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and especially in its application to devotional purposes. Such is the professed object of Oratorios ; and the sublime compositions of those great masters in this science, Handel and Haydn, certainly carry its powers to almost the highest degree of perfection. The principle then, itself, in its pure and legitimate application, must ever be considered as subservient to the interests of piety. It is, therefore, the abuse of this principle, and the mode in which Oratorios are generally conducted, that excited the apprehensions of Mr. Richmond, as to their possible influence on his own children. The worldly associations connected with what is otherwise a source of high gratification to a scientific and devotional mind, constituted, in his estimation, an insuperable objection to these festivals. As a difference of opinion is known to exist in the religious world on this subject, we feel happy in exhibiting Mr. Richmond's sentiments, in the following letter to his wife.

“My very dear Mary,- The approaching grand musical festival, to be held at Edinburgh, about the same week with that at Northampton, occasions almost daily discussion in every party where we are visiting ; and there is but one feeling amongst all our Christian friends that no serious and consistent Christian will go. Mary,* of course, hears nothing from either her father's lips, or from those of all his estimable friends on this side of the Tweed, but determined objections to the whole plan, its accompaniments, its gaiety, its dissipation, its ensnaring character, and its inconsistency with every principle of nonconformity to the world. Neither she nor I could appear again in Scotland, in a religious, and much less a missionary character, if we were to be present at these amusements. How, then, can I do otherwise, which from my heart I sincerely, seriously, and deliberately must, than condemn the same thing, as it concerns dear F

“I have never had but one opinion on the subject of these prostitutions of religion and music, at these theatrical, and, as I think, unwarrantable medleys. I wish you had the good sentiments of dear John Newton, on the public Oratorio of the

Messiah,' at hand. I deeply lament that any, who, in other respects, so justly deserve the name of consistent Christians, should so little fathom the corruptions of their own hearts, and be so insensible to the dangerous tendency of public amusements which unite all the levity of the world with the professed

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* His eldest daughter, who accompanied him during this tour to Scotland.

sanctity of religious performances. Think not that I blame any one, but myself, for not long since making my sentiments on this ensnaring subject better known to those so near and dear to me. It is somewhat singular, that I should, with many Christian friends of all ranks in Edinburgh and Scotland, be making a firm stand against the principle and the practice of a musical festival held here, at the very time that I must also make as firm a stand against the same thing in the South. It is contrary to every feeling I can entertain on the subject. We have forsworn all these things on principle; and what is religious character and credit worth, if consistency is to be sacrificed ? Numerous as my faults and errors may be, I hope to be preserved from ever deliberately consenting that my children, of whatever age, should enter into societies, intimacies, or what I deem forbidden amusements, so as to wound my conscience.

" I write with the most affectionate feelings of a husband, a father, and a Christian ; and at this distance, we must not encounter the chance of reciprocal uneasiness, from any dubious discussion. I will only add, that I have not the least objection to dear Mrs. M. knowing my whole mind on the subject, which is, and has been for many years, perfectly decided. God will ever bless those who sacrifice worldly interest to pure conscientious motives: I have no fears on that head.

“Our journey is very active, and full of mercies. I conclude that Mary tells you of the beauties and kindness of Scotia. She is here forming truly Christian acquaintances and friendships. I pray for, and think of you much. God bless you! Take this as the hearty prayer and desire of_Your affectionate


The same subject is again thus resumed, in a letter addressed to an active friend of the Tract Society

“I can truly, deliberately, and conscientiously add to the testimony of my friend Pellatt, that I do consider the ordinary musical festivals, conducted as they are, amid a strange medley of wanton confusion and most impure mixtures, as highly delusive, fascinating, and dangerous to youth. I consider the Oratorio performances in churches, as a solemn mockery of God, and forbidden by the clear principles of the Gospel. The making the most sacred and solemn subjects which heaven ever revealed to man, even to the Passion of Christ himself on the cross, a matter for the gay, critical, undevout recreation of individuals, who avowedly assemble for any purpose but that of worship; and who, if they did, could hardly pretend that it were very practicable in such company, and on such an occasion, I do from my heart believe to be highly offensive to God. Playhouse actors and singers (frequently persons of exceptionable character,) are hired, supported, applauded, and almost idolized, in these exhibitions, and encouraged to persevere in their immoral and dangerous profession. Vice rides very triumphantly in such proceedings. I am happy to say, that in case of the festival at Edinburgh, none of the serious people, either ministers or laymen, have countenanced it with their presence ; excepting two clergymen, one of whom left the Oratorio in the midst of the performance, shocked and confounded at the abuse of holy things, and ashamed of being found there; the other is deemed by all his brethren to have acted very wrongly, and to have countenanced much evil. The spirit of the world, the pride of life, the lust of the eye, all enter into these public gaieties ; and their false pretensions to partial sacredness, only render them more objectionable. If young people do not learn this lesson early, they will greatly suffer in all hope of their spirituality. The less they may now, in the infancy of their Christian state, see and feel this, the more dangerous it is to yield to their ignorance and inexperience. What is morally and religiously wrong, can never become right through the error of youth. And it would be a strange departure from every moral and religious principle, to say 'I know an act to be wrong in itself, but my child has not grace enough to see it as I do, therefore, I may lawfully permit him to do what I know to be wrong. Would not this open a door to every species of sin and error?

As to examples of good people :-Sin does not cease to be sin, because some good people unhappily fall into the snares which the great enemy of souls spreads for their delusion. It is, and it shall be for a lamentation, that good men err so deplorably, and thereby countenance what, eventually, their principles condemn, and what they may some day have deep cause to regret.

“No man in England loves music-sacred music-better than I do ; therefore my sacrifice to principle and conscience is far greater than that of many others. I ought to have the greater credit for my self-denial ; but I dare not countenance sin and danger, because it is clothed in the bewitching garb of good music and pretended sanctity. · Let not my soul come into their assembly! Tender and affectionate husband and father, as I hope I am, however I sometimes may be misapprehended, and consequently sorry to interiere with the comfort of those most near and dear to me; yet I rejoice from my heart, in having prevented the sanctioning any part of so promiscuous and unjustifiable a medley, by the attendance of the members of my dear family; and they will one day thank me. When the object is avowedly an act of worship, all is right, let who will sing and play; but when it is avowedly an act of amusement, religion, rightly, felt and understood, forbids the profane performance of singing-men and singing-women, trifling with the things that belong to our everlasting peace, and turning them into mockery.

Leaving these remarks to the judgment and conscience of the reader, we now return to the course of our narrative.

Allusions have been made, in a preceding part of this Memoir, to Mr. Richmond's mother. Her maternal care in the days of his childhood, her early endeavours to instil into his mind the principles of religion, and the interest she manifested in some of the subsequent events of bis history, have been incidentally mentioned. She died in the beginning of the year 1819. But before we enter upon the account of her decease, we shall introduce a brief memoir, from the pen of Mr. Richmond, in which the history of his family is so interwoven with his own earlier years, as to form a kind of episode, which we have no doubt will interest the reader by the simple and affecting character of its details. It is addressed to his children, as a memorial of the virtues of his mother; while his execution of it is no less the memorial of his own.

This little piece will appropriately form, by itself, the subject of our next chapter.

CHAPTER XIII: A Tribute of affectionate veneration for the memory of a de

ceased Mother ;-in a series of Letters to his Children. By the Rev. Legh Richmond.


“My beloved Children,-The affecting summons which I so lately and unexpectedly received, to pay the last act of duty and love to the remains of my invaluable and revered parent, has impressed my mind with a strong desire to leave some memoria! of her character, for your sakes, and for your instruction.

"I am just returned from the grave of one whom a thousand tender recollections endeared to every faculty of my

soul: and I wish to preserve something of that solemnity of feeling and gratitude of heart, which such a scene was calculated to inspire. How can I better do this, than by endeavouring to convey those emotions to your bosoms, through the medium of an epistolary communication, devoted to an affectionate retrospect of the character and disposition of the deceased ? I feel myself, as it were, a debtor to two generations, between whom I now stand, as the willing, though feeble and unworthy agent by whom benefits and consolations, derived from the one, may be transferred for the lasting advantage of the other. The solid character of her religious principles, the superiority of her mental attainments, and the singularly amiable deportment by which she was distinguished, constitute powerful claims to your regard. If any additional plea were needed, I would derive it from the deep and affectionate interest which she took in whatever concerned your welfare, both spiritual and temporal ; from the prayers which she daily offered up to the throne of mercy, for your happiness; and from the unceasing watchfulness and anxiety which she manifested for your progress in every good word and work.

“ Although she was far separated from you, by the distance of her residence from our own, and the opportunities of personal intercourse were thereby greatly restricted; yet her most tender and sacred affections were ever near to me and mine. We oceupied her daily thoughts and her nightly meditations; and now that she is gone to rest, and her heart can no longer beat with mortal anxieties, it is highly becoming that we who loved her, and whom she so ,ardently loved, should give a consistency to our affection for such a parent, by a grateful inquiry into those qualities of head and heart with which God so eminently blessed her.

“ There is a solitary tree, underneath which, by her own desire, she lies buried, in Lancaster church-yard. I feel a wish, if I may be allowed for a moment to employ the imagery, to pluck a branch from this tree that waves over her tomb, to transplant it into my own domestic garden, and there behold it Aourish, and bring forth fruit unto holiness. I would gladly encourage a hope that this wish may be realized in you, my children, and that such intercourse with the dead may indeed prore a blessing to the living.

“But this can be expected only in dependence on the free and undeserved mercy of that God and Saviour, in whom your venerable grandmother trusted, and whom to know is life eter

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