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mal.' Whatever, therefore, of domestic narrative ; whatever of earnest exhortation to yourselves; or whatever of remark upon the interesting qualities of the subject of this memoir may intermingle with my present address,-keep invariably in mind, that my great object, as it concerns her, and you, and myself, is to give glory to God alone ; and in the deepest humiliation of heart, to look up to : :im as the sole fountain of excellence.

“In addressing you on such a subject, my children, it is natural that i should reflect on the varieties of age and circumstance in which you are placed. Even in point of your number, I can hardly pronounce it without some degree of fear and trembling. Ten immortal souls !-souls allied to my own, by ties inexpressibly tender, and inviolably dear,--souls committed to my charge, not only as a minister, but a parent. •Who is sufficient for these things?? has been the secret cry of many a minister and many a parent. In each of these relations, I wish to apply that divine promise to my heart, our sufficiency is of God.' I have long cherished a hope, founded on another gracions intimation oi His wili to those who love and fear him—The promise is unto you and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.' Supported by these consolations, it has been my aim to bring you up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and to train up my children in the right way; trusting, that if they live to be old, they will not depart from it. Yet sometimes the anxious fear, connected with a survey of the world in which you are placed_its vanities and its vices-its delusions and its dangers,

will force itself on my thoughts. I have lived to see, in other families, some of their buds of promise blighted, through the baneful and infectious influence of corrupt associations. I have seen what havoc the pomps and vanities of this wicked world, the sinful lusts of the flesh, and the wiles of the devil, have made in many a household. I have witnessed the sorrows, and mingled mine with the tears of my friends, when they have spoken of the wanderings and misconduct of some of their children: and then, I have occasionally trembled for my own little flock. But I feel it, at the same time, to be both my privilege and my duty to use this very solicitude for a higher and nobler purpose than despondency and unbelief would suggest. These anxious affections are planted in the parental heart, and manifestly ordained of God, as incentives to caution and stimulants to prayer.

As such, I would employ them for your sakes; I would hereby the more assiduously teach you to . abhor that which is evil, and cleave to that which is good :' and above all, I would, with the more earnestness and dependence on the covenant grace of God, present your mortal and immor. tal interests, in supplication, to Him who hath said, the promise is unto you and your children, and to all that are afar off, as many as the Lord shall call.'

“And surely, I may be allowed to urge an excuse fur dwelling upon this text, even in a way of literal application. For you, my first-born child, are indeed · afar off ;' and these pages may much more easily reach you, amongst your uncertain journeyings on the shores or the waves of India, than they can ever convey an adequate idea of the exercises of varied affection, which yout eventful history has occasioned us.

“Next to your immediate parents, no one felt so deeply on your account as my deceased mother. Her prayers and goodwishes were mingled with our own, when we first committed you to the vicissitudes of the ocean, and the mariner's lot ;and the above-named promise was her support, as well as ours.

“ As I stood on the shores of the Isle of Wight in the summer of 1814, and watched the departure of the ship which contained my child, with a father's eye and a father's heart, I pused over the past, the present, and the future, until the shadows of the night interrupted my view. One moment suggested, 'my poor child will soon be afar off ;' the next, as it were, replied, but the promise is unto you and to your children, and to as many as are afar off.' The thought consoled me as I returned homeward, and I prayed for my little ones, that God would, speak peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.'

“ And then, again, my son, when during the following year we received the dismal tidings of the wreck of your ship, and the destruction of nearly all her crew, on the coast of Africa,* as she returned on her voyage from Ceylon, when amongst the six persons whom alone, out of 360, Providence saved from death, we found not your name, we seemed, in this valley of the shadow of death, more than ever to need the rod and the staff of the great Shepherd to comfort us. At that trying period the same promise came to our aid, and we felt its consoling influence ; while, like Aaron, when his sons were dead, we held our peace. And when afterwards it pleased God, in the mystery of his mercies, to discover to us our mistake, and to prove to us that you had no part in the horrors of this watery grave, it did indeed seem once more fulfilled—this my son was dead and is alive again ; he was lost and is found.'

* Off Cape Lagullas.

" During these transitions of feeling, I cannot express how much the truly scriptural communication of sentiments and counsel, which we received from my now deceased parent, contributed to the encouragement of faith, and patience, and gratitude. From that period till her death, the welfare of my child * afar off'continued to lay very near to her heart.

- What news from India ?' was her frequent inquiry, and always accompanied by the interesting tear of maternal solicitude. To

you, therefore, as the eldest of my dear filial flock, I may, with due earnestness, first commend this • tribute of affectionate veneration for the memory of my deceased mother.'

“ She was a faithful mother to us all, and I wish her memory to be enshrined in the grateful recollection of your heart. If these lines are ever permitted to meet your perusal, my son, cherish them for her sake and mine,

“ From India, I turn to my nine children at home ; and greet you with a father's blessing, as I present you with these domestic meditations, which I write for the sake of those of you who have enjoyed the opportunity of occasional intercourse with the subject of the memoir, as well as of those whom circumstances never permitted to know her. I anticipate the time when even my last born, the babe that cannot yet lisp the honoured name of 'grandmother,' shall not be ignorant of her worth, but shall love to listen to the record of those gracious affections with which God was pleased to adorn her; and perhaps, on some future day, when visiting the grave where she is laid, may say, here lies one, whom from my cradle I was taught to love and honour.'

“But, whilst I am enumerating the olive branches which surround my table,' and the children whom God hath given me,' I suddenly feel as if I had erred in my calculations. Is there no link of connexion between the visible and invisible worlds ? no right of appropriation by which an earthly parent may say

• I have a child in heaven?: Yes ; a sweet little cherub in the mansions above seems to my imagination to be the very link which faith and love would employ to animate all the energies of my best affections, when I look at my still living children, and contemplate their immortal condition.

“One of you, my eleven children, is in glory,-a lamb, safely and eternally folded in the arms of his Redeemer. He is the first of my household that has gone to his rest. May he prove a pledge for many to follow him there, in God's own time. In the mean time, cherish it in your frequent remembrance, as an argument for heavenly-mindedness, that one of you is already in heaven. I may not, indeed, now address myself to him; but I may speak of him to



remind you of his epitaph, and of the Paradise to which he belongs. I may also thus preserve the sense of kindred alliance between the dead and the living of my family, and ardently pray for the perfect and eternal re-union of them all, through grace, in the house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.' Such likewise were the supplications of her who through faith and patience is gone to inherit the promises, and to join our own little infant in singing hallelujahs • to Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.

" In the cherished anticipation of such results, from the free and undeserved mercies of redemption, I will conclude the present letter, by subscribing myself-Your affectionate father,



LETTER II. My dear Children,- In this endeavour to delineate a short sketch of the life of your deceased grandmother, it seems necessary that I should give you some little information respecting her parentage and ancestry. There is a kind of pleasing melancholy in recurring to times now long past, and to former generations, endeared to recollection by kindred ties, to which I cannot feel wholly insensible. A number of letters, papers, and documents, connected with the early circumstances of my dear mother's life, and of her more immediate relatives and ancestors, lie before me. While I peruse them, I seem to be translated to a former age ; and to realize once more scenes and associations which can only thus be revived. They bring to my recollection the friends of my own infancy long since dead, and the various domestic relations and events of which they loved to speak. I would not set a higher value on such things than they deserve ; nor would I put the mortal genealogies of earth in even a momentary competition with the alliance of the family of heaven.' Yet, in tracing the personal history of those whom God is pleased to honour with spiritual blessings, an interest may lawfully be excited by a variety of minor circumstances, which are necessary to the connexion of the story; and

may to profitable considerations, when viewed as the links of that chain in Providence, by which the Almighty Father upholds the destinies of his children, and confirms the counsels of his will repsecting them.

“My mother was born at Liverpool, in the year 1736. Her


parents were descended from, and nearly related to, several ancient and respectable families in the counties of Lancaster and Chester. Her father, John Atherton, Esq., of Walton Hall, near Liverpool, was descended from a younger branch of the Athertons, of Atherton in the former county, whu settled at Preston. Of his character, I have frequently heard my mother speak with affectionate veneration. More particularly, she used to give me an account of a behaviour and conversation on his death-bed, which seemed to bear the characteristics of true Christian faith and hope. “I am,' said he, 'an unworthy sinner, but I know in whom I have believed. I have nothing, nothing of my own; but Christ is every thing. My daughter, the comforts of dying rest not in the poor merits of man, but in the sure mercies of God.'

6 Such were a few of the expressions which frequently escaped from his lips, till his eyes peacefully closed in death. Such traditional memorials should be valued ainongst us that remain ; and may, by God's blessing, prove incentives to follow those who through faith and patience are gone before to inherit the promises.

“Her mother was the daughter of Sylvester Richmond, Esq.,* of Acton Grange, in the county of Chester, by Frances Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Richard Brook, of Norton Priory, Baronet, who died in 1710.

“ Her mind, at a very early period, exhibited a strong inclination to the study of the best authors. She was well versed in the historians, essayists, and poets of her own country, and read the French language with fluency. Her memory, even at the advanced age of eighty-three, was well stored with the judiciously-selected reading of her younger years. She possessed a naturally strong judgment, and examined with accuracy the sentiments and the style of every book which she read. At a period when female education was, with but few exceptions, very feebly directed to the cultivation of general and useful literature ; when the romance and the cookery book were too frequently esteemed to be the chief requisites of a lady's library-Miss Atherton was a constant student in almost every branch of such learning, as, even in this more cultivated age, would be deemed advantageous and interesting to the female

* This Sylvester Richmond was the son of Dr. Sylvester Richmond, who settled, and practised very successfully as a physician, in the town of Liverpool, during the reign of Charles II. His father was Oliver Richmond, Esq. of Ashton Keynes, in the county of Wilts, on which estate his ancestors had successively resided from the time of the Conquest.

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