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palace whenever he came to town; and added, “ you must converse, Sir, with the Duchess on these subjects, for she understands them far better than I do."
On the evening of that day, Mr. Richmond received a polite request from the Duke of Kent, that he would favour him with the perusal of the notes from which he had preached in the morning. A discussion had taken place at the palace, on the subject of Mr. Richmond's extempore preaching; and it had been said, that no man could preach so accurately, as well as fluently, without a large portion of his sermon being duly transcribed.
The notes, on inspection, were found to occupy a very small space; and we mention this little anecdote as another proof of that talent in extempore preaching for which he was so remarkable.
Mr. Richmond continued to be honoured with the uniform marks of His Royal Highness' esteem and regard. And when that solemn event occurred, which was mourned by the nation at large, and by the friends of religion and humanity in particular, Mr. Richmond was one of those who followed his royal patron to the grave. There, as well as in various parts of the kingdom, where his public exertions called him, he heard many a testimony to the virtues, the zeal, and benevolence of this beloved and venerated prince Charity in him lost its patron; the cause of God its firm and unshaken supporter; and illustrious rank its ornament and example. Testimonies like these are instructive to the living, while they are honourable to the dead. They prove that in this country, whenever exalted station is adorned with corresponding virtues, and consecrated to high and noble ends, it never fails to obtain the best of all kinds of homage-the homage of the heart.
About this time, Mr. Richmond was visited with a domestic event which threatened the most distressing consequences. Mrs. Richmond, after having given birth to another child, and being apparently recovered from the effects of her confinement, was attacked by a dangerous illness, occasioned, as was supposed, by an imprudent exposure to the air. The symptoms became very alarming, a high fever followed, and after the utmost exertion of medical skill, and the most unremitting attention, her recovery was declared to be hopeless.
The suddenness of this shock to the feelings of Mr. Richmond, who had long known her value, both as a wife and a mother, and the tender age of most of his children, gave to this dispensation the poignancy of the severest trial. Never can the writer forget the impressions made on his own mind at that period. In the expectation of her immediate dissolution, she had taken leave of all the members of her family. A very few of their more intimate friends were permitted to see her on this occasion, and he was included in the number. On entering the room with another endeared friend, to pay this mournful visit, he was surprised to see an expression of joyful feeling on the countenance of the wife, and a calm and delightful serenity depicted on that of the husband. He could not help exclaimingIs this the chamber of death? Death was so stripped of its terrors, and religion so surrounded with all its consolations, that the place looked more like the portals of heaven, than the gloomy vestibule of the tomb. The triumph of faith in the dying wife seemed to support the otherwise afflicted husband, and to impart to him a corresponding elevation of feeling. He forgot for the moment his own sorrows in her joys; his own loss in her gain ; and did not wish to arrest her expected flight to the world of happy spirits, or indulge his grief, while she was rejoicing in the mercies of redeeming love.
If this conduct of Mr. Richmond should excite surprise in any
of our readers, let it be remembered that he was in the habit of estimating every thing by its reference to eternity; and that tenderly as he was attached to his wife, and sensible of the importance of her life to himself and to his children, still the consciousness of her assured happiness was evidently the absorbed feeling of his mind at that time. God also gives extraordinary support under extraordinary trials.
“ A martyr's grace in a martyr's sufferings."
" There is a time for all things." Nature and grace have their feelings, and there is a season for the lawful expression of both. The removal of the wife would doubtless have filled with the greatest sorrow that heart which now exulted in her triumphant prospects. The husband would weep, while the Christian rejoiced with joy unspeakable and full of glory.”
It will be well while we contemplate the triumph of faith and hope in others, that we should inquire what would be our own feelings in the hour of death, and under the pressure of affliction. Reader! does death present the appalling image of a dread eternity to your mind, or does faith open to your view the prospect of a glorious immortality? Time hurries on its rapid
Sorrow, or joy, the cry of terror, or the song of victory, must sooner or later be the portion of every child of Adam. Be yours the triumphant song " Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory, through our Lord Jesus Christ."
The affectionate sympathy of Mr. Richmond's
parishioners at this trying season, deserves to be mentioned. The most fervent prayers had been offered up daily for the recovery of Mrs. Richmond ; those prayers were heard. Contrary to all human expectation, the symptoms of the disorder abated, and her life was spared. It seemed as if she had entered into the valley of the shadow of death-explored all its secret recesses-penetrated to its utmost confines, and seen the light which could alone dispel all its darkness; and then-led by the hand of Him who says, “ I kill, and I make alive: I wound, and I heal ;” she once more returned to the days of her pilgrimage, and survived to follow to the grave the husband, who, thirteen years before, had resigned her to the mercy of his God.
The following letter alludes to the circumstances above described :
“My dearest Friend, -A hasty line must tell you, that my dear wife has been dangerously ill. On Saturday, her end appeared at hand, but she has since revived, and we entertain hope.
“I never witnessed such a triumph of grace : it has shone more bright than tenderest hope could have expected. Jesus bore her through the most painful and affecting scene more than triumphantly. Amongst other (as it then appeared, dying) requests, she desired that one of the little boy's names (the child whose birth has occasioned so much danger) should be a memorial of that disinterested, affectionate, and highly-valued kindness which a friend indeed once shewed her and her's in a time of need : that name will be Pellatt. She breathed a most grateful message at the same time. Her manner of taking leave of me and our eight children around her bed, was more striking than you can conceive, or I can describe. “Pray for us, and give a line to your grateful friend,
" LEGH RICIIMOND." Mr. Richmond ever considered the education of the young as forming one very important part of his ministerial duties. His heart was much in this work, and he was singularly blessed in it. He diligently fed the lambs of his flock ; and, as we have already stated, the first fruits of his ministry in the Isle of Wight and at Turvey were found amongst them.
At Turvey he had been accustomed to assemble the children of the parish in a room taken out of a barn adjoining the rectory, but which was too small to accommodate the numbers that at. tended. Hitherto the instruction had been confined to the Sabbath-day. Mr. Richmond felt anxious to afford the children the additional advantage of week-day lessons in reading, writing, and arithmetic, on the National plan. With this view he determined to erect a school-house ; a piece of ground in the centre of the village was given for the purpose, by John Higgins, Esq., and the object was ultimately accomplished by the aid of the National Society, and the contributions of numerous friends.
We here insert a letter on this subject, written by Mr. Richmond to Thomas Pellatt, Esq.
« My dear Friend,- It is common in this vicinity, when any person is subject to epileptic fits, that they go about from house to house, begging for a piece of silver money at each.
When they have obtained as many sixpences and shillings (the more, they apprehend, the better,) they get them all melted down into one amalgamated ring : this charm they wear, and they fancy it cures their fits. This may or may not be wise ; but I have also my sort of fit, and that is, the building and carrying on a pastoral school, under my own care and labour, for all the poor children of my parish, without exception ; and local resources being inadequate, I beg about for precious metal, to be amalgamated into a ring of personal friendship and general benevolence, for the support of my school : not that I expect to be cured myself of my fit of anxiety for the poor's sake, but that I do hope for the cure of much sin and ignorance in their hearts, lives, and houses, through God's blessing on this union of charitable aid.
“Having said thus much, do you feel it right to give my poor children either a donation, or annual subscription, or both, or neither? Your name is already incorporated, not only with my heart, but with my child. It would gratify me to record it in my parochial book also. But be assured, that if you
refuse pray do so 'without reserve, if you see good reason for it,) I shall ascribe your non-compliance solely to the purest motives. My school, both in its erection and continuance is, and will be, a monument of personal esteem to me, and of charity to my poor children. Your faithful friend,
“ LEGH RICHMOND."
The fidelity of detail which we have prescribed to ourselves in the execution of the present Memoir, compels us to advert to a subject of peculiar delicacy. Though it was the object of Mr. Richmond to train up his family, from their earliest youth, in those principles which he himself professed and adored ; circumstances of a painful nature occurred in the conduct of his eldest son Nugent. It cannot fail to afflict the mind of a pious parents when he perceives no fruit from the seeds of piety, which he has been anxious to implant in the hearts of his children. Yet this is far from being an uncommon case; children do not always adopt the views, or walk in the steps of those who have gone before them ; unhappily, examples are not wanting in the families of pious parents, of greater evils in the conduct of their children, than are generally found even amongst the worldly and the unbelieving. Such grievous disappointments may, perhaps, be traced in many instances to the neglect, the weakness, or the inconsistency of the parents, who are rebuked and chastised by the Almighty, in the iniquity of their offspring : yet in other cases, trials may be permitted, to exercise faith, deepen repentance, quicken diligence, and excite to more frequent and fervent supplications at a throne of grace.
But whatever be the cause of these mournful dispensations, they certainly confirm the views and declarations of Scripture, respecting the awful condition of our fallen nature. They shew that where the heart is not renewed by divine grace, the best instructions and the brightest examples are without effect.
Mr. Richmond used every means in the power of a Christian parent, to instruct his children, and to restrain their evil propensities. Neither solemn expostulations, nor tender entreaties, nor fervent prayers were wanting ; but they were in this case apparently without effect. At length, discovering that his son, now sixteen years of age, evinced a decided predilection for a sea-faring life (one of the last occupations in which he wished to see him engaged ;) he conferred with a valued friend in the Transport Office, by whose advice it was ultimately arranged that Nugent should embark in a merchant's vessel destined to Ceylon.
These circumstances deeply wounded Mr. Richmond's paternal feelings, and required the utmost exercise of his principles to support him under them. It was a disappointment of the keenest kind. This was his first-born son, and in the days of tender infancy he had fondly devoted him to be a minister of the sanctuary. But the plant was blighted in the bud. Yet he submitted with a confiding, though mournful spirit, to the will of God: he met his son at Deptford ; urged whatever affection and duty could suggest ; visited him again for the last time at Portsmouth, where the vessel had arrived ; and having presented him with a Bible, which he conjured him carefully to peruse, he committed him to that God who has promised, “I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring.” (Isa. xliv. 3.) He saw the vessel proceed on her