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To the Editor.
If the following Letter, lately sent me by one of our members, be thought suitable for the public eye, it is at your service.
I am yours, GAIUS, "Dear Sir,
"As you wish for some account of my late dear Mrs. D-, I shall endeavour to recount a few particulars of her life and death; partly from what I have heard her relate, and partly from my own knowledge.
"She was descended from a famly of French Protestants, of the name of Hannate. Her grandfather was brought over in the arms of his parents, on the revocation of the edict of Nantes. He lived somewhere in the Fens of Lincolnshire, or Cambridgeshire. Her father settled at Yaxwell, near Oundle, in Northamptonshire. He retained a decent moral character, and was attached to the established church: but all serious religion, whatever it might have been before, appears by this time to have been lost in the family. When she was about fourteen or fifteen years of age, her father took an apprentice. This lad had heard the gospel among the Dissenters he brought several books with him, particularly the writings of Hervey. These lying in her way, she would sometimes read in them; and having done so, would converse with the apprentice on the subjects. By degrees, she was convinced that neither she nor her parents had any true religion; and became very unhappy on this account. Dissatisfied with hearing at the parish church, where
she could obtain no instruction how she should be saved, she for some time stopped at home on the Lord's Day, and employed herself in read. ing. Her father at this was greatly displeased; and, in order to induce her to go as usual, told her that if she did not, the clergyman should come to the house and reprove her. She said she wished he would, for
she wanted to have some talk with
horse was allowed her; and her brother used to take her there. On their return, they would often converse on what they had been hear. ing. After a while her father went himself, and took her behind him; and so interested was he with the preaching, that after this he would frequently go, and take her mother, and some one of her sisters with him. In short, there was reason to hope, that he and several of the family were brought to the true knowledge of Jesus Christ. God, from the mouth of babes, will per fect praise: the entering of a serious lad into this family, proved the means of its salvation!
"About the year 1776 she came to Kettering; and soon afterwards we were married. Here she had greater opportunity for religious improve. ment than formerly; it was not, how. ever, as you know, till within a few years of her death that she became a member of the church. By your ministry she was much edified and strengthened in the ways of God. "After having burne nine children, her constitution was much impaired. A shortness of breath and pain in the stomach frequently attended her. It was said at length to be a dropsy in the chest: a grievous and sore affliction it proved to her but though of a nervous habit, and con sequently rather of a fretful temper, she was enabled to bear it with
much Christian patience, and humble resignation to the will of her Heavenly Father. I do not recollect, that during the last four months of her life, which were very trying, she ever shewed any signs of impatience; though she once on my going into the room exclaimed, with tears," I am afraid I shall not have patience till death!" I answer. ed, 'I hope the God of patience will give you patience;" after which she was composed in mind.
Her disorder was of such a nature as, in a great degree, to deprive her of the conversation of her friends; which added to her affliction. You yourself, whom she loved as her pastor, was not admitted, as you know, above two or three times during her illness. She could seldom converse, or hear any conversation from her own family. She told me, however, one morning, that she had had such affecting views of God, of Christ, and of the heavenly state, that she longed to have had pen and ink to have written them down. She would often say to me, "Do not pray for my life." One time, when I went into the room, expect. ing to find her near her end, she with smiling composure looked at me, and said, "Come, my dear, cheer up you have a family that requires your attention: I must die, you know, some time.”
When unable to read herself, she
"The precious promises of God were a great consolation to her: she would often express her assured confidence in the faithfulness of her God and Saviour; nor did she appear to entertain any doubt as to her state, though she would often say, as conscious of her own unwor thiness, "Why me, Lord? why me? I have no dependence on any thing I have done, or can do."
For the last six weeks she was in constant expectation of death. She would sometimes put her hand on her breast, under what she con. ceived must be dying sensations, and cry, "Welcome death! wel come death!" but feeling them to answer herself, subside, would No, not yet." On the Lord's Day she would say to the nurse, "Ó! how I could wish to spend this Sabbath above! to go and join. the blessed assembly there!" Her wish in this matter, I trust, was granted her; for on Lord's Day morning, April the 6th, 1800, in the 48th year of her age, she depar. ted, seemingly unperceived by her. self, or those about her.
Yours, M. D.
She was very fond of reading the "Book of Job," and Mrs. Harrison's "Songs in the Night.” –
REVIEW OF RELIGIOUS PUBLICATIONS.
Periodical Accounts relating to the
Tuis number contains, I. Diary of the Brethren's Missions in the Danish West India islands, of 1801. 11. Life of the negro Cornelius. III. Various accounts. From the Diary it appears, that the year 1801 was distinguished by occurrences of a very afflictive nature among the
negro congregations in the islands of St. Thomas, St. Croix, and St. Jan. In the latter particularly, the Missionaries were obliged, in consequence of the war, to give up their habita tion for the use of the British troops who were wounded. In this hospital death made great ravages; for in the space of two months, 129 of the soldiers and others died. Nevertheless, during these trou bles, "Our Saviour," says the wri ter, "caused our negroes to search,
their own hearts, and examine how they stood with respect to their love towards him, and those who labour among them in his name; and how they had regarded his word preached unto them and there were various instances of persons, whose faithfulness became more manifest by these trials. One of the negroes at Friedensberg, said,
If we can only get to a place where we may hear the gospel, and live in conformity to it as children of God, we are willing to leave all the rest." Another negro-brother in St. Thomas's said, 'The enemy may shoot me dead, or do with me what they please, if they only do no harm to our teachers, nor drive them from the island.' In the course of the year, in their six dif. ferent settlements in these islands, 272 negroes belonging to the congregation, departed into eternal rest; and pleasing accounts are given of the happy death of several of them. The congregations of believing negroes in the three islands, consisted at the close of 1801, of 10,276 souls.
The life of Cornelius, a negroassistant in the Mission at St. Thomas's, is interesting.-He was called by grace above fifty years ago, and soon began to preach Christ to his countrymen. He was blessed with considerable talents, and was able to speak and write the Creole, Dutch, Danish, German, and English lan guages. Till 1767 he was a slave: The first purchased the freedom of his wife, and then laboured hard to gain his own liberty, which at last he effected, after much intreaty and the payment of a considerable sum. By degrees he was also enabled to purchase the emancipation of his six children. He learned the business of a mason so well, that he was appointed master-mason to the royal buildings; and had the honour to Jay the foundation - stone of six Christian chapels for the use of the brethren. His gifts for preaching were good, and remarkably acceptable, not only to the negroes, but to many of the whites. He spent even whole nights in visiting the different plantations; yet was by no means puffed up, but ever re
tained the character of a humble servant of Christ. When death approached (which was in Nov. 1801) he sent for his family; his children and grandchildren assembled round the bed of the sick parent: he suminoned up all his strength, sat up in the bed, uncovered his venerable head, adorned with locks as white as snow, and addressed them thus :—
"I rejoice exceedingly, my dearly beloved children, to see you once more together before my departure; for I believe that my Lord and Saviour will soon come, and take your father home to himself. You know, my dear children, what my chief concern has been respecting you, as long as I was with you; how frequently I have exhorted you, with tears, not to neglect the day of grace, but surrender yourselves, with soul and body to your God and Redeemer; to follow him faithfully. Sometimes I have dealt strictly with you, in matters which I believed would bring harm to your souls, and grieve the Spirit of God; and I have exerted my pa. ternal authority to prevent mischief; but it was all done out of love to you; however, it may have happened that I have been sometimes too severe if this has been the case, I beg you, my dear children, to forgive me. O, forgive your poor dying father!"
Here he was obliged to stop, most of the children weeping and sobbing aloud. At last, one of the daughters recovering herself, said, "We, dear father, we alone have cause to ask forgiveness; for we have often made your life heavy, and have been disobedient children." The rest joined in the same confession. The father then.continued, "Well, my dear children, if you all have forgiven me, then attend to my last wish and dying request. Love one another! do not suffer any quarrels and disputes to arise among you, after my decease. No, my children," raising his voice," Love one another cordially let each strive to shew proofs of love to his brother or sister; nor suffer yourselves to be tempted by any thing to become
proud; for by that, you may even miss of your souls salvation; but pray our Saviour to grant you love. ly minds and humble hearts. If you follow this advice of your father, my joy will be complete; when I shall once see you again in eternal bliss, and be able to say to our Saviour,-Here, Lord, is thy poor unworthy Cornelius, and the children thou hast given me. I am sure our Saviour will not forsake you; but I beseech you, do not forsake Him."
His two sons and four daughters are employed as assistants in the Mission; by them, he lived to see twelve grandchildren, and five greatgrandchildren, being about eightyfour years old. He was attended to the grave by a very large com. pany of negro-brethren and sisters, who being all dressed in white, walked in solemn procession to the burial-ground at New Hernhut.
What Christian can peruse this affecting narrative without blessing God, who, to our sable brethren hath Vouchsafed this abundant grace! and who can refrain from blessing God, who excited the Moravian church to these labours of love! and who hath so wonderfully succeeded their apostolic efforts! Who, that has tasted the Lord is gracious, will refuse the aid of his heart, his hand, his purse, in promoting Missionary exertions, so honoured of our God and Saviour!
import and of energy; and the occasion is improved in a manner worthy both of the preacher and the subject. The Memoir added, is indeed short; but it contains some extracts from Mr. Newell's Diary, which shews him to have been an Israelite indeed, in whom was no guile." Could any thing be wanted to recommend the judi cious Sermon of Mr. Scott, the title-page to this furnishes four co• gent reasons, the profits are de voted to a widow and (three) children, left almost wholly unprovided for.
A Sermon preached at the Church of St. Andrew, &c. Blackfriars, May 31st, 1803, before the Society for Missions to Africa and the East, &c. By the Rev. R. Cecil, M. A. Also the Report of the Committee, List of Subscribers, &c. 8vo, 25.
THE text of this discourse is
A Sermon preached at the Parish
cial Request, for the Benefit of his Widow and Children). By Thomas Scott, Rector of Aston Sandford, &c. To which is added, a Me moir of the Deceased. 8vo, s. 6d. In few instances have the words of this text ("to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain") been applied with more propriety, than to the meek and, amiable man, on account of whose decease this Sermon appears. The text has been thought obscure by its conciseness; but Mr. Scott, in a very judicious explication, shews it to be full of
Missenden, &c. (published by Sperior talents, we cannot but admire
variety of effort, a unity of design be preserved. Each Missionary Society is our natural ally; we should cordially co-operate with it as far as is consistent with our plan; we should rejoice in its success; and carefully watch, lest on any occa sion, a carnal jealousy should tempt" Ephraim to envy Judah, or Judah to vex Ephraim."
The Value of Life. A Sermon, delivered May the 8th, 1803, before the Correspondent Board in London, of the Society in Scotland, for the Propagation of Christian Knowledge_in_the Highlands and Islands. By W.Jay,
After a very ingenious introduction from this singular text (Job ii. 4.) the preacher proposes two objects." In the first place, we shall establish the importance of human life. In the second, we shall explain the use to which the belief of it should be applied." The importance of human life is argued from the authority of the Scriptures; from the divine Author of human nature; from the connection of this life with another; from the opportunity it af fords of getting good,and doing good. Among the useful inferences flowing from the belief of this fact, Mr. Jay specifies the following: - We should deplore the destruction of it, not expose it to heedless injury and hazard; be thankful for the continuance of it, not be impatient for death; estimate the value of early piety, improve life to the best purposes. This last idea brings the preacher to the particular object of the present discourse, which is pleaded with his usual eloquence and ingenuity.
To your Tents, O Britons! preached at Sutton Saint Mary, July 31. by C. Jerram, A. M. 12mo. 3d. or 2s. 6d. per dɔzen.
SERMONS ON THE TIMES. 1. Chambers of Safety in Times of Danger: preached at Bath, May 8, 1803. By W. Cooper. Second Edition, Svo, 15.
II. The Duty of England exempli.
fied in the conduct of Hezekiah :
preached at Stockwell, July 31. By T. Jackson. 8v9, 15.