesque cottages are fixed, and seem half suspended in the air.
“From the upper extremity of this great fissure or opening in the cliff, a small stream of water enters by a cascade, flows through the bottom, winding in a varied course of about a quarter of a mile in length ; and then runs into the sea, across a smooth expanse of firm hard sand, at the lower extremity of the chasm.
“The open sea, in full magnificence, occupied the centre of the prospect; bounded, indeed, in one small part, by a very distant shore, on the rising ascent from which the
rays rendered visible a cathedral church,* with its towering spire, at near thirty miles distant. Every where else, the sea beyond was limited only by the sky.
66 Atmy feet the little rivulet, gently rippling over pebbles, soon mingled with the sand, and was lost in the waters of the mighty
The murmuring of the waves, as the tide ebbed or flowed on the sand; their dashing against some distant rocks, which were covered fantastically with sea-weed and shells; seabirds floating in the air aloft, or occasionally screaming from their holes in the cliffs ; the hum of human voices in the ships and boats, borne along the water ; all these ds served to promote, rather than interrupt meditation. They were soothingly blended together, and entered the ear in a kind of natural harmony.
of the sun
* Chichester Cathedral.
" In the quiet enjoyment of a scene like this, the lover of nature's beauties will easily find scope for spiritual illustration."*
The following are his reflections upon this scene :
66 The waves of the sea ebb and flow in exact obedience to the laws of their Creator :- thus far they come, and no farther ;they retire again to their accustomed bounds; and so maintain a regulated succession of effects.
“ But, alas ! the waves of passion and affection in the human breast, manifest more of the wild confusion of a storm, than the orderly regularity of a tide-grace can alone suddue them.
“ What peaceful harmony subsists throughout all this lovely landscape! These majestic cliffs, some clothed with trees and shrubs ; others bare and unadorned with herbage, yet variegated with many-coloured earths ; these are not only sublime and delightful to behold, but they are answering the end of their creation, and serve as a barrier to stop the progress of the
“ But how little peace and harmony can I comparatively see in my own heart ! The landscape within is marred by dreary barren wilds, and wants that engaging character which the various parts of this prospect before me so happily preserve. Sin, sin is the bane of mortality, and heaps confusion upon
confusion wherever it prevails.
“ Yet, saith the voice of promise, “Sin shall not have dominion over you.' 0! then may I yield myself unto God, as one that am alive from the dead, and my members as instruments of righteousness unto God. And thus may I become an able and willing minister of the New Testament !
“I wish I were like this little stream of water : it takes its first rise scarcely a mile off; yet it has done good even in that short
It has passed by several cottages it its way, and afforded life and health to the inhabitants ; it has watered their little gardens as it flows, and enriched the meadows near its banks. It has satisfied the thirst of the flocks that are feeding aloft on the hills, and, perhaps, refreshed the shepherd's boy who sits watching his master's sheep hard by. It then quietly finishes its current in this secluded dell, and agreeable to the design of its Creator, quickly vanishes in the ocean.
“ May my course be like unto thine, thou little rivulet! Though short be my span of life, yet may I be useful to my fellow sinners, as I travel onwards. Let me be a dispenser of spiritual support and health to many! Like this stream, may I
* "Annals of the Poor-the Young Cottager," p. 57—60.
poor man's friend by the way, and water the souls that thirst for the river of life, wherever I meet them! And if it please thee, O my God! let me in my latter end be like this brook. It calmly, though not quite silently, flows through this scene of peace and loveliness, just before it enters the sea. Let me thus gently close my days likewise ; and may I not unusefully tell to others of the goodness and mercy of my Saviour, till I arrive at the vasť ocean of eternity.”
These descriptions exhibit Mr. Richmond's delicate and vivid perception of the beauties of nature, and the profitable use be made of them. The concluding passage involuntarily leads the mind to the closing scene of his own life. For his race is now run ; the little rivulet has ceased to flow, and is absorbed in the vast ocean of eternity ; while the pious wish expressed in the image has been realized. The rivulet has left the traces of its fertility, and evidenced the beneficence of its course; and we may apply to him the words with which he takes his leave of his endeared Dairyman's Danghter, “thy flesh and thy heart faileth, but God is the strength of thy heart, and thy portion for ever.”
We subjoin one more extract, from “ the Negro Servant.”
I dismounted from my horse, and tied it to a bush. 'The breaking of the waves against the foot of the cliff at so great a distance beneath me, produced an incessant and pleasing
The sea-gulls were flying between the top of the cliff where I stood, and the rocks below, attending upon their nests, built in the holes of the cliff. The whole scene,
every direction, was grand and impressive ; it was suitable to devotion. The Creator appeared in the works of his creation, and called upon
the creature to honour and adore. To the believer this exercise is doubly delightful. He possesses a right to the enjoyments of nature and providence, as well as to the privileges of grace. His title-deed runs thus : • all things are yours, whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life or death, or things present, or things to come, all are yours, and ye are Christ's, and Christ is God's.'
“I cast my eye downwards, a little to the left, towards a small cave, the shore of which consists of fine hard sand. It is s«rrounded by fragments of rock, chalk cliffs, and steep banks of broken earth. Shut out from human intercourse and dwellings, it seems formed for retirement and contemplation. On one of these rocks I unexpectedly observed a man sitting
* " Annals of the Poor-The Young Cottager," p. 63-65.
with a book, which he was reading. The place was near two hundred yards perpendicular below me ; but I soon discovered by his dress, and by the black colour of his features, contrasted with the white rocks beside him. that it was no other than my negro disciple, with, as I doubted not, a Bible in his hand. Í rejoiced for this unlooked for opportunity of meeting him in so solitary and interesting a situation. He was intent on his book, and did not perceive me till I approached very near to him. • William, is that you?' • Ah, massa ! me very glad to see you. How came massa into dis place ? me tought nobody here, but only God and me.'”
After a long and interesting conversation with the negro, Mr. Richmond thus concludes :-My friend,' said I, I will now pray
your own soul, and for those of your parents also. This was a new and solemn house of prayer.
The sea-sand was our floor; the heavens were our roof; the cliffs, the rocks, the hills and the waves, formed the walls of our chamber. It was not, indeed, a place where prayer was wont to be made, but for this once it became a hallowed spot. It will by me ever be remembered as such. The presence of God was there. I prayed—the negro wept-his heart was full-I felt for him, and could not but weep likewise. The last day will shew whether our tears were not the tears of sincerity and love. It was time for my return. I leaned
his arm as we ascended the steep cliff in my way back to my horse, which I had left at the top of the hill. Humility and thankfulness were marked in his courtenance; I. leaned on his arm with the feelings of a brother. It was a relationship I was happy to own. took him by the hand at parting-appointed one more interview previous to the day of baptizing him, and bid him farewell for the present. . God bless you, my dear massa ;' and you, my dear Christian brother, for ever and ever." "*
Some of Mr. Richmond's reflections, in the passages before us, will remind the reader of those beautiful lines of Cowper, in which he enumerates the enjoyment of natural scenery as among the covenanted privileges of the believer.
“ He looks abroad into the varied field
* See “Annals of the Poor-Negro Servant," p. 364
A suspicion has been expressed by some, as to the entire genuineness of the tract of the Dairyman's Daughter, arising from an idea that the language and sentiments of her letters were far beyond the capacity of persons in that situation of life. The writer of this memoir once entertained the same doubt; and as it tended greatly to diminish the interest and profit which he would otherwise have found in the perusal of the tract, he, some years ago, ventured to express his feelings to Mr. Richmond, who, in consequence, produced some of her letters, which were carefully examined; and the result was, that no alteration was found to have been made, except the correction of the spelling, and the occasional change of a single word, for one which better expressed her meaning.
In further confirmation of the genuine character of these interesting narratives, we lay before the reader a letter addressed to the Rev. Mr. Fry, by a highly respectable gentleman, who was connected for many years with Mr. Richmond as a friend and parishioner.
Turvey Abbey, February 21, 1828. My dear Sir,- The conversation we had together the other day, respecting the interesting trart called “The Dairyman's Daughter,' induced me to request a sight of the original letters.
“I own that I could not dismiss from my mind, when I formerly read the tract, that our friend had improved the young woman's letters according to his own amiable and pious feel. ings ; and it was not without pleasure and surprise I found, on the perusal of the originals, that they were in every respect as he had given them; with the exception of the bad spelling, and the unnecessary use of capital letters, which he had corrected, and a word which was here and there added or omitted, to make the young woman's meaning more plain and intelligible. This latter alteration, however, was of rare occurrencc, and such as was not only allowable, but necessary.
" I think it would be advisable to advert to this circumstance in Mr. Richmond's Memoir, as it is possible that others may
* Cowper's Task, b. 5,