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the life and character 





|>BI9T£D BY ¥LA.GQ A.lfl1> QQlS'l.'O. 

l^\ ) 3S^/. M-,/ o 







To cherish the memory of departed friends, is the natural 
consequence of affection for them. To call up afresh to our 
minds, the views and feelings which we have long and habitual- 
ly entertained, in regard to their virtues, their kind offices to us, 
and their benevolence and beneficence toward others, and to 
dwell on the remembrance of these, after they who exhibited 
them have bid the world adieu, affords a kind of mournful plea- 
sure to those, whose hearts are bleeding with the loss which 
they have sustained. So natural are these alleviations of the cup 
of sorrow, drunk by those who have been called to part with 
near and dear friends, that they are always instinctively resorted 
to in tlie hour of distress ; nor can all which has been said against 
obituary oo.tices and funeral panegyrics in general, change the 
feelings and practice of such as come themselves to drink the 
bitter cup of sorrow to its dregs. It must be granted, however, 
by every sober and candid man, that much has been said, on 
the subject of extolling the merits and virtues of deceased 
friends, which is just. It must also be conceded, that every 
protestation against overcharging with colours a picture of this 
kind, deserves the strictest and most scrupulous attention. But 
after all, if to speak well of the dead, must of course hf*flattery 
or partial undistinguishing eulogy, then may the friends o^those 
who were pious, and amiable, aaA \ieweNcA^x\\., ^w^:i|^>a5i^ 

died in the Lord, suppress at once every feeling of nature 
which bids them dwell with melancholy pleasure on their vir- 
tues, and renounce all intention to communicate, even to their 
intimate friends and acquaintances, the views which they enter- 
tain and cherish of those who have been wrested by death from 
the arms of their affection. 

But is this a duty ? Is the abuse of a practice, by those who 
have been partial, or unenlightened, or who have had selfish 
ends in view, or whose conscience was not troubled by any 
scrupulous regard to exactness of truth in narration, — is this 
any good reason why those who are of a different spirit, or who 
have different ends in view, should not dwell on the memory of 
dear, departed friends, and speak also on a subject of such 
deep interest, to others who sympathize with them, and to 
whom the example of the deceased may be of great importance, 
in regard to the future, as well as the present world f 

We may safely answer this question in the negative. At all 
events, the feelings of nature never have been, and never can 
.be, so restrained by objections made against funeral pane- 
gyrics in general, that they will not overleap any narrow boun- 
daries which may be prescribed for them. The heart, which 
is heaving and agonizing with the mighty tide of grief that is 
pouring from it, must find a vent, or it will burst. The God 
who formed our nature, and who remembers that we are but 
dust, has provided a way in which k may find some relief, and 
in which it always has spontaneously sought for It, and always 
will continue to seek it. 

Christians are not called to renounce the feelings of human- 
ity — the social sympathies which they, in common with all men, 
were designed to cherish. They may mourn. "Jesus wept." 
They:, ma/ speak well of such as they love, aud who, as they 

may rationally hope, have " died in the L#ord." So did Paul 
and John ; so have the pious done, in every age. So will they 
always do; for it will be — ^il must be — that " the righteous shall 
be had in everlasting remembrance." 

I have no design to make apologies for the present brief me- 
moir. I have only expressed, almost unconsciously, the thoughts 
which spontaneously arise in my mind, as I sit down to the 
pleasing but mournful task of recording the qualities of one, who 
had a high place in the affectionate regard of me and mine. 

As this memoir is intended only for the use of particular 
friends and acquaintances, of whom Mrs. Adams had so great 
. a number, I may take the liberty, in the first place, to state in 
the simplest manner I can, and as an introduction to the sequel, 
some particulars in regard to her death, and the religious servi- 
ces which followed. 

Her death took place on the 23d of Feb. 1829, after a se- 
vere and distressing illness of twenty days. Her remains were 
committed to the tomb the fourth day after this ; on which oc- 
casion funeral services were performed, as usual, at the house 
of the deceased. The weather was such, as to render it im- 
possible that the funeral should be very numerously attended ; 
but such was the state of feeling, in regard to this occasion, 
that if it had been possible, there would have been a great con- 
course of people present. As it was, there was somewhat of a 
large procession to the grave. On the Sunday following, I 
preached a sermon, in some measure specially adapted to the 
occasion. The mourning friends of the deceased, who cher- 
ish an unusually tender regard for her memory, have since 
repeatedly expressed a wish that I would consent to the print- 
ing of my discourse ; or if I did not think this desirable^ tbi3.tV 
would at least concede the Viberly oi ^nti\!v\\^'wW\.^N^^^^>x's»\^ 


in reference to Mrs. Adams ; and this, in order that they might 
thus be enabled, in the most convenient way, to communicate 
to their friends and acquaintances, for their satisfaction, the 
views and feelings which are cherished here, respecting her 
whose loss they are called to mourn. I know not well how to 
deny a request in itself so reasonable : and agreeably to their 
desires, after giving a very brief sketch of the nature of the ser- 
mon, which preceded the notice of Mrs. Adams, (which is all that 
I have thought it expedient to do in respect to it,) I shall extract 
what was then said in relation to her. 

The text chosen for this occasion, was the passage of Scrip- 
ture recorded in Heb. xii. 11 ; JVo chastening for the present 
seemeih to be joyous, but grievous ; nevertheless, afterward it 

yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness to them that are ex- 


ercised thereby. The first part of the sermon was occupied, 
with a description of the brevity, the uncertainty, and the unsat- 
isfying nature of every pursuit and affection which is altogether 
worldly ; and with endeavouring to shew, that the pursuit of all 
the objects which earthly pleasure, or ambition, or avarice, can 
hold up to view, must end in disappointment, and in overwhelm-^ 
ing sorrow and calamity. The inquiry was then made, wheth- 
er our social feelings and affections can proffer, by indulgence 
in them, any better security for earthly happiness. A higlier 
place was given to these, as to securing the object in question, 
than to either of the other pursuits, which, from their own na- 
ture, end in the destruction of health, or in the loss of all peace 
and quiet. But still, there are many disappointments, to which 
our social affections are exposed ; and some of these were 
brought to view. Sometimes they are directed toward objects, 
which prove to be unworthy of them ; and even when wisely 
9ad prudently directed, they are Viable, every A^y ^wd Vvour, to 

disappointment and distress, by the death of those wlnrni we 


The inference drawn from all this, was, that the present 
world is not, and cannot be, our place of rest; and that the 
promised land must lie beyond the desert which we are trav-^ 

The inquiry was then made, What solace can be found for 
the woes of life, which are so numerous, pressing, and unavoida-^ 
ble f What relief can be obtained, when chastening comes, that 
" is not joyous but grievous ?" The answers which the hea- 
then moralists and philosophers have given to these important 
questions, were then briefly examined, and the unsatisfying na- 
ture of them pointed out. Revelation, it was affirmed, and rev^ 
elation only, affords an answer which can light up with the joy 
of hope, the countenance of him who is agonizing under the sor- 
rows of life. The Gospel does not require us to suppress the 
tender sympathies of our nature, nor to become insensible to the 
sorrows which assail us. It demands of us no nKn*e, than td 
guide them, to control them, and so to improve them, that they 
may yield the peaceable fruit ^f righteousness unto those who 
are exercised by them. The Gospel, too, affords the grateful, 
the only assurance, that all our sufferings in this world, may be 
the means of spiritual good, and thus prove to be nothing more 
than, as it were, blessbgs in disguise. 

In order to confirm this view of the subject, the attempt waa 
made to shew, (1) That afflictions naturally have a direct ten" 
deney to %oean us from the toorld. As the great contest in eve- 
ry man's bosom, is, ^ whether he shall love and serve the crea- 
ture mere than the Creator ;' so that which removes the object 
of bis worldly affection, mars his carnal ^^^\3ite%^ ^\A\iNs^^& 
bis earthly hopes, does tend, in Us OTitk i^atoax^ A^ ^'^^'^ "^^^ 


steps of him, who is going the downward and fearful road of the 

It was remarked, (2) That afflictions are adapted to excite 
vs to seek after objects, which mil bestow a more solid and last' 
ing pleasure than the world can give. Man is endued with 
inextinguishable desires for happiness of some kind or other ; 
and when his earthly sources fail him, and be is brought to see 
their transitory, deceptive, unsatisfying nature, then it may be 
hoped, that, as a rational being, he will inquire after something 
of a higher nature, than any thing which the world can bestow. 
This effect has not unfrequently been produced on worldlings; 
it will always be produced, in a greater or less degree, upon 
the children of God. 

It was observed, (3) That afflictions, at least when borne by 
Christians, have a direct effect in subduing the selfish, aspiring, 
havghty feelings of nature, and to impart a meek, subdued, hum- 
hie, and merciful temper of mind. If philosophy cannot ex- 

'plain this, the experience of Christians can testify abundantly 
to the truth of it. Thousands and millions will bless God, 
through eternal ages, for the soivows which his paternal hand 
inflicted upon them, during their state of probation. '' Before 
they were afflicted, they went astray ; but afterward, they learn-* 
ed his commandments." 

Such are the outlines of the discourse, which preceded the 
extract that I am now to make. I transcribe it as it was de- 
livered, without enlarging or abridging it, because the wishes of 
the mourning family are, to preserve it in the original form in 
which it was first addressed to them ; a wish very naturally 
connected with the sympathies of such an occasion. What is 

)eft unsaid by this extract, and which I think it desirable should 
be said oa the present occasion, I shall add \u \he ae^ud. 

''The general subject, which (as briefly as the course pursu- 
ed would allow me to do) I have thus discussed, very naturally 
connects itself with the occasion on which this discourse is de- 
livered. We see before us to day, my friends, those who are 
in deep affliction, and who are smarting under the rod of chas- 
tisement, exceedingly grievous in some respects — may I not 
add, comparatively light in some others f To them, clouds and 
darkness may appear, for the present, to be about the Almigh- 
ty ; but I trust they do still believe, that justice and judgment 
are the habitation of his throne forever. 

It Fs not our usage here, on an occasion like the present, to 
enter into any minute historical account of the person who is de- 
ceased. Particulars of this nature, however interesting and de- 
sirable in themselves, rather belong to other times, and to other 
modes of communication than that from the pulpit. My own 
feelings are too deeply concerned with the present mournful oc-, 
casion, to venture even on an attempt to pourtray at length the 
characteristics of her whom we mourn to day, or to pronounce 
in any formal manner her eulogy. To those who knew her, 
this would be superfluous ; and to those who did not, it might 
not be the most satisfactory method of imparting a proper 
knowledge of her character. Her name, we do hope and trust, 
is written in records of higher authority than those from human 
hands ; we do hope and trust, that it is written in the Lamb's 
book of life. If to have been an affectionate and dutiful wife, 
and a mother whose tender assiduities were never weary and 
never slept; if to have been, for a series of years, a professed 
and devoted disciple of Jesus; to have washed the saints' feet; 
to have soothed the brow of anguish •, lo Wn^ ^^dcw^^ ^^si'^x^^^ 



sick and the dying ; lo have wiped away the tear of the widow 
and the orphan ; to have diffused, on every side and in every way, 
the fruits of a kind, benevolent, compassionate spirit ; and all 
this in an unusual degree, and without the least parade or desire 
of being noticed in it ; if thus, like the Saviour, to have gone 
about doing good, and all in obedience (as we have satisfactory 
reasons for believing) to his commands ; if, in addition to all this, 
we have abundant testimony of a spirit resigned, cheerful, sub- 
missive to the will of God, deeply interested in all that pertains 
to the welfare and prosperity of the church on earth, in the con- 
version of sinners, in the publication of the gospel to the perish- 
ing heathen world, in all the means used to pronK)te experi- 
mental piety in her own family, and among all around her ; — if 
all these be no grounds of hope that her name is written in 
heaven, and that no human records can bestow so high an hon- 
our on her memory as God has bestowed, then may our hopes 
be without foundation. But if these are evidences of a Chris- 
> tian and sanctified state, then may we be permitted Vo believe 
and trust, that our hopes are not vain, and that her labours of 
love in the Lord have not been in vain; 

Her end was peaceful, like that which her life had led us 
to expect. Some hours before her departure, the powers of 
the soul seemed to be roused up to new action, as in anticipa- 
tion of the happy change which it was about to undergo. The 
scene of parting with her husband and family, I shall not attempt 
to describe. Its sympathies have too much hold upon my feel- 
ings, to permit me to do it. I will only say, that the last words 
which she was heard to utter, were an ejaculation of the soul to 
that * precious Saviour j^ who, she did hope, had redeemed her 
by his blood. 
TAe agonies of dissolving nature we ip«L^, ^xvi Vv^t ^\ni 


has bid adieu to all that was dear to her id the present world. 
We may mourn our loss ; we cannot mourn hers. We cannot 
even wish her back. Is it not, must it not be, better * to be ab- 
sent from the body, and to be present with the Lord ?' 

The sympathies of her family may be imagkied ; they can- 
not be felt by others, who are strangers to her and her worth. 
They are too sacred to be dwelt on here, and too tender to be 
elicited afresh, on this occasion. When we bid them not to 
mourn as those who are without hope, we know they must under- 
stand our meaning. We do believe, that the rod under which 
they are now smarting, is wielded by the hand of love ; and that 
he who knows our frame, will remember that they are but dust, 
in this agonizing hour. To his mercy we commend them. No 
arm but his can save. No power but his can reach their Case. 
Men and angels are inadequate to count their groans, to mea- 
sure their sorrows, and to pour into their bosoms that stream of 
consolation, which will fill them with a peace, that the world 
can neither give nor take away. 

To that Saviour, whose name their dying friend invoked, 
we commend them. May that tender compassion with which 
his bosom is filled, be exercised toward them [ May their pre- 
sent sorrows, which are grievous to the frail natures that we pos- 
sess, produce hereafter the peaceable fruits of righteousness ; 
and with their dying breath, when they shall be summonned to 
meet, in another world, the departed friend whom they now 
mourn, may they, like her, call on that 'precious Saviour' 
whom they have loved and obeyed ; through him, triumph over 
the fears and pains of nature struggling with the grasp of death ; 
and then meet— meet to part no more — the glorious spirit that 
has taken its flight before them, and join the ransomed <^( ib^^ 
hord, with songs and everlastings joy u^OTi\N\^vt V^^^^^^icw '^'^ix 


world where no sickness, nor distress invades; where is no 
more pain, nor death ; where the Lord God himself shall 
wipe away all tears from every eye, and sighing and sorrow 
forever flee away !" 

The friends of the deceased will readily perceive, by this 
extract, that at least the writer of it held her in high estimation 
as a friend, a neighbour, and a Christian. Such is truly the case ; 
and he can with confidence add, that he is not only not alone 
in such an opinion, but that he knows of none who differ from 
him, in regard to the subject in question. It may be proper, 
now, to add some particulars which he did not think it expedi- 
ent to introduce into the funeral sermon ; in which the numerous 
friends and acquaintance of the deceased, may be rationally 
supposed to feel an interest. 

Mrs. Elizabeth Adams was born on the 19th of March 
1776, in Windham, Conn., where her parents, Gamaliel and Ju- 
dith Ripley, lived and died. 

She was well instructed, in early years, by her pious parents, 
as to the great doctrines of religion and duties of life. She 
was brought up to be habitually conversant with domestic econ- 
omy ; and by early experience and the instructions of an excel- 
lent mother, she was well prepared for active and useful life. 

At the age of twenty two she was married to Mr. John Ad- 
ams of Canterbury, Conn., now Principal of Phillips Academy, 
Andover, Mass. 

Mrs. Adams was the mother of eleven children. Her eldest 
son, aged two years, died in Plainfield, Conn., where Mr. Ad- 
ams resided about three years, as Rector of the Academy there, 
until be was appointed Preceptor ot Bacotv kcad^^ra^ m Col- 


Chester, Conn. From this last place he removed to Phillips 
Academy, Andover, in the spring of 1810, where he has been 
teaching to the present time. The youngest son of Mr. and 
Mrs. Adams, aged about eleven months, died in Andover. 
Nine of their children still survive. 

Mrs. Adams had the happiness, before her decease, (a hap- 
piness few could prize higher than she did,) of seeing sia: of 
these the professed disciples of Christ ; a happiness, 1 may add, 
which none but a pious parent can fully appreciate, and which, 
to such an one, is beyond what any words can express. 

Favoured with religious instruction from her tenderest years, 
Mrs. A., even in early life, manifested a serious regard for the 
word of God, and the great truths and doctrines of revelation. 
In 1804, being then in her 28th year, she united herself with the 
first church in Colchester, Conn., under the pastoral care of Rev. 
Salmon Cone. But this public profession of religion she did 
not make, until after a long struggle between her fears and her 
conviction of duty. She was one of those persons, who act 
slowly and cautiously in regard to an undertaking so^ solemn in 
its nature, and so important in its consequences, as a public 
profession of religion. She was retiring and diffident in con- 
versation, with regard to her own personal feelings and experi- 
ence ; and such were the views which she habitually cherished 
of her own unworthiness and short comings in duty, that it was 
seldom indeed, if ever, that she ventured directly to express 
her own hopes in regard to herself; still less did she claim the 
confidence of others in her good estate. 

Those characteristics remained, in a great degree, through 
all her subsequent life. It was seldom that she directly made 
her own personal feelings the subject of coaversatloa^ There 
was a kind of spontaneous relmn^^ oi ^xvc^knxv^ Ixowv ^\^^'?^^ 


tbpugb it would be either claiming or professing too much. 
But nothing was more evident, to those who knew her well, 
than that many of the inquiries which she made on religious 
sjubjects, (divesting them of all personal reference^) were made 
on her own account, and the answers were sought by her, in 
relation to her own case. The tone of voice in which the ques- 
tions were askecj, the looks by which they were accompanied, 
the deep and solemn attention with which the answers were 
heard, all betokened a personal interest that was of no ordinary 
nature. The writer of thi^^ has often heprd questions of the de- 
scription here mentioned, on a great variety of experimental to- 
pics in religion, asked by her with a solicitude which left him no 
room to doubt the ultimate object of them ; and while endeav- 
ouring to answer such inquiries, he has been more than ordina-* 
rily interested in his efforts, by the serious, the animated, and 
attentive looks and demeanour of the inquirer. . 

The same characteristics which the above particulars dis- 
close, were manifested in various other ways. No one was 
ever more punctual in attendance on the worship of Grod in the 
sanctuary, in the family, and in the closet, (as her most intimate 
friends have the best reason for believing,) than Mrs. Adams. 
In addition to all this, religious conference meetings of every 
kind, in public and in private ; little circles for prayer, reading, 
the instruction of children, or other benevolent purposes ; were 
all attended by her with the greatest punctuality. Nothing but 
ill4iealth, or absolute necessity, ever created in her mind an 
adequate ground of excuse for absence from them. Seldom, if 
ever, can any one be met with, who will appear to take more 
interest or more satisfaction than she did, in all the means of re- 
ligious improvement and devotion which are of such a nature 
as those just meationed. Yet such was her dVf^i^ue^ \a te^^td 


to herself, and her own attainments in religion, that she usually 
declined to take an active part, in the devotional duties of die 
larger, female praying circles which she frequented ; although 
she often took such a part in small ones, with which she also 
associated. I do not mention this, because I think it one of 
her virtues, that she carried her diffidence to such an extent. 
Plainly this cannot be a rule of duty for all females ; and it 
would be very undesirable, that all should regard it as such. 
But in Mrs. Adams, with a temperament and feelings and 
views such as she possessed, and situated as she was, it can- 
not be viewed as a matter of offence or doubt in regard to 
her Christian character, that she declined to take an active part, 
in the devotions of the larger female circles. Much, however, 
as I cherish her memory, and fully persuaded as I am that her 
piety was deep, ardent, and solid, I cannot think, on the 
whole, that she judged rightly as to her duty here; but I 
an^ fully persuaded that she meant to do so, and that her heart 
was greatly interested in the objects to be answered by meet- 
ings of this nature. It must ever be pleasing indeed, to see fe- 
miiles cherish a retiring, modest, unassuming spirit, such as she 
had ; but in regard to the particular now in question, I must 
hope, and do devoutly wish, that others may not be influenced 
by her example. 

Notwithstanding her feelings in regard to performing an 
active part in social devotions, yet still, no religious chrcle, 
whether in public or private, ever had a more attentive member 
than Mrs. Adams was. No preacher could ever be dull, with 
an audience before him giving such an attention as she gave. 
From the beginning to the end of a sermon, her eye was fixed 
on the speaker ; and her countenance^ uucoivadt^^V^ as^ ^^^'^^^ 
disclosed m the plainest m^nB^t A\ \5r^ N«cvtt^ "^^^^^^ 


sympathies of her soul with the subject that was discussed. It 
was in this way, rather than by words, that she disclosed the state 
of her mind and feelings, in regard to the various topics of reli- 
gion. If actions speak louder than words ; if we may know the 
characters of men by the fruits they produce ; then may we che- 
rish a strong-and cheerful hope, that ' a good work was begun in 
her soul, which was carried on, and will be consummated in 
the day of the Lord Jesus.' 

As a mfe and a mother^ it would be difficult to do justice to 
her character. No wife could be more a help meet for her 
husband, than she for hers. The exhausting duties of his sta- 
tion, which so often drink up the spirits of even the most robust 
and healthy, rendered it very desirable that he should have an 
associate on whom be could cast a part, and sometimes a large 
part, of the cares and burdens of bringing up a numerous family, 
and of overseeing many of his domestic concerns. In the most 
ample manner, did he enjoy this privilege. Among the first to 
rise in the house, and the last to retire, Mrs. Adams always saw 
that every thing was in its place, and that all was proceeding as it 
should do. The attentions of this kind which she paid, are too 
numerous and minute to be described, and can only be prized 
and felt by those who have enjoyed them, or by those who 
need them. Always kind, affectionate, dutiful, punctual in her 
iiomestic duties, and vigorous in the prosecution of them ) blest 
with unshaken health tintil a short period before her death, and 
almost enthusiastic in her devotedness to her family concerns ; 
Mrs. Adams was a treasure to her husband, the loss of which, 
his mourning looks and deep-drawn sighs plainly tell us, can 
never be repaired. 

As a mother, whdt can I say that will do justice to her ex- 
ample ? Her children know her value, and ^\\iaA Amo^x^'^xd^ 


too deeply feel it. The assiduities of tender care, of watchful- 
ness, in sickness and in health ; the deep and unceasing anxie- 
ty for their spiritual and temporal good ; the kind regard always 
paid to their wants and inclinations, even in cases where they 
sometimes needed to be checked ; all these have left an im- 
pression on them which no time can erase, and which never 
will be remembered but with gratitude. The joy too which her 
tnaternal heart experienced, (and to which I have already ad- 
verted,) when so many of them came to acknowledge their 
Lord and Saviour, in a public manner, shewed, that as immor- 
tal beings her children had been the objects of her unceasing 
prayer, and of her highest regard. May her death prove to be 
the happy means, of bringing all her beloved children to that 
faith and hope, which cheered her dying hours, and opened 
a passage of light through the dark valley of the shadow of 
death ! 

In regard to the social character of Mrs. Adams, or the rela- 
tion in which she stood to others, her example, (as has been 
distinctly intimated in the extract made above from the funeral 
sermon, ) was such an one as might be held up to the world, to 
her distinguished honour. Where have been the sick and the 
dying, in her neighbourhood, for the nineteen years that she has 
lived in this circle, who have not been watched over and com- 
forted by her? Of the twenty that lie buried in the cemetery 
attached to the Institutions here, (several of whom died before 
Mrs. Adams came to this place,) thirteen were watched over 
in their last sickness, and attended in their last hours, by her. 
All, without distinction, were the objects of her benevolence and 
compassion. Sbe ' went about doing good.' It was literally so, 
and so to an extent altogether unusual. She was not only a 
member of aJl the various chav\la\Ae,\i^xie\cA«QX^'^^visi'^>s^^ 


Missionary Societies, here and in this neighbourhood, but she 
was an active, efficient member. In particular, the Graham, 
and the Samaritan Societies, have lost in her one of their bright- 
est ornaments and most active and zealous members ; and the 
Corban Society one of their most efficient agents. The poor, 
whom 'we have with us always,' she always remembered. 
Nor will they ever forget, what she has so often and so unwea- 
riedly done for them. 

In her relation to the students of the various Academies, which 
have been taught by her husband, one might well characterize 
her by saying, that she has been " a Mother in Israel." The 
uniform kindness, benevolence, readiness to aid them, and ef- 
forts to render them cheerful, comfortable, and bappy, which 
she has exhibited, will not cease to be remembered by the nu- 
merous and widely scattered pupils, who have at various times 
been under the care of her husband. 

In regard to her social character, in the circle of her friends ; 
she was cheerful, affable, always kind and obliging, and in all 
respects such a person as is adapted to promote lasting harmo- 
ny and friendship, among families who live within the circle of 
the same neighbourhood. 

But the mournful pleasure of recalling her excellencies to 
memory, is betraying me to go beyond the bounds of just mea- 
sure in dwelling upon them. I must withdraw my hand, and 
hasten to the closing scene of her life, which ahhough in gene- 
ral terms already described, yet since it will be a subject of 
particular interest and inquiry to her friends and acquaintance, 
it must be here more fully developed. 

I shall give a view of it almost entirely in the words of her 
'imourning husband, from whom I have requested a particular 


account of it, and which account 1 do not feel myself able to 
amend. His description of the parting scene is as follows. 

^^ Mrs. Adams was blessed with excellent health, until within 
about two years before her decease. During this period, she was 
often violently seized with an affection of the liver. Every at- 
tack seemed to impair her constitution, and to leave her in a 
more feeble state. She was last attacked, on Tuesday night the 
3d of Feb. On Wednesday evening, after her pain and dis- 
tress had in some good measure subsided, her pulse sunk away, 
and she was thought to be near her end. On Thursday, how- 
ever, she revived, and was able to converse freely about herself 
and family. Wishing all other persons in her chamber to retire 
for a few minutes, she took an affectionate leave of her husband, 
asked him to pray with her, and entreated him to forgive all 
her indiscretions; and when answered by him that she was 
guilty of none, and that no wife was ever more affectionate, or 
more desirous of promoting the happiness of her husband, than 
herself, she replied, with a look and a tone of voice which can- 
not be described — " Ah no ! I have often been guilty of what 
you may call little indiscretions ; but they do not appear so to 
me ; will you forgive me V^ 

For several days after this, she continued very much in the 
same state, except that she was daily becoming weaker. She 
enjoyed her reason perfectly, except in a few instances when 
suffering under paroxysms of fever. Sabbath night, the 22d 
of February, she was seized with ague, followed by distressing 
pain and laborious breathing. About 3 o'clock on Monday mor- 
ning, she was relieved somewhat from her distress^ hut hst ^viJsft. 
hegaa again to sink away, and deavVi^^^ ^nA««^^ ?cs^^\w^^^^snm^* 


She was conscious of her situation, and knew that she was dy- 
ing. She desired her best and last love to be given to her three 
children, then absent from home at a great distance ; and con- 
tinued to speak of her family. Her husband, supposing that 
she was wishing to take her leave of them, said, "My dear, you 
must commit yourself and your family to God." She replied, 
" I do ! I do !" He then read to her the following hymn. 

Ye fleeting charms of earth, farewell I 

Your springes of joy are dry ; 
My soul now seeks another home, 

A brighter world on high. 

Farewell, ye friends, whose tender care 

Has lon^ engaged my love ; 
Your fond embrace I now exchange, 

For better friends above. 

Cheerful I leave this vale of tears, 

Where pains and sorrows grow ; 
Welcome the day that ends my toil. 

And every scene of woe. 

No more shall sin disturb my breast, 

My God shall frown no more ; 
The streams of love divine shall yield 

Transports unknown before. 

Fly, then, ye interposing days. 

Lord, send thy summons down ! 
The hand that strikes me to the dust, 

Shall raise me to a crown. 

After the reading was concluded, she immediately replied, 

" Good ! very good !" The second stanza was read to her a 

second and a third time, which seemed to express for her, just 

what she had herself been labouring to express. A few min- 

i/tes before the scene was closed, her husband again said, " My 


dear, do you know the Lord Jesus Christ ?" With a diffidence 
characteristic of herself, she answered, '^ I did know him." 
" This," replied he, " is a time of need ; can you not now put 
your trust in him ?" " I can, 1 do," was the answer. 

Two minutes before she breathed her last, he said to her, 
" Your struggle will soon be over." Upon this, she raised both 
her hands in a supplicating manner, which for hours had been 
moistened with the cold sweat of death, and said distinctly, '' I 
am ready ! I am ready I Sweet Jesus ! " These were her lai^ 
words. She fell asleep, ten minutes before six, on Monday 
morning, February 23d, 18^. 

'^ Blessed are the dead, which die in the Lord !" 

To this exclamation, flowing spontaneously from the almost 
bursting heart of her a^ctionate husband, one may well add ; 
" Yea, saiih the Spirit, for they rest from their labours, and their 
works do follow them !" 

Shall the afflicted family, who have thus sustained an irre- 
parable loss, mourn for her who has left them f Shall other 
surviving friends, who sympathize with them, bedew her grave 
with tears ? For her they cannot mourn ; for themselves they 
may well indulge in sorrow. Their loss is great. But Hea- 
ven knows what is best for them j and it is their duty, one and 
all to say, ' Thy will, O God, be done !' 

It now remains for them, and for all who may read this 
sketch of her life and character, to imitate those virtues which 
she exhibited, and to adorn, as she did, the respective stations 
which they may occupy, by untiring diligence^ ^^s^^ ^'rs^- 
sing labours of love. May Viet e^^\xv^^ ^^\n^ Na ^-ssi^^^sx'^'ss^ 


stronger desires and more persevering resolutions to act in this 
manner ; and may they, on a dying bed, be supported by con- 
solations such as we trust she enjoyed ! 

To our families in this immediate neighbourhood, who have 
most of us been nineteen years united in the business of instruc- 
ting in the Institutions here, or of superintending in some way 
their concerns, while but a single breach has been made upon 
any one head of a family, this providence affords a most serious 
and affecting admonition. The time is near, when, in the 
course of nature, breach upon breach must be made. Whose 
turn next will come, God only knoyi^s. But that all must speed- 
ily follow, is plainly certain. May each of us ask with becom- 
ing solicitude, ^ Lord, is it I ?' And when the summons arrives 
that bids us depart, may we be able to say, with cheerful resig- 
nation, ' Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly !' 

Thus have I imperfectly discharged the mournful duty, 
which the present occasion demanded of me. I have only 
spoken the feelings of my heart — my sincere convictions and 
belief. If any are disposed to ask. Where then are the faults 
of her whom you mourn ? I answer. Faults, no doubt, she 
had 5 but they were not such as forced themselves on the no- 
tice of her friends, and were concealed by the lustre of her vir- 
tues. I have not named and characterized them, because I do 
not know them. To him * who seeth not as man seeth,' they 
are known, whatever they may be ; and his mercy, I do be- 
lieve and trust, has washed them away by redeeming blood. 

If this tribute to the memory of one so dear to her own fam- 
ily, to me and mine, and to others around us, shall fall into the 
hands of any, who may think the picture too highly charged 
with colours, I have only to say, that a nearer contemplation of 
^ original would have fully persuaded lYiem, \h«\. ^xjlOdl \% wov. 


the case. I will add only, that my heart's desire and prayer to 
God is, that the number of wives and mothers — of Christians 
and members of the social circle — in our land and elsewhere, 
who shall fulfil their duties like the subject of this memoir, may 
be a thousand and a thousand times multiplied ! Should this 
be the case, the church may expect to see better days, and the 
world happier times, than have yet been witnessed. 


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