Imágenes de páginas

* What you tell me respecting my father's inability to do more for me than he does, I firmly believe ; and can conscientiously assure you, that I am too grateful for what is done, to complain that more is not done.

I cannot sufficiently express my sensations of thankfulness for the uninterrupted kindness which I have ever received from


both. I wish your latter years may receive every consolation from my conduct, which duty and affection can afford you. God forbid I should ever strike out of my system of divinity that nearly central part of the decalogue, "honour thy father and mother. I look forward with great pleasure to your promised visit, which I must, and hereby do, bespeak to be a long one. I will do every thing to make you comfortable ; and have a snug room and bed quite ready for you, and a son's welcome.

To Mrs. Richmond, Bennet Street, Bath.

His sermon, on the above occasion, was published at the request of the congregation, which circumstance will explain the letter that follows.

Brading, March 22, 1802. “ My dearest Mother,- The vanity of authorship is proverbial, and yet I would fain hope that if I am vain, it is not a .vanity of vanities, but a reasonable rejoicing on Christian grounds. As I think you will feel an interest in the subject, I will detail a correspondence, which has taken place between your son and Sir Richard Hill, since the publication of the sermon on cruelty to animals."


Copy of a letter to Sir Richard Hill, Bart. :-

Brading, March 13, 1802. “ Sir,—Although an entire stranger to your person, yet

I not to your character. I therefore take the liberty without further apology, of enclosing you a tract, which I have lately been requested to publish, on a subject which, from the laudable part you took in the debate on the Bull-baiting Bill, three winters ago, I believe you to have sincerely at heart. Your known benevolence of disposition, regard for the instruction of the poor, and earnest zeal in the cause of religion, preclude my apologizing for sending you a copy on so coarse a paper, not having one of the finer ones in the house. Believe me, with great respect and esteem, your very obedient servant,


Sir Richard Hill, in reply, to the Rev. L. Richmond :

March 18, 1802. 66 Rev. and dear Sir, It would not be easy for me to express the pleasure I have received from the perusal of your most excellent discourse on Gen. i. 26. The evangelical, as well as the judicious and striking manner in which you have handled the subject, most forcibly recommend it to every friend of true religion and good order ; and the practical part, being all along enforced on Gospel principles, will, I doubt not, make its way and prevail, where the most earnest exhortations, from lower motives, would be ineffectual. I shall very soon furnish my-elf with a number of copies, printed on each sort of paper. For the coarseness of yours no apology was needful; a large sum of money is not less acceptable or useful, whether conveyed in a silken or worsted purse. I am happy to inform you that the bill to prevent the savage practice of bull-baiting, will be brought forward again in the course of a few days, and I hope there is no doubt of its success :—the last bill was lost, merely by its friends fancying themselves so secure, that they did not attend to its progress through the House. I will enclose in two covers my published letter to Mr. Windham, on his opposition to the bill to prevent bull-baiting, as it is probable you may not have seen it; and subscribe myself, with great truth,-Rev. and dear Sir, your most faithful servant,


We insert a short extract of a letter addressed to the Rev. Mr. T. It is dated Bath, March 1801.

“I wish I could give you any adequate idea of the exalted pleasure I have found from being introduced into a circle of religious, accomplished, and rational people here, with Mrs. H. M. at their head. I think I have received more solid practical knowledge and advantage from the conversations I have almost daily had with different individuals of this respectable party, than from any intercourse I ever enjoyed in my life. I have had the satisfaction of drawing very extensive attention in the pulpit to what I trust are statements of sound doctrine. The acceptance they have met with, also proves what may be done where the pure truth is preached without disguise, without quaintness, without affectation, and without fear."

[blocks in formation]

The following letter was written about the same time, to his sister, on her marriage :

* Forgive me, my beloved sister, if I express myself with more than customary anxiety, in now writing to you ; related as I am by the nearest ties of kindred, and by the still more close bonds of love and tender friendship. I feel a lively interest in all which concerns you; and should be more than commonly happy, if a brother's prayer, and a brother's admonition, should prove in any way conducive to the welfare and advancement of a much-loved sister.

“I am desirous of seeing and knowing that you will shine in the united characters of wife, mother, mistress, friend, and Christian. I feel truly and unequivocally anxious that you should not, even in appearance, sink into the mere accomplished and elegant woman. I wish you to set a right estimate upon that far more accomplished, and infinitely more useful character, which exists chiefly within the walls of your own house. Every thing depends on your first outset. By the model which you frame for your conduct this very year, will probably be regulated all your subsequent character and conduct, in every future station and relation of life.

“ You well know the affection, and I trust will not despise the judgment and sentiments of him who speaks thus candidly and frankly to you. I am well persuaded that a young woman, to be truly respectable, must dare to be laudably singular. There always will be a certain description of persons in every place, who will wonder that you can exist without passing your time as they do; but amongst those whose esteem and opinion alone ought to regulate your own feelings and conduct, the more retired and seldom-to-be-seen wife, whose theatre of real action and real pleasure is within her own house, in the fulfilment of sober, useful, and exemplary duties, will ever be most beloved, most respected, and most befriended.

“By way of immediate occupation of your time and thoughts, allow me to direct them to the relief and benefit of the poor; not by idle gratuities, but by diligently seeking them out, informing yourself of their wants and distresses, and economizing in superfluities, in order that thereby the poor may abound in needfuls, and you may abound in their blessings. Be systematically charitable, both to their souls and bodies. Promote plans for instruction; assist in superintending them ; employ yourself in making clothes for them; and rest not till you have made it a settled and uniform part of your character, to be actively, constantly, and watchfully charitable.

“Let me beg of you to buy the new edition of Hannah More's works, and invariably read them once a year, particularly


her • Strictures on Education. Let me recommend, with the united earnestness of a brother and clergyman, that you will read religious books, and sometimes allow me to be your advi

Be scrupulously attentive to the observance of the sabbath, both in public and in private, both at church and at home; and in all your pleasures, all your pains, all your employments, prospects, plans, and engagements, remember that the use of this life is to prepare for a better; and that straight is the gate, and narrow is the way that leads to eternal life, and few there be that find it.' Read your Bible, with prayer, daily, under the impression of this awful truth : and may God remember you, my dearest sister, amongst those whom he especially loveth ; and his


you, what I wish you may always prove to be, a valued wife, a tender mother, an estimable friend, and a devoted Christian.--Your affectionate brother,


We now proceed to unfold the more secret recesses of his heart, as developed in a diary, commencing January, 1804, and continued to Augnist of the same year. It is much to be lamented, that it never seems to have been regularly resumed, and that there are only occasional and interrupted documents of this kind found among his papers. A diary, in its spiritual use and character, is a record of the soul's state of feeling, in reference to the all-seeing eye of God; and therefore must necessarily be supposed to be the genuine expression of all its inward movements, to the exclusion of every thing that, by any possibility, can be supposed to be deceptive or assumed. In this sense, it is one of the most solemn acts of intercourse that can subsist between the soul and God. It is the exposure of every thought—the confession of every infirmity—the prostration of the soul before a pure and holy Being, in all the depths of self-abasement; and directed to these important ends, it is like antedating the judicial investigation and sentence of the last great day of the Lord. Good men have differed as to the expediency and necessity of this act; but the difference, probably, will be found less to regard the principle itself, than the mode of its execution. Duly improved, it may be a powerful check and faithful monitor to every thought, word and deed; and though a divine power alone can restrain the passions of the heart, and restore it in its wanderings, yet subordinate means, in dependence on this power, are still available, and may be blest in their use ; as the river is composed of tributary streams and rills, and yet all finally direct their course to the same wide and expansive ocean.

Leaving, therefore, the decision of this question to each man's judgment and conscience, we now lay before the reader the following extracts from the diary to which we have alluded.

" Jan. 1. A new year is begun, but where is the new heart, and the right spirit? 0, weakness and wickedness! Preached from Rom. xi. 28, 29; and Job xvi. 22. Felt much satisfaction, after the morning service, from J- and his wife proposing to become members of my society. He shed tears of penitence and joy. May God work all for good. In the afternoon, felt something of the fear of man ; but found, as I proceeded, more freedom. O Lord, save me from fear of censure, and love of praise! Went in the evening to my society at Arreton : few, but meek, humble, and hopeful. Another member proposed, an infirm old widow.

Jan. 3. Uneasy at not having completed another part of the review of Daubeny.* I am very deficient in steady, persevering diligence. Let me think much of this, and learn to set a right value on time. Oh! how precious ought every hour to be, when each may be the last. Thought much of Cowper's description of preaching : (Task, Book ii.) God impress it on my heart. B. is buried to-day; how dreadfully unprepared to meet his God! How far am I responsible ? Alas! how great is the burden of the pastor! Lord, give me grace to see it, and feel it more and more, and enable me to bear it with a good conscience. I have been delighted, and I hope profited, by Biddulph's funeral sermon on Mr. Drewitt; oh! that I were like him! I now wonder that I had not more correspondence with that holy man, I shall ever think with pleasure of my introduction to him. God bring us together at the last. I trust my resolutions gain strength. O God, in thy mercy strengthen me ! May my thoughts now close with blessed Drewitt, and sink to peacefulness with a blessing on the meditation.

" Jan. 4. Received the Christian Observer; my fourth letter on Kipling there ;t surely it is conclusive, yet what will not prejudice distort? Preserve me, O my God! in the wiles of controversy, from the neglect of practical religion within. It is not Calvin, nor Arminius, nor Cranmer, but Christ, who is the Saviour, and his name only be adored.

* He here alludes to his review of Daubeny's Vindiciæ Ecclesiæ Anglicane, of which we shall have occasion to speak in a subsequent part. It was inserted in the “ Christian Observer."

| This is another review in which he was engaged. It was published in the "Christian Observer” for 1804, under the signatures of Academicus, and a Curate of the South.

« AnteriorContinuar »