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lovely creature, told her mother, on the morning of the day I preached there, that she was going to take two shillings out of her money-box to give to the collection, to buy a Bible for the poor black folk, who live beyond the sea.'”
From his letters to another of his daughters, we extract the following passages; the first two were written to her at a very early age :
“ I am come down here to spend a few days for the change of air and sea-bathing. Before I left London, your dear brother --, who had been visited with the scarlet fever, and which had alarmed us greatly, was getting better. Your life, my dear lamb, is very uncertain. Pray daily to God to put his fear in your young heart, to dispose you to love him, and to obey his holy commandments. He has hitherto preserved you all in life to us, but we cannot say how long he may extend this grace, nor which of us shall first be called away. Continue to mind your education, and to be greatly on your guard against improper company. Let nothing induce you to neglect your duty to God morning and evening. Call frequently on good Mrs. —-; her conversation will benefit your mind. Call on — also, and read to her, the first time you call, at my desire, the 8th chapter in the Romans, the blessings of which she will soon understand better in heaven. Give my sympathy and love to her. It is seventeen years to-morrow, my dear, since your excellent mother was married. I cannot wish any thing better for you, my love, than that God would enable you to imitate the virtues of such a mother, and try every day to become more like to her. Farewell, my dear daughter! the God of your fathers bless you, and make you good now, and happy hereafter !”
“ Manchester. “ If Mr. R- have Newton's hymns, I think you might daily commit a part of one of them to memory; they will comfort your heart, and supply your mind with materials of profitable musing when you are alone. On the same principle, as your memory is good, you might make yourself mistress of some suitable portions of God's blessed word, such as 53d Isaiah; the 51st, 63d, 116th Psalms; the 8th Romans, and the whole 1st Epistle of Peter. Take your time, so as not to fatigue yourself. When you walk out, be sure that there be no appearance of rain before you go. If caught in a shower, never neglect to change your clothes whenever you get home. Do not sit for a moment with wet feet. Take care also, my dear, of walking too far at once, as over-exertion is to you most dangerous; a little and often will be found best for you. I am sure you will not neglect your secret devotions. Mind, my dear, that it is with God that you have to do, and therefore let your heart be sincere in every thing.”
“ Dublin, July 20th, 1812. “MY DEAREST Girl, “ As soon as I return I shall provide a French teacher for you, and do every thing in my power to advance the cultivation of your mind. In the meanwhile, I think, if you could spare the time, you might read over Guthrie's Geography, on the article · England,' by which you will obtain an outline of the constitution and history of your country. You may read also Milton's poetical works. By Divine permission, I hope, during the coming winter, that means will be taken to promote, in an effectual measure, that preparation of mind which is necessary to your future welfare. There is a gracious Providence. Let us look up to and lean upon its care and guidance, and take those steps which our reason, and the experience of good men, recommend to our adoption. Of all families, mine is the last that should distrust the Divine care and love. I hope the children's education goes on well, and that their catechism is not forgotten any evening. Farewell, my dear daughter. Pray for me, that my life, while it lasts, may be useful, that I may finish my course with joy, and, through the abundant mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ, be admitted to the enjoyment of the eternal inheritance.”
“ Salisbury Place, Feb. 16, 1813. “ I have begun my visitations, in the hope of preventing an utter bankruptcy. But I shall be able to spare an hour in the week for putting down a few thoughts to you. I am pleased with your prospect of reading Paley's Evidences. God, I hope, will impart to you the inward witness of his good Spirit to the truth of Christianity, in the holy dispositions of the renewed nature. These are the seal of Heaven, and give assurance equal to that of miracles. I should wish you to study the character of our Redeemer as given in the four Evangelists, and mark down as you proceed the virtues of his heart, rising to your view, and attracting your wonder and your love. Tell me, as you proceed, what you think of him.
“ Your memory is good. Commit to it Pope's Messiah, Parnell's Hermit, Beattie's ditto, and that fine passage in the fourth night of Dr.Young's Night Thoughts, • Survey the wondrous,' &c. I will give you a new gown if you will say without book the first Epistle of Peter, when you come home. Watch over your thoughts, for there the mischief begins. David remembered God's name in the night, and kept his law. Imitate his example.
“ The enclosed was in the box, from Mr. -- as we suppose. The opening was your mother's doing, and in the face of my protestation. The contents are not Lady Kilda's wonderful serpents, but lessons of instruction on two small screens, in separate small patches, to the amount of half a hundred at least, neatly written and elegantly composed, very useful to an inexperienced, bouncing, yet well-disposed young woman. I promised you half-aguinea, you know, for the contents, whatever they might be. But now I will give you the contents and the halfguinea too, on the consideration of your repeating, at Midsummer, all the precious morsels of instruction inscribed on the screens, and half-a-guinea in addition if you will put down an equal number of wise sayings to those by Mr. - "
“ In attending the ministry of Mr. --, you will find that, though his manner is not so pleasant as that of some others, the sentiment of his sermons is solid and valuable. The manner is only an inferior consideration, and your good sense will easily bear with it.”
“ We come to God's house,” he remarked, on another occasion, “ not as people of taste, but as poor, guilty, destitute sinners, to listen to the offers of salvation. When ministers try to say clever things, and to make their periods round and sonorous, they blunt the points of the arrows of God's quiver, by wrapping soft silky materials around them. We cannot expect wounded consciences in such a playful and childish warfare.”
“ You may well be shocked at the marks of dislike to religion that you will see in some around you. How a rational mind can resist the evidence of our dear Saviour's mission, and how a heart possessing sensibility can remain dead to the influence of his love in dying for us, are to me unaccountable. But God is sovereign in bestowing his light and grace. Bless his holy name, that he hath, by his Spirit, formed in your heart the lovely principles of piety and goodness. Cherish these principles with the utmost care, and avoid every thing that would weaken their influence. Shew the power of religion over your own heart, by a circumspect, mild, humble, and pleasant conversation. Yield to none in whatsoever things are true, just, lovely, pure, and of good report. The unsuitable lives of professors wonderfully strengthen the cause of infidelity. It will receive no strength, I humbly hope, from your dear brother's life or yours. I have not bowed my knees to God without fervently commending you both to his gracious guardianship. When you are without company, converse with him in the house, or in your walks, about the best things,—things which derive their importance from eternity. I leave you in the care of God, to whom you were dedicated in baptism, to whom you have consecrated yourself at his sacred table, and to whom your father and mother have, times out of number, committed you.”
“ You have heard unfavourable reports of an acquaintance, and it may be prudent in you to withdraw your correspondence, for a time at least; but you will on no account propagate these reports in conversation,-no, not to your most intimate friend. A young woman's character is her all; and it is barbarous to wound the fallen, or accelerate the fall of the sliding, or to make the ground slippery on which they stand. But I know you hold in high scorn such low and vulgar usages.”
“ The state of the weather, of late, has been like the Christian life, various and changeable; but there is a glorious day coming,-a day of unclouded lustre,-a day that shall be followed by no evening. In the hope of that day, let us patiently bear up under the vicissitudes of the present life. It is a father who manages our lot: look up to him, and say, • Thou art my Father, the Guide of my youth.' Lean on him with unshaken confidence. Endeavour to form your practice on the model of the Saviour's example; and be assured that the perfection of your character lies in being like to him.”
"At length the sun has burst out from under the long obscurity, and brought with him the cheering hope of ripened fields and abundant supply. What a father is our Father in heaven! What a family his exhaustless liberality daily supplies and supports! Yet, as if all this profusion were but a scanty display of his goodness, he has given to a guilty world his own Son. Let us love him, lean on him, and obey him.”