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voyage with emotions better conceived than described, and lingered on the shore till its white sails were discernible no longer.

The name of the ship was the Arniston. The expected time of absence was two years.

Mr. Richmond received letters from his son, during the voyage, as he arrived at Madeira, and afterwards at the Cape of Good Hope, in the month of September; and finally from Ceylon, dated at Columbo, which place he reached in January, 1815.

These letters expressed regret for his past conduct, and a hope that he might one day prove a consolation to his parents : other letters which he subsequently wrote were to the same effect.

About sixteen months afterwards, Mr. Richmond read the afflicting account in the public prints, that the Arniston, on its return from Ceylon to Europe, had been lost in a dreadful gale of wind, near the Cape of Good Hope; and that there was reason to fear that every person on board had perished. Who can describe the feelings which, at that moment, rent the hearts of the unhappy parents? The intelligence was brought by a vessel from the Cape, which had heard the report on its voyage homewards. Still, no official intelligence had reached this country. Mr. Richmond waited the result with the most painful anxiety. Information was at length received, that the vessel was wrecked near Cape Lagullas, and that every passenger on board had perished, with the exception of six persons, whose names were specified ; in which number Mr. Richmond's son was not mentioned.

The whole family went into mourning; and the father sorrowed for his lost child with a grief unmitigated by the communication of any cheering circumstance as to the state of his mind, and his fitness for so sudden a change.

Three months afterwards, a letter was delivered to Mr. Richmond in the hand-writing of the very son whom he mourned as dead, announcing that he was alive--that circumstances had prevented his setting sail in the Arniston, of whose fate he seemed to be unconscious ; and communicating details of his present engagements and future prospects! The transition of feeling to which the receipt of this letter gave rise, produced an effect almost as overwhelming as that which the report of his death had occasioned. The family mourning was laid aside, and Mr. Richmond trusted he might recognize, in this signal interposition of divine Providence, a ground for hope that his child's present deliverance was a pledge of that spiritual recovery, which was now alone wanting to fill up the measure of his gratitude and praise.

The following letters written during the period of painful sus. pense, equally discover the heart of the parent, and the piety of the Christian.

“My dear Mary,-On my return last night from the scenery of that perfect Paradise, the district of the Lakes, I found your triple letter with a heart responsive to your own, and whose happiness depends on yours, I throw myself along with you at the footstool of



my will,

but thine be done, O Lord ! Be calm, be very calm, my love, and wait the Lord's will. It appears, doubtless, mure probable that the commissioners of the Transport Office, and the ship owners, should know the fact, than others. Mr. H. argues on that ground; and it is our wisdom to follow him, and pause. Perhaps the report is designed of God, to do us good : nay, can I doubt it? If it should prove true, the temporary check given to it has a lenient and merciful tendency, to prepare our minds for events; if false, it must call forth our gratitude, when it shall be proved so). It can be no subject of wonder to either you or me, that accidents may happen amidst the perils of the seas. 1 have ever felt it a duty to my own feelings, to look upon such as at all times probable; and so, I am persuaded, have you.

After all that we have gone through on that trying subject, I hope we are prepared to view all its contingencies, as those who have experienced too much mercy from our God and Saviour, not to trust him in the darker and more mysterious providences with which he may see good to try us.

I perfectly accord with you, in the most willing surrender of his life, if his soul be but safe : and if it has pleased God to remove him in this way, why should we wholly despair of answers to prayer? I have faith in that very prayer you offered up in May last for him,* and in many others which you have sent forth to heaven in his behalf. Knowing nothing but what your letter affords me, I shall wait, and cast my burden on the Lord. Do

you the same; and then we shall sweetly meet at the throne of Grace, in daily unity and blessed accord. I could never for an instant doubt that God had some designs of wisdom and love in the trials of last May; and I hope amongst them is a more calm, resigned, hopeful, and solid state of mind, as it concerns our son. I will, therefore, for the present, close the subject, with an earnest prayer, that you and I may mutually cast our care on Him who careth for us, who preserveth us daily, and crowneth our unworthiness with his mercies. He has a right to it, and we will not rob him of the honour of keeping us as the apple of his eye. So he giveth his beloved rest. Amen!”

* During the period of her dangerous illness.

“ My dear Mother, -We thank you from our hearts, for all your kindness.

We feel a calm resignation to the will of God in this new trial, and recognise evidences of his covenant love in the consolations which he vouchsafes us. Nature and memory will now and then be very busy, and we feel greatly. Then we think of the efficacy of prayer, in connexion with promise, and are strengthened and supported. I doubt not that a veil is permitted to be thrown over the last nine months of poor dear Nugent's life, in order that faith and hope may have a ground for exercise.

I am willing to believe, that, in addition to all others, the prayers of his apparently dying mother, a fortnight before the shipwreck, were too fervent and spiritually effectual not to avail much for her son. . The promise is to you and to your children, and to them that are afar off.'

“ The people here once more assemble in crowds at prayermeetings, for us : above 250 gathered together last night. Much sympathy prevails ; and I trust God is making all things work together for the good of them that love him, and are call. ed according to his purpose. My dear wife exhibits all the grace and Christianity of last May, on the present occasion. She is incessantly occupied : she devotes four entire hours to the boys alone, independently of the three hours which they pass with Mr. Garrard. The remainder is appropriated to the other children and the household. She has high ideas of the duties both of a wife and mother, and seems to lay herself out for both, with a mixture of good sense and piety which I have never seen exceeded, seldom equalled. God gives her great strength of mind at present, although she often testifies debility of body and spirits. You may write to her without fear. Í was prepared, by contradictory reports, for some weeks past, to meet the confirmation of this sad catastrophe, and so was my dear wife in a measure : but last Saturday morning, as we, and the three elder girls, were breakfasting at Mrs. Livius', at Bedford, the newspaper, containing the whole melancholy narrative, was taken up by my wife, and she instantly and suddenly saw the account. It was a trying hour, and we all melted. Friends in need are friends indeed, and amongst our greatest earthly mercies. Nobody but ourselves can rightly estimate this trial, because none else can know what we went through on that

poor boy's account. Thank God, we cannot reproach ourselves

we did the best we could, from his birth. The Lord saw fit to try us, but it was in wisdom and love. We dreaded his return to England, unless he was greatly changed : but who shall say that the great change was not wrought, through his own trials and sufferings, sanctified of God to his soul? Poor boy! when his watery grave appeared to be his immediate and only refuge, he must have thought of his poor parents, and needed a friend and counsellor. But I hope God was better to him than any earthly friend—and then, all is well, for him and us too. A thousand thoughts sometimes crowd into our minds, and make us weep.

Then comes the kind Redeemer, and wipes away the tears from our eyes. • This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.'— Your affectionate son,


The following pastoral letter alludes to the same subject :

“My dear Friends,-I expected to have the satisfaction of speaking to you this day from the pulpit, after a journey, during which I have seen much of the blessing of God, both in my public labours and my private intercourse ; but we know not what a day may bring forth! It has pleased Him, with whom are the issues of life and death, to bring me acquainted with the event of the death of my first-born child by shipwreck, on the shores of Africa, on the 30th of May last. I know that I have many dear friends amongst you, who will feel for me under this trial, and make allowance for my state of mind, as not permitting me to come out this day.

Nevertheless, I wish you to hear something of my thoughts, and to know how a covenant God and Saviour supports me under this bereavement. I have, therefore, desired that you would gather together as many friends and neighbours as you can for prayer. We feel most thankful to God, and to you, for

your prayers, when


dear partner seemed to be dying ; and believe that the Lord heard you.

We think that he will hear you again, when you ask that this trial may be sanctified to us, and over-ruled to God's glory, and the final comfort of many a soul.

“ You are none of you ignorant that it pleased God to permit grievous exercises of mind to befall his parents, through some circumstances connected with the conduct of this now departed youth ; and I believe that very many of you have felt much for us before now, on this account. Yet we feel it to be a great mercy, that, making all necessary allowances for human defects and failings, we cannot reproach ourselves with misconduct towards him. We did what we believed to be right and best for him, from his infancy: the precepts, the principles, the instructions, and the examples which we endeavoured to set before him, were, to the utmost of our power, according to the word of God, to the time of his leaving us.

And then we were per-' fectly satisfied that God, in his providence, had opened the best and only possible way of avoiding greater evils, when he shewed us and our child, that it was right and necessary he should choose a sea-life, as his appointed path. However contrary to our former wishes, we submitted to the will of God; and he very cheerfully set out on his voyage. The God who saw good that this should be his lot and portion, has forbidden his return home again ; and our boy is gone the way of all flesh. “The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away-blessed be the name of the Lord! But here is our hope and consolation. Nearly eighteen years' prayers have been unceasingly offered up for the welfare of his soul, and I believe that none of those prayers were unavailing. Only a fortnight before the time at which he died, his mother was wrestling in earnest and believing prayer, for his soul to be reconciled to God. The Lord heard her for herself; and may we not hope that he who says, the promise is to you and to your children,' would hear her for him likewise ? Moreover, you prayed earnestly for her and for him too; and the Lord heard


for her-why not for him likewise ? All these things appear to the eye of my faith, as links in the chain of grace: and I do therefore hope, that, amidst the trials and wonders of the deep, faith and repentance might be granted to our poor boy, before he departed hence, and was no more seen. 0 parents ! learn to pray for yourselves, and then you shall be heard for your children. We are most thankful to God, for enabling us to take this view of his covenant love, and to build hope on this Rock

“Some of you will remember him with affection, although you used to mourn over his errors. I sincerely hope you will yet meet him in a better world where shall be neither sin nor sorrow, and where no acts of real kindness to your fellow-creatures will be forgotten,

“I have often called on you as missionary friends; and I hope I shall prevail on still more of you to help the cause of poor injured Africa.

“We seem to have now another strong feeling towards the shores of Africa. Poor Nugent lies buried there! and our missionary pennies and pounds are going to a country, which his fa-, ther loves for the negro's and the Hottentot's sake, as well as

of ages.

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