Skip to main content

Full text of "Domestic portraiture; or, The successful application of religious principle in the education of a family, exemplified in the memoirs of three of the deceased children of the Rev. Legh Richmond"

See other formats


This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project 

to make the world's books discoverable online. 

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject 

to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books 

are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover. 

Marks, notations and other maiginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the 

publisher to a library and finally to you. 

Usage guidelines 

Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the 
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing tliis resource, we liave taken steps to 
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying. 
We also ask that you: 

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for 
personal, non-commercial purposes. 

+ Refrain fivm automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine 
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the 
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help. 

+ Maintain attributionTht GoogXt "watermark" you see on each file is essential for in forming people about this project and helping them find 
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it. 

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just 
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other 
countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of 
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner 
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liabili^ can be quite severe. 

About Google Book Search 

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers 
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web 

at |http: //books .google .com/I 


Darvart) CoUcdc Xibrar^ 





Thou shall leach them dihgeotly unto thy cbildrcn, tnil shall 
Jk of Ihein when thou aitleBt m thj houar, and nben thou 
walkest by the way, and when thou liest dotvn, and when thou 
jiest up.^Daot. vi. 7. 

Hsblesseth Ihehabilationof the Just. — Prov. iii. S3. 

This we ought lo be conalantly intent upon aa the businOBB of 
our livea — our dmiy work — (o get our eprrila so attemperei] and 
lilted to heaven, that if we be asked what design we drive at, 
what we »re doing, wo may be able lo make a true aaswer, 
We are drnsing mrailvti/or tttrmly.—BaVE. 












or TBB 









:- r - 



PBJJrTED BY R. * a a. WOOD, 261 PEABL^niBCT. 


AXiLow me to present to you the following little 
woiky in which I have endeavoured to draw out 
your late husband's plan of education, and to illus- 
trate its success in the conversion of three of hia 
children. The materials placed in my hands 
appeared to me too valuable to fa^. buried in 
oblivion; and I am persuaded I shall receive the 
thanks of every Christian parent for having brought 
before them such an examplar to direct and en- 
courage them in their own labours. My excellent 
friend has long since been known as a minister of 
the gospel and the advocate of our religious socie- ' 
ties, and '*his praise is in all the churches." But 
in the following pages it will be seen that his pri- 
vate character, as the father of a family, shone 
with no less bright a lustre, and is worthy to be 
held in still higher estimation. 

My heart's desire and prayer to God for you 
and for every member of your family is, that you 
may continue to follow Christ after the example 



of your instructor and guide, and under the inflitr- 
ence of the same spirit, may bear an honourublQ 
testimony to the nature and worth of vital religion, 
I am, be assured, with the highest esteem and 

Your faithful servant, 

Thb Avthob. 


If any apology be deemed needful in presenting 
•to the public another vddme connected with Mr. 
Richmond's name and memory, we might refer to 
the lively interest with which the productions of 
his pen have ever Been received, and the frequent 
demand made for more of his correspondence. It 
must be remembered that the letters noW pub- 
lished were not intended to be read by any one 
beyond the circle of his own family, and they are 
not introduced on the present occasion as speci- 
mens of extraordinary talent and composition, but 
with a view to exhibit the unwearied efforts of a 
Christian father in the education of his Children, 
and to encourage those who are engaged in the 
same pursuit to hope to the end, while they dili- 
gently persevere in the use of means, since they 
may here contemplate another proof that God is 
faithful to his promise — " Train up a child in the 
way he should go, and when he is old be will 
not depart from it." 

• * 

I k 



It has not been the design df the Editor to 
censure others, who may adopt a mode of edu- 
cation somewhat different, or to claim for his 
friend or himself an exclusive right to dictate to 
the Church of God Mr. R. had, in some res- 
pects, his peculiarities, and men must judge for 
themselves as to their imitation of ^them ; but 
there can be no mistake in earnestly recom- 
mending to their« regard his leal and love — ^his 
devout and heavenly spirit — his consistent and 
firm preference of eternal to temporal advan- 
tages, and the evident blessing of God, which 
crowned wi£h success his method of instructing 
his family. May the same divine blessing accom- 
pany the present humble attempt to promote the 
glory of Grod and the spiritual good of men. 


AT-'. ;-^ 

« «• 





IbotnaiiDi on. EducatioB— -Publto Morals and Private 
Education. page 1 


Mc Richmond's Plan of Edoeation — ^Amnflements 
for leisure hours — ^the Ealeidescope— -the Solar 
System. page 13 

cHAPTxa in* 

The usual amusements of young people excluded*- 
Keeping of birth days — ^Letters on. these occa- 
Bions — Choice of companians — Home corres- 
pondence— -Discipline — Letters to his children. 

page 29 


Residence at the University — Letter to a young man 
matriculating at Cambridge—- Subjects omitted 
in Mr. Richmond's plan. page 74 


Life of Nugent Richmond — Sponsorship— Letter to 
i^ponsors — Remarks on the ministry— Nugent 
aent to sea — Occurrences in India — Letters to 
his parents — His expected return — His death. 

page 99 




spective theories. The opinions of some are so 
extravagant and opposed to all sound practical 
wisdom, as scarcely to deserve an allusion. Who 
could have supposed that a grave and intelligent 
author would recommend a parent to leave his child 
without instruction until nearly the age of man- 
hood, under the pretence of not embarrassing free- 
dom of thought ? If such a strange conceit could 
be acted upon, it would soon reduce an enlightened 
people to the condition of barbarians. But the ex- 
periment is impracticable, for " the process in the 
formation of character, though rude and ruinous by 
neglect, will go on." From the cradle to the grave, 
a succession of hourly events and influences of a 
thousand kinds will gradually and ultimately esta- 
blish habits, and give a capacity for happiness or 
misery on an entrance into the eternal world ac- 
cording to their result. A bias of some kind or 
other will be received, and the only alternative for 
our choice is, whether that predisposition which 
arises from the inculcation of good principles, and 
a reliance on authority for a time, is not preferable 
to the impulse of corrupt inclination and the influ- 
ence of more corrupt communication. 

There have been other writers who seem disposed 
to consider man as the mere creature of circum- 
stances, and education as forming " the only 
ground of difference between the judge on the 
bench and the prisoner at the bar." These attach 
too great an importance to human effort and the 
force of habit, when they compare a rational agent 
to the plant of the field, and expect that he will of 
necessity take his form and shape from the hand of 
the cultivator. If they do not deny in plain terms 
the need of divine interposition, they make no 
appeal to it, and seem to regard it as superfluous to 
the piuposes and ends of education. But whatever 
value we set on moral culture, its failure, in many 

. ^■. 


instances, — a failure so great that corrupt nature 
seems as it were exasperated to evil by the very 
means employed for its correction^ — affords a 
mournful proof, that " it is a poor centre ofaman^s 
actions^ himself.^'^ Another equally affecting fact * 
leads us to look higher than mere human agency ; 
for have not many useful and virtuous characters 
sometimes appeared like lights in the midst of dark- 
ness, emerging from influences the least calculated 
to warrant such an exception. It never must be 
concealed or forgotten by a teacher, that "God 
worketh both to will and to do of his good plea- 
sure." He gives to the mind its first impulse, and 
directs every step in its progress wherever the cul- 
ture of man is successful. Independence is no 
attribute of a creature ; and to challenge success as 
the necessary result of our own efforts is a pre- 
sumption no less opposed to reason than denounced 
by revelation. " Not by might nor by power, but 
by my spirit, saith the Lord." 

There is a third error which has its advocates. 
While some attribute too much to human culture, 
others expect too little from it. There is a pride 
which inspires an undue confidence in the use of 
means, and there is an indolent reliance on divine 
aid which vainly looks for an end without them, and 
disposes men to neglect or wholly disregard them. 
This perversion of a truth generates a reckless 
feeling, and has done great mischief in religious 
families. It is perhaps a chief cause of the melan- 
choly spectacle not unfrequently exhibited in the 
ruin of many children whose parents have professed 
to respect and value christian principles. They 
* seem to overlook both the precept and the promise 
of the word of God' — " Train up a child in the 
way in which he should go, and when he is old be 
will not depart from it." ^ * * 

3ut xlismissing whatever is chipieripal or tms- 

4 rCBLip MOBAL8. 

taken in tb^se theories, (for it is not to my purpose 
to <;arry the discussion to a greater length,) 1 would 
xyhaerve, XhBt to train and prepare the soul for it f 
eternal destiny is the proper business and end of 
* education. It must be admitted that there are sub- 
ordinate ends which may be desired, and means of 
the same character which may be employed for 
their attainment : that a competent provision; ac- 
quirements which will render us respectable in 
life; all that is connected with the security and 
promotion of present happiness, are lawful objects 
of pursuit, and it is folly to neglect or despise them. 
In many cases it would be a dereliction of duty ; 
for we must not consider ourselves as insulated 
beings, and " go out of the world," but continue in 
it as " the salt of the earth," to dispense a purifying 
influence. I am not the advocate of superstition 
or eccentricity ; but I contend that the chief end 
of education is to train for eternity. There may 
be an awful consistency in the sentiments of those 
whose hopes and prospects are bounded by time, 
when they say. We and our children will eat and 
drink, for to-morrow we die. But, independently 
of revelation, and assuming only the belief of a 
future state, — a state to be determined by our con- 
duct in the present world, it follows as a necessary 
consequence, that whatever we teach or do, ought 
to have a bearing on another condition of being, 
and be made subservient to its interests. Here I 
stand on the vantage ground, and fear not to make 
my appeal to every thinking man ; not only whether 
the welfare of a future life can be reasonably set 
aside, and children taught to despise and disregard 
it, but whether it be consistent with the expectation 
of another world to give it less than the chief and 
foremost place in our thoughts and actions. It 
cannot be regarded as subordinate or secondary 
without exciting, a just suspicion that we do not 


«dinit its existence. Such an appeal may be ^ade 
with still greater force to an avowed tli«ciple of the 
Christian faith. The whole, bearing of revelation 
goes to this point, >/Seek first the kingdom of 
God." Let it be observed that the question is not ^ 
here one of mere opinion. Few would venture 
to deny the principle, for this would be to deny 
the authority of the principle ; but we must look 
to opinion as realized in practice, and insist onr the 
propriety and necessity of interweaving religions 
principle a,s a golden thread in the whole texture of 
education ; deriving from it the motives, the means, 
and the end ; and so steadily keeping in view the 
final result, as to make a cheerful sacrifice of every 
thing which would be likely to impair or interfere 
with it. 

I may be censured for rashly libelling the com- 
munity in which we live, yet it must be apparent 
to an unprejudiced mind, that for the most part we 
are a nation of christians by profession^ and of 
heathens in opinion and practice, Christianity may 
have improved the moral sense, or at least driven 
into the shade the grosser abominations of ancient 
times, but it is a palpable fact, that the Bible is not 
our standard ; nor a provision for the world to come, 
our object, and end. Are not our motives derived 
from reputation, interest, or gratification ; and were 
not these the fulcrum employed by the gentile 
world to move the youthful mind to exertion? 
What are the virtues Avhich are prized and com- 
mended ? We hear of a becoming pride — a con- 
scious dignity — a noble ambition — a deserved scorn 
and contempt — a just revenge — dispositions and 
impulses of corrupt nature which are totally con- 
demned by the word of God. In what light are 
many acknowledged vices regarded by us ? The 
Christian and the heathen moralist equally repro- 
bate murder, impurity, and fraud; and legislators of 



i-eyery age have cafltM^.TJavra to deter from thsfe 

' ' tommiesion; but do We not in a multitude of id- 

^ 'Stances endeavour t<k ^ida the enormity of these 

crimes, when we csiinot Jilt^r Iheir character, an^ 

talk of a proper dcfance of honour, an affair of ga)- 

Vl' laotry, and a forluDKte stroke of policy ? 

**-:.- "Alt the« things the Gentiles did," and we, 

' though pf'>'€ssing to know God, by ourimilation of 

'' '. tbejractioiis, dishonour him. Even wijcn a stricter 

'. .■ \ VfM of morals is approved, the leading feature of 

hejfttfieft ages is slill retained, and a boy is taught 

*" ■ . by tba example of his teacher, and by the conduct 

of all around him* to regard religion as an affair of 

secondary importance, — at best to be viewed with 

awe at a distance — not to be brought into contact 

with all its aims and ends ; as a something he must 

submit to of necessity, rather than choose as a 

source of his purest enjoyment. The peculiarities 

of the gospel, in principle, disposition, and conduct, 

are ao far from being applauded or enforced, that 

the very reference to them on any occasion, would 

expose him to suspicion, scorn, and reproach. 

This is no idle declamation, but a simple state- 
ment of facts ; and it is worth while to enquire the 
. cause of so lamentable a departure from the charac-. 

' ter of true Christianity. 

We will therefore examine the course of educa- 
tion pursued in this country, a» it is conducted in 
public schools or by private tuition, and which if 
carried on, is usually completed at one of the uni- 

A public school presents some advantages. These 
consist chiefly, perhaps, in the superior ability and 
attainments of the masters, who are generally 
selected from the ablest scholars of the age. The 
pleas often urged, of the value of connections, and 
the knowledge of the world, {which to boys can 
' Bflither be necessary nor useful,) seems to carry 

•*»■ 1 

PUBLIC; aiQRAiife .;:* , ' 7 

* . ■ '■ .*"'*' -^ ' " 

^le weight ; ud ifallowed to possess mj^ 'm mwe ^ 
than counterbalanced by tie evjils arising .<Mit of .' 
numbers, bad companions, and the neglect ^fjfte . 
holy scriptures ; whioh lay a foundation for Mtfiitii 
and conduct in life beyond measure' iojcirioos. 
Many private schools abound with th^ saipe evils, , 
and offer fewer advantages than the larger estab« 
lishments. In both cases, it has been jugtlyobterved, • 
instruction may be secured in the school-room, 'but 
education is carried on in the play-ground, oiin tlie 
dormitory. There is seldom at such seasons iftiy 
superintendence. Neither the eye nor the ear di 
the master is with his pupils, and they are, for the 
most part, left without control or restraint, to 
follow the devices of their own minds. A few 
elder boys prescribe the standard of opinion and 
conduct, and whatever may be erroneous or cor- 
rupt in the leaders, finds a ready acquiescence from 
those below them. Painful are the details of a 
Tyro, who either boasts or laments the fruits of 
these evil communications. 

The neglect of religion in public schools has 
often been asserted, and the charge repelled with 
indignation. Certain it is, however, that the greater 
number of pupils leave these establishments and 
enter into life, with an ignorance and indifference 
towards religion, or with an avowed contempt for 
it. They have no idea of viewing it as the end of 
their being, — the rule of their conduct, and to be 
carried by them as a governing principle into every 
event and transaction of life. It has evidently not 
been a prominent feature in their past studies. A 
form of prayer, a chapter in the Greek testament 
on the Sunday, or an exercise for the memory from • 
some elementary author, (and such I believe to be 
the amount of religious instruction,) are poor sub- 
stitutes for a constant reference to the commands 
and promises, the motives and models of the Bible, 



* — lor a diligent ^cultivation of right habits and 
opinions. Can it be said with kny trifth that the 
word of God is read daily, of pains taken in its 
application^to the heart and conscience ? Afthough 
a decent respect may be inculcated for revelation, 
IB a boy instructed by his teacher to regard the 
world as a bauble, and the service of God as his 
glory^ Are sinful tempers watched over and 
reproved? Are heavenly dispositions cultivated 
and encouraged, with a close and intimate inspec- 
tion of morals and the employment of leisure hours ? 
They can best answer these questions who have 
been the victims of vices contracted in our public 
schools ; or who, when awakened to real principle 
and piety in after years, have endured throughout 
life a kind of martyrdom in conflicting Avith the 
sinful habits of their youthful career. 

The chief studies in our public seminaries are 
the classics. Science, till of late years, formed no 
part of them, nor has it even now more than a 
small share of the seven or eight years devoted to 
acquire an imperfect acquaintance with the authors 
of Greece and Rome. 

The objections made to the use of heathen 
authors in Christian education are not always valid. 
Classical knowledge forms a good foundation for 
theological attainment, while it is considered as the 
handmaid of religion, and is made subservient to 
Its purposes. An illiterate ministry is never a safe 
one, nor can a sound and accurate interpretation of 
the word of truth be expected without a knowledge 
of the original languages, and without that disposi- 
tion to sober and patient investigation, which the 
habits and discipline of the mind under proper 
culture, seldom fail to inspire. 

These objections apply rather to the manner of 
teaching the classsics, — to their being viewed as an 
end| not a means, and to the measure of time and 


• ^ 



attention bestowed on them, to the exclusion of 
more important subjects which would counteract 
the evils incident to them. 

While discussing the merits of school education, 
1 cannot refrain from adverting to a modern system, 
which discards the aid of religion in the hours of 
instruction. I view this novel experiment with ex- 
treme alarm. The reduction of expense, and a 
plausible pretence to liberality of sentiment, has 
prevailed on men of real piety to give their sanction 
to it, and they have been seduced, in their simpli- 
city, to approve a plan more worthy, of the enemies 
of religion than of its friends. The classical tutor 
must take the Bible in his hand with every book of 
instruction, or the mind of his pupil will necessarily 
be exposed to the daily influence of many things 
which are false in principle and vicious in practice. 
He will insensibly be led to prefer knowledge to its 
right use and application, and to estimate talent 
above piety. He will despise as unworthy of the 
manly age, the principles confined to the nursery 
and the family, and which are never brought befojQ 
him by those whom he is taught to regard with 
superior veneration and respect. We m^j[ boast 
of the march of intellect, and treat with supercilious 
contempt the example and usages of former ages, 
but the diffusion of unsanctified knowledge will 
prove a great evil to the community. The feeblest 
recognition of a Deity, and the admission only of 
the forms of religion — nay, even superstition itself 
is preferable to the entire exclusion of all reference 
to a divine power. 

"No institution," said my excellent friend, "can 
or ought to stand, in which Christ is not the foun- 
dation ; and I: wholly disapprove of all schemes 
which deliberately shut God out of their direction." 

To schools;, Und particularly to the manner in 
which they are conducted, Mr. Richmond felt the 


strongest repugnance. The sentiments which I 
have laid before the reader are in fact the substance 
of conversations with him on these subjects. He 
never spoke without emotion when he recollected 
the vices which his eldest son had contracted by a 
public education, and the sad influence of bad 
connections formed under those circumstances, and 
which, counteracting the good effects of early in- 
struction at home, caused the ruin, as he used to 
say, " of his poor wanderer." He resolved in con- 
sequence to adopt the plan of home education, with 
the assistance of a private tutor. 

Private teaching has certainly some disadvan- 
tages, but they are few in comparison of the bene- 
fits secured. I grant that there is a danger of irre- 
gularity in the hours of study, arising from visitors 
and invitations — the severity of needful discipline 
may be softened into a mischievous relaxation by 
affection ill-directed and unduly interfering with the 
teacher — and the stimulus of competition, the desire 
of distinction and the love of praise, (very ques- 
ti^able motives, however,) are lost. But these and 
every other defect of a private education may be 
reraedig di whilie advantages of the utmost import, 
ajice ,3hr the formation of character are secured 
Regular habits may be established — interruptions 
of every kind prevented by a firm resistance of 
them — motives in unison with the Scriptures will be 
found more than adequate to every occasion — the 
devotional exercises of the closet may be watched 
— hourly opportunities will be afforded for breaking 
off the shoots of evil as they spring up, an example 
of principle embodied in action may be presented 
to youthful observation, and affections of the best 
kind be cultivated between the members of the 
family — much useful general knowledge may be 
imparted, and a fair share of the learning of public 
schools be acquired. Numbers can only be 


restrained by force or fear, or excited by pride and 
interest. Choice, affection, principle can seldom 
be employed. The discipline of a great school 
must be that of a man of war, and it is conducted 
in either case under much the same necessity. Two 
or three boys may be watched every hour— evil 
checked as it arises — every occurrence improved — 
religion infused into every pursuit and instruction, 
without any necessity for recurring to stimuli which 
befit only the lowest condition of mortal existence, 
and are never found, in their application, to pro- 
duce any other effect than to depress or exasperate 
generous natures. 

There is an error which universally obtains in 
every plan of education, public or private, *Jlnd 
which is perhaps a principle cause of the distaste 
of our young persons for grave and solid studies. 
They are never taught to think. Materials in 
abundance are set before them, but they know 
nothing of the use and end designed by working 
them ; they are ignorant of the rationale of gram- 
mar, or the application of science. The memory 
is burdened as a drudge, whilst the understanding 
remains torpid and unexercised ; and tlyft the 
interest which real knowledge inspires is IwTfn the 
mere acquisition of words. A boy can give ar rule 
but not a reason. Pestalozzi has attempted, with 
some success, to improve former methods of 
imparting knowledge, but even his system falls short 
of rational instruction^ where the understanding 
and the heart should keep pace with the progress of 
the memory. The practice of enforcing by autho- 
rity, instead of leading the mind to investigate, 
explain, and digest in the exercise of its own ener- 
gies, disposes a youth to affirm rather than prove, 
and resting contented with a crude and superficial 
acquaintance with all subjects, to shrink from the 
labour of acquiring solid and accurate information. 



It would be a very salutary practice to withhold 
from young persons the use and enjoyment of every 
thing, however simple, whether an effect of art or 
nature, till they had prepared themselves to explain 
its history, origin, place, and means of production% 
Thus no moment would run to waste, and table 
talk, which now consists of little more than barren 
details, would become a vehicle of much interest- 
ins and useful communication. 

If science ought not to precede language, they 
should walk together as friends from the commence- 
ment, and be associated throughotit the progress of 

But leaving the reader to form his own opinion 
on the colpparative merits of public and private 
education, I shall lay before him, in the next chap- 
ter, the method resorted to by Mr. Richmond in 
his family arrangements. 




• And this oar life, exempt from public hannt, 
Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, 
Sermons in stones, and good in every thing. 


One great reason why so few people in the world are truly 
religious, and why among the truly religious so many are not 
happy in their religion, is this, that early religious habits are too 
commonly associated, not with cheerfulness, but with constraint 
and gloom. — Jebb» 

Mr. Richmond's first object was to make home 
, the happiest place to his children ; to render them 
independent of foreign alliances in their pursuits 
and friendships; and so to interest them in domestic 
enjoyments, as to preclude the feeling too common 
in young people, of restlessness and longing to leave 
' their own fire-sides, and wander abroad in search 
of pleasure and employment. In this attempt to 
satisfy his family and engage their compliance with 
his wishes, be so completely succeeded, that every 
member of it left home with regret, even on an 
occasional visit, and returned to Turvey with fond 
anticipation,— as to the place of their treasures. 

To his daughter F — he writes — 

" We are going on quietiy at home. 

Little K — , by a sudden determination, is gone into 
Norfolk. My love and respect for your dear, most 
dear mother, has prevailed to gain my consent; 
otherwise I much prefer a mother^s and elder 
sister^s roof, for female education, to any school. 
But! leave this affair in God^s hands, and hope be 
will overrule it for the best I have long thought 



that though a good school is better than a bad home, 
a good home is the best of schools. Children are 
for the most part educated in temper and habits of 
all kinds, not by governesses, but by companions, 
and here all is contingency. But so much of my 
own happiness consists in making your dear mamma 
happy, that I waive my objection to a temporary 
alienation from the parental roof, and pray Go4 it 
may not injure K — 's spiritual welfare. Some may 
think I am too fond of seeing my children around 
me ; if it be a weakness I must plead guilty to it : 
from their infancy 1 have looked forward, as far as 
providential circumstances would permit, to find 
comfort, support, and companionship in my children. 
My middle, and if spared, my old age, may much 
require it ; and if my life be short, can any wonder 
that i should like to see and know much of them 
while I remain in this world. It has ever been my 
hearts desire and prayer to give them a useful, 
happy, exemplary home ; were I to fail here, life 
would indeed become a blank to me. I would 
strive " to roll the troublous trial on God," but I 
should deeply mourn in secret. Sons must in due 
season go forth into a wanton and wicked wpijd to 
seek their bread ; but daughters, while unn^Bied, 
are better calculated to become comforteii^nd 
companions to their parents, as they go diVt^'^^^ 

the vale of years "^ -. 

Your affectionate father, 

JL. Iv. ^ 

A happy home greatly depends on the recreatioi^^ 
and amusements which are provided for young 
people. It is no small difficulty to give a useful 
direction to their play-hours : little more has been 
contemplated in the gambols of youth than the 
health and activity of their bodies, and the refresh- 
ment of their spirits ; it is well when these objects 


can be obtained without the indulgence of sinful 
tempers ; but youthful sports have often proved the 
nursery of pride, ambition, and contention. In 
public schools these evils have been encouraged, or 
at least deemed unavoidable. The seed of revenge 
in manhood has been planted in boyish violence, 
and the unheeded acts of oppression by the elder 
boys towards their juniors, have trained them to 
tyranny in riper years. Private education affords 
greater facilities for checking these evils, but the 
want of the stimulus supplied by numbers is apt 
to render the pastime uninteresting and home dis- 

Mr. R. was alive to these inconveniences, and 
endeavoured by a succession and variety of recre- 
ations to employ the leisure hours to advantage. 
He had recourse to what was beautiful in nature 
or ingenious in art or science ; and when abroad 
he collected materials to gratify curiosity. He fitted 
up his museum, his agctarium, and his library, with 
specimens of mineralogy, instruments for exper- 
imental philosophy, and interesting curiosities from 
every part of the world : he had his magic lantern 
to exhibit phantasmagoria, and teach natural his- 
tory ; to display picturesque beauty, and scenes and 
objects far-famed in different countries : his various 
microscopes for examining the minutse of plants 
and^animals ; his telescope for tracing planetary 
revolutions and appearances; his air-pump and 
other machines for illustrating and explaining the 
principles of pneumatics and electricity; authors of 
every country who treated on the improvements 
connected with n^odern science ; whatever, in short, 
could store the mind with ideas, or interest ^^ 
improve the heart. When he travelled he kej 
a correspondence with his family, and narrati 
them the persons, places, and adventures 6j 
prggrcis. Pn bia return he enlivened many \ 

ahusehents fob 

v^'.",' teiture hour by larger details of all that he had 

!*^' * ■ jobserved to amuse and improve. 

'' 'it was a sight truly gratifying to witness the 

affectionate parent in the professor^s chair, with a 

mind richly stored and a countenance beaming with 

kindness, fixing the attention of hisyouthful auditors 

t on subjects abstruse in their character, but rendered 

interesting and intelligible to the happy group which 

surrounded him. 

Music was another source of domestic amuse- 
ment in which Mr. R. excelled, being both a good 
composer and no mean performer. Many of his 
children played on some instrument, and occasion- 
ally joined their father in a 'concert of sweet 
sounds.' He wished to exclude what was frivolous 
or trifling in this noble art, and delighted in the 
grave full-toned harmony, as best calculated to in- 
spire corresponding emotions. 

He encouraged the use of tho pencil, and was 
Terjr anxious that his daughters should cultivate 
their taste for drawing. 

" As I have journeyed along," he writes to one 
of his children, " I have often, wished 1 had the 
pencil of a ready draughtsman, that 1 might bring 
home a bundle of sketches of landscapes, to revive 
recollections and render natural scenery permanent 
to the imagination. When I find that this cannot 
be, I next wish that one or more of my dear chil- 
dren might acquire a talent of this kind, and be a 
sort of right hand to fulfil my wishos in that way. 
,Perhapa some day you will be that right hand to 
me. Loving landscape scenery as I do, my grand 
object is to see God in it; to trace him in every 
part of his works ; to acknowledge his goodness in 
them, and to collect argumenis from them to endear 
the character of Christ, ^by whom,' the scripture 
isys, ' all things were made^ and without whom was 
not any thing made th»t was made.' To this eod I 




wisK drawing to be cultivated. I mourn over pride 
and vanity, and if accomplishments are onlj ac- 
quired to gratify these unholy afiections, I should 
wish them banished. Nay, mere innocent pleasure 
is not a sufficient motive; the glory of God must be 
the end and aim of every attainment, or else it is a 
wastt of lime, and an abuse of talent. Pencils, ; 
paint, India ink, and India rubber, may be devoted 
to the honour of Him who bestows the power of 
combining their respective properties, so as to pro- 
duce the similitudes of his works. I am nolesa 
anxious about the cultivation of musical talents; 
tbere Jis, however, more danger of music being 
abused than drawing: the inundation of frivolity, 
' apd tJie sometimes unsuspected associations of a 
caififil and worldly nature, which mingle with 
musical compositions of a modern and fashionable 
cast, often distress and hurt me. The fascinations 
of the ball room^the corruptions of the theatre 
and opera-houseTtoo often creep into the quiet 
piano-forte corner of young people. Even instru- 
mental music, with its appendages of waltzes, 
daKces, and love-sick airs, has often a tendency to 
familiarize the young mind with subjects injurious 
to its (welfare. The sober dignity of genuine instru- 
mental music, is nearly lost in the substitution of 
modern trick and blandishment: but if instrumeritat 
music be thus abused, how much tbore so vocal : 
here the art and science of music opens its richest 
stores of opportunity for glorifying God and edify- 
ing man ; here all tlic charms, and all the contriv- 
ances of this sublime faculty, present innumerable 
means of spiritualizing the heart, gratifying the ear, 
exalting the understanding, and improving the affec- 
tions ; but here, alas I the world, the flesh, and the 
devil have grasped the powers of the musical art in 
too many instances, and sacrificed them all to Dagon 
and Baal, to vice and folly, to lerity and wanton- 


■ « 


ness, to fascination and delusion. Love songsr^ 
drinking songs, vice-provoking songs, and many 
other sorts of songs, resound from house to house 
in public and private, and prove to demonstration 
the idols which men and even women serve, and 
consequently " whose they are." What a profana- 
tion of a holy art ! what a degradation of a noble 
science ! I am persuaded that music is designed to 
prepare for heaven, to educate for the choral enjoy- 
ment of Paradise, to form the mind to virtue and 
devotion, and to charm away evil, and sanctify the 
heart to God. A Christian musician is one who 
has a harp in his affections, which he daily tunes to 
the notes of the angelic host, and with which be 
makes melody in his heart to the Lord. Does he 
strike the chord with his hands ? it is to bid lute 
and harp to awake to the glory of God." The hand, 
the tongue, and the ear form a kind of triple chord 

not to be broken. Bring music, my beloved F ^ 

to this test, and your vocal hours will not be spent 
in vain. The instructions of your childhood will 
supply you through life with a fountain of pleasures, 
drawn from the true source of legitimate recreation. 
Sing the songs of Zion, and amidst the vibrations of 
the air may true prayer and praise ascend to heaven, 
and enter into the ears of the Lord God of your 
salvation ; and then will the harmonious combina- 
tion be complete. Pray for grace to guide you in 
all your duties, that you may comfort, assist, and. 
strengthen your invaluable mother in all her cares 
and labours, by your dutiful, diligent, and affec- 
tionate regard to her precepts, example, and wishes. 
May your brothers in particular learn from you, 
and you from Christ, what Christian meekneps 
activity, and sobriety mean. Watch, over them 
vitfh asister^s heart and a sister ^s prayers, and tbey 
will be heard and answered. Go to school again 
and again. Whjltfaer ? To what school, papa 7 To 

N« *■ 


the school of Christ, where the Great Instructor 
waits to teach and bless you. Go thither, my child, 
and carry your sins and your cares, and your weak- 
nesses and your errors, and your affections and 
your hopes, and your fears and your resolutions, 
and your friends, and your brothers, and your sis* 
ters, and your mother, and 

Your own true loving father, 

Legh Richmond.^ 

It was a maxim with Mr. Richmond, that the 
mind needed not idleness or frivolity to restore its 
activities, or fit it for graver studies ; but might 
always find a sufficient relaxation in variety : and 
his success in associating some useful pursuit with 
the recreations of his young people, proves the cor- 
rectness of his judgment in this respect. 

The principal chaaecteristic, however, of his 
mode of education, was the piety infused into every 
employment or pleasure. Whether in the field or 
in the museum, — whether he examined what was 
beautiful to the eye, or indulged in what was har- 
monious to the ear, — whether he made an experi- 
ment or related an event, — every thing was con- 
nected in his own mind and in that of his children, 
with him who giveth all things richly to enjoy ; — 
every thing afforded him an illustration of some reli- 
gious truthjOr was employed to inspire some devout 
affection. The connexion of religion with science 
was a favourite topic, on which he used to enlarge 
with great satisfaction. His happy manner, in com- 
bining instruction with amusement, appears from 
the two following specimens. The first of these is a 
meditation on the wonders of a kaleidescope, and 
which he presented to his daughter F — , with a 
view to engage her attention to this simple and ele- 
gant instrument. '' See, my dear F— , what this 



new discovery, which has afforded us so much 
amusement, may do to improve our heads and 

^ I took up my kaleidcscope, and as I viewed with 
delight the extraordinary succession of beautiful 
images which it presented to my sight, I was struck, 

1. With th^ singular phenomenon of perfect or- 
der being invariably, and constantly produced out 
of perfeet disorder, — so that, as by magical influ- 
ence, confusion and irregularity seemed to become 
the prolific parents of symmetry and beauty. 

2. It occurred to me, that the universality of its 
adoption would imperceptibly lead to the cultiva- 
tion of the principles of taste, elegance and beauty 
through the whole of the present and following 
generations ; and that from the philosopher and 
artist down to the poorest child in the community. 

3. I admired the effects produced by new and 
varied combinations of colours as well as forms. 
The analysis of this kind of arrangement is here at- 
tended with unprecedented facility and advantage. 
The artist, the philosopher, the admirer both of the 
works of nature and of art may find a source of 
amusement almost peculiar to the use of this instru- 

4. I saw a vast accession to the sources of in- 
vention in its application to the elegant arts and 
manufactures, and the consequent growth of a 
more polished and highly cultivated state of habits, 
manners, and refinement in both. ^ 

5. 1 mused with delight on the powers and 
effects of geometrical arrangement and combina- 
tion, so easily exhibited to the eye, and so charac- 
teristic of the optical principle on which the instru- 
ment is constructed. 

6. I was struck with the idea of infinite variety, 
— more strikingly demonstrated to the eye than by 


any former experiment. Here the sublime mingles 
with the beautiful* 

7. 1 perceived a kind of visible music. The 
combination of form and colour produced harmonjr, 
their succession melody ; thus what an organ ' or 
piano-forte is to the ear, the kaleidescopc is to the 
eye. I was delighted with this analogy between 
the senses, as exercised in this interesting experi^* 

8. I thought that God was venr good to afford 
and permit so innocent and gratifying a source of 
recreation to all ranks of my fellow-countrymen, 
arising partly from the exhibition of so much love- 
liness to that sense of sight which he has formed, 
and partly from the exercise of the mental faculties 
of reason cmd taste in meditating upon the beautiful 

I laid my kaleidescope down, and thought of the 
adorable attributes of Him from whom all blessings, 
earthly and heavenly, flow. 

I took up my keleidescope again, and was led in 
the contemplation of its use and beauties to think, 

1. Here 1 seem to see, on the one hand, the 
ruin and disorder of human nature, and on the other, 
the marvellous influence of grace in producing out 
of these materials, order, beauty and restoration. 

2. My instrument 1 comparefd to a telescope 
glass, which faith and hope* put into my hand;-l4 
saw through one end of the tube, the world and 
our life in it, a scene of confusion and tribulation, 
strange revolutions and mysterious complexities. — 
Through the other, I beheld promised delights, 
heavenly realities, beauty for ashes, and the wilder-* 
ness blooming like a rose. I took the hint, and saw 
reasons for resignation, contentment, and patient 
waiting for the ^ory that shall be revealed. 

3. I observed, as I gently turned my instrument 
round, how quickly the pleasure of sense vanished* 



The phantom which delightl^d me but a noment 
before was gone — for evei gone— 4rrecoverlibly lost ! 
Let me not then, said 1/set my heart on that which 
so quickly .4aketh wing and fleethaway. Such is 
the world and its delights. 

4, But again as 1 looked, new beauties con- 
stantly succeeded those which had^passed away. — 
Now 1 thought, how does the Lord multiply his 
mercies in constant variety and succession. In the 
succession of beautiful configurations in my glass, is 
an emblem of the endless goodness of my God, 
whose tender mercies are over all his works. 

5. In this chaos of confusion, thus made to pro- 
duce beauty and order, I seem to see a representa- 
tion of the primitive work of the Great Creator, 
wbo, when the earth was without form and void, 
sent forth his Spirit, and therewith created an 
universe in all its original perfection. 

ۥ Wjien I look at my little fragments of glass 
and stones,' and observe how, from such apparently 
despicable materials, such beauty and symmetry 
arise, 1 Isarn not to despise the day of small things, 
and to count nothing unworthy of my notice. 1 
learn how God has chosen the foolish things of this 
world to confound the wise, and base things of thigr 
world, and things which are despised hath God 
chosen; yea, thifigs. which are not, to bring to 
nought' things that are,*that no flesh should glory in 
his presence. 

I concluded by reflecting, how the works of crea- 
tion, the principles of natural philosophy, the dis- 
f^overies of science, and the ingenuities of art, 
illustrate and demonstrate the attributes of the God 
"of redemption. My kaleidescope shews me, in the 
harmony of its colours, the union of his excellen- 
cies ; in the symmetry of its forms, his wisdom ; in 
the invariable efficacy of its principles, his faithful- 
ness; in the endless diversity of its figures, his 



infinity i in th&ff^plicitjr bf^ essential character, 
bis unity V in its fkculty of producing novelty, his 
power ; in its ability to delist, his goodpess ; and in 
its affording me this opportunity of so sef ing hinS in 
4t, his love. 

I laid down npiy kaleidescope, that f might praise 
and pray to the Author of my mercies." 

The next article was composed by Mr, R. to fix 
the solar system in the memory, for which purpose 
he turned it into verse, and as it may be i^ useful 
technica memoria to other children, it is Jiere pre- 
sented to them. 

In this instance, also, it may be observed, how> 
steadily he kept in view his ulterior design, of raiso 
ing the mind from the visible heavens to the know- 
ledge and love of Him whom the heaven of heavens 
cannot contain, but whose eternal power ^nd god* 
head, whose majesty, wisdom, and -goodness, sBine 
forth in the things that are made. 

He used frequently to repeat, " The undevodt 
astronomer is mad." He would observe, •♦Astron- 
omy fills the mind with the most elevated conce*p- 
tions of the magnificence of the Deity, and sinks 
us down and humbles us to the dust, with a sense 
of our own utter insignificancie, silnsations mingled 
with others of a sweet and tender charjicter in the 
survey of his benevolence. 

'•Creation was Adam^s library; God bid him 
read the interesting volumes of his works, which 
were designed to make known the Divipe character. 
To gratify curiosity, only, in the study of the 
creatures, is to lose sight of their end in reLati<».to 
man. I would have my dear children see God in 
every thing. It is not merely a transitory embtion 
I wish to raise in their minds, but a habit of referring, 
in all they see to their maker with delight and rever- 


ence. I will never consent to shut God out of his 
own universe, or divorce science and* religion, 
which he has joined together to dwell with each 
other in unity and love."* 


As we looked at the skies, my dear children, last night. 
And their beaaties and wonders attracted our sight ; 
Of explaining their nature you set me the task. 
So ni try to affqrd the instruction you ask. 

THB luir. 

In the midst of our system the sun takes his place. 
And brilliantly shines through the regions of space. 
He illumines the planets and by his attraction 
Preserves all their motions in regular action. 
He turns round his axis in twenty-five days. 
While his light ne*er decreases, his heat ne*er decays : 
■ )lis diameter viewed with the nicest a^ention. 
Proves near nine hundred thousand miles in dimension ; 
Around this vast orb revolutions are seen. 
Of the planets eleven, with their moons just eighteen. 


First Mercury moves mid the bright solar rays, 
C/ompleting his orbit in eighty-eight days ; 
* The breadth of his disc, at three thousand is given. 
The distance of millions of miles, thirty-seven. 

*In these remarks I perfectly concun What indeed is religion 
but a knowledge of Ood, with an enjoyment of him in the affec- 
tions of the heart I The Greeks use a term (tvh^it*) to de- 
scribe it, which signifies a becoming reverence. The Latins em- 
ploy another word (religio^ a re et ligo)^ still more descriptive of 
its character, which means a reuniting of a part to its whole. — 
Man has been torn, as it were, from his God by his apostacy, — a 
creature separated from the Creator. The business of religion, 
and of all religious education, is to bring man back to God, in 
his thoughts, affections, aims, and pursuits ; so that spiritually, as 
well as naturally, he may live and move, and have his being in 
God. Science, when employed as the handmaid of religion, will 
be found a most useful auxiliary ; and literature of every kind, 
especially such as is connected with the works or ways of the 
Deity, if pursued in the spirit of piety, has a tendency to improve 
and sanctify the heart. With this view, Mr. Richmond encour- 
aged his children to study (ft%en/(y, that tbey might love and 
•erve God fervently* 

• V 




Next Venus advances, with radiant smiles, 

From the sua distant sixty-nine millions of mfles i 

She revolves round her centre in months ahoUt eight. 

And compared with our earth she in size is aigreat : 

In beauty resplendent she shines from afar, 

And gladdens the eye as a morn or eve staf. ^ 


Amidst this g^and range of celestial pavilions, 
Next comeS) at a distance of OSiuillions, 
The globe of the earth, with its faithful attendant. 
Bothalike on the sun's gravitation dependent. 
Earth revolves, as enlightened by SoFs mighty blaze, 
In three hundred and sixty and five of our days ; 
Round her axis impelled by omnipotent power, 
She turns and returns by the twenty fourth hour. 
Near eight thousand miles is the breadth of her span. 
And thus she was formM for the dwelling of man : 
As the sun rules by day, so the moon ruled by night. 
Each affording in turn their magnificent light. 

THE Mooir. 

The moon's time in her path as the earth she moves round. 

Just twenty-nine days and a half will be found ; 

From the earth she is distant, although she seems near. 

Twenty-four times ten thousand of miles it is clear. 

By the light of the sun her fair face is adorned. 

While she sometimes is gibbous and sometimes is hom'd. 

When at full she's quite' round, when new she's not seen. 

But whenever she shines, is of night^the gay queen. 

Of high hills and deep vales she has plentiful store. 

And her breadth of our miles is two thousand and more. 

By his glass, the astronomer dearly discerns 

In a month round her axis she statedly turns : 

Thas the earth and her moon are impelled by a force. 

Which preserves all their motions in annual course. 


Next, revolving amidst this bright region of stars. 
We behold in his orbit the ruddy-faced Mars, 
He appears to move on without lunar assistance, 
At a hundred and forty-four millions of distance, 
While twenty- four hours, like our own, make his day, 
Near two years will accomplish his annual way : 
His diameter measures four thousand and two, 
And hisradianoe is marked by its roseate hue. 







Four planets come next of diminative size, 
Too small, without aid, to be seen with our eyes: 
Bat the telescope proves of what nature they are, 
And discorers their motions as viewed from afar. 
In order comes Vesta, then Juno, then Ceres, 
Whose order to Pallas exceedingly near is ; 
But these Asteroids no more shall absorb, 
The attention now due unto Jupiter's orb. 


Enlightened by Sol with refulgence he smiles, 
Though distant near five hundred millions of miles : 
His splendor the Heavens is ever adorning 
As the jewel of eve, as the herald of morning. 
His diameter ninety-one thousand is found. 
He in less than ten hours his own axis turns round: 
His magnificent globe as it plainly appears. 
Revolves round the Sun in near twelve of our years ; 
Cloudy belts cross his surface in parallel lines, 
Tet through them the planet with brilliancy shines. 
His constant companions, to cheer the dark night. 
Four Satellites lend him their regular light : 
That they truly revolve, by our glasses is seen. 
In their periods or months from two days to sixteen. 


Now far beyond Jupiter on we advance 
And find a whole system of worlds at a glance. 
Seven Moons around Saturn transcendantly shine, 
Preserved in their orbit by impulse divine. 
Nine hundred of millions from Sol he's removed. 
So their nightly assistance is constantly proved. 
When measured, the breadth of this planet is great, 
In thousands of miles it is seventy-eight : 
Twenty-nine and a half of our years must be run 
Ere Saturn his journey perfi>rm8 round the Sun ; 
In fourteen to twelve hours the Astronomers say. 
This planet's rotation completes his own day : 
But that which most singular makes him appear 
Is two luminous rings which encompass his sphere ; 
It would seem that this splendour of radiance bound him, 
As detached from his orb they revolve both around him. 
Heaven does not present a more beautiful sight 
Than this planet— his rings and his moon seen at night. 

. .1 *■ ' 





But, as further we penetrate heavenly regions. 

When the stars are abounding in multiplied legions, 

We meet with a planet of magnitude vast. 

Which of those yet discovered is reckoned the last. 

Call it Uranus, Herschell, or Georg^um-sidus, 

A sight of his disc without help is denied lis. 

But when brought by the aid of the telescope near 

His surface is manifest, beauteous, and clear. 

Eighteen hundred millions removed from the Sun, 

It is eigfaty*four years ere his orbit is run. 

Thirty* four thousand miles in his breadth 'tis maintained. 

Of his motions diurnal no knowledge is gained. 

Six bright beaming moons shed their rays o*er his night. 

Like himself from the Sun, all deriving their light. 


But still we pursue Astronomical song, 

As not planets alone to our system belong. '^ 

Many hundreds of Comets, in orbits most strange, 

By solar attraction obediently range, 

With their fringes of hair, their long fiery tails. 

Whenever they're seen admiration prevails: 

But their lengthened elliptical paths in the sky 

The powers of Astronomy seem to defy. 

So short is their stay, they escape observation 

Ob which we can g^und a correct calculation. 

They've so come and so gone, so appeared and so vanished, 

That successful prediction they've hitherto banished. 


To the system named Solar, I call your attention. 

Of the stars whiph are fixed I shall now waive the meHitioQ. 

But while their instruction I have sought to impart, 

I have wished to inspire the best thoughts in your heart. 

With deep veneration, O lift up your eyes 

And contemplate these works of the God of the skies: 

He formed them, he governs, he guides every motion. 

And by them he summons each soul to devotion. 

The firmament sheweth the work of his hand. 

Such wisdom and power adoration command. 

Each planet revolves, and each comet appears. 

To exalt the great God of our days and our years. 

Not a star but its lustre shall loudly proclaim 

The magnificent praise of his excellent name. 

Join the chorus above, and let glory be given 

To him that directs both on earth and in heaven. 


Many advantages were obtained by the intro- 
duction of popular science into my friend's family 
circle as an amusement ; a dislike of low and vul- 
gar pursuits was inspired, an occupation found for 
every moment, and materials procured for useful 
conversation in their private intercourse : full em- 
ployment and improving pursuits are favorable to 
morality and religion ; nor is it necessary to allow 
children, even in their pastimes, to be more childish 
than a childish age requires. The notion is injuri- 
ous to them, that a waste of time is felicity, and its 
profitable employment an ungrateful necessity. Nor 
can eminence be expected in anything in which the 
heart is not engaged. It should therefore be the 
constant effort of a teacher to interest while he 
instructs, and to bring the hour of recreation into 
unison with that of the school room, making it sub- 
servient to it. It was my friend's anxious desire and 
sedulous endeavour to get the heart on the side of 
truth, to infuse an innocent prepossession in its 
favour, and make duty enjoyment. It was often 
said by the members of his family, " We love reli- 
gion, because we see papa so lovely and happy 
under its influence !'' 



* A Bian's nature rans sither to herbi or weeds, therefore let 
bimieuonablj water the one and destroy the other. — Baean» 

With so many resources of innocent and im- 
proving amusement, Mr. R.^s young people felt no 
resret at the interdict which their father placed oa 
alfgames of chance, on fishing, field sports, dancing, 
the theatre, oratorios, and other sources of grat- 
ification, which he thought to be inconsistent with 
the spirit of religiqn, connected with much evil, and 
a preparation for it. I have heard him say, '^ Even 
where there is no positive evil, I think it important 
to draw a strong line of demarcation between the 
chureh and the world. The mixed multitude set 
the Israelites a lusting after the flesh-pots of E^pt ; 
and evil communications never fail to corrupt good 
manners. There may be no sin in dancing, but it 
is a preparation for appearing hereafter where I 
think there is scarcely any thing else. Cards are a 
waste of time which may be much better employed, 
and they are too nearly allied to the gaming-table; 
which fills me with horror. To field sports I have 
a still more decided objection : they are defended 
on the ground of promoting health ; but whatever 
benefit the body may receive, it is at the expense 
of the soul. I know not on what principles a man 
can justify the taking away life for his amusement : 
God allows him to kill animals for food, or to de- 
stroy them when they prove an annoyance to him ; 
but I can find no authority in the Bible for derivii^ 
enjoyment in the infliction of a cruel death ;-7-il '» 


... * f 

:-;-^ ■ "' 

» ■ t 

right founded on might, — a mere act of tyrannff 
and an abuse of power. The man who should whip 
a beast to death or cut him up alive, like an Abys- 
sinian savage, would be deemed a monster; yet 
the same man may hunt to death, and halloo, and 
exult with satisfaction, while his dogs are tearing 
to pieces a defenceles animal, and yet be considered 
a gentleman and a Christian. Then there are the 
after-events of the day; — and surely to spend five or 
six hours in the evening commending the bark 
of a cur, or descanting on the movements of a fox 
to elude his pursuers, is unworthy an intelligent 
being, even if there were no worse accompani- 

I asked him if he thought shooting equally objec- 
tionable. He replied: — *' Shooting may not issue 
in all the results of hunting ; but I should be mis- 
erable all the while my boys were scampering over 
the fields with a gun. ' Sad accidents are contin- 
ually occurring from letting young people carry 
fire- arms ; but my great objection to all these sports 
is the same ; I cannot think it right to seek gratifi^^ 
cation in inflicting suffering and death. I know 
that God has given us the creatures for our suste- 
nance, and it is lawful to use them to this end ; 
but wifh my views and principles, I find it hard to 
conceive a right-minded man feeling pleasure while 
he inflicts pain. He would rather be disposed to 
say with an old writer, " I can never eat my dinner 
when I remember that I am living by the death of 
a creature which my sin has destroyed." As for 
exercise, we might surely find other pursuits for this 
purpose. There appears to me the same delusion 
in the argument which has sometimes been em- 

Eloyed to defend shooting, as in that which is urged 
y card-players, — we must have a stake, however 
small, or we shall lose all interest in the game. — 
Surdy we might walk as far and as long as wo 


mv ' 


t- » r ' A 

■'■*>'• V'. 

pleaied for exercise, without a gun. PunSU ei^. j! 
plains the whole matter, when he says, '^ A nftiaiff '* 
not running after the game^ but trying to run awik^ 
from himself.'^ The ^race-ground presents such m 
scene of foKy and knavery that it does not deserve i* 
a serious argument. The stage abounds with every 
thing which is offensive to the mind of a Christian. 
What think you of a celebrated tragedian, who 
forbade heir daughter to connect herself with the 
theatre, — surely this speaks volgmes. Did it never 
Strike you that an actor {v^^»piliis) has given a name 
to the worst of vices. 

^^ Fishing is generally deemed a harmless amuse-* 
ment, but I cannot allow it to be a fit recreation for 
a Christian. What are w6 to think of impaling a 
worm, and being highly delighted while the poor 
creature suffers exquisite torture for our sport. If 
we use an artificial bait, yet is time, the precious 
hours of life, so valueless that we can afford to 
throw away half or a whole day in this trilling ?^* 

" What is your opinion of oratorios ?" " My 
fondness,'' he replied, ^^for music may be supposed 
to make me a partial judge in this case. I see no ' 
objection to a concert when the music is properly 4 
selected, yet I am jealous of this sort of amusement, 
and should think it necessary to be very cautious 
in encouraging a taste for public exhibition of any 
kind. We never attend oratorios in a church. I 
consider it a desecration of the house of God to use 
it for any purpose but that of religion ; it shocks me 
to hear clappings and noisy expressions of pleasure 
when a passage of scripture and the name of God 
is made a vehicle for mere amusement. It is ab- 
surd to talk of devotional feelings on such occasions^ 
As to all these things, I think that God has given 
us immortal souls to prepare for heaven. People 
may cry, What great harm in this or in that 7 They 


Q»ay/Jim» a plausible pretext for ctoing what I 
condciiQa ; for there is nothing, however absurd or 
wicked, which will want an advocate or an argu- 
ment to support it. I lay down this general rule for 
all occupations, Whatever has a tendency to fit tny 
children for heaven I approve, but I must keep 
aloof from every thing which is likely to be a snare 
or a temptation to them, and indispose their minds 
to a serious and steady pursuit of their great ob- 

^'Did you ever bear of a bishop on the race- 

f round or in a theatre ? Would he not disgrace 
imself even in the eyes of the world by being 
present at such places? Why so? Because he 
wotdd be out of character. The universal suffrage 
denounces these amusements as inconsistent with 
a heavenly mind, and the sacred office of a spiritual 
guide. Surely this is the strongest censure on the 
amusements themselves ; it is in fact saying, the 
more heavenly the man the more unsuitable are 
such things to his character. 

^' I have often thought that a Christian by profes- 
sion, who allowed himself in the indulgence of such 
things as have furnished the subject of our conver- 
sation, must be at a loss how to describe the pomps 
and the vanities of this wicked world, which he has 
renounced at his baptism.^* 

These remarks may excite a smile, as childish 
scrupulosities, or a sneer, as mere fanaticism ; but 
hard names are bad substitutes for solid arguments. 
It will not be easy to satisfy a sober reflecting 
mind, that Mr. Richmond's judgment was weak or 

Before we leave the subject of amusement, I 
jball advert to another kind of recreation, which 
jlr. R. provided for his young people ; — the cel- 

* ?^i/ 



ebration of birth days. On his own birt&doy he 
attended divine service, when he preached a sermon 
to his congregation, and endeavoured to improve 
the lapse of time by acts of prayer and praise. The . 
summons was cheerfully obeyed, and the parish 
bells rung merrily. Great numbers attended church 
to worship God and congratulate their pastor on 
the occasion. In the course of the day he always 
wrote to his mother, while she was alive, and affec- 
tionately reminded her and himself of their en- 
deared connexion. On the day following, he in-» 
vited a party of his parishioners to dine at the 
rectory. This birth-day entertainment was looked 
forward to by, them with great interest, and was 
made an occasion of courteous hospitality. The 
company was of a mixed character, and was re- 
ceived by Mr. R. with a kindness and attention to 
their innocent recreation, which never failed to 
gratify his guests. The evening was spent in music, 
and his family formed a little band of performers 
in full concert. The birth-days of his children were 
kept with no less reverence to religion, though in a 
more private manner. He commended them to 
God for his blessing and favour. He wrote each 
of them a letter of congratulation, usually accom- 
panied by a present of some useful kind. The day 
was spent in innocent festivity, and the evening 
was employed in the museum, where he gave a 
lecture on experimental philosophy. These seasons 
were anticipated by the children with much de- 
light, and their recurrence contributed, in ai great 
degree to promote the harmony of the family, by 
a reciprocity of affectionate interest amongst its 
members. • 

I shall here transcribe a letter or two, as gpecl* 
mens of Mr. Richmond's birth-day correspond 



TomyK .* 

•* Let not my loved little K — suppose that her 
father forgets her. Yaxham may seem a long dist- 
ance from Turvey ; Glasgow is much greater^ but 
in neither place can my heart forget my child. I 
remember you a little babe in arms. I loved you 
then. I remember you lying in your little cot, and 
I swung you there, and loved you the while. 

^' I recollect your first attempts to walk, and your 
many consequent little downfalls. I raised you up 
from your stumblings and your tumblings ; I dried 
your tears, and loved you still more. 1 have not 
forgotten your endeavours to talk, nor your droll 
little prattiings ; nor your first calling me Papa, and 
dearly I loved you for it : and although these things 
have long since passed away, and time has added to 
your years, my love for my K — is not diminished. 
1 often see you in imagination, and draw fanciful 

Eictures of your occupations in your new dwelling; 
ut what is my love compared with that of your 
heavenly Father. What is the strongest earthly 
affection, when contrasted with that which said, 
** Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid 
them not, for of such is the kingdom of heaven/^ 
Has my child's heart and earnestness, a real un- 
feigned earnestness, to share in the love of such a 
Father, and to come when so mercifully called to 
such a Saviour? By nature '^ foolishness is bound 
up in the heart of a child ;^' nevertheless by grace 
a young child^s heart may become the temple of the 
Boly Ghost, and the residence of God himself. 
Think of little Jane, the Young Cottager. May you 
resemble her in whatever she resembled Christ. 
She was a dear little girl, and I wish there were 
thousands more like her. Many have been made 

** The birth-day was kept as usual though the child was absent : 
Hot whether absent or present a letter of congratulation was written 
on the occasion. 


sensible of their sinful state while reading that 
story, and, through the blessing of God, have been 
brought to love the same Redeemer, and lived and 
died rejoicing in their Saviour. I hope, my child, 
you pray not only with your lips, but with your 
heart While you are actively and dutifully em- 
ployed in acquiring useful knowledge, " be fervent 
in spirit, serving the Lord/' in a little time you 
will be in your teens, and the very sound of that 
word should awaken you not to the usual folly and 
vanity of this period of life, but to the responsibility 
of growing years and increasing privileges ; to the 
cultivation of holy learning and Christian habits ; to 
the love oF J^sus and communion with his Spirit. 
It is my prayer, let it be your^s. And now farewell, 
my dear K — . May you realize every fond hope, 
tempbral, spiritual, and eternal, of 

Your affectionate father, 

L. R." 

The following letter was written the year after, 
and on a similar occasion: 


** Accept a birth-day blessing from your affection- 
ate father, my dearest K — : — a father who loves 
you with all his heart and soul. This day thirteen 
years brought you into a world of sins, sorrows, 
mercies, hopes, and fears : surely it is a day much 
to be remembered ; not so much by feastings and 
twelfth-cakes, as by prayers and supplications to the 
God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, that he 
would grant you grace to put away the follies 'clf 
childhood, and to enter upon what is commonly 
called your ^ teens' with a clean heart and a right 
spirit. May my dear child be a vessel of mercy, 
filled with all the blessings of the spirit of God, and 
fitted for a happy eternity. . May the love of Je- 
sus warm your heart Wtil^ every affection which can 



* • 



adorn the Christian name and character. May your 
early attainments at this period of diligent childhood 
prepare you to be the comfort and prop of your 
parents in their advancing years, if life oe spared 
to them, fie conscious in ail you do. Idleness and 
inattention to instruction always prove that some- 
thing is very wrong in the principle. Diligence in 
the improvement of your mind is a tribute of obe- 
dience both to God and your parents. I rejoice to 
hear from your kind governess that you improve in 
this respect. I trust, my dear child, we shall never 
receive any intimation of your failure in so import- 
ant a matter. If you love those at home, (and I 
am persuaded you do love them , tenderly,) ever 
strive to make them happy and easy on your ac- 
count. I need not tell you that every one round 
our fire-side unites with me in the congratulations 
of this day. There is but one heart amongst us. 

M and H mention your birth day in their 

letters. Our Christian circle is reduced when three 
daughters are absent, but love, memory, and 
imagination often bring them all together, and half 
fill the vacant chairs which they used to occupy. 
Your brother Nugent has been mercifully preserved 
from an awful shipwreck in India ; the vessel was 
totally lost, but all the lives saved, and ^he has got 
a station in another ship. — "They that go down to 
the sea in ships, — that do business in great waters, 
— these see the works of the Lord, and his wonders 
in the deep." (Psalm ovii. 23—31.) And now 
my K — , with a repetition of every wish, prayer, 
and blessing, believe me 

Your affectionate father, 

" To C. ■" (when a very little girl.) 

" Perhaps my dear little C , thought she was 

too joung to receive a lett|5>;"but you see I have 
not forgotten you» not Irr*^*either, for whom you 

k* • 


may tear off the other half of this sheet, and if he 
cannot read it himself, some one will read it to 
him. I wish very much to know how you are be- 
having since 1 saw you; What character will 
your pen and your needle give of you when I ask 
them ? and what will your book say ? Your play* 
things, perhaps, will whisper that you have been 
very fond of them : well, a little fond of them you 
may be, but you must not think only of thetn, Uiy 
little nursery queen. There are better thingft i£han 
playthings in the world, — there are mammas, and' 
mammals commandments, and papas, and papa's 
wishes, and sisters, and sisters' instructions ; and 
there is the Bible, and the God of the fiible, and 
Jesus Christ and his salvation. My little girl must 
think of these things, and be an example to her 
young brothers, in order, obedience, and good 
manners, <&c. 

" You are now at that age wh^n Jesus " increased 
in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and 
man.'' Meditate on tbis. I am glad to think you 
are acquiring knowledge ; but ever keep in mind, 
that all other icnowled^e is valuable or not, just so 
far as it is united to spiritual knowledge. The word 
of God and its blessings form the highest study of 
man. May my children grow in such knowledge. 
Farewell, my child, try in every thing to please 

Your dear Papa." 

" P. S. I send a box of changeable ladies to 
amuse you, but I do not wish you to become one 
of the changeable ladies : — ^yet my heart prays that 
you may prove a changed soul." 

'' To C 

" I cannot let a parcel go to Y without 

telling my dear C-;^ — how much her father loves 
her. This is a day. ol^.^rateful recollections, and 
hopeful anticipations.'^'^M|i^ b)^s my child. May 

\ • 

3lj9. KU^tMO Of BIRTH DAtS^ tTlTtf 

fljiii^ grow in grace with increasing years : n^j she 
be diligeQt in her studies, docile in disposition, de^ 
votionally fervent in spirit, and unwearied in well- 
doing I 

^' My anxieties have been great since I saw you« 
My heart has so clung to my dear boy, that every 
tender feeling and affection has been exercised in 
the separation from my beloved Wilberforce, but 
th$ loss has not diminished but increased my love 
to tbo endeared children whom God still spares to 
me. I cannot say one thousandth part of what I 
would on this subject, but my heart prays that you 
may all grow in the knowledge of Him with whom 
his soul now lives in blessedness. I hope much 
good has arisen to your brothers and sisters at 
home from the sanctified effect of this heavy trial. 
May my C — feel it likewise, and so experience 
the power of real religion in her heart, that it may 
appear in her life and conversation. I am very 
anxious on this subject* A great work of gracious 
awakening has tajien place in the village, in con- 
nexion with! Wilberforce's happy end. Many 
careless souls are surprisingly changed. This is 
a mercy,—- an unspeakable mercy to me as their 
minister. Oh I I want all my children to share 
abundantly in these dews of heavenly grace. I 
' earnestly covet for them these best gifts. Others 
will have told you by this parcel how much they 
love you. This letter can but very feebly say how 
dear you are in the love of a Saviour. 

From your affectionate father, 

L. R." 


^' You expressed some disappointment at dinner, 
because you had not received your dear mamma's 
promised letter on your birth-day. Whatiias been 
the cause of the failure ija^^w not, but 1 will try 

• » 

f ' 



to compensate for the disappointment by giving 
you a few lines. The return of a birth-day, when 
rightly viewed, is a subject for very serious medi- 
tation : I wish it may prove so to you. We have 
seen, in the death of your dear brother, how little 
health and strength are to be trusted. Childhood, 
and youth, and time, are swiftly passing onward, 
and our journey through this vale of tears, whether 
longer or shorter, will soon be over. Can you too 
early learn the value and importance of time? Will 
you not hear the counsel of a father, and meditate 
on those things which belong to your everlasting 
peace t You have an immortal soul, to be lost or 
saved for ever. You have an understanding, to 
distinguish between good and evil. You are there- 
fore a responsible being, who must render an 
account of the deeds done in the body, whether 
they be good or whether they be evil. Childhood 
is the period when the character and habits of the 
future man are formed*. Trifle not therefore with 
your childish days. Set a firm and valuable ex- 
ample to ^your younger bjother ; he will more or 
less imitate your ways and dispositions, be they 
better or worse. Remember ! the eye of God is 
upon you in every place. Be where you will, do 
what you will, you may always say with Hagar in 
the wilderness — ^*' Thou God seest me." I have df 
late known but little, too little, of your state of 
mind and your views of things, temporal and spir- 
itual. 1 have had occasional uneasiness on this 
subject. You ought ever to be putting forth the 
energies of your mind in every proper and possible 
way. It is tim^ that yotir attention should be 
drawn to your future station in life, whatever pro- 
vidence may design it to be. Every day and every 
hour should bear witness to some progress and im- 
provement in useful learning, and above all, in tha!t 
knowledge which makethwise unto aalvation. Ytm 



have on all subjects much to learn, and it will not 
be acquired without much labour, and firm deter- 
mination of mind and talent to the acquirement. 
What may be the inclination of your own mind as 
to business, profession, or occupation, I know not : 
but I wish you most seriously to take this subject 
into deliberate consideration, and let me in due 
time know the result, that I may give you counsel 
and advice. In the mean time, a thirst for useful 
knowledge, and a laborious attention to its attain- 
ment, will best evidence your fitness for that state 
of life into which it may please God to call you. 
But you can do nothing well without faith and 
prayer, — without much anxious reading of the 
Holy Scriptures. This reminds me of your dear 
brpther, Wilberforce. He left upon record amongst 
you all, his testimony to the value and necessity of 
reading the word of God ; and it is my hearths 
prayer and desire that all my loved children may 
follow his example and his dying exhortations. The 
season of the year is fast advancing which brings 
all the affections and solemnities of his latter end 
to view. Every day of the approaching fortnight 
brings to remembrance the various events of his 
last days. They are all indelibly fastened on my . 
heart's memory ; they live, glow, and burn there 
with a vividness of impression, of which none can 
be aware, and form a daily part of my very self. 
But I refer to them now for my dear Legh's sake, 
1 have lost my two eldest boys, and am deeply 
solicitous that those who remain to me should be 
devoted to God ; and, if spared, become the props 
and solace of my advancing years. It is indeed 
time, my Legh, that you should feel the importance 
of such considerations. You were named Serle 
after one of the most holy and excellent men with 
whom 1 was ever acquainted. Mere Christian 
names can confer no grace ; but I may be per*^ 

f LBTTIM Oir TBiBSB 0CC1.S101W. 41 

mitted to wish, and hope, and pray, that you may 
by divine grace, resemble him, and follow him as 
he followed Christ. '^The Christian Remem- 
brancer," " The Horffi Solitarise," " The Christian 
Parent," and many other admirable books bear 
testimony to his piety and talents: ''He being 
dead yet speaketh." And now, my child, may 
every blessing attend you, for this world and the 
next, for time and for eternity. May the retuAi of 
this birth-day remind you.qf many an important 
duty and prmciple. Look into the real state of 
your heart, and never be afraid 6t ashamed to 
make me acquainted with it. '' The end of all 
things is at hand, be ye therefore sober and watch 
unto prayer." The heart that now loVes and 
watches over you on earth, may ere long, and 
niust in time, become cold in the grave: bjit seek 
him who never dieth, and his love which never 
decaycth, and all shall be well with you here ^nd 
hereafter. So counsels and prays 

Tour affectionate Father, 
Legh Richmond." 

I have mentioned Mr. R.^s correspondence with 
his mother on his own birth-day. After her decease 
he wrote on this occasion the following letter to his 
eldest daughter, who was united to an excellent 
and valuable minister in the established church of 

Mt vert dear DAtJGHTER, 

*' Through many a returning year I wrote to my 
dear and venerated mother on my birth-day. She 
is gone to hdr rest, and I can 6rily communicarte 
with her in "grateful recollection and hopeful ariflcS- 
pation. To whom can I now address myself with 
more propriety and love, on such ati occasion, 




than to my absent, distant, but much-loved child. — ' 
My child, so mercifully restored to health after so 
severe an illness and so much danger, my thoughts 
and prayers have been unceasing respecting you. 
1 have endeavoured patiently to w^ait upon the Lord, 
and he hath heard my prayer. I have viewed this 
trying dispensation as sent of God for some great 
and good purpose, to your own and to all our souls ; 
and 1 trust we shall find it so. You will have to 
learn to glorify God in the fires,*.and magnify the 
God of your salvation ; to see the precarious tenure 
of human life, and to devote your restored powers 
of mind and body to him from whom you have 
received both. O my dear M — what a God he 
is, and what a redemption he has wrought for sin- 
ners ! See in your own recent trial an emblem of 
Christ's love ;— yourself a brand plucked from the 
burning, — saved, yet so as by fire, — raised from 
weakness to strength,* — tempest-tost and afflicted, 
yet preserved, — cast down, but not destroyed. It 
is the heart's desire and prayer to God of your 
father, on his birth-day, that all these things may 
work together for your good, temporal and spiritual. 
It is a day which I always contemplate with much 
tender affection, and my thoughts are such as I 
cannot utter. Life, death, and eternity spread a 
vision before me, and I meditate with solemnity 
and deep humiliation. I have lived now more than 
half a century. On the past I look with much 
repentance for my sins, and much gratitude for my 
mercies. Of the future 1 know nothing, except that 
my times are in God's hands, and that is enough. 
But my responsibilities make me often tremble. 
They rise like mountains before me ; but I lift up 
my eyes to the hills from whence cometh my help, 
and the mountains of difficulty become plains^ and 

* Mrs. M. had been sobering from an accident by i^. 


the rough places smooth. Amongst my mercies I 
feel peculiarly thankful for the union of my dear 
child with such a man and such a minister as Mr. 
M — . This doubly endears Scotland to my heart. 
I have formed many valuable friendships, and re- 
ceived many kind favours from its inhabitants. I 
have delighted in its scenery and tasted many ex- 
cellent fruits of its piety : but to have a daughter 
placed in the midst of Scotia^s hills and plains ren- 
ders the land peculiarly interesting to me. 

" May every day add to your strength and com- 
fort. May you and I, not only as parent and child, 
but as fellow-pilgrims on the road to Zion, walk 
lovingly, congenially, and safely to the end of our 
journey. I hope, if God spare me, to see you in 
the spring, but whether here or there, I am ever 

Your affectionate father, 

L. R." 

From the' amusement of leisure hours, and the 
returns of the birth-day memorials, 1 pass on to 
notice my friend's care and extreme anxiety to 
keep his young people from dangerous associates. 
To choose suitable companions is not less difficult 
to a Christian parent than to provide useful recre- 
ations for them. The peculiar talents of Mr. Rich- 
mond enabled him to supply abundant materials for 
the employment of leisure hours ; and his strong 
affection for his children rendered that a pleasure, 
which to many Ivould have been an irksome duty. 
He made himself not only a profitable but a suit- 
able and interesting companion to them. They 
felt no discontent at the strict exduiiioii of other 
intimacies, to which there was but one exception^ 
in the son of a gentleman in his parish, whostudi^HL 
under the same tutor, and who was ever admitted 
with affectionate esteem and confidence into hjs 
family party. Probably, Mr. R.'s marked anxiety 

44 caofCK or coMmmoHli. 

<m this point maj be traced in part to the unhappjr 
career of his eldest son, on whom he had witnessed 
the effect of bad influence in a corrupt associate. 
So inflexibly did he adhere to his rule, that he 
allowed no intercourse whatever with other fam- 
ilies, except under his own watchful eye and dil- 
igent superintendance. He even declined invita- 
tions from personal relatives whom he dearly loved, 
and with whom he himself kept up a friendly cor- 
respondence. It was his fixed resolve to sacrifice 
all considerations of interest, and even courtesy, 
although he might thereby expose himself to cen- 
sure and misapprehension,— --rather than bring his 
children under an influence which he feared might 
be injurious to them. When some of them were 
nearly grown up, he exercised the same vigilance^ 
and regarded with suspicion every circumstance 
from which he apprehended possible injury. 

He used to say — " My dear friends and relations 
are amiable and highly respectable. I have great 
reason to be grateful for their kind intentions and 
good offices ; but I cannot tell what my children 
may meet with in a style of life so difiierent from 
mine. One fatal hour may undo years of instruc- 
tion, and give me endless perplexity. I have sufier- 
ed enough from sending a child from home.^^ 

His sentiments on this subject are expressed in 
the following letter to Mrs. R. who had asked his 
advice before she consented to allow. one of his 
daughters to accompany a lady of great respecta- 
bility, and undoubted piety, into Devon, to spend 
the winter there. It was not improper that Mrs. 
R. should wish her children to see something of the 
world, and be gradually accustomed to act for them- 
^ selves. The character of the protector and com- 
panion was a suflicient guarantee against evil con- 
tact Our friend was at that time in Scotland, from 
whence he feplied to the application. 



" My dear LOVE, 

*' In common with my own parents I have ever 
had strong, very strong objections tp allow my chil- 
dren to visit any where withoutoneof their parents; 
and through life I have seen and lamented evils aris- 
ing from the want of superintendance, and the ab- 
sence of those who are most concerned in guarding 
against the mischief of association with other fami- 
lies. As a general rule, therefore, I have always 
objected to it, from conscientious motives. Yet 
there may be exceptions, and I readily admit that 

the case in question may be one of them I 

wish to make home the grand centre of attraction, ^ ,^, 
affection, and comfort. You know from this year's 
experience how ready I am to give our girls the ad- 
vantage of seeing life ; but 1 cannot think that the 
withdrawing the parentis eye would increase the ad- 
vantages of a journey. Never is that eye and ear so 
necessary as at such an age. I would infinitely rather 
undertake the responsibility attached to possible and 
contingent evils which might occur under the vigilant 
and tender superintendance of parents, than those 
which might arise from the connexions and habits 
formed when that restraint is withdrawn. I perfectly 
accord with you in wishing our dear children to gain 
advantages from associating with our various Chris- '^ 
tian friends, and am acting daily on your own ideas. 
But I see more and more, daily, how exceedingly 
desirable my own presence Li and that continually. 
But when the will of God is expresssed in regard to 
health, &c. and the path of duty is thereby clearly 
pointed out to me, you must not suppose me to be 
either indifierent or positive. At the same time I see 
mountains of difficulty in deciding, out of numerous 
requests, which to accept, and which to refuse. 

" I approve your plan for Wilberforce — 1 do not 
appose your wishes for Mary — I only pause-r^but 1 

46 cHoioB or coMPANioirs. 

much admire your sentiments, and taking both body 
and mind into consideration, hope it may be the will 
of God. 

^Farewell, dear love. Cherish a comfortable 
spirit, — do not mistrust God — let not your soul be 
disquieted within you, — look kindly on providenceei 
and hopefully on events, and ever regard me as 

Your faithful 


Some of Mr. R's best friends have disapproved 
the severity of restraint which he judged it right to 
impose on his children. They have blamed him for 
interdicting the usual freedom of intercourse with 
families whose conduct and principles he approved. 
It is possible his feelings were morbidly acute on 
occasions, and his extreme anxiety for the spiritual 
welfare of his family often proved injurious to him- 
self, for he sometimes passed a sleepless night in 
expectation of an ordinary visit on the morrow. — 
fiach was his vigilance, that if a friend introduced 
his son under circumstances of common courtesy, 
he appeared restless and uneasy if the young people 
were left together without superintendance for a 
few moments. Other persons might[also have taken 
vantage of an extensive popularity to benefit their 
fiimilies, but he never could be prevailed on to use a 
fair opportunity of bringing them forward to notice, 
to advance their temporal welfare. 

** I cannot endure," he used to say, '* even to 
seem to make my religious influence a stepping- 
stone to promotion for me or mine." 

Whatever may be thought of my friend^s judg- 
ment, it is impossible not to respect, admire, and 
love the holy integrity, the perfect simplicity and 
openness of object in the man of God, and I cannot 
doubt that his purity of inotive has been recorded 


in heaven, and will be owned on earth after many 
days. Whatever worldly advantages, supposed or 
real may have b^n lost to his family from the 
steady application- of religious principle, however 
pushed to an extreme, an abundant compensation 
shall be made by that Being whose blessing invaria- 
bly attends a faithful adherence to the dictates of 
conscience, and who has promised, "Him that 
honoureth me, I will honour/' 

My dear M 

*'^ We have had a very prosperous journey thus 
far. I am passing a few comfortable days with 

at this place. But, alas I this is a town in 

which speaking of our own church, religion is little 
known. The mhabitants of all ranks think of no- 
thing but money, folly, vanity, and dissipation: their 
evenings are. spent in the unprofitable anxieties 
of the card table, the ensnaring amusement of 
dancing, or the delusions and temptations of the 
play-house, their mornings in idle gossipings and 
waste .of time. When f see these things, I feel 
satisfied that I have kept my dear children from 
such scenes, and such companions. Oh! how 
lamentable to contemplate a great town full of in- 
habitants, gentry, clergy, manufacturers, tradesmen, 
&c. living almost without God in the world ; error 
preached from the pulpits; no cares for the souls of 
the people ; no family prayer in the houses ; no zeal 
for religion, unless, perhaps, it be now and thei| 
excited to abuse and ridicule all those who ^ve 
any real love for God and their souls. y^ 

^'May my dear child be preserved frolft |he 
defilements of a vain, dangerous and destroying 
world. You know not, and I wish you never may «, 
know, its snares and corruptions. I was greatly ' 

afiected in conversing with a family at , upon 

the marriage of their daughter, under the following 


circumstances ; the father was an exemplary clergy^ 
man, the mother a most pious woman ; they had 
* brought up a family with strict attention to religious 
precepts and principles, and they were not without 
hope that their daughter had some piety. 

'* A-young .man of properly, but of do decided 
religious principle, became acquainted with her. — 
Inattentive to the affectionate duties ^which she 
owed to her excellent parents, their feelings, and 
their advice, she suffered her mind to be led away 
into an attachment towards the young man. The 
parents were aware that his general habits and 
views would be uncongenial to their wishes for a 
daugter^s spiritual welfare, and therefore objected. 
However, the daughter so far obtained her wishes, 
that a very reluctant consent was given to the mar- 
riage. The daughter, gradually led away into 
worldly company and amusements, has given up 
even the outward profession of religion, and now 
lives as the world lives. Yet she is not happy ; and 
her parents are very unhappy. The daughter can- 
not help remembering the example, the exhorta- 
tions, the prayers, the solicitudes, and the tears of 
her parents ; but it is only with remorse, which she 
strives to drown in worldly company and carnal 
amusements. They wept over the case with me, 
which presents a proof of the sad consequences of 
young people giving way to hasty impressions, and 
yielding to connexions not founded on a regard to 
the honour of God, gratitude to parents, and con- 
sistency with a religious profession. How needful 
is it that Christian parents, and Christian children, 
should be firm and conscientious in the important 
^ duty of encouraging connexions for life only on 
* gf Christian principles ! what distress to families, and 
*' • what decays of hopeful character have resulted from 
a deficiency on this point ! Let me warn my dear 
M against that unbecoming levity, with which 


many young people treat these subjects. Evil com* 
inunications corrupt ffood nranners, very especially 
in this matter. The love of Christ is the only sare ' 
ground of all motives, and all CQnduct. Where 
this is established all is well. The life-blood 
of Christianity then circulates through every vein 
of the soul ; and health, strength, and purity of 
mind is the happy result. Fall down upon your 

knees before God, my M , praying that he 

would pour that love into your heart, till it become 
a constraining principle for the government of your 
thoughts and actions. This is the only remedy for 
all the diseases of the soul. 

" Beware of pride and self conceit; of fretful 
tempers and discontent. Learn to quell impatience 
and obstinacy. Let your first, your very first, 
delight be in serving God by serving your parents. 
Reckon not on youth, or long life. Devote yourself 
to active usefulness in the family,.and in the parish. 
Shew forth the principles in which you have been 
educated, by a practical exhibition of them in your 
conduct. But who is sufficient unto these things? 
Christ. Without Him you can do nothing ; no, not 
so much as think a good thought. But you can do 
all things through Christ strengthening you. He is 
the sufficiency of all his people. By faith in him 
you obtain power to perform duty. By grace are 
ye saved, and that not of yourselves ; not of works, 
lest any one should boast. Could works save us, 
we might boast, and heaven would be full of 
boasters. But, no, no, no ; the song of the saints 
is, " Not unto us, not unto us, but unto thy name 
be all the glory." 

Your affectionate Father, 

Legh Richmond," 

It may be thought that a transition from seclusion 
to an active life, itom the habits of a retired village 
to the busy haunts of men, is more safe when grad-^ 





ual than when sudden, and that as young personsr 
must sodnor or laten be connected with the world 
that lies in wickedness, it were better to accustom 
their mindu bf difgfees to a contact which will be 
afterwards iinaffiidaddle. A Christian parent will, 
howe^fi Bstigf ezttemefy jealous of the modern prac- 
/tice oJ^e)epdtiipg jroutljiirto a prurient knowledge of 
' ' evit, ofrMboviog parental superintendance at too 
efiriyan agci^ana of alMwing an unrestrained free- 
dom.of asiBOtiiiiliop, which appears to me, as it did 
to Mr. ]^. to. 1^ attended with great danger. The 
effects of present habits are but too obvious; pre- 
mature and indiscriminate intercourse, and the re- 
laxation of former discipline, has generated a race 
of Tyros whose chief distinction seems to be a con- 
tempt for authority, and a rash and arrogant pre- 
tension to superiority very unbecoming their years 
or station. It is far better to train up a child in the 
ways of God than in the maxims of the world, — to 
be more intent on securing for him an entrance into 
life eternal, than, with a hope of present advantage, 
to put to hazard the salvation of his immortal soul. 
I would apologize (if apology be necessary) for 
dwelling on details which may appear too trifling 
for notice, but the Christian parent, who can duly 
estimate the * potency of little things,' may collect 
from them some useful hints for the regulation of 
his own family, and with this view 1 insert them. 

Mr. R. was an early riser, and he endeavoured 
to inspire the same activity in the minds of his chil- 
dren. He used to read with them in his study, at 
as early an hour as six o'clock in the morning, and 
as occasions arose, prayed with them in succession ; 
he was very attentive to their regularity, neatness, 
and good manners, and he endeavoured to make the 
"conversation at table useful and improving. Some- 
times he proposed a subject for discussion, and when 
he perceived youthful spirits rising to excess, he 
would throw in a remark to check the exuberance. 



No one aimed more constantly to restrain Uie evils 
of the tongue in his family ; if^ ever an Oliienration 
was made to the disadvantage of aDother, his uneasi- 
nesswas apparent ; slander in any shape was dis- 
tasteful to him, and he was sure to say something in 
aUowance or excuse. Indeed Mr. R, particularly 
excelled in conversational powers: with a fund of 
good humour, he abounded in anecdote, and having ' 
a targe acquaintance with science of every kind, he 
never failed to entertain : andTvilh a soul ever intent 
on the glory of God, and the best interests of his 
fellow creatures,, he was under no temptation to 
sacrifice the useful to the amusing. Table talk is 
seldom regarded with a proper sense of its import- 
ance. Servants are oAen on the wa|ch to get some- 
thing for circulation, and to retail among themselves 
the opinions which their masters have expressed in 
their presence ; the general strain of social inter- 
course ought therefore to be regulated with a view 
to their improvement. Children are apt to trifle, 
and relate all they have heard without discrimina- 
tion, and they need an eider to guide and give 8 
tone to their conversation ; this my excellent friend 
accomplished in a manner the most felicitous ; he 
allowed and even encouraged perfect freedom and 
ease, yet every one felt that there was an eye and 
an ear over every thing. 

Innumerable mischiefs arise to children from too 
close an intimacy with domestics ; a foundation is 
often laid, here, for opinions and habits difScult to 
be afterwards eradicated : not only are coarse and 
vulgar tastes imbibed, but vices of an apalling char- 
acter are learnt in the stable or the kitchen, where 
ready instrumenla are frequently found to concur in 
deceiving a parent, or gratifying some bad propen- 
sity in the minds of children. It was a point of 
importance in Mr. R,'s mind, that no wicked person 
should dwell beneath his roof; his domestics, as fw 


lis practicable, were selected from persons of good 
principles, and they became deeply attached to the 
family. Yet, even under these circumstances, he 
forbad all unnecessary intercourse ; there are doubt- 
less, many faithful servants, worthy of our esteem 
and confidence, but as a general rule, intimacies 
of this kind are productive of evil, and no good can 
arise from too close a connexion between our chil- 
dren and dependants. Mr. R. provided each child 
with a separate sleeping-room, thu§ securing a com- 
fortable place of i-elirement and devotion. These 
little sancttjaries were always accessible to himself; 
he often visited them to leave a note on the table ; 
for while at home as well as when abroad, he kept 
up a correspo^jdence with his family, which he used 
to call his Home Mission ^ and to these notes he 
requested a reply. I have heard him explain his 
reasons for so singular a method of instruction ; he 
used to say, ^^ I feel an insurmountable backward- 
ness to close personal conversation with my chil- 
dren, when I begin they are silent, and it is not long 
before I also feel tongue tied ; yet I cannot be easy 
without ascertaining the effect of my instructions, 
and hence I have been driven to use my pen, be- 
pause I could not open my lips.'^ Mr. R. is not 
the ooly lather who has felt and yielded to this 
repugnance, without adopting his ingenious remedy 
for a weakness not uncommon, yet not the Jess to 
be lamented. I am, however, disposed to estimate 
this home correspondence more highly than a direct 
personal appeal. Conversation, (if it be not a con- 
tradiction so to speak,) is apt to be all on one side ; 
but a communication by letter admits of freedom 
and reflection, and if a reply be expected, obliges 
an interchange of sentiments. It also teaches young 
people to think and compose. 

When circumstances required a longer epistle, 
as when a fault needed correction, or a removal 


from the family was about to take place,— when 
preparation for a religious ordinance was required, 
or the choice of a profession to be made, — on such 
occasions Mr. R. was diffuse, earnest, and parties 
ular ; at other times^'his little notes contained only 
an affectionate suggestion of a text for meditation, 
or a hint to improve ^ome event He seetned 
anxious that his children should have a subject, io 
use his own phrase, ^' on the stocks,^^ and a habit 
of always employing their minds, and making the 
best use of the hours which usually run to waste, — 
the moments and interstices of time. He used to 
say, " an idle moment is Satan's opportunity." 

The reader may expect a specimen or two of 
these short notes, which, as I hate already ob* 
served, were conveyed by himself, and left on the i^.. 
table in his children's rooms, with a request for a 
reply within a limited time. These replies formed 
the subjects of his prayer on their behsilf. 

Dear H. 

"Your text tOHlay shall be, " the blood of Jesus 
Christ cleanseth from all sin." No sin is too gre%t 
to be pardoned; but then the soul must see^ bch 
lieve, and experience this mercy. There is infinite 
value in the blood of Christ, but the believer alone 
enjoys the privilege. " Believe on the Lord Jesus 
Christ, and thou shalt be saved." This is the way, ^ 
and the truth, and the life. My dear child, what 
should, what ; could we lost sinners do, if it were 
not for this atoning merit. Seek and you shall find. 
Lose no time, — Christ waits to be gracious, carry 
your heart and all its feelings to him in prayer, and 
when you have told him all your wants, pray for 
your affectionate Father, 

L. Richmond." 

54 home correspondence. 

My dearest F, 

"As 1 trust that it is your own and my wish, 
that your mind should be seriously and atfection- 
atelj^ directed towards the greatest of all external 
privileges, the Lord's Supper,! wish you to answer 
me in writing, these two questions : — What are 
your views of the nature, design, and privilege of 
this sacrament ? and what are the real feelings of 
your heart at this time respecting it ? This com- 
munication is, and shall be, quite confidential be- 
tween you and your affectionate Father. 

P. S. I trust the first Saturday in October may 
unite us at the feast of love." 

My dear L. 

" I leave these 'few lines with you, in the hope 
that you will reply to them while I am in Cam- 
bridge. You must write, therefore, not later than 
by Tuesday's post. I do from my heart desire to 
know whether you do, or do not, feel an anxiety 
about your souJ's salvation. Has the aflecting 
thought, * I must live for ever in heaven or hell,' 
suitably impressed your mind ? This black border 
may remind you of your dear departed brother, — 
but does his memory live in your heart for good ? 
It is time you seriously reflected on eternity, and 
the value of your soul. You are a sinner ; and with- 
out a gracious Saviour you must perish. Do you 
pray in Christ's name ? and that earnestly, for the 
pardon of your sins ? May I hope that you are a 
penitent ? Do you think of Willy's last words to 
you, and of all that he so earnestly recommended 
to your serious attention ? Have you written down 
his dying words, as I desired you ? Be not afraid 
to open your mind to me. Let us have an unre- 
served intercourse with each other. Put away 
childish things, — imitate your brother's love of 

HOME correspondeck; 55 

learning, but especially his love of the Bible, and 
his constancy in the exercises of devotion. Oh ! 
comfort your father's heart, by truly turning to 6cfd,» 
and seeking his salvation ; and may God bless yov 
for ever and ever, which is the fervent prayer of 
your affectionate parent, 

L. R." 

Mv DEAR Child, 

" I am pleased, much pleased with your letter^ 
the more so as it contains some expressions, which 
inspire a hope that you are beginning to think and 
feel seriously about your soul's salvation. While 
I cannot but be most tenderly affected by the loss 
of my two elder sons, endeared to me by a thou- 
sand recollections, I become the more anxious for 
the welfare of those children whom God spares to 
me. For the last year I have gone through great 
trials, and my health has suffered more than any 
are aware of; but in the midst of all my sorrows, 
the inexpressible goodness of God has been most 
manifest, and 1 trust my afflictions have been blest 
to many. Many a rose has sprung up around the 
cold grave of dear Willy, and they still blossom, 
and 1 trust will continue to blossom, till they be 
transplanted from the spiritual garden of Turvey, 
to the paradise of God. But can I be otherwise 
than anxious that my dear K — should add a flower 
to my domestic and parochial shrubbery. Are you 
to reach your sixteenth year, and not internally, as 
well as externally, -prove yourself a partaker of the 
grace of God. 1 trust not, — but religion is not a 
matter of mere circumstantials, or of morals. It is 
the spiritual application of divine truth to the heart, 
producing that devotedness to God, which distin- 
guishes the true from the nominal Christian. But 
when, how, and where does this begin? Not until 


you have deep, humbling, sincere, and anxious 
thoughts about yourself, and the favour of God ; 
IMK until, by a kind of holy violence, you feel con- 
itrained to flee to Christ, as the ohiy refiige from 
the wrath to come ; not until pniyer becomes im- 
portunate, and the study of God^s word a delight ; 
not until every other consideration yields to that 
infinitely important inquiry, ^^ Wl^at must I do to 
be saved V^ Not until the light, trifling, and thought- 
less child of man be converted, through grace, to 
the serious, conscientioU3^ and believing state of the 
real child of God. Is this the case with you? I 
speak as a christian father, and minister. What are 
your views of these important subjects ? I wish 
my child to be deeply earnest ; life flies apace, the 
period of the tomb advances. I have four children 
in eternity ; it is true that eight more still continue 
with me on earth, but how long will they be here ? 
Wluch of them may next be taken from me ? 1 
think on these things with deep solemnity. You 
tremble at the thought of a school-examination, — 
but what is this to the examination before the judg- 
ment-seat of God. Go, then, as a sinner to Christ. 
He sends none empty away. In him and him 
alone, there is a rich provision for all who come to 
him. But let this coming mean a surrender of all 
you are, and all you have, to the Lord of grace and 
glory. Be contented with nothing short of reality 
in religion. 

** Whence came I ? — memory cannot say ; — 
What am I ? — knowledge will not show ; — 
Bound whither? — ah! away — away- 
Far as eternity can go ; 
Thy love to win, thy wrath to flee, 
Oh God ! thyself my helper be." 

Farewell, my dear child, and believe me. 

Your truly loving father, 



Discipline is a sulqect of no small moment in the 
education of a family. Offences must needs comCf 
and the foolishness which is bound up in the heait 
of a child, will discover itself in acts of disobedience 
both to God a'nd a parent. How this is to be met, 
controlled, and subduded, has occasioned a differ- 
ence of Opinion between good and wise men. It is 
agreed that authority must be maintained, and that 
all that is sinful and injurious to a child^s welfare 
must be firmly resisted. But it is not easy to avoid 
the extremes of harshness, and a weak fondness ; — 
to be firm^ yet kind ; to do nothing from temper, 
from partiality or caprice ; to preserve composure 
under circumstances of provocation,. 

I cannot undertake to decide whether corporal 
chastisement is to be inflicted or dispensed with. 
The Scripture warns us equally against severity and 
unduQ tenderness, ** not to provoke wrath, nor 
honour our children above God ;" on this point men 
must deternijpe . according, to the dictates of th^ir 
own consciences. So far I am satisfied, that there 
are few occasions when the rod is indispensably ne- 
cessary, and none which will justify its use under the 
rufflings of temper ; nor will the effect be salutary, 
if a child does not at the time feel it to be reluctant 
severity, giving more pain to the ofiended, than to 
the offender, force may be the easier way of 
settling a difference, and is probably often resorted 
to from a wish to escape the trouble and labour of 
more reasonable methods of eradicating evil ; but 
it seldom fails to excite sinful exasperations, and 
induce a brutish character ; and thg example on the 
part of the parent, is often found unfavourable to 
right dispositions in the other members of the 
family towards each other, ifet I am bound to 
admit, as the result of rmy own observation, that 
even severity is a less evil in its consequences, than 
a weak connivance at a childtf^i^nduct. Th« 


parent who '' never displeases his child at any 
time,^^ must expect to reap the fruits of his own 
folly in the ruin of his offspring. Excessive indul- 

Ence seldom fails to bring a rebuke along with it. 
r. Richmond's method of discipline was peculiar 
to himself, partly the effect of his own unbounded 
tenderness and affection, but in a great measure, of 
his deep and extraordinary piety. He could never 
be justly accused of a weak connivifhce at evil, for 
here he was resolute, firm and infexible ; yet he 
was never known to employ corporal chastisement. 
Whatever may be thought of his treatment of 
offences, it was felt by every member of his family, 
that nothing coirid make h^m yield, or shake his 
resolution, — nay, not for a moment. He was alive 
to all that was wrong in principle or conduct, and 
he never ceased to remonstrate, or to employ 
means to reduce his child to obedience, and awaken 
in him a sense of error. But the chief way in 
which he marked his displeasure, yras by those 
signs of extreme distress, which penetrated the 
heart of the delinquent, and softened rebellion into 
regret. From the misconduct of his child, he 
seemed to reflect on himself, as the author of a 
corrupt being. He humbled himself before God, 
and in prayer sought help from above, while he 
kept the offender at a distance, or separated him 
from the societj^ of his family, as one unworthy to 
share in their privileges and affections. No one of 
hiei^ children could long endure this exclusion, or 
bear with sullen indifference, a countenance which 
silently expressed the deepest anguish. Perhaps 
there never was a family where the reign of love 
suffered less interruption. The reader must form 
his own opinion of Mr. R.^s mode of regulating his 
family. He must determine for himself, how far a 
discipline of this kind is worthy of imitation, or is 
suitable to his own circumstances. Where there 


exists the same consistency and unity of purpose, 
an equal desire to glorify God in all thinirs, and a 
similar diligence in the education of a family, 1 feel 
confident that the divine blessing will crown with 
success the exercise of this or any other discipline 
of a Christian parent. 

Two or three other letters to his children, touch- 
ing both on lively and on serious topics, will appro- 
priately close this chapter. 

Sea Bank^ Ayrshire. 

My much LOVED F — , 

'^ As you hear all the good news from Glasgow, 
I need not repeat it. Now take u Scotch map and 
you shall see where 1 am. Look on the sea coast 
of Ayrshire, and you see a place between Ayr and 
Largs called Salt Coasts. Close to this a lovely 
cottage called Sea Bank, the residence of my friend 
Mr. — . In the front is a magnificent view of the 
sea as far as Ireland — The Frith of Clyde with its 
beauteous islands — ^Arran, whose craggy pictur- 
esqe mountains tow6r to the sky in the wildest, 
highest style of romantic grandeur and beauty — 
Bute, smaller, but very lovely — The Cuimbraies — 
The long peninsula of Cantyre, and over it the 
high pyramydical mountains of Jura — The coast of 
Ayrshire, farther than the eye can reach, and the 
surprising rock called the Craig of Ailsa, risine up 
in the midst of the ocean, far away from all land, 
and sustaining solitary majesty, the almost unmo- 
lested haunts of wild birds, goats and rabbits. Yes- 
terday there was a great storm, and the sea raged 
horribly. I saw many a vessel tossed about in all 
directions. I went down to the shore, and stood 
astounded amidst roaring waves, screaming sea- 
fowls, and whistling winds. To-day all is calm, 
gentle and inviting. Yesterday I saw the sublime, 
to-day the beautiful. I am writing at a window 


which commands the whole view. Somehow or 
other 1 am much amused with the appearance and 
conduct of a large flock of poultry, just now parad- 
ing about on the lawn beneath me. There are five 
pea-fowls, six turkeys, twenty cocks and hens, and 
a solitary goose from Botany Bay. They walk and 
talk with much diversified gait and air. The sober 
gravity of their pace, occasionally interrupted by 
a gobble, a jump, and a snap ; the proud loftiness of 
the peacock, sometimes expressed in solemn silence, 
and sometimes by a very unmusical squall. The 
ruffling vibrations of the turkey cock's feathers, 
with now and then a brisk advance towards his 
rival of the green ; the social grouping of the cocks 
and hens, contrasted with the unsocial condition 
and march of the poor unpartnered goose, who 
grunts dismally, and sometinfies turns up a doubtful 
sort of a side look at me, as I sit at the window, as 
much as to say, ''Who are you?" Sometimes a 
continued silence for a space, and then a sudden 
and universal cackling, as if they were all at once 
tickled or frightened, or in some way excited to 
garrulity. All this amuses me, not a little. There 
are also two noble watch-dogs ; 1 wish they had 
been at the house when the robbers came. I feel 
much when at a distance from home, — even minor 
sources of trouble harass and disturb me, when I 
am so far from you. Let us pray for faith and con- 
fidence in God alone. I think of going to lona, it 
is sacred and classic ground. May every blessing 
attend my children. 

So prays their affectionate father, 

Legh Richmond." 


Mt own dear Child, 

" On my return home, 1 found your letter, and 
hasten to give you a few lines in reply. I thought 


you long in writing, and welcomed your hand .with 
much delight. Indeed, my F — , you and I are not 
sufficiently intimate in religious intercourse and 
correspondence ; we must become more 90y and 
may Uod enable us. Let us walk and talk, and sit 
and talk more on these subjects than we have 
done. Time flies, events are uncertain, provi- 
dences, health, and life are transient and mutable. 
I hope the ensuing winter will unite us closer than 
ever. Winter is my domestic dependence ; your 
heart is with me in this feeling. I much regret 
that circumstances have prevented your travelling 
with me this year, but 1 hope next summer will be 
more propitious. When I return we will read and 
talk over together such scenes as we mutually love, 
and you shall hear of my interesting journey to 
Stafia and lona. Nature, grace, history, antiquity, 
compassion, taste, and twenty more subjects and 
affections all meet there. I will match the festival 
which I gave to the poor children of Icolmkill on 
St Colomba's day with the gala of Mr. 
Moreover I wrote a right noble copy of verses for 
the children to sing. Mr. M. is a truly valuable 
man. He grows daily in my estimation. I feel 
much pleased at tlie prospect of my dear .^s 

union ; her tender heart is fixed, although her 
^^affections are strongly bound to her family. En- 
courage and elevate her spirits when you write, for 
her nerves are delicate. It is a great question, aind 
God I trust is settling it for her. * # * # 
Mr. M. is a man of God, and makes religion and 
conscience the ground of all he says and does. 

Read the life of Mrs. Isabella Graham of New 
York, Mr. M's aunt. It will shew you the sort of 
piety of Mr. M. and his family, all of Whom are 
valuable characters. 

What a terrible storm you had I The Lord rides 
in the storm. ^ He can create, and he destroy.* 




I hope you do not forget him in the midst of 
agreeable society. The care- of a soul, its natural 
departures from God, its proneness to make idols 
of the'creature, and the extreme narrowness of the 
straight gate, are subjects for our deep meditation^ 
Alas I how many among our respectable and decent 
fnends and acquaintance are still in an unconverted 
state, strangers to the real experience of the heart, 
ftiid unacquainted with the love of Christ I Care- 
lessness and comparative insensibility, ruin more 
souls than deliberate acts of resolute iniquity. You 
have need to be jealous over your own soul, and to 
watch and pray that you enter not into temptation. 
Real piety is a very different thing from mere decent 
profession, educational propriety, and orderly con- 
duct ; yet without it none can enter the kingdom 
of God. Where a deep sense of guilt and depravity 
does not subsist, all else is a mere name, and it is 
much easier to admit this as a doctrine, than to feel 
and act upon it as a truth. I want my children to 
be living commentaries on my sermons and princi- 
ples. 1 long to see them adorning the Gospel of 
Christ in all things, and that from the inner man of 

the heart I have no objection to Mr. 's being 

liberal and hospitable. I only lament that among 
the lower classes, dancing and debauchery are 
nearly synonymous, and therefore 1 must absent 
myself from such fetes. So poor dear S. W.* is 
dead. To what trials are the best Christians for 
a time given up ! Frequently during delirium, the 
most holy have appeared the most wicked in thought 
and action. But of Aer Christianity I cannot have a 
doubt. * ♦ * I saw-- — last week * * Oh ! 
'how time flies, generation succeeds generation, like 
waves on the sea ; but whither shall we float at 
last ? Much, much, very much goes to secure a 

*Oike of his poor ptriBhionera. 


8«fe entrance into the eternal harbour of peace and 
safety. All subjects;, sink into insignificance com* 
pared with this. How foolish, how wicked are we 

in this matter I Farewell, my beloved F , much 

of my domestic comfort depends on you ; love your 
father, for indeed he loves you. When and while 
you can, be a prop to his feelings and spirits^. Now 
the period is arrived when I look for tfaeliarvest of 
filial intercourse, of which I sowed the seeds with 
such anxiety in your infancy and childhood. May 
every blessmg be with you, in time and eternity. 
Seven^times a day I pray, and say, '^ God bless mf 
dear wife — God bless my dear children — God bless 
my dear parishioners — and God bless my own im- 
mortal soul.'^ 
Thia comes firom the heart of your loving father, 

Legh Richmond/V 

Extract of a letter to his daughter F — 

^^ I saw A M ^last week ; she is like no 

one else, it is a little Paradise to be where she is : 
simplicity, fluency, devotedness, natural talent, and 
gracious acquirements at eighty-four, concentrate 
a kind of glory playing around her head and heart. 

Mr. ' has left , there are great lamentm* 

tions, but I think I see the hand of God in it ; there 
is danger indeed when the minister, rather than the 
master, is. the object of delight ; but such religion 
will soon decay and dissipate. ♦ * * * ♦ 
One thing, my F— > — , is most certain, that a great 
deal more than commonly manifests itself amongst 
the generaUty of rich and genteel professors, is 
necessary to adorn, if not constitute, real, vital, sav- 
ing religion. The manners, the opinions, the lux- 
uries, the indolence, the trifling, the waste of time 
and talents, the low standard, the fastidiousness, 
Ihe pride^ and many more etceteras stand awfnll/ 

64 LKTfiftf fb Hm emcijitfeir. 

in the way of religious attainment and progresi^ 
hence it is, that in so many instances, the religion 
of the cottage so much outstrips that of the man- 
sion ; and that we derive so much more benefit 
from intercourse with the really sincere Christians 
amongst the poor, than amongst the too refined, 
showy, lui(urious, and dubious professors in higher 
classes. Thank God, however, there are some, 
though few, yet delightful, specimens amongst the 
rich ; the gate is too straight for some of the camels. 
* ♦ * * Allow me, with a heart fuU 

of love and esteem for my dearly loved F y 

to ask whether you have considered the subject of 
iny last letter ; do you not see, on mature exam* 
ination of your own heart, that religion has not 
done all that it ought to have done in this respect 
for my dearest child ; has not something of discon- 
tent been mingled with the lawful exercise of affec- 
tion ? has not Christ been in some degree robbed 
of his love and duty in your heart of late ? 1 en- 
treat my dear child to take this frank, but affection- 
ate reproof in good part. 1 love you so dearly, that 
I want to see you holy, happy, and heavenly. True, 
deep, and unfeigned piety will alone induce a right 
frame ; not the fretful weariedness of this world, 
but the mrnd reconciled to all the dealings of the 
Lord, because they are Hi»y and that for both 
worlds. — I gave an historical, antiquarian, ecclesi- 
astical, picturesque, mineralogical andreligious lec- 
ture on lona and Staffa, to about 150 ladies and 
gentlemen in the school-room at Olney last Wed- 
nesday. I spoke for two hours and a half. 1 pro- 
duced fifty illustrative pictures, and all my pebbles^ 
and other specimens. 1 did the same at Emberton. 
All expressed satisfaction. 

Your affectionate Father, 

L. R.^ 


V * Turvey, Dec. 1924. 

** I think, dearest F , that the plan which I 

suggested will be best for your return home; give 
me a letter to precede you. ^' Hie sumus \*^ quiet, 
comfortable, and uniform in our daily course, with- 
out many striking events to diversify it by day or 
by night, unless it be that the younger bairns are 
rather noisy by day, and the cats in the garde* 
outrageously so by night Mamma is detamed at 
Bath, oy the lingering and precarious state of Mrs. 

C . Willy is not materially different. My 

dear, much-loved boy ! No one will, ever know 
what I have inwardly undergone on his account 
since May last. I have no reason to doubt that bis 
mind is in a good state, but 1 think its exercises are 
somewhat too dependent on the fluctuations of his 
body. I entreat you, when restored to his com- 
panionship, to second every wish of my heart ib 
promoting serious, devotional, and determinale 
piety and occupation of heart I sometimes fear 
that his mind is too playful, too comparatively care- 
less, in the midst of carefulness. He is an invalid 
of too precarious a class to trifle, or to be trifled 
with. Watch over his besetting infirmities, and aim, 
without appearing to intend it, to correct them. 

Many persons, God be praised, appear at this 
time to be under serious impressions, and theLord^s 
work in this parish is evidently progressing. I 
earnestly wish to see it so under my own roof, as 

well as in my neighbours' cottages. Yes, my F , 

my own loved child, I wish to witness more positive, 
decided, unequivocal, demonstrations of it in your 
own]J heart Beware of substituting mere senti- 
mentalism for vital experience ; and any, however 
subtle, species of idolatry for the simple, sincere, 
unsophisticated love of Jesus. Jesus, the sinner's 
refuge I — Jesus, the sinner's friend ! — ^Jesus, the 



sinner^s compfttiion. Beware of the fascinating but 
dangerous tribe of poets, iictionists, story-tellers, 
and dramatists, whose writings steal away the heart 
from God, secretly poison the spring of devotion, 
create false standards of judgment and rob God of 
his honour. Never let the ignis fatuus of genius 
Jlie^uile you into the swamps and puddles of immo- 
rality, DHich less of infidelity : the heart is deceitful 
above all things, and desperately wicked : who can 
know it ? Ten thousand thieves and robbers within 
are continually purloining God of our best affec- 
tions ; they assume imposmg attitudes, array them- 
selves in false attire, speak Battering words, ^^ pro- 
phecy smooth things,^' delude the imagination, and 
darken the soul. Watch and pray, that ye enter 
not into .temptation. Always keep a searching 
experimental book in private reading, to accompany 
the study and daily reading of the word of God. 
Beware of trifling and mere gossiping conversation, 
even with religious friends ; the aforenamed thieves 
and robbers are never more active than under the 
plausible guise of unprofitable intercourse with 
those, whom on good grounds we esteem. 

*' The time is short" should be written on every 
one and every thing we see. Dear Charlotte 
Buchanan is now gone to the rest that remaineth 
for the people of God. Do you not now feel, that 
had you anticipated so speedy a bereavement, many 
a thought would have been cherished, many a word 
uttered, many a conversation held, more congenial 
with the idea of her early flight from time to 
eternity, from the visible lo the invisible world ? 
But you know not who may go next. If, then, 
virhere health may still bloom on the cheek, so much 
consideration is due, how much more so, when 
sickness and anticipated decay warn us, that tho&e 
we love, may not long be with us. I deeply feel that 
our general standard of social and domestic religion 


htnEtLs TO HIS cHitDRKir; Gli 

is too low. It does not sufficiently (Partake of Ihe 
more simple and pure vitality of the poormaois 
piety. The cottage outstrips the drawmg-room, in 
the genuine characteristics of the gospel efficacy. — 
The religion of the one is more like wine, that of the 
other wine and water, in various degrees of mixture. 
There is not only to be found in the religious, 
world, a solid, substantial, consistant, and devoted 
character, but there is also what may be termed a 
pretty genteel sort of evangelism, which too weH 
combines with the luxurious ease and partial acqui- 
escence of the world, and the flesh, not to say the 
Devil also, fiut such evangelism will not prepare 
the soul for sickness, death and eternity, or will, 
at best, leave it a prey to the most fearful doubtsi, 
or, still more to be feared, the deluiions of fabe 
peace. The way that leads to eternal life is much 
more narrow, than many of our modern professors 
are aware of; the gate is too straight to allow all 
their trifl^ing, and self-will, and fastidiousness, and 
carnal-mindedness to press through it. The gospel 
is a system of self-denial : its dictates teach us to 
strip ourselves, that we may clothe others ; they 
leave us hungry, that we may have wherewith to 
feed others ; and sent us bare-footed among ihe 
thorns of the world, rather than silver-shod, with 
mincing steps, to walk at our ease amongst its 
snares. When our Lord was asked, " Are there 
few that shall be saved ?." he answered neither Yes 
nor No ; but said, '* Strive to enter in at the straight 
gate," and this word " strive," might be translated 
** agonize." Beware of belonging to that class, 
which Mrs. H. ingeniously calls '* the borderers." • 
Choose whom you witl serve, and take care not to 
prefer Baal. Ask yourself every night, what por- 
tion of the past day have I given to God, to Christ, 
to devotion,to improvement, to benevolent exertion, 
to eflfectual growth in grace. Weep for the deficiea- 


cieB you therein discover, and pray for pardon and 
brighter progress. We intend next Thursday to 
give a little feast to a great company of the poor 
chidren of Turvey. Dear Willy will not be able 
this year to explain the Magic Lantern, and talk to 
them about ^^ Lions and Whittingtons," so we must 

.try to be optical without H will act behind 

the scenes, but make no speeches. « « « 
****♦! hope to hear a better 
account of Mrs. W — — , to whom present my very 
affectionate regards. From my heart I wish you a 
merry Christmas and a happy^ new year when it 

comes. St James explains '.' Merry," v*^"^^s ^» l^*) 
so does our Lord, (Luke xv. 24.) May such 
merry-makings be ours. Our love to all. Tell Mr. 
M. to write Ho Wilberforce. I want correspond- 
ents who will do him good, and not trifle. I am to 
preach two Missionary Sermons at Cambridge on 

the thirteenth. Farewell, my beloved F , come 

quickly here, and be assured how truly I am, 

Your faithful loving Father, 

Legh Richmond*" 

January 6, 1825. 

My dear F 

^'Your communication is just such as I wish you 
often and again to repeat. Let your heart be con- 
fidential, and you will ever find mine responsive to 
it. * * * * ]yiay no trifles ever 

wean your affections from the unspeakably important 
subjects of eternity. Idols are bewitching, danger- 
ous^things, and steal away the heart from God. The 
most lawful things may oecome idols, by fixing an 
unlawful degree of affection upon them. One reason 
of the diflSiculties with which you meet on the sub- 
ject of prayer may be, the not suflSciently looking 
by faith unto Christ Essential as prayer is, both as 


a privilege, an evidence, an instrument of good and a 
source of every blessing ; yet it is only the interces- 
sory prayer of Christ, that can render our prayers ac- 
ceptable and efficacious, and it is only by lively faith 
in the Great Intercessor, that we can obtain a heart' 
to pray. Thus faith and prayer act in a kind of circle 
in our minds, and each produces, (experimentally,) 
and is produced, by the aid of the other. I am glad 
you like Mr; Bickersteth^s little book on prayer, — all 
his publications are good. There are many books as 
well as general conversations about religious matters 
which, after alU do li'ot bring hoi:ne true religion to 
the heart. Religious gossiping is a deceitful thing 
and deceives many. How many professors of re- 
ligion will utter twenty flippant remarks, pro or con, 
upon a preacher, where one will lay his remarks 
to his heart. Uow many look more to the vessel than 
the excellency of the treasure contained in it. Some 
people cannot relish their tea or coffee, unless served 
m a delicate cup, with a pretty pattern and a gilt 
edge. Let poor dear Charlotte Buchanan^s sudden 
call from time to eternity, warn us how needful it is 
to "die daily ;" not to trifle with our souls, when 
eternity may be so near ; nor to boast of the morrow, 
when we know not what a day may bring forth. — 
Willy is anxious for your return, he droops at pre- 
sent, and wishes to have his dearest friends near him. 
* * * I rejoice to find your recent 
meditations have opened to your conscience beset- 
ting infirmities. Press forward, my child, let them 
not gain an ascendancy. Beware of mere senti- 
mentalism, of satire, of fastidiousness towards per- 
sons and things. Beware of bigotry and prejudice, 
of procrastination, of the love of fictions, of dan- 

ferous though fascinating poets, &c. * * * 
wish you, my love, to attach yourself to visiting the 
sick, and conversing usefully with the poor ; to the 
instruction of pcMxr children; ioreligiowcortwfon^ 


ence and conversationf with a few sincere friends ; 
and particularly strive to commence and continue 
spiritual conversation with our dear Willy. 

*' I lately watched the young moon declining in 
the western sky — it shone sweetly. Sometimes a 
cloud shot across thedisk — sometimes a floating mist 
partially obscured it, alternately it was bright again : 
it sometimes silvered the edge of the very cloud 
that hid it from sight At length the lower horn 
touched the horizon, then the upper horn, and then 
it wholly disappeared. Venus remained to cheer 
the gloom. I said to myself, ^ There is the decline 
of my loved boy, and there ijp the star of hope/ 

Your affeefionate father, 

L.' Richmond/' 

London^Junej 1825. 

Dear F. and dear H. 

'^ Between the morning and evening services of 
thiBclay, 1 have a leisure hour, in which I feel as if 
I should like to sit down and talk with you two. I 
miss our early morning exercises much, and this for 
the present must be the substitute on^ my part. I 
have nothing very particular to recount, only that I 
have been to a few places, where I was last summer 
with my beloved Wilberforce, and I have indulged 
the silent tear as I retraced incidents never again to 
recur. At some places, where my friends remem- 
ber his visits and conversations, I am asked, ' how 
he is/ with interest in their manner, and have to tell 
how he has taken his flight to another and a better 
world ; and it afiects me greatly so to do. I know 
not how it is with me« in regard to that dear boy^s 
loss, but I talk less and think more tlian ever about 
him. The fortnight preceding, and the one succeed* 
ing his death are indelibly graven on my hearths 
recollections, and sometimes overposier me in a way 


of which none of you have any real idea. Some- 
times my mind is strengthened, bttt at others weak- 
ened by these reflections. I am sometimes com* 
forted, at others terrified by these exercises of the 
mind. With what liveliness do the scenes of our 
northern tour press upon my mind : the lovely Isle 
of Bute with all its magificent scenery, the incom- 
parable beauties of Loch Lomond, and Loch Lon^ 
with their hospitable friendships ; the wild loveli- 
ness of Inverary^and Loch Awe ; the fine views on 
the Firth of Clyde, with the moral and intellectual 
characteristics of many a kind friend ; the steam- 
boats, the carts, the cjufs^ the mountains all associate 
with Atm,and are endured tome beyond expression. 
1 linger over the spots We^ visited together, from 
Lock Awe to Glasgow, Carlisle, Keswick, Wood- 
house, Matlock, &c. to Turvey. I love to think of 
our private reading in my little bed-room at Rothsay ; 
his first communion at Greenock, and then to con- 
nect all with bis closing days. It is my weakness, 
my fault, my misfortune, that I cannot express more 
of my mind and feelings to you both. Dear, dear 

H ~l you are now become the prop and stay of 

my declining years, think much of the station in 
which God has placed you. My first-born is a dis- 
tant wanderer, and God knows when or whether I 
shall see him again on earth. My second boy is 
taken from me, you are my third, but now my first. 

Be such to your two brothers, particularly to L ; 

he needs your constant superintending care ; watch 
over him, do not leave him to seek unprofitable as- 
sociates ; cherish the little germ of hope, which God 
has planted in my bosom concerning him^ let your 
example influence, and your kind attentions encour- 
age him in every good way, and think much of your 
own soul. Beware of declensions. — remember the 
last words of dear Wilberforce, — ^live up to his ad- 


vice. How my heart yearns over you, and all your 
prospects. What are you ? What are you to be, 
my loved child 1 Write to me freely* 

" And my F also ; are you as much alive to 

spiritual things, as when you hastened to the dyin^ 
bed of dear Willy, — ^as when you wept over IttS 
coffin ? My child, dread all decays, and may tke 
flame of spiritual piety never grow dim amidst ^ 
mists of unworthier speculations. Visit the cot- 
tases, — forsake not the poor, for your Father's 

'^1 have been this morning where you might 
least have expected to find me; but I went not 
from curiosity, but from a conscientious wish to 
know and judge for myself, viz. to the Roman 
Catholic Chapel in Moorfields, to hear high mass. 
I was astonished at the decorations, the gorgeous 
dresses of the bishop and priests, charmed with the 
exquisite beauty o£t he music, disgusted at the cere- 
monial mummery of the service, and unconvinced by 
the bishop^s eloquent sermon in defence of transub- 
stantiation. It was all illusion, delusion, and col- 
lusion. The service lasted near four hours. I bless 
God more than ever for true Protestantism. 1 shall 
hear the Messiah performed to-morrow. Such music 
I love, it lifts my soul to heaven. I am sick and 
disgusted with common light modern songs, — they 
are unfit for Christians. Oh ! what music is my 
Willy enjoying in heaven. Shall we all enjoy it 
with him ? The question often sinks me in the dust. 
My dear, my most dear children I press forward to 
the prize of the mark of our high calling in Christ 
Jesus. There is an immense gulph to be passed. — 
Who is sufficient for these things ? 

Say truly kind and pastoral things for me to my 
dear people at Turvey. Truly 1 have them in 
my heart. — My children all, I kiss you from a 


distance; believe how much and how tenderly I 
love you ! * * * 

" P.3. — Monday. — I am just returned from hear- 
ing the Messiah, In the two grand chorusses, I 
^ thought I could hear my Willy's voice, and it quite 
'!: '^^ercame me. Past, present, and future, mingled 
', fai^Krange and affecting combination. These feel- 
4 W^s are sometinies too much for your poor father.'^ 



* A inmn thit is youngs in jemn may be old in honrt, if be h^f€ 
lost no time.' — Bacon, 

It may easily be conceived with what anxiety 
Mr. R. would contemplate the removal of his boy& 
from the paternal roof, when their age should ren- 
der it unavoidable. The difficulty of placing young 
persons in suitable situations is greatly increased in 
the present day by the numbers who are pressing 
into every trade and profession, and by the mod- 
ern practice of excluding youth from the master's 
family, a practice which may conduce to the com- 
fort and convenience of the latter, but which neces-^ 
sarily exposes the clerk and the apprentice to the 
worst temptations, Mr. R. knew perhaps less than 
many other parents how to place out his children 
to advantage. He was not wise for this wdrldj 
and though few had fairer opportunities or friends : .. 
more able to advise and help him, he shrunk from* 
availing himself of these advantages, to a degree - 
which we cannot approve, while we respect his 
delicacy and paramount regard to the honour of 
religion. He was not the ablest counsellor under 
such circumstances, except indeed on one pointy 
that the welfare of the soul should be the govern- 
ing principle in the selection of a profession. He 
gave an unbounded liberty of choice to his chil- 
dren, with one exception, an exception which it is 
difficult to imagine would not equally be made by - 
every Christian parent. The profession of arms, 
if not in itself unlawful, is so irreconcilable with 



the spirit of a peaceable religion ; and a life of com- 
parative idleness or of activity amidst the horrors 
of destruction, is so repugnant to the principles and 
feelings of a disciple whose Master came not to 
destroy but to save men^s lives, that a right-minded 
man can scarcely be supposed to admit a prefer- 
ence for it. Persons of undoubted piety have been 
discovered in camps as well as in peaceful fields, 
but it has generally been found that their know- 
ledge of God was subsequent to their choice of pro- 
fession. The Christian under an actual engagement 
in a service may decide ^' to abide in the calling 
wherein he is called,^^ and honour God in his voca- 
tion ; but this is a widely different determination 
from a choice made with the knowledge of peace 
and love in Christ Jesus. 

One of those events which often inspire a prefer- 
ence for a soldier^s life, I mean the show of military 
parade, excited this inclination in Mr. Richmond's 
younger son. To this choice Mr. R. expressed his 
dissent in the strongest terms. ''Any thing but 
this," said he, '' any thing but this — the very men- 
tiop of a military life fills me with horror ; I cannot 
bear to think of a child of mine engaging in scenes 
. of bloodshed and destruction. No consideration on 
etkrth could extort my consent. It would make me 
really miserable." 

The following letter to his daughter F is the 

best transcript of his thoughts and feelings on this 

"I grant dearest F , you may charge me 

with the fault of which you have often been culpa- 
ble ; I have no very good reason to assign for delay, 
and therefore will rather take my share of blame, 
than furnish you with a bad argument, or a bad ex- 
ample, in the duty of letter-writing * * J 

rejoice in your account of Turvey, a spot that is 
j^ways in my mind^s eye, when pot in my sight 


Dear loved parochial and domestic village ! Thou 
art endeared to me by a thousand considerations, 
both as it respects the living and the dead. ^^ When 
I foiget thee, let my right hand forget her cunning/* 
No succession of time or circumstances has woaned 
or ever can wean my heart from the chancel vault. 
There is a young triumvirate increasingly endured 
to me, one in heaven and two on earth, and their 
names thall be recorded together, — Wilberforce, 

Henry, and C . Dear boys ! born in the same 

village, companions in the same school, partners in 
the same recreations, partakers of the same euchar- 
istic table, friends in every social pursuit, and dare 
I say, heirs of the same glory ? United by the ties 
of the same grace on earth, may they share the 
same felicity in heaven. I am glad that your medita* 
tions have been, of late, deep and important. Pray 
that they may continue so. Life is short, eternity 
is at hand, banish all needless reserve^ banish levity, 
banish dulness, be much with Christ in prayer, and, 
I had well nigh added, much with your father in his 
study. Cultivate an interior acquaintance with 

H— , and do allyou can with L and T — — . 

There is something wanting amongst us, whether in 
family duet or chorus, as to really improving and 
spiritual conversation ;too much worldly bustle, too 
much regard to passing events, too much conse- 
quent alienation from the one, the onljr thing need- 
ful. Without inquiring who is the most in fault, let 
each of us strive to resist the evil and cleave to the 
mod. .... When I think of my boys and 
C— — , 1 bless Godfor village seclusion, and greatly 
rejoice that they have been kept at a comparative 
distance from the evil communications which cor<> 
rupt good manners. The world, even ii) its^ippa- 
rently harmless form, is a terrible snare to the young 
and uninformed mind. ... I before gave you 
my opinion on Sunday evening walksi I have oilea 


earnestly denounced them to the people, and need 

not add a word to you on this head m 

There is a subject which often hangs heavy ori^ntj)^ 

spirits, 1 mean my poor dear T 's inclinatidi. 

for a military life. Hating war as I do from my 
very heart ; convinced as I am of the inconsistency 
of it with real Christianity, and looking on the pro- 
fession of arms as irreconcileable with the princi- 
ples of the gospel, I should mourn greatly if one 
of my boys chose so cruel, and generally speaking, 
so profligate a line of life. I could never consent 
to it on conscientious grounds, and therefore wish 
this bias for the profession of arms to be discour- 
aged. I dislike and oppose it with my whole heart. 
May God, the God of peace bless you, my much 

loved F ;^ive a Christian message of pastoral 

love to jny-dear flock; I often think and pray for 
themi Love to the boys. You know well how 
trulf taid sincerely I am. 

Your afiectionate father, 

Legh RichmoOT)." 

The strongest desire Mr. R. ever expressed with 
respect to his children, was, that they might devote 
themselves to* the service of the sanctuary. ^^ I 
have no concern," he used to say^ " about their 
temporal provision, God will take care of that; 
but I should itejoice to see every one of rtiy boys, 
actively and usefully engaged in the churcfi of 

God.'' His son H chose the sacred profession, 

to which his father consented, but the necessity of 
his removal to the university, haunted him like a 
spectre. He passed many anxious days and sleep- 
less nights in anticipation of the event ; and at 
times he seemed to be in the deepest trouble ; he 
talked and wrote continually about the possible 
consequences of it The subject seemed to absorb 
his thoughts, %tiid depress his spiritsr : *^ What if my' 




boy should fall a victim to associations which hare 
blasted the farresl hopes of many a Christian parent. 
He may do without learning, but be is ruined body 
aod soul if he be not wise unto salvation/^ Sucb 
acute distress may appear to some a sort of extrav- 
agance, and to others a pitiable dotage. It is true, 
feelings of this order require control, but allowance 
should be made for the overflowings of parental 
anxiety, and the dread of a transition and revolu- 
tion of habits not without danger,and aflbrding just 
grounds of apprehension. There are occasions in 
which it 'is difficult to preserve the mind in due 
balance, when not to feel deeply implies a culpable 
indifference to the interests of eternity, or at least 
a very low estimate of their paramount importance* 
Mr. Uichmond, as will appear from subsequent 
events, was standing on the verge of eternity ; hi» 
health and spirits had been greatly shattered by the 
severe family trials through which he had lately 
been made !• pass ; and his feelings on all subjects 
connocted with religion, were wrought up to a pitch 
of acuteness, which rendered unnecessary contatct 
v^ith the world almost insupportable. Tiiere need 
seldom, however, be any dread of a glow of feeling 
that " would consume us ;" it is much more to be 
deplored, that men can sustain the ^^ exceeding 
weight of things which are eternal," with so little 
emotion, and waste their chief energies on those 
which endure only for a season and then flee away 
for ever. 

With respect to our Universities, I am not dis- 
posed to join in the unmeasured and ignorant 
objurgation, with which they have been assailed by 
their enemies, and even by those who owe much 
•f their eminence in society to the advantages 
derived from them. It is easy to blame and difficult 
to improve ; plausible theories may be suggested, 
and the rude hand of revolution, under the specioua 



name of reform, may proceed to experiments, which 
are often mischievous, and always uncertain in their 
issue. The question is not what is desirable, but 
what is practicable : how little is to be expected 
from attempting too much, is observable in the 
sirictness of statutes, even to absurd minutiae, com- 
pared with the feeble discipline, which corrupt 
beings will allow to be enforced. It is indeed 
devoutly to be wished, that a more vigilant super- 
intendence were exercised over the private habits 
of the young n>en, as to the facilities of contracting 
debts, and of admision into college after the clos- 
ing of the gates, — that something more of the spirit* 
of religion were infused into its forms; that (ess 
were left to the discretion of" the mad age ;" that 
the authority and duty of the tutor should not be 
confined to the hours of lecture. Desirable as are 
such improvements in college discipline, I am not 
prepared to show how they can be made, unless 
the minds of men were more deeply iiopressed with 
the true end of education, the training a fou) for 
eternity: and J shall not indulge in idJc aeclamation 
against evils which I may lament, but^ candot cure. 
The dangers incident to inexperienced youth at the 
University, are confessedly great, but they attach 
to all situations of their early career, ancl ar.Q. not 
peciiliar to their residence at these noble monu- 
ments of ancient piety and munificence. Yet, a 
Christian parent, in matriculating his son at College, 
will feel increasing responsibility to commend him 
to the Spirit of God for protection and guidance, 
atid to use every precaution against the evil influ- 
ence to which he may be exposed from the corrupt 
example of contemporaries, or the too great liberty 
allowed to himself. I would suggest the inestimalija 
advantages to be obtained from thp help and super- 
intendance of a private tutor, of an age to b^ a 
companion, and of talents and piety sufficient to 

■p. ' 



make him a useful guide. Such a one intrusted 
with authority to direct his pupil's conduct and 
studies, would secure every thing within human 
means, which an anxious parent could desire. 

The last production of Mr. R.^'s pen was a paper 
of warnings and instructions for his son. This 
paper was found on his table after his death, and 
was OTidcntly the result of his dying meditations. 
I deeply regret that it has been lost, and that I 
cannot gratify the reader by the valuable hints 
which it might have suggested. The subject, how- 
ever, is too important to be passed over in silence, 
and I will venture to supply the defect by a letter 
of my own, written under circumstances not much 

To a young friend on going to College. 

Mt dear young friend, 

** You request my advice on a subject which 
will probably give a direction to your whole life. 
I give it you with the more satisfaction, because I 
believe you are not one of those who ask counsel 
with a previous determination to follow their own 
judgment, and who set no value on experience for 
which they have not paid the price in their own 
mistakes ; but are anxiously looking out for a guide, 
and ready t» follow him. After twelve years' res- 
idence in one of the Universities, I may fairly be 
supposed to know something both of their dangers 
and advantages. I am aware of the temptations to 
which you will be exposed in yoyr new situation; 
yet with respect to myself, I may assert, that they 
were ,by no means so great as others have repre- 
sented them, — fewer, and less dangerous than the 
after trials of manhood, or even those of my boyish 
days at school. 

** The opportunity you now have of acquurio^ 

* • • 


solid learning, and of laying the foundation of all 
that will be useful to you in life, is incalculably 
valuable, and it should be your chief concern to 
embrace the golden moment with firm and steady 
grasp. Accept then, with my best wishes ana 
prayers for your welfare, . the result of past obser- 
vation at Alma Mater. 

" 1. Wherever you are, in or out of the Univer^ 
sity, much will depend on the regulation of yourself » 
We are apt to lay the blame of our indiscretions 
and failures on our circumstances, and to suppose 
that we should act differently under others influ- 
ences ; but this is a great mistake ; for circum- 
stances, though 1 admit they have a powerful in- 
fluence on our conduct, do not so much form, as 
discover our character. Be " Lord of your own 
mind,^' and you will rise above outward trials. 
Try, then, to understand yowrarc//^-— your strong, and 
your weak points. 

^^ Begin and end the day with prayer ; but con- 
tent not yourself with an indolent or hurried exer- 
cise of. devotion without heart or meaning, and a 
cursoi^ or irregular glancing at a passage of Scrip- 
ture, under an idea of satisfying conscience, or 
doing your duty. Consider seriously the chief end 
of the appointment, as the prescribed channel of 
intercourse with God. Your strength, success, and 
preservation from evil, all depend on communion 
with him. Every thing will go ^1 or ill with you, 
in proportion as you are brought into contact with 
the divine Spirit. . In reading the Bible, (I am now 
speaking of religion and its practical application to 
your heart and conscience, and not of , theology m 
a science and profession,) take a few verses, and 
meditate and pray over them till you get the spirit 
and meaning of them wrought into your own soul. 
If you do not understand a passage, you may apply 
Ip a comtnentatojr for explanatioQ ; otherwise bi» 



your own expositor, — preach to your own heart, and 
feed on the word of God amidst the aspirations of 
prayer and praise, and heavenly thoughts and affec- 
tions. Examine yourself by it, to obtain conviction 
of sin, and to discover your defects and besetments, 
—to judge of your progress, and pray for upright- 
ness and deep seriousness. Look forward to the 
Erobable events of the day, and seek grace and 
elp to meet trial, and improve opportunity. Con- 
sider that you are entering society with a body of 
sin and death, ever liable to impart or receive 
injury, and while you carefully guard against the 
approaches of evil, you should aim, like your 
master, to ''go about doing good." I think an 
hour may be well employed in this holy exercise. 
At night, a shorter time may suffice; for the^irits 
will flag, and the body be wearied. The efncacy 
of prayer does not depend on the length of time 
employed in acts of devotion : God thinks of mercy, 
find not sacrifice, and so must you. Such remarks 
are applicable to all persons and situations, but ar6 
more especially important to one in your circum- 
stances. You are now deprived of your father's 
conversation, and the devotional exercises of the 
family, and you have need to redouble your dil- 
igence in private devotion. Remember, then, that 
your first and greatest trial will be in your closet ;> 
and if you fail here, all will go wrong with you 
throughout the day. If you rob. God, to turn to 
Euclid or Euripides, or hurry away to chapel 
without private prayer, because you have given 
way to sloth, — other motives may stimulate you to 
be diligent in business, but you will not long con- 
tinue " fervent in spirit, serving the Lord:" and if 
his Holy Spirit forsake you, — and he will forsake 
you if you grieve him by neglect of the means of 
^race, — you will fall into many inconsistencies, and 
m the end lose all love for religion, and concern 

• -.*.- ' 

k ' 


for your soul, and* perhaps by your conduct ik* 
credit yourself even in the eyes of the world. 

*^ It is good habit to keep some subject in mind 
for occasional employment, — a promise — a precept 
— an attribute of God, on which to meditate m 
every vacant moment. There are intervals in the 
course of your College duties, when you cannot sit 
down to serious studies. An idle moment fumishes 
at all times a nidus for a temptation. 

^' 2. Be very cautious in the formation of friend- 
ships. Your religious and genel'al improvement 
will be closely connected with the character of 
your associates. 

*' You will find me correct in dividing the young 
men into two classes ; of which one affects to des- 
pise, and the other professes to honour religion. 
The former class comprise three sets or parties, all 
agreeing to live without God in the world, but 
differing in their manners and pursuits. The first 
of the three are the men of family and fortune, who 
spend their time in amusement,. attending as little 
as possible to the studies of the place. For the 
most part they are men of profligate habits, thoush 
not all equally vicious. These call themselves the 
gentlemen. There is another set of young men 
who pass by the name of the scamps ; who are not 
t>etter disposed than the former, but they have not 
the same means of doing mischief to themselves or 
others ; they are, however, quite as ignorant, idle, 
and thoughtless, with the addition of coarseness 
and vulgarity of manners. To neither of these 
classes must you approximate, but (to speak acad^ 
mically) you must cut them all. I am under no 
apprehension of your familiarizing yourself with 
low company ; but a silk gown, or a gold tuft, — a 
wish to form a high connexion, may tempt you to 
tolerate what ought to be intolerable to you. At 
first you may feel disgust at profane and vicious 

84 LETTER TO A tOVMO MAMi >?? •* V 

language and manners. Insensibly they will excite 
less horror. After a time you will think it enough 
to be personally exempt from these ofTences-'-fthen 
you may begin to excuse and palliate ; till at length 
you break bounds, and assume a conduct, and avow 
a creed, repugnant to your judgment, and which 
your heart secretly condemns. You will have po 
difficulty in avoiding such associates; for, unless 

50U seek an introduction, they will not notice you. 
!'he third party which pretends to no religion are 
those who are called the reading men at Cambridge, 
and the quizzes at Oxford. Their diligent applica* 
tion to study, and desire of distinction in the uni- 
versity, are worthy of your imitation ; for you are 
sent to College, not rncrely to get a degree, and 
barely escape rejection at last, but to obtain a cred- 
itable testimony that you have profited by the 
studies of the place : yet, while I commend the 
industry of the charactecs alluded to, and their 
generally correct conduct, 1 do not hesitate to say, 
that their motives and objects are not such as I 
could enforce upon you. 

'*lt is possible that my advice to you may be 
different from that of some who nevertheless agree 
with me in principle. I remember it was said to 

you by "Don't look at every man not strictly 

religious as a wild bear, and a dangerous com- 
panion." Certainly it is not a duty to cherish 
morose feelings, but rather to cultivate a sweet« 
ness of temper, and a courteous behaviour towards 
all : and an occasional interchange of visits, with 
those who will converse profitably on literary pur- 
suits, cannot be objected to. Yet 1 wish to be more 
explicit as to the proper degree of intercourse with 
those who do not fear God, however creditable and 
desirable the acquaintance may be in other respects. 
If you were of long standing in religion, you might 
venture on many things which you cannot now 

'" * 

uttempt with safety. They might even become a 
duty. The firemen must scale the burning roof, 
while the spectator of the flames had better keep at 
a 'distance. You must not try how much poison 
your constitution will bear, or risk your souPs health 
for the sake of any temporal advantage. The 
world — by which 1 mean those who are ignorant of 
religion, or whose hearts are not in it, — must ever 
he to the true Christian^ a cross^ or a snare ; and 

. when it ceases to be the one^ it will invariably become 
the other. I cannot approve of whole evenings 
passed in company, where it is understood that God 
is never to be referred to, and where the least 
observation connected with eternity, creates a 
silence, if it does not provoke a sneer, an opposition 
of sentiment, or a feeling of distaste. To be much 

*in society of this kind beyond the demands of duty 
or necessity, which you can seldom plead, is surely 
no better than constructive treason against our Lord 
and Saviour. If you make the experiment, mark 
the effect on your own mind. If the tone of re- 
ligious feeling 1;^ impaired, if you grow dull and 
heartless in devotion, be assured that something is 
wrong in your motives, pursuits, and associations. 
So long as you agree to live and converse as if the 
world were every thing and God nothing, you may 
be tolerated, though your professed attachment to 
religion be known ; or you may even be respected 
for qualities that ire amiable and estimable, and 
your society may4iffi>rd satisfaction to literary young 
men who would keep you at a distance if you 
acted consistently with your profession of a purer 
faith and stricter conversation. The old rule, 
" noscitur a sociis,'' is a very wise and safe one. — 
Compare the conversation of yur new associates, 
if you form such, with the discussions you have 
heard under the paternal roof; where, though the 
subjects were not always strictly religious, yet the 






spirit in which they were treated had a tendency 
not only to improve the mind, but in some way or 
other to sanctify the heart. Perhaps 1 feel the 
more strongly on this subject, partly from having 
seen many a hopeful young person entirely ruined 
by a friendship formed on merely literary grounds, 
and partly because I perceive a gradual breaking 
down of old-fashioned distinctions, to the serious 
injury of true religion. 

" Your father has, I find, earnestly intreated you . 
to cast in your lot with those who, by way of re- 
proach, are termed the saints. I know more of this 
class than he does, who must be in a degree unac- 
quainted with university habits and students ; and I 
would recommend you not to identify yourself with 
asect or party of any kind, without careful discrim- 
ination. The religion of the Bible is often a difier** 
ent thing from that of its professed advocates ; and 
if our hearts be right with God, there will be occa- 
sions when we must stand alone. I do not mean to 
reflect on the religious body ; for whatever holiness 
or truth there is in the world, will be found chiefly 
among them; but false brethren have ever crept 
unawares into the Church of God, and have done 
great injury to sincere and honest members of it ; 
and there is always reason to fear that when credit 
and interest are promoted by a profession of religion, 
some will consent to wear our badge, who are stran* 
gers to our principles. Jn this class you will also 
^d the sons of truly good men, introduced and no* 
ticed on the score of their parent's piety. These 
are acquainted with the theory of religion, but their 
hearts are far from being influenced by it ; and for- 
mer restraints being removed, they are apt to yield 
to corrupt inclination ; and if they even keep within 
the bounds of decency, (which is not always the case,) 
they gradually adopt the manners and habits of the 
world Some of higher pretensions to piety, afiect 


to despise both the studies and honours of the uni- 
versity, and become mere idlers and gossips. They 
are ready for disputation, and arrogant in maintain- 
ing some peculiar view of their own, to the neglect 
of the plain, simple, practical truths of religion. Yoa 
need not incur a quarrel in shunning their society. 
Hold up the torch of real, spiritual, heart religion, 
ajad these birds of the night will flee away and leave 
you. You will also meet with a few religionists of 
a squeamish fastidious spirit, who cannot tolerate 
the defects of less polished, but truly honest and 
sincere young men. Their idol is talent, which 
seems to men of this order to compensate for the 
want of piety, if it does not excuse much that is 
wrong in principle and practice. They seldom dis- 
cover any vigour, or meaning, or spirituality in their 
religious profession ; but dwell much on gentlemanly 
behaviour, and a proper compliance with the world. 
You must seek your *companions amongst those 
who have evidently thrown heart and soul into the 
service of 4lieir master, and prefer an honest man 
with his blunders and disadvantages, to those who 
sparkle with the splendour of superior talent, but 
whose morbid sensibilities chill the glow of piety. 

'^ 3. I particularly recommend you to decline 
breakfast parties ; for even when the conversation 
may be interesting and generally improving, there 
is a temptation to prolong it unreasonably, and thus 
to infringe upon the regular hours and habits of 

" 4. When at college I had a great dread of loung- 
ers. My rooms being near the tutor^s, I was liable 
to be pestered with triflers who came to pass away 
half an hour in just doing nothing. To bid them 
leave me would have been an act of incivility; to 
have looked sour or appeared fidgetty, would have 
seemed not less so ; yet repeated interruptions be- 
came at last insupportable, and I had recourse to a 

.• • 


stratagem which I thought innocent, and which vra9 
certainly very successful. I entertained the man of 
taste with the discord .of my violincello, and the 
man of no taste with a passage from a classic. After 
yawning a response or two he soon left me, voted 
roe a bote, and sought more congenial society. If 
you are hard pushed you may make the experiment^ 
and I can promise a similar result. Security from 
morning interruptions must be obtained at any ex- 
pense. Idleness is very contagious, and gossiping 
of all kinds is a sad waste of time. 

'^ 5. Remember (for it is an invaluable maxim) 
that method is the soul of business^ and that steady 
perseverance is necessary to your successful cultiva- 
tion of knowledge. Let your time be duly portioned 
out, and every thing done in its season. — Let each 
hour have its allotted employment. — Rise early. — 
Keep good hours — ^your health and success both 
depend on it. Sitting up late is a very bad habit. 
Guard against^nequality and irregularity: if you read 
hard for a week, and then idle away whole dajs in 
boating and riding,you will make less progress than 
persons inferior to yourself in ability, but who are 
steady and regular in their application. Nothing 
is to be done by fits and starts. 

^'.6. You ought not to think of degrading into the 
class called the non-reading men^ and content your-^ 
self with a Pol degree^ under an idle pretence of 
getting more general knowledge : aim at some aca- 
demical distinction. I dare not hold out to you as 
a motive, the love of reputation or the gratification 
of pride ; but study night and day to honour God 
and religion. It is worth while to labour hard to 
have something valuable in the eyes of the world to 
lay at the foot of the cross, I have always admired 
Selden^s reply, when asked how a man of his attain* 
ments could lower himself by superstition (for such 
his piety was miscalled) — ^^ You may despise relU 

* '^ ^^, 



pom^ but whatever be ray attainments in bumaft 
learning, I do count them all but dung and dross in 
comparison of the excellency of the knowledge of 
Jesus Christ my Lord." Men will value the truth 
as they respect those who profess it. You may find 
persons who cloak their indolence or their dullness 
under a misapplication of some text of Scripture ; 
but be assured the most spiritual and really useful 
men, if not always possessed of the greatest talent, 
are those who have made the most of their oppor- 
tunities. No one^s name slumbers in the Tripos ; it 
follows him through life, and what he has been at 
College, will help or injure his influence in many a 
country village. When a young clergyman excites 
itttention by a serious application to his duties, it is 
a common inquiry among persons who might be 
supposed not to trouble themselves about such mat- 
ters, What degree did he take? Was he distinguish- 
ed at College? and he will rise or sink in their 
estimation accordingly. There may be prejudice 
and mistake in this, but it carries no small weight to 
be able to say, are they philosophers, mathemati- 
cians, or linguists ? so am I. Besides, the habit of 
application to subj^s not immediately connected 
with religion, is a good discipline of the mind,tind 
will accustom it to correct and deep thinking oi\ re- 
ligion itself. The studies of the university are not, 
as some suppose, a mere literay trial of skill, and of 
no further use than to fill up a space in human life, 
or fit a man for scientific pursuits alone. If you find 
the lectures dry or your latin irksome, think of 
working for God's glory, and Christ's honour, and it 
will infuse a vigour and sweetness into them. I have 
heard some good young men complain of the loss of 
spirituality and taste for the Bible, and ascribe this 
mischief to the absorbing influence of their studies; 
but their studies are not to blame, — it is the spirit, 
design, and end with which they are undertaken. A 



99^ ' ; LKTT£R TO A roUNO MAST 

man may hold, communion with God through any 
medium, or in any occupation, if his heart and aim 
be right: he may become carnal in the midst of 
theological pursuits, and may preserve the utmost 
spirituality while wading through the rubbish of the 
schools. Remember that it is not your work^ but 
your motive^ which will injure or keep alive your 

'* You will be required to go to the college chapel 
morning and evening, with the exception of seven 
or eight times a week when you may exercise your 
own discretion as to attendance^ I would advise 
you to be always present. The example even of 
the religious young men may fail you ; many of 
whom regard this regular attendance as a waste ^oC 
time. They complain of the rapid and slovenly 
way in which the service is performed, and that 
there is no devotion in chants and anthems. But 
you have nothing to do with the offences of others, 
or with modes of worship. It is God's house, God^s 
service. Honour both, and you shall not have to 
bewail the unprofitableness of prayer under any 
circumstances or defects. J enjoy cathedral ser- 
vice, — it is {o me truly devotional. Men who dis- 
like music may find it less in unison with their 
feelings, but before it is denounced as a relic of 
popery it should be remembered that the temple 
service was still more musical, and our Lord was 
there. He would not have sanctioned by his pres- 
ence a mode of worship which contained in it any 
thing ipjurious to devotion, or inconsistent with a 
right frame of spirit in a true worshipper. Go, also, 
to chapel in proper time ; I know the colleges allow 
their young men to come in when a third of the 
service is over, without a mark of absence: a prac- 
tice which (with all due submission to masters and 
deans) gives me a painful feeling, for it looks as if 
chapel attendance was considered as a mere roll- 



call, and it is not surprising that the juniors should 
hurry to chapel from their beds in a disgraceful 
dishabille under cover of the gown or the surplice. 
At first your motives may be suspected, but con- 
sistency in this and all other things will ultimately 
procure respect. 

"7. Never think any time mis-spent which is 
employed in the service and presence of God, Your 
attendance at St. Mary^s though expected, is not 
exacted. I have been sorry to hear some young 
men of high pretensions to religion speak very con- 
temptuously of University sermons, and excuse 
their neglect of attending them on the ground of 
unprofitableness. Many admirable discourses for 
head and heart are delivered at the church, and it 
is a want of sense to compare a University pulpit 
with that of a parish. Sermons are much improved 
in doctrine and application since my day, yet even 
then I seldom heard a discourse from which 1 could 
not gain something useful, either in the elucidation 
of the text, or by inference, and use of the preacher ^s 
material. But whatever be the defect of a sermon, 
recollect who has set you the example of honouring 
the appointment of lawful authority in church and 
state, and ^'fulfilling all righteousness.^' I would 
have you affiliate yourself to the habits, usases, 
studies, and worship of a university man, and to 
cultivate a spirit of modesty, regularity, order, 
humility, and submission ; as the prime duty and 
greatest ornament of a young man \n statu pupillari^ 
whose province it is to learn and not to teach. 

'' 8. You wish me to sketch out a plan of study, 
and an orderly arrangement of your time. Much 
depends on college appointments ; but leaving you 
to improve or alter in reference to them, I will 
comply with your request, observing that it is more 
easy for me to dictate, than for you to execute. 
You have need to pray for firmness and resolution ; 



since any relaxation or breach on your part, except 
in cases of imperious necessity, will leave you re- 
solving and re-resolving, but never attaining to any 
eminence. I suppose the chapel service at eight in 
the morning and six in the evening, hall at four, 
lecture at ten, with some other college exercise 
which you must arrange as you can, the amount of 
time will be the same. Be always at your private 
devotions at six in the morning. I need not repeat 
what I have already said on this subject, except it 
be again to urge you, on no account to proceed to 
business, till you have sought help from God. If 
you be not inflexibly steady and regular on this 
point, you will lose the spirit of religion, and retain 
only the dregs of form, amidst gods and goddesses, 
cubes and squares, and triangles^ and all the multi- 
tudinous ideas which are poured into your mind. 
Devote the next hour to Theology ; I will give you 
the first year to get an acquaintance with the 
Hebrew Bible and Greek Testament, till you can 
read both with as much ease as the English version. 
You will need no other helps than Buxtorfl'^s small 
l(^con, and SchleOener^s two volumes for the 
'CMtament. You a^e tolerably ready with the 
^fammar of each langaage, or I should have added 
Simons^s grammar for the Hebrew. The very few 
chapters in Chaldee will be easily mastered with 
Buxtorff^s larger grammar and lexicon. Use and 
observation will supply a more critical knowledge 
of these languages without any other assistance. 
Employ the second year with Scott, for a further 
acquaintance with the Scriptures. I might point 
out more able expositors on detached portions, but 
you will find in him a good compilation from more 
extensive works. You need not perplex yourself 
with too many expositors. It would be a very 
heavy imposition to wade through all the trash and 
prosings which have been appended to divinity. 


Difficulties may sometimes be cleared up by Chro- 
nology, Geography, and Parallelisms, but in most 
cases the Bible is its own best interpreter. For 
the same hour in the third year, read Hartwell 
Home. This is an invaluable book for a young 
man, and you must not lay him aside till you have 
fully digested his admirable compilations, to guide 
you in more discursive reading hereafter. College 
preparations will sufficiently embrace the subject 
of evidences. Let me seriously caution you against 
a spirit of curious metaphysical inquiry on those 
parts of theology, which are more fit for age and 
experience, if indeed they are ever safe, or profit- 
able, or intelligible. The arrogant dogmatism of 
some religionists is tolerable, their presumption 
full of danger, and their spirit and temper most 
unchristian. On many points it is best to say with 
Leighton, ^'Here I choose rather to stand on the 
shore, and in the survey of God ^s judgments exclaim, 
^ Oh the depthff,^ than venture out upon the fathom- 
less abyss, from which I may never return." The 
present is a childish dispensatiiCMi, in which we must 
DO ^content to know little, jjnij strive to do mucHt 
During the remaining half yeaf of your academical 
residence, spencf an hour each day in pulpit coni.i 
position. I hope you do not intend to be a copyist, 
or one of Dr. Trusler^s disciples. Enrich your 
sermons to the utmost with the ideas of others, ^i 

wrobght into yourrown mind, but never transcribe^ - ^ 
I am not instructing you how to preach, but how 
to prepare materials, or I should say many things 
in relation to the ministry. Get a Bible interleaved, 
and note down all you hear or read relating to the 
more important texts. ' I be^an to do this at an 
early ase, and my preaching bible now contains a 
mass of references tq authors, treatises, commenta- 
tors, and single sermons, on most important ques<» 
tions f so that half my work is done before I begia 


to compose. My tools are at hand, and I have no 
need to hunt for them. You will find some useful 
bints in Claude^s £ssay on the frame-work of a 
sermon, and in the '^ Horae Homileticae.^^ the pro- 
duction of the best skeleton-maker in the world. 
Yet remember an old piece of advice, — '' Nullius 
addictus in verba magistri.^' Imitate no one, but 
be yourself. Your owiTclothes will fit you the best. 
Imitators are apt to copy defects as well as beauties, 
and thus make themselves ridiculous ; use your 
own manner and style, that you may be sincere 
and natural. If you are industrious you will not 
hereafter have to learn when you are required to 
teach. Out of the remainder of the day, take six 
hours for your college exercises ; and try to be 
iteady, neat, accurate, and eminent in every thing. 
You will now have spent eight hours in close appli* 
cation ; never exceed them. You may turn to 
music, which is a great refreshment of the spirits, 
—to conversation or letter-writing, or whatever 
requires no effort of mind. Never be out of your 
room after ten at ni£bt, and spend half an hour in 
devotional exercise^TiJfcie you retire to bed. I 
shall not repeat what I have said on the subftet of 
prayer, but let me add one caption. You will 
sometimes have to lament great failures ; do not 
on such occasions take refuge in loose antinomiatt 
notions, nor yet give way to recklessness and dies- 
pondency ; if God knows you ai# honest, and «6iv- 
ing in all things to glorify him, though you fall seven 
times a day he will raise you up again. Never 
resolve to do nothing because you have not done 
every thing; nor indeed resolve at all, but cast 
your troubles on Christ, and set to work again with 
more diligence, caution, and dependence. 

^1 have said nothing of modern literature ; yon 
are already pretty well acquainted with it, and. if 
vou can find an hour for lighter reading, which 





does not fatigue you, it may be well (6 enlarge 
your present stock ; but not to the neglect oF other 
things ; because in vacations you may profitably 
spend some time upon the historians and English 
poets. I would have you to attend, in turn, the public 
lectures on anatomy, chemistry, &c. ; — you will not* 
be able to read in private on these subjects, but 
you may get a general knowledge of them, which 
will both improve and amuse you. The divinity 
lecture 1 advise you to postpone till you have 
finished the course of reading on that subject which 
I have marked out for you. There is one part of 
my sketch on which I have not been sufliiciently 
explicit ; 1 mean the exercise which is indispensa- 
bly necessary to health. I have scarcely ever had 
a pupil to whom in this respect I did not seem to 
be another Cassandra, whose predictions no one 
would believe. I hope you will be an oxception. 
To read yourself blind, deaf, stupid, and nervous, 
is really a great folly, and kind of suicide. There 
have been many sad examples of complete failure 
amongst students, through neglect of exercise, 
rather than from over-ia||Kal exertion. Always 
take exercise in the best part of the day, and at 
three periods,— #wo half-hours by yourself, and two 
hours with some agreeable companion, with whom 
the conversation may be interesting ; kindred pur- 
suits will furnish you with abundant materials. 

*9. Avoid all jwine parties, or if circumstancai 
seem to make an occasional visit in this way neces- 
sary, firmly adhere to some rule as to quantity. I 
never took more than two glasses, and this deter- 
mination saved me much trouble and temptation. 
Acquaintances formed at these parties are transi- 
tory, and companions will soon be dispersed to be 
heard of no more. A few endeared intimacies are 
likely to be more durable and valuable. 

d6 SUfiJECtS OiflTTEl) m 

'^ 10. The university, which brings together so 
great a variety of persons, is a ffood school for the 
study of character ; avail yourself of it ; by the de- 
fects of others learn to correct your own, and by 
their virtues improve yourself. You will seldom 
find a person who does not excel you in something : 
leave him to talk on his favourite subject, that you 
may profit by his superiority. 

*' 11. With respect to your vacations, I shall only 
now throw out one hint ; which is, that these must 

T> be equally busy periods, if you aspire to academical 

honours. You will, indeed, be expected to relax 
occasionally in family parties ; still you must un- 
ceasingly pursue your object, and attend to littl^ 
else. Get up your college subjects for the next 
term ; you cannot otherwise keep pace with the 

^, *' 12. Whatever you read, always keep in mind 

the great truths of the Bible ; fact and obiServation 
will strengthen and confirm them. 

"13. Never converse about religion, but in the 
spirit of religion ; — ^be earnest,spiritual,[and serious ; 
jokes and tales, and abiurd associations, produce 
levity of mind, and even hypocrisy ; be cheerful, 
but not light. '' 

" 14. You may start at the amount of what I 
have stated, but 1 know from experience that 1 

> have proposed nothing which may not be achieved 

by steady perseverance. Throw your whole soul, 

• my dear , into a preparation for a useful, 

honorable, and serviceable life, in the'most glorious 
of all employments, the office and work of the 
ministry. That God may give you grace, and 
health, and strength, to become a workman that 
needeth not to be ashamed, is the earnest prayer of 

♦ Your afiectionate and faithful friend." 


■ tf 


I must apologize to the reader fox detaining bim 
8p ^lojQg from the more immediate subject of the 
Family Portraiture. My excuse must be the hope 
that this letter of my own may fall into the hands.of 
sooie studeat of the University, and furnish him with 
useful hints to regulate his conduct and studies. I 
am satisfied Ibat my sentiments would be found in 
unison .with my friend^s, had be lived to complete 
his own' valuable directions in his son Henry. 

In surveying the variety *of circumstances and 
Retails connected with Mr. R/s plan of education, 
St Hi^ms to me that two points may be added with 
' eudfi&Uge. 

' It b)i.3 often been lamented that children and 
* youn^ ftoople receive so little benefit from public 
instruction. Mr. Richmond did indeed teach his 
dhildren to pray and read the scriptures ; he wrote 
a form of prayer for the use of each of them, until 
they were able to approach a mercy-seat with the 
expression of their own thoughts and desires. Thejr 
had the benefit of his family exercises and conver- 
sations, and he kept his eye on their behaviour at 
church : but this is not all that is needful ; they 
should frequently be examined as to what they 
hear, and be required to give an account of every 
sermon; receiving reproof or condemnation as 
they appear to have been negligent or attentive. 

^^ It is important also to accustom children to 
• separate a part of their pocket money for charit- 
able purposes, and to act, in their sympathy with 
the necessitous, on plan and system. Mr. R. was 
himself hospitable and benevolent ; he contributed 
largely from bis slender means, to the wants of bis 
poor parishioners, and he inculcated on his family 
the duty of unremitting attention to distress of 
every kind. But children should be trained to 
seek out proper objects, and learn to relieve them 
from their own means, and by the sacrifice of their 



own gratifications. What portion of our goods 
ought to be separated for the poor is not determined 
in the scriptures ; the only definite rule thete laid 
down, is, *^ According as God has prospered him, 
80 let every man give as he is disposed in his heart/^ 
Children, as well as grown people, should be 
allowed opportunity to exercise dimetiop, and ' 
evidence the sincerity of principle : we ctigilot pre- 
scribe any fixed amount, which must vary according 
to the circumstances of different persons; stilJ, 
however, this labour of love ought to be regulated 
by some definite principle. 

From the foregoing detail of Mr. R.'s laborious 
and conscientious care of his family, it is natural to 
ask what was the result. Delicacy and propriety 
forbid me to speak of the living, though I might 
there appeal to facts which confirm the truth of that 
gracious promise, " Train up a child in the way in 
which he should go, and when he is old he shall not 
depart from it." 

I shall', however, now endeavour to fulfil Mr. 
R.*s own intentions, by recording the deaths of bit 
children who died in the faith, and are gone to 
their rest and peace in Christ Jesus. 

if . 

• * 


* •• • CHAPTER V. 

The tftorm that wrecks the wintry tky 
No more disturbs their deep repose. 
Than summer's evening latest sigh 
That 4liutA the rose. 


Samuel Nugent Leoh, the eldest son of Mr. 
ftichmohd, was born at firading in the IsIq of 
Wight, June 18, 1798. 

From hiB birth to the hour of his death he was 
the child of many prayers to God, for life and sal- 
vation through a crucified Redeemer. 

" My responsibilities,^^ said Mr. R. " are greatly 
vncrsased by the birth of a son, and 1 have ne^ of 
wisdom to preserve this loan of the Lord, and 
train up an immortal soul for heaven.^' 

The views of a Christian parent concerning his 
offspring are not 'bounded by time, nor his hopes 
and wishes limited to a present provision. Our 
heavenly Father knoweth our wants. We must 
seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, 
and all other things will be supplied as far as is 
needful to our welfare. 

The first paper found amongst Mr. R.'s memo- 
randa relating «to his son Nugent, is a letter • 
addressed to the sponsors on the occasion of his 
inlwt^s reception into the company of believers by 
the sacrament of baptism. The selection of these 
parties » often a delicate and a difficult duty to re- 
ligious parents. The usages of society direct ofir 

100 u» dv mjannt ricsmohi). 

view towards kinsfolk and intimate friends, and the 
practice is natural and proper when such can be 
found possessing a deep sense of the responsibilities 
of their engagement. But to be swayed principally 
by relationship or interest in this appointment, is 
inconsistent with Christian integrity, and is, in fact 
" honouring man more than God," The church 
supposes sponsors to be persons of real piety, a 
company of the faithful who agree '^ as touching 
what they shall ask of God in Christ's name" on 
behalf of the infant. They are provided as spirit- 
ual trustees to take care that the child be virtuously 
brought up, and they engage for the fulfilment of 
conditions, without which, baptism, like the Lord's 
Supper, is not available for any benefit. The grace 
of baptism is not promised to unbelievers, and there 
are many who are sucha^ to this ac^ though the term 
may not in general be applicable to them» The 
rite is regarded by some merely as a compliance 
with the forms of religion, and by others as confer- 
ring a title to covenant privileges, rather than as 
conununicating any actual benefit. But the church 
of England, and I may add, all the reformed 
churches, define this sacrament to be an ^^ outward 
and visible si^n of an inward and spiritual grace ; 
ordained by Christ himself, as a means whereby we 
receive the same, and a pledge to assure us thereofc" 
To maintain that the right administration, inde- 
pendent of the right reception, of an: ordinance, is 
effectual, would be to sanction the errors of Popery ; 
and it would be extravagant to assert that all bap* 
tized persons are regenerate, since the fact is pal- 
pably against such an assumptiw. Whetherwe 
say with Arminius, that the grace of baptism. Ins 
been lost, or with John Calvin, nullified^ byilie 
non-fulfilments of engagements ;-^whether by the 
terms regeneration, renovation, or conversion be 
meant, the return, the confirmation, or the original 


impartation of a divine influence, (the phrase mat- 
ters not,) it is most evident that those who do not 
bring forth the fruits of the Spirit are not " par- 
takers of an inward and spiritual grace ;" and it 
becomes the ministers of religion to exhort such 
persons to pray, and seek for that change of nature 
without which no man can enter into the kingdom 
of heaven. This view of the subject secures every 
practical and useful purpose, and it would be more 
advantageous to men's souls to contend earnestly 
for the faith once delivered to the saints, than to 
sUive about words to no profit. 

Christian parents and sponsors would do well to 
consider whether their own ignorance, and unbelief, 
as it respects this solemn ordinance, may not have 
provoked God to withhold the blessing promised 
"to us and to our children." We know that under 
the law, the child was cut off who " had broken the 
covenant," only by the contempt or neglect of cir- 
cumcision on the part of his sinful parents ; and 
why may not the hypocrisy of sponsors in the per- 
fornrance of a Christian rite be the cause gf its 
almost general inefficacy ? 

It is an argument of no little weight in fovour of 
sponsorship, that this appendage to Christian bap- 
tism has been sanctioned by high antiquity. It is 
not a novelty of modern times. It universally ob- 
tained in the Jewish church, and was continued in 
the church of Christ to the sixteenth century ; its 
rejection, together with that of the baptism of in- 
fants, originated with the enthusiasts of Munster. 
I repeat the remark, sponsorship tvas associated 
with baptism in; ihe Jewish church, and unless in 
the application* of ^ rite long "practised to a new 
dispensation, the concomitSHits of that rite, "thd 
answer of a good conscience,^ by and for others 
were repealed, (and we have no proof nor reason 
to suppose jther were repealed,) — ^the disciples, as 

'^ 10* 


Jews, could not interpret their commission, but in 
connexion with their early associations . and the 
constant practice of their nation. 

If this argument does not so firmly establish the 
use or sponsorship as to invalidate baptism without 
it, (which neither we nor the foreign churches main- 
tain,) it is surely sufficient to rescue the custom 
from the ignorant contempt with which it is too 
often treated. 

It will be seen by the following letter, that Mr. 
R.^B sentiments were in unison with what has just 
been stated, on this interesting appendage to Chris- 
tian baptism. 

" To the worthy God-father and God-mother of 
Samuel Nugent Legh Richmond. 

" Suffer the anxious feelings of a father to plead 
an apology for addressing, petitioning, and admon- 
ishing you on a subject so near, so dear to his 
heart, as the future welfare of an infant child : I 
need not to remind you, that the institution of 
sponsors at the baptism of every young child, is a 
pious precaution of the church, intended to provide 
for, and ensure the religious education of its mem- 
bers. With regard to the natural parents of the 
child, they are considered as already engaged under 
such strict bonds, both by nature and religion, to 
take care of his spiritual welfare, that the church 
does not suppose that she can lay them under any 
greater ; but still makes a provision, that if not- 
withstanding these obligations, the parents should 
be negligent, or if it should please God to take 
tbem to hinajself during the infancy of their cbil- 
4roDY there may yet be others who stand solemn^ 
ptodlg^ before God and bis church, to see that 
4Uob infants are not without instruction in conse- 
fl^^ace of such carelessness or untiioely death ef 


their parents. Hence it follows, that a charge of 
the most serious and important nature is under- 
taken by the spiritual parents or sponsors, who are 
therefore called, Fathers and Mothers in God ; and 
in all matters which concern the godly instruction, 
Christian principles, and progress in piety of their 
God-children, they do most assuredly and unequiv- 
ocally become answerable for their faith and prac- 
tice, so far as human vigilance and endeavours are 
concerned. True it is, if they have the satisfaction 
of observing that the natural parents zealously, 
piously, and unremittingly superintend the Christian 
education of their infant charge, much of their own 
attentions^are Tendered unnecessary ; — still, howev- 
er,! their own responsibility remains unaltered by 
any circumstance from the hour of baptism to the 
years of discretion and understanding, and it is in- 
cumbent on them to see and know that all things 
are provided, and nothing omitted which is condu- 
cive to the soul's health of their children in God. 

'' Having thus stated my ideas of the indispensa- 
ble duties of God-fathers and God-mothers in gen- 
eral, I am naturally led to make the immediate ap- 
plication to the present case. I hope and trust that 
myself and my dear Mary are too deeply impressed 
with a sense of our duty, (exclusive of parental 
affection,) to omit any thing which may tend to the 
Christian instruction of our young ones. If, there- 
fore, it should please the Almighty to spare us life 
and health, I shall look forward writh increasing 
pleasure to the prospect of our child^s being so 
educated, that even those who stand solemnly 
pledged on the subject, shall have little else to do 
than to observe, examine, and approve. At least, 
1 pray, that under God's blessing on our endeav* 
ours, it may be so ;-^but, should our infant be 
deprived of parental solicitude and attention through 
death, or dej^ity of mind or body, on you, mf^ 


dear and much respected friends, it will rest to pro- 
vide all that in your name has been vowed, prom- 
ised, and professed for him. In such an event, I in- 
treat that no pains may be spared to train up my 
little infant in the love and fear of God, in the faith 
of the Redeemer, and grateful love to him, and with 
a firm reliance on the assistance of the Holy Spirit. 
Let the Scriptures, and not the common-place 
morality of the times, be made the ground-work 
of his conduct, his principles, and his future hopes ; 
tejach him that true charity is the offspring of Chris- 
tian faith, and that heavenly hope t^an alone spring 
from their united dominion over his heart. With 
such a foundation he will learn to be thankful and 
contented in every condition of life, and under 
every dispensation of providence. Let him be so 
fortified with the true armour of the Christian, that 
the shafts of that horrid and specious monster infi- 
delity may ever be repelled with humble confidence 
and just indignation. 

" Teach him to know that although the gospel 
gives no encouragement, no, even the least hope, to 
morality without faith, yet that faith without works 
is dead. 

" That notwithstanding our most punctual obe- 
dience to the commandments of the law, we are 
still unprofitable servants ; (the merits of the Sav- 
iour, not our own merits, rendering us acceptable to 
God ;) yet that the fruits of the Spirit are to be seen 
in practical activity in promoting the good of others, 
as well as in the purification of ourselves. Let this, 
and every other Christian principle be engrafted on 
his heart, gradually, and in due progress, with the 
advancement of his understanding ; so shall your 
weighty duties be fulfilled, and my heart be at ease. 

^' Should the boy ^s life and my own be spared, it 
will be my delight to endeavour to make him what 
I consider the first of characters, — a real Christian. 


** With respect to all other parts of educatioovit 
is foreign to the purpose of this address*, which iff 
solely made on the subject of the baptismal vow^ 
accompanied by a fond father's comment, explaiift- 
tions and wishes. My present fears are not lest he 
should be poor and unlearned in what the world 
calls wisdom and accomplishment ; all must proq^er 
in the end, if he be but rich in good works, and 
wise unto salvation. I conclude, therefore, with a 
blessing upon you all ; and if this epistle be of a 
more serious (and to you I will not add tedious) 
description than you are accustomed to peruscrthe 
best apology to be made for it is that it comes froip 
a parish priest, an affectionate father, and 

Your faithful brother-in-law and nephew, 

L. R.'' 

' It was Mr. R.'s earnest desire, that his first-bom 
child should be a minister of the Lord, and a ser-* 
vant of the sanctuary ; his son's course of education 
was conducted with this view, both while he con- 
tinued at Brading, and on his subsequent removaTto 

There was nothing censurable in Mr. R.'s wishefir 
for his son's introduction to the ministry ; but con- 
sidering the peculiar character and requirements of 
a minister of the gospel, it may be doubted whether 
it would not be more consistent that the designation 
of a young person to that sacred profession, should 
follow, rather than precede, a discovery of fitness 
for it. I am not here speaking of the awful prof- 
anation of making a boy a clergyman because he 
shews an incapacity for other situations, or with a 
view to some worldly advancement, or for the sake 
of literary respectability and- enjoyment; such 
motives and practices cannot be too strongly depre- 
cated : is it not to bring the lame, and the blind 
into the temple, and to offer money tor the gift ot 


pod? in such, God can have no pleasure, neither 
will He accept an offering at their hand. Mai. i. 2, 
l2. fiut I am adverting to an error, not) uncom- 
mon even among religious parents, of selecting the 
future occupation of the ministry for their children 
on the general grounds of correct conduct and 
amiable dispositions. God has taken into his own 
hands the work of the sanctuary ; when He calls 
and separates by his Spirit, we may co-operate with 
Hif purposes, and supply materials and tools for 
His workmen ; but it is seldom desirable to antici- 
pate the divine will on this head, or forget that 
there must be, not only a real conversion of heart 
to God, but a peculiar aptness for the work, to jus- 
tify an entrance in the sacred calling. 

Such was Mr. R.'s judgment in after-life ; and 
his tender mind sometimes reverted to his disap- 
pointment in poor Nugent's delinquencies, as a 
rebuke for his presumption. 

It appears that Mr. R. early adopted the practice 
of corresponding with his family ; and I present to 
the reader a letter to Nugent, as a pleasing speci- 
men of his happy manner of addressing his chil- 

My dear little boy, 

*^You cannot think how glad I was to see your 
letter; so glad that it made me weep: if you knew 
how dearly I'love you, I am sure you would dearly 
love me; and if you knew how dearly God loves 
ypu, you would love Himalso. Never forget God, 
for he is always thinking about you ; do you not see 
bow good He is to you, in giving yc^u a papa and 
mamma, and sisters, and friends, and a house to 
live in, and food, and so many other good things. 

'^ I preached a sermon last Sunday to some hun- 
dreds of little children, and you can hardly think 
how well they behaved, and how silently and 


closely they attended to what they heard. Mnny,, 
of them when they returned home, wrote down 
what they heard from me at church : when will you 
do so, my dear Nugent? I hope you get your lesson 

well for Mr D ; how kind he is to teach you !— 

I hope you pray for me every day ; I often pray 
for you, and God will hear both you and me, if we 
pray with our whole hearts. When you have read 
this letter, you must go and kiss M. and F^ and H. . 
and tell them I bid you do so for me, because I am 
ikr away, and cannot give them myself a prool.. 
of my affection for them. 

**My Nugent, you are the eldest ; if you are a . 
good child, they may follow your example, and if 
you are a bad boy, it will teach them to be sinful ; 
and that will make God very angry, and me very 
unhappy. You are now every day growing older, 
and you ought to grow wiser and better, and then 
you will be a comfort to us all, and I shall rejoice 
and^praise. I wish you to-morrow morning to read 
the "lOth chapter of St. Mark, and you will see how 
Jesus Christ loved little children, and how he took 
them up in his arms and blessed them. I hope hd 
will bless you, and then you will go to Heaven when 
you die ; but without a blessing from Christ yo0 
never can go there.* 1 trust I shall see you again 
soon. You must pray to God to bring me back in 
health and safety. I have written to you as long 
a letter as perhaps you will like to read : one thing- 
only 1 will add, that 

I am your true loving papa, 

« ■ 

For some years Nugent was educated at home ; 
being seldom absent from his Father^s eye : eom- 

E anions be had none, for Mr. R. was afraid of 
rin^ng his son in contact with any associations 
t)ut of his own family. It may be doubted bow far 

^ ' IQt ' \ ,' ^Oa£NT SEUT TO SKA. 


il was wise tp coofine a ho^ to bis own resources 
for amiiseiBeat ; for at this time Mr. R. had not 
provided the philosophical apparatus, by which be^lied bis children with full employ, 
ment in their leisure hours : certainly the mture 
transition 'from these restraints to the almost un- 
bouaded fri^edom of association at Bcbool, proved 

. i&jurious to Nugent. 

.. ' As Mr. R's public engagements increased, be 

. '..•'.'ilBtod it necessary to remove his son to other super- 

'. .'• ^^ wjt^dance ; and he placed him under the care of 

.. ; , ■ >•>!>■ ■; in this situation Nugent attached himself to 

• *" ; a dwoopanion of bad principles and incorrect con- 

* duct, who in the end succeeded in perverting the 
victim of his confidence. It became necessary to 
remove the bad example from the family, and at 
last, though with great reluctance and bitter disap- 
pointment, Mr. 11. consented to the advice of bis 
friends, and placed his son in a merchant vessel. — 
All hopes of the ministry were abandoned ; and 
Nugent, now a wanderer in the wide world, had to 
make his own way in life. Many affecting circum- 
stances relating to this exile from his father^s house, 
have been already detailed in Mr. R's own memoirs, 
and I am obliged to forego their introduction in the 
present narrative. 
The repetition of such details, are not, however, 

' essential to my purpose ; which is not so much to 
gratify curiosity, as to shew the great advantage of 
a religious education, amidst the most discourag- 
ing and distressing disappointments ; and that the 
prOBHses of eventual success, under all the opposi- 
tions of a fallen nature, and the worst temptations 
to evil, will ultimately reward the faithful and consci- 
entious discharge of our duty towards our children. 
I^r* R* gave his son, on his departure from this 
country, a Bible, and a paper of admonitions and 
uistxairaonB for his conduct Amidst all his irregu- 




NU<»KNT SENT TO 81^ -<^^ - .IQt 

laritieB, Nugent discovered a grateful and {^ectign- 
ate temper. His errors were evidently • those p£« . 
thoughtless and yielding disposition, ratb^x^t^an.df 
a deep-roo,ted and vicious propensity : lA i^ncerely 
loved bis father, and he preserved, wiih' a kind of 
religious veneration, these testimomescof regard ^ 
never losing them, though twice shipwrecked, and * 
though all the other little property that be had. \ 
realized was then swept away. ' -*? 

extracts from those of bis son will serve strongly to 
illustrate the good effects of past instructions. It 
never should be forgotten that there is a moral influ- 
ence in Christian principles, which keeps evil within 
certain bounds, even when those principles have 
not penetrated the heart ; and bad as unconverted 
persons often appear, amidst all the pains taken 
with them, they would probably be much worse with- 
out the unseen restraint which thus operates within 

A lodgment of truth once made in the mind, can- 
not afterwards be wholly eradicated. Conviction 
often returns, and at last, as in the present instance, 
produces a saving change of heart and life. Nugent 
was not long on the mighty deep before he acknow- 
ledged the propriety of his removal from home, and 
he began deeply to repent of the follies which ren- 
dered it necessary. 

My dear Father and Mothiil, 

" I am now, as it may be said, at the other end j^lR- 
the world, but still 1 often think of you andTurvejr ; 
I often reflect on my past conduct, and bittevJv'^- 
wail my folly : if] had not done what I oi »t 

to have done, I might now be resting coio 

11 ' 







ander your roof, instead or having to bear very great 
hardships by ni^ht and by day : but { will not com* 
plain of my chastisement, and have indeed far greater 
comforts than I deserve. 

•' Papa, I am far away, but I often think of you, 
and of my dear mother, to whom I have occasioned 
bitter sorrows. Alas ! I fear my offences can never 
be forgiven. 

*^ I am satisfied you acted wisely in sending roe 
from home, sweet home I The maxims and rules 
you gave me, 1 cherish and keep by me. 

«^ Oh ! how I look back on the hopes and fears, 
alarms and anxieties of my dear parents ; if God 
permits me ever to see them again, 1 hope it will be 
under different circumstances and feelings. May 
He preserve me amidst the winds and waves. 
1 am still your affectionate son. 

There was something so ingenuous and relenting 
in this his first letter, that Mr. R. anticipated the re* 
turn of his son from the voyage with all that strength 
of affection which issued from his loving tender heart 
on all occasions. Ue longed to embrace the poor 
wanderer, and mingle his tears with those of his 
child, saying ; ** This my son was dead and is alive 
again, was lost and is found : but these fond hopes 
were disappointed. Nugent left the vessel in which 
he sailed, in opposition to the remonstrances of the 
Captain, to whom he was entrusted with directions 
to bring him back to England. Mr. R. had only 
intended to fry the effect of absence and employ* 
ment, in reclaiming his son, and not to fix him for 
ever in the perilous occupation of a sea-faring life» 
The Arniston proceeded on her voyage without him, 
and he had soon reason to regret his indiscretion 
(for such it was, though Uod meant it for good,) 
viVktk ho found himself cast on the world without 



means oriivclihood, without firiends, or even an ac» 
quaintance who could advise and serve him : a youth 
of only seventeen years of asre, and separated rroih 
all who felt any interest in his welfare. In this des« 
olate and almost hopeless state, he addressed the 
following letter to the senior chaplain of Ceylon. 

Reverend Sir, 

«* There are many occasions in life when it is 
easier to write than to speak, particularly when we 
are obliged to speak of ourselves. Your known con- 
descension and kindness encourages me to hope you 
will psfrdon my present intrusion. 

** It is proper 1 should acknowledge that my own 
thoughtlessness and inconsiderate conduct, and a ne- 
elect of the instructions of an excellent father, have 
been the cause of my present misfortunes. 1 ran 
away from school; and spent my time in dissipation 
with the young fnrmers of my neighbourhood ; which 
gave my poor father great uneasiness and many a 
miserable hour ; and Ending me unwilling to settlo 
to any useful employment, he sent me to sea as a last 
resource, in hopes that lime and reflection, and ex* 

1>erience of the world, might change my habits, and 
ead me to a proper sense of my errors. With the 
reluctant consent of both my parents, I came out in 
the Arnislon, under the charge of Captain Simpson, 
whose uniform kindness to me I gratefully remem* 
ber. He refused to give me permission to stay in 
India, and 1 withdrew from his ship with u view to 
profit by the opportunity, and to sec Calcutta and 
other parts and places before 1 returned to Englandl/ . \, 
In this expectation 1 have been disappointed, and <• - 
knowing the dislike of my parents to my preseift '0 . 
occupation, 1 have abandoned further thoughts of 
continuing in it, at least till I can learn their pleasure 
to my future destiny. I humbly throw myself oo 



your kindness, and intreatyou to take me under your 
protection and guidance : for which I hope to tes- 
tify the gratitude of my heart by conducting myself 
with diligence and propriety. I have the honour to 
remain, with the greatest respect, 

Your obedient servant, 

N. R.»' 

Self-will is a principal source of mischief to 
^ young people; submission and deference to age 
and experience, a prime virtue to be cultivated by 
them. To follow his own inclination and leave 
the Arniston, was a culpable thoughtlessness; nor 
can it be justified or excused, though the conse- 
quences were advantageous. There is, however, 
much to approve in Nugent's frank and open avow- 
al of his errors ; he might have concealed them ; 
a more subtle mind would have been tempted to 
do so ; but simplicity is always the best policy ; it 
disarms hostility, and disposes men to overlook the 
past, by the security which feeems to be given of 
future good conduct ; it relieves the parties from a 
train of evils and embarrassments, and temptations 
to new offences which will meet them at every 
step. To an honourable mind it is ever painful 
to appear in false colours : the fear of disclosure 
and consequent loss, perhaps, of our friends, will 
always fill us with restlessness and apprehension. 
An offender had better trust God with his case, 
than turn for deliverance to the wretched expe- 
dients which his own pride and folly might suggest 
This appeal to a stranger, " I have been an ofiend- 
ing wanderer, and therefore take me under your 
protection,'' may seem to some to be little con- 
'" sistent with prudence ; but Nugent could not have . 
acted more wisely, if his letter had been written 
under the influence of selfish calculation, instead 


of having been, as it appears to me, the result of 

It is also evident, from the last two letters, that 
Mr. Richmond\s care and instructions were not 
even now without their use: there was clearly an 
influence in operation, and a turning to right prin- 
ciples and feelings on the part of Nugent, which, if 
too weak to stem the torrent of natural corruption, 
was doing much to control evil, and prepare his 
mind for its subjugation. Indeed, the full effect of 
religious education is seldom seen, until a young 
person has had an opportunity of making an exper- 
iment on the principles which he has been taught; 
however pleasing the piety of children, it can never 
be relied on : it must first stand the lest of solitary 
exposure to adverse circumstances. The family is 
the nursery of tender plants, of whose growth and 
fruit we can determine nothing till they are trans- 
planted into other soils ; but in all cases a consci- 
entious and diligent cultivation of a child^s mind, 
accompanied by a consistent example, — without 
which instruction too often injures rather than im- 
proves, — will be like the seed sown, which may 
not appear for a season, but will in the end spring 
up and reward our labour. 

I have alrealy noticed that Mr. R. constantly 
corresponded wiih his son : he did more, — Nugent 
was in his daily thoughts, and he earnestly and 
continually carried him to a throne of grace ;,and I 
cannot but ascribe to the faith and prayer of the 
affectionnte parent, the remarkable escape of the 
child. The Arniston, having sailed without him, 
was wrecked near Cape Lagullus, with the loss of 
the whole crew. Three hundred and fifty persons 

Cerished, and thus Nugent's error was overruled 
y a gracious Goil to the preservation of his life* 
Bach interpositions of providence may be treated 
with.indiHerencc and contempt by mea of JImi 


world. Mr. R. bowed the knee, and thankfully 
praised God,'' " 1 have prayed to Thee, O Father, 
in secret, and Thou hast rewarded me openly." 

Soon after Nugent left the Arniston, he obliained 
the situation of third officer in the brig Kandian. 
Of this appointment he informed his father, adding, 

" And now, my dear parents^ while you are living 
quietly at home, I am tossed about the stormy 
ocean in ail weathers, and never knowing that I am 
safe a moment. I hope Wilberforce will take 
warning from my sad wanderings, or he will never 
be happy ; receive my kind love, dear father and 
mother ; the same to my brothers and sisters. I 
hope God will take care of me, forgive and convert 
me ; He is the best friend ; do not cease to pray 
for me, and remember me still, for I am 

Your affectionate Son, 

N. R." 

From some unknown cause, the letters from 
England, though sent at regular periods, did not 
reach their destination ; and Nugent suffered much 
anxiety at not hearing from his ^mily : he writes, 

Ever dear and affectionate parents. 

" * * * It is now two years since I lefl 
England, and I have neither heard from nor of you, 
except once from a missionary, who told me he 
had seen you in Yorkshire a few months after 1 
sailed, and that you were quite well. He is a very 
^ood man, and I have been to hear him several 

times. 1 have also attended Mr. , another 

missionary, and a valuable servant of God ; indeed 
they all appear to be of one heart and one spirit. 

Would to God I were like them ! Mr. ^ has 

be^n very kind to me ; but he is a bad man, and 


altogether unfit to be a clergyman. J shall not 
mention his faults, for it seems ungrateful to dwell 
on a benefactor's misconduct, or indeed on the^ 
misconduct of any one. I have been greatly dis- 
tressed at hearing nothing of my poor mother, who 
has shed so many tears on my account, nor of mj 
dear brothers and sisters, though I have written so 
many lettters to them. 

'* So the Arniston was lost! Oh! merciful escfipe! 

" I am sorry to say, my new captain is a wild, . 
extravagant, and dissipated man, always giving 
balls and routs on board or on shore. * * * * 
Dancing and singing to a late hour is a sad way of 
spending Saturday night. It shocks me to say, my 
dear father, I have only been to church about 
twelve times since I left England ; indeed, sailors 
scarcely know what church is, except on board men 
of war, where there is a chaplain ; nevertheless, 
if we cannot go to church, we seldom work on a 
Sunday as on a week-day ; so that I have time to 
read the Bible and pray. You gave me a Bible 
when I left you, and 1 have it still, and hope al- 
ways tohaveit. O'thatlknew howto make a rightuse 
of it. Be assured, my dear father, I neither dance 
nor gamble ; although there is much of both here, 
and I should please more if I did as others ; I thank 
God 1 know not how to do either, and I am sure I 
have no wish to be wise in such things. 1 have 
encountered many unpleasant remarks on this ac- 
count Pray for me, pray for your poor Noaent ; 
think when you are in bed and by your fire-sule, I 
am toiling by day and watching by night, tossed 
about in gales of wind, scared by storms of thunder, 
lightning, and rain, ignorant of my fate for a single 
hour. Oh! a sailor^s life is wicked, miserable, and 
deplorable ; but this is all the fruit of my sin, and 1 
justly deserve my chastisement. Farewell-jthat 
you may long live, and my motherly wi^ BistMi,i^ 

» ■ ^ 


and my brothers, to enjoy every blessing, temporal 
and eternal, is the ardent wish 

or your afiectionate son, 

N. R.'* 

A few months after, he wrote again to his 
mother : — 

** My dearest and most appectionate Mother. 

" I have just heard ihat the ship Alexander is 
arrived at Coluinbo, by which I hope to receive 
letters from home. I am on the other side of Cey- 
Ion, and I fear it may be a fortnight or three weeks 
before I can get them here, and we expect to sail 
before that time. I am all uneasiness; and still 
more anxious when I think what will be said in 
them. Sometimes I am pleased, then I am grieved 
and fear; uncertain c)f their contents, slill I long to 
read them. Thanks to an all-merciful God, I Jiave 
succeeded well in India, especially when I consider 
I had no friend to guide me ; but my success gives 
me little satisfaction, while I reflect on the wounded 
feelings of an affeciionate mother. I now, indeed, 
see and feel my folly ; if I had taken your advice 1 
should never have sutTercd so many hardships, but 
this is not my greatest trial, my sins will all rise up 
against me in the hour of death and at the day of 
judgment. Oh! that I could feel this consideration * 
as I ought ; nny insensibility distresses me. May 
the Lord help me. 

*< Nov. 2. No letter. I am full of uneasiness and 
anxiety. This is Sunday and the vessel is under . 
my command. My superior officers are gone on 
shore, I fear for no good, they think very little of 
worship, officers or men. The men are great 

! ramblers. I went among them this cvcninjs^, and 
bund them at hazard : I threw the dice overboard, 
tbbugh probably my life is in danger for what 1 hava 


done, for the dice belonged to a Spaniard, who 
thinks nothing of using his stiletto: but I have done 
what I considered my duty, and I must trust God 
with the consequences. The Portuguese sailors when 
provoked are as revengeful as the Spaniards : the 
other night I nearly lost my life from a party of . 
them ; there had been a quarrel between some 
Portuguese and English sailors ; I was walking alone 
on shore, when fifteen of the former came up and 
asked me to what nation I belonged, and on mj 
replying, " To the English," they lifted up their 
cudgels to level me with the ground. I raised mj 
arms to defend my head, when they discovered my 
uniform and buttons, and cried out " Dont strike 
him," for they perceived I was not a common sailor, 
or I certainly should have been killed on the spot. 
This was another wonderful escape. God is very 
eood to me, and I long]to make a suitable return to 

" Nov. 4. This day my letters are arrived, but 
they are a series of sorrows to me. When I read 
the first, how I felt! I could scarcely hold it in my 
hand : I sobbed and wept. Oh! my poor mother, 
I have occasioned your illness and endangered your 
life. I do not know how tof^o on writing; I cannot 
•put two words comfortably together. I know, fmy 
dear mother, ^you prayed for me in that trying 
hour. * * * * * %• - 

.♦•^r. B ^, who is returning to Europe, hfts 

• behaved very kindly to me ever since I first knew 
biiliVirluch is now more than a year ; he will tell 
7pii'''i!l.illout me. I am conscious of not being 
-^rnhnt join would wish me to be, but I hope by 
God's grace to be made altogether such as you 
desire. I know you pray for me continually, and I 
trust that God will change nay heart before I die,— 
Farewell, my dear mother, I shall write whenever 
opportunity serves ; do you write constantly to iSKii * , 

118 occoftftsvcss ly indu,'with 

Remember me most kindly to my father, brothersi 
and sister?. That they may long live in- the enjoy* 
ment of every blessing, is the earnest prayer for 
them all of 

Your affectionate 

I have ever remarked that no case is hoi)ele89 
where there is strong aflTcctiun. An unimpassioned 
soul is seldom touched by any Ihing beyond the 
range of it^i own selfish gratifications, and usually 
presents a stubborn resistance to considerations 
which affect only or chiefly , the welfare of others; 
but an affectionate temper, amidst many sinful 
wanderings, is still capable of impression. 

The letters ofNugent discover a very fcviling and 
grateful spirit, a sense of obligation, and a self* 
condemnation for past misconducL They display 
a conflict between duty and irregular inclination, and 
ita some instances a firmness of principle far above 

?iere nature. They could not fail to inspire a . 
leasing hope, that though an enemy had sown 
tares in the field, the wheat would ultimately over* 
top them and grow to maturity. Mr, ilichmond^s 
heart was full of joy, and his fuith leaned on^the 
promises of God with firmer dopchdence ; he was en* 
couraged to more vigorous perseverance in inter* 
ceding for his much loved child ; he had carried his 
sorrows to God, and he now praised him for his ' 
faithfulness in alleviating them. About this time 
the following letter was received from a missionatj 
at Columbo, which boars an honourable testimony 
to Nugent^s improved conduct. It will be read with 
interest by those who can sympathize with a father*s 
sufferings, or understand the joy wnich welcomes a 
returning penitent. 


** Dear and Reverend Sir, 

*'I have no doubt you will excuse the liberty a 
itranger takes, who know.'t you only by name, in 
writing to you a few lines, which cannot fail to in* 
terest both you and your family. 1 have :i fathor^s 
heart, and know well the feelings with which yoo 
will receive the in(t>rmation I send you respecting 
Mr. Nugent Richmond, your once disobedient son. 
It would be most pleasing to tfie to say that he is a 
humble penitent, seeking life and salvation through 
the boundless merits of a crucified Redeemer; but 
though I fear to go thus far, I am warranted to bear 
testimony to a real change in him in many respects. 
He is become quite steady in his conduct, and is 
very attentive to the duties of his profession, and 
you have not the least cause for anxiety with regard 
to his temporal welfare ; nor is he by any means 
careless and unconcerned about the things which 
make for his eternal peace. He is much more 
anxious than he used to be for religious society, and 
often attends our evening meetings. This morning 
he breakfasted with us, and 1 endeavoured to sup* 
ply your place in my poor way, by interrogating 
him in the mostserious manner, respecting the state 
of his soul ; and when ] found him unprepared to 
answer me in the way I wished, I urged his still 
closer attention to religion, by motives addressed 
to his hopes and fears. I read to him the fifty-first 
Psalm, and he listened with deep interest, and 
seemed to feel every word. I prayed for him in 
my family worship, and enjoyed a more than usual 
freedom in spreading his case before the Lord.— » 
When we arose from our knees, I believe there 
were few dry eyes. On the whole, I think we have 
reason to hope the best respecting your son ; I ad* 
vised him to read some passage in the Bible every 
day, with special application to his own case, and 


to turn it into prayer for himself. I have heard 
many acknowledge, that they have received great 
benefit from praying in God's own words. May 
poor Nugent be another instance. I cannot close 
the hasty letter, without informing you of the good 
effect of the Dairyman's Daughter in Ceylon. A 

Eerson of whose conversion 1 do not doubt, and who 
as joined our little church, ascribes his change of 
heart to God and you. 

*' Begging you will read with candour what I have 
written with difficulty, 
" I am, with respectful and affectionate regard, 


J. C." 

The caution with which this correspondent 
speaks of conversion, renders his testimony the 
more valuable ; yet it appears to me very evident, 
that Nugent was making progress towards a com- 
plete surrender of his heart to God, and that his 
mind was at this time under the influence of real 
principle. He might be less acquainted than others 
with experimental religion, and have much to learn 
as to the cause of his wanderings, and the entire 
corruption of his heart ; defects of this kind he 
laments himself, and in all his letters describes his 
case rather as that of one who seeks and longs to 
be a true convert, than of one who has attained a 
saving change ; still, in a long series of correspond- 
ence before me, I remark in him a gradual, and 
very real approximation to all that is correct in 
opinion and conduct ; he never reflects on any one 
but himself ; he labours to guard his brothers against 
sin, by the knowledge of its effects and conse- 
quences in his own history ; he bears an affec- 
tionate testimony to the conscientious consistency 
of his parents; he wishes for an opportunity to 
make* some suitable returns for thehr kindness ; he 


connects every event with the disposition of divine 
providence ; he secures the respect and counte- 
nance of every one by his steady and correct con- 
duct ; he courts the society of good people ; he 
firmly resists evil, though attended with danger to 
himself, and on all occasions expresses himself with 
so much affection and veneration for true religion, 
as on the whole satisfies my own mind, that even 
if he had now been removed from the world, his 
family would have had no reason to have sorrowed 
as those without hope. There is not, however, in 
these letters such a degree of interest to persons 
unacquainted with him, as to warrant their intro- 
duction. A sufficient number relating to this period 
are already before the reader, to shew the value oT 
early instruction under every circumstance. 

The young sailor quitted the Kenyon, which was 
sold by the government, and went on board the 
Oracabessa, from which vessel he wrote to his 
father the following affecting account of the state 
of slavery at the Mauritius; — a letter full of correct 
feeling, and still more satisfactory evidence of right 

"My dear FATHER, 

*' We arc on the point of sailing for the Mauri- 
tius. * * * I know that you will be pleased 
to hear that I am taking out some Bibles, Testa- 
ments, and Tracts in diffent languages, which 

were sent to me by nrty friend Lieutenant B , 

to distribute and try what good 1 could do there. 
How is it there are no missionaries at the Mauri- 
tius? an island containing thirty thousand souls; 
ten thousand whites, and twenty thousand men of 
colour. I can safely assure you there is no part 
of the world where the British flag is flying, which 
is half so ignorant, or in such a dreadful state of 




darkness : there is, indeed, scarcely any religion at 
all there ; what there is, is Roman Catholic ; it is 
true there is an English church, and perhaps from 
twenty to thirty persons in it once a day, and the 
clergyman ; * * * * but the island 
from one end to the other, exhibits every species 
of vice, without control or check of any kind. 
Slavery, as you know, is the cause of every thing 
that is bad : never were its frightful effects more 
clearly shown than in this place ; they are far 
worse than even in our West India plantations. I 
have been an eye-witness to scenes altogether 
shocking to humanity: the heaviest punishments 
are inflicted for faults, which in England would 
receive a trifling fine, or a short imprisonment. 
Masters have chopped off the ears of their slaves, 
and in some instances, have literally starved them 
^ to death. Neither is the slave-trade extinct in this 
part of the world, but is still carried on to a great 
extent* There may be a stricter watch against 
the slave vessels, but nevertheless they are loaded 
every month, and I have known the slaves to have 
. been taken into harbour in empty water casks to 
elude detection. 

" Now, my father, take your Atlas and look at 
the position of Mauritius, Bambour, and Madagas- 
car, with the African main. Slaves are to be pro- 
curedf -ftt .either of the last places for about thirty 
ck»J|iB^iB^fiead. If taken to Bourbon, or the Mau- 
ilm|4hey fetch from three to four hundred dol- 
lar£r.' ts not this an irresistible temptation to a 
slave-trader, when he is sure of his price if he can 
escape the vigilance of the naval oflicers. If you 
look at the position of these places, you may judge 
of the ease of carrying on this traffic, when I tell 
TOU that there is only one man of war in the har- 
Dour of Port Louis to search vessels which come 
im ; and not one cruising about this coast, though it 



is well known that there are five Spanish shipsi 
two Portuguese, and one English, employed in the 
trade. One of these vessels was lately wrecked 
there : of the crew, one sailor only was saved, who 
is now on board our ship; he has frequently con- 
versed with me, and I am persuaded bis informa- 
tion is correct. 

" Now can nothing be done to restrain the cruel 
treatment of these pooc creatures ? On landing at 
Port Louis, you would see one of them in irons, 
and as you advanced, another flogged most unmer- 
cifully, without distinction of sex, and in general 
no clothing allowed ; some kind-hearted masters 
give a dollar a year for clothes. There is, I believe, 
a code of laws, but they are never enforced. 1 
have myself seen slaves unable to stand, from the 
severity of their punishment ; thirty in a row, on 
whose bdicks gashes, not lashes, might be observed ; 
pieces fairly- cut out, and in some instances an eye 
forced out, and there is no redress : nor are they 
fed properly. 1 had forty-five of them working 
under me, for whom their owner received a dollar 
a day per head : they worked from sun-rise 4^ sun- 
set, and what was their food ? For breakfast a 
cake, made of a kind of potato, weighing three 
ounces : for dinner half a pound of boiled rice, with 
one spoonful of assinge, or an equal quantity of 
horse-beans ; for supper, the same as at bx^j^iitst, 
with a little water to drink. '^'' :..- f 

I will tell you an instance which I know folMl'ifjr^,' » 
amidst many others which I have heard fbolQ^ nteh 
of veracity. A woman flogged her own sister, who 
was unfortunately her slave also, till she fainted. 
She then twisted her arms till the poor creature 
nearly expired. She then let her recover, and singed 
her flesh with a hot iron ; * * * * * 
• the sufferer never complained ; indeed if she had, it 
wouljji have beeiji worse fojr her jin the end ; the truth 

:>^ T 



is, there is a combination among the people of the 
whole island to resist the law, and support each other 
in their acts of oppression. My object in mentioning 
these things to you, is that you should first make 
inquiry to satisfy yourself of the truth of the facts, 
and then try to gel something done for these 
wretched beings. If such cruellies be passed by 
with indifference in the harbour, what unobserved 
abominations may be expected in the interior of tho 

" It is said that the climate requires no clothing, 
but this is false : the nights are very cold, and the 
season sometimes severe. 1 have even slept under 
several blankets, and been cold. How many poor 
souls have not one! 

Kindest love to all, and 

Believe me, my dear Father, 
Your affectionate Son, 

N. R.'' 

From the Bay of AH-Saints, he touches again on 
this horrid traffic: — "I have made many observa- 
tions ofi the country and people here, and particu- 
larly on the Slave-trade ; all of which will confirm 
what I have already told you respecting it. This 
port is full of slave ships, and I am laying close to 
one which has just landed seven hundred, men, 
women, and children. What a pity this nation 
shdiuld persist in this infamous traffic ; I admit the 
slaves are better used than in some other places, 
but still they are exposed to the caprices and unre- 
strained passions of corrupt nature. 

^' I have been distributing tracts and Bibles which 
some have rejected with scorn, and others received 
with thanks. 1 assure you I have spent more time 
in this way, than in attending to my worldly interest^ 
and so I ought ; for 1 am indebted to Him for all 
my mercies, in whose cause 1 am so labouring ; and 

^ »«' 1,. -<L 
* -% • * . • 


if only one Bible finds its way to the heart, if^at 
shall I think of my task in eternity. Wherever I 
go I will labour faithfully in this good work, to the 
utmost of my power, and particularly in the Isle of 
France, for that island is grievously neglected as to 
all spiritual instruction. 

''I have conversed with two Catholic priests, 
they appear to me pious men, though they refuse to 
sanction the distributionof the scriptures among the 
laity. I confess I am not able to argue with them.'* 

Upon the chief subjects of these letters, we may 
again remark the happy recollections of his early 
years. From his excellent father he had imbibed 
an aversion to iniquitous traffic, and a sense of its 
wretched effects on the well-being, both of the op- 
pressor and the oppressed ; from him he had learnt 
also to value the Holy Scriptures as God's best gift 
to a ruined world, and had received associations of 
sentiment and affection which no subsequent wan- 
derings of sinful inclination, no exposure to the 
temptation of scenes full of danger, and abounding 
with iniquity, could ever obliterate. The principles 
of his education restrained him in bis worst moments^, 
and they obtained a permanent ascendancy with 
the return of better feelings produced by the saluta- 
ry correction of his misfortunes. Ih his case, the 
experiment of a voyage was successful, though it 
may be doubted whether in general any other result 
can reasonably be expected from it than a confirma- 
tion of a young man's evil propensities. It seemed 
good to a wise and gracious God to exercise this mis- 
guided but afi'ectionate youth, with a succession of 
disappointments, mingled with merciful preserva- 
tions, and to train him in the school of adversity to 
shew the good effect of a pious father's instructions, 
and the rich boon of a father's blessing and prayers. 

His shipwrecks — his losses— and his severe trial 
in the death of an amiable young woman to whom 



he was engaged in marriage,- have been detailed By 
another hand ; and 1 have only to add a few ex* 
tracts from numerous letters in my possession, illus- 
trative of his progress in unfeigned piety. 

"The happiest day I could see in this world, 
would be that on which I might mingle myself once 
more with you all. Oh! with what joy should I re- 
turn to you, my dear father, and my dear mother, 
to receive your forgiveness and welcome home 
again. God only knows whether wc shall ever 
meet on this side eternity ; there seem to be 
more difficulties and obstacles in my way every 

" The next happy day would be when the Lord, 
who has ever been kind and merciful to me^ 
should entirely wean me from this wicked world 
and its temptations ; then should I be as happy as 
I wish to be." 

''My Bible, which is every thing, is the only 
means of grace I have ; by reading it, with some 
other good books, tracts, and sermons,! hope to 
keep close to the fear of God. 

"There are two clergymen here, but, alas! — I 
must say no evil, when 1 can say no good of them, 
I viish some missionaries, truly pious men, were 
sent out to us ; I assure you we have great need of 
spiritual instructors. A good man preached in a 
brig close to us yesterday ; and I hope next Sun- 
day to hoist the flag of Zion at our main-mast 

" My dear father, you have now four sons, will 
you spare me one of them? it will be a great charge, 
but not the first of the kind. 1 have had a young- 
ster three years under my care, and it will be some 
security to you for my proper conduct, when 1 tell 
you that Lieutenant B — - — is going to put his 
younger son under my management. He is a pious 


man, and his confidence in me may serve to shew 
that I am not altogether un/ieserving of your's." 

" I have never kept my birth day but once since 
1 left England. I sat and felt so melancholy instead 
of being joyful ; and with good reason when I look 
back on years that are past." 

" We sail for the Mauritius to-morrow, and I have 
humbly besought the Lord, who has ever beenjDer* 
ciful to me, to protect and preserve us all. 

** Oh, my good father ! no one can conceive the 
horror of a shipwreck but those who have experi- 
enced it. Many, many, heartfelt thanks to that 
Providence which has again rescued me from a 
watery grave. I had made a little fortune, and was 
returning home with presents for my family, and 
with three beautiful shawls for mydear mother, but 
all is lost,except one trunk, in which was my Bible 
and the Dairyman^s Daughter. Thus all my hopes 
and expectations have been frustrated. Yet 1 believe 
these tilings are for my good. I must begin the 
world afresh, and 1 hope to do so in more senses 
than one. Tell my dear mother not to grieve for 
my misfortunes, God knows what is best for us." 

" While the ship was driving, and it bfew a per- 
fect hurricane, I went down to my cabin to pray to 
the Lord for his assistance and protection in this 
trying hour. In the midst of prayer, and while the 
tears were in my e} es, the ship struck on a sand, 
with a shock which brought many to the ground ; I 
staggered a little, though on my knees, and my 

little L. B was thrown ofTa chest on which he 

lay close to me. Every thing was now confusion. 
In the mean timel again went belowand prayed with 
heart and soul to Almighty God to save us ; — and 
my prayers were answered, * * for a certain some- 
thing — a kind of fomfortable thought seemed to 
rest with me and say, 'Thy life shall be spared.' — 
Not all the shocks, seas, or winds could afterwards 


128 occuRasNCES in INDIA, with •T'^*'V 

make me fear or think the contrary. Surely there 
never was a greater proof than this, that the Lord 
18 always with us. It animated and comforted me, 
and made me work and exert myself with redoubled 
vigour, though a great part of the night it rained 
])ard accompanied by thunder and lightning. 

^Oh I how thankful I ought to be to Almighty 
Grod for his many mercies repeatedly shewn to me ; 
— indeed I trust I know that suitable returns are 
expected from me. * » * » When I look back 
on the last twenty.five years, 1 am lost in wonder 
and astonishment. My dear father, do not forget 
the eighteenth of July." 

" One thing grieved me in the shipwreck more 
than all — the loss of some valuable presents for my 
family ; but this is God's will ; it is the Lord's doing, 
and all is for the best.'' 

" I am returning home for the re-establishment of 
my health, which has suffered severely from expos- 
ure to hardships by night and day : but the happi- 
ness of seeing you all once more will not a little 
contribute to my restoration. My heart beats, and 
my head turns giddy at the thought of this meeting ; 
it will be both a pleasing and a painful one to me." 

" Do not expect me before the end of July or the 
beginning of August. I shall, of course write to 
my father on my arrival, that 1 may not take you by 
surprise. And oh! my dear mother, pray for a sale 
voy.age for me and a meeting to us all. 1 have had 
many trials, afflictions, and crosses for the last ten 
months, but I feel the loss of her to whom 1 was 
engaged most of all, perhaps too much. Still in 
all these things there is one^reat consolation ; they 
are sent by him who careth for me. I believe they 
are all ordered in wisdom and mercy, th«>ugh you 
and I may not be able to interpret their mean- 
ing« If we could see the end, as we shall do by 
and by, I am quite satisfied we should gratefully 


acknowledge that they were intended for good, and 
this comfortable assurance, through him who loved 
us better than we love ourselves, will, I trust, be 
my support, and inspire me with cheerful resigna- 
tion and renewed confidence in God. 1 have 
many thoughts about eternity ; though, alas ! the^ 
wicked one strives to banish them from my mind. 
"Your truly valuable letters, my dear mother, dis- 
cover so much affection and kindness towards me, 
that 1 know not how to express my joy and thank- 
fulness ; they often draw tears from my eyes, and 
are the dearer to me the more I read them. 1 have 
a great deal to say, to propose and to request, and 
hardly know whether to begin now, or wait till I 
have the joy of seeing my dearest parents. What a 
meeting this will be ! 1 seem to dread it though it 
would be a grief inexpressible were it n9t to take 
place. * * * * Pray for an unfortunate wan- 
derer, and may God answer your prayers to my pres- 
ent and eternal good." 

The expected return of Nugent was an event 
which warmed every heart in Turvey Rectory with 
the most anxious and affectionate sympathy. The 
whole family was eager, either to welcome a rela- 
tive whom they scarcely knew but by report, or to 
renew an affection which time and distance had 
not effaced, but rather strengthened. 

Mrs. Richmond fitted up, partly with her own 
hand, a room for her son's reception, and arranged 
every thing to testify her regard for her returning 
child, and banish every painful recollection from 
his mind ; but after the lapse of a few months, his 
death, instead of his arrival, was announced. 

His constitution had been greatly impaired by 
unhealthy climates, and the successions of hardships 
to which he had been exposed, until both his health 
and spirits finally sunk under the last and greatest 

130 giS DEATH. 

trial, the death of Miss . After this eyent he 

resolved on returning immediately to England. 

Previous to the voyage he had an attack of fever, 
and embarked in very weak health. The ship met 
with a heavy gale, w*hich induced him to exert him- 
self beyond his strength ; he had a relapse of fever, 
became very ill, and was occasionally delirious. — 
Immediate danger was not apprehended, but one 
night he went to bed about twelve o^clock,and was 
found dead in his cabin the next morning, to the 
surprise and grief of all on board, by whom he was 
universally beloved and respected. 

Alone in the hour of his departure from sin and 
florrow ; yet not alone, for his God, and the God 
of his father was with him, and gave him rest from 
the days of adversity,* 

An ivory box containing a few jewels and gold 
chains, which he had intended as presents for his 
brothers and sisters, was discovered in his pocket 
after his decease. On the inside of the cover, the 
following lines were written in his own hand in pen- 
cil, apparently a short time before his death. 

Where vice has held his empire long, 
'Twill not endure the least control : 
None but a power divinely strong, 
Can turn the current of the soul. 
Great God, I own thy power divine, 
That works to change this heart of mine ; 
I would be formed anew, and bless 
The wonders of redeeming grace. 

*The chief part of his property was lost with the Oracabessa, 
bat he left out ol the scanty store reserved from three shipwrecks, 
A hundred rupees to general charitable purposes ; JC50. to the 
Bible Society, £50. to the Church Missionary Society, £50. to 
the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, and £50. to the 
Religious Tract Society. The selection of these charitable in- 
stitutions was probably designed to express affection and respect 
for his father^s preferences, as well a? regard on his own part for 
th« truth* «f religion. 

HIS DEATd« 131 

While little was known of his dying moments, 
the most satisfactory accounts of his living hours 
were received by Mr. Richmond from many persons 
who for some years had observed Nugent's exem-^ 
plary conduct. 

A melancholy feeling steals over the spirits, as 
we follow this first-born son of an excellent man 
through each succeeding calamity of his life, to a 
solitary death. 

We must adore in silence, confidently resting on 
the wisdom and goodness pf Him whom clouds and 
darkness surround, while '^ righteousness and truth 
are the habitations of his seat." 

The history before us exhibits in the clearest 
light (and this is my chief purpose in writing it) the 
inestimable blessing of a pious parent, and the value 
of a religious education under all possible contin- 
gencies. *' In the morning sow thy seed, and in 
the eveniog' withhold not thine hand, for thou 
knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or 
that, or whether they both shall be alike good." — 
(Eccles. xi. 6.) 



** And therefore wert thou bred to virtuous knowledge, 
And wisdom early planted in thy soul." 


WiLBERFORCE was the second son of his father, and 
was born in Turvey Rectory, Aug. 20, 1807. 

Mr. R. intended to have added another tract to 
the annals of pious young people. He had pre- 
pared materials for this purpose, and even chosen 
that title for his narrative, which I have adopted 
for the present tribute of affection to his memory. 
It is deeply to be regretted, that he did not live to 
execute his design. His talents for religious biog- 
raphy was peculiar, perhaps unequalled. He drew 
his sketches from real life, with a scrupulous atten- 
tion to truth, and never failed to touch the heart. — 
But such was the poignancy of his feelings in the 
recollection of past scenes, that he was often com- 
pelled to lay aside the attempt, and wait for a sea- 
son of greater composure. Meanwhile his own in- 
creasing infirmities, and his final removal from 
earthly scenes and earthly sorrows, deprived the 
Christian world of a most instructive memoir, which 
though complete in the outline, and comprising all 
he meant to say of his son from the cradle to the 
grave, is so imperfect in its detail, that no further 
use can be made of his materials, than to guide me 
in my feeble delineation of the character of this in- 
teresting little boy. 

Soon after his birth he was received into the 
Christian church by the rite of baptism, when his 


father called him Wilberforce, connecting with that 
name the most important event in his own life, his 
conversion to God by the perusal of the " Practi- 
cal View of Christianity."* 

While an infant, he was taken by his parents on 
a visit to -r — . Certain associations impart an 
interest to circumstances apparently trivial, while 
they are fondly regarded as presages of future em- 
inence, and often stimulate to the diligent employ- 
ment of means for its attainment. Of this chara*cter 
is the following anecdote. 

^' I cannot forget a circumstance which occurred 
in his infancy ; his mother and myself were on a 
visit at a friend's house. A large faiiiily were as- 
sembled at morning prayers, and amongst them was 
our little boy in his nurse's arms. An aged and 
venerable minister was conducting the family wor- 
ship. In the midst of his prayer, the child began 
to cry. The good man paused, and beckoned the 
servant to give him the infant. He took him in his 
arms, and held him for several minutes^ during 
which he offered up most affecting petitions on his 
behalf, praying earnestly^ and in a manner that 
touched all our hearts, that it might please God to 
bless him for time and eternity ; that if his life were 
spared, he might be a blessing to his parents and 
the church of God, and finally nave an inheritance 
with the saints in light. He then returned the 
child, now pacified, to his nurse's arms, and resumed 
the general subject of his prayer, which had been 
thus interruptecf. There was an affecting singular- 
ity in the transaction, which much interested us at 
the time, and now that I am engaged in the retro- 
spective view of what passed from the cradle to the 
grave of my beloved son, it recurs to my recollec- 
tion with peculiar emotions of heart. The venera- 


*See Memoir of Mr. Richmond, p. 26. 



134 wilberforce's childhood. . . 

ble man of God is long since gone to his rest, but 
his prayer was recorded in heaven, and the Lord 
in mercy has given it a gracious answer/' 

When little more than two years old he fell from 
a window, on the pavement, and though he recover- 
ed from the accident, he was lame ever afterwards, 
and the natural delicacy of his constitution was pro- 
bably increased by the injury he received at that 
time. This circumstance would scarcely have de- 
served a serious mention, if it did not seem to be a 
link in the chain of events which contribute towards 
the formation of his character, bv rendering him 
unfit for boyish sports, and compelling him to seek 
amusement in higher occupations."^ 

' His resource was the Museum, and the experi- 
ments made by his father's philosophical apparatus. 
In these he took a principal share, and resorted to 
them when his other studies did not require his at- 
tentiocr. Electricity, pneumatics, mineralogy, chem- 
istry, and music, in which he was no mean profi- 
cient, occupied his leisure hours. He delighted in 
science of every kind^ but especially in the mathe- 
matics. The indubitable verity of a demonstration 
suited his turn of mind, and had God spared his life, 
he would probably have distinguished himself at the 
university. Such was the opinion of his tutor, who, 
in a letter of condolence to his father after his 
death, speaks of him as a boy of no common in- 
telligence and attainment. 

^^1 marked the superior endowments of his mind 
in the first hours of our intercourse, and was con- 
firmed in my opinion by each succeeding year. He 
caught an idea quickly, never seemed to forget it, 
for his memory was remarkably strong and retent- 

* To treat little things with contempt is no mark of superior 
intelligence. Their potency is acknowledged by all thoughtful 
observers of the course of events, whether in the sparrow that 
falls, or the single hair which is numbered. 



ive, and he made more rapid and solid attainments 
than any other boy placed under my care. At a 
very early period he read Euclid, and surprised me 
with his acute and sensible observations on the 
character of pure mathematics. He appeared 
delighted to master a difficult problem, and before 
he was twelve years of age, had exceeded the ad- 
vance of many men of two years' standing at the 

^^ I observed an equal neatness and success in his 
classical exercises and translations. But I was still 
more astonished at l\is discrimination and know- 
ledge of character. This must have arisen^ from 
his seeking the conversation of his superiors. He 
had a thinking mind, and a habit of going to the 
bottom of a subject. He was not without his pre- 
judices, and sometimes expressed a contempt for 
authority, and assumed an air of confidence in his 
opinion, which needed checking, though I never 
found him obstinate or averse to re-consider his own 
decisions, and but seldom in any material error. 

" He had a playful temper, and with great good 
humour would join his brothers in a gambol ; but 
when alone, he was more like a little man than a 
child, — he wa«, in short, an amusing and rational 

The writer of the above extract left Turvey 
when his pupil was about twelve years of age. 
Wilberforce expressed great regret at his removal, . 
and addressed his tutor m a letter equally creditable 
to both parties. I lay it before the reader* to shew 
the affectionate and grateful temper of the one, and 
to bear an honourable testimony to the conscien- 
tious and valuable services of the other. 

136 letter to his tutor, 

''My dear sir, 
'^ I hope you will not suppose that I am insensible 
to the value of your kind and affectionate care of 
me. I know nothing wounds more deeply than 
neglect and ingratitude, and I hope I have never, 
amidst many other errors, fallen into this offence. 
If 1 have appeared ungrateful, I sincerely ask par- 
di«fi, I fear I have often behaved disrespectfully, 
and '^ done many things which I ought not to have 
done.'' But I assure you, I never gave offence 
without pain to myself, and the reproof of my own 
conscience, and a fesolution to amend. 1 am cer- 
tain ail these things will be forgotten, but I thought 
1 might not have a better opportunity of telling you 
how deeply I regret them. 1 shall ever entertain 
the liveliest emotions of gratitude for the care and 
pains you have taken in the superintending and 
directing my studies, and though distance may 
separate us, I trust love will unite us. I am per- 
suaded you will never forget me, and I beg' you 
will receive this book as a tribute of affection, and 
a memorial of lasting friendship. My obligations to 
you are many, and I wish you to possess something 
as a token of my sense of them. Perchance, when 
you take up the volume, you will recur to former 
scenes aiid associations, and think of Turvey — 
" sed tempora mutantur." I hope my letter will 
not displease you : if I have not the pen of a ready 
.writer, I can safely say, I am sincere in all I have 
said. Be assured of this, that however far distant 
you may be, or whatever clime you may dwell in 
-^long indeed must the time be before I can for- 
get so good a master as you have been to me. I 
cannot bid you farewell, until I have wished you 
health and happiness wherever you may be. I shall 
highly value and prize vobi^ correspondence. 

Ever your's, gratefully and affectionately, 



1 perceive by Mr. R/s memoranda, that he took 
his little boy on a visit to London, with a view to 
amuse and instruct him by the curiosities of that 
magnificent metropolis. 

I have no doubt the conversation with his child on 
this occasion was intended for insertion, and would 
probably have afforded an illustration of his own 
constant aim at improvement, no less than the char- 
acter and progress of his companion. A letter to 
Wilberforce on a subsequent visit to town by him- 
self, may in a small degree supply the defect. 

'( My dear Master Wilberforce, 

"As you asked me to describe to you some of the 
sights which have met my eye in this sightly and 
sightful city, I will obey you. 

" 1. The Hobby, or Accelerator, or Adjutor. 
The neatness of its motions, the swiftness of its 
speed, the elegance of its management, and the 
simplicity of its construction, are very remarkable. 
I have not had a quiet opportunity of trying it, 
nor do I think the lame can manage it so well 
as others. On Tuesday next, a new one for 
ladies only is to be exhibited. All the town is wild 
this year after hobbies, as they were last year for 
kaleidescopes. Old men and children, young men 
and maidens will soon be whirling and twirling like 
Tetotums. Twelve places of exhibition already 
exist. I have been much amused with the sight. 

" The Au^maton Chess Player. Nothing ever 
surprised or perplexed me so much as this. It is a 
masterpiece of mechanical invention, and how it 
acts, is as yet past discovery. It has been shown 
throughout Europe, but no one has approached to 
detection. It had so singular an effect on my nerves, 
that I wished for permission to give one immense 
laugh, and another immense cry, in order to give 


138 BXBlilTIONS. • 

vent to my exuberant spirits. The whole company 
sat in motionless wonder for an hour, during whichf 
one of them played against the Automaton Turk, 
and was beaten, though a first-rate player, which 
vexed him not a little, and he pinched his nose, and 
bit his fingers with vexation. Our silence was then 
broken by a man of wood, dressed as a trumpeter, 
and who played like a trumpeter, and full well he 
trumpeted, for he accompanied with great precision 
his master and maker, who played a piece on the 
Piano Forte. 

"III. The Gothic Hall of ancient armoury. This 
is very magnificent — cost three thousand pounds, 
and alas ! is going to be sold by auction like Bul- 
lock's museum, part of the dissolution of which 1 
have witnessed in the auction room. 1 saw an an- 
tique pieqp of sculpture put up ; one pound, said a 
gentleman ; two, said another ; three — four — five 
— one hundred, said the next ; two hundred and 
fifty, said an old lady ; five hundred, said another 
— and down it went. 

"IV. The Sostenente Piano Forte. Lovely, 
sweet, chaste, bewitching tones. Very handsome 
in appearance — price from one hundred and ten, to 
three hundred guinea^. 

"V. Doctor Thornton's lecture on the human 
frame. A fresh subject discussed every time. 
About thirty ladies and forty gentlemen present ; 
very useful and instructive. Fine transparent pain- 
tings of the difierent parts of the system illustrated ; 
a grand collection of human bon^s, asd of all kinds 
of animals ; he exhibited the laughing gas, and it 
made us all laugh wonderfully ; none could conceive 
the effect without seeing it ; several of the compa- 
ny tried and exhibited the experiment. He produced 
by another gas, a globe of fire, quite, indeed, 
quite as bright as the sun at noon-day. He also 
made, as H- would say, » an enormous bang,^ 



with so^p-suds and hydrogen-gas. The ladies 
screamed with fright, but no harm was done, and 
the laughing gas banished all alarms. 

'' VI. The Panorama of Spitzbergen, novel and 
satisfactory. Icebergs, ice-mountains, snow, seas, 
ships, seals, sea horses, laruses, white-bears, arctic- 
dogs, &c. in abundance ; skies terrific — the whole 
admirably executed, and affording a complete 
lecture on the natural history of the Polar districts. 

*'VII. The Dandies. Very numerous, and vastly 
abominable. I will not describe them, for verily my 
«oul loatheth them. The dandizettes, the more 
sightly of the two; but alas! vanity of vanities, all 
is vanity! 

VIII. The Southwark bridge, which you and I 
saw casting at Rotherham. It strides most nobly 
across the Thames, and is a grand ornament to the 

" IX. The Persian Ambassador. A fine figure 
in full costume, and quite answers one's idea of an 
oriental Mahometan Grandee. 

" X. The fair Circassian. As nobody sees her, 
of course I do not, so I cannot describe her. 

'' I have gone through my arduous day, and have 
been gratified by a long and interesting conversa- 
tion with L W . I have received no letters 

from home ; and have therefore no answer to send« 

With great love to you all, 

1 our affectionate Father, 

L. R." 

This playful and amusing journal of London cu- 
riosities, contains ho allusion to the subject which 
lay nearest to his heart. But Mr. Richmond sel- 
dom wrote on any occasion to his children without 
reminding them of some religious truth, or connect- 
ing whatever was curious in art, or beautiful and 
grand in nature, with a remark calculated to inspire 

tW MK. K,«,^gfeTKaS TO ' 

in their minds seiitii^i^jF^'of solid and scriptural 
piety. The following lifters to Wilberforce are fair 
specimens of his usual-manner. The first of these 
was written when he was yet a little boy. 

" Dearest little boy, 

^' As 1 was journeying near York last Saturday, 
where should 1 suddenly find myself but in a little 
village called Wilberforce^ as my driver and the 
way-post informed me. 'Dear me,' said I to my 
fellow-traveller, ' how a certain little lad of my ac- 
quaintance, would be surprised and pleased had he 
been in the chaise this moment.' So I got out and 
walked up and down in Wilberforce, thinking and 
talking about that said little lad. It is a pretty little 
place. As I loved the name, both for your sake, 
and for the sake of Henrietta's godfather ; I amused 
myself with asking different people the name of 
the place, and every body's answer was the same. 
I asked an old man, ' What is this village called?' 
' Wilberforce, an' please your reverence,' said he, 
and so said all the rest ; and thus I pleased myself 
with making a great many people speak your name, 
till one of them said, ' 1 canna think wots the mat- 
ter wi' the mon ; he made us aw say the same thing. 
Mayhop the mon's a foo.' Now all that was the 
matter with me, was that I loved you, and it quite 
pleased me to hear your name when I so little ex- 
pected it. 

" On Thursday last I saw a gentleman and a 
lady mount up in a balloon, a mile high into the air, 
and after saihng there near an hour, they came 
down again quite safe. On Saturday I went to see 
the finest church in all England. It is more beau- 
tiful than all the churches lever saw put together. 
To-day I have visited the wonderful dropping well of 
Knaresborough, which petrifies, after a time, what- 
ever it touches. To-morrow I am going to see one 

WILBERF0RC«^^^3aSr 4ut-''4>li2l|^OOD. . 141 

- ■ ■*• .. 

of the finest ruins in thekiogdom, Fountain's Ab- 
bey. Look at your map, it is' near Ripon in York- 
shire. This day I received a most beautiful letter 
from the Russian Princess Sophia Metcsersky of St. 
Petersburgh. I think I never had so pretty a letter. 

What makes it so pretty? It is because it is about 
Jesus Christ. Nothing i$ good, or\right^ or pretty 
without him. He only is altogether lovely. 

" I hope both your leg and your lessons go on 

well. If they do, you must thank Mr. C for 

the one and Mr. G. (to whom give my love) for the 
other, and God for both. * * * 

Last night, at ten o'clock, I sawthe Aurora Borealis, 
like a white rainbow stretching all over the sky. — 
On Monday I went to see the iron founders make 
cannon. They melted the iron in a huge hot fur- 
nace, it ran out along the ground like a little river 
of liquid fire — very terrific! 

" I have picked up many curious stones for the 
museum. God bless you, my little boy, and God 
bless HeniT. Tell him I love him, and I hope he 
loves me. Kiss all your brothers and sisters for me, 
and tell them all to be very good. Behave well to 

d^ar mamma, and Mr. G , and so good bye 

From your loving papa, 

L. Richmond." 

The following letter is of later date. 


" * * * Your dear mamma 

has evidently improved in health by her visit to 
town, which 1 therefore feel it riffht to lengthen, 
that by freedom for a time from domestic labours 
and hourly anxieties, she may, if God pleases, be the 
better enabled to continue her numerous attentions 
to you and her other children at home. You know 
her great value to us all, and the day to which you 


allude will stand as a lasting meniorial to us of the 
loving-kindness of God. 

'* On Tuesday last I went to Carlton Palace, with 
four hundred graduates of the University of Cam- 
bridge, to present an address of congratulation to 
the Prince Recent on the marriage of his daughter. 
It was a fine sight, and the splendour of the rooms 
surprised me. We walked through St. James' 
street and Pall Mall, two and two, in very long 
procession, all dressed in the various university 
robes. The Duke of Gloucester, one Archbishop 
and nine bishops went first, all the rest in scarlet, 
blue and gold, blue and silver, black and gold, black 
gowns, &c. An imniense collection of carriages 
and people on foot filled the streets to see the pro- 
cession, which occupied three quarters of the length 
of Pall Mall. We passed through seven grand and 

f princely chambers, till at length we reached the 
ast, in which the Resent, seated on his throne, 
received us. The Duke of Gloucester delivered 
the address, to which the Prince made a handsome 
reply. We all successively made our obeisances, 
and after remaining a short time to inspect the 
beauty and grandeur of the different state apart- 
ments, we returned, as we came to a cold collation 
provided for the members of the university. The 
Prince was surrounded by all the great officers of 
state; and the whole effect was imposing and superb. 
But fine and entertaining as was this scene of earth- 
ly grandeur, what is a palace compared to a cot- 
taffe, if the grace of God is in one and not in the 
other? Earthly greatness is but dust, and will return 
to dust. Grace alone will outlive it and then what 
a palace will heaven be to those who are made kings 
and priests for ever! 

I have been to see the great panorama of 
Waterloo. It is finely painted, but a very terrible 
exhibition. I think nothing on earth so dreadful 




as the murder, fury, confusion, pain, and suffering 
of a battle. £yen the picture fills me with sadness 
and horror. 

I have also seen a panorama of Jerusalem, very 
inferior as a painting, but very interesting to my 
mind, as portraying the place where Jesus Christ 
taught, and sometimes lived in thedays of his flesh. 
I stood upon the Mount of Olives, and looked 
around me on Mount Zion, Gethsemane, Calvary, 
Bethany, the valley of Jehoshaphat, the Brook 
Kedron, the pool of Bethesda, the Wilderness, &c. 
<&c. The ideas which arose in my mind affected 
me deeply. I was moved to tenderness and tears, 
as I looked back in thought upon years that are 
past, and events with which is associated all that is 
most dear to the Christian. And would they not, 
my dear boy, have touched your heart ? 

I am requested to preach an electrical sermbn : 
that is, a sermon in behalfofa charitable institution, 
called the electrical dispensary, for administering 
medical electricity to the poor. Some'' of the 
patients appear to be in a very wretched condition. 
Out of 7800 persons, 3000 have been cured, 4000 
greatly benfitted, and 800 discharged without 
receiving any advantage from this kind of treat- 
ment. I have been thinking that this will be a 
very suitable text, "GOD is Light." Our greatest 
gratification has been derived from attending the 
public meetings of the religious and benevolent 
institutions. OnCt and sometimes two are held in 
a day. it is an unspeakable delight to see with 
our ^es, and hear with our ears, what God is so 
manifestly and so mercifully bringing to pass, by 
the exertions of so many valuable societies. 

Tell G to take care that all the usual and 

necessary preparations be made for the club anni- 
versary on Whit Friday. We hope to be in our 
places on that day. Et jam vale, charissime puer ; 


memor esto Dei omnipresentis, et patris nunc ab* 
sentis,et matris tuae tenerrimsB pretiosissimae, delect- 
issimsB. Te ipsum cum fratribus sororibusque in 
votis habemus. Ora pro nobis, ora* Iterum iterum- 
que vale. 

Your affectionate father, 

L. Richmond/' 

Wilberforce inherited his father^s taste for the 
.beauties of nature. In Mr. R.^s memoranda I find 
a list of more than thirty places of natural magnifi- 
cence which he visited with his son^ and reference 
made to conversations and mutual delight, in a sur- 
vey of the works of God. I regret that my guide 
has only left me these traces of his footsteps in the 
following notes. 

^' His first visit to Matlock at four years old, his 
ecstacy, and remarks, even then, on natural scenery. 

^'Visited, &c. &c. &c. ; his admiration and de- 
light while he stood lost in thought, and mused over 
this exquisite scenery. 

" Minerals of the Bible — his acquaintance with 
their character — his affectionate disposition — his 
conduct and feelings on the report of Nugent^s 

In the same paper he notes, 

'^ His strict and honourable conduct — exempt 
from many of the vices common to his age — his 
confidential faithfulness — disposition to fastidious- 
ness — mourned over his last illness,^' &c. 

The following letter to a companion is the only 
one of this character I shall offer the reader. It 
will appear how completely Mr. R. had succeeded 
in transfusing his own spirit and principle into the 
mind of his beloved Wilberforce. 



*' 1 know nothing which I remember with more 
pleasure than the hours we have spent together in 
domestic music. I shall never regret the time I 
have given to music, when I consider its tendency 
to attach us to our delightful homes. We have in- 
deed passed many happy hours together, none hap- 
pier than those under your own roof. * * * I 
have been delighted with the scenery of Scotland. I 
have never seen any thing which has given m^ such 
an idea of the wisdom and power of the Creator. 
I do indeed admire the rugged grandeur of the 
mountains, and the wild beauty of the heath, but I 
still admire our own fertile plains ; * * * 
* and after all no country can be so pleasant to 
us as that to which we have been endeared from 
our earliest infancy. Most anxiously, then, do I wish 
once more to enjoy with you the sight of our native 
village, with the river wandering peacefully through 
the green meadows, and to revisit the scenes of our 
boyish recollections. * * * I was 

greatly pleased with my visit to London. The 
greatest treat was the British Museum. The min- 
erals are so exquisite, so beyond conception beauti- 
ful and interesting. There is a very fine Museum 
in Glasgow, and some beautiful specimens of mill* 
erals in it. It has just received the addition of a live 
rattle snake, which uses its tail in tremendous style, 
and when disturbed is ready to revenge an aflfront. 
* * * I shall probably astonish the Scotchmen 
soon with the peculiarity and beauty of my visage, 
for the hair dresser ^^ who cuts and curls my hair in 
the last Parisian fasnion^) assures me that in a very 
short time, I must have my head shaved, and ex* 
change a few straggling locks for a wig. My pate 
will look like a lump of coxcomb iron pyrites.^^ 

I would not weary my reader by dwelling on the 
early character of Wilberforce, or detain him from 



details of higher interest ; the particulars I have 
mentioned serve to show that true piety is perfectly 
compatible with all that is innocent and rational in 
our pursuits and recreations : that it cannot feirly 
be ascribed to mere dulness or morbid sensibility, and 
that it is not necessary to denounce a devout and 
heavenly spirit, in order to establish a ckim tosu- 
perioritv of sense or refinement. 

I will now pursue the menioir into narrations 
more immediately connected with my purpose ; the 
illustration of Mr. R/s peculiar method in the re- 
ligious education of his children, and the success 
which attended his unremitted and conscientious 
discharge of the duties of a Christian parent. 

When Wilberforce was a little child, his father, 
aware of the vast importance of early associations, 
accustomed him to habits of religion, even before 
be had a capacity to understand or value them. — 
He consecrated to God his whole family in daily 
prayers ; the infant in arms was present as a worship- 

Ser, it might at first disturb the order of the family 
evotion, but it soon learned silence, and seemed 
pleased with the group before it. So long as it 
could not speak he spoke for it ; he would hold it 
in his arms saying, ^^ God be gracious to thee my 
flon.^^ When Wilberforce could scarcely lisp in ac- 
cents of prayer or praise, Mr. R. composed the follow- 
ing little piece to be committed to memoiy, and re- 
peated to his mamma every evening. In these sim- 
ple lines nothing more was aimed at than a suita- 
Dle vehicle o( instruction to an infant mind. It 
breathes the same devout, tender, and affectionate 
ipirit which pervades Mr. R.^s other productions. 


Mamma, 'tis Jesas loves my soal, 
And makes the wounded sinoer wbiAe ; 
My oature is by sin defiled, 
Tet JesoB loves a Utile child. 



I kiMW my temper is not rig^ht, 
I'm t>Aen fretful, scold and fig;ht, 
I would like him be meek and mild. 
For Jesus lovee a little child. 

How kind is Jesus, oh ! bow good ! 
For my poor soul he shed his blood ; 
For children's sake, he was reviled| 
Tet Jesus lores a little child. 

When I offend you by my tongue, 

And say and do what's very wrong, • 

O pray mamma be reconciled. 

For Jesus lores your little child. 

He teaches me to shed a tear. 
Whene'er I grieve a friend so dear ; 
But though I am so thoughtless, wild. 
Yet Jesus loves the little- child... 

To me may Jesus now impart ^ 

Although so young, a gracious heart ; 
Alas! I'm oft by sin defiled. 
Yet Jesus loves the little child. 

And Hove Him, for he loves me, 
And hope his faithful child (o be ; 
The Sinner's Friend he's justly styled. 
And Jesus loves your little child." 

The following letter to his little boy on his birth- 
day, is of the same character. 

<* It was early this mom, as I waked from my rest. 

An unusual emotion sprung up in my breast. 

The occasion of this, do you wish to be told ? 

'Tis my little boy's birth-day — ^he's just four years old* 

Foolish father ! cries one, is this all you can say. 
Is this to disturb all your feelings to-day? 
Yes-— and were yeu a father, you would not feel eold. 
On your little boy.'e birth-day, when just four years old. 

Old maidens and bachlort who no children have, 
Your patience 1 ask, for your pardon I crave. 
While this child to my heart I so warmly enfold, 
Oq tlMUtti* boy's birtli-dAy»wlu»*i just iowr yecn old. 


148 wilbeeforce's • earlt 

Te mothers, who clatp yoar desr babes in y«iir anoff. 
And watch o^er their youtb with a thousand alarms^ 
Set your^s down for one instant, my child to behold, 
Tis the little boy's birth-day, he's just four years old. 

-^ Te that doat on your own lads can feel for another's, 
And bear with the fondness of fathers and mothers, 
I invite your attendance, so deem it not bold,-~ 
'Tis the little boy's birthday, he's just four years old. 

He can prattle and talk, with a sweet little «mile, 
Wftich my heaviest moments will often beguilie; 
So I vnlue him more than ten millions twice told : 
Tis my liltle boy's birth day, he's just four years old. 

Dear wife, on whose breast the dear babe faung^ so long^^ 
Shall my muse on this day, forget thee in her song; 
Come and kiss the poor lad, and rejoice to be told 
'Tis your little boy's birth-day— he's just four years old. 

My sweet boy ! Tve been writing these verses for you. 
They shew more of the father than poet^ 'tis true! 
Yet in spite of the critics, papa will be bold : 
Little boy tis your birth- day — you'r just four years old. 

May the blessing of God in abundance poured down. 

Give thee grace while on earth, and in glory a crown ; 

As thou growest in years, may thy virtues unfold,' 

'Tis my prayer on thy birth day, when just four years old.'^ 

The incidents of childhood are seldom interest- 
ing beyond the family circle, neither can much reli- 
ance be placed on early appearances of piety un- 
tried by temptation. It may be well to cherish everjr 
holy emotion in our children ; to water and<^ulti- 
vate the tender plant committed to our care ; 
but until influence and impression is succeeded by 
principle and the choice of the mind, we may re- 
joice in the buddings of divine life, but we must not 
indulge in too sanguine expectations. The scep- 
tical tendencies of Wilfeerforce^s mind in childhood, 
are by no means of rare occurrence at that age ; 
for infidelity, notwithstanding its arrogant preten- 
sions to superiority, is the vulgar weed which ^ows 
in every soil, and withers before the sunshine of 


clearer mfiEMination; a little knowledge may help 
to an objection, when diligent and serious inquirj 
will discover its futility. 

There is one note in Mr. Richmond's paper8» 
which refers to Wilberforce's conduct and feelinM 
on receiving the report of his brother's death, u 
is probable he shared his father's anguish in that 
mournful event — uncertain as they both were of 
Nugent's spiritual welfare, and fearing the worst* 
from all that was then known of his past conduct 
They had heard nothing of those satisfactory testi- 
monies to his conversion, which afterwards cheered 
and relieved their minds. A concern for the ever- 
lasting welfare of another, is no small evidence of 
our own sincerity in the pursuit of eternal life ; and, 
I have no doubt that Wilberforce had, at that time, 
made a progress in true religion, greater than his 
extreme reserve warranted his friends to conclude. 
His respect for piety, the deep attention with which 
he listened to instruction, the satisfaction which he 
displayed in communicating to others what he seem- 
ed to understand himself, and his uniform good cod> 
duct and general conformity to the habits of a re- 
ligious family, induced his father to hope " all was 
well with him," though he was too deeply impress* 
ed with the infinite value and necessity of a sound 
conversion to God, to rest satisfied with any thing 
short of a full and explicit declaration on the part 
of his child. 

Wilberforce had ever expressed a decided f»e- 
ference for the ministry, which rendered it, in Mr. 
R.'s judgment, the more necessary that he should 
possess a piety the most decided and unequivocal. 
To become by profession an ambassadorfor God to 
a guilty world, without credentials^ ifM justly re- 
garded by hifln as a profane intrasiofiiDto an oflGk^ 
of immense responsibility; and he baa been beanl 
to say that * he would rather follow his 9Q9ljf^ tba 


• ■^■■-- ■ 

150 i, LITTER TO 1^ 

trave thi^see him in the church without being 
tted for such a sacred office/'* 
The sentiments of both will be best expressed in 
the following correspondence. The first letter was 
written from Stockport, in Lancashire, when Wil- 
berforce was eleven years old. 

Dear Willy, 
'* Are you indeed a good boy during my absence 1 
Shall I have no cause for heart-ache on my return, 
when i ask how my child has behaved ? How he 
has obeyed his mamma ? How he has attended to 
his lessons? How he has submitted to his sister^s 
instructions? How he has conducted himself to- 
wards Mr. G ^ ? How he has adhered to truth in 

his words? How^e has set H -. a good example? 

Shall I be comforted with the glad tidings, that your 
heart and yourconscience,and your ways, all seem to 
partake of a happy influence? that you throw away 
all indolence of mind and body? that you actively pur- 
sue learning and gain it? that your brother improves 
every day through the effect of your good behaviour? 
that you seldom or ever quarrel, snap, or snarl at 
him? that you pray to God to forgive your sins and 
hourly offences ? Shall I be told that you have 

Erepared a happy return home for papa, by his 
earing all this good of you, when he comes back ? 
Do the four walls of your little chamber bear wit- 
ness to your prayers and supplications for yourself 
and me ? Do the sun^s rays as they early penetrate 
your window in the morning, find you active to rise, 

*The expression of Mr. Richmond is a strong one, though in 
perfecl unison with the sentiments and feelings of the Editor.-^ 
Mr. R. must not, however, be mistaken, as if he connected his 
child's death with eternal consequences. There can be no doubt 
that he intended to lay, he should feel the death of his child a less 
mfllicting dispensation than his profaning aholy ordinance, and, 
by ignorance or neglect, inyolying immortal souls in everlasting 

> HIS SON. .''^- 151 

to read, to labour^ and to grow in grace? * * 
* * * I have seen some beautiful counties 
since I left you. Staffordshire is full of beauty. 
Lichfield cathedral too, which though much smaller 
than York Minster, is' a verjt fine building; I 
attended divine service there, the organ notes rolled 
sublimely along the vaulted arches, pillars, and 
roof. The exquisitely painted windows assimilated 
to the sounds, and rendered the efiect most enchant- 
ing. The spires are beautiful, and large sums have 
been laid out in repairing and restoring them. 

**One evening I travelled with a friend in a gig 
for three troufs, amidst the never ceasing distant ^ 
lightning. The whole western hemisphere was in a 
constant blaze. The flashes alternated from one 
point of the horizon to another, distant about forty- 
five degrees from each other ; sometimes the flashes 
were silvery, sometimes yellow, then orange 
colour ; one white sheet-like, and again so vivid, 
that we seemed to have a peep into more distant 
regions of space ; then more faint, now and then 
we heard slight rumblings ; then all was silent again. 
At one point the flashes gleamed on the ruins of a 
distant castle which appeared all on fire ; a dark 
forest lay behind, and it formed a fine coatrast. 
Sometimes the forked flashes pursued one another 
in a kind of playful progress ; at others they dashed 
at each other as if in terrible combat ; all this passed 
between seven and ten in the evening. 

^^ But what are these lightnings, compared with 
those which made Moses quake and tremble at 
Mount Sinai, or what were even these contrasted 
with the lightnings of God^s wrath against sinners? 
These appearances of nature are striking emblems 
of Divine justice. You have need to flee from the 
wrath to come. Repent, for the kingdom of heaven 
is at hand. The wicked and all the people that for- 
get God, shall be turned into hell. Dear Willfi if 

153 MR. richxovd'8 lettjers. 

you forget him, what will be ^our portion ? If you 
MT that you do not forget iiiin, how do yoil prove 

Video meliora proboqa« 
Deteriora sequor, 

if the character of too many nominal ChristiancL I 
would not have it to be your^s ; an enlightened coi^ 
verted mind ; with eyes and tongue to approve what 
is right, but the feet walking in the paths of eviL 
A converted heart alone will enable you to follow 
his steps, who is '* the way, the truth, and the life/' 
^ I sincerely hope that you are beginning to be 
^WnAj sensible of the evil and danger of sin, and the 
'jMcessity of seeking God betimes. Occasional ii^ 
dbposittons should remind you, that yoii ipay never 
arrive at man's estate. If you are to die a boy, we 
must look for a boy's religion, a boy's knowledge, 
a boy's faith, a boy's Saviour, a boy's salvation ; or 
else a boy's ignorance, a boy's obstinacy, a boy's 
unbelief, a bo^^s idolatry, a boy's destruction. Re- 
member all this, and beware of sin ; above all dread 
the sinfulness of an estranged heart. Pray for a 
new one ; pray for grace and pardon, and a soul 
conformed to the image of Christ ; pray for wis- 
dom, for the destruction of pride, vain conceit, and 
self-sufficiency. Be not slothful in business, but 
fervent in spirit, serving the Lord. * Friends here 
inquire after you, in the full hope that you are going 
on well, creditably, obediently, industriously, hum- 
biy and Christianly. Love to all, from 

Your afibctionate Father, 


What reply was made by Wilberforce to this 
letter does not appear; his repugnance to a fi^ 
nd unreserved communication on the subject of 
penKmal religion, seems notto have been overcome 
tiU\ nevly U)ut yean after, though bis anxious 



father longed to elicit something on this point more 
satisfactory than could be collected from a general 
acquiescence in the opinions and habits of the 
faniily. A letter written by Wilbcrforce to his father 
in 1821, discloses a mind under the influence of 
more distinct views, and stronger feelings breaking 
through the fetters of natural reserve. 

"My dear Father, 
" You will believe me, when I say, that I entirely 
and most thoroughly agree with you, ^ that it is time 
we should communicate frequently, intimately, and 
confidentially/ I feel very thankful that you havel 
so plainly declared your thoughts and determina- 
tion concerning me ; I know my inability to answer 
you in the way you wish, but I rejoice in an oppor- 
tunity of telling you what my thoughts have been 
and still are in respect of the most important sub- 
ject of your inquiry. I deeply regret that a false 
shame has hitherto deterred me from an open 
avowal of my sentiments and feelings. I will 
honestly confess to you, that I have never seriously 
considered the subject of the ministry till within the 
last few months. Brought up from my infancy with 
the expectation of becoming a clergyman, and 
accustomed as I have been to think and speak of it 
as my future profession, I have been little aware of 
the difficulty, and have not suflSciently considered 
the responsibility of the office which I hoped would 
one day be mine. You know how much this pros- 
pect has pleased me all through my childhood. I 
have had many fears and alarms about my sinful 
state, but they soon faded away. The impression 
has never been permanent till dear little Atherton 
died. At that time it pleased God to awaken in me 
a deeper sense of my dangerous condition, and I 
prayed very earnestly that God would pardon m^ 
sins for Christ Jesus^ sake, and that the Holy Spirit 




would renew my heart Then I fell into another 
error, for It began to triut myself instead of the 
Saviour. I thouflbt I was now proof against temp- 
tation, and had the presumption to suppose m^OBelf 
fit for the ministry. But I was awfully deceived. 
There arose soon after in my mind many doubts of 
the authenticity of the scriptures. Wherever I 
went, or whatever I was doing, these doubts 
haunted me. I found that I could not, I dared not 

Eray. At first I repulsed these suggestions with 
orror, but tbey graaually laid so fast hold of me, 
that they destroyed all my peace. When engaged 
in my studies, that which was often ascribed to idl^ 
n€»s, was really occasioned by the state of my 
mind, which was so perplexed that I could not at- 
tend to other things ; even my pleasures were 
damped by uneasiness. I have no doubt that if I 
Had beenjn some situations, I should have become 
a determined infidel. I tremble, dear papa, while 
I write thus ; and when I look back and think of 
my situation at that time, I cannot feel sufficiently 
thankful that my life was spared, and that I was 
not cut ofi* from God for ever, I found that I had 
trusted in ipy own strength, that I had neglected 
prayer, and while I contmued in that neglect, I 
could not reasonably expect the removal of these 
distressing searchin|[s of heart. It was with some 
difficulty I could brmg myself on my knees again. 
I was fearful that God would not hoar me. But I 
read the Bible for encouragement, and 1 found it 
there.. By continual prayer I was directed to the 
means of relief, and I have not been troubled with 
one more doubt since that time. Indeed, I cannot 
but believe that the death of our poor little Atherton 
was blest to me. It afiected me more than any 
conversation or other event, and more than any one 
knew; I have never lost the impression. 

4 k 




**Yet I cannot feer comfortable in becoming a 
minister of Christ in my present state of mind. My 
conscience would be uneasy, if 1 presumed to ISU 
an t>ffice, whose functions are so far above my 
ability or piety ; but I earoestly pray that God may 
give me such a measure of his grace, as may in 
some degree fit me to become an unworthy, but 
true servant of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

'^ Having now freely and confidently told you 
what has been passing in my mind, I lie in your 
hands, and trust you will pardon any error of ex- 
pression or sentiment which may appear in my letter, 
and that you will correct whatever you see wrong 
in me. Receive, my dear papa, my confidence, as 
the strongest mark of afiection and gratitude whicb 
can be given by your afiectionate, but unworthy 
son, Wilberforcb/' 

I have no documents to trace the progress of this 
interesting boy, during an interval of near two 
years. Able and pious tutors attended to his im- 
provement in literature, and by their conversation 
and example, aided his progress in religion ; which, 
though still of a reserved character, was doubtless 
sincere and increasing. 

In 1823, Mr. Richmond was in Glasgow, from 
whence he wrote to his son as follows : 

^*My very dear Wilberforce. 
*' I am very gl jd that Hartwell Home proves so 
acceptable to you. * # * # ♦ 

I cannot express my anxieties on your account, 
both as they respect your Christian principles, and 
your future prospects as connected with the minis* 
try. We must indeed become still more communi- 
cative and confidential, or the burden on my heart 
will become heavier than I can bear. It has lon^ 
been the first wbh of my mind, that you should be 

156 LBTTUi 10-WItBfjrOKCK. 

aminiater of (be gospel, but only, and entirety, abd-t 
unequivocaUy, without partiaUty, and ivithout hy- 

Socrby, as yoar porsonal charajcter, experience, and 
etermination might be formed on a serious, affec- 
tionate, conscientious, ^nd prayerful foundation. I 
want to see my loved boy^ first a true Ciiristian, and 
then B true niiDi^ter. Oh I may, God hear my 
prayers on this iohject. . For this I cry day and 
night, — and unworthy as I am of such a blessing, 

Jet I will trust him for it, and I would wrcBtle like 
Bcob until I attain it. But you must wrestle too, 
yea, and with all your heart, all your mind, all your 
|0i|], and all your strength. You mifst study your 
-pirn heart; you should not only study the scrip- 
. tores, but keep in reading some searching experi- 
nie^tal book as a bosom companion. A love of 
V'iBcb reading, at least no alienation from it, proves 
.'fwefiil test of character. # * * * 

■ 4*- .. * * I am glad to hear yoo give your- 
'/ieir more regularly and resolutely to study. I have 
often had fears of indolence and inactivity, those 
banes of all progress, proficiency, and hope. I 
Bhall indeed rejoice tpfind that the bonds are broken, 
• * # • * 

Theology itself, important as are its themes and 
communications, sinks into mere science or literary 
attainment, unless founded upon, and accompanied 
by, a devotional and affectionate application of its 
principles to the soul. 

" It is much easier to be a divine than a Christian 
— an ecclesiastic than a pastor. ¥ou may be little 
aware how much more truth and wisdom dwell in 
some cottages and hearts at Turvey, than in many 
a house, and in many a mind, in which superior 
advantages seem to prevail, and even where real 
religion is known and respected. I Ion;; for the day 
when you and 1 may not only comfortably and con- 
fidently converse on these subjects, on things which 

LETT^ T»=TriLBKJlFOtlCE. 10/ 

belong f* our evCiUstisg peace, our prospects in 
time and etcrniij'ibat wheayot; take such ashsre 
in my prik-aie parochial interiioiirse wiih the paritti- 
toners, aa may doubt of your being one 
with us. Hut (hen it tm«t be previously manifest 
that you are consistent and irr eflrnCBt, and that you 
have not only pfit away chi1diih>;|p)Kes and TaultB, 
but are living and not nsfiamedto live, under the 
influence of higher principles. I want you to aid 
me efieclually in ihe instruction of poor children, 
in visiting the sick, in conversing with.the poor. If 
yonareto beidmiuister, youshould now commence '' 
your seven years' apprenticeship to ihe holy office.- ■- 
But then your conduct must be uniform, simple, - 
consistent. The reproach of the cross must in 
some measure be encountered, and the Jove of 
Christ in the heart put to some satisfactory lest. — ■ 
Think of these things, and write to me about lliem. 
Let me have the comfort of knowing more of yoar 
mind. Our present interval of separation may be a 
time of much salutary communication. 1 would say 
in the language of Solomon, " My son, give me thy 
heart ;" but first give it to God. You are arrived at 
an age when many dangerous temptaltons will as- 
sail you, and you will be put to the proof whether 
your heart is right with God, and if you are thrown 
upon the world and its seductions, more than, hap- 
pily, has hitlierto been needed or sought, you will 
find indeed that it Iteth in wickedness, multiplied, 
subtle, and appalling. May you, my dear son, be 
preserved in your youth, and when old, never 
depart from the way in which you have been trained. 
" You must in a very especial manner consider 
the daily influence of your temper, conduct, and 
conversation upon your brothers and sisters. An 
elder brotiier is usually the blessing or a curse of a 
household. You never knew, or will know, what 
1 sufiered on poor Nugent's account ; but God baf 


t . 

• . • 

158 WILBBBr$»RC&\| LKTrnCRS. 

I trust in mercy over-raled for eventual good, what' 
seemed to threaten nought but eviK May the course 
of your youth be very different, and may yoii con- 
tribute to heal the remains of former wounds inflict- 
ed on my parental feelings. 

" Write soon, fop letters are long in coming to 
me. Give a vory affectionate message to my 
much-loved parishoners, and do assure them how 
closely 1 bear them on my heart's remembrance. — 
Love to all. God bless you my dear children, yes, 
God bless you all. There ik a certain store of 
love in this house, from which is xlrawn a re- 
spectable portion to be conveyed to Turvey. — 
Take it, and use it well. Assemble the brotherhood 
and sisterhood, and kiss them in their succes- 
sion, telling them it is a proxy from one who 
loves them well, and that one is their afiectionate 

Legh Richmond.^' 

The following extract, which connects this cor- 
respondence, was written by Wilberforce to his father 
in the same year and during the same journey to 

" * * * * 1 have thought and con- 
sidered a great deal on the contents of your last 
letter ; I read it, I assure you, with many tears, but 
they were tears of love to you, and of sorrow that 
I fell so far short of your wishes and reasonable 
expectations. You say you wish me first to be a 
true Christian, and then a true minister ; believe 
me, when I say, that though it is the first, the 
nearest, and the dearest wish of my heart, I would 
not have a desire, not the slightei^^dcfsire of enter- 
ing the church in an unfit state of miiuL I would rath- 
er engage in the meanest occupatioQ erf life, than be 
a disgrace to the religion of (Thrist, by entering into 



the holy profession whife^ aon unfit for it. When 
I look at the apostles bf old, and mark hcviv full 
they were of love to Christ and their fellow-creatures; 
or when I look to good men of our own day who 
tread in their steps, 1 shrink from assuming a pro- 
fession for which I cannot but know myself most 
unworthy. I am conscious of being a great sinner, 
and I seem to myself utterly incompetent to be 
more than a humble disciple in the church of God. 
But I know that the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth 
from all sin, and his Spirit can enable me, sinful as 
I am, to love and serve him. I have much to be 
thankful for. I ought to be thankful that 1 am 

Eermitted to think about these things. At times I 
ave felt very happy in prayer and reading the 
Scriptures. My joy has been such, that 1 seemed 
ready not love God, but give up all the 
world for his saW; then again the cares and plea- 
sures of life have laid hold of me, and sunk me in- 
to sorrow. 

" Pray for me, my dear father, that my wavering 
mind may be fixed in the paths of truth, and may 
choose that better part, which when once obtained, 
shall never be taken away from me ; and may God 
direct me to that profession of life, in which 1 may 
most promote his glory, and my own good, and 
that of my fellow creatures." 

The following year Wilberforce was attacked 
with a dangerous illness, which terminated in his 

A journey to Scotland was recommended, with a 
view to consulLjJr. " . , whose method of treating 
pulmonary diseiatse'^pvas supposed to have succeedea 
in many instai^q^sL ^- ' 

Mr. R. erigiige<} ja small cottage at Rothsay, in 
the Isle of Bujte* at a«convenient distance from this 
physician ^fl iiBidtnQi. From hence he made fre 


quent excursions by sea and land, in the hope, by a 
change of scene and air, to check the progress of 
the disorder. It appears by the following letter to 
his curate, that he had not yet despaired of his 
son's recovery, but being at once the nurse, the 
father, and the spiiitual guide of his dear boy, he 
was making every effort on his be^ialf, and diligent- 
ly employing the means prescribed by the physi- 

Mr DEAR Friend, and brother. 

" If the date of this letter may seem to betoken 
inattention to my promise, or a wrong estimate of 
yourvaluable services during my absence from 
home, I rely on your friendship and candour to 
ascribe my silence to other causes. 1 have been 
almost daily, from morning to night, sailing about 
with my dear boy upon sea and river, and neither 
the motion of the steam-boats, nor the lassitude felt 
at night after such voyages, are favourable to epis- 
tolary duties. But 1 can triily say, that my heart's 
best prayers and recollections have been with you, 
and this poor scrawl is meant to tell you so. Yon 
well know likewise that anxiety within, added to 
external causes will easily unhinge the energy of 
the mind, and produce a kind of constitutional 
incapacity and indisposition to duty itself. But 
neither let my friend nor my flock for a moment 
conceive that they are forgotten. During many an 
hour, as I have been floating on the waves, pacing 
the mountains and glens, admiring the islands and 
the rocks, tracing the progress of sun or moon upon 
the ocean or landscape, and amidst alK fixing an 
anxious and aflfectionate look upon our dear invalid 
as he sat by my side ; during many such an hour 
have I dwelt with solicitude and regard on (he 
domestic and parochial scenery of Turvey, — dear 
Turvey, where so many sweet pledges, both of 



natural and spiritual love reside, — where my poor 
boy was born and trained up with brothers and 
sisters no less loved than himself. Our intercourse 
and conversations under existing circumstances, are 
deeply interesting to me. He is upon the whole 
in cheerful spirits, and the air of this delightful island 
particularly suits him. I am just returned from a 
hill-walk with him, of a mile and a half, and have 
been surprised at the degree of strength which he 
evinced. The general symptoms are just now, I 
think, more favourable. Still there are evident 
marks of deep-rooted disease, and I am often much 
perplexed by the fluctuations in his case. It is one 
in which I feel it wrong either to encourage over- 
sanguine expectations of permanent amendment, or 
to give way to any over-desponding sensations as 
to the result. Happily he is without pain, and in 
many respects he enjoys himself. He delights in 
the scenery around us, which is in the highest de- 
gree magnificent and beautiful. He enters with 
his wonted taste into mineral and geological exam- 
inations, and wanders gently by the sea-side, hunt- 
ing for pebbles, animals, shells, sea-weed, &c. and 
1 wander with him. Sometimes a little exertion 
fatigues him, at other times he bears considerably 
more without complaining. He has been a thou* 
sand miles on the water since we left London, and 
sailing always agrees with him. I have every 
reason to be satisfied with the plan we are pursu- 
ing. It much contributes to his strength and 
comfort, and peace of mind; and to say the least, 
has checked the weakening effects of the disorder, 
and mingled encouragement with apprehensions 
Ivhicli might otherwise have gained daily grounds 
He is evidently thinking very seriously and rightlft' 
about his state, and our Christian conversation forms 
DO small part of my comfort, and I trust I may add, 
of his comfort also. Whatever may be God's will, 




1 feel satisfied that the present dispensation is profi- 
table to us both. May he confirin and increase 
our hope. I am much gratified by the accounts 
which I receive of your very auspicious commence- 
ment of ministerial labours at Turvey, and bjeg'you 
to feel assured of the value 1 put on them. Go on 
my dear friend, in the strength of the Lord, and 
may you pursue the arduous career of holy exerti^p, 
in public and in private, to your own comfort, the 

flory of God, and the good of my dear flock. Make 
nown how affectionately I feel towards them, — 
how earnestly I desire their prayers, and how sin- 
cerely 1 remember them in mine. My not writing 
to them at an earlier period has arisen entirely 
from the constant occupation and anxiety which 
have monopolized my lime and my feelings. — 
Wilberforce thanks you for your kind letter. 1 
hope he will soon feel able to answer it. Dear 
boy ! — he talks with hope of returning to Turvey 
with amended health, and telling you in person how 
much he enjoyed the scenery of the North. Pray 
for him and me, that we may lay in our heavenly 
Father^s bosom like children, and wait his pleasure 
like believers. You will not forget the other dear 
boys, — they are in your hands for good, and may 
God bless you to them all. Give them my blessing, 
and let them convey it to all at the Rectory. Be- 
lieve me, 

Your^s affectionately, 

L. R.*' 

Much of what I should have detailed has been 
introduced into the memoir of Mr. Richmond. Two 
ooly of Wilberforce^s letters remain ; the first of 
these was written to bis brother H. 



" Mr DEAR H. . . 


" I did not think when I parted from you, that J 
should be as well as I am, for I feel very much bet- 
ter. Sickness and separation have attached me 
more to you, and to my home, and to all that are in 
it Sickness, as is usual, has brought sorrow for its 
companion, but I trust I do not sorrow as one with- 
out hope. My illness has proved a warning to me, 
and it may also be a warning to you. You saw me 
brought down in a very short time, from a state of 
health and strength, to one of weakness and debility; 
and all our natures are alike, equally fragile, equally 
transient. Uncertain is every tie which binds us to 
life, and therefore it is my prayer, that you, no less 
than myself, may look forward to our latter end, and 
not neglect opportunities of attending more closely 
to the things which belong to our everlasting peace, 
and guarding against the increasing fascinations of 
a world that lieth in wickedness. * * # »j 

The second letter was a reply to his Father's 
instructions and preparations for the Lord's Supper. 

" My DEAR Father, 

" I thank you for the kind letter you wrote to me 
on the subject of the Sacrament. I could not have 
received one which would have more truly con- 
vinced me of your affection and desire for my spir- 
itual welfare. Oh ! may God give an answer to 
your prayers and desires on my behalf, and may 
you see me walking humbly and sincerely in that 
narrow path which leads to life eternal. 1 hav9 
thought much on the conteitts of your letter, and 
have been deeply affected. At first I was discour- 
aged by a sense of unworthiness, and shrunk from 
the thought of approaching the Lord's table. It 
then struck me, that even if I bad not attained all I 

104 wi&BsmroEcs^s lbttbils. 

desired, I might still venture with a humble and 
priyerful spirit, and an entire dependence on 
tibrist I tnought also, that if I neglected attend- 
ance, I should be dishonouring the Saviour by a 
refusal of an appointed means of grace ; and I do 
hope that by presenting myself to Christ in his own 
ordinance, I may be confirmed and strengthened in 
my faith, and helped on to fulfil the vows made at 
my baptism, and fight manfully under Christ ^s ban- 
ner against the world, the flesh, and the devil. I 
would, then, my dear Father, put on the garb of 
humility, and go and kneel, as the very lowest of his 
disciples, at'the foot of the cross of Jesus, and com- 
memorate with gratitude his cross and passion, his 
glorious resurrection and ascension, — on the merit 
of which alone are fixed all my hopes in this world 
and the next. How thankful do J feel that I may 
Itneel at the foot of the cross. Oh ! where besides 
Oould I wish to stretch out my aching limbs and die. 

" 1 suppose my journey will make some delay in 
your intentions, but if I return with renewed health 
and strength, I would consider that in receiving the 
sacrament, I give a pledge to God and you, to 
devote myself, soul and body, to the promotion of 
the divine glory. But if I should not return in 
health, and if it should seem fit to the Almighty to 
shorten my life, yet if he will renew my soul by hig 
Holy Spirit, Oh I how unspeakable a blessing to 
• wing my flight from sin and sorrow. 

"If I were certain ofliis favour, and my own 
change of heart, J should only wish to see my Sav- 
iour face to face, and praise and love him for ever. 
^^ I have written hastily, but as long as I could with- 
t0Wk ^^ fatigue, a short, but I assure you a sincere letter. 

Your affectionate 



The closing scene ofWilberforce will be detai^pd 
by one who loved him dearly, and was a witness of 
his latter moments. Mr. Richmond had desired 
his daughter to note down the events and conver- 
sations of the sick chamber, and refers to them in 
the following letter. 

My dearly loved F. 

''I have been very unwell with a swelled face, 
accompanied by high fever ; and though better, am 
still an invalid ; but this illness is sent for some 
good end to my soul, I desire to investigate that 
end in a right spirit. The fire at Turvey has done 
much mischief, and is indeed a gefneral calamity. 
I wish you to relieve the sufferers. You may dis- 
tribute for me both money and clothing. I shall be 
able to decide better on my return, what sum to 
subscribe. May we know how to glory fy God in 
the fires. 

"Poor ! although her evidences were faint, 

I thought them genuine. I have seen many such 
cases and despair not. God often permits the 
signs of true faith to appear very feeble, when, 
nevertheless, the soul still cleaves to the Saviour, 
in the midst of many causes of suspicion and per- 
plexity. Some are saved, "yet so as by fire.'' 
Happy they who are saved at all. 

" I hope you have a long manuscrif^t of recol- 
lections concerning our beloved Wilberforce. I 
depend upon it. Employ speedily some hours in 
preparing for me all you know relative to that 
eventful period. I still shed many tears in the re- 
membrance of that dearly-loved boy. I have feel- 
ings which never leave me for two hours together* 
They mingle with all my cheerful, and all my pen- 
give moments. I have particular reasons for delay- 
ing to write the memoir, but fully intend to do iU 


^ I have been at Cambridge. The recognition 
iDf many old friends from all parts of England, has 
much interested me. Indeed, associations con* 
nected with former days, have quite overpowered 
Bie. The older I grow, the more acutely 1 feel 
everr thing. 

** Take care of too frequent intercourse with the 
world. I write with a heart full of love, but I must 
caution you. There is nothing more dangerous to 
young Christians than indiscriminate intercourse 
with persons of no religion. It is far more likely 
that we should receive evil, than impart good, in 
such society. I have experienced this too much 
myself on many occasions, not to feel it keenly. 
Prudence and prayer are then especially needful ; 
for we may more easily conform to the world, than, 
bring the world to conform to us. Happy they 
who have the least to do with it, except in the way 
of absolute duty and necessity. 1 often reflect with 
gratitude on the blessing which God has given to 
the retired habits and education of my two boys, 
W — and H — , one in heaven and one still on earth. 
To their seclusion 1 ascribe their simplicity and 
happy ignoraiice of many evils. Premature ac- 
quaintance with the wickedness of the world — 
{and there is no knowing the world without coming 
in contact with its wickedness) — has ruined thou- 
sands of hopeful young men, and has multiplied the 
miseries oC the hopeless. 

" I long for our early morning readings. Latin, 
Greek, and Mathematics, are a very small and in- 
ferior part of learning, particularly for the Christian 
ministry. While heads are filling, hearts are 

withering. Give my afiectionate love to dear ; 

next to my own boys I do indeed love him. 1 long 
to see more of an unreserved and experimental 

communication between him and H . 1 have 

numberless feelings about their intercourse which 1. 



do not utter, and yet I know not why ; but this I 
know, that I have you all in my heart; but that 
heart will soon turn to dust. There is a better 
heart in heaven. I would have all my dear children 
enclosed in it. 

" Give the children of the Sunday School aiiew 
subject, that they may search for texts to prove it 

" Farewell, dearest F . 1 lament ipany 

things, but most of all that I am not worthy to be 
called V 

V'our affectionate Father, 
V : L. R.'» 

Mr. R. was evidently ripening for heaven. The 
tenderness, the deep piety of his loving spirit, the 
weanedness of his heart from the world, and his 
earnest desire to transfuse his devout feelings unto 
the minds of all who wer^ connected with him, 
discover an assimilation to a purer region, and 
might have prepared us to expect that his departure 
was not far distant. The documents to which he 
alludes, are contained in the following communica- 
tion, which I commend to the serious and attentive 
perusal, both of young persons and their parents. 





Here were two eouls knit t ba tfl yfelf 'fethg soul of one man; 
What there u of present separAU&wiUlHi»-bAl for a little wlgU«. 

" My very dear 

*' In compliance with your timuest, I send you 
the chief incidents of our brother's closing scene ; 
his conversations with my dear father, and other 
members of his family, and a few of the letters 
which were written during that mournful period. 
You may rely on the accuracy of the whole. My 
father had intended to have published a memoir of 
Wilberforce, and with that view he desired me to 
make memoranda of whaX passed at the time. He 
told me more than once, that the blessing which 
seemed to attend the perusal of his little tracts, 
encouraged him to put on record the piety of his 
son ; which he considered to be no less honourable 
to God, and consoling and strengthening to young 
Christians, than that of the Dairyman's Daughter, 
or the Young Cottager. He thought that Willy's 
training for eterntty might be read with equal ad- 
vantge, and might assist both in imparling clear 
views of religion, and in relieving the mind from 
the fears and anxieties which often distress and 
hfl(rass young Christians in the prospect of death. 
*To know that others have been perplexed with 
the same doubts, alarmed by the same fears, ani- 
mated by the same hopes, comforted by the same 


promises, and directed by the same precepts,' he 
used to say, 'demonstrate a holy identity in the 
influence of the gospel and the effects produced by 
it, and may comfort the trembling sinner, and 
confirm the most advanced believer.' 

" There are a number of papers in toy father's 
hand- writing, renting to my brother's charactei^ and 
dying hours, which ase. indeed so unconnected and 
unfinished, ihsipcgrCGiy any use can now b^ made 
of ^m ; but tteyiilKM hoxV* interesting a detail the 
memoir would be1^£f^ in his hands. He would 
sit for hours in hi8*M|^i perusing and adding to 
these fragments; b«',|be excess of feeling and 
mental agitation, which -the contemplation and 
reminiscence of the past never failed to renew, 
greatly impaired his health, and forced hiio to lay 
aside his purpose. 

" In one of the papers alluded to, we found the 
following remarks in his own- hand. * I have never 
given up the design of writing his memoir, and 
every day's meditation has prepared me for it. But 
whenever I begin, my spirits sink, my eyes are 
full of tears, and I lay aside my papers to a more 
convenient season, when I may be able to write 
with more calmness. Alas ! this is my weakness.' 

" Wilberforce had always been my dear father^s 
companion in his literary and philosophical pursuits. 
From his childhood his chief pleasures and recrea- 
tions were in the study ; and he used to retire to 
the museum to make experiments with the air-pump, 
or electrical machine, or read some book of science, 
while the other boys were engaged in their sports.. 
As he advanced in years, he employed his leisure 
hours more especially in the study of mineralogy •>. 
and geology. This congeniality of mind and pur- 
suit contributed to form the strong attachment 
which subsisted between my father and Wilber-^ 
force, and indeed rendered the one almost an integidl 



part s^ the other. My dear father had a peculiar 
taknt for Aonnecting science with religion, and 
Witt^erforce seemed more than his other children 
tot afford him materials for successfid cultivation. 

^ In my father's miscellaneous papers we find the 
following short notes, evidently written in reference 
Co the projected memoir. ^ Early intellectual con- 
versation, great general reading, strong turn for 
reasoqing and ai^^ument, deep and close investi^- 
tion of philosophical questions, acquaintance with 
subjects of political economy, love of natural his- 
tory, insects, mineralogy, g^dogy, classics, mathe- 
matics. My wish and endeavour has been to 
cultivate philosophical pursuits in connection with 
religion, with my children, as recreations, instead 
<^ allowing and encoura^ng the trifling and often 
pernicious amusements of the world. I have found 
my plan answer in his case.' 

'' Our dear father has succeeded in making his 
home dear to all his children. Home was never 
talked of without emotion by any of them. They 
left it with regret They returned to it vrith the 
fondest affection, and connected vdth it every en- 
dearing association. No patriot Israelite ever sang 
of the place of his nativity with more enthusiasm, 
" Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if 
I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy." Our 
beloved parent's integrity and uniform consistency 
engaged our esteem, and the multiplied resources of 
innocent gratification which surrounded us, won 
our regard. 

" As Wilberforce grew up, he was considered by 
the whole family as the one marked out to fill his 
father's place in the church, and to his relatives. 
He became an object of interest to all ; and to none 
was he more endeared than to his loving parent, 
who clung to him with deeper affection each suc- 
ceeding year. 


^ In the spring of 1824, when he had retic^ his 
seventeenth year, we were first alarmed fi>r huf 
health. He took cold from a wet ride, ttnd' a digbt 
cough succeeded. One morning in the im>ntk';pf 
May, my father discovered symptoms of hisi having 
ruptured a blood-vessel. His fears were gr^fltly 
awakened, as appears from a note in his papers. 
^ As I looked on him that morning I felt a shock 
which seemed to shatter me to the very soul, and I 
have never recovered it.' In a short time Wilber- 
force's appearance was considerably altered, and his 
spirits we^ depressed. 

" When a journey to Scotland was proposed, my 
fiither was greatly agitated, the more so because it 
was impossible that at that time he should accompany 
Uffly and he dreaded even a short separation from 
his beloved child. His feelings will be best shown 
by the following letter : 

Si, NeotSj Monday night. 

^'My ever dear love, 

** * ♦ * No one knows, or ever can 
know, the anxiety which I have felt on our dear 
child's account. Little as it may have been per- 
ceived, I have been inwardly agitated beyond ex- 
pression, and this must apologize for any weakness 
or inconsistency of which I have been guilty. Grod 
only knows what I have suffered. I have been 
taken by surprise. The alarming symptoms in the 
disease of our beloved child have awakened a 
thousand feelings and fears. I have reflected on 
his bodily, but much more acutely on his spiritual 
estate. I have been unwilling to separate from him 
under all the probable, or at least possible contin- 

fencies of the disorder. I have wept and trembled, 
have mourned over my past deficiences towards 
him* I have had my hopes, not being ignorant of 



the exercises of his mind for years past. Yef. I 
have had my fearsi lest he should have fallen from 
his first love, and lest his literary pursuits should 
have weaned his heart from God. For more than 
a vear pasti I have hourly meditated on the course 
of his education and preparation for the sacred 
ministry. He has been the star of my hopes, the 
source of my anxieties^ I have anticipated with 
exquisite, though unuttered joy and hope, his en- 
trance on the glorious work of preaching the 
unsearchable riches of Christ, and I have also been 
full of anxiety in a view of the falls and disappoint- 
ments which yearly occur amidst the contaminations 
and injurious companionship of a college career. 
Yet I have never ceased to hope that God will work 
with him and by him. My declining years have 
been cheered by associations connected with my 
interesting boy ; but the Lord now sees good, — and 
blessed be his name, — ^to hang a dark curtain be- 
tween me and all these thoughts and visions. Heaee 
I am sometimes fearful, sad, and heavy. 

I see fully the necessity and propriety of the pro- 
posed journey, but I doubt his strength and ability to 
encounter the fatigue and trial inseparable from 
it. Chiefly I dread being absent from him when 
heart and strength may fail, and I may only see him 
again sinking into the grave, unaided, unstrength- 
ened, unblessed by his affectionate father. Did I 
but know more of his mind, I might possibly be 
more at ease ; but his reserve withholds from me 
this consolation. I have made a gentle, and I hope 
a . considerate attempt to draw him out by a little 
opening discussion of the sacrament. I start for 
Cambridge at half-past four to-morrow. The sight 
of that place will most acutely remind me of the past 
as it relates to myself, connected with the contin- 
gencies of the future as it may concern him. I have 
many fears mingled with the hope of his recovery. 


I feel very anxious from day to day. May Grod 
overrule all these things for the good of each of us. 
Give my love to all, and an especial blessing to 

Your affectionate 

" After it was decided that my brother should go 
ta Scotland, we were advised to send him there by 

a sea-voyage, in company with Mr. . His 

father was to follow him in a few days. He was 
much depressed at this time. It was his first separa- 
tion from the paternal roof, and his mind became 
deeply affected when the parting hour arrived, and 
when he was to bid farewell to his beloved mother, 
to brothers and sisters, to domestics and neighbours^ 
endeared to him by every sweet and tender tie of 
youthful affection ; to the home of his infancy ; to 
almost every person, place, and thing, with which 
he had been accustomed to associate hapi;Hness ; the 
agitations of his feelings increased the weakness of 
his frame ; the conflict of his mind was visible in his 
countenance, he looked pale and languid ; a painful 
contrast to the usual smile which played on his 
countenance. On the morning of his departure he 
was very silent. He looked on us all as we stood 
around him, and with tears in his eyes he stepped 
into the carriage. During the interval of separation, 
my father corresponded with him,* and was very 
earnest to draw trotn him a more unreserved com- 
munication, and to satisfy himself more thoroughly 
of the reality of Wilberforce's piety, of which he 
entertamed some doubts, amidst many hopes : but 
iny brother avoided the inquiry of h\9 anxious and 
distressed parent The voyage agreed well with 
him. In the course of a fortnight my father and I 

* Se9 letter io the Meraoire, pp. 5SI— «i& 


174 TH]^%43TBR BAYS 


followed him into Scotland. We met Willy as we 
entered the Firth of Clyde in a steam-boat. He 
looked much better; his spirits were good, and the 
meeting between us inspired reciQi:ocal feelings of 
^<- hope and joy. 

" For a while Willy's health seemed to be im- 
proved, but we soon discovered that there was no 
material amendnient. For a few weeks he was 
buoyant in spirit, and apparently restored ; then the 
hectic fever flushed his cheek, he grew weaker, and 
he again sunk into depression. Our dear parent, 
who at that time did not understand the hopeless 
nature of the complaint, watched over his wasting 
child amidst intense anxieties, increased probably by 
the uncertainty of the issue in his own mind. It 
was not a temporary separation which alone affected 
^ him, though even this is a grief heavy to bear ; but 
the least apprehension of losing for ever one we love, 
fills the soul with the bitterest anguish. It is impos- 
sible to be sincere yet calm under such circum- 
stances, while any hope remains, or any help can be 
administered. A holy violence of feeling and effort, 
best discovers the integrity of our principles. There 
was much in Wilberforce to love and admire* His 
disposition was very amiable. The usual results of 
a religious education were visible in him ; he shewed 
every outward respect for religion ; strictly observed 
its forms and duties, and admitted the theory of doc- 
trinal truth ; but this did not satisfy our dear father. 
He knew full well that it was very possible to do 
what was right in the sight of Gk)d without a perfect 
heart, — ^to cleanse the outside of the platter or beau- 
tify the sepulchre, while all within might be impure ; 
inasmuch as the speculative approval of truth is dis- 
tinct from its sanctifying influence. Accustomed as 
our parent had been to contemplate the infinite worth 
of an immortal soul, — soul in this instance given to 
him by God to train for eternity, — it was impossible 


that he should feel otherwise than intensely anxious 
while he entertained any doubt of its salvation. It 
was this uncertainty which ^ grcmtly disturbed his 
peace and injured his health. Wilberforce seemed 
shut up in impenetrable reserve ; he shrank from 
personal conversation on religious subjects, though 
his thoughtful and often depressed countenance ex- 
hibited traces of inward conflict, and need of help 
and comfort. He afterwards deeply regretted his 
silence, and said, " It was a device of Satan to retard 
my progress in vital experimental piety." Our dear 
parent carried this trouble to God, and * rolled his 
sorrows on him ' who alone could help him. For 
many months he was sorely tried on this point. But 
Gk>d, always faithful and true, heard and answered 
his prayers more abundantly than he could ask or 
think. " A vehement suitor cannot but be heard of 
Gk)d, whatsoever he asks ; if our prayers want suc- 
cess, they want heart ; theirblessing is according to 
their vigour."* The following letters w^re written 
to Mrs. R. About this period. 

My dear love, 

" Here we are in something like an earthly para- 
dise, if beauty, sublimity, and diversity of scenery 
may constitute ^ne. The air is most salubrious, 
the rides delightful. I am glad to say the country 
agrees well with Wilberforce, who is stronger and 
in better spirits than I could have expected. He 
varies occasionally, but differs little at any time. 
There is certainly an improvement. The northern 
experiment has so far answered that it has cheered 
bis spirits, and afforded him recreation and change 
of air. I have frequent hopes of his amendment. 
We have therefore reason for gratitude, whatever 
may be the«inscrutable designs of providence. My 

* Ebhop HaU. 


mind reposes with thankfulness on the goodness of 
God» amidst a thousand anxieties respecting my 
dear boy. We are constant companions, and have 
much Christian intercourse together. Not only do 
prospect scenery, geology, botany, ships, rocks, 
mountains, braes, and ordinary occurences, engage 
our notice, (I have much satisfaction in seeing how 
he enjoys these,) but higher things are not forgotten. 
We pass daily the hour after breakfast in religious 
exercises. We are, taking Mason's admirable trea- 
tise on the Lord's supper as a kind of text-book. 
It aflfords me an opportunity of saying what I wish 
to him, relative to his own personal interest in 
spiritual matters. I trust we are going on usefully 
and prosperously. I think I am in my right place 
and employment, watching, instructing, nursing, 
and giving myself wholly to the comfort of my boy 
under his mfirmities and vicissitudes. His cough is 
troublesome twice or thrice in the day. He pur- 
sues a bracing system, and a generous diet. To 
what extent the disease may be preying on the 
vitals, I dare not conjecture. His present state and 
appearance are certainly satisfactory, but the com- 
plaint is variable and flattering, and I must rejoice 
with trembling. Oh I for a quiet, reconciled, patient, 
waiting mind! 

" Our present beautiful retreat is doing me good 
filso, and I need it. My mind and nerves have 
guffered a severe shock. I am conscious of the 
benefit I derive. How long I may be permitted to 
enjoy it God only knows. I would be thankful, and 
receive grace and strength for the future. 

" The weather is become very showery, but is 
pleasant at intervals. These are days which afford 
the finest mountain effects, and in this part of the 
Western Highlands they are truly grand. We had 
a rolling, tumbling voyage to Ardentenny. Dr. S. 
seemed on the whole pleased with the appearance 


of his patient. Dear love to my children. Tell 

H we are surrounded by immense Trap 

Schistus, and red sand-stone rocks, with great 
variety of form, substance, and arrangement. • 
* * * much love from all ; from none 
more than your 


"My dear love, 

" For a few days after our arrival here, Willy 
was not so well. The last three days we spent 
much on the water, and he is stronger and better 
for it. Dr. S. thinkis it a case in which a vigorous 
pursuit of his bracing system may prove successful, 
though he speaks with caution. The worst symp- 
toms are, the shortness of breath and debility m 
ascending short stairs and hills. But if the tone of 
the system can be raised, these symptoms will 
diminish. His spirits rise and fall as he feels better 
or worse. I asked Dr. S. what proportion of cases 
had recovered under his treatment; — he replied, 
where it is regularly followed, half. Willy rests 
much on the hope of amendment, and generally 
replies to any inquiry after his health, I am better. 
I never leave him from morning to night. Dr. S. is 
about five hours' sail from us. We spent a pleasant 

day last Thursday with him in Lord B 's 


" I am inwardly struggling and striving to be calm 
and reconciled to God's will. I am going through 
depths in the inward meditation of my soul. When 
you write to Wilberforce keep in full view the 
uncertainty of human life, even without, much more 
with, the certainty of disease. Patients like dear 
W. are full of stronger emotions and disposed to 
deeper meditations, as disease threatens a nearer 
approach to eternity. General sentiments and feel<* 


ingB are more easily preserved than the special 
a|>pIication of them to a particular case. He is 
fltiu very reserved to me, yet I perceive he reads, 
and I think meditates on important subjects. I 
find it a delicate and a difficult matter to preserve 
the right balance between the state of his spirits, 
vascilTating, rising and falling with the state of his 
disease, and^ reasonable hope which is not in- 
fluenced by an earthly association. Endeavour to 
draw out his sentiments and feelings, and desire 
him to keep a letter always on the stocks for you, 
— ^to write a little, day by day, till the sheet be 
full. . 

" So you saw Lord B 's funeral pass through 

Bedford. I could wish for Christianity's sake that 
ildopen and acknowledged adversary had remained 
19 ■ ■ , where alone his life and conduct seemed 
lo have been doing good. To this country his 
writings will be a lasting bane, and must continue 
to injure religion so long as infidelityt blasphemy, 
and vice can obtain circulation and popularity, when 
clothed and armed with the splendour of great 
genius and talent. These constitute the real 
objects of worship with many who profess to be 
Christians. I entertain no doubt that the adoration 
of an intellectual and poetical idol may be as great 
a sin as falling down to the golden image in the 
plains of Dura. Alas ! we have seldom seen true 

Kiety and true poetry united ; but genius and vice 
ave been too often associated in the annals of 
mankind. We have need of due discrimination in 
our estimate of characters, to be aware of the 
dazzling influence of able corrupters and destroyers 
of virtue. 

^ You must only expect in general a few lines 
from me, but I hope enough to convince you how 
much I love and esteem you. Convey to the 
people an affectionate pastoral message. The same 




to Mr. ; cheer and encourage him in my naifte. 

To my dear boys and girls give sweet messages of 
love ; and for yourself accept a fragrant nosegay 
of pretty things from your own affectionate^ 


" I do not think Willy was fully aware of his 
danger at this time, though from his reserve it was 
difficult to ascertain his opinion of himself; and his 
physician was afraid of discouraging him by a 
disclosure of his real situation, as he considered it 
of importance that he should expect recovery, and 
cultivate cheerfulness of temper.* 

" Willy wrote a few letters during his residence 
at Rothsay, of which the following are specimens : — 

"Dear , 

*^ I am not inattentive or indifferent to the kind 
solicitude you have expressed for me. I now 
experience what I have only heard before, that 
nothing is more consolatory in sickness than to be 
remembered by those we loved in health. I have 
been very unwell since I saw you, and I once 
thought I must have given up my former enjoy- 
ments, my future hopes and prospects, even the 

pleasure of seeing dear friends such as you, ^ 

and all I held most dear on earth. I shall never 
forget the pang which almost broke my heart at 
leaving home, when I saw the tops of the houses, 
and the church, and the fields, and tho trees of my 

* Diseases and the methods of cure lie within the province of a 
medical attendant, and under certain circomstaDces it may not 
be proper to interfere with him. Yet when there ia little or do 
reasonable expectation of recovery, there is a degree of cruelty io 
keeping up a clelufflon, and inducmg a patient to delay turning to 
God till he cannot turn in his bed. it is unjustifiable on any 
principle of reason or revelation. This practice may be traced to 
an indifierence to religion, or an ignorance of its real character. 


native village disappear from my sight. I thought, 
perhaps I am looking for the last time on the scene 
of my earliest recollections — my fondest and dear- 
est enjoyments, — but it was a moment of weakness, 
and I fear it was mingled with a feeling of repining. 
I had always been happy — ^too happy, my heart 
was satisfied with this world, but Grod was leading 
me by a path I knew not, in which I should find 
more certain and durable enjoyment. I needed 
something to convince me of the emptiness of the 
world, and to lead me to fix my affections higher. 
I am now much better in health. I do not look like 
the same person, and I hope I am not presumptu- 
ous in anticipating another day with you as happy 
as that spent at W a few months ago. Per- 
haps you will think it a common-place remark, if I 
express a wish for your company at Rothsay. The 
situation is beautiful, but beautiful as is the sea 
stretched now before us, and the mountains and 
little romantic islands which surround us on all 
sides, need I say how much more I should enjoy 
their beauty, were you here to enjoy it with us ! I 

am glad to have dear with me. We share 

our joys together, and think so much alike about 
every thing. To have been translated so suddenly 
as I have been, from our flat country to this moun- 
tainous region seems like being taken to fairy land. 
Neither description nor imagination can do justice 
to Scottish scenery : but do not suppose that amidst 
all its charms I have forgotten England. Oh no ! 
I more than ever love the little blue hills of my 
native country ; the fertile plains, grassy meadows, 
waving valleys, and elegant rusticity of the cottages, 
in which we so much excel the hovels of Caledonia. 
We have here fine exhilarating mountain air, but 
the nights are cold and bleak. I long to enjoy 
again an English summer evening, — ^to recline as I 
have often done on a bank warmed by the setting 


sun, to feel the balmy breeze which wafts the 
fragrance of the flowers — ^to listed to the warbling 
strain of the nightingale, and give way to the 
wanderings of my imagination, which gave perhaps 
a delusive yet fascinating sensation of pleasure to 
the fleeting moment. 

'^ I have sailed above a thousand miles on the 
sea. I am beginning to like tK>isterous weather, 
though I seldom escape the consequences. Adieu. 

Yours, sincerely, 

^ About this time my father began to prepare 
Wilberfbrce to receive the holy sacrament for the 
first time, and they used to retire together every 
day after breakfast during our stay at Rothsay. 
Willy listened to instruction with respectful silence, 
and seeming acquiescence in the sentiments laid 
before him : he appeared interested and anxious to 
be received into full communion with the church of 
€k)d, and was often observed to be in deep thought, 
and sometimes greatly depressed. His unwillinjg- 
ness, however, to free communication rather ip- 
creased, and as his health was not materially 
improved, his father's anxiety often amounted to 
agony, and he could not conceal the mental agita- 
tion which afflicted him. He continued to weep 
and pray in secret for his child's confidence. ^ From 
Wilberforce's conversations at a la!ter period, and 
from letters written about this time, unknown to 
his father till after his decease, we learnt what had 
been the deep exercises of his mind-=-that he was 
then earnestly seeking the knowledge and enjoyment 
of God — that eternal things were daily subjects of 
his contemplation and inquiry, and that he also 
suffered much from an insurmountable repugnance 
to make known his feelings, his wishes, and wants* 
He told us afterwards, that though he suflered more 



from suffering alone, he seemed like one bound with 
a chain, and could not venture to lean or place his 
confidence on any hunoian help. At this time he 
wrote as follows. 

"Mt dear Mamma, 

''I was beginning to write to you when your 
letter arrived. Very many thanks to you for it. 
It is impossible for me to say how much a letter 
w"* from home rejoices and relieves me, under the 

peculiar circumstances by which I am separated 
from it. The simplest thia^ which happens in 
Turvey, becomes to me an object of interest. 

'*I am very sorry I. should be the cause of 
anxiety to you or to any one I love; I feel this 
thought more than any pain I suffer in my body. 
Indeed I lament our separation as much as you 
can do. This period is one in which I could have 
wished we might all have been together, but things 
do not fall out as we would have them, and it is 
best for us that they do not. I wish to feel resig- 
nation in every thing. As for my illness, I trust I 
receive it at the hands of God, and most firmly 
believe it to be the greatest mercy he ever vouch- 
safed me. My heart was engrossed by this world. 
My affections were not set on things above. I did 
not sufiiciently feel my need of a Saviour. Christ 
was not my beacon-star to direct the future wan- 
derings of my life, but I looked to the false glare of 
human ambition, which would have led me to serve 
myself rathcF than God; now I have discovered 
the worthlessness of all my hopes and aims. I find 
that all I have hitherto done is of no avail in sick- 
ness. I have seen what earthly dependance is, — 
when the world and all that is in it seems about to 
be bidden from our view for ever. I trust also I 
have known something of the joy arising out of 


dependance on Christ in the moment of extremity. 
I would ask God^B forgiveness for making less 
improvement of his ^ loving reproof than I on^ht 
to have done. Remember me to Mr. and Mrs. G^^. 
I hope the school is going on prosperously. I wish 
my class to be told, that though far from them, I 
have not forgotten them. I hope they are regular 
in their attendance, and that if I return, I shall find 
them all much improved. Oh ! if you knew how 
very often I think of home. I did not know 'till 
now how much I was attached to Turvey. I shall 
never forget my feelings when I lost sight of our 
little village. I was obliged to summon up every 
weak and weary faculty to prevent my quite sinking 
under the removal from it. * . * * * 

Your most affectionate and dutiful Son, 

Bothsay^ September. 
Mt dear Mamma, 

"Many thanks for your affectionate birth-day 
letter. I shall always recollect my last birth-day, 
for it was the first in which I felt melancholy. In 
the full enjoyment of health and spirits, surrounded 
by all I most loved, and by the companions of my 
boyhood, those days were wont to pass away more 
quickly and happily than any other. But as I sailed 
pensively down the waters of Loch-lomond on the 
20th of last month, a day dark and gloomy, and in 
unison with my feelings, I felt that I was no longer 
in the spot where I had spent the former anniver- 
saries with those who shared and welcomed my 
happiness. Yet I solaced the desolation of feeling 
with the recollection, that though absent, there were 
those who were thinking of me, and of this your 
letter convinced me. * * * * yfy 
spent last Sunday at Greenock ; a day, I trust, ever 
to be remembered by me, ibr on that day I was 


admitted to the highest Christian privilege, the 
sacrament of the body and blood of our 8aviour 
Jesus Christ, ordained by him as a perpetual re- 
membrance of his precious death and passion. Oh ! 
that it may be to me a sign and pledge of my 
admission to the marriage supper of the Lamb in 
glory. I was very much affected, and should have 
been quite overcome by the, emotions of my own 
mind, if I had not felt stronger and better than 
usual on that day. Now that I am an outward 
member of the visible church of Christ, may I daily 
prove myself to be one inwardly, in spirit and in 
truth ; and whatever portion of life God is pleased 
to allow me, I would devote it to his service, and 
love him with my whole hearty who first loved me. 
I wish another summer was at hand, instead of 
another winter. I feel a dread of the winter. 
There is already an autumnal feeling here. The 
leaves afe beginningto change their lively green to 
more varied hues. JOid the lading leaf ever remind 
you of the decay of a Christian in this world? Like 
the early tints displayed by the unfolding bud, are 
the opening dispositions of a young Christian. - His 
active walk and conversation resemble the hetithy 
vigor of the full matured foliage and fruit. In the 
signs of withering decay we see an emblem of his 
closing scene, when he has arrived at the end of 
his mortal existence, and sinks into a temporary 
suspension, to shoot forth in a never-fading spring 
of immortal joys.'* 

"We spent the months of July, August, and 
September in the Isle of Bute, but as the season 
advanced, we were advised to return home. Appar- 
ently, there was little improvement in Wilberforce's 
health. Probably from being constantly with him, 
we had not noticed the gradual, yet real increase pf 
the disorder. He certainly considered himself much 
better, and entertained hopes of recoveryi aud 

or "V^LBERFORCE. 185 

expressed great pleasure in returning to Turvey, 
We passed a few days on our way home, with 
some dear friends in Yorkshire, with \^hom our 
father left us while he went to preach at Bradford. ^ 
His great anxiety for Willy's eternal destiny, ap* 
pears by an interesting letter written to him at tlus 

"My brother arrived at Turvey Rectory the 
beginning of November, and was restored to the 
quiet and peace of his own family. Six weeks 
elapsed with little or no alteration in his appearance. 
In a letter which my father wrote to me at this time, 
he says, 

" Dear Willy is much the same. I wish he was 
more confidential and communicative as to the real 
state •f his soul. Oh I what would I give for one 
voluntary conversation or letter, detailing the former 
and present history of what is passing m his mind. 
I think well of it, and I hope it is comfortable ; but 
I want to know this from himself. Many a secret 
tear does his silence cost me.'' 

"It was during the six months following his 
return from Scotland, that poor Willy's soul was so 
severely tried. He never spoke <^ death, but he 
roust have been sensible of increasing inward decay. 
He <^uldnot hide from himself or nis family, the 
depression and anxiety of his spirit. He was much 
alone, and when he returned from his closet to his 
family, the signs of sorrow and the traces of some 
deep mental conflict were frequently visible in his 
countenance. The Bible was scarcely ever out of 
his hand, and afler his return from the north, he 
seldom took up any other book, religious or literary ; 
which was the more remarkable, as his chief occu- 
pation and delight had ever been in reading authors 
on almost all subjects. He would now sit for hours, 


* Sm Mamoir, page 6S& ' - :* 

17* ... 



and nearly whble days over the Bible, in deep alv 
straction ; he was slill silent to all about him, and it 
was sometimes more than my dear father could 
bear, to witness the increasing uneasiness of his 
mind, and the sufferings of his body. After so 
many ineffectual efforts to penetrate the real state 
of his heart, our afflicted parent had but one 
resource — ^to commit his child to God, in faith, and 
under the pressure of his agonized feelings to cry, 
^^ thou hast wounded and wilt heal ; bast broken and 
wilt bind up again." The following letters were, I 
believe, the last my tMX)ther wrote. 

«* Dbar 

I, ."' ** I am afraid tlmt vcw will conclude that our trip 

A , to the north has cooled our affections, and frozen 

them into indifference to former friendships. You 

must think id no longer « # # 

• * * 

''I^n^now in that dear home which has some^ 
timet heem rendered still dearer by your presence. 
i reflect 06 those hours with much pleasure, but the 
remembrttiQe is mingled with a feeling of melan- 
choly. It i» possible they may return ; I mean 
hours of the same delight ; yet I must not forget 
my gradual decline for the last six months. I am 
' now in a state in which a slight increase of disease 

might prove fatal ; but I am hoping, always hoping ; 
for hope is a symptom of my disorder, so I must 
bope. I am no longer what you once knew me. 
The glow of health and spirits does not now en- 
liven my countenance, which looks, I believe, rather 
sad, jret I know not why it should do so, for I have 
lost only that which endureth for a moment, and if 
I obtain that which endureth for ever, the love and 
* •*, mercy of Christ, sureljr I have reason to rejoice in 

f; V.4 the exchange, in Christ,, and Christ alone 1 find 

* \% 

m.^ .m m^ 

••^ w 



OF WILBERF0RC8* . 187 

peace.— He will not cast me away. I have durowii 
myself, as an unworthy sinner, at the foot of the 
cross, and there in peace will I lay my head, and I 
trust, cheer^y resign my breath to him who gave 
it. I used CMice to love the rose of all the flowers 
the best ; biH now it has left me, and I turn to the 
lilly, for it seems to betoken my approach to a world 
of purity — ^nor have I any wish for life, if Christ 
will receive one so unworthy. From how much 
sin and temptation shall I make my escape by an 
early death, and quitting these, enter into a heaven 
of joy where there is no more curse. I know that 
in very faithfulness God hat afilicted me ; — ^my 
chief sins were piride and ambition, and these have //^«.-*'> 
been the very means, at least the chief cause of my 
diseise. Proud of my talents, and seeking the^ 
admiration of men, I neglected my health till it was - 
too late to correct the error, and now my dreaia of/ 
future happiness in this world and all my ambitious 
hopes are fled. But I would not exchange the 
humility of a Christian for the phantoor tf.wicbl. 
formerly grasped. People tell me J shf)! ^fjei^ovML 
There may be hope, but my owD'HaprfsmrU-to 
the contrary. Pray for me, dear ■» ■■ ' » and' let- a 
tear fall for the sins of i 

Your afiectionate »«*" 

Jan. 4, 1825. ^' 

** Many, many thanks, dear Mamma,,(br yocrt* loiig 
and kind letter. I know you love me, and think oFnyi 
while you are absent ; and it is some little Censdatioli 
for your absence, and yet but little, forI)(mg fiA 
your return very, very much. The house ii:dtfH' 
without you, and I am dull ; for I am deprived '«if 
the society of one T hold nlost dear. DaocuM ]•»' 
BooA as circumstanees will permit. I ivwlil Aoi 


» * • 

V^ - 

. « 

• •" 


• - • 


press it, mamma, but I am not nearly so well as 
when you left me. My spirits are weak, and my 
appetite almost gone. * * * * * 
I am glad that you wrote to me so ooenly and can- 
didly on the subject of death. I feel m^ earthly 
tabernacle fast wearing away, and every day brings 
more occasion for solemn thought and serious reflec- 
tion ; and now, dear mamma, having said this, I 
know you will be very anxious to hear something 
about the state of my mind. Just now it is most 
unhappy. The thought has forced itself upon me, 
that I am not a child of Grod, but have been deceiv- 
ing myself with false hopes. My breast heaving 
with anguish, and my eyes swollen with tears too 
big to find a passage, would bear witness to the 
agony of spirit I have endured this day. But I have 
cast* myself at the feet of my heavenly Father, and 
have implored him by his mercy, by the love which 
led him to dend a Saviour into the world, by the 
death and intercession of that Saviour, by the en- 
couragements he has held out to sinners to come 
unto him, and by the help which he has promised 
to all those who do so come, — I have implored him 
not to send me empty away. I have not yet found 
comfort, but I am looking and trusting. He has said, 
Whom I love I chasten. I do hope this may be his 
dealing with me, and if so, I shall be thankful for it. 
Amidst these conflicts, I see as it were, a light glim- 
mering through the darkness, which leads me on in 
hope. Oh ! mamma, if you love your son, join your 
prayers to his, that this life, this ray of hope may 
mcrease, and that he may have a sure and certain 
hope of a jojful resurrection to eternal life. I thank 
you for Miss Jerram's Memoir. I never read any 
book with more interest. She had exactly the same 
feelings I have, but Gk)d removed them in his own 
good time ; and I derive a hope from her deliver- 
ance, that I shall not be cast away. I will not think 



it. I should deny his word — his promises. Sorrow 
not, Mamma, that I must leave you, we shall not lie 
long aepaitited. Two little ones are gone before me, 
and will you not rejoice that Grod has been so 
gracious to them? They knew not the sin and 
sorrow of the world. I have known both, and I 
wish to encounter no more. Not one prayer have 
I offered up for life ; but I have said, Lord give me 
a converted heart, and do with my life as seemeth 
thee best. I feel no desire for life. Do not think I 
want affection. The thought of parting with you 
all, is more than I can well bear, but God will give 
me strength. 

" You blame yourself for not having talked with 
me on reUgious subjects. I am sorry to say you 
would haTe found in me a backwardness which I 
was never able to overcome, but now if you were 
here I could talk most confidentially with you: 
* * May the spirit of God rest upon you. 
May he comfort you under present anxiety — ^May 
he speak to your heart in future sorrows — ^May you 
find joy in all your tribulations, and an earnest of 
that rest which is prepared for the people of God. 
I am, 

Your affectionate 

"The last letter my brother attempted was to 

Mr. , in Scotland. It was writteni under great 

debility, and was left very unfinished. 

^^Mt dear Brother, 
" Forgive me if I write this letter in a very dis- 
jointed style. I cannot write long together, and it 
is difficult to resume thoughts once broken in their 
connection. Maiiy thanks for your kind letter. 
You need not have begun with excuses. You make 
me anxious to have you with me — ^I want to un* 




burden my heart to you. I wish to hear a voice of 
comfort from you. I never could sp^sk freely on 
these subjects — ^I am sorry you found me so beick- 
ward to religious conversation, but I could not sur- 
mount my repugnance — ^I found it impossible — I 
was not near enough to death — ^I had not known 
trials and conflicts enough to overcome my reserve, 
and induce me to unbosom my thoughts and feel- 
ings. But now that I am struggling for life, now 
that I have experienced hours of mental agony, 
which might often have been alleviated could I have 
opened my heart, how much do I long to have you 
near me. How confidently, how freely would I 
now converse with you." 

" Hitherto Willy's decline had been |p gradual, 
as scarcely to be observed by those who were con- 
stantly about him. He rode on horseback daily, 
sat much with my father in the study, and appeared 
to his family nearly as usual, except that an increased 
anxiety was visible in his countenance. But early 
in January, 1825, a considerable alteration was ap- 
parent. He wasted rapidly — death was evidently 
approaching. We were taken by surprise, for our 
fears had been lulled asleep. My dear father wrote 
as follows. 

"My dearest F. 

" As I think more uncertainty hangs over the day 
of your arrival than I wish, I write to hasten your 
return. Dear Willy droops, he declines fast. He 
misses you much, and often says he wants you. 
Many symptoms increase my anxiety about him. 
He is much weaker within the last few days. Come 
to us immediately. We want another nurse. His 
breathing is with difficulty and pain. His sleep and 
appetite fail — his looks are pale and wan — his whole 
frame is sinking — his mind seems very calm and 



composed, but he still says nothing. I am per- 
suaded thii a great deal more has passed within 
than we know of, and that of an excellent kind* 
Peace and grace be with him and you, and with 

Your affectionate Father, 

L. R. 

** P. S.— Since I wrote the above, I hav&had a*'- 
very long, free, unreserved conversation with o|i# 
dear boy, most affectionate and affectingf and cloflt^. 
to the great point. It is an immense relief to mf " 
mind. He is to me an interesting mixture of ant- , 
iety and hope. His language sometimes resembles 
that of your own letter ; at other times he can trust 
more. Oh I that I might see both my beloved 
children, yea, all of them, living by faith on the 
Son c^ God. By grace are ye saved, through faith, 
and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. 

^^ Willy's most distressing symptom is a kind of 
suffocating feeling. We know not what this may 
produce. You will not be surprised at my distress. 
Do not wait for an escort, but trust Providence for 
a safe journey home. 


" You will be anxious to hear how the dear boy 
is to-day. He is extremely ill in body, and exceed- 
ingly well in mind — ^in a peculiarly holy frame. He 
slept a little in the arm-chair last night, but his decay 
is rapid. He wishes to talk with you on many subjects. *. 
I hope he may have strength at intervals to do so. 
His conversations with me have been most valuable 
and interesting : praised be (xod ! I am so comforted 
by my dear boy's unreserved communications, that 
I frequently forget the pain of parting. Who could 
be so selfish as to wish to stop his journey to 
Jieaven. Yet how tiying to nature is the idea 
of parting with him. Well, iftider every bereave- 



meat nnd aeparation from olhere, forget not, my 

dear F the uee you may always make of your 

father who loves you. You also have been too 
' reserved towards him, for be is indeed and indeed. 
Your own affectionate parent, 

L. R." 

" My mother was slIH at B , to which place 

■he had been summoned to attend the dying Md of 
ber bwn patent, and' iny ftther wrote to beg her 
itsturn. . 

" Mt dear love, 

" Our dear Willy's weakness has increased with 
such uaespected rapidity within the last three days, 
that I wish you to return home immediately. He 
is exceedingly anxious that you should not delay an 
hour in coming to him. Amidst my great anxieties, 
I have the pleasure of telling you that the spell of 
silence is happily broken between us, and he has 
opened his whole heart to me. He is in a very 
anxious but hopeful frame of mind. By our mutual 
conversation of yesterday and to-day I am relieved. 
&om a heavy burden. All the nameless pangs of nrjr 
mind, during the last eight months, have beenalmdst 
blotted out of my remembrance by my present con- ■ 
eolations. My prayers are answered at last, tfae 
door of utterance is opened, and 1 am truly thank-- 
ful. Your miud as well as mioe has long anticipated 
, the probable result of this sickness. We must go 
to the strong hold for help, and we shall not fail to 
find it. I am staying from church to enjoy a 
Sabbath with our dear boy; he has had a very bad 
night, chiefly in the arm-chair, the fever has been 
excessively high, and the pulse at the utmost. But 
take comfort from the state of his mind. It is tnilv 
interesting. All its natural superiority mingles witn, 
its spiritual cbarantf^iiilics. He that once comforted 


you in }rour own dange>2pas sickness will comfort 
you in the distress of your soul. Let us trust God 
in overruling all for the best. When not oppressed 
by debility and pain, Willy's countenance beams 
with sweet smiles of composure and lov^l' He 
often inquires when you may be expected : * * 
Of my other feelings I can say but little. No ona * 
but God knows all that has passed in my heart {(ft '\ 
more than eight months, I may say years, concern*! ;*/:j- 
ing Wilberforce, but (Jod is good and gracious. - v.'k\W' -, 

Most affectionately yours," '•'. ', '"^,*, 

^* All reserve was now banished from my brother's 
mind. He opened his whole heart to his father, 
told him minutely of all his past conflicts, spoke of 
bis present comforts, and begged that lie might be 
closely examined. He wished to satisfy his parent 
and pastor that his faith was scriptural and sincere. 
He seemed to go beyond his strength in conversing 
— even tojextreme exhaustion, and appeared very 
anxious to tell how God had enlightened, converted^ 
strengthened and comforted him. He would sit for 
hocors with his dear fisither in the study, supported 
ioL an easy chair, telling him all he had gone through 
.-Entreating his pardon for the uneasiness he had 
occasioned him by his past silence, and expressing 
his great joy at now being able to converse with 
freedom, and mingle their souls together in the 
delightful interchange of confidence. It was now 
that our beloved father was indeed comforted, and 
that he received a full answer to patient prayer. 
Edified, refreshed, and soothed by the holy lan- 
guage of his child, his mind was supported under 
the expected and long dreaded pang of parting. 
These conversations, which were continued until 
increasing weakness rendered them impossible, 
induced my father to fqrm the resolution of writing 


104 THB ULTttat HAIV 

a memoir of Wilberforce, the imperfect oatfine 
of whkb IS all that is )eft to ns. I have often 
heard my father and brother give the same opin- 
ion of the reserve which occasioned so much 
Eain on both sides, and to which frequent allusion 
as been made. They considered it a^ God's way 
of dealing with a peculiar state of mind^ — intended 
to humble the pride of the understanding, and 
nlence a love of aigument. It was the Holy 
Spirit, as a sovereign, converting without human 
agency* Wilberforce said, tliat for more than 
three months he had never looked into any book 
but the Bible ; that God's word had been his only 
study, and that amidst all his anxiety, often 
amounting to agony of mindy^ he could find no relief, 
either from religious books or religious conversa- 
tion ; but was obliged to go to the Bible for every 
thifig he wanted to know :^ — that whenever^ he 
opened the Bible, be turned verse after verse into 

S-ayer as he read, and that in so doing he felt a 
rce, a sweetness and consolation passing all under* 
standing, — ^that though he knew he had a father wha 
loved him tenderly, and was so able and willing to> 
instruct him and remove lua perpleicities, he 'felt 
himself as one who was spell-bound, and could not 
break silence — and so he retired to his solitary 
chamber to weep and stru^Ie on in darkness — until 
the Holy Spifit became his teacher, showing himr 
the pierciog spirituality of a perfect law ; amidst 
conviction and terror of conscieocBy leading him to 
the cross to seek for mercy throiigh him that was 
crucified upon it ; and enabling him to receive the 
promiseaof free salvation ki Ghnst by his blood and 
righteousness unto justification* I have built, he 
would say, all my hopes for eternity on God*8 word, 
which is unerring truth. I have found peace there, 
and have been sealed by the Spirit which indited 
that word, an earnest m th^ heavenly inheritance. 


it was without httfuan aid, that I miglrt give God the 

I have mentioned to you some interesting conver- 
sations which passed at this time between Wilber- 
force and my dear father. The following paper in 
my father's hand- writing is the only one sufficiently 
connected fiw insertion. 

Subjects of conversation with me on Friday.— »- 
** Warburton — examination of evidences— acknow- 
ledgment of errors — ^God's reasons for taking him 
away from the ministry — prayer — Christ's love- 
God's way of humbling pride — infidel temptations 
—on mere educational religion — his secret conflict 
for four years past, between love of science ai^d 
love of religion." 

" On Saturday he expressed a wish to see our 
family surgeon; "not," said he, **that I want 
medicine, which will do me no good, but I wish for 
his opinion of the progress of the disorder ; it will 
be a great satisfaction to me to know precisely, 
how long he thinks I may Uve. My strength fails, 
yet the symptoms vary very much," The surgeon 
arrived in the evening. Willy conversed freely with 
him and begged him to be open and explicit. 

Mr. saw clearly that he was now in the last 

stage of consumption, and he was suiprised at the 
ch^rful and unembarrassed manner with which he 
discoursed on his present situation. I left them 
together a few minutes. On my re-entering the 
room, I was struck with his countenance, which 
presented a mixture of calm and lively satisfaction, 
as he was conversing with his medical attendant, 
who on his return to the family spoke with great 
feeling of his pttient. He said, 'the danger it 
imminent, though it is impossible to say how long 
he may remain,* and added, ^ I have scarcely ever 
witnessed so much cheerfulness and composure in 


any one in the prospect of death ; certainty never 
in so young a person.* * * * * 

I returned to my son, who said that Mr. — 's 

Visit had afforded much relief to his feelings.r " I 
see what he thinks of my case, and it was right I 
should know it." There was a union of thoughtful- 
ness and serenity in his manner which affected me 
exceedingly, but it filled me with gratitude and 
thankfulness to witness in this well-ordered and 
calm state of mind, an evidence of (xod's work, and 
of a divine change. He observed, "I have no 
expectation of any advantage from medicine, but it 
may palliate distressing symptoms. The great 
Physician alone will regulate all for the best, both 
for body and soul. Oh I I want to trust him more 
and more ! " 

" In the evening, as we were sitting alone in the 
study, I asked him whether he had read the book I 
bad put into his bands, and whether he had found 
its contents satisfactory. Instead of giving any 
direct reply to this questioti, he looked at me with 
an earnest expression of countenance, and said» 
' Papa, do not be afraid ; I wish you to examine me. 
I am anxious neither to deceive, nor be deceived in 
respect to my spiritual estate. You cannot be too 
plain with me.' I had been for a long time past 
earnestly longing for a full disclosure of his thoughts, 
but his reserve had hitherto kept me from all know- 
ledge of his real state. In answer to questions of a 
Eersonal nature, he would only reply, * I hardly 
now what to say ; another time I may tell better.' 
On religious subjects in general he never refused to 
convene freely, but he shrunk from every attempt 
at personal application. I was therefore delighted 
when he thus voluntarily afforded me an oppor- 
tunity of knowing the secret state of his mind, for 
which I had long and most anxiously prayed. I 
told him bow much I had wished to gain his confi- 

H18 FATHBH. 197 

dence, and feared I had not urged him to freedom 
of intercourse with sufficient earnestness. " Indeed, 
papa," he said, '* the fault was not yours. I have 
felt a backwardness, particularly of late, to disclose 
what was passing in my mind, and had you pressed 
me more than you have done, to speak of myself, I 
believe you would have failed to have obtained your 
object. But now I feel quite at liberty to talk of 
myself; and I first tell you that I think 1 see God's 
design in keeping me thus shut up from you. It 
was his gracious purpose to teach me, in the privacy 
and solitude of inward meditation, my state as a 
sinner, and the nature of salvation by a Saviour ; 
here I learnt the deep things of God, and now I 
would come forth and tell you what Christ has done 
for my soul." His countenance brightened as he 
Mttered these words ; a tear dropped from his cheek, 
and his eye glistened with animation, as he said, '^ I 
have had great exercises of mind of late, but God 
has been very merciful to me in the midst of them.'' 
** And what," said I, " are your present feelings, 
my dear boy ? " ** I feel, papa," he replied, " more 
hope than joy. I have read of ecstacies in the view 
of dying, which others have experienced, and to 
which- 1 am still a stranger; but I have a hope 
founded on the word of God, which cheers and 
supports me« I know in whom I have trusted, and 
I believe he will neither leave nor forsake me. I 
am not afraid of death ; but as I think my time will 
not be long, I wish to put mysetf first into the Lord's 
hand, and then into yours, that you may search and 
try me, whether I am in any error" 8uch in 
important mooaent was not to be negleqt^. I 
received my dttld's confidence as an answer to 
many an annotts and earnest prayer which I had 
offered op to €rod, and I resolved to use it, as 
afibrding an opportunity of peculiar interest to us 
both. Satisfied as I had long been with the general 




view of his religious and moral character, strength- 
ened by a discovery of many evidences of inward 
principle, still, when I considered the near approach 
of death and eternity-— the value of an immortal 
soul — the danger of spiritual delusion, and my own 
immeasurable responsibility as a parent, I resolved 
to leave nothing unsaid or untried, which would 
bring our hearts into mutual repose on the great 
subject of salvation, and my dear child's personal 
interest therein. 

'' I found his mind perfectly clear as to the great 
principle of his acceptance with God, solely and un- 
equivocally through the death and righteousness of 
Christ. In the most simple ^nd satisfactory man- 
ner he renounced all dependance upon every w©rd 
and deed of his own. '^ It is, said he, as a guilty 
sinner before God, that I throw myself on his mercy. 
I have no excuse to offer for myself, no plea to put 
in why God should not utterly destroy me, but that 
Jesus died to save, to pardon, and to bless me. It 
is his free gift,- and not my deserving. Oh I papa, 
what would become of me if salvation was by 
works ? What have I ever done, and above au, 
what in my present state could I now do, to merit 
any thing at his hands ? God forbid that I should 
rest on such a flimsy, fallacious system of divinity, 
as that which ascribes merit to man. I have no 
merit. I can have none. I have long known this. 
I fear many trust in themselves, and thus rob Christ 
df his glory. Is not this true papa ? '* 

" Yes, my dear Wilberforce, many do deceive 
themselves, and build for eternity on a wrong foun- 
dation. But I have endeavoured to impress on your 
mind from your childhood, that salvation by grace, 
and not of works, is the peculiar feature of the gos- 
pel of Christ ; and do you not now see that this is 
the doctrine of the Bible ? 


^^Yes> papa, and it is because, after long and 
repeated study of the Bible, I have found the doc« 
trine there, that I believe, and am now comforted 
by it. You will pardon my saying that the opinions 
which I have formed, and the doctrines on which I 
rest, have not been imbibed from the sermons I have 
heard, or the books which I have read, but from a 
close study of the scriptures themselves. I have 
been accustomed to bring sermons and boeks to the 
test of the Bible, and not the Bible to them. You 
cannot think what light and comfort I have found 
in reading (Jod's own word. I never found any 
thing like it from any other book." 

'' I particularly inquired into the history of his 
mind for more than three years past, in reference 
to those sceptical temptations which he had formerly 
described to me, and whether he had been lately 
tried by the same doubts and difficulties in respect 
of the truth of the scriptures." *' Never," replied 
he ; no, never. From the time to which you allude, 
I have felt the most perfect reliance on the word of 
Crod ; and by much reading of it, and praying oyer 
it, I have been so confirmed in my persuasion of its 
divine origin, as not to have had my confidence 
once shaken since that period. I have been tried 
deeply iv^ other respects, but I have never again 
varied oiTthat iniportant question. The book of 
God, by Gk>d's blessings on its contents, has proved 
its own heavenly character to my understandings 
How thankful I feel for this I" 

" A flush of hectic fever occasioned at this moment 
a short period of debility, and he paused for a few 
minutes. He soon resumed his affecting conversa* 
tion, and said, *' I am not ignorant of my besettioff 
sin. It was the pride of the understanding. I 
always loved to examine thoroughly into the grounds 
of an opinion before I received it, and generally, 
though not always, to be deliberate in coming to % 


coDclusion. ThiB habit has often made me appear 
over-confident in what I said, and I know you have 
felt and lamented it. I do entreat your forgiveness 
of any instance of my folly which has hurt and 
grieved you." Then he added, ** The recollection 
of it has greatly humbled me ; I trust I have seen 
my fault, and have not applied in vain to the blood 
which cleanseth from all sin.'' 

''I asked him what had been his views of the 
ministry in case God had spared his life. He replied, 
^ You know, papa, it has always been my wish and 
expectation to be a clergyman, and with this view I 
have sought to attain various kinds of literary know- 
ledge. I have very often prayed to God to fit me for 
this office, and I have thought much of the doctrines 
I should have preached to others. But I can see a 
reason why God has put an end to these intentions 
and prospects. He is removing me out of this life, 
and does not permit me to enter into the ministry, 
lest I should be tempted, from the peculiar turn q{ 
my mind, to seek the honour and praise of men in 
mv ministrations, more than Grod's glory, and the 
salvation of sinners. I think I can see both wisdom 
and goodness in this dispensation." 

** I remarked that the same God who had con- 
vinced him of his danger, could have humbled his 
heart in a variety of ways, and prepared him for the 
service of the sanctuary, without endangering his 
safety ; and doubtless would have done it if he had 
seen good to have prolonged his life. Such dis- 
coveries of your own heart, my dear boy, are evi- 
dences of not only what Grod can do, bot a pledge 
of what he would have done for you.'* ** True, 
papa, but if he is pleased to humble me in the vMey 
of death, may it not be safer and happier for me? 
The Lord's way must be the best way.** 

*^ He then adverted to another subject ** I have 
kem much oocapied of late," said he, **in tbidkiog 

ms FATHER. 201 

% of man's natural depravity, and the deceitfulness of 
the human heart. I have discovered it in many 
things in which we are apt to overlook or make 
excuses for it. I am sure / have no ground of hope 
except I stand with St. Paul, and cry out, I am the 
chief of sinners." I referred to a conversation 
which I once had with an individual, who objected 
to an application of that expresssion to himself, and 
said, it was intended only to describe the peculiar 
circumstances of St. Paul. "Then I am sure,** 
replied Wilberforce, " that person could not have 
been rightly convicted of guilt in his own conscience. 
I do not know what the critics may say on such a 
passage, but I am quite satisfied that when the heart 
is opened to itself, the expression, chief of sinners^ 
will not appear too strong to describe its character, 
I have often heard you say, papa, that the view of 
religion which most honours God, is that which most 
debases the sinner, and most exalts the Saviour. 
I never felt this to be so true as at the present 

'^His pallid but intelligent countenance as be 
said this, seemed to express more than he could 
find words to utter. He paused a while and con- 
tinued, " What a comfort I find ia this conversation 
with you I It is such a relief to my mind 1 and I am 
very thankful for it." My own heart was too 
responsive to that of my beloved child, not to 
re-echo his own sentiments. I knelt down and 
returned thanks to God for the consolation afibrded 
to liS both, and prayed earnesfly that he would 
continue to us the same holy interchange of kindred 
spirit and feelings. 

*' In another conversation my dear boy expressed 
great satisfaction at the remembrance of the prep- 
aration for the Lord's Supper, while we resided 
in the Isle of Bute the preceding summer; a 
preparation carried on for several weeks before he 


first received that sacrament in the Episcopal ^ 
Chapel of Greenock. He observed that in his daily 
opportunities of reading and conversing with me, 
he could seldom express his thoughts^with freedom, 
though he deeply felt the importance of the subject 
before us, but *' I shall always feel thankful to you, 
papa, for the diligent and affectionate manner in 
which you instructed me. I love that book of 
Mason's. I shall never forget that day at Greenock 
Chapel. I was greatly comforted. You preached 
from Isa. Iv. 1. " Ho ! every one that thirsteth, 
come ye to the waters ; and he that hath no money, 
come ye, buy and eat ; yea, come, buy wine and 
milk, without money and without price." — I did 
indeed thirst for the waters of salvation. Poor 

Charlotte B was there also. Her unexpected 

death affected me much." 

" What were your thoughts " I said, " when you 
wrote those lines in her album the night before you 
parted from her."* 

" I thought them,** he replied, ** very suitable to 
my own feelings, but I little thought she was to 
realize the sentiments before I did." '* She has 
joined her father in a better worW," I said. " Yes, 
and may I soon be with them ; but God knows best, 
and I wish to commit myself into his hands, for life 
or death." He then sunk for a while into his chair, 
and dozed. When he awoke he began again to 
converse. '^ But, papa, papa, do you indeed think 
I am on the right foundation 7 I cannot bear the 
thought of being deceived ; but I do think Christ 
ioves me too well to cast me away, and that I may 

* It matteri little at wlitt hour of the day 
The righteous falla «tleep. Death oannot come 
To fciia ^ntimeljr who u ill to die { 
The lesa of this cold world, the laore of heaven ; 
The hri«6f life, the eanier immortality. 


say, Faithful is he that has promised^ who also wUl 
do it, I love God. I love his word, I love tus 
ways. I love his people, though I feel so unworthy 
to be counted one of them. Surely such feeluigs 
as these do not fit me for hell." An indescribable 
look of animation pervaded his countenance as he 
uttered these words, and bespoke the love, faith, 
hope, and sincerity of his heart, too plainly to be 

" If," he continued, " (Jod meant to destroy me, 
would he have shewn me these things ?" 

^ I am persuaded not," I answered. '^ Manoah's 
wife has proved a comforter to many, and I rejoice 
that her argument for the merciful designs of God 
prevails with you." 

^ I am now fatigued, and must go to bed," said 
he. ^ Pray with me, and then, good night I " 

" Having the assistance of a much-valued friend 
to undertake the public services of my church, and 
feeling great anxiety to avail myself of this oppor- 
tunity to devote myself to my son in his critical and 
alarming -state of health, I remained at home with 
him the whole day. Although much oppressed by 
the raindly-increasing progress of disease and con- 
sequent debility, yet he was able to engage in some 
interesting and very important conversations a4 
intervals during the day. He was carried into the 
study about eleven o'clock. At his breakfast he 
expressed a hope that there were many now 
-engaged in prayer for him in the congregation 
assembled for divine service. '^ I should love to be 
in the midst of them, but it cannot be now. It never 
will be in this world. What a comforting consideis 
ation, papa, that wherever two or three are gathered 
together in his mune, Christ has promised to be 

f resent with them. Do you not think he is here.'^ 
replied, *^ I atoot doubt it, my dear boy. It is 
one of the- most consolatory vievirs of the vrord of 


God, not only that he is constantly present with 
every individual believer, in every place, and under 
every circumstance, but he is also especially present 
with all such, however great or small their number, 
who unite together in acts of worship and religious 
intercourse. He is alike present at this time with 
'our friends in the church, and with you and me in 
this room. May God give us grace to realize this 
and be thankful. 

" Soon afterwards, while the servant was remov- 
ing the breakfast things, I was stirring the fire, as he 
complained of the cold ; and a short silence ensued. 
He said presfcntly, with a playful smile, "I was 
thinking while you stirred the iire, how much easier 
it is to rake the ashes from the grate than to get rid 
of sin from the heart ;" and then relapsing ii^to a 
grave look, he added, " how often the ashes of sin 
deaden the flame of religion in the heart." This 
remark — originating in an apparently casual incident 
— ^led to a close conversation on the nature of sin, 
and the difficulties with which a Christian has to 
contend in his conflicts with indwelling and inbred 
corruption. I was much struck with his deep 
acquaintance with the exercises of his own heart, 
and with the gospel plan of salvation, which he 
evinced as he continued to dwell on this subject. 
I rejoiced to observe in him a personal and practical 
application of the grand truths of revelation to his 
own heart ; the result of much prayer and medita* 
tion, and reading of the sacred volume ; his inmost . 
thoughts* were thrown into our discourses, which 
manifested a power and demonstration of the Spirit 
of God far beyond what I ever anticipated. The 
reserve which had caused me so much solicitude 
was entirely removed.. With a sweet and endear- 
ing freedom of heart and tongue he expressed him- 
self so openly,~and with such sincerity, as filled me 
'with gratitude, and rendered me for a. moment 


insensible — comparatively insensible — ^to the pang of 
bereavement which was so soon to be undergone. 
To possess such satisfactory evidences of my child 
being an heir of glory, that my temporary loss 
would prove his eternal gain, and the hope that we 
should one day meet in the presence of God to part ^ 
no more, cheered my spirit and tranquillized my 
mijfd, under an affliction otherwise insupportable. 

'^ I was making a reference to some expressions 
in the seventh chapter of the epistle to the Romans, 
on the nature and character of St. Paul's own ex- 
perimental acquaintance with the truths which he 
enforced on others, when I was summoned to join 
my other children at the dinner-table. I told him 
my absence would allow him a respite from the 
fatigue of conversation, but that I would soon 
return to him and resume the subject, and begged 
him to seek repose for a little while in his own arm- 
chair. This appeared to me the more necessary, as 
I had observed an evident and painful struggle 
between the debility of his frame and the anima- 
tion of his thoughts. The hour of the afternoon 
service arriving, I returned to my son, whom I 
found with the Bible opened before him. He looked 
at me with a smile, and said, *' Well, papa, I have 
not been asleep. I have been, otherwise employed. 
I revived almost as soon as you left me, and as I 
wanted to converse with you on the epistle to the 
Romans, I have been readmg through the first eight 
chapters, whilst you were Below, in order that I 
migtit have this subject more clear in my recollec- 
tion." I wzs surprised and pleased to find that he 
had strength sufficient for such an exertion, and I 
reflect on the circumstance with greater interest, as 
this was, I believe, the last time he was able to read 
at all. 

** He observed that he had purposely stopped at 
the eighth ehapter, because the apostle bad there 



seemed to make a division in his subject and argu- 
ment. ** What a beautiful summary of doctnne 
these chapters contain, papa ! I have thought on 
them again and again. St. Paul lays his foundation 
deep in the corruption of human nature, and shows 
so plainly that neither Jew nor Gentile has any 
liopie from works, but only from faith in Christ 
Jesus. I have found great comfort from that vilw 
of the righteousness of Christ, which the Apostle 
declares to be the only way of salvation. There is, 
there can be no other. We have no righteousness 
of our own — all are under sin — every mouth must 
be stopped, and all the world become guilty before 
Gk>d. I have been at times perplexed about the 
principle of acceptance with God, but now I see it 
quite clear. With what earnestness does the apostle 
labour to prove the vanity of all human depend- 
ance. I have been thinking as I read these chap- 
ters, how entirely the walk of a believer depends 
on his faith in Christ, and how closelv connected the 
holiness, and the comfort, and the reliance of the 
soul are with each other. He proceeded to com- 
ment on the fifth and sixth chapters, as a train of 
experimental and practical reasoning deduced from 
those which preceded them, adding, "but the 
seventh and eighth chapters have been my delight. 
I have found my own case so exactly, and so clearly 
described in the seventh, and have been so much 
comforted by St. Paul's description of his own 
feelings about sin and Christy as I can never express. 
And then the eighth crowns the whole. Oh, what a 
chapter is thai I Every word has given me instruc- 
tion, strength, and comfort." I here said, "And can 
you make an inward applicaition of the latter part 
of that chapter to yourself?" "Indeed papa, I hope 
I am not deceiving mvself, but I do think I can. It 
lifts me up with such hope and confidence, the lan- 
guage is so sublime, and the doctrine so coovincing^ 


It sometimes seems too much for a sinner like me 
to say ; — but all things are possible with (rod, and 
he whom Gkni saves, nas o, propriety in all things." 
He then went through the whole subject of the 
chapter, making a variety of sensible and solid 
remarks upon it, and entreating me to examine him 
as to his personal application of these glorious and 
gracious truths to his own heart. After he had 
made some animated observation^on the conclud- 
ing part of this chapter, he said, " But now I want 
to add one sentence from another part of the 
epistle to wind up the whole, and that is, '' Oh ! the 
depth of the riches both of the wisdom and know- 
ledge of God ! how unsearchable are his judgments, 
and his ways past finding out ! For who has known 
the mind of the Lord ? or who hath been his coun- 
sellor? or who hath first given to him, and it shall 
be recompensed to him again. For of him, and 
through him, and to him are all things, to whom be 
glory for ever. Amen." I shall ever retain a vivid 
recoUection of the tone of his voice, and the 
sparkling look of his eyes, which accompanied the 
utterance of these words. He became immediately 
much exhausted — ^the difficulty of breathing in- 
creased-^the fever ran very high — ^he bent over the 
table and fell into a doze, which lasted half an hour. 
He gradually awoke, and I observed him to fix his 
eyes on a globe of water which stood near the 
window, and contained a gold fish. I enquired 
what he was looking at so earnestly. He replied, 
I have often watched the mechanical motion of our 
gold and silver fish in that globe. There is now only 
one left, and that seems to be weak and sickly. I 
wonder which of us will live the longest — ^the fish 
or I ? " He paused, and then added, ^ That fish, 
my dear papa, is supported by the water in the 
vessel, but I hope I am supported by the water of 
fialvatbn. The fish will soon die and live no more ; 



but if I «m upheld by the water of salvation, I shall 
live for ever." 

" His remark led me to make some observations 
'on the practical use which may be made of natural 
objects, and the advantages oi cultivating a habit of 
seeking something of Hjlod and the soul every where, 
and of accustoming the mind to seek such compar- 
isons and allusions as tend to improve and delight 
it. Wilberforce observed, " This is the very prin- 
ciple exemplified in our Lord's parables, and in all 
the figurative language of scripture." At this mo- 
ment a gleam of light from the setting sun shone 
upon the gold fish, and produced a brilliant reflec- 
tion from its scales, as it swam in the glass vessel. 
" liOok," said he, " at its beauty now." " So, ipy 
dear boy, may a bright and more glorious sun shine 
upon you, and gild the evening of your days." " I 
hope," he replied, ^^ although I sometimes feel a 
cloud and a doubt pass across my mind, that in the 
evening-time there shall be light, and then in his 
light I shall see light." 

" Thus, the gold fish furnished us with a kind of 
parable. It so happened that the fish survived my 
son two or three weeks, but I never afterwards 
saw it without a lively recollection of the conversa- 
tion to which it gave rise ; and the ideas associated 
with it still mingle with the cherished moments of 
his latter end." 

wilbebtobcb's life conclitded. 209 


" How calm their rest, 
Night dews fall not more gentler on the ground, 
Nor weary worn-oat winds expire so soft." 


*^ From this time my brother kept his room, being 
too weak to be removed to the study. He sat up 
during a part of the day in his arm chair, and con- 
versed with his father in the same strain of elevated 
piety. His mind was at times strong and vigorous, 
full of faith, rejoicing in the prospect of death, his 
heart trusting in (rod, — ^then trembling and leaning 
on his spiritual guide, who watched over him with 
the ovei^owings of tenderness, gratitude, and love, 
while his dying son besought him to probe his in- 
most soul. My father, when with us, usudly pre- 
served a dignified composure ; speaking little, and 
with tears; pouring forth his soul in the family 
devotions; and seeming to say, ''He will soon 
leave me, but blessed be the name of the Lord." 

** I returned to Turvey on the 10th of January « 
My father met me in the hall. He wept much as 
he told me there was no hope of Willy's life ; but 
he soon recovered himself and said that the agony 
of beroavement was forgotten in the blessed thought, 
that he had trained up a child for glory. He then 
took me up stairs, whero I found the dear invalid in 
a chair before the fire, looking very pale and 
emaciated, but with a countenance full of peace 


210. welbbrforcb's life concluded. 

and love. His eye glistened as I entered. He 
leaned his head on my shoulder, but was too deeply 
moved to utter a word. He continued silent a long 
time, and scarcely spoke or answered the usucd 
inquiries of affection. In the evening he revived, 
and seemed disposed to coQverse. I asked if he 
could view the approach of death without fear. 

" Yes, dear F , I have no wish to stay one 

day longer on earth, but I must not be impatient. 
Lord Jesus I come quickly! If thy will, I 
would not linger here, but I pray for patience. Ah ! 

F how I long to be free from this poor body, 

and see my Saviour's face. You can never know 
how I long for this, till you also have heaven in 
view. I know in whom I have trusted. He will 
save me, for he has promised, and he never 
ctmnges.'' He then fell into a kind of stupor, mur- 
muring distinctly, '^Christ the sinner's hope." 
When he awoke, the fever was very high, and his 
mind seemed to wander. My father entered. He 
looked up and said, *^ He fights hard and I fight 
hard, but Christ fights harder." He began to pray 
aloud, struggling for strength and thought, and in- 
treating God that he might not be given up to 
delirium, of which he had a ereat dread, and then 
he praised and blessed Grod for giving him strength 
to oflFer another prayer. 

** I sat up with him the greater part of the night. 
He once startled me with the energy with w^hich 
afler a long silence he cried out, '^ I know in whom 
I am trusting. I know he never yet left one soul 
that trusted m him. I will not doubt." He passed 
a painful night, with alternate fits of fever and shiv- 
enng. He continually expressed a fear that the 
fever would occasion delirium. He felt his time so 

Erecious, that he could not bear to lose a moment 
y insensibility; he exclaimed with the utmost 
vehemence, '^ O God I most merciful ; — D God ! 


* .' 

wilbeoforce's life concluded. ^ 211 

do not afflict me with the greatest of dl evilf^ 
insanity. I long to glorify ttee in my death. Can 
I glorify thee in delirium, when I know thee not 1 
Yet not my will but thine be done." 

"About five o'clock on Wednesday morning he 
said, *' Now call up papa, and ask hitii to coihe and 
talk with me. I feel as if I should have much to 
suffer to-day, and I want him here that I may call 
up some comfbrt and strength." He came imme- 
diately. I retired and did not hear their conversa- 
tion. My father has more than once told me of the 
interesting subjects of their discourse, but I am 
afraid to trust to recollection at this distance of 
time. I again regret that my beloved father did not 
live to fulfil his own intentions. I extract from his 
very imperfect notes, what may possibly apply to 
their present interview. 

" I read Hooker's death to him-— substantial calm 
on his mind, only interrupted for the moment by 
disease — he told me of his grapplings with infidel 
objections — of his weeping when a little child, at a 
sermon I preached from Jeremiah."* 

"After breakfast I returned to relieve my father, 
who, amidst his daily sufferings, was not unmindful 
of his family or his parish. "J must work while it 
is called to-day ^^ seemed to be the prevailing senti- 
ment of his mind, and his beloved child's death gave 
additional weight to the admonition, "what thou 
doest, do with all thy might" 

" Wilberforce sat silent fiir some time, then 
looked up and said, "Come, and sit close to me. 
Let me lean on you." Then putting his arms round 
me, he exclaimed, " Grod bless you my dear." — ^He 

'I' Jer. in. 28. Return ! thou backsliding Israel, saith the Lord, 
and I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you ; for I am merci- 
ful, sajpi^he Lord, and I wu not keep mioe ang^r for ever. 

... " 

^-s;i*r''^.^212 ► wilberforce's life concluded. 

,,V::^.. ;:V-'#Was agitated and ceased speaking. Presently he 
jj*/^..' '^ said — " I must leave you — ^we shall walk no further 
* :;Vr^ through this world together — but I hope we shall 
' *^ * meet in heaven. Let us now talk of heaven. Do 
not weep for me, dear F — , do not weep, for I am 
very happy ; but think of me, and let the thought 
make you press forward. I never knew happiness 
till I knew Christ as a Saviour." He then exhorted 
and encouraged me to study the Bible with perse- 
verance. " Read the Bible — ^read the Bible. Let 
no religious book take its place ; — ^through all my 
perplexities and distresses, I never read any other 
book, and I never felt the want of any other. It 
has been my hourly study, and all my knowledge 
of the doctrines, and all my acquaintance with the 
experience and realities of religion have been 
derived from the Bible only. I think religious 
people do not read the Bible enough. Books about 
religion may be useful, but they will not do instead 
of the simple truth of the Bible." He then spoke 
of his regret at parting with us. " Nothing con- 
vinces me more of the reahty of the change within 
me, than the feelings with which I can contemplate 
a separation from my family. I now feel so weaned 
from the earth, my affections so much in heaven, 
that I can leave you all without a regret. Yet I 
do not love you less, but (Jod more." I asked him 
whether his mind had been distressed for the last 
few nK)nths at the thought of parting from us, — ^for 
knowing the strength of his affections, I fancied he 
must have suffered much in subduing and con- 
trolling them. " Oh ! my dear F ^ the pain, 

the agony I have felt, when I said to myself, " I 
must leave them all.'* — ^You will never know what 
bitter hours I have passed ; — ^none but (rod knows 
what it cost me to break those ties which bound me 
so strongly to earth. Never, never will you know 

wilbebfobcb's LIFB C0NCLUI>£S. 313'* 

what I sudered as I looked at you all, and felt my 
streneth decliniiig, and remembered it must soon 
be a last look. I thought this must be the bitter- 
ness of death ; and even after I had found accept- 
ance and peace with God, I still sulfered deeply in 
the prospect of separation, and never supposed I 
could vk'illingly part from my family. I knew that 
God would support me, and carry me through ttus 
trial ; but a tna] I felt it must be to the last ; — and 
yet, Bee me now in the immediate prospect of 
parting — I am quite happy, and can leave you all 
without a tear — I know God can unite usalfagain; 
and I can trust him here as I can in every thing 
else. Now this change must have been effected by 
God. It is so evident, I cannot mistake it. I could 
not have acquired this composure myself, God has 
done it, but I have suffered much in the process." 
He always appeared comforted when he heard 
that any one had prayed for him, and frequendy 
entreated those about nim to pray, but he used to 
add, " Do not pray for my life, but that I may have 

comfort in deatn," I was writing to W and 

asked him if he had any message to send. He said, 
" They have been very kind to me, but I am too ill 
to think of them." Afterwards seeming to recollert 
himself, he said, " Come and hold my nead while I 
try to remember them. I would send some mes- 
sage. Tell dear M that I am suffering veiy 

much, but I can and do rejoice in my sufferings, for 
every pain is bringing me nearer to heaven. I shall 
not see her again in this world ; " here he seemed 
quite exhausted. After a while he revived a little. 
" I want to say something to dear Mr. W— -—, 
you told me he had been praying for me. I wish 
nim to know how much I have been comforted by 
this. How grateful I feel to him, tell him how 
much I value his prayers, and that they have been 
answered ; for Chnst is now precious to me. 



214 whjberforce's life concluded. 

Through him the fear of death is taken away. I 
want to tell him more. If I can I will to-morrow^ 
but say this*" He now became exceedingly ill ; he 
breathed with great difficulty ; he panted for breath, 
and his struggles were distressing. The sufferings 
of his body affected his mind, and he seemed to lose 
his comfort and confidence in Christ. He cried out 
many times, " Oh ! pray for me, pray for me, pray 
forme. This is hard to bear, how different the 
pains of death are from any other. It is such a 
(Struggle to get free." He appeared to suffer much 
in his mind. My father said, " My dear boy, 
Christ is still with you. Where he once fixes his 
love, he never takes it away. You may not see 
him just now, bdt he is not the less near to you. 
Nothing cauj nothing shall separate you from 
Christ." Willy cried out, " And did not he say, 
" My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me 1^ 
Then he twice repeated, " For a small moment 
have I forsaken thee, but with great mercies will I 
gather thee." *« Oh ! papa ! — what shall I do — ^I 
am suffering so very much ! " " Not one pang too 
many, my child," said his weeping father, while the 
big tears rolled down his cheek. " I know it, papa," 
he answered, **I believe it, I feel it." He con- 
tinued in a state of suffering nearly the whole day. 
Towards evening he sank into a sort of lethargy. 
He seemed scarcely to know any thing that was 
passing. About eleven o'clock at night my father 
read the 23rd Psalm, and prayed with him. He 
was able to attend, and it seemed to cheer him. 
He was better in the morning, and had much com- 
fortable convei*sation with his father throughout the 

day. Mr, G came to see him. Willy wished 

to converse with him. He was fearful at first, and 
expressed some doubt of his salvation ; but Mr. 

G^- encouraged him by his remarks. He assured 

him that Christ would never give up a soul who 

. * 

wilberforce's life cohclvded. 215 


had fled to him for refuge. Here Willy interrupted 
him, ** I believe it, yes, I believe it. Christ ha« 
brought me thus far, and he viill not leave me. He 
has said, ^' whosoever cometh unto me, I will in 
no wise cast out." I feel now quite certain that 
Christ will save me." He then adverted to his 
love for us, and the parting with us. " We have 
been a happy family ; — so closely united ! Every 
two of us can say, how dearly we love each other— 
Our love has been more than common — ^I think we 
shall be a family of love in heaven — Two of us are 
in heaven already, and there will soon be a third— 
Oh, I feel persuaded we shall meet again." Mr. 

G proposed to read a chapter in the Bible. 

Willy said he could listen, and Mr. G chose 

|)arts of the last two chapters of the book of Reve- 
ations. He appeared greatly refreshed. His face 
beamed with joy while he listened to the sublime 
and glorious description of the new Jerusalem, and 
anticipated the moment of his own entrance into 
the holy city, to go out no more for ever ; when he 
should join the melody of the heavenly choir, and 
make one of the countless throng before the throne 
of God. " Glorious things are spoken of thee, O 
city of Gk)d." After a short pause, he said to Mr. 

G , " Tell me about the song of Moses and the 

Lamb, my memory is failing. Repeat it to me." 

Mr. G repeated from Rev. xv. "Great and 

marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; 
just and true are thy ways, O Eang of Saints; 
who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy 
name, for thou only art holy ; for all nations shall 
come and worship before thee, for thy judgments 
are made manifest,'' 

Mr. G »»i.-., took leave of him, and some time 
after his departure, Willy said, " Mr. G—-?^ seemed 
sent to brin^ the close of the Bible to be the con- 
solation of mp cbsis qf my life. It js sipgulor that 

• ^ 



316 wi^bbrvOrce's life concluded. 

he should have fixed on those chapters, for I have 
read them so often ; again and again in my hours 
of sorrow, longing* praying, but not daring to beUeve 
I should ever be admitted to that glorious company ; 
how have I wept over them ! *' 

Mr. F. paid him a visit, and Wilberforce was 
very earnest in pressing him to examine the state of 
his mind, saying ^' I would neither deceive nor be 

deceived." Mr. F replied, " You are now too 

much exhausted for conversation ; I have heard 
from your papa the state of your mind, and I am 
quite satisfied with his opinion of you, for our ideas 
of true conversion are the same." "Yes," said he, 
*' but I would rather you should examine for your- 
self, — ^I want you also to search me." 

"He asked Mr. F whether the feeling of 

assurance was necessary to salvation. '^ I do not," 
he said, '^ always feel alike ; sometimes when illness 
overpowers me, my comfort is gone, and I am afraid 
that after all I shall perish ; but I know that in my 
darkest season I still love my Saviour above every 

"My dear Wilberforce," said Mr. F -, " you 

cannot have a more able counsellor in your perplex- 
ities, than your affectionate father, and your very 
weak state inclines me to be brief. Our religion 
may be explained in a few words, at least as far as 
it is necessary to your peace and safety. You must 
have a title to heaven, and a meetness for its enjoy- 
ment ; you need not now trouble yourself on other 
points. The title is Christ's merits. Do you rest 
on them alone for acceptance with (Jod ?" 

" Oh yes ; I have no other hope or trust. If I 
have confidence or comfort, I get it only there." 
'*Well, then, the next thing is a meetness for heaven. 
If any man belong to Christ he has the mind of 
Christ ; he is a new creature ; religion is his life as 
well as his peace." " Indeed, indeed," he replied* 

» ^ 


<' I do love Christ ; I long to be where he is, to 
dwell with him forever." " Then all is safe, Wil- 
berforce ; I am quite satisfied that he who has 
worked the outf in you, ha3 procured the other for 

you.'* ■ " But your eye, Mr. F , your eye looks 

as if it doubted of me." " No, my dear Wilber- 
force, I am not doubting, I am looking on you with 
a deep interest" 

•* Mr. F went away with a promise to see him 

again in a few days but my brother died before the 
time fixed for another visit 

** He slept for some time, and then suddenly sat 
vp in his chair with apparent ease ; he breathed 
freely, spoke distinctly, seemed free from pain, and 
his countenance looked satisfied and happy. I was 
quite surprised at the change, and said, ** My dear 
Willy, you seem much better." "Yes," he answered, 
^I am much better. This is a precious moment, 
and now I hope I shall be able to talk to you a 

little. This is an answer to prayer, dear F . 

I have much longed to grorify God in my death, 
and ever since last Sunday I have been praying for 
one hour of ease and strength to speak to you all 
for the last time, to tell you what I now think of 
religion. Hitherto you have seen n^e so over- 
powered by disease, that you could not judge of my 
comfort and confidence in my principles. But God 
has granted my request and I will glorify him." He 
then began an interesting conversation, and spoke 
with astonishing ease. He was very plain and 
sincere. He told me kindly of faults and errors 
which he had observed in me ; and he endeavoured 
to correct them, and encouraged me from his own 
experience to persevere in striving against them. 

*' My dear, my very dear F ," he said, " I hope we 

fihall meet in heaven. I eould not teJk to you in 
this calm manner, if I did not believe we should 
meet again. But you have much to learn — ^much 



to do before you can get there. There is but oae 
road, and without an entire dedication of the heart 
to God, you cannot walk in it." He &||poke of. tbo 
dangers of a religious education ; of Imviqg the form 
of religion, while the heart was still unehe(nged,.and 
the will unsubdued. He spoke also of wba| he 
called sentimental religion^ telling me how easy it 
was to write in beautiful poetic language without 
any real feeling of heart ; and he mentioned some 
instances where religion was but a bright fictiob of 
the imagination ; anil others where it proved itself' 
a transforming principle in the life and conduct. 
*^ My dear sister, be a reed disciple — ^Be in earnest 
—You will want heart religion when you come to 
die — The " poetry of religion will not do then ;*'— 
reminding me of some letters I had written to hinu 
He again recommended to me most earnestly the 
constant study of the Bible. " Here," he said, " I 
speak in a peculiar manner from recent experience 
"—For the last three months the Bible has been my 
sole instructor — It has gradually led me on to clear 
light and real experience, till every promise is my 
own — I have read the greater part of it through 
several times during my illness — and often on a 
Sunday, when I have spent the day alone, I have 
read the whole of the New Testament, unable to 
leave off till I had grasped all the mind of the Spirit 
at once. Perhaps papa has thought I read too few 
religious books — He has looked anxious at my 
neglect of many he put in my way — ^I do not give 
myself in this respect for an example — ^but I have 
found little benefit from books, sermons, or conver- 
sations — ^The Bible, the Bible alone has taught me 
every thing. If I read books on religion, however 
excellent, the thought always haunted me — ^this is 
human — ^it may be wrong. I could not rest till I 
went to the Bible. Here I felt all was divine and 
infallible ; and I found fiuch comfort in the simple 


k » ■ 


'^fit God's word, that I set aside every other 
>)(, jliss^tujiied. I may be earnest then, in press- 

' J^'^ ©0 to the Bible." 

" jEJo the'if baid, " But you must pray over the 
Bible-rf^i^^l')^^ the teaching of the Spirit it will do 
ycrii '(fa good, you must apply it as you go on to 
yourseff, aind feel it personally, or you will get no 
oenefit, though you stand the whole day over it. — 
I have been in the habit of reading the Bible on my 

' knees, and I recommend you to do the same. — tt 
^encourages prayer. — ^I have found it very useful to 
turn Scripture into prayer, using ihie very words. 
Th^re is not a psalm 1 have not. turned into a 

Srayer. I have felt so safe in making prayers from 
le Bible because then I knew I could not err; 
^and let prayer always be preceded by self-exami- 
Hation; lay your heart bare before God; indulge 
not even a doubtful feeling; one secret sin will 
cloud all. 

I had marked the depression of his spirit when 
the symptoms of his disease appeared more unfa- 
vourable, and I asked him if he had any fear of 
death now. He answered me with great firmness, 
—"No, not any — ^I have unshaken confidence in 
Jesus as a Saviour — ^He has taken away the sting 
of death, and for bis sake the Father will receive 
me as his child.* I replied, ** You had, dear Willy, 
great doubts of your salvation, and many fears of 
' death during some periods of your illness.*' " Oh I 
yes, indeed I had I I have been on the verge of 
despair, and have known its agonies.---My pain of 
body wag at times very great, but nothing* in com- 
parison with the agony of my spirit. — I struggled 
on in darkness and in silence. — ^It was known only 
to myself and God, but I was supported and carried 
through all, and now I would encourage you, my 
dearest sister, by tellikig you what succeeded in my 
.€a/se. I will tell you just what I did.—- After a 

* - ••.- 

220 rilmRTAifT coNVERSATioifs V¥nra 

season (^ mticb doubt and terror, during vMA I'i 
fett 88 if all was delusion, and I should be cast mk> 
hell, 1 determined to go at once boldly to Grod, in 
the ntrme of Christ, and plead the promises which 
were then before me in the Bible. — ^I f<^IL doiffi 
upon my knees — ^I groaned — ^I wept-^— I ^H^yed 
most fervently— I said, Here I am, Lord, a poor 
perishing sinner — ^My sins are heavy and alarming 
— ^I cannot bear them myself — ^I feel my body 
decaying — ^I must soon die, and I dare not appear ' 
before Thee, the pure and holy God, as I now anil 
— ^I read of a Saviour thou hast provided for sin«- 
ners, and I come to him to be saved from eternal 
death — ^I come to the cross of Christ — ^I cling t€^ it 
as my only hope — ^If thou, O Christy will not save 
me, no one else can, and I must peririi — ^Lord^ 
save me — Jesus I have mercy on me ( I persevered 
thus again and again — ^I kept on praying in this 
vmy — -I took nothing with me but a broken hearty 
and a contrite spirit, and I said, ' Lord 1 I will not 
go except thou bless me P I know I prayed sincerely^ 
and I was heard and answered. I found that 
promise true, " Whosoever cometh unto me, I will 
in no wise cast out." (rod was good to me. My 
soul required severe discipline, but he comforted 
me in his own time — I found Christ able and w3l- 
ing to do all I required — I was enabled to receive 
him as my complete salvation, and I sometimes had 
such peace in believing on him, — such hours of 
mispeakable happiness^ that the remembrance et it 
makes up for all this sufiering. I never again lost 
my hope with Christ, though for the moment wf 
disease overpowered me and clouded the past. 
Now I tell you all this for your encouragement and 
direction. Seek as I did, and you will find the 
same pardon for sin, the same peace in death.** 
We next talked about prayer. I told him of the 
difficcilties I felt I remember well his eager look 

• • -it , 

.- • 4 

" ^ o'-^.THE MEMBERS OF HIS VAJgB^. ^ 221 

as he saidy ^ Not find comfort in prayer, 4tf^ F>r— ? 
It sounds like a strange contradiction 49 jDiys.-^t is 
my only comfort. When I am able topt^^ I am 
sure to be happy, and my prayer is that 1 may have 
strength and sense to pray. But I must remember 
bow differently we are circumstanced — ^I am just 
entering eternity — ^I see every thing in a new light, 
as I n^ver did before — as none but a dying person 
can see — ^All my thoughts and feelings are changed 
*— I have not memory now to recollect how I used 
to feel, when I first began to pray — ^Perhaps I had 
the same doubts — ^my memory is gone — ^Oh ! how 
the Lord has humbled me — ^I used to be so proud ci 
my understanding — ^I can now scarcely answer the 
simplest question.'' Presently he seemed to gather 
strength and said, "We were talking about prayer; 
yes, all my comfort is in prayer. There mwt be 
comfort in prayer — ^The chief thing is to examine 
your heart — ^Ask Gk)d to search it for you — ^Take 
care you are cherishing no secret sin or hidden idoL 
God is a merciful G^, but he is a jealous Grod, 
and he Ivill have the whole heart — Only persevere 
in praying, and indeed you will find comfort in 
prayer." He then told me how seriously^i had 
peen impressed upon his mind, that his death was 
to be the life of others. " I think, my dearly loved 
sister, it is for your good ; and will not this thought 
make you more in earnest ? (M / / vxndd die ten 
painful deaths to sam one sovll We shall meet 
again in heaven. Now come and kiss me, and let 
me lean upon you." He rested a short time and 

said, " Now send for H , I want to speak to her 

. while my strength lasts.*' His conversation with 

^ * ilfcher was very searching, but very affectionate. He 

iMoved his sister very dearly. She was naturally 

c ^ volatile and buoyant in her spirits, and this disposi* 

*** tion sometimes betrayed her into levity. The live* 

jiness of her conversation had often pleased hini» 


♦ ■*• • 

222 •' y CONVBBSATIONS UTITH /^^^• ^ 

but he now tboaght l>e bad encouraged her in sonie 
things inconsistent with real piety. He was earnest 
beyond his strength in conversing with her. He 
put very plain and close questions ;->-saying, *^I 
must be answered ; — ^I must speak plainly ; — ^I am 
afraid, my beloved sister, you do not think enough 
about religion. I do not see decided proofs of real 
conversion in you. I ^ave not a sure hope, that if 

Jou die as you now are, I shall meet you in 
eaven. Oh ! H , it is my last request — ^with 

my dying breath I am entreating you to seek the 
salvation of your soul. Suppose you were in my 
place — ^in this chair instead of me — waitmg for 
death day by day — could you meet it as I do. Oh I 
do, my dear nster! do think of death while you are 
in health. If I had not sought Christ before i was 
brought so low, I should have no strength or sense 
to seek him now. I went to Jesus as a poor weak 
sinner, and found sweet rest, and I am happy now 
amidst all this suffering.^' He spoke in a very 
affectionate manner oC the subject nearest her heart 
"Your merry peal will soon succeed my death- 
knell. Take care that the good seed is not choked 
by the pleasures of life \ — Seek first the kingdom of 

God. Remember H , you Jiave to die. Oh ! I 

cannot leave you in peace, unless I have a good 
hope that I shall meet you in heaven. If I thought 
there was one amongst you-— oh! I cannot bear 

that thought!"" — He continued, "H ^ there is 

nothing so opposed to religion, — to the mind of 
Christ, — as levity and trifling. It will keep you 
back more than anything. Take my solemn warn- 
ing — I speak from my own experience, — ^you wiH 
never be a consistent Christian, and you will nev 
grow in grace, if you indulge in habitual trifli _ 
conversation. It is not like the mind of Christ ;f 
your temper is very playful and volatile, and Sataa 
may use it as a snare to injure your souk PietjfoadL 

• ;*^ ^ 'itaB MEMBERS OF Hlf FAMILT. 233 

hwty cannot long dwell in Hie same heart. One will 
destroy the other. ****** 

You see, dear H ^, I am very plain and sincere. 

I uaecl to be shy. But I do not feel afraid of 
speaking my mind now. How little does one care 
about the world and its opinions when death is near ; 
death takes away all reserve. I care not if the 
whole world were assembled around me — ^I .would 
tell them what I now think of religion — ^I should 
like to see Inany here, that I might tell them what 
the Lord hath done for my souL" He then sent for 

H y his favourite brother and companion. 

Willy was much affected. He seemed to say fare- 
well to H with deep emotion. He entreated 

him to supply his place in every thing — ^particularly 
in being a comfort to his father, and filling his place 
in the ministry. On this latter subject he spoke 
much. He said, *'From a child it has been my 
delight to think of being a clergyman of the Church 
of England ; but it is €k>d's will to pass me by, and 

take you, dear H ^ and honour you thus. I 

resign my place to you — ^Fill it faithfully." — ^Then 

turning to his father, he said, " Give H a double 

portioja of your love. He is to fill my place, as well 
as his own^ to you. — ^I make a transfer to him of 
all the affection you have borne to me.*' He 

f)aused for breath and then continued, ** We have 
oved each other very dearly, we always loved as 
brothers amidst our little quarrels — did we not ? I 
love you now more than ever, and I must talk to 
you about your soul.'' He addressed him in very 
plain language, asking him questions* H 
. . 'seemed confused and depressed, for there were 
others present. Willy said, ." Poor H — --, you feel 
ihy on this subject — I used to feel the same once—- 
I could not speak once, but that reserve is all gone. 
--—I am not ashamed to say what I feel now. Yo« 
.will feel as I do, some day/' He then begged that 

#♦■ r • 

224 CONYBRSATIONS WITH «•. ^ (•/ « 

all would retire and leave H alone with him. 

No one heard the conversation which- passed 
between them. He next sent for his younger 
brothers : — they wept much as he addressed them. 
He spoke very touchingly to his younger sister, who 
was then a little child. '' Would you like to meet 

poor Willy in .heaven, dear C y then you must 

loye God. Pray to God to make you love him, and 
io make you a good child. Will you promise me 

one thing, my dear C , that you will never go 

out of your room in the morning until you have read 
a few verses in the Bible, and prayed to Gk>d. If 
you do not pray to God, you will not meet poor 
Willy in heaven. I will give you a verse to think 
of when I am dead. ''Suffer little children to 
come unto me, and forbid them not, for of such is 
the kingdom of heaven.** Say that verse to your- 
self every night when you lie down.'* 
' He sent for several people in the village to come 
and bid him farewell. There was one old person 
for whom he had a dpecial regard. She had been 
much with him in his childhood, and he used to tell 
her, " if he lived to be a man, and had a house of 
his own, she should come and keep it." He held 
out his hand to her affectionately, and, alluding to 
his promise, said, '' I shall have no house in tins 
world, Nanny, for you to come and keep — but I 
shall still have a house — a house not made with 
hands, eternal in the heavens." His countenance 
as he spoke, assumed a singularly sweet and happy 
expression — such a beaming look of love and joy, 
that every one noticed it. The hectic flush glowed 
on his cheek — his eyes sparkled with a peculiar 
lustre — and the marble forehead was smooth and 
placid. It was the parting loveliness of ^ body 
irradiated by a soul full of meekness, calmness, joy, 
and confidence. Instead of being exhausted by 
such lengthened conversations, as we expected, ha 


seemed full of vigour, and rather refreshed. He 
conversed a good deal* With both his parents. 
** What a striking answer,'* he said, " I have iiad to 
prayer ; God has allcrwed me time $ind strength to 
speak to you all, and has so filled me with sweet 
peace and joy, that I never could have conceived 
there was such happiness to be known here." He 
then said, *^ I should like the whole family to assem- 
ble round me, that I may look at you altogether, 
while I am so happy." He then offered up a fer- 
vent and touching prayer to Gk)d, blessing him for 
his great goodness, and commending us to hira for 
salvation. He paused a moment and conchided, 
^ Lord ! now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, 
for mine eyes have seen thy salvation." 

^* He remained in this happy frame of mkid a 
short time, when all seemed to pass away as a 
dream : the fever returned — great suffering succeed- 
ed — his whole frame was agitated. At intervals 
he referred to the past season of happiness, and the 
recollection of it comforted him. He repeated 
what he had before said, -several times, " I woidd 
go through all again for one such sweet hour." 

** In the evening he was dejected by a dread of 
delirium, and prayed earnestly that he might retain 
his senses to the last, often exclaimmg, ^' I cannot 
fflorify thee in delirium." He called this a happ^ 
day, beeause he thought he had done good by his 
faithful addresses. 

*' My father came to read and pray with him, 
before he retired to rest. Willy said, ** I am too 
tired to listen. I should like to dream of the past ; 
papa, there will be no distraction in heaven." 

•'Friday was a mournful day. My brother^s 
sufferings were greatly increased. He could find 
no position in which to rest. He breathed with 
diflSculty, and at times seemed almost suffocated ; 
«od the soul, as if in sympathy with the body, 


became full of doubt and terror. He called out in 
great agitation-r— ** Oh ! pray for me — pray for me 
*-H3ay something to comfort me." I read him some 
verses from ibe xliiiv of Isaiah. He continued to 
exclaim — ** Oh I pray for me, pray for me ! I am in 
great suffering." I opened the Annals of the Poor, 
and read to him the account of the Dairyman's 
Daughter's last hours. He listened attentively, and 
then repeated the words, " The Lord deals very 
gently with me, and gives me peace. It is not dark, 
my Lord is there, and he is my light and salvation." 
He appeared a little more composed, and I turned 
to the tract of Little Jane. I read to him some 
passages. *' Ah 1" said he, '' they got safe through, 

and why not I ? I am glad, dear F , thgt ^oa 

thought of the Dairyman's Daughter and Little 
Jane. They are just the examples I want. They 
suffered much, but it was not dark to th^pi. Oh, 
death ! death I what is it? I have still to go through 
death — the dark valley." He sat for some time in 
' silence, with his head resting on the table. Though 
he did not speak, I coukl perceive that there was 
something passing in his mind which shook his 
whole frame. Suddenly, with a wild expression of 
countenance,, and in a bitter tone, he exclaimed — 
^ Oh ! agony ! agony ! agony ! agony ! I shall perish 
a^r all." I was much frightened, and went to call 
my father. I told, him Willv must be delirious. 
When my father saw him, he said, '^ Oh no ! this is 
not delirium. I^ know exactly what he is passing 
through." He sat down beside Wilberforce, and 
began to talk soothingly to him, but he refused to be 
comforted. He still cried out with his whole 
remaining strength — " Oh agony ! agony ! agony ! 
Satan will have me after all-^apa, pray for me, he 
tells me I shall be lost — ^He tells me my sins will 
damn me— Oh, papa, this is aeony ! — all is dark, 
dark — all gone— all lost-'— and has Christ btxHight 


me thus far to leave me at last ?" My dear father 
was much overcome at this scene, and struggled 
hard fcrr composure. He repeated text after text ; 
and with apparent calmness, and in hii own tender 
and peculiar manner, enlarged on the faithful love 
of the Saviour. He assured Willy of his full per- 
suasion that Christ's honor was pledged in present- 
ing his soul safe to the Father : that this was the 
last attack of Satan : that he took advantage of his 
bodily weakness, to distress, when he could not 
harm him. But poor Willy seemed still more 
agitated. The cold drops stood on his forehead—* 
his look betrayed the deepest anguish, and he shook 
with terror. " Oh ! papa ! what will become of 
me," he cried ; ^' I am going into the dark valley 
idane. Jesus has left me. It is all dark, dark, dark 
— ^The rod and the staff do not support me — 
Satan fights hkrd for me, and he will carry me 
away at last.'' His bodily sufferings seemed quite 
forgotten, and were lost in the bitter anguisti of his 
mind, and he still continued to repeat, ^ agony— < 
agony." — my dear father tried again by a variety of 
arguments, and by a frequent appeal to scripture, to 
support his despairing child, but in vain. He 
seemed given up for a time to such sharp and sore 
besetments as baffled all attempts to administer 
comfort. After a silence of some minutes, and 
when he seemed nearly fainting, my dear father 
solemnly repeated, '* Simon, Simon, Satan hath 
desired to have thee, that he may sifttbee as wheat; 
but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not." 
These were the first words that made any impres- 
sion on Wilberforce. He said, *' Ah ! papa, I used 
to love those words, but they are gone — I will try to 
understand them — Say them again." My father 
repeated the affecting words of the Saviour to his 
tempted disciple. Willy listened to them with 
mtense interest. When he heard the words, *' but 

^ • 




I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail pot," he 
exclaimed, '* Oh, my dear papa, do you think that 
Christ is praying for me ? Does he pray for me in 
this hour of darkness, when I have no faith ? " 
" Certainly, my dear boy, I cannot doubt it. I am 
quite sure he is praying for you at this instant. 
Take courage then. Do you think Gk>d will not 
hear Christ's prayer? "Him the Father heareth 
always." His mind became a little calmer, but he 
still looked uneasy, and replied slowly, "Can I have 
been brought to love him so, only to perish ? Can 
such feelings as I have — such a hatred of sin, be 
fitting me for hell ? No, it cannot be — Such feel- 
ings could not exist in hell — He will save me as the 
chief of sinners." Presently he exclaimed, "Jesus 
has not left me. I see him again — ^more precious 
than ever — my Saviour — my hope. How could I 
distrust him — I am more than conqueror. Papa, I 
feel safe — ^I am Christ's — ^Why did I doubt ? I am 
so strengthened. Dear, papa, I can give you no 
idea of the anguish of my heart It exceeded all 
I supposed endurable ; — I thought myself in Satan's 
hands^it must have been such anguish as this which 
made the Saviour cry out, " My God, my God, why 
hast thou forsaken me." I never knew what suffer- 
ing was before — I thought I was lost." "And 
what do you now think ?" " I have great peace, 
firm confidence, — I am so strengthened, papa, in my 
faith — so strengthened^— hell shall not prevail ; 
Christ has saved me — none shall pluck me out of 
his hand. I should not be afraid to grapple with 
this dreadful foe again — I should not be afraid if 
Jesus were standing by" — and then shuddering at 
his own recollections, he added, " But papa, I hope 
God will not see it necessary to try me in this way 
again ; I hope not — ^It was indeed a dreadful strug- 
ge," " Why say so ?" said his father, " it is possible 
God may see fit thus to try your faith again. . You 




see how he has supported you — you have been the 
conqueror — why then shrink ?" 

'* Oh no ! I will not shrink, I could go through it 
again if it were God's will — ^I could not see my 
Saviour in that dark hour, but now I know he was 
near me." And then shuddering at his own words, 
he added, '* but I hope it will not be necessary again 
to try me thus." 

'* This last sorrow attached him n(iore than ever 
to his father. He could not bear that he should be 
out of his sight, and Jistened to every word which 
fell from him, with the most grateful love and con* 
fiding simplicity. He truly hung upon his lips. 
Never was there a more affecting sight, than to be* 
hold this loving father, and no less loving son, now 
blending every feeling and thought of their hearts 
together, and so closely united in religious inter- 
course, that they seemed as it were a twin soul. 

** My father was obliged to leave Wilberforce 
for a little while ; on his return, the latter looking 
up with a smile said, '* Papa, I cannot pray now — I 
am so very ill ; — but I have been praisingj^ " For 
what, my dear boy ?" " I have been blessing GJod 
for giving me such a father : — when I c^n say no- 
thing else, I can praise God for such a dear father, 
to whom I can tell all, and who helps me on to 
heaven." This was almost too much for my father; 
he could neither speak nor weep, he seemed ab* 
sorbed in unutterable feeling^-the fountain of tears 
was dried up. 

" Willy did not wait for a reply. " I am sorry, 
papa, I did not open my mind to you before, how 
much happier I should have been, if I had done so. 
I have now no reserve — I can tell you every thing 
—-You are my friend and my guide — my dear, dear 
papa, I do love you. You have so helped me in my 
great triaL" 




In the evening he conversed with my father on 
the bitter agony through which he had passed in 
the morning, with calmness and faith. Some one 
present asked him what he thought to be the best 
evidence of conversion — "A broken heart and a 
contrite spirit," he replied. " This is what I brought 
to God, and it was the only evidence I could rely 

" The next day he expressed some impatience at 
lingering so long, earnestly desiring that this might 
be his last day, but he soon checked himself, and 
prayed agafnst a restless spirit. He sometimes cried 
out, " How long, how long ! when shall I be free ! 
How my spirit struggles to gel away from this poor 
weary body ! Papa, do you think I shall linger here 
another day ?" and without waiting for a reply he 
said, " but my times are in thy hands=, Grod — I 
must die daily — I will patiently wait thy will." He 
called me to him, and gave me a copy of Miss Jer- 
ram's Memoir. He said it had been of great use to 
him, and that God's dealings witbher had sometimes 
comforted him. " We both passed through great 
sorrows, but God comforted us both in his own time. 

Read it dear F ; I give you my copy — I have 

no further need of it ; and may God bless it to you." 
He asked to have the 17th chapter of St. John read 
to him, and remarked " how very plain is the doc- 
trine of that chapter. I wonder there should be so 
much controversy ab^ut it " 

" What is to-morrow ?" he asked " It is the Sab- 
bath." He seemed plpased, and earnestly begged 
that the congregation might be requested to pray 
for him in the church. On Sunday morning he was 
much weaker, and his end was evidently fast 
approaching. To a kind friend who had nursed hini^ 
he said, "How do I look now?" She saw the 
approach of death in his languid eye and pallid couor* 


tenance. " You look worse, Master Wilberforce, I 
do Qot think that you can live much longer." The 
effect produced by her opinion was truiy astonish- 
ing. His dim eye lighted up, all his features 
assumed a new life, and turning to her, he said, 

** Oh, thank you, dear Mrs. G , good news J you 

tell me good news« Shall I indeed be in. heaven to 
day J " My father came into the room. " Papa,'* 
said he, ** how do I look — am I altered V " No, 
nay dear boy. I see little difference in you.** He 
was evidently disappointed. "Do you see no differ- 
ence," said he, " Mrs. G^ does. 6he made me 

fio happy.7— She thinks I may die to-day." My father 
sat with him the whole of the day while we were 
at churchy and ^illy asked him to read the service 
tor the visitation of the sick. He listened with 
devout attention, and when ii was ended, he said, 
*' Oh my dear papa, what beautiful prayers ! what 
an affecting service I it expresses my whole heart*'* 

He ^then said to his mother, " I love to look at 
you, mamma. I love to smile at you« but I want to 
smile at Jesus." He asked her to draw near, and 
let him lean on her bosom. " It is sweet to lean on 
you dear mamma — but I long to lean on the bosom 
of Jesus." He conversed with his father in the 
aflernoon for the last time. Reference is made to 
this conversation in his papers as follows. 

" Agony, — conflict, — ^triumph, — glorying in tMn 
second struggle with Satan — expecting anothet^ 
struggle — not fearing it. — ^The enemy subdued« 
bruised under his feet. — ^Longing to be in heaven—* 
not able to form any idea of another world, yet full 
confidence of being there. — ^I know in whom I am 
trusting— dreading to linger, yet bowing to the wiU 
of God. — His joy in the prayers of the church for 
him — Christ toUl save me." 

'* He had been accustomed to teach a class in th 
Suaday 3ctioolf and be^ed that his dying messag 

333 wilberfqrce's death. 

might be written down and sent to the children that 
evening. He had not beea able to lie in bed for a 
week, owing to the pain in his side, but on Sunday- 
evening he expressed a wish to be undressed and 
put into bed, being inclined to sleep. He was 
accordingly put into bed, and lay very tranquil and 
comfortable. My father stood watching beside bim 
till he thought him asleep. He then went to his 
study, as he afterwards told us, to pray that, if it 
were God's wiil, his child might have quiet and ease 
in his last moments ; for he much dreaded the sever- 
ity of a dying agony, which from the past he thought 
probable. As he was going away he blessed him, 
and looking at him as he lay, serene and beautiful 
in his repose, he said, " So he giveth his beloved 
sleep." Willy opened his eyes on hearing these 
words, and replied, " Yes, dear papa, and the rest 
which Christ gives is sweet." These were his last 
words. He immediately sunk into a long and peace- 
ful slumber* We were sitting near him. Mrs, ^ 

his faithful nurse, stood and watched beside him. 
We could hear distinctly every breath he drew, and 
the least change in the sound was perceptible. One 
or two breathings were slower and longer, which 
made us get up and look at him. He appeared as 
if slumbering very sweetly. — There was no altera- 
tion in his countenance, and we were going to sit 

down again, when Mrs. , said, " Call your papa 

immediately." We did so, and he came just in time 
to hear his last sigh. I think he awoke from sleep 
but felt no pain, nor was sensible of death. My 
father raised Willy's head upon his arm, and con- 
templated it for a minute. The countenance looked 
placid, as if it had beheld the Saviour's face in right- 
eousness, and was satisfied. My father pressed the 
lifeless body to his bosom, and burst into a flood of 
tears, stru^ling with nature's anguish. At length 
subduing fais feelings, he said, <' My child is a saint 

i^OiBerfokce's death. 333 

in glory." He bid us all follow him to the study) 
(hat he might praise God for his mercy and loving- 
kindness. He opened the Bible and read the last 
two chapters of the Book of Revelations, and then 
knelt down and prayed with us. It was a moment 
not to be forgotten. Our dear father appeared so 
absorbed in the contemplation of his child's entrance 
into heaven, and its union with the spirits of the just 
made perfect, as to be scarcely conscious of the 
pres^ce of his family around him. 

"Between the death and the funeral of -my 
brother, my dear father's mind was often severely 
exercised* Sometimes he would weep, and say, 
**A11 thy waves and storms are gone over me," and 
then ^ Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death 
of his saints." " He giveth and he taketh away, 
and blessed be his holy name." He would rise 
early in the morning to gaze on the peaceful coun- 
tenance of bis departed child. We overheard him 
giving vent to the mingled emotion of his heart in 
the chamber of death. But hg was comforted in 
tribulation, and he returned to his family, to sooth 
their sorrows with the comfort wherewith he was 
comforted of God. He said little, but his calm and 
subdued spirit bespoke Christian resignation. He 
used to teach us that disquiet was the result of 
distrust, and we saw in his silent submission an 
example of his own principle, that his heart trusted 
in God. " Though his hand be lifted up to destroy, 
yet from that very hand do I expect salvation."* 

" A vault was opened for Wilberforce under the 
chancel. An incident occurred which much affected 
us, and which showed the pious and affectionate 
sympathy of the people in the sorrows of their 
pastor. The workmen had not completed the vault 
till past eleven o'clock at night, when they agreed 

* Leighton. 



to descend into it, and consecrate the place which 
was shortly to receive our brother's remains, by 
prayer* The sepulchre of the dead became holy 
ground. They joined in praises to him who is the 
resurrection and the life, and who has enlightened 
the gloomy grave by his own presence. They 
continued in prayer till midnight, commending their 
beloved minister to the grace of Gk)d — invoking 
blessings on his family, and entreating that this 
mournful event might be over-ruled to the increase 
of religion in the parish ; — and may we not hope 
that prayer was heard ? * The subsequent state of 
the village may be described as life from the dead. 
In the morning of my brother's interment, my father 
prayed with his family. I trust that the Spirit of 
God poured out his special influence on the mindar 
of those present. A friend afterwards observed, 
** This is the fervent prayer of a righteous man, 
which availeth much. Can we doubt that it is 
recorded in heaven, and will long be remembered 
on earth." %^, 

"From this tyne, ptifdear father gave himself up 
to the work of th^ ministry with redoubled dili- 
gence. The congregations were large and atten- 
tive. He went daily from cottage to cottage 
amongst the poor, warning, exhorting, comforting, 
and confirming the souls of the disciples in the 
grace of God. He used to meet persons nearly 
every evening in the week, for prayer and exposi- 
tion of the Scriptures, Many a heart in Turvey 
fitill glows at the recollection of these seasons. 
There was a genenB revival of religion both 
amongst old and young, njid scarcely a day passed 
in which some one did^ not anxiously inquire, 
.jLWhat must I do to be saved ? '* There might be 
ro this excitement son^ething that was of a doubtful 
character, but there were certainly many real con- 
versions, and a general and increased attention 






towards religion, unknown at any former period. 
My father seldom left his parish, or saw any one 
out of his own family ; to whom he became still 
more endeared, and for whose progress and .^. 
improvement in religion, he manifested an anxiety "'^ 
even to depression, and an earnestness which im- 
paired his own health. He had naturally very high * ♦ 
spirits, and was at times playful in his conversation ; 
but now, though he sometimes smiled, he was ever 
thoughtfill, pensive, and silent. He appeared to be * 
wounded by the least approximation to levity, and 
was continually pressing on us a more serious 
apprehension of eternity. On one occasion, when 
he thought we had indulged in a conversation too 
little in unison with the late event — ^he made no 
remark at the time, but the next morning I found 
on jny table the following note. 

"My dearest Child, 
" There is a degree of relief to a tender spirit in 
the communication of it^ thoughts and feelings. 
The affecting scenes of this time twelvemonth have 
scarcely ever been absent from my recollection 
even for a moment. In the^midst of our (perhaps, 
too great) hilarities, I have pictured to my imagina- 
^ tion Willy dying last week, and this week dead in 
the house. Have we all felt and done as much as 
we ought on this most affecting occasion ? Is the 
sacredness and solemnity of that interesting period 
preserved in our hearts? Has the erection of 
another tablet in the church sufGciently moved our 
affections ? Monday evening was a trjdng hour to 
my heart. My poor Willy died on that day, and 
as on next Sunday we buried him. • Oh I let you 

and I, my much loved F ^ ponder these things 

in our souls for good. Amidst the living, let us not 
forget the dead- * # % • 

L. R.'' 


• c 

236 wuiBerforce's death. 

**My dear father for many years had been 
accustomed to write pastoral letters to his parish- 
ioners, which were read in the school-room to 
those who chose to attend. The following address 
to them was written soon after my brother's death. 

**My dear Friends, Neighbours, and 


"In the midst of my sorrows at the removal 
of my dearly-loved child, I wish you to know that 
the Lord supports me wonderfully. I cannot yet 
come out amongst you, but I cannot be quite silent. 
I have therefore desired my friend and fellow- 
labourer to read this letter to you. I have preached 
the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ to you more 
than nineteen years, and through his mercy I have 
seen some precious fruits of these labours amongst 
you, but never have I witnessed st more beautiful 
or triumphant evidence, that I have not taught, 
preached, or lived in vain, than in the case of my 
dear son, now a sharer of the Redeemer's glory in 
heaven. Oh, what a call for praise, that he was 
not only my natural, but also my spiritual child. 
Such was his love to Christ, and Christ's love to 
him, that I am lost in wonder, love, and praise. I 
am persuaded there are many of you, who feel 
deeply for me. You can weep for me when I 
weep, and rejoice with me when I rejoice. You 
have prayed for my child. It was the delight of 
his heart to hear of your love and sympathy, and 
he dwelt on the interest you took in his welfare, to 
the very day of his death. He was indeed a boy 
of no common mind, and the Lord sanctified his 
great natural endowments to his own glory. I feel 
more and more every hour what a treasure I have 
lost ; but at the same time I see more and more 
what a blessedness he has attained. I have been 
fvatching him at home and abroad, with a parent'i 

wilberforce's death. 237 

eye and a Christian's heart, both for his body and 
soul, ever since disease fastened on his frame last 
summer, and no one will ever know what my 
anxieties have been during that period. But I trust 
God meant all for my good. The trial, severely as 
I have felt it, has shown me more of myself, and 
more of my God. My prayers for my dear chi)d 
have been abundantly answered. Blessed be God ! 
he was enabled to disclose his whole heart to me, 
and to others, before he was taken away. He con- 
versed with many in a most useful and edifying 
manner, exhorting them to prayer, faith, and holi< 
ness. He could tell them all, that he knew in 
whom he trusted, and could look at death with 
perfect peace. Believe me, then, when I tell you, 
that though I am greatly affected, and humbled in 
the dust with a sense of sin and sorrow, yet that 
my mercies are so abounding in abounding chas- 
tisement, that I can, and do rejoice in tribulation. 
Oh ! may it work patience, and patience experience, 
and experience hope, and may hope make me more 
faithful and diligent, and I be not ashamed of the 
gospel in principle or practice, for your sakes, as 
well as my own. It is a great comfort to me how, 
as I am kept from ministering to you for a season, 
that you have one amongst you who preaches the 
flame truth, and in the^ same spirit. May our 
common Lord and Saviour bless him, and you, aA# 
roe together. I beg your prayers, at this season i^ 
particular, for me and mine. They are no lon^r 
needful for my beloved son. Let them be tfans- 
ferred to the surviving members of my family. 
Pray especially for those who watch for your souls 
*— that we may experience help and comfort in 
ourselves, and dispense the word of life with more 
zeal and love. Pray that there may be no divisions 
or wanderings of heart amongst us—- that we naay 
be all of one mind and judgment in the things which 


3^ wilbervorce's death. 

make for our everlasting peace. Pray that the 
young children may be brought up in the nurture 
and admonition of the Lord. My dear boy sent 
them a message on his dying bed, which was read 
to them a short time before his believing happy soul 
centered into rest. May the whole school remem- 
ber it for his sake^ and their soul's sake. God bless 
you all« my dear friends^ I cannot doubt, but that 
you will bear me oq your hearts to a throne of grace. 

Your aflfectionate Minister, 

L. R." 

** When my father resumed his labours amongst 
the people, he seemed to be aware of his declining 
health though he said nothing to the family. His 

' visual and only reply, when we expressed our fears, 
iwras, " I must work while it is called to-day. The 
night Cometh when no man can work." He 
appeared moulded into the spirit of the Apostles, 

'.'* affectionately desirous to spend and be spent in 
the service of his flock, and to impart to them not 
only the gospel of Christ, but, if it were possible, 
his own soul also ; and the people caught the holy 
contagion of his fervent zeal and love. There was 
between them an almost unexampled reciprocity of 
regard and desire to glorify God, and walk humbly, 
justly, and unblameably before him."* • 

" You will receive with indulgence the overflow- 
ings of my heart towards a father whose memory 
IS still cherished by his family and by his parish- 
ioners, with the deepest gratitude, and I hope we 
may add, with an unfeigned anxiety to walk in the 
fiteps of his bright example, and meet him again in 
ei^erlasting glory. 

Believe me, my very dear Sir, 

Your afiectionate and faithful 

F ."^ 

♦ 1 Thegs. iv. 3. 



Sure 'tis a solemn thing to die, my soul. — Blair. 

This only can reconcile us to the grave, that our greatest hopes 
lie beyond it — Hows. 

We proceed, tvith the same view of illustration, to 
notice some particulars relating to the third daughter 
of Mr. Richmond, who survived her father only a 
year and a half. She also was the child of faith 
and prayer, and equally the object of his tender 
solicitude with the rest of his family. 

I am not warranted to present her character as 
an instance of high attainment in piety, but the 
exercises of her mind during her last illness, suffi- 
ciently disclose the salutary effect of a religious 
.education, and while we indulge the pleasing hope 
that she has joined her beloved father in the man- 
sions of the blessed, her case will afford additional 
encouragement to the christian parent, to^ow in his 
cljildren's hearts the seeds of eternal life, which, 
watered " by the early and latter rain, seldom fail 
to spring up and ripen to reward his labours, as 
occasions arise in the varying circumstances and 
events of life. 

This amiable young woman " possessed an ex* 
uberance of animal spirits and a turn for the ludi- 
crous, which was very difficult to be restrained 
within the bounds of discretion, and gave her dear 
father much anxiety."* ' 

*. Extracted from Mrs. R^s letter to the Author. 

240 MR bichhokd's third daughter. 

VCv*'*" "^ volatile temper is in all cases a grievous 
^ hindrance to intellectual and spiritual improvement. 
Crood conversation cannot consist with the indul- 
gence of '* foolish talking and jesting/' and the nnind 
IS diverted by it from solid and useful pursuits. 
We may attempt to excuse this cast of character, 
and speak of it as a playfulness of temper; but 
after all, it cannot be approved. The disposition to 
amuse ourselves with the defects or peculiarities of 
others, may generally be traced to vanity in our^ 
selves, and is a habit of mind wholly inconsistent 
with the spirit of humility and love, as well as a sad 
forgetfulness of that solemn caution, '* Every idle 
word that a man shall speak, he shall give an 
account thereof at the day of judgment."* 

There was not, however, any thing cynical or 
severe in the strain of this young person's conver- 
sation. She was naturally frank, open, and kind- 
hearted, and to oblige another was a real satisfaction 
to herself. It was rather a thoughtless propensity, 
common to many young people, "to giggle and 
make giggle,''t that I am lamenting. 

It is difficult to speak of the dead so as not to 
wound the tender feelings of the living, but when 
it is required to pourtray character, the simple 
declaration of the truth is best, and is indeed the 
only course consistent with Christian integrity. 
She who forms the subject of my present remarb, 
affixed a solemn seal to their truth in the affecting 
review which she took of the past, in her dying 
hours. It is a source of much congratulation that 
she is now beyond the opinion of man, whose 
imperfect knowledge renders him at all times 
incompetent to pronounce on his fellow creatures, 
and should remind him of the danger of assuming a 

* Matt. xii. 36. 
t Cowper*! Letterf. 


prerogative he cannot claim. ''Judge nothing 

before the time/' r 

Mr. Richmond placed his daughter at school 

at , where be expected the strictest attention 

would be paid to her principles and conduct. I 
have no reason to suppose that he was dissatisfied 
with the care and vigilance of those to whom he 
had entrusted his child; but whatever she had 
acquired in other respects, it does not appear that 
at the close df her education she had made any 
advancement in religion. 

About this time Mr. R. addressed the following 
letter to her : 

" Dear H , 

"And now comes your turn. Receive, read, 
mark, and inwardly digest. I do not know how 
much you are grown in stature, but I do hope you are 
growing in wisdom. Then, whether you are to be a 
woman tall, or a woman short, will signify very 
little. You will, if your wisdom be of the right 
kind, be of a tall mind and of tall attainments, an j 
we will call you the little woman with the great 
soul. I have heard of a person's soul being so mean 
and small, that if you were to put it into a liollow 
mustard seed and shake it well, it would rattle. 
Now that is not the sort of soul I wish to discover 
in you. I want to see a soul in you which can em- 
brace all useful and requisite knowledge— -a soul 
which can extend its energies beyond ordinary 
limits — ^which can feel for all around you, and carry 
its benevolent activity throughout the universe — 
which can contemplate the globe, such a one as you 

study at B , and find new problems upon it — 

as how to carry the gospel into all latitudes and all 
longitodes— bow to excite pity iMr Hie poor heathen 



in every zone and climate of the world — how to 
equalize all nations in the sympathy of Christiao 
love, and thus make a spiritual equator — ^how to 
estimate the coldness of irreligion in the burning 
regions of the tropics, and how to carry the lively 
heat of evangelical charity into the districts of the 
poles. I would have you capable of grasping all 
these questions in your heart, with as much ease as 
your hands would clasp a doll, or as mine would 
clasp your own dear self to my bosom. But why 
do I wish that your soul may become thus capacious? 
Simply to this end — ^that you may thereby resemble 
him who so loved the world, that he came into it to 

save sinners ; yes, sinners, H , like unto you* 

Have you ever thought of this great truth as you 
ought ? Is foolishness still bound up in the heart 
of my child ? Is human existence only to be esti- 
mated by play-things, and holidays, and all the &c's. 
of a light-minded state ? What, a young damsel 
almost fourteen years old, and no more progress in 
divine things ! Study your Bible, and remember 
your privileges. Study your Bible, and dig deep 
for a foundation whereon to build our house. Study 
your Bible, and say what must become of all the 
thoughtless little girls in the world, if they do not 
repent and believe. Once more, study your Bible, 
and learn what you first owe to (Jod, and then to 
your parents, and then to brothers and sisters, then 
to teachers, and then to school-fellows, and then to 
all mankind. Such a meditation will, with God's 
blessing, prove a merciful hour to your own soul, 
and for the sake of your's, to my soul also. I hope 
you will now pursue your education with earnest- 
ness. Now is the time to lay in a stock of useful 
knowledge. You cannot set too high a value on 
the advantages which you possess. Whether you 
eat or drink, or. whatever you do, do all to the glory 
of God. Chtyi^wa^ ^^^ its vanities njust sp^dily 

• I 




pass away, and you must have done with childish 
things. Learn to pray, and commit your whole 
soul and body to Christ. He is able to keep what 
you give into his hand, unto the great day when the 
secrets of all hearts shall be disclosed, You are 
now at the age of which little Jane did this. Are 
you like her ? are you as ready to meet your God as 
she was? Ask the question of your heart, and 
carry it to the throne of mercy, where all praying 
souls are made welcome. I hope you like the 
Bible-meeting at Northampton. I wish you early 
to cultivate a cordial interest in that great work — 
the greatest work of the age. In the day when 
Dame Eleanor's cross* was built, the Bible was 
unknown to the greatest part of the country. What 
a contrast now ! The angel flies through heaven 
and earth, presenting it to all. The stone cross was 
once almost an idol ; but the true cross proclaimed 
in the Bible, is the real Christian's ensign, prop, and 
delight. Farewell, dear love. I am 

Your own dear father, 

L. R." 

The next letter was written to the same daughter 
on her birth-day. 

« Dear H , 

" The. return of a birth-day is the signal for grat- 
itude. Fourteen years ago, as I sat in my Tittle 
study at Brading, in the Isle of Wight, about six in ^ 
the morning, in came a woman bearing in ber arms 
a little baby, and wished me joy of the same — now 
this little baby was a httle girl, and that little girl 

was my H , and now is the 15th time that joy 

has been uttered from year to year whenever that 

* This cross is erected about a milefitHBjNprthamptoD, and 
was once held ip great veneration by Catliofie ^votees. 

•r • - 
' . ■ ■ • 

* > 

344 BiR. Richmond's letters 

day was named. But what is joy i Is it only a 
holiday ? But what is joy ? Is it only a game of 
play,— is it merely a jumping, and frisiung, and run- 
ning, and chattering, and doTl-dressing, and merry- 
making, and feast-keeping ? Is this all the joy of a 
birth-day? Away, far away, be all such feeble 
interpretations of the word. Then what is a birth- 
day joy ? Is it not the joy of parents, when they 
see their children growing up in the fear of the 
Lord, and in the practice of holiness ? Is it not the 
joy of the husbandman, when he sees his crop ripe 
and plentiful, and offering the promise of harvest ? 
Is it not the joy of the gardener, when he perceives 
his young trees thrive, and blossom, and bear fruit ? 
Is it not the joy of the mother-bird, when after all 
her watchings, and tremblings, and flutterings over 
the nest, she sees her little ones begin to fly, and 
become capable of answering the end of divine 
providence in their creation ? Is it not the joy of 
the Christian instructor, when after hours, and days, 
and months, and years spent in warning, teaching, 
guiding, praying for, and affectionately superintend- 
mg the young pupil's best interests — ^that pupil 
proves a living commentary on the precepts receiv- 
ed, grows in grace, and love, and humility, and 
activity and obedience, and as. a bud of promise 
cheers the hearts of surrounding friends with pros- 
pects of usefulness through life in all its relative cir- 
cumstances? If such be the ingredients of birth- 
day joy when duly estimated, may I be gratified in 
expressing my joy to-day, and can you also partici- 
pate in'joy thus appreciated ? God bless you, my 

dear H , on this day, and on every day. Time 

flies, opportunity flies, the school-hour flies, child- 
hood flies, all things are hastening to a grand con- 
summation, — what a solemn thought ! May my 
child conceive and cherish it to the glory of God, 
and her own .everlasting consolation. May Christ 


become to her a gracious Saviour, received, loved 
and honoured by her. Such is the prayer of her 
affectionate father. 

On an occasion of indisposition, Mr. R. writes 

"Dear H. 

** My anxious wish for your spiritual and temporal ^.^ 
welfare induces me to express my thoughts to you ^u* 
in these little notes. I cannot tell you how much I • 
desire that this season of sickness may be blessed of 
God to your present and everlasting good. Thig 
thought is continually before me, and I pray con- 
stantly to him that you may be inwardly strength- / ^ 
ened by the power of his might. Examine your- ^ . ?r 
self, rrove yourself. Bring your heart and all " 'r-} 
your thoughts before Grod, and make a solemn sur- 
render of yourself to him. Employ with gratitude 
and patience the means which are prescribed for 
your recovery, but trust in him alone. Physicians 
can do nothing without his blessing on the medicines. 
I thank Grod for your last note, and shall be much 
pleased when you can and will write me another. 
Above all things be much in prayer, in the watches 
of the night speak to Grod ; in the events of the day, 
tell him how much you need and depend on him. 
In moments of weakness, ask him for strength ; in 
seasons of pain, petition for contentment. He will 
of his riches abundantly supply your need. But you 
must deal faithfully with yourself, and humbly and 
perseveringly with him. Be not content with 
merely saying, Christ died for sinners. Try to get 
an evidence that you have a personal interest in 
him. This may be known by the state of your 
heart towards him. ''We love him because he 



246 MR. Richmond's letters 

first loved us." His love produces love, and our 
love to him proves that he has loved, and does love 
us. Are j^ou isnorant 1 he is wisdom. Are yon 
guilty 1 he is righteousness. Are you unholy ? he is 
sanctification. Are you a captive ? he is redemp- 
tion. What is he not to the sinner? his sti^ngth is 
perfect in the believer's weakness. He was tempted 
in all points like as we are, and therefore knows 
how to succour them that are tempted. O my 
child ! if you can only cleave to him, and all that 
he is, and all he has promised to be, nothing can 
harm you. Meditate on these things, and may God 
make them quite and entirely your own. Now for 
a text for reflection. *' In all our afflictions he was 

''Not a pang ever distressed our bodies, nor 
a trial our hearts, but Jesus has felt it, and he not 
only felt it in himself, but he feels it for, and in us. 
What a consolation is here ! This thought bos sup- 
ported thousands in their trouble. May it support 
you. Behold Christ is in every thing, see him every 
where, acknowledge him in every trial; for he 
sympathises in all the trials of them that are his. 
They have not one pain too many. Even sufferings 
will all work together for good to them that love 

him. I wish my loved H may see, feel, 

believe, and enjoy this encouraging thought, and 
make it her own. God love and bless you. So 

Your affectionate Father, 

L. iv. 

On another occasion he writes : — 

"Dear Love, 

" The heart of man is deceitful above all things, 

and desperately wicked, who can know it ? So 

said the prophet of old, and so will every one say 

that knows the plague of his own heait. I want 

r • 


you to employ your whole time now in studying 
your heart, that you may increasingly feel the need 
of a Saviour. Who else can cleanse your heait, 
but he who died for its salvation. Do not be con- 
tented with a little religion, a little knowledge, a 
little hope. Press forward to the enjoyment of a great 
and gracious religion, much knowledge of Christ, 
and a glorious hope full of immortality. I am in- 
deed most anxious that you may now in right earnest 
seek and find the Lord. <* What must I do to be 
saved ?" is a great question. How shall my deceit- 
ful heart be renewed. Whenever I die, whither 
shall I go ? are all questions connected with it. Ask 
God with all your heart for a right answer. 

Your affectionate Father, 

L. R.' 

This letter was followed by another under the 
same circumstances. 

" Dear Child, 

" Your reminding me not to foi^et to write to 
you, leads me to hope that you read my little notes 
with a desire to profit by them. You do not know 
how anxious I am for your soul's good. What God 
designs for you in the present illness, I know not ; 
but this I know, that you cannot be too earnest 
about your eternal state. You cannot mourn for 
sin too deeply. You cannot love Christ too affec- 
tionately. You cannot trust in his blood and 
righteousness too firmly. I want you to be a monu- 
ment of mercy ; a believing, loving, praying child. 
If God is pleased to restore you to health, may you 
adorn the doctrine which you have been taught, 
and if he should see good to remove you to anotner 
world, O if^y you sleep sweetly in Jesus. Be 

348 MR. Richmond's letters 

much in prayer: "Seek and ye shall find.*' No 
favour is too great for God to grant. You are past 
the age of childish ignorance, and are now an 
accountable being. 

*'My H , nothing will satisfy me short of 

your being a true child of God. What effect have 
recent events produced on your mind? What 
desires, what fear^, what hopes, what views of sin 
and Christ ? * * * * j^^y God make 
you a joy to your affectionate Father, 

L. iv. 

In the year 1825, an offer of marriage was made 
to this daughter, of which Mr. R. expressed his 
cordial approbation in the following short note. 

"My dear friend, 

" On consulting Mrs. R. and our dear H f 

they both agree, that the beginning of July is the 
earliest period at which the object in view can be 
accomplished. So leaving it in their hands, I simply 
put my seal of approbation and consent to their 
decision ; and I do so with a heart full of love and 
esteem for you both. May God bless your pros- 
pects, and your souls in them. I love all my 
children too well not to say, that in committing 

H into your hands, I give you one of my 

cherished treasures, and sources of domestic en- 
dearment. I feel parting with my daughter the 
more, from the removal of my loved, my much- 
loved Wilberforce. His death, with all. its affecting 
associations, has had a peculiar, I trust a very useful 
effect upon all my feelings, sentiments, ministrations, 
prospects, and thoughts for time and eternity. The 
subject is wound up with my heart's experience, in 
a way I can never describe. I pray Grod to over- 


rule it for the present and eternal good of myself 
and my dear family. Your^s very truly and affeo 

L. R.'' 

Previous to the marriage of his daughter, Mr. R. 
put into her hands a paper of directions for her 
future conduct, which for simplicity, affection, and 
sound practical wisdom, may be considered one of 
the best dowries that a Christian parent could 
bestow pn his child. 

The paper is entitled, '^ Marriage admonitions to 
H , from her affectionate father, L. R." 

"My much loved daughter, 

" When your sister Mary left her partemal roof, I 
gave her a paper of admonitions, which I requested 
her sometimes to read for her own and for her 
father's sake. I do the same for you, in the form 
of a friendly string of maxims to regulate your 
conduct in your new and very responsible situation. 

" 1st. Aim at keeping a devoted heart for God 
in the least and most common transactions of every 
hour, as well as in those events which may seem to 
call the loudest for manifestations of religious con- 
science and principle. 

" 2nd. Pray regularly and frequently, not seldom 
and occasionally, for grace to live and die by. 

'^ 3rd. Remember the principles and professions 
of your father's house, and every where endeavour 
to preserve its character, by consistency in conduct, 
conversation, and temper. 

" 4th. Form no hasty intimacies, and none what- 
ever but such as may promote seriousness of heart, 
tongue, and demeanour. 

" 5th. Beware of cheerfulness degenerating into 
levity, and ignorance of the world into prejudice. 




^' 6th. Guard against hasty judgments of char^ 
acter, and above all against hastily uttering senti- 
ments, and making remarks to the disparagement 
of others. 

"7th. Wherever you are, not only remember 
that Gkni^s eye is upon you, but imagine to yourself 
that your husband and father are also present. It 
may be a fanciful, but it is a profitable supposition. 

*' 8th. Keep in constant recollection the wise, 
prudent, and conscientious example of your dear 
mother. Be cautious when in religious company, 
and endeavour to sustain a deportment which may 
induce the excellent of the earth to desire your 
society for their own sake as well as your's. 

"9th. Particularly "avoid making the errors, 
failings, faults or .follies of good people, either in 
private or public matters, the subject of rash and 
unguarded remarks. Be known for charity, for- 
bearance, and kindness. 

" 10th. Keep Christ's golden rule, Luke vi. 31. 
in perpetual remembrance, it is the panacea for 
most of the evils of life, so far as they are connected 
with social intercourse. 

" 11th. Entertain no prejudices against nations, 
churches, sects, or parties ; they are the bane of 
.*^ truth, charity, and comfort, and are directly opposed 
to the letter and spirit of Christianity. You may 
and ought to have a conscientious, well-founded 
preference, but not one half-formed, ill-formed 
prejudice against any one. 

*' 12th. Be conscientious towards all, friendly 
with few, intimate with fewer still, strictly confi- 
dential with fewest of all. 

" 13th. From the hour you marry, you assume 
the characterof a matron ; be not a childish, girlish 
wife ; the vows of Gk>d are upon you, sQilain their 
gravity and prudence in all things. 


" 14th* If circumstances and friendly connec- 
tions lead you into the superintendence of charitable 
institutions, enter upon your office with prayer and 
consideration, and persevere in the discharge of its 
duties with patience and well-guided zeal. 

" 15th. Let no natural vivacity of temper, no 
occasionally indulged sallies of humour and jocularity 
throw a shade over the exercise of solid principle. 
Little foolish things give a colour to character, and. 
are more easily caught at than grave and good 

'' 16th. All eyes are sure to be fixed on a young 
wife ; beware of, while you conform to, that sort of 
bridal publicity, which is necessarily connected with 
every circle of residents and acquaintance. 

" 17th. Choose female intimates with circum- 
spection ; many civil, hospitable, agreeable persons, 
are far from being improving companions ; we may 
owe and pay them the debt of civility, kindness and 
gratitude, and yet not be obliged to give them too 
much of our time and affection. Two or three truly 
Christian women form a circle sufficiently large for 
profitable friendship. 

" 18th. Ill every, however small a circle of ac- 
quaintance, you will find more or less of party spirit, 
prejudice, and too great freedom of remark on per- 
sons and circumstances connected with them : be- 
ware of making one of these. Be slow to judge, 
rather than swift to speak ; the best Christians often 
fail here. 

" 19th. You are much given to laughter, my dear 
child, and many a hearty laugh 1 have enjoyed with 
you, and I would not turn your laughter into sorrow, 
but this propensity may prove a snare to yOd. 
Watch and be jealous of it, banish what looks like 
giggling, l^tness, and folly, and cultivate a chast- 
ened cheenulness^and simplicity of manner in all 

S53 MABKAOS ADMOimtOllfl. 

^ 20th. Never forget that you are entering an 
entire circle of strangers, and that a very few weeks 
or months will establish your character amongst 

** Once more, I say, think of your father^s house 
and reputation. When I look upon myself and all 
that belongs to me, I feel ashamed of my own feeble, 
faint, attempts to serve God, and adorn his gospel ; 
yet the Christian vrorid has attached to them, how- 
ever undeservedly, a value, and by the name and 
character of their father, will my children be tried 
and appreciated. 

''21st. Keep indelibly engraven on your heart the 
affecting scenes of last January. A dying brother^s 
faithful admonitions — his last words, his last looks of 
mortal affection. Our household never witnessed 
the like, was never so tried. The memorials dwell 
on my heart with increasing poignancy. I say less 
but I feel more ; there is a solemn, silent, softening 
and subduing influence which often overwhelms me. 
May you retain a vivid recollection, with a perpetu- 
^ ated blessing, of that day when our Wilberforce fled 
from earth to heaven. 

''22d. Be especially attentive to the opinion which 

yourdemeanour may inspire amongst your husband's 

relations. No doubt he has praised you before them, 

'^ i endeavour to prove in all points that he has done 

.^ . you no more than justice ; much family peace and 

love depends upon this. 

• ^ "23d. There are many excellent hints in the book 

entitled " A Whisper to a new married pair." I 

recommend them to your perusal ; and there are 

many more excellent hints to wives and women in 

th^ Bible, from Solomon, Paul, and Peter ; study 

them well. 

"24th. When you think of your father, bear vnth 
his infirmities, pardon his faults, but remember his 


principles and instructions, so far as they have been 
agreeable to the will of God. 

" 25th. Be not contented with any filing short of 
deep, devoted, diligent, decided seriousness. Make 
not the too numerous half-hearted and decent, but 
dubious Christians, your patterns for imitation. Set 
your mark and standard very high, and aim deliber- 
ately to regulate your conduct by it. 

''26th. If you and your husband happen to differ 
in opinion or feeling in any point, remember whom 
you have promised to love, honour and obey, and 
this will settle all things. 

" 27th. Of your husband's warm affection towards 
you, I entertain no doubt ; strive to preserve them 
by daily elevation of character, not so much by fond- 
ness as by prudence and dignity. Study his char- 
acter, he will study your's. May you both learn to 
raise a fabric of connubial happiness by mutual wis- 
dom and love. 

"28th. I trust you are taught in the school of 
Christ ; rely not, however, on the past privileges of 
education, but seek present evidences, such as will 
comfort you under *sudden alarms and distresses, 
should they occur. Try to get acquainted with 
yourself by a review of your whole life, and often 
carry to the Lord in prayer and confidence, the 
results of examination into your heart and conduct. 

" 29th. Observe great simplicity. liMll^rplainness in 
dress. A clergyman's wife should be a pattern to 
others in these respects; there is a just complaint 
made of many females who profess to be religious, 
that they are far too showy and gay in their out- 
ward apparel ; — remember the apostle's injunction 
— 1 Peter iii. 1—6. 

" 30th. Never think yourself too old to learn ; the 
most valuable period of education is perhaps from 
tV^enty to forty years of age. The matured mind 
is fittest to become Uie little child, 



" 31st. You are bidding farewell to your father's 
house, the Ijpme of your infancy, childhood, and 
youth ; yet the remembrance of the principles in 
which you have been educated should follow you 
thix>ugh life, whei:eyer divine Providence may see 
jfit to call you. May these be a guide to you at all 
times, a consolation to you in your final removal 
from a sinful and changing w<H*ld. 

^'Christ has been made known to you fully and 
fireely : let Christ be your all in eiU^ both now and 
for ever. Receive my parting advice in love, and 
be assured, my beloved child, it comes from the 
itfectionate heart of 

Your dear father, 

A riiort time before her marriage, Miss H. R. 

paid a visit to . I was gratified in discovering 

m a young woman, not yet twenty years of age, so 
much thought and good sense on the subjects of 
our conversation. In common with ,the rest of her 
family, she entertained a deep sense of her father's 
afiection, consistency, and uniform anxiety for the 
q)iritual welfare of his children. 

When I adverted to her responsibility on the 
ground of past pfivileges, and to the necessity of a 
personal application of the principles in which she 
nad been educated, she observed, ^ I know that 
religion requires something more of me than respect 
for my father," and she then proceeded to state to 
me some of the perplexities of her mind on certain 
doctrines, which led me to remark that young 
people were apt to begin where they should end, 
and as an old author has quaintly said, wish '< to 
matriculate at the university of election before they 
have passed through the grammar-school of repent- 


anCe and faith.'* I advised her to lay aude the 
consideration of the deep things of Gk)d. These, 
said I, are far beyond the range of a young disciple. 
The time may arrive when such subjects may be 
studied with advantage, for it ia a great mistake tp 
suppose that God has revealed any ttung which is 
unserviceable to his church, or needless to be 
understood ; but infancy, youth, and manhood, are 
not to be fed with the same aliment. I have no 
wish to conceal from you that my mind is made up 
on these subjects, though I am far from being coa- 
fident in the certainty of my own conclusions on 
points which are debateable and still debated 
amongst good and wise men ; but I feel no besita<» 
tion in dissuading you from employing your thougbtn 
on speculations, which at present will retacd rather 
than aid your progress. To ascertaio your coover- 
sion, and the remity of your piety, by the plain 
practical tests of the Bible, ought to be your chief 
and indeed only concern. Admit that God calki^ 
keeps, and alone can bring you to heaven, and you 
know all that is essential to your salvation. 

** Yes, but if God does not call **— 

**Then call on him, ^Tum thou me, O good 
Lord, and so shall I be turned." 

«<We made a transition to her approaching 
marriage* I alluded to the pleasing prospect <^ 
being united to a man of principle and piety, aix) 
to the satisfaction ber fs^ther had expressed iii (hi 
anticipation of that event. 

She requested noe to converse with her on the 
duties of her new irelation. 

You entertain my dear young friend, no doubt, 
the usual expectations of tiappiness in married life^ 
and I do not wish to damp tnem ; but I am coi9- 
pelled to acknowledge that I have not witoesse^ 
much conjugal felidty. People joff on in Uf^ 
because tliey earaot da otherwise ; utbeyarenol 


indifferent to each other, nor annoy each other by 
contention and ill humour, they still appear to me 
to derive but little satisfaction from their connexion; 
little in comparison of what the relation is intended 
and calculated to inspire. 

'^ What are the causes of the disappointment in 
such cases?" 

Shall we say that there is want of affinity of 
character in the parties — that the connexion has 
been formed on some selfish calculation — ^that a 
mutual though not designed deception has been 
practised — that greater demands are made than 
a fallen nature can answer — that people are more 
tenacious of their claims than of their duties, and 
forget that affection needs cultivation as much or 
more, aftery than before marriage ? 

All these causes are fatal to happiness, yet where 
they may not exist, much uneasiness often arises in 
married life, from a disregard to the ordinance of 
God in that relation. Reference should be made to 
his rule and appointment. It is true he has made 
the man a sort of autocrat, {o^hwlf*i) — ^the head of 
a house to superintend and direct every important 
movement in it, but though entrusted with the chief 
power, he is responsible to God for the use he makes 
of it. Authority is granted to no one for the 
purpose of mere self gratification. The trust is 
abused when it is perverted to this end. Man is 
constituted the head, for the good of the members ; 
and he must rule with tenderness, forbearance, 
and affection. Matthew Henry has prettily ex- 
pressed the idea, '* God made woman out of man's 
side. Not out of his head to rule, nor out of his 
feet to be trampled on, but out of his rib which lies 
near his heart, to be loved and cherished.'* And when 
man forgets that his reign is the dominion of affec- 
tion, he provokes God, by an abuse and misuse of 
power, to resign his house to disorder and rebellioiu 


The wife has also her place^ She is equal in 
nature but not in relation. She mu3t shine by 
reflection, and will suffer an eclipse in her dignity, 
and bankruptcy in her happiness, whenever she sets 
up for herself, and affects equsJity and independ- 
ence« Her earthly hopes and satisfactions should 
emanate from her husband, and centre in him. 
The rule of duty for a Christian wife is, '* in and for 
the Lord.'' Her obedience must not irary with the 
capricious influences of feeling, but rest on the 
firmer basis of conformity to the ordinances of 
€rod. Affection may make duty delightful, but it is 
not the foundation of it. When a wife has just 
reason to disapprove of her husband's copduct, she 
may reason anid remonstrate ; occasions may unhap* 
pily arise in which conscience squires dissent, aod 
even disobedience ; but in general it is a womaQi'9 
privilege, as well as duty, to call her husband 
^Lord," and to keep within the limits wUch Gk)d 
has wisely and graciously appointed* 

My young friend thanked me for my instructions^ 
which she assured me were in unison with her owu 
views, and that she meant to enter op her new 
relation with these principles. 

The interval between her marriage and early 
death, might have been more fujly described by one 
who is best able to appreciate her conduct. But 
motives of delicacy and regard to his feelings, have 
restrained me from making an application to bimt 
and led me to prefer the insertion of an ei^traet 
from her mother's letter. Mrs. R. writes : 

''Her time was chiefly spent in the retired 
duties of domestic life. She seldom engaged in 
any thing of a public nature. She became a most 
exemplary and conscientious wife — a fond and 
tender mother to her little boy, whom she regarded 
with anxiety, and was preparing to train in the priap 
ciples and piety (^ her dear rather. Increasiqgjiy 



beloved by her^ husband, \rfaose comfort and 
happiness on his return from hrs daily and laborious 
occupations, she assiduously studied to promote — 
her short day of life sweetly glided on, and, like 
the flower of the desert, she attracted little notice 
beyond the immediate circle of the few friends to 
whom she attached herself." 

In September, 1828, Mrs. was confined 

with her second child. An account of the event 
and its afflictive results, was communicated at the 
time in the letter which follows. 

** I saw our poor H in the afternoon after 

her accouchement. She then appeared extremely 
well, and nursing a sweet infant with a mother^s 
joy. On Wednesday she complained of pain, and 
passed a very restless night. The next day Mr. 

A called in a physician, who seemed uneasy at 

her symptoms, and enjoined the utmost quiet, par- 
ticularly requesting that no one should speak of her 
danger, or say any thing to excite or agitate her 
mind. On Friday she grew worse, and inquired if 
there was danger, expressing her own conviction 
that she should not recover^ Her friends, in com- 
pliance with the strict injunctions of the medical 
man, discouraged her inquiries, and endeavoured ta 
draw her mind to other subjects. But in reply, she 
said, " Is this kind, to keep my thoughts from eter- 
nity ? I cannot realize death, and you will not help 
me. Can I think too much of death ?" She then 
inquired for me, and desired that I might be sent 
for. Aware of the great change in her countenance 
as I entered the room, she kept her eyes shut, 
remarking to the nurse, ^ I will keep my eyes shut, 
I shall be so agitated at seeing my dear sister^s dis- 
tress^ she will see me so changed." She wa» 
indeed changed ; her countenance, which only a 



week before had the bright hue of health, was now 

pale and wan. Oh ! my dear Mrs. F ^ how 

awful is the execution of the sentence, ^ The soul 
that sinneth it shall die.'' Even where Christ has 
taken away the sting, the expiring agony of death 
is terrible. Is it not a strange infatuation that our 
latter moments should ever be absent from our 
thoughts — ^that we can trifle where we ought to 
tremble, and be comparatively indifferent to the 
only event which is of real importance to us ? 

" I was earnestly requested, before I went into 
the sick room, to show no alarm at her danger, and 
avoid conversing upon death. But I gazed at her 
marble countenance for a few moments, and all 
hope of her life fled. The particular appearance 
of death cannot be mistaken, and I resolved to 
speak plainly to her of her situation. But H 
began of her own accord. She put her hand into 

mine as I sat down beside her. " F , love, we 

meet as dying sisters this time.*' Dear H ^ I 

replied, tell me how you feel. " F , I feel that 

in a few hours, I must stand before the judgment- 
seat of Christ, and there render an account of all 
the deeds done in the body, and my sins press 

heavy upon me. F , talk to me about death. I 

shall not recover. I have felt assured of this from 
the first, but no one will talk to me, even my dear 
husband shrinks from it, but I mt^t speak of death 
now. I hope you will converse with me." I 
assured her of my intention and willingness to do 
so, and I began to inquire into the state of her 
mind. She lamented her sad ^neglect of religion 
in days past, that she had greatly railed to improve 
opportunities, and had grievously put off prepara- 
tion for a dying hour. " Now, dear F , I feel 

the value of time — ^now I see why I was sent into 
this world; my whole life ought to have been a 
preparation for this hour. Oh I dear F > how 
time has been trifled away." 


** She seemed exceedingly distressed at these 
recollections, and particularly referred to the instruc- 
tions and example of her dear father — and expressed 
in the strongest terms her gratitude t^ him for 
teaching^her to honour religion from her infancy* 

** Now F 9 1 feel his worth. Oh, what a father 

we had — ^how his prayers, and entreaties, and h<Ay 
example rise before me. I never, never can express 
my love for my father. On a death-bed I have learnt 
bis value" — ^then adding "But on a death-bed I have 
learnt my responsibilities for such a parent I shall 
lOon have to answer for many things, but I hiave 
most to answer for in having had such a parent. I 
have enjoyed unparalleled mercies through child- 
hood and youth. Oh I I have much — ^very much 
to answer for. If / am saved^ it mil indeed be a 

miracle of miracles — ^but, F ^ I have a hope, and 

I cannot give up hope — Christ is my hope; his 
Uood can cleanse me from my sins, and for his 
sake even / may find pardon." 

" She then named several of her friends and 
relations who she thought would be shocked at the 
intelligence of her early and unexpected death. 
She sent kind messages to them. The poor people 
of Turvey, and recollections of the home of her 
youth seemed much in her thoughts, and deeply 
affected her. " F ■ , give my affectionate love to 
them all. Turvey is very dear to me." 

" The state of one of her intimate friends dis- 
tressed her. " How I regret (alluding to this lady) that 
our conversation and intercourse has been so little 

Erofitable to either of us. I wish I could see - 
efore I die. I have much I want to say to her. I 
want to press religion on her mind. O that I could 
see her a real Christian before I die." She spoke 
much of her dear aunt, who had kindly nursed her 
all the week with the patient tenderness and aflfec- 
tion of a mother. *' I hope my beloved aunt knows 


Christ and his doctrines. I think I shall meet her in 
heaven." She entreated me to explain the nature 
of religion to the nurse, '' I am too weak to talk to 

her now, but I hope you will, .dear F . I am 

afraid she has not a right knowledge of religion. 
She has been telling me, there can be no doubt of 
roy going to heaven, because I am so good and 
amiable. Oh I this is false, this is error, this is no 
foundation to build on for eternity. Explain to her 
the nature of sin and salvation by Christ. I cannot 
bear the thought of leaving that kind and faithful 
creature in ignorance. I have been talking to 
— ," alluding to one of the servants, " and have 
tried to show her the importance of preparing for an 
early death. I wish I had strength to speak to 

nurse also." H then returned to the subject of 

her own departure, " Oh ! I am frightened when I 
think of dying. I have not accustomed myself to 
think of dying as I ought to have done." I suggests 
ed to her mind what appeared to me best suited to 
her case— rthat Christ was our lamp in that dreary 
valley — our strong consolation in the bitter pains of 
death. She replied, " I can trust Christ with my 
soul. I can hope he will pardon and save it ; but I 
feel alarmed about the bodily pains of death — they 
are fearful in prospect ; but I will not dwell on the 
future, it disturbs me. I will trust God." I said, 
•*When thou hadst overcome the sharpness of 
death," interrupting me she exclaimed with great 
emotion, ** thou didst open the kingdom of heaven 
to all believers." 

" She now referred to Wilberforce, and said, 
" Poor Willy went through this awful time before 
me, but all was safe and nappy with him. I trust it 
will be so with me. My dear, dear father, he also 
has gone through death. None of us know what 
sorrow he endured in that awful hour. He was 
indeed a loss to us all, but I am now glad he is gone 
before me.'^ 


*^ The prospect of leaving her infants agitated her 
iDind throughout the day. '* To be left without a 
mother I oh this is hard ! O Gk)d9 take care of nay 
poor babes." Her chief conversation about the 
children was with her husband, and I believe shQ 
gave him many directions about their education. 

" On Saturday, my mother arrived. H waa 

too ill to converse with her, but she assured her 
that her own mind was in peace. 

" My sister appeared to be dying the whole of 
Saturday night, but very gradually. She begged 
we would all leave the room, as the evening came 
on, and that she might be left alone with her hus- 
band, who sat the whole of the night beside her, to 
converse as her strength would permit. 

*^ At six o'clock on Sunday morning, she desired 
that we might be called into the room. We found 

Mr. supporting her in his arms ; death was on 

ber countenance, she breathed with difficulty and 
was quite cold. She said, ''I wish to see Mn 
— — ," (the medical man who attended her in her 
confinement.) When he came, she inquired of him 
how long she might live ; he said, perhaps three 
hours. She requested her husband to send for Mr« 

W . On his arrival she exerted her last strength 

to converse with him, but their conversation was 
carried on in so low a tone that I could not catch 
the whole. I heard my sister question Mr. W— - 
most earnestly about a true and false faith, and 
whether he thought her faith sincere and genuine. 
He spoke very decidedly of the safety of her state, 
and she appeared to receive comfort from his opi- 
nion. At her request he administered the Lord's 
Supper. We knelt round her bed in silence and 
deep anguish. She clasped her hands, and seemed 
to be in earnest prayer the whole time. At the 
conclusion she tnanked Mr. W - > and said, 
^ You have refreshed me in body and mind* This 


is the hour of extremity, but Christ is all." She 
then became much oppressed, and struggled hard 
for breath, and in a little time asked for her children* 
When the eldest was brought, she clasped him for a 
moment to her breast, and said, **This boy has 
been my idol." She next begged the infant niight 
be brought to h^r. " I want to see if I can bring 
my will to God's will." The babe was placed in 
her arms, she looked at it, was much agitated, and 
exclaimed, ''OKI take it away, take it away, I 
cannot bear this 1 O Gknl 1 take care of my dar- 
ling babe ! ** She followed it with her eyes as the 
nurse carried it away, and seemed to be in prayer 
for it. She then took leave of each of us separately. 
To her mother she said, '' I shall soon be with my 
dear papa." The interview with her husband was 
very affecting. She was most ardently attached to 

Mr. • She desired him to kneel down and 

commit her soul to God in the agony of departure. 
Presently she whispered, "I cannot hear now.** 
Then — ^''My sight is failing — Oh! this is death.*' 
She begged we would keep perfect silence, and lay 
her straight down on the bed. We stood motion- 
less and gazing on her. She jxiade several attempts 
to speak, but in vain, but I heard her breathe out 
very faintly, " Now it begins to look lovely ! " A 
moment after, fixing her eyes upward, and smiling 
with a placid countenance, she drew a last deep 
breath, and all was hushed in silence. 

" Are we not allowed, my dear Mrs. V ^ to 

believe, that my sister has joined angels and arch- 
angels, and all the company of heaven. Her short 
and painful illness afforded less scope for the exer- 
cises anH evidences of a renewed heart than we 
witnessed in the last hours of our beloved Wilber- 
force. Yet here we have not been left to sorrow 
as without hope. " Beloved for the father's sake." 
Beemed inscnbed in characters of mercy on her 


death-bed. The effect of her education and early 
acquaintance with the principles of religion could 
not be mistaken. Her father's prayers and un- 
wearied and affectionate solicitude for his child's 
spiritual welfare — ^the *' line upon line and precept 
upon precept," which he pressed on her mind — 
together with poor Willy's earnest addresses and 
entreaties in his dying hour, seemed to recur to her 
with new force, and poured a flood of light, convic- 
tion, and consolation on her soul, leading her in 
penitence and faith to rest all her hopes on that one 
oblation, propitiation, and satisfaction, which was 
once made for sin by the Lamb of God, in whose 

Erecious blood all transgression, known and un- 
nown, is washed away for ever. 

Believe me, my dear Mrs. F , 

I am your most affectionate, &c.'' 

I would not be thought to cast a shade on the 
hopes so affectionately expressed in the above 
letter, the subject of which is, I trust, a happy spirit 
in heaven, let I feel it necessary, as a Christian 
minister, to subjoin a few salutary cautions, espe- 
cially to young people, against too exclusive a reli- 
ance on what may take place in our latter moments. 
The Scripture makes an appeal to living hours and 
holy fruits, and these are the test on which we can 
more safely depend. The gold passes through the. 
fire, and the result of the purifying process alone 
determines its character. It is the language of 
inspiration, " As a man sows, so shall he reap." 

Let me remind those young persons whose 
opinions are correct, but who are conscious that 
their hearts are yet far from God, not to run the 
hazard, the tremendous hazard of their souls, by 
delay, nor expect peace and safety at last, unless 
they are now seekm^ to lay up the support of a 
ffiith which worketh oy love and obedience. ^' It 


is the tenor of the life, not that of the few morbid 
and suffering scenes which precede dissolution, 
that fixes that character. We are not authorized 
by Scripture to place any dependance on the last 
periods of sinking nature, through which the 
Christian may be called to pass to his eternal 

* Life of the Rev. T. Scott, p. 515. 




If I have done well and as is fittioff the story, it is that which I 
desired ; but if slenderly and meanly, it is that which I ooiild 
attain unto. — ^8 Maccabees. 

In reviewing what has now been submitted to the 
public, there seems little need of further comment, 
since it is probable that the intelligent reader has 
anticipated every suggestion which I might be 
disposed to offer. 

Of Mr. Richmond's plans for his children I must 
leave the Christian parent to form his own opinion ; 
observing, that whether he adopts them in whole or 
in part, he should never forget that instruction, 
however large or correct, is not education — that 
true piety consists not in a form, in its most scrupu- 
lous use, nor in a speculation claiming the bare 
assent and approval of the mind, nor in an inifluence 
occasionally to be felt. It is a principle pervading 
every faculty of a man's moral nature. Religion is 
estimated far below its real character, when it is 
regarded as an affair of dutiful necessity, or as a 
medicine taken for ulterior relief, rather than as a 
well-spring of life and health, to which the soul 
turns for satisfaction and delight, and without which 
it can neither be peaceful nor happy. The truths 
of the Bible may be taught in their utmost purity, 
and yet, unless their spirit be transfused into the 
affections of the heart and the habits of the life, 
they will fall short of the effect and design of real 
Christianity. Mere knowledge of religion, without 

oQHcujMaro wnfiWKw, 967 

a correspoDding feefing and practieey oftoi issoeg 
in a fatal apathy, and femis a chaFacter which 
becomes at last impemoos to every sacred im- 
pressioQ. It has been wdl said fay a prokmnd 
moralist, ** To handle holy things without feeliii^ 
is to be cauterized in the end." It has beoi dearfy 
shown on what principle Mr. Richmond conducted 
his plan of education ; — that his grand aim was to 
touch the heart, and to make duty and del^it 
synonymous. Yet some caution is necessary m the 
exclusive application of strictly religioas principles. 
There are a variety of motives which act most 
salutarily on present advantage, and which impose 
powerfud restraints on the impulses of a corrupt 
nature ; and if we strip a youth of all regard for his 
interest or reputation, we expose him, in the absence 
of higher motives, to be driven along by the current 
of his own passions, till he makes shipwreck of all 
that is valuable for this worid and the next To 
this neglect of inferior motives I am dinxMed to 
ascribe the misconduct of many children oi religious 
parents ; and it therefore becomes an inquiry of no 
small importance, (though of difficult and delicate 
character,) whether the entbe disuse of subordinate 
influence is wise, or even safe in a course of 
education. May we not be guided in this inquiry 
by the sanction of the Supreme Ruler himself,*' who, 
while he taught the more excellent way, formed 
laws for human conduct, and held out motives for 
obedience, not always the best in themselves, but the 
best in reference to the circumstances and capacities 
of his creatures ? Nor am I inclined to reject any 
influence for present advantage, where there is 
nothing opposed to the spirit or command of religion. 
Another circumstance which is often undervdued 
in education, is the establishment of good habits, 

* EuUM zz. S5. 

268 ' covcLimiNo beharks. 

and that too, prior to the full admission of good 
principles. Habits, it is true, are formed by a 
series of actions, and actions must spring from 
principles of some kind ; but the principle at first 
may be little more than custom or association ; yet 
are the habits valuable, as preparing a future power- 
ful co-operation with right principle ; for nothing 
proves a greater obstacle to truth in opinion, than 
error in conduct. There is a deep and intimate 
knowledge of the influence of habit m that declara- 
tion of our blessed Lord, " If any man will do the 
will of my heavenly Father, he shall know of the 
doctrine whether it be of God." (John vii. 17.) 

Corrupt practice is a fruit of darkness, and 
increaseth darkness ; and though correct habits are 
not the cause of divine light, they prepare the soil 
for the heavenly seed, and clear away the weeds 
and thorns which would check its vegetation, and 
retard its growth. The language which reflects on 
human agency as useless, and even presumptuous, 
until a divine power has commenced its mighty 
operation, is not in accordance with reason or 
Scripture, and a propensity to form systems, and 
distort the doctrines of religion, is often connected 
with indolence and selfishness, which shrink from 
th^ labour of instruction. 

Mr. R.'s great care to regulate the private 
intercourse of his children, is another feature in his 
system of education which deserves particular 
attention. It is evident from one remark in his own 
memoranda, that he intended to have urged this 
topic in the projected memoir of his son, " The 
great value of scientific and rational amusement to 
supply materials for good and useful conversation." 

The unprofitable manner in which hours of social 
intercourse are too often spent, has been lamented 
by manv. It may not be desirable, nor is it always 
profitable, to introduce strictly religious subjects on 



every occasion. Sacred things should be handled 
with reverence and feeling, or we shall be in danger 
of making an unholy use of that which is holy. But 
it is very possible to converse on ordinary things in - 
the spirit of religion ; we may aim to improve our* 
selves or others, and not merely pass away the time 
in tales of wonder. We cannot be walking with 
(Jod in a heavenly, tender frame of mind, or with 
any just sense of our position, as standing on the 
brink of eternity, while we propose to ourselves 
no higher object than amusement — no accession 
of ideas — ^no elevation of devout affections. Can 
our communications ^' administer grace to. the 
hearer" when the amounty if written down, would 
shame a wise man^ and distress the mind of a sin- 
cere Christian ? 

There is also with the young and old a prevalent 
and bad habit, of talking of persons, rather than 
of things. This is seldom innocent, and often 
pregnant with many evils. Such conversation in- 
sensibly slides into detraction ; and by dwelling on 
offences, we expose our own souls to contagion, and 
are betrayed into feelingsof pride, envy,and jealousy; 
and even when we speak in terms of commend- 
ation, "we are sure to come in with a hut at 
the last, and drive a nail into our neighbor's 
reputation.^ — Bacon. 

The disuse of ^ood conversation proceeds from 
poverty of ideas, no less than from want of heart- 
religion. Persons select light and trivial subjects, 
because they have no materials for a higher inter- 
change of sentiment. If more pains were taken 
to cultivate the mind, there would be less difficulty 
in speaking to edification, and less need of having 
recourse to amusements, which differ little in their 
effect and influence from others, which, l^ common 
consent, have been denounced as inconsistent with 
vital religion. 



If the " Domestic Portraiture " should fall into the 
hands of any one who has been accustomed to as- 
sociate the idea of folly or delusion with a serious 
profession of religion, he may observe in what is 
there detailed, that a sincere Christian may be a man 
of taste and intelligepce, nfld that it is not necessary 
to be illiterate or enthusiastic to believe the Bible, 
and regulate a family in accordance with its princi- 
ples ; — ^that elegant accomplishments and a becom- 
ing attention to the usages of society, as far as they 
are innocent or useful, may be found in alliance 
with the warmest devotion, and a most conscien- 
tious regard to the laws of God. 

*In taking farewell of this little work which I have 
now brought to a conclusion, one thought enters my 
mind, and produces deep emotion. I have increased 
the responsibilities of Mr. Richmond's family, by 
holding them up to public observation. Wherever 
the present volume may obtain circulation, "their 
father's honour, and — a still more important con- 
sideration — ^their father's principles, will be intimate- 
ly connected, with their conduct and the value of 
them be appreciated by their effects. His eye is 
no longer upon them, nor his bright example before 
them, neither has every member of his family enjoy- 
ed the full benefit of his affectionate and careful 
superintendence. But I am persuaded that the 
traces he has left are too deeply engraven ever to 
be erased from their remembrance, and that a 
father^s blessing will follow them to the latest hour 
of their earthly pilgrimage. It is my heart's desire 
and prayer to God, that they may retain a lively 
recollection of his instructions, and continue to walk 
worthy of their vocation, irreprovable and without 
rebuke, until they rejoin their departed relatives, 
and with them « praise God for such a father." 




The present volume, as it has been already stated, 
bears the title, and is formed upon the plan, which 
had been adopted by Mr. Richmond himself, for a 
work which he had projected, and had, in fact, 
commenced. But there was also found among his 
papers, the outline and materials of another narra- 
tive, intended as a companion to his " Young 
Cottager," and " Dairyman's Daughter," and which 
would probably, if it had been filled up by him, 
have been found little inferior, either in interest or 
in usefulness, to those highly honoured memorials 
of the triumphs of divine grace. 

But it must not be concealed, that the more 
interesting parts of this story are, as far as this 
world is concerned, for ever lost. The great charm 
of Mr. Richmond's former sketches, lay in that 
part of the story which was personal, and which 
was peculiarly his own. His conversations, and 
his meditations, formed always the most attractive 
and heart-ajSecting portions of the tale, and those, 
in the present case, are unrecorded. That part 
of the sketch which consisted of the contributions 
of others, remains, being found carefully pre- 
served among his papers, and bearing the titl^ 
already afilixed to it, which he had adopted for the 
narrative itself, which it was his intention shortly to 
write. That purpose, like the plan of the '-Do- 
mestic Portraiture," was arrested by the approach 


of his last illness ; and all that can now be done, is, 
to *^ gather up the fragments that remain, that 
•• nothing be lost." 

The title of the projected tract, as left in his own 
hand, is as follows : — 


Of Newcastle-on-Tyne ; who died Feb. 14, 1825, 

aged 17 years ; a spiritual child of ' Little Jane, 

the Young Cottager.' " 
The few circumstances which are recorded, of 
one whose life was passed without incident and in 
obscurity, will naturally range themselves in order 
of time as follows : — 

The usual trifling and immaterial circumstances 
of her being named, did not pass without Christian 
feelings being called into exercise^ Her mother 
said, *'I wish to call the child Lydia." The father 
answered, " Call her what thou pleasest, my dear.'* 
But the eldest sister asked, " Why would you call 
her Lydia, mother, we have no relation of that 
name ? " The mother answered, " I will name her 
after Lydia, • the seller of purple,' my dear ; — and 
may the Lord bless her, and " open her heart,'* as 
He did that of Lydia in the days of the apostles." 

It is easy to trace in this apparently minute circum- 
stance, the character of the parent's mind. Little 
Lydia was olSered to the Lonl, in the sacrament of 
Baptism, in faith. The promise, '* I will pour my 
Spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thy off- 
spring," had been often pleaded in her behalf before 
a throne of grace : and here, in the ordinary course 
of God*s dealings with mankind we may trace the 
first Sowings forth of that purpose of mercy which 
became afterwards so clearly manifest in the happy 
end of this child. 

Lydia manifested from her infancy, what is 
called ^a good disposition." She was never known 


to utter a falsehood, or even to stoop to an equivo* 
cation. Simplicity and uprightness marked every 
stage of her short existence. Towards her latter 
days, a striking instance of this occurred. Her 
elder sister, under whose care she then was placed, 
was naturally very anxious as to her health ; she 
being then in a very precarious, and almost danger- 
ous state. Lydia, who was then about seventeen 
years of age, was usually very obedient to her 
sister, but she felt much pain at being prohibited, in 
bad weather, from attending the public ministry of 
the word. On one occasion, when thus left at 
home, she stole out to the evening service. Her 
disobedience was undetected, and would have re- 
mained unknown. But such was the tenderness 
of her conscience, that she could neither receive 
any enjoyment from joining in the worship or hear- 
ing the word, — ^nor could she rest, till she had con- 
fessed her fault, and obtained forgiveness ; although 
no detection or even suspicion would have followed, 
had she maintained her usual silence. 

Her mother died in the faith of Christ when 
Lydia was only seven years of age. The child's 
health had long appeared to be delicate and unsatis- 
factory ; and shortly after her mother's death, her 
case was submitted to a physician and a surgeon of 
eminence. They agreed that her disease was 
aneurism of the heart, for which there was no cure; 
but which bleeding might relieve or retard. This 
mode of alleviation was resorted to, but her strength 
was thereby reduced to the lowest point consistent 
vnth the continuance of life. 

It was about this time that ^^The Young Cot-- 
tager^^ wad placed in her hands. She made no 
remark upon it; nor was any one aware that its 
perusal had produced any unusual eifect upon her 
mind. But her father, writing after her death, says, 
*' Although she sat under an evangelical roiniatryi 


yet, until she read that inestimable little book, I 
believe she never felt the depravity of her own 
heart, nor sought its renewal by the Holy Spirit." 

In the course, however, of a few months after, 
Mr. Richmond himself, in one of his journeys for 
the Jews' Society, visited Newcastle. Lydia's 
health, at this time, was in the most delicate and 
precarious state. Her disease rendered quietness 
and seclusion almost necessary to the hourly con- 
tinuance of her life. 

Her sisters were led to hear Mr. Richmond 
preach, and they mentioned his name in her hearing. 
Her attention was instantly aroused, and she eagerly 
exclaimed, *' Oh ! I must go and hear him I He 
taught little Jane the way to heaven, and he will 
teach me." Her sister told her that she could not 
permit her to think of it that evening, (Sunday,) ill 
as she was ; but that Mr. Richmond was to preach 
again on the Thursday, when she might perhaps be 
tetter. " But," she added, ^^ how will you be able 
to get there — ^you cannot walk? " " O dear!'* she 
answered, " but I will try, and we will go by the 
bye ways, and you will carry me when I cannot 
get on." In the interval between Sunday and 
Thursday, her sister remarks, she was more careful 
of her health, and anxious to gain strength, than 
young people usually are when expecting to join a 
pleasure party. The sisters set out, and an idea 
may be inferred of the state of Lydia'9 health, from 
the fact, that they congratulated themselves on 
being so happy as to reach the church after a pain- 
ful struggle of an hour and a-half. " Now," says 
Lydia, " I must be where I can see Mr. Richmond." 
In this, too, they succeeded, and the sister expected' 
that when the service was concluded, she would 
contentedly return home ; but to her great surprise, 
the poor girl's agitation increased, and she ex* 
claimed, ^' I must speak to him I " 


Her sister's astonishment at this desire was 
naturally very great. Lydia, who was then under 
ten years of age, was naturally timid and bashful. 
She was now in a weak and feeble state of body, 
inducing great nervousness ; and it may be judged 
from these circumstances, what must have been 
the ardent feelings of her soul, which could break 
through all these obstructions, and force her to seek 
a conversation with one so far removed from her, 
in age, circumstances, and education, as Mr. Rich* 
mond. *^ My dear Lydia,'' said the sister, ** I cannot 
go to speak to him ; and what would you say, if you 
could get to see him." '* Oh ! I want so to talk to 
him ; and you must go and speak to him, and tell 
him so ; I am sure he would not be displeased ; I 
know he would not I*' 

Her earnest beseeching quite distressed her 
sister; who not daring to go into the vestry to 

Mr. R , followed him, with Lydia, along the 

street, watching for an opportunity of addressing 
him. When his pace quickened, Lydia had to be 
carried, lest he should get out of sight. He stopped 
to speak with some one, and on his parting from 
the person, Lydia begged her sister to go and 
speak to him. " My dear,** she replied, " what can ,. 

I say to him, you must speak to him yourself." 
** Oh ! tell him," said Lydia, ** I want to talk to him 
about what he said to little Jane !" Mr. R. reached 
his friend's door and entered the house. Her grief 
increased, and she exclaimed, *' Oh ! I shall never 
see him again, — oh ! what shall I do ! " She stood 
opposite the house, weeping, and lamenting the loss 
of the opportunity, and was vnth difficulty per- 
suaded to leave the spot. Her sister, on returning 
home, acquainted her father with her earnest desire, 
and her grief. He hesitated what to do, but at last, 
through the intervention of a kind friend, Mr. W — ^ 


Mr. Richmond was made acquainted with the 
circumstance, and called upon the little girl. 

Here we have to regret a deficiency in the 
history^ which no pen but that of Mr. Richmond 
himself could have supplied. The conversation 
must have been deeply interesting ; but the parties 
engaged in it have now both left this lower world, 
and we may suppose, have enjoyed many happy 
and holy hours of converse in the abodes of bliss. 
A letter, however, remains to us which was ad- 
dressed to Lydia, as itsovni language shows, on the 
following day. It is as follows : 

DurhoMy Nov. I, 1817. 
''My very dear child, 

^ As Gk>d in his tender mercy permitted me to 
witness for a little while, yesterday morning, how 
much your heart has been interested in the story 
of my ever dear child in the faith, Little Jane, the 
Young Cottager, I wish to tell you once more how 
sincerely I desire that it may please our gracious 
Saviour to make you like unto her. If my little 
book has in any way been the means of stirring up 
in your young mind a real desire to be found in the 
way everlasting, surely I may be permitted to call 
you, in that respect, one of mv little ones, and to 
feel for you something of a father's love and affec- 
tion. Had I known your wish to have seen me 
sooner, I would have gladly come, and talked to 
you more about little Jane, and about the things 
that belong to your everlastirig peace ; — as it is, I 
feel my heart strongly inclined to give you these 
few lines, as a proof of my good- will and true 
regard for your souPs welfare. 

" Our acquaintance, my dear little girl, has been 
short, but perhaps both you and 1 feel, as if we 


vrere indeed friends in the Lord already. May my 
prayers for your salvation and support in trials, and 
your patience in suffering, be answered for the sake 
of Him who died upon the cross to save sinners. 
What a Saviour is He I Oh ! my child, seek him, 
love him, bless his holy name ! Think of Him when 
you are in bodily pain, and remember how much 
greater were his pains. Think of him when you 
want instruction, and may he be your wisdom. 
Think of him when you reflect on your sins, and 
may he prove your righteousness. Are you afraid 
to come to Him ? What 1 afraid of Him, who said, 
** SujSer the little children to come unto me.'* No, 
my dear girl, fear not, he is willing that y«u should 
come, for he is the way, the truth, and the life. 
He is the way to heaven — there is none other ; Oh ! 
may you walk in that way, and find rest to your 
soul therein. Little Jane and I used to talk about 
heaven and hell, and Christ, and sin, and mercy, 
and pardoning love, till our hearts burned withm 
us ; — ^you have read a little of our conversations, in 
the Annals of the Poor ; but that is only a small 
part of what we said to one another. I often think 
of those days with great thankfulness, and it makes 
me very glad to see that she, though dead, yet 
speaketh to the living by her simple story. Behold, 
how good God is I she died before you were born, 
yet you are become acquainted with her, and can 
see how the Lord blessed her in life and in death. 
Her faith, and love, and humility, are b pattern for 
you, and through God's loving kindness, I hope you 
will be like her in these things. 

" You proj^ably may be too youngfDr too unwell 
to write U) me, and tell me something about your 
thoughts and feelings, and what first made you feel 
a desire to be saved, and what you have felt when 
you read the story of the Young Cottager. I could 
wish to know more of your heart, imd what you 



think about 8tB» aod pardon, and Jesus Christ. BuC 
this perhaps cannot be, unless sonoe one should 
write for you ; but then every word and thought 
must be your own. The Lord save you, my childy 
and give you the gospel blessing, and may you trust 
in Christ with all your heart. Remember Little 
Jane, and in your prayers remember likewise. 
Your affectionate friend in the Lord^ 

Leoh Richmond.''' 

" Give my Christian regards to your sisters, pray 
with them, and may you all meet in heaven at the 
last, as sinners freely saved by the blood of Jesus 
Christ.* — Farewell, my dear child." 

The conversation and correspondence of Mn 
Richmond was made the effectual means of convey- 
k)g true peace to her soul. She was shortly after 
enabled to speak of her heart, as being ^ filled with 
the love of God f and to contemplate her probable 
dissolution with joy and hope. The following 
letters were addressed by Mr. R. to Lydia and her 
sister in the course of the ensuing year. It will 
appear from these letters, that both the sisters were 
indebted, under God, to Mr. R. for their first 
impressions of religion, and for their subsequent 
confirmation in the ways of holiness and peace. 

*' And now once more, ray dear little Lydia, (for 
such I apprehend is your name,) let me again pressF 
you to my bosom and talk of Jesus. What a sweet 
Dame to the believer^s ear I It contains all that a « 
poor weak young sinner, like you, can want. ^* Hi» 
name shall be called Jesus, for he shall save his 
people from ifeir sins." Comforting thought ! may 
it comfort you, my child, and render pain, sickness, 
trial, welconie. Lay your heart and all its troubles 
upon that blessed rock ; cast your burden upon him, 
and he will (indeed he will () sustain you. Disease 
«iay weaken and destroy your suffering body, but 


it cannot injure your 80uL Love Him, who loves 
you ; never be afraid to ask him for patience and 
resignation, and he will show his tender mercy to 
you. Pray, as well as you can, and always remem- 
ber that he* is praying to His Father for you ; it is 
this which encourages us to go to him. Your life 
may probably be a short one, but then the sooner 
shall you be with Christ. Think of Little Jane, and 
how (rod supported her ; and do not doubt but he 
will freely grant you the same help. His ear is not 
heavy, that he cannot hear, nor his arm shortened, 
that he cannot save. Let me hear from you, if you 
can so far oblige me, and trust in me as a true 
friend. Farewell, dear little child, and pray for me, 
as I do and will for you. 

^Faithfully and affectionately yours in Christ 

Legh Richmond.'' 

'^ Jan« 25 — ^I received yours last night 

Newcastle^ Tuesday^ 12 at night. 


*^ I cannot do more than write two or three liocfl 
now. But I wisff t^ give you my blessing before I 
leave the town, and to ask you to write to me. A 
letter will find me'during the next ten days at the 
Rev. Dr. Buchanan's, Canongate, Edinburgh. I 
wished to have spoken to you again after the service 
of the chapel, but could not see you, Grace, peace, 
mercy, and love, be with you, from Grod our Father, 
and our Lord Jesus Christ. So prays^ 

Your truly affectionate friend, 


^ I hope the Lord was with us to-night at public 
worship. I felt it was good to be there.'' 




• *•• ■ ■• 

' i » 

' ^380 APPENDIX. 

- V 

Glasgow^ June 25, 1818* 

"My very dear young Friend, 

'^ Nothing can be more fallacious than the mere 
testimony of language, most especially in so infantine 
a case, to ascertain the genuineness of conversion 
jto God. I am frequently grieved in observing the 
undue importance which many* good but mistaken 
people attach to this evidence. lam sorry that any 
such source of uneasiness has arisen in regard to my 
dear child Lydia. But it may eventually be well ; 
it may teach you to look more for solid and opera- 
tive testimonies of true faith than mere readiness of 
conversation. I fully concur with you, that the 
marks of a divine change are far more satisfactorily 
proved by such observations as you are able to 
make, than can possibly arise from the mere expres« 
sions of the lips. God in his great mercy carry on 
in her dear soul a work so evidently begun, and 
complete it to his own glory in Christ Jesus. 1 have 
met with many instances of the conversion of souls 
in Scotland, owing to the blessing of God on my 
feeble performances. Elizabeth, William, and Jane, 
! have produced several fruits to God here. To him 
be all the glory. I am constrained to conclude from 
the hurry of travelling. Perhapf 1 may see you 
next month ; it is uncertain. Bui nothing is more 
certain than that prayers for you, your sisters, and 
family, are ardently offered up to heaven by 
Your true friend in Christ, 

Leoh Richmond. 

" To Miss E G—- ." 

QueevUs Head Hotels Pilgrim Street^ 
Tuesday Mornings 9 o'clock. 

"My respected youno Friend, 

" I am just arrived here from Morpeth, and as 
my time will ^soon be much hurried and broken iun 

• , * * •- 

. * •■■ - 

ikPFElVDIX. 3&L />"■ * ' 

«poii, I write to ask you in the first place whether 
it would be quite convenient to you to come to me 
here, while I am breakfasting, to save time, .that I 
may have the pleasure of some Christian conversa- 
tion with you on the subject of your last letter to 
me. I shall also visit my little girl while I am at 
Newcastle, but I thought the present opportunity 
might be previously desirable. Believe me, 

Yours faithfully, 

Leoh RicHMoln>. 
Miss E G •»' 

Turvey, Jan. 24, 1818. 

^^My respected toung Friend, 

*' You have taken no liberty beyond that which 
every principle of rel'^ous confidence and esteem 
must fully justify. I have been long hoping to 
receive a few lines written by or in the name of 
your dear little sister ; and now through the good- 
ness of God, another of the family claims me a9 a 
spiritual friend, and eVen father. May grace, peace, 
and mercy rest on each and all of you. I will say 
something first as it conqerns yourself. At your 
period of life the grace of God is indeed most valu- 
able. Youth is a season of peculiar temptation, and 
needs the strong* ibrtifications of divine principle in 
the soul to protect it from failing a prey to a thou- 
sand snares and devices from without, and from as 
many foul corruptions striving for mastery from 
within. " May you be preserved, through faith, by 
the power of God, unto salvation." Be much in 
prayer, and like a wrestling Jacob, you shall prevaiL 
By faith in that Saviour who is the wisdom, right- 
eousness, sanctification, and redemption of his 
people you shall triumph over sin, death, and hell. 
^ Faithful is he that hath promised, who also will do 
it" Oh 1 ^* cast your care on him, for he rareth for 



you." If the Lord was pleased to make my visit to 
Newcastle in any degree a comfort or source of 
instruction to your soul, I ought to thank him for so 
ffreat a mercy to us both. What am I but your 
fellow sinner? and if Gk>d make use of one poor 
sinner to minister help to another poor sinner, to 
whom, but to himself, great, wise, and merciful, can 
the praise be due ? I shall ever remember my visit 
to Newcastle with much pleasure, and in particular 
I shall never forget the short interview which I was 
permitted to enjoy in your house. Your little sister^ 
my little Jane, and the dear Redeenjer of them both, 
seemed on that morning to be all brought to my 
affections with singular emotions, and now I feel that 
there was another link in the chain of Christian 
affection which mercy bound around my heart. I 
thank you for enabling me to say so. I heard of 
your sister some time since from my dear and 

respected friend, Mr. W , and I shall be truly 

glad if she is still able and willing to write to me 
hdk*self. Pray do not let her imagine that she need 
be afraid of writing to me. I love my little lamb 
too dearly in the Lord not to prize whatever she 
can and will say to me. It would give me mudh 
satisfaction if I were permitted to receive some 
regular account of the dealings of God both with 
her, and with you, from the first beginning of serious 
affections in both your souls. Perhaps you will 
favour me with them at your leisure. This will 
confirm our Christian friendship, and whensoever it 
shall please the Lord to take the dear child to him- 
self, will be a memorial which I shall greatly prize. 
You may probably be spared to serve God in your 
generation, when she shall have joined Cherubim 
and Seraphim amongst choirs of"^ angels and ran* 
somed spirits, in heaven. Be it so — and may you 
so taste that the Lord has been gracious to you, that 
your temper, example, conversation, and whole life 

• ♦s 


may testify that yott love him for all his goodness to 
your soul. If, my young friend, you have really 
felt the burden of sin, and have seen t^ie awful con- 
sequences of remaining in a graceless state, what 
views will you have of the Savjour^s character and 
office ! what exalted ideas of his love to sinners. In 
Him a perfect righteousness is wrought out for and 
applied to the believer; his riches .will supply your 
poverty ; his wisdom, your ignorance ; his strength; 
your weakness. Live upon his fulness by faith, and 
see in him a* provision abundantly made for every 
difficulty and every danger. Commit yourself, soul, 
body, and spirit to him. He is mighty to save, and 
will save to the uttermost. 

^ ." And now I return to you, my friend and corres- 
pondent: you will pardqa my digression to your 
tittle sister; God bless her.> I commend; you- to 
the Lord and his grace. Go forward in that path 
that leads to glory. Fear not the lions in the way ; 
stronger is he that is with us, than they that 
are against us. Present my Christian regards to 
your father and sisters; remember how much I 
need your prayers, and believe me, &c. &;c.^ 

Tui-vey, Aug. 6, 1818. 

" My dear little *child, 

'^ I thank Gk)d for kindly permitting me to^visit 
you and your family, when I lately travelled in the • 
North. I love you for Jesus Christ's sake, and wish 
to do you good. But this must entirely depend on 
God's blessing. It is not my word but His that 
must change your heart. My visits are only the 
visits of a poor fellow creature, who needs the grace 
of the Redeemer as much as yourself; but when 
Christ visits you, then there is true light and peace. 
Then you may cry out with young David, " Lord, 


what IS man that thou art mindful of him, and the 
son of man, that thou visitest him ? ^ My chiid, 
pray to him — ^read his word daily, and never be con- 
tented without seeking to understand every word 
and every sentence. Read it for faith, that you 
may trust your soul and body entirely upon him. 
Read it for the government of your temper, that 
you may^rfiQW. forth the inward light which God 
gives you by ^tience, kindness, gentleness, obedi- 
ence to your father and sisters, and every becoming 
disposition of mind. You ought to consider that 
your life has been spared beyond our expectation, 
and that every hour of it is a fresh call for love, 
'honour, wonder, and praise to Gk)d. Read the 
.^ord of (Jod, that you may learn the value of time. 
£very bour ahould have its due occupation. Read 
tly&'woitl, that you may know how to feel towards 
your Jtoir friends. For those who love and fear 
€k>d, %6w thankful ought you to be I They watch 
over your soul, and are daily praying for you. For 
those who do not love and fear God, how ought 
you to pray ? Who can tell but that your prayers 
may be the special means of bringing down bless- 
ings upon them. Most especially let your temper 
and behaviour towards them show that you yourself 
fear God, and love Jesus Christ. Example and 
prayer may go together in all God's children. I 
hope he will not leave one of your brothers and 
sisters, without manifesting a blessing to their soul. 
** Will you write to me again, Lydia ? or, if your 
dear sister is kind enough to write for you, let every 
thought and every word be all your own. I shall 

now call upon your young friend Ann W ^ 

whom I also love tenderly in the Lord, to fulfill her 
promise to me, and I will say a few words to her on 
the other side. Give my christian love to your 
fether, brothers, and sisters; and may they, you. 


▲ppsNDix. 285 

and I meet at last in that happy place where Christ 
k in glory. Pray for yourself, and for 

Your true friend in the love of Gk)d, 

Leoh Richmond." 

^* My own little children send their kind regards 
to you, and I beg you will remember them also 
when you pfay." 

Monday Evening, November^ 1818. 

Dear young Friend, 

I have i>een thinking how, amongst my numer« 
ous engagements, I can best see you and your sister, 

and as I wish also to call on Mary H , I w^'*- 

you would both corae to her house on ToHSsday 
morning, at a quarter before ten o'clock, and I will 
meet you there K)n my way to the chapd. ^ To- 
morrow I shall be engaged at North Shieldi^ till it 
will be too late to see you before the Bible Meeting, 
On Tuesday I have a service at the chapel fit eleven, 
then a meeting of some young people about Church 
Missionary business, an^ a public ^neeting in the 
evening. On Wednesday evening at^five o'clock, I 
go to Lancaster t you will see by this how much 
my time is occupied. I hope Lydia is well enough 
to come out. I wish you and your family every 
blessing in Christ. * 

"Please to give me a line. I was very rftuch 
obliged by your last communication. May God 
bless you and your's. 

I am, 

Your's very faithfoUy. 

Legh Richmond.'* 

« Miss E— G . 

Ijydia,4o use the words of her sister, " continued 
for about three years after this, to walk in the light 


of her Redeemer's counteoance, blessing and praUh 
ing God continually." After thiff period, however, 
the enemy was permitted, for a time, to gain a 
partial advantage over her. The sister already 
spoken of, who could have aided and protected her 
steps in the narrow road, was removed from her by 
marriage. She went to reside with another near 
relative, who educated young ladies in her own 
bouse. Tbii new association with a variety of gay 
and worldly people, soon produced its natural effect 
upon Lydia's youthful and ductile mind. Her out- 
ward attention to religious duties continued unre- 
laxed, and her chief enjoyment was still the wor- • 
ship and service of God, but she lost that simple 
end child-like confidence which she had heretofore 
enjoyed ; she was secretly unhappy because in heart 
she had backslidden. 

But soon the Lord sent her a warning, by an in« 
crease of her disorder, which brought her a peni- 
tent to the feet of Jesus, where she afterwards 
recovered her peace of mind. At this period, Mr. 
Richmond, who had heard something of her state, 
addressed to her the following letter* 

Glasgow^ June 28^ 1833. 

My dear touno friend, 

A report has reached me that you are in a very 
declining state of health, and that it may soon be 
the will of the Lord to take you hence. I am 
desirous of knowing what the state of your mind is, 
and how far the young beginnings of religion which 
I witnessed in your early infancy, have at length 
ripened into a due preparation of heart to meet your 
God in eternity. Hns the blessing of the Saviour 
accompanied the means of grace to your soul ! Can 
you rest your ail upon him who died to save sinners ? 
?^** vou, with liitle June, the Young Cottager, 

commit vonrself to God ss a faithful Creator, and 
sure Redeemer? Have the pains of your body 
been sanclified to the instruction and consolation of 
your soul T Do you feel yourself to be a lost, un- 
done, and helpless sinner? Can you flee to the 
Btronii; One for help, and see wisdom, lighleousness, 
sanclifi,cal(oa, and redemption in Christ ? Have you 
really sought the pardon of your manifold offences 
against Gad*T If you cannot write roe these things 
yourself, ask your sister Elizabeth to do it for you. 
I have often thought of you with miogled hopes 
and fears. May God answer my prayers Ibr your 
sake. Give my christian regards to your father 
and sisters, and believe me. 

Your sincere friend in the Lord, 



Of her own letters to Mr. Richmond, no traces 

imain. A short note to a young friend, written 

'• about this period, is the only specimen we have of 
her tmin of thought and esperience, but it will be 
seen from it that she recognizes the afflicting hand 
of God, as having a second time brought her back 
to his fold. 

" Mv DGAU Alice, 
" I received yours, for which I return (ny most 
grateful thanks. My dear friend I sympathize witJt 
you in the death of poor litlle Rebecca. I heard of 
it soon after; I think your brother told roe. You 
truly say there is no passing through ihis world 
without trouble} when we look around, we sea 
nothing but cCHifiisioo, but in the breast of the 
Christian there is solid happiness.' You know this 
very well.; but I hope, my love, you feel it too. 
Oh that we could cast our care upon Uini that 
lloareth for us. See how he invites us to clntw near 


and taste that He is gracious. I have much cause to 
be thankful for my afflictions, for he has brought me 
a second time into His fold. O let us not waste our 
youth in doing nothing for our Saviour. Dear friend^ 
if you have felt any of these things, as I trust you have^ 
do write and tell me of the Lord's dealings with your 
soul ; it would so delight my heart to have a friend 
like you to go hand in hand to that heavenly country. 
Remember, my friend, this is not our home ; we 
have a house not made with hands, eternal in the 
heavens, and we have a crown of glory that fadeth 
not away. — ^What encouragement for young people I 
He has said, " They that seek me early shall find 
me ;" then let us take up our cross daily and follow 
Him who hath bought us with His own blood ; but 
I need not say more at present, as I know you are 
well acquainted with the subject. So adieu, my 
dear, and believe me, 

Your*s afTectionately, 

Lydia g — :^ 

Her disorder began soon after this to make such 

f)rogress as gave warning of her approaching disso- 
ution. In the near view of eternity, she once 
expressed to a friend her apprehension, that the 
work in her soul had not been genuine, — that her 
religion had been too much that of a Pharisee. 
Her friend then put into her hand, the Life of Miss 

S , whose experience greatly resembled her 

own, and appeared so exactly suited to the exigency 
of her own case, that she derived much comfort 
from it, and shortly attained such a degree of com- 
posure in the near prospect of death, as to be able 
to say, " I am now perfectly happy, and would not 
exchange situations with any one." To another 
friend she said, " I have had a sore conflict, but all 
is peace now !" 

She became so ill as usually to be unable to 
enter into conversation. At intervals, however, she 

*■' J. -I 

•'• ■■'■#■ 

APPBBBiEfc. " .\r^lift- 

«. •• 

obtained a little relief. About tti^^ daj^.b^lbre 
her death, a friend called, whopi s&^ j^qoekod tof ' 
pray with her, and then to repaalouQ of her 
favourite hymns, 

" How firm ft foundatioB, y flaittti of t^ Lotiii'' ft^ 

She appeared to dwell vfHh delight trpon every 
word, and repeated with great amniatioii the last 

" That Aoul, though allif^ should endeayour to ahake, 
I'U never, no noYor, no neret forsake 1 ** 

■* . 

On parting from this friend, t^hom she viras to see 
no more in this life, she sent her remembrancenf to 
a little Christian society to ^v^hich they both 
belonged, saying, '^ Sarah, give my love fo my 
young Christian friends, and say to them that I hope 
to be the first to hail them when they land on thi^ 
happy shore, to which I am now hastening.'* 

She grew rapidly weaker, but still retained hcur 
senses, and her peaceful serenity of mind. Oh 
Sunday evening, as one of her brothers was weeping 
over her, and not expecting her to survive the night, 
she said, *^ I shall see you again in the body." 
Soon after, holding the hand of each brother in her 
own, she said, *' Oh ! that I could tell my mother, 
when we meet, that you are all coming quidkly 
after me." She was asked if she had any message 
for another brother, then in London. She answered, 
*^ Tell him, that though he may be in perfect health 
at present, yet 

Short is our longest day of life, 
And soon the prospect ends ; 
Yet, on that day's uncertain strife, 
Eternity depends ! " 


• > 


About an hour before her ileath, a pious lady, 
called to see her, and prayed with her. She was 
unable to converse, but her friend said, *' My love, 
I do not wish you to speak ; but if you are able, 
tell me, by holding up your hand, whether you are 

auite happy." Immediately, as with a last effort, 
le raised her half-dead arm as high as she could. 
Shortly after, the flickering flame of life rose again, 
and having tasted nothing for four and twenty 
hours, she asked for something to drink. Her sister 
brought it to her, when she put her arms round her 
neck, and said, ^*Now raise me up.'' The last 
struggle of nature prompted this desire, but on being 
moved, her asony was extreme, and she cried out, 
''Oh! pray that I may be suffered to go now." 
Folding her hands in the attitude of prayer, she 
continued for about three minutes, and then said, 
** I want breath ! — ^Hold me still ! — I am going — 
now !" and sunk into her sister's arms, a corpse. 

She had desired a little silver purse, being the 
ibost valuable thing of the kind she possessed, to be 
gent after her death to Mr. Richmond. She said, 
^ he has been my best friend on earth, — ^I wish him 
to keep it in remembrance of me." 

The following letters appear to have been 
written by Mr. Richmond to the married sister of 
Lydia, on his receiving the intelligence of her death> 

Turvey, Feb. 26, 1825. 

"Dear Christian Friend, 

"I am much obliged by your affecting intelli- 
gence. I am weeping and rejoicing over the grave 
of a dear and glorified son. My heart is sensibly 
affected by every similar case, and be assured, I 
have not forgotten Lydia. I received the dear 
child's letter long since, and thought I had answered 
it. Oblige me with a full and detailed account of 


all you remember respecting her, from the earfiest 
impression, previous to my first sight of her. 
Describe her feelings, progress, backslidings, recov- 
ery, and whatever you think most interesting and 
vmuable relating to her. AccoidpaDyinff it with toy 
remarks of your own, and be assvred that I shall 
receive them with friendly gratitude. What a 
change I from earth to heaven ; fro(n sorrow to joy: 
from mortality to immortality I May yoo and I 
experience it in God's own time. Give my Christian 
regards to your father, sisters, and fanuly* and to 
your husband. Do not fear to write at fiill length' 
about }^ur sister Lydia, and believe me. 

Faithfully yours, 

September S8, 1825. 
"Dear Christian Friend, 

" I have received your parcel just as I am set- 
ting out on a journey, and can only at present 
give a hasty reply to your kind communication, 
which gives me much satisfaction. I receive these 
tokens of esteem, both from yourself and yojff 
departed sister with much gratitude. I have never, 
ceased to think of her with Christian regard, for 
although during a season she seemed to fall back 
from the earlier marks of converting grace, yet the 
Lord again so abundantly owned his work, that we 
can now only say, " How excellent is his name in 
all the earth." She died but a short time after my 
own dear son, whose memory is most dear to me, 
—-dear beyond my powers of expression. I shall 
preserve her bequest as a tender memorial of her 
spiritual regard. I thank you for your explanation 
relative to the letter written some years since. It 
is quite satisfactory ; you did perfectly right in not 
allowing it to be inserted in any printed publication. 


392 APFEinnx. 

I should by no means consent to that The cause 
of Christ prospers much in this placOp and I have 
reason to be very thankful. I am under apprehen- 
sion relative to the reported dangerous illness of my 
eldest son in India. The rest of my family are 
prettv well I hope Mn W — p whom I ever 
lovea affectionately in the Lord, is better than he 
vras some time ago. 

Your friend in the Lord, 

L* RicBxomo. 
Mrs. B» 

This sister, Mrs. B , who wag also a spiritual 
child of Mr. Richmond, died in the faith on the 21st 
of April, 1826, and, as her father remarks, ''would 
be among the foremost to hail his arrival on the 
happy tiSoreJ' Conjecture would be useless and 
vam, as to the numbers who, similarly blessed 
through the means of his writings, will throng to 
form his ** crown of rejoicing^ in the great day ; 
but nothing can be more certain than this, that he 
will be found among those who have '' turned many 
to righteousness," and who will " shine as the stais 
for ever and ever." 


• I 



The borrower must rctuni this item on or before 
the last date stamped below. If another user 
places a recall for this item, the borrower wiH 
be notified of the need for an earlier return. 

Non-receipt of overdue notices does not exen^tt 

the borrower fivm overdue fines. 

Harvard College Widener Library 
Cambridge, ^a'^138 617-495-2413 



bookImjbJ -^ 


Please handle with care. 

Thank you for helping to preserve 
library coUecti<His at Harvard.