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THE DAIRYMAN'S COTTAGE.
- AS a nee mane
ANNALS OF THE POOR:
THE DAIRYMANâ€™S DAUGHTER, THE AFRICAN
SERVANT, AND THE YOUNG COTTAGER,
BY REV. LEGH RICHMOND,
OF BEDFORDSHIRE, ENG.
WITH A BRIEF MEMOIR OF THE AUTHOR,
AND AN INTRODUCTORY LETTER,
BY REV, JOEL HAWES, D.D.
â€œLet not ambition mock their humble toil,
Their homely joys, and destiny obscure ;
Nor grandeur ies with a disdainful smile,
The short and simple aNNALS OF THE POOR,â€
PUBLISHED BY G. & C. MERRIAM,
CORNEE OF MAIN AND STATE STREETS,
THOMAS B, SMITH,
216 William St., N. Y.
Hartrorp, Dee, 2, 1851,
Mr. Cuarrtes MERRIAM,
Dear Sinâ€”When some time since you requested me
to write an Introductory Notice of the three Traets by
Rey. Legh Richmond, viz., the Dairymanâ€™s Daughter, the
Young Cottager, and the African Servant, which you
proposed to publish in a small volume for general cireu-
lation, my thought was, that I would do so at once. But
on re-perusing them,â€”for I read them first some thirty
years ago with great delight,â€”I could not but feel that
no Introduction was needed for these admirable Tractsâ€”
so widely are they known, so be.rutiful in style, so sweet
in spirit, so full of evangelical truth and so deeply inter-
esting, as they have always been to all who have read
them. I must, therefore, beg to be excused from writ-
ing the Notice I gave you reason to expect from me; and
would simply say that in my judgment you could not put
in circulation a more interesting little volume than that
you are about to publish, comprising the three Tracts
above named by the excellent Legh Richmond. His
name is as ointment poured forth. Though dead he
speaketh, and through the medium of these little publi.
cations, he will, I trust, continue to live and do good till
time shall be no more.
LIFE OF REV. LEGH RICHMOND.
BY REV. JOHN AYRE.
Leen Ricxmonp was born at Liverpool, Jan. 29, 1772.
He was the eldest child of Dr. Henry Richmond, the de-
scendant of an ancient and honorable family. A remark-
able casualty befell him in his childhood, the effects of
which he never recovered. Ata very early age, in leap.
ing from a wall, he contracted an injury in his left leg,
which issued in incurable lameness. It is somewhat sin-
gular that an accident nearly similar occurred to his
ounger and only brother, and also to his second son,
ach of them, in infancy, fell from an open window.
The former was killed, and the latter was ever after
afflicted in the same limb with the same kind of lameness
as his father.
After a private preparatory education, Legh Richmond
was admitted a member of Trinity College, Cambridge.
While an under-graduate, he pursued his studies with a
talent and a zeal which gave fair promise that the highest
honors of his year were not beyond his reach. â€˜These
hopes were however blighted by a severe illness, which
was partly owing to his anxious and unremitted applica-
tion. Precluded by this cause, from engaging in the
honorable contention of the senate-house, he received
8 LIFE OF
what is academically termed an egrotat depree; coms
mencing B.A. in 1794; and, with some intermissions, he
resided in the university three years longer.
We are now to view Mr. Richmond in a totally differ-
ent character. In the summer of 1797, he became, with-
in the space of a very few weeks, (to borrow his own
words,) â€œacademically a master of arts, domestically a
husband, parochially a deacon.â€ He had been originally
destined to the law; but having imbibed a distaste for
that profession, his attention was subsequently directed
to the ministry, and he was now admitted to the sacred
office. Brading, a secluded village in the Isle of Wight,
was the scene of his earliest pastoral labors. He was
ordained to the curacy of this place and the little adjoin-
ing village of Yaverland; and in Yaverland church he
Seed his first sermon.
These scenes will long be dear to Christian remem-
brance. Lovely in themselves, and consecrated by the
pen of Legh Richmond, they will be viewed with no or-
dinary feelings; and he who disdains not the â€œsimple
annals of the poor,â€ while he treads the sod which covers
â€œlittle Jane,â€ or visits the lowly cottage of the â€œ Dairy-
than,â€ will not fail to glorify God for those who here
have slept in Jesus, and â€œthongh dead, yet speak.â€
At the time of his ordination Mr, Richmond saw little
of the magnitude of that work in which he was engaging.
As yet, he was himself but little acquainted with the
things of God, and was therefore little qualified to be-
come the spiritual instructor of others. His habits of life
were decoroug and exemplary, his, pulpit compositions
interesting and moral, but as yet he was little imbued
with the spirit of vital godliness. This man, however,
(may it not be said,) was â€œa chosen vessel to the Lord.â€
Ere many months elapsed a complete revolution was
effected in his religious sentiments. This is, under Ged, Â©
mainly to be ascribed to the perusal of Mr. Wilberforceâ€™s
â€œPractical View of Christianity.â€ He now with enlight-
ened understanding and decisive zeal, set himself to â€œdo
the work of an evangelist.â€ Not only was he in the pul.
LEGH RICHMOND. ee
it, instant in â€œ preaching the word,â€ but he was also to
be found with his pastoral admonitions in the dwellings
of his flock, and could descend, with sweet and winning
gentleness, to â€œfeed his lambs.â€ The fruit of his labors
was speedily apparent. â€œLittle Janeâ€™? was the first
flower which bloomed from the good seed he was sow-
The circumstances attendant upon his intercourse with
the subjects of the Annals will be found narrated in the
several 'Fracts. I only observe in this place, that â€œ little
Janeâ€ died January 30th, 1799, in her fifteenth year: that
the conversations with the â€œ African Servantâ€ were held
during the summer of i803, and that the death of the
â€œ Dairymanâ€™s Daughterâ€ took place May 30th, 1801: her
age was thirty-one.
After a residence of about seven years in the Isle of
Wight, where his labors had been evidently and largely
blessed, Mr. Richmond removed to London. He was
here to take a share in the duties of the Lock Chapel.
The very first sermon he delivered from the pulpit of this
lace was, there is every reason to believe, under Godâ€™s
lessing, the instrumental means of effecting a saving
change in the heart of at least one individual.
Scarcely, however, was he well settled in this new
scene, when the good providence of God removed him to
the rectory of Turvey, Bedfordshire. He was presented
to this living by Miss Fuller, in 1805.
Long will the name of Richmond be venerated at Tur-
vey; long will the savor of his affectionate ministrations
abide in the hearts of his mourning flock. A singular
blessing still attended him. From the earliest to literall
the latest, his preaching was visibly â€œin demonstration o
the Spirit and of power.â€
It was during his residence at Turvey that most of Mr.
Rithmondâ€™s publications were undertaken. He had pre-
viously printed two or three single sermons ;* but it was
* These were, a Fast-day Sermon, and one on theâ€™Close of the Year,
reached at Brading ; and a Sermon on Cruelty to the Brute Creation, de
fivesall at Bath, ? ae
10 | LIFE OF
at Turvey that his great work, â€œâ€™ The Fathers of the En.
glish Church, was carried on. For the superintendence
of this important undertaking he was eminently qualified.
Accident, or | would rather say, a remarkable providence,
had, in the first instance, introduced him, while in the Isle
of Wight, to the writings of our earlier and greatest the-
ologians; and the study of them he had ever since zeal-
ously prosecuted. To a familiar acquaintance with the
works of these divines, Mr. Richmond united the greatest
impartiality and judgment in forming his selections, His
work therefore presents, in a comparatively small com-
pass, the large proportion of the most valuable of the re-
mains of our martyrs and confessors. It is not perhaps
too much to say that it has been mainly instrumental in
awakening to the reformers that attention and interest
with which they are now a regarded.
It was during his residence at Turvey also that Mr.
Richmond drew up the narratives which are contained in
the present volume. â€˜They were originally (in substance)
inserted in the earlier numbers of the Christian Guardian.
Having here attracted considerable attention, ~â€” were
then published in the form of separate Tracts, and after-
wards, with considerable augmentations, in the first edi- _
tion of this volume. |
It may perhaps appear unnecessary to pronounce an
opinion on productions which have been circulated by
millions, and translated into twenty languages; and which,
in a multitude of well-authenticated instances, have been,
by the blessing of God, signally effective of good. I
cannot however forbear to say, that in Legh Richmondâ€™s
writings, more than in those of perhaps any other author,
you behold the character of the man. His beautiful sim-
plicity, his lively imagination, his tenderness of feeling,
his devoted piety, were the characteristics of the man
which enshrined him in the affections of all who knew
him. And who can read a page of his annals, and not
recognize in those interesting narratives the same simple
plainness, the same glowing fancy, the same touching
pathos, the same ardent piety? In sketching his villagers,
LEGH RICHMOND. 11
he has unconsciously delineated himself. He admits us
to his retirement and meditations, shows us his hopes
and fears, and presents us with all the secret workings of.
his soul. We admire the gifted minister of God, who in
the deep humility of his spirit disdained not to listen to
the voice of admonition, though it reached him from the
lowly cottage ; we cannot withhold our affection from the
If I were called on to say which of the narratives [
prefer, ] should most probably be inclined to fix on that
of the â€œYoung Cottager.â€ â€˜There is something, in my
judgment, irresistibly engaging in the character and his-
tory of that simple girl. 1 can venerate the high and ex-
alted piety of the â€œ Dairymanâ€™s Daughter,â€ who, with a
masculine strength of understanding, had ever her word
of counsel even for the minister; but I love the little back-
ward, neglected, retiring child, who starts forth at once in
all the moral beauty of Christian attainment, There is
sontething too in the condition of Jane which seems
especially to call for our apepainy: The Dairymanâ€™s
Daughter was constantly surrounded by a circle of affee-
tionate relatives, who regarded her with reverence and
love; while Janeâ€™s religion was, at best, little appreciated,
often despised and ridiculed by her family, and her last
hours were disturbed by sounds of blasphemy proceeding
from a parent, Many of the incidents also of this tale
might be appealed to as conferring upon it a peculiar in-
terest. The scene, for example, where Mr. Richmond, on
his first visit to her, while speaking of the good news of
the Gospel, inquires, â€œ Who brings this good news?â€ and
is answered, â€œ Sir, you brought it to me,â€ I know not who
can read unmoved. Her parting benediction tooâ€”* God
bless and reward youâ€â€”when with an unexpected exer-
tion she threw her arms around him and diedâ€”is inex-
During his residence at Turvey, Mr. Richmond became
extendedly known to the public as the cordial friend and
ready advocate of the different religious societies which
have, within , last thirty years, grown up amongst us.
12 LIFE OF
His persuasive and pathetic eloquence in the pulpit or on
the platform, when awakening Christian sympathy in be-
half of the idolatrous Gentile, or the unbelieving Jew,
will not be readily forgotten by the multitudes who have
so often delighted and instructed, hung upon his lips. J
believe his earliest appearance in this character was on
the Ninth Anniversary of the Church Missionary Society,
before whom he was appointed, in 1809, to preach their
annual sermon, This sermon may be appealed to as a
fair and characteristic specimen of his powers in the pul-
pit; though I must be allowed to say, thaf his flowing
and harmonious language, his graceful delivÃ©ry and sweet
expression of features, beaming with love to God and
good-will to men, imparted a charm which the mere read-
er of a printed sermon can by no means duly appreciate.
His preaching, for a long series of years, was altogether
extemporaneous. His ready utterance; his ieaans
fancy, his aptness of illustration, his deep knowledge of
divine things, rendered his sermons always interesting
and useful. Perhaps he did not, upon common occasions,
allow himself sufficient previous study; but if this were
his fault, he acted upon principle. â€œ* Why,â€ he would
often say, â€œ why net [ labor, when our simple villagers
are far more usefully instructed in my plain, easy, familiar
manner? â€˜The only result would be, that I should ad-
dress them in a style beyond their comprehension.â€
His appearance on the platform of a public meeting was
universally hailed with pleasure. His ready adaptation of
passing incidents, the suavity of his addresses, sometimes _
solemn, sometimes even jocose, interspersed with inter- ~
esting narratives, which he could so well relate, deservedly â€”
placed him high in public esteem. :
I ought perhaps to state, that-in 1814 Mr. Richmond Â©
was appointed chaplain to the late Duke of Kent, by whom |
he was honored with a share of his Royal Highnessâ€™ |
friendship. In 1817 Mr. R. was presented, by the late
Emperor Alexander, of Russia, with a splendid ring, asa ~
testimony of the approbation with which his Imperial â€”
Majesty viewed the narratives in this volume. | ,
LEGH RICHMOND. 13
Many peaceful years were passed at Turvey. Happy
in the bosom of his family, no man more excelled as a
pattern of domestic virtues than Legh Richmond.
At length, in 1825, Mr. R.â€™s domestic happiness sus-
tained a severe blow by the death of his second son, a
outh in his nineteenth year. For this beloved child he
had fostered many a fond hope and anxious expectation,
and beheld, with all a fatherâ€™s joy, his fair promise; but
this flower was withered by consumption, and the bereaved
parent, though he submitted as a Christian, yet sorrowed.
as aman. In a few short months the stroke was re-
posted, Intelligence arrived that his eldest son, who had
been absent many years, had died on his voyage from
India to England.
These afflictive dispensations had a marked and pecu-
liar effect upon Legh Richmond. He who used to be the
life of the domestic and social circle, would now be silent
_ and abstracted; yet it was not the morbid gloom of a
repining heart, it was rather the solemnity of conviction
that he should ere long rejoin his lamented children. His
bodily health too seemed, in some measure, decaying.
His multitude of pastoral duties were too heavy for his
strength. For the last twelve months of his life he was
troubled with an irritating cough, which seemed to indi-
eate anaffection of the lungs. At Jength, (March, 1827,)
he contracted a violent cold, which issued in pleurisy ;
from which, however, he shortly appeared to be recovering.
During all this time, when certainly no immediate danger
was apprehended, he was peacefully and quietly setti
his house in order. To his family he knew the idea of
separation would be agony; he therefore scarcely hinted
to them what he felt was nigh at hand, but to a clerical
friend, he, in striking words, professed that simple reliance
on the atonement of Christ which alone can cheer and
support the soul in the hour of dissolution. It soon
became evident to those around him, that the flood of life
was @bbing calmly yet fast; and at last, (May 8,) without
paltorstruggle, the ready spirit sweetly and softly passed
14 LIFE OF LEGH RICHMOND.
from her mortal tenement, and Legh Richmond slept in
Farewell, dear friend and father! Very pleasant were
the hours and years of our communion; but they are
passed away, and the savor only, sad yet sweet, remains.
â€œ Farewell, dear friend, till the morning of an eternal day
renew our personal intercourse!â€ May J meet thee in a
I cannot but connect the closing hours of my beloved
friend with that affecting prayer which he has breathed in
the Young Cottager. He had been describing the useful
course and peaceful termination of a little rivulet which
glides through a very lovely glen, by which he was medi-
tating. â€œMay my course be like unto thine, thou little
rivulet! Though short be my span of life, yet may I be
useful to my fellow-sinners as I travel onwards! Let me
be a dispenser of spiritual support and health to many!
Like this stream, may I prove the poor manâ€™s friend by
the way, afid water the souls that thirst for the river of
life wherever I meet them! And if it pleases thee,O m
God, let me in my latter end be like this brook! It
calmly, though not quite silently, flows through this scene
of peace ahd loveliness, just before it enters the sea, -_
Let me thus gently close my days likewise; and may I
not unusefully tell to others of the goodness and mercy
of my Saviour, till I arrive at the vast ocean of eternity,â€
That prayer was surely answered. He did tell to men,
with abundant blessing, of the goodness and mercy of his
Saviour: he did thus gently close his days,
Soldier of Christ, well done !
Praise be thy new employ ;
And while eternal ages run,
Rest in thy Saviourâ€™s joy,
AN AUTHENTIC NARRATIVE,
BY REV. LEGH RICHMOND.
Ir is a delightful employment to discover and trace the
operations of divine grace, as they are manifested in the
dispositions and lives of Godâ€™s real children. It is pecu-
liarly gratifying to observe how frequently, among the
poorer classes of mankind, the sunshine of mercy beams
upon the heart, and bears witness to the image of Christ
which the Spirit of God has impressed thereupon. Among
such, the sincerity and simplicity of the Christian charae-
ter appear unencumbered by those obstacles to spirituality
of mind and conversation which too often prove a great
hindrance to those who live in the higher ranks. Many
are the difficulties which riches, worldly consequence,
high connections, and the luxurious refinements of pol-
ished society, throw in the way of religious professions.
Happy indeed it is, (and some such happy instances I
know,) where grace has so strikingly supported its conflict
with natural pride, self-importance, the allurements. of
luxury, ease, and worldly opinions, that the noble and
mighty appear adorned with genuine poverty of spirit,
- -denial, humble-mindedness, and deep spirituality of
But, in general, if we want to see religion in its most
simple and pure character, we must look for it among the
poor of this world, who are rich in faith. How often is
18 ANNALS OF THE POOR.
the poor manâ€™s cottage the palace of God! Many of us
ean truly declare, that we have there learned our most
valuable lessons of faith and hope, and there witnessed -
the most striking demonstrations of the wisdom, power,
and goodness of God.
The character which the present narrative is designed
to introduce to the notice of my readers, is given from real
life and circumstance, I first became acquainted with the
Dairymanâ€™s Daughter by the reception of a letter, a part
of which I transcribe from the original, now before me.
â€œRey. Sir,â€”I take the liberty to write to you. Pray
excuse me, for I have never spoken to you. But I once
heard you preach at church. I believe you are
a faithful preacher, to warn sinners to flee from the wrath
that will be revealed against all those that live in sin, and
â€œ] was much rejoiced to hear of those marks of love
and affection which you showed to that poor soldier of
the S. D. militia. Surely the love of Christ sent you to
that poor man; may that love ever dwell richly in you by
faith. May it constrain you to seek the wandering souls
. men with the fervent desire to spend and be spent for
â€œBir, be fervent in prayer with God for the conviction
and conversion of sinners. He has promised to answer
the prayer of faith that is put upinhis Sonâ€™s name. â€˜Ask
what you will, and it shall be granted you.â€™ Through
faith in Christ we rejoice in hope, and look upin expecta-
tion of that time drawing near, when all shall know and
fear the Lord, and when a nation shall be born in a
â€œWhat a happy time, when Christâ€™s kingdom shall
come! Then shall â€˜his will be done on earth, as it is in
heaven.â€™ Men shall be daily fed with the manna of his
love, and delight themselves in the Lord all the day long.
â€œSir, I] began to write this on Sunday, being detained
from attending on public worship. My dear and only
sister, living as a servant with Mrs, â€”~~, was so ill that
DAIRYMANâ€™S DAUGHTER. 19
I came here to attend in her place, and onher. But now
she is no more.
â€œShe expressed a desire to receive the Lordâ€™s supper,
and commemorate his precious death and sufferings.
told her, as well as I was able, what it was to receive
Christ into her heart; but as her weakness of body
increased, she did not mention it again. She seemed
quite resigned before she died. I do hope she has gone
from a world of death and sin, to be with God for-
â€œ My sister expressed a wish that you might bury her.
The minister of our parish, whither she will be carried,
cannot come. She died on Tuesday morning, an@ will be
buried on Friday or Saturday, (whichever is most conve-
nient to you,) at three oâ€™clock in the afternoon. Please
to send an answer by the bearer, to let me know whether
you can comply with this request.
â€œFrom your unworthy servant,
â€œ ELIZABETH Wâ€”â€”~Â£.â€
I was much struck with the simple and earnest strain
of devotion which the letter breathed. It was but indif-
ferently written and spelt; but this the rather tended to
endear the hitherto unknown writer, 4s it seemed charac-
teristic of the union of humbleness of station with emi-
nence of piety. IJ felt quite thankful that I was favored
with a correspondent of this description; the more so, as
such characters were, at that time, very rare in the neigh-
borhood. As soon as it was read, I inquired who was the
bearer of it.
â€œ He is waiting at the outside of the gate, Sir,â€ was the
: went out to speak to him; and saw a venerable old
man, whose long hoary hair and deeply wrinkled counte-
nance commanded more than common respect. He was
resting his arm upon the gate, the tears were streaming
down his cheeks. On my approach he made a low bow,
â€œSir, I have brought you a letter from my daughter;
20 | ANNALS OF THE POOR.
but I fear you will think us very bold in asking you to
take so much trouble.â€
â€œBy no means,â€ I replied; â€œI shall be truly glad to
oblige you and any of your family in this matter.â€ .
I desired him to come into the house, and then said,
â€œ What is your occupation ?â€ )
â€œ Sir, I have lived most of my days in a little cottage
at , six miles from here, have rented a few
acres of ground and kept a few cows, whieh, in addition
to my day labor, has been my means of supporting and
bringing up my family.â€ .
- What family have you 2?â€ ,
â€œ A wife, now getting very aged and helpless ; two sons
and one daughter; for my other poor, dear child is just
departed out of this wicked world.â€
â€œT hope for a better,â€
â€œT hope so too; poor thing, she did not use to take to
such good ways as her sister; but I do believe that her
sisterâ€™s manner of talking with her before she died was
the means of saving her soul. What a mercy it is to
have such a child as mine is! I never thought about my
own soul seriously till she, poor girl, begged and prayed
me to flee from the wrath to come.â€
â€œ How old are you?â€
â€œTurned seventy, and my wife is older; we are get~
ting old and almost past our labor ; but our daughter has
left a good place, where she lived in service, on purpose
to come home and take care of us and our little dairy,
And a dear, dutiful, affectionate girl she is,â€
â€œ Was she always so ?â€
â€œNo, Sir; when she was very young she was all for
the world, and pleasure, and dress, and company. Indeed
we were all very ignorant, and thought, if we took care
for this life, and wronged nobody, we should be sure to
go to heaven at last. My daughters were both wilful,
and, like ourselves, were strangers to the ways of God
and the word of his grace. But the eldest of them went
dut to service; and some years ago she heard a sermon .
preached at â€”--â€” church, and from that time she be-
DAIRYMANâ€™S DAUGHTER. 21
came quite an altered creature. She began to read the
Bible, and became quite sober and steady. The first
time she came home afterwards to see us, she brought us
a guinea which she had saved from her wages, and said,
as we were getting old, she was sure we should want
help: adding, that she did not wish to spend it in fine
clothes, as she used to do, only to feed pride and vanity.
She would rather show gratitude to her dear father and
mother; and this, she said, because Christ had shown
such mercy to her.
â€œ We wondered to hear her talk, and took great delight
in her company, for her temper and behavior were so
humble and kind, she seemed so desirous to do us good
both in soul and body, and was so different from what we
had ever seen her before, that, careless and ignorant as
we had been, we began to think there must be somethin
real in religion, or it never could alter a person so muc
in a little time.
â€œHer younger sister, poor soul, used to laugh and
ridicule her at that time, and said her head was turned
with her new ways. â€˜No, sister,â€™ she would say, â€˜not my
head, but I.hope my heart is turned from the love of
sin to the love of God. I wish you may one day see, .
as I do, the danger and vanity of your present condi-
â€œHer poor sister would reply, â€˜I do not want to hear
any of your preaching: [ am no worse than other
eople, and that is enough for me,â€”â€˜ Well, sister,â€™
lizabeth would say, â€˜if you will not hear me, you can-
not hinder me from praying for you, which I do with all
my heart.â€™ 7 '
â€œ And now, Sir, I believe those prayers are answered.
For when her sister was taken ill, Elizabeth went to wait
in her place and take care of her. She said a great deal
to her about her soul; and the poor girl began to be so
deeply affected, and sensible of her past sin, and so thank-
ful for her sisterâ€™s kind behavior, that it gave her great
hopes*indeed for her sake. When my wife and I went
to see her as she lay sick, she told us how grieved and
22 ANNALS OF THE POOR,
ashamed she was of her past life; but said, she had a
hope, through grace, that her dear sisterâ€™s Saviour would
be her Saviour too; for she saw her own sinfulness, felt
her own helplessness, and only wished to cast herself
upon Christ as her hope and salvation.
â€œ And now, Sir, she is gone, and I hope and think her
sisterâ€™s prayers for her conversion to God have been
answered. â€˜The Lord grant the same, for her poor father
and motherâ€™s sake likewise.â€
This conversation was a very pleasing commentary
upon the letter which I had received, and made me anx-
ious both to comply with the request, and to become ac-
quainted with the writer. I promised the, good old
Dairyman I would attend the funeral on Fridley at the
appointed hour; and after some more conversgijion re-
specting his own state of mind under the presefiftrfal, he
Went away. ,*
He was a reverend old man; his furrowed cheeks,
white locks, weeping eyes, bent shoulders, and feeble
gait, were characteristic of the aged pilgrim ; and as he
slowly departed, supported by a stick, which seemed toâ€™
have been the companion of many a long year, a tein of |
reflections occurred which I retrace with emotion andâ€™
At the appointed hour I arrived at the church; and af-
ter a little while, was summoned to meet at. the church- |
ard gate a very decent funeral procession. The aged â€”
parents, the elder brother and the sister, with other rela-
tives, formed an affecting group. I was struck with the
humble, pious, and pleasing countenance of the young â€”
woman from whom I received the letter: it bore the
marks of great seriousness without affectation, and of |
much serenity mingled with a glow of devotion.
A circumstance occurred during the burial service,
whieh I think it right to mention.
A man of the village, who had hitherto been of a very
careless and even profligate character, came into the
church through mere curiosity, and with no better purpose
than that of a vacant gazing at the ceremony. He came
DAIRYMANâ€™S DAUGHTER. 93
likewise to the grave; and during the burial service his
mind received a deep, serious conviction of his sin and
danger, through some of the expressions contained there-
in. It was an impression that never wore off, but gradu-
ally ripened into the most satisfactory evidence of an
entire change, of which I had many and long-continued
progfs. He always referred to the burial service, and to
. some particular sentences of it, as the clearly ascertained
instrument of bringing him, through grace, to the knowl-
edge of the truth.
he day was therefore one to be remembered. Re-
' membered let it be by those who love to hear â€œthe short
and singel annals of the poor.â€
WwW re not a manifest and happy connection between
theâ€™ ci@usiance that providentially brought the serious
and thÃ©â€™careless to the same grave on that day together?
How auch do they lose, who neglect to trace the leadings
of Gdd in providence, as links in the chain of his eterna]
purpose of redemption and grace!
â€œ While infidels may scoff, let us adore,â€
_ Aft@r the service was concluded, I had a short conver-
â€˜sation with the good ald couple and their daughter. Her
aspect and address were highly interesting. I promised
to Visit their cottage; and from that time became well
acquainted with them. Let us bless the God of the poor,
and pray continually that the poor may become rich inâ€™
faith, and the rich be made poor in spirit.
A sweet solemnity often possesses the mind, while
retracing past intercourse with departed friends. How
much is this inereased, when were such as lived and
died in the Lord! The remembrance of former scenes
and convÃ©rsations with those who, we believe, are now
enjoying the uninterrupted happiness of a better world,
fills the heart with pleasing sadness, and animates the soul
with the hopeful anticipation of a day when the glory of
the Lord shall be revealed in the assembling of all his
children together, never more to be separated, * W.
24 ANNALS OF THE POOR.
they were rich or poor, while on earth, is a matter of tri-
fling consequence ; the valuable part of their character is,
that they are now kings and priests unto God. In the
number of departed believers, with whom I once loved to
converse on the grace and glory of the kingdom of God,
was the Dairymanâ€™s Daughter.
About a week after the funeral I went to visit the ,
family at , where the youngest sister had lived and
died, and where Elizabeth had remained for a short time.
She was indeep mourning; but there wasa calmness and â€”
serenity in her countenance which exceedingly struck me, ~
and impressed some idea of those attainments which a
farther acquaintance with her afterwards so much in-
creased. After a brief interview, I left her with an assnu-
rance that | proposed very shortly to visit her parents, to
whom she was about to return. â€˜
I quitted the house with no small degree of satisfaction,
in consequence of the new acquaintance which | had
formed. I discovered traces of a cultivated as well as a
spiritual mind, I felt that religious intercourse with those
of low estate may be rendered eminently useful to others
whose outward station and advantages are far above their
How often does it appear that â€œGod hath chosen the
weak things of the world to confound the things which
are mighty: and base things of the world, and things
which are despised, hath God chosen, and things which â€”
are not, to bring to naught things that are; that no flesh â€”
should glory in his presence.â€ |
It was not unfrequently my custom, when my mind
was filled with any interesting subject for meditation, to â€”
seek some spot where the beauties of natural prospect â€”
might help to form pleasing and useful associations. I â€”
therefore ascended gradually to the very summit of the
hill adjoining the mansion where my visit had just been |
made. Here was placed an elevated sea-mark: it was in
the form of a triangular pyramid, and built of stone. I
sat down on the ground near it, and looked at the sur-
DAIRYMANâ€™S DAUGHTER. 95
rounding prospect, which was distinguished for penne
and magnificence. It was a lofty station which command-
ed a complete circle of interesting objects to engage the
Southward the view was terminated by a long range
of hills, at about six milesâ€™ distance. They met, to the
westward, another chajn of hills, of which the one whereon
I sat formed a link, and the whole gine nearly encom-
passed a rich and fruitful valley filled with cornfields and
pastures. Through this vale winded a small river for
many miles; much cattle were feeding on its banks.
Here and there lesser eminences arose in the valley ;
some covered with wood, others with corn or grass, and
a few with heath or fern. One of these little. hills was
distinguished by a parish church at the top, presenting a
striking feature in the landscape. Another of these ele-
vations, situated in the centre of the valley, was adorned
with a venerable holly-tree, which has grown there for
aves, Its singular height and wide-spreading dimensions
not only render it an object of curiosity to the traveller,
but of daily usefulness to the pilot, as a mark visible from
the sea, whereby to direct his vessel safe into harbor.
Villages, churches, country-seats, farm-houses, and cotta-
es, were scattered over every part of the southern valley.
n this direction also, at the foot of the hill where I was
stationed, appeared the ancient mansion which I had just
quitted, embellished with its woods, groves, and gardens.
South-eastward I saw the open sea, bounded only b
the horizon. The sun shone, and gilded the waves wi
a glittering light, that sparkled in the most brilliant man-
ner. More to theâ€™east, in continuation of that line of
hills where I was placed, rose two downs, one beyond
the other, both covered with sheep, and the sea just visi-
ble over the farthest of them, as a terminating boundary.
In this point ships were seen, some sailing, others at
anchor. Here the little river, which watered the southern
valley, finished its course, and ran through meadows into
the sea in an eastward direction. ,
On the north the sea appeared like a noble river, vary-
26 ANNALS OF THE POOR,
ing from three ta seven miles in breadth, between tha
banks of the opposite coast and those of the island which
I inhabited. Immediately underneath me was a fine
woody district of country, diversified by many pleasing
objects, Distant towns were visible on the opposite
shore, Numbers of ships occupied the sheltered station
which this northern channel afforded them. The eye
roamed with delight over an expanse of near and remote
beauties, which alternately caught the observation, and
which harmonized together and praduced a scene of pecu.
Westward the hills followed each other, forming seve.
ral intermediate and partial valleys, in a kind of undula.
tions, like the waves of the sea; and, bending to the south,
completed the boundary of the larger eee before
described, to the southward of the hill on which I sat. In
many instances the hills were cultivated with corn to their
very summits, and seemed to defy the inclemency of
weather, which, at these heights, usually renders the
ground incapable of bringing forth and ripening the crops
of grain. One hill alone, the highest in. elevation, and
ahout ten miles to the south-westward, was enveloped in
a cloud, which jyst permitted a dim and hazy sight of a
signal-post, a light-house, and an ancient chantry, built
on its summit.
Amidst these numerous specimens of delightful scenery
I found a mount for contemplation, and here I indulged it,
â€œHow much of the natural beauties of Paradise stil]
remain in the world although its spiritual character has
been so awfully defaced by sin! But when divine grace
renews the heart of the fallen sinner, Paradise is regained,
and much of its heauty restored ta the soul. As this
prospect is compounded of hill and dale, Jand and sea,
woods and plains, all sweetly blended tagether and re-
lieving each other in the landscape, so do the gracious
dispositions wrought in the soul, produce a beauty and
harmony of scene to which it was before a stranger.â€
[ looked towards the village, in the plain below, where
the Dajrymanâ€™s younger daughter was buried. I retraced
DAIRYMANâ€™S DAUGHTER. 27
the simple solemnities of the funeral: I connected the
principles and conduct of her sister with the present
probably happy state of her soul in the world of spirits,
and was greatly impressed with a sense of the importance
of family influence as a means of grace. â€œThat young
woman,â€ I thought, â€œhas been the conductor of not only
a sister, but perhaps a father and mother also, to the true
knowledge of God, and may, by divine blessing, become
so to others. It is a glorious occupation to win souls to
Christ, and guide them out of Egyptian bondage through
the wilderness into the promised Canaan. Happy are the
families who are Walking hand in hand together, as pil-
grims, towards the heavenly country. May the number
of such be daily increased !â€
Casting my eye over the numerous dwellings in the
vales on my right and left, 1 could not help thinking,
â€œhow many of their inhabitants are ignorant of the ways
of God, and strangers to his grace! May this thought
stimulate to activity and diligence in the cause of immor-
tal souls! They are precious in Godâ€™s sightâ€”they
ought to be so in ours.â€ .
Some pointed and affecting observations to that effect
recurred te my mind as having been made by the young
person with whom I had been just conversing. Her
mind appeared to be much impressed with the duty of
speaking and acting for God â€œwhile it is day ;â€ con-
scious that â€œthe night cometh when no man can work.â€
I soon rode, for the first time, to see the family of the
Dairyman at their own home. The principal part of the
road lay through retired, narrow lanes, beautifully over-
arched with groves of nut and other trees, which screened
the traveller from the rays of the sun, and afforded many
interesting objects for admiration in the beautiful flowers,
shrubs, and young trees, which grew upon the high banks
on each side of the road. Many grotesque rocks, with
little streams of water oscadidiadly Vecakitne out of them,
varied the recluse scenery, and produced a romantic and
28 ANNALS OF THE POOR.
Here and there the more distant and rich prospect be-
yond appeared through gaps and hollow places on the
road-side. Lofty hills, with navy signal-posts, obelisks,
and light-houses on their summits, appeared at these in-
tervals: rich corn-fields were also visible through some
of the open places; and now and then, when the road
ascended a hill, the sea, with â€œee at various distances,
opened delightfully upon me. But, for the most part,
shady seclusion, and objects of a more minute and con-
fined nature, gave a character to the journey, and invited
What do not they lose who are strangers to serious
meditation on the wonders and beauties of nature! How
gloriously the God of creation shines in his works! Not
a tree, or leaf, or flowerâ€”not a bird or insect, but pro-
claims, in glowing language, â€œGod made me.â€
As I approached the village where the good old Dairy-
man dwelt, I observed him in a little field driving a few
cows before him towards a yard and hovel which adjoin-
ed his cottage. I advanced very near him without his
observing me, for his sight was dim. On my calling out
to him, he started at the sound of my voice, but with much
gladness of countenance welcomed me, saying, â€œBless
pene heart, Sir, 1 am very glad you are come; we have
ooked for you every. day this week.â€
Theâ€™ cottage-door opened, and the daughter came out
followed by her aged and infirm mother. The sight of
me naturally brought to recollection the grave at which
we had before met. Tears of affection mingled with the
smile of satisfaction with which I was received by these
worthy cottagers. I dismounted, and was conducted |
through a very neat little garden, part of which was sha-
ded by two large, overspreading elm-trees, to the house.
Decency and cleanliness were manifest within and with-
out. Everything wore the aspect of neatness and pro-
priety. On each side of the fire-place stood an old oaken â€”
arm-chair, where the venerable parents rested their weary
limbs after the dayâ€™s labor was over. On a shelf, in-one |
corner, lay two Bibles, with a few religious books and
DAIRYMANâ€™S DAUGHTER. 20
Tracts. The little room had two windows ; a lovely pros
pect of hills, woods, and fields, appeared through oneâ€”
the other was more than half obscured by the branches
of a vine which was trained across it; between its leaves
the sun shone, and cast a cheerful light over the whole
This, thought [, is a fit residence for piety, peace, and
contentment. May I learn a fresh lesson in each, through
the blessing of God on this visit. |
â€œ Sir,â€ said the daughter, â€œ we are not worthy that you
should come under our roof. We take it very kind that
you should come so far to see us.â€
â€œMy Master,â€ I replied, â€œcame a great deal farther to
visit us poor sinners. He left the bosom of his Father,
laid aside his glory, and came down to this lower world
on a visit of merey and love; and ought not we, if we.
profess to follow him, to bear each other's infirmities, and
go about doing good, as he did?â€
The old man now came in and joined his wife and
daughter in giving me a cordial welcome. Our conversa-
tion soon turned to the late loss they had sustained; and
the pious and sensible disposition of the daughter was
peculiarly manifested, as well in what she said to her pa-
rents, as in what she said to me. I was struek with the
good sense and agreeable manner which accompanied her
expressions of devotedness to God, and love to Christ,
for the great mercies which he had bestowed upon her.
She seemed anxious to improve the opportunity of my
visit to the best purpose for her own and her parentsâ€™
sake; yet there was nothing of unbecoming forwardness,
no self-consequence or conceitedness in her behavior,
She united the firmness and earnestness of the Christian
with the modesty of the female and the dutifulness of
the daughter. It was impossible to be in her company,
and not observe how truly her temper and conversa.
tion adorned the evangelical principles which she pro-
I soon discovered how eager and how successful also
she had been in her endeavors to bring her father and
30 ANNALS OF THE POOR.
mother to the knowledge and experience of the truth.
This is a lovely circumstance in the character of a young
Christian. If it hath pleased God,.in the free dispensa-
tions of his mercy, to call the child by his grace, while
the parent remains still in ignorance and sin, how great
is the duty of that child to do what is possible for the
conversion of those to whom it owes its birth! Happy
is it when the ties of grace sanctify those of nature!
This aged couple evidently looked upon and spoke of
their daughter as their teacher and admonisher in divine
things, while they received from her every token of. filial
submission and obedience, testified by continual endeavors
to serve and assist them to the utmost in the little con-
cerns of the household. |
The religion of this young woman was of a highly
spiritual character, and of no ordinary attainment. Her
views of the divine plan in saving the sinner, were clear
and scriptural. She spoke much of the joys and sorrows
which, in the course of her religious progress, she had
experienced; but she was fully sensible that there is far
more in real religion than mere occasional transition
from one frame, of mind and spirit to another. She be-
lieved that the experimental acquaintance of the heart
with God, principally consisted in so living upon Christ
by faith, as to seek to live like him by love. She knew
that the love of God toward the sinner, and the path of
duty prescribed to the sinner, are both of an unchangeable
nature. In a believing dependence on the one, and an
affectionate walk in the other, she sought and found â€œthe
peace of God which passeth all understanding ;â€ â€œ for so
he giveth his bare rest.â€
he had read but few books besides her Bible; but
these few were excellent in their kind, and she spoke of
their contents as one who knew their value. In addition
to a Bible and Common Prayer Book, â€œ Doddridgeâ€™s Rise
and Progress,â€ â€œ Romaineâ€™s Life, Walk, and Triumph of
Faith,â€ â€œ Bunyanâ€™s Pilgrim,â€ â€œ Alleineâ€™s Alarm,â€ â€œ Baxterâ€™s
Saintsâ€™ Everlasting Rest,â€ a hymn-book, and a few Tracts,
composed her library. )
DAIRYMANâ€™S DAUGHTER. 31
I observed in her countenance a pale and delicate look,
which I afterwards found to be a presage of consumption ;
and the idea then occurred to me that she would not live
very long. In fact, it pleased God to take her hence about
â€˜ a year and a half after I first saw her.
Time passed on swiftly with this interesting family ;
and after having partaken of some plain and wholesome
refreshment, arid enjoyed a few hoursâ€™ conversation with
them, I found it was necessary for me to return home-
wards. | '
â€œ]T thank,you, Sir,â€ said the daughter, â€œfor your Chris-
tian kindness to me and my friends. I believe the bless-
ing of the Lord has attended your visit, and I hope I have
experienced it to be so. My dear father and mother will,
J am sure, remember it, and I rejoice in an opportunity,
which we have never before enjoyed, of seeing a serious
minister under this roof. My Saviour has been abun-
dantly good to me in plucking me â€˜as a brand from the
burning,â€™ and showing me the way of life and peace: and
I hope it is my heartâ€™s desire to live to his glory. But I
long to see these dear friends enjoy the comfort and
power of religion also.â€
â€œT think it evident,â€ I replied, â€œthat the promise is ful-
filled in their case: â€˜ It shall come to pass, that at evening
time it shall be light.â€ |
â€œT believe it,â€ she said, â€œand praise God for the blessed |
â€œThank him too that you have been the happy instru-
ment of bringing them to the light.â€™ â€
â€œI do, Sir; yet when I think of my own unworthiness
and insufficiency, I rejoice with trembling.â€
â€œ Sir,â€ said the good old man, â€œI am sure the Lord will
reward you for this kindness, Pray for us, that, old as
we are, and sinners as we have been, yet he would have
merey upon us at the eleventh hour. Poor Betsy strives
hard for our sakes, both in body and soul; she works
hard all day to save us trouble, and I fear has not strength
to support all she does; and then she talks to us, and
reads to us, and prays for us, that we may be saved
32 ANNALS OF THE POOR.
from the wrath to come. Indeed, Sir, sheâ€™sâ€™ a rare child
* Peace be to you, and all that belong to you.â€
â€œAmen, and thank you, dear Sir,â€ was echoed from
each tongue. |
Thus we parted for that time. My returning medita-
tions were sweet, and, I hope, profitable. Many other
visits were afterwards made by me to this peaceful cot-
tage, and I always found increasing reason. to, thank God
for the intercourse I enjoyed. c
I soon perceived that the health of the Speier was
rapidly on the decline. The pale, wasting eoAsumption,
which is the Lordâ€™s instrument for removing so many
thousands every year from the land of the living, made
hasty strides on her constitution. The hollow eye, the
distressing cough, and the often too flattering red on the
cheek, foretold the approach of death.
I have often thought what a field for usefulness and
affectionate attention on the part of ministers and Christian
friends, is opened by the frequent attacks and lingering
progress of consumptive illness. How many such pre-
cious opportunities are daily lost, where Providence
seems in so marked a way to afford time and space for
serious and godly instruction! Of how many may it be
said, â€œ The way of peace have they not known ;â€ for not
one friend ever came nigh to wafn them to â€œ flee from the
wrath to come.â€
But the Dairymanâ€™s Daughter was happily made ac-
quainted with the things which belonged to her everlast-
ing peace, before the present disease had taken root in
her constitution. In my visit to her, I might be said rather
to receive information than to impart it. Her mind was
abundantly stored with divine truths, and her conversa-
tion was truly edifying. â€˜The recollection of it still pro-
duces a thankful sensation in my heart.
I one day received a short note to the following effect :
I should be very glad, if your convenience will allow,
that you would come and see a poor unworthy sinner :
DAIRYMANâ€™S DAUGHTER. ' $8
my hour-glass is nearly run out, but I hope I can see
Christ to be precious to my soul, Your conversation
has often been blessed to me, and I now feel the need of
it more than ever. My father and mother send their duty
rf From your obedient and
mar or servant,
I obeyed the summons that same'afternoon. On my
arrival at the Dairymanâ€™s cottage, his wife opened the
door. The tears streamed down her cheek, as she si-
lently shook her head. Her heart was full. She tried
to = but could not. I took her by the hand, and
â€œMy _ friend, all is right, and as the Lord of wis-
dom and mercy directs.â€
â€œOh! my Betsy, my dear girl, is so bad, Sir: what
shall I do without her !â€”I thought I should have gone
first to the grave, butâ€”â€”â€
â€œ But the Lord sees good, that, before you die yourself,
you should behold your child safe home to glory. Is
there no mercy in this ?â€ dios
â€œQh! dear Sir, lam very old, and very weak; and she
is a dear child, the staff and prop of a poor old creature,
as I am.â€ i |
As I advanced, I saw Elizabeth sitting by the fire-side,
supported in an arm-chair by pillows, with every mark of
rapid decline and approaching death. She appeared to
me within three or four weeks at the farthest from her
end. A sweet smile of friendly complacency enlightened
her pale countenance, as she said, = =
â€œThis is very kind indeed, Sir, to come so soon after I
sent to you. You find me daily wasting: away, and I
cannot have long to continue here. My flesh and my
heart fail, but God is the strength of my weak heart, and
I trust will be my portion forever.â€â€
The conversation which follows was occasionally inter-
rupted by her cough and want of breath, Her tone of
84 ANNALS OF THE POOR.
voice was clear, though feeble; her manner solemn and
collected ; and her eye, though more dim than formerly,
by no means wanting in liveliness as she spoke. I had
frequently admired the superior language in which she
expressed her ideas, as well as the scriptural consistency
with which she communicated her thoughts. She had a
good natural understanding; and grace, as is generally
the case, had much improved it. On the present occasion
I could not help thinking she was peculiarly favored.
The whole strength of grace and nature seemed to be in
After taking my seat between the daughter and the
mother, (the latter fixing her fond eyes upon her child
with great anxiety while we were conversing,) I said to
â€œ]T hope you enjoy a sense of the divine presence, and
can rest all upon him who has â€˜ been with thee,â€™ and has
kept â€˜thee in all places whither thou hast gone,â€™ and will
bring thee into â€˜the land of pure delights, where saints
immortal reign.â€™ â€
â€œSir, I think Ican. My mind has lately been some-
times clouded, but I believe it has been â€˜partly owing to
the great weakness and suffering of my bodily frame, and
partly to the envy of my spiritual enemy, who wants to
persuade me that Christ has no love for me, and that I
have been a self-deceiver.â€
â€œAnd do you give way to his suggestions? Can you
doubt, amidst ok numerous tokens of past and present
â€œNo, Sir, I mostly am enabled to preserve a clear evi-
dence of his love. Ido not wish to add to my other sins
that of denying his manifest goodness to my soul. I
would acknowledge it to his praise and glory.â€
â€œ What is your present view of the state in which you
were before he called you by his grace ?â€
â€œSir, ] was a proud, thoughtless girl; fond of dress
and finery; I loved the world and the things that are in
the world; I lived in service among worldly people, and
never had the happiness of being in a family where wor-
EE oe en
DAIRYMAN'S DAUGHTER. 35
ship was regarded, and the souls of the servants cared
for, either by master or mistress. I went once on a
Sunday to church, more to see and be seen, than to pray,
or hear the word of God. I thought I was quite good
enough to be saved, and disliked and often laughed at re-
â€” people. I wasin great darkness; I knew nothing
of the way of salvation; I never prayed, nor was sensible
of the awful danger of a prayerless state, 1 wished to
- maintain the character of a good servant, and was much
lifted up whenever | met with applause, I was tolerably
moral and decent in my conduct, from motives of carnal
and worldly policy; but E was a stranger to God and
Christ ; I neglected my soul; and had I died in such 4
state, hell must, and would justly, have been my portion.â€
â€œ How long is it since you heard the sermon which you
hope, through God's blessing, effected your conversion ?â€
â€œ About five years ago.â€ ,
â€œHow was it brought about?â€
â€œ It was reported that a Mr. , who was detained
by contrary winds from embarking on board ship, as
chaplain, to a distant part of the world, was to preach at.
church. Many advised me not to go, for fear he
should turn my head; as they said he held strange no-
tions. But curiosity, and an opportunity of appearing in
a new gown, which I was very proud of, induced me to
ask leave te go. Indeed, Sir, 1 had no better motives
than vanity and curiosity. Yet thus it pleased the Lord
to order it for his own glory. |
â€œT accordingly went to oaks and saw a great crowd
of people collected together, I often think of the con.
trary states of m ae during the former and latter part
of the service. For a while, regardless of the worship of
God, I looked around me, and was anxious to attract
natice myself. My dress, like that of too many gay,
vain, and silly girls, was much above my station, and
very different from that which becomes a humble sinner,
who has a modest sense of propriety and decency. Tha
state of my mind was viaible enough from the foolish
finefy of my apparel,
36 ANNALS QF THE POOR.
â€œAt length the clergyman gave out his text: * Be ye
clothed with humility.â€ He drew a comparisom between
the clothing of the body and that of the soul.*. At a very
early part of his discourse I began to feel ashamed of my
passion for fine dressing and apparel; but when he came
to describe the garment of salvation with which a Chris-
tian is clothed, | felt a powerful discovery of the naked-
ness of my own soul. I saw that I had neither the
humility mentioned in the text, nor any one part of the
true Christian character. I looked at my gay dress, and
blushed for shame on account of my pride. I looked at
the minister, and he seemed to be as a messenger sent
from heaven to open my eyes. I looked at the congre-
ation, and wondered whether any one else felt as I did.
looked at my heart, and it appeared full of iniquity. I
trembled as he spoke, and yet I felt a great drawing of
heart to the words he uttered.
â€œ He opened the riches of divine grace in Godâ€™s method
of saving the sinner. I was astonished at what I had
been doing all the days of my life. He deseribed the
meek, lowly, and humble example of Christ; I felt proud,
lofty, vain, and self-consequential. He represented Christ
as â€˜ Wisdom ;â€™ I felt my ignorance. He held him forth as
â€˜Righteousness ;â€™ I was convinced of my own guilt. He
proved him to be â€˜Sanctification; I saw my corruption.
He proclaimed him .as** Redemption ;â€™ I felt my slavery to
sin, and my captivity to Satan. He concluded with an
animated address to sinners, in which he exhorted them
to flee from the wrath to come, to cast off the love of
outward ornaments, to put on Christ, and be clothed with
true humility. | ,
â€œFrom that hour I never lost sight of the value of my
soul, and the danger of a sinful state. [inwardly blessed
God for the sermon, although my mind was in a state of
â€œThe preacher had brought forward the ruling passion
of my heart, which was pride in outward dress; and by
the grace of God it was made instrumental to the awa-
kening of my soul. Happy, Sir, would it be, if many a
DAIRY MANâ€™S: p AUGHTER, 37
poor girl, like myself, were turned from the love of out-
ward adorning and putting on of fine apparel, to seek
that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a
meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of
â€œThe greater part of the congregation, unused to such
faithful and scriptural sermons, disliked and complained
of the severity of the preacher; while a few, as I after-
wards found, like myself, were deeply affected, and ear-
nestly wished to hear him again. But he preached there
â€œFrom that time I was led, through a course of private
prayer, reading, and meditation, to see my lost estate as
a sinner, and the great mercy of God, through Jesus
Christ, in raising sinful dust and ashes to a share in the
tare happiness of heaven. And oh! Sir, what a
aviour have I found! He is more than I could ask or
desire. In his fullness.I have found all that my poverty
could need; in his bosom I have found a resting-place
from all sin and sorrow; in his word I have found strength
against doubt and unbelief.â€ |
â€œWere you not soon convinced,â€ said I, â€œthat your
salvation must be an act of entire grace on the part of
God, weekly independent of your own previous works or
â€œDear Sir, what were my works before I heard that
sermon, but evil, carnal, selfish, and ungodly? â€˜The
thoughts of my heart, from my youth upward, were only
evil, and that continually. And my deservings, what were
they, but the apie of a fallen, depraved, careless
soul, that regards neither law nor Gospel? Yes, Sir, I
immediately saw, that if ever I were saved, it must be by
the free mercy of God, and that the whole praise and
honor of the work would be his from first to last.â€
â€œ What change did you perceive in yourself with re-
spect to the world?â€
â€œ It appeared all vanity and vexation of spirit, I found
it necessary to my peace of mind to â€˜come out from
among them and be separate.â€™ I gave myself to prayer;
38 ANNALS OF THE POOR,
and many a precious hour of secret delight I enjoyed in
communion with God. Often I mourned over my sins,
and sometimes had a great conflict through unbelief, fear,
temptation to return back again to my old ways, and a
variety of difficulties which lay in my way. But he who
loved me with an everlasting love, drew me by his
loving-kindness, showed me the way of peace, gradually
strengthened me in my resolutions of leading a new
life, and taught me that, while without him I could
do nothing, I yet might do all things through his
â€œDid you not find many difficulties in your situation,
owing to your change of principle and practice ?â€
â€œ Yes, Sir, every of my life. I was laughed at by
some, scolded at by others, scorned by enemies, and pitied
by friends. I was called hypocrite, saint, false deceiver,
and many more names, which were meant to render me
hateful in the sight of the world. But I esteemed the
reproach of the cross an honor.â€”I forgave and prayed for
aay peeeeateen and remembered how very lately I had
acted the same part toward others myself. I thought
also that Christ endured the contradiction of sinners; and,
as the disciple is not above his Master, I was glad to be
in any way conformed to his sufferings,â€
â€œDid you not then feel for your relatives at home?â€
â€œ Yes, that I did indeed, Sir; they were never out of
my oe I prayed continually for them, and had a
longing desire to do them good. In particular I felt for
my father and mother, as they were getting into years,
and were very ignorant and dark in matters of religion.â€
* Ay,â€ interrupted her mother, sobbing, â€œignorant and
dark, sinful and miserable we were, till this dear Betsyâ€”
this dear Betsyâ€”this dear child, Sir, brought Christ Jesus
home to her poor father and motherâ€™s house.â€
â€œNo, dearest mother, say rather, Christ Jesus. brought
your poor daughter home to tell you what he had done
for her soul, and I hope, to do the same for yours.â€
At this moment the Dairyman came in with two pails
of milk hanging from the yoke on his shoulders, He
DAIRYMANâ€™S DAUGHTER, 39
had stood behind the half-opened door for a few minutes,
and heard the last sentences spoken by his wife and
â€œ Blessing and mercy upon her,â€ said he, â€œit is very
true; she would leave a good place of service on purpose
to live with us, that she might help us both in sou) and
body. Sir, donâ€™t she look very ill? I think, Sir, we
shanâ€™t have her here long.â€
â€œLeave that to the Lord,â€ said Elizabeth. â€œ All our
times are in his hand, and happy it is that they are.
I am willing to go; are not you willing, my father, to
part with me into hts hands who gave me to you at
â€œ Ask me any question in the world but that,â€ said the
â€œI know,â€ said she, â€œ you wish me to be happy.â€
â€œJI do, 1 do,â€ answered he; â€œlet the Lord do with you
and us as best pleases him.â€
I then asked her on what her present consolations
chiefly depended, in the prospect of approaching death.
â€œ Entirely, Sir, on my view of Christ. When I look at
myself, many sins, infirmities, and imperfections cloud the
image of Christ which I want to see in my own heart.
But when I look at the Saviour himself, he is altogether
lovely ; there is not one spot in his countenance, nor one
cloud over all his perfections. |
' â€œYJ think of his coming in the flesh, and it reconciles me
to the sufferings of the body; for He had them as well as
I. I think of his temptations, and believe that he is able
to succor me when I am tempted. Then I think of his
cross, and learn to bear my own. [I reflect on his death,
and long to die unto sin, so that it may no longer have
dominion over me. I sometimes think on his resurrec-
tion, and trust that he has given me a part in it, for! feel
that my affections are set upon things above. Chiefly I
take comfort in thinking of him as at the right hand of
the Father, pleading my cause, and rendering acceptable
even my feeble prayers, both for myself, and, as I hope,
for my dear friends.
40 ANNALS OF THE POQH.
â€œ These are the views, which, through mercy, I have of
my Saviourâ€™s goodness; and they have made me wish
and strive in my poor way to serve him, to give myself
up to him, and to labor to do my duty in that state of
life into which it has pleased him to call me.
â€œ A thousand times I should have fallen and fainted, if
he had not upheld me, I feel that I am nothing without
him. He is all in all.
â€œJust so far as I can cast my care upon him, I find
strength to do his will. May he give me grace to trust
him to the last moment! Ido not fear death, because I
believe he has taken away its sting. And oh! what hap-
piness beyond! Tell me, Sir, whether you think | am
right. I hope I am under no delusion. [ dare not look
for my hope at any thing short of the entire fulness of
Christ. When I ask my own heart a question, I am
afraid to trust it, for it is treacherous, and has often de-
eeived me. But when I ask Christ, he answers me with
promises that strengthen and refresh me, and leave me
no room to doubt his power and will to save. I am in
his hands, and would remain there; and I do believe
that he will never leave nor forsake me, but will perfect
the thing that concerns me. He loved me and gave him-
self for me, and I believe that his gifts and calling are with-
out repentance. In this hope [ live, in this I wish to die.â€
I looked around me as she was speaking, and thought,
â€œ Surely this is none other than the house of God, and
the gate of heaven.â€ Every thing appeared neat, cleanly,
and interesting. The afternoon ha Set rather overcast
with dark clouds, but just now the setting sun shone
brightly and rather suddenly into the room. It was re-
flected from three or four rows of bright pewter plates
and white earthen-ware arranged on shelves against the
wall; it also gave brillianey to a few prints of sacred sub-
jects that hung there also, and served for monitors of the
birth, baptism, crucifixion, and resurrection of Christ. A
map of Jerusalem, and a hieroglyphic of â€œthe old
and new man,â€ completed the decorations on that side of
the room. Clean as was the white-washed wall, it was
rr ne att ta maa aa a
DAIRYMANâ€™S DAUGHTER, 4]
not cleaner than the rest of the place and its furniture.
Seldom had the sun enlightened a house where order and
general neatness (those sure attendants of pious poverty)
were more conspicuous.
This gleam of setting sunshine was emblematical of
the bright and serene close of this io Christianâ€™s de-
parting season. One ray happened to be reflected from
a little looking-glass upon the face of the young woman.
Amidst her pallid and Recasins features there appeared a
calm resignation, triumphant confidence, unaffected hu-
mility, and tender anxiety, which fully declared the feel-
ings of her heart.
Some further affectionate conversation, and a short
prayer, closed this interview. Â©
As I rode home by departing daylight, a solemn tran-
quills reigned throughout the scene. The gentle low-
ing of cattle, the bleating of sheep, just penned in their
folds, the humming of the insects of the night, the dis-
tant murmurs of the sea, the last notes of the birds of day,
and the first warblings of the nightingale, broke upon the
ear, and served rather to increase than lessen the peace-
ful serenity of the evening, and its corresponding effects
on my own mind. It invited and cherished just such
meditations as my visit had already inspired. Natural
scenery, when viewed in a Christian mirror, frequently
affords very beautiful illustrations of divine truth. We
are highly favored, when we can enjoy them, and at the
same time draw near to God in them. |
Soon after this I received a hasty summons, to inform
me that my young friend was dying. It was brought by
a soldier, whose countenance bespoke seriousness, good
sense, and piety.
â€œT am sent, Sir, by the father and mother of Elizabeth
Wâ€”â€”â€”., at her own particular request, to say how much
they all wish to see you. She is going home, Sir, very
â€œ Have you known her long?â€ I replied.
â€œ About a month, Sir; I ove to visit the sick, and
42 ANNALS OF THE POOR.
menaing of her case from a serious person who lives
close by our camp, I went to see her. I bless God that
ever I dd go. Her conversation has been very profitable
â€œT rejoice,â€ said I, â€œto see in you, as J trust, a brother
soldier. â€˜Though we differ ia our outward regimentals, I
hope we serve under the same:spiritual Captain. I will
go with you.â€
My horse was soon ready. My. military companion
walked by my side, and gratified me with very sensible
and pious conversation. He related some remarkable
testimonies of the excellent disposition of the Dairymanâ€™s
' Daughter, as they appeared from some recent intercourse
which he had had with her. '
â€œShe is a ane diamond, Sir,â€ said the soldier, â€œand
will soon shine brighter than any diamond upon earth.â€
We passed through Janes and fields, over hills and val-
leys, by open and retired paths, sometimes crossing over,
and sometimes following the windings of a little brodk,
which gently murmured by the road side. Conversation
beguiled the distance, and shortened the apparent time of
our journey, till we were nearly arrived at the Dairymanâ€™s
As we approached it we became silent. Thoughts of
death, eternity, and salvation, inspired by the-sight of a
house where a dying believer lay, filled my own mind,
and, I doubt not, that of my companion also,
No living object yet appeared, except the Dairymanâ€™s
dog; keeping a kind of mute watch at the door, for he
did not, as formerly, bark at my approach. He seemed
to partake so far of the feelings appropriate to the cir-
cumstances of the family, as not to wish to give a hasty
or painful alarm. He came forward to the little wicket-
ea then looked back at the house-door, as if conscious
ere was sorrow within, It was as if he wanted to say,
â€œ Tread softly over the threshold, as you enter the house
of mourning; for my masterâ€™s heart is full of grief.â€
A solemn serenity appeared to surround the whole
place, It was only interrupted by the breeze passing
DAIRYMANâ€™S DAUGHTER, 43
through the large elm-trees which stood near the house,
which my imagination indulged itself in thinking were
plaintive sighs of sorrow. I gently opened the door; no
one appeared, and all was still silent.. The soldier fol-
lowed; we came to the foot of the stairs.
â€œThey are come,â€ said a voice, which I knew to be the
fatherâ€™s ; â€œ they are come.â€ |
He appeared at the top; I gave him my hand and said
nothing. On entering the room above, I saw the
mother and her son â€” the much-loved daughter
and sister; the sonâ€™s wife sat weeping in a window-seat
with a child on her lap; two or three persons attended in
the room to discharge any office which friendship or ne-
cessity might require.
I sat down by the bedside. The mother could not
weep, but now and then sighed deeply, as she alternately
looked at Elizabeth and atme. The if tear rolled down
the brotherâ€™s cheek, and testified an affectionate regard.
The good old man stood at the foot of the bed, leanin
upon the post, and unable to take his eyes off the child
from whom he was soon to part.
Elizabethâ€™s eyes were closed, and as yet she perceived
me not. But over: her face, though pale, sunk, and hol-
low, the peace of God, which passeth all understanding,
had cast a triumphant calm,
The soldier, after a short pause, silently reached out
his Bible toward me, pointing with his finger at 1 Cor.
xv. 55, 56, 58. I then broke silence b PP the pas-
sage, â€œ O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is
thy victory? The sting of death is sin, and the strength
of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who giveth us
the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ,â€
At the sound of these words her eyes opened, and
something like a ray of divine light beamed on her coun-
tenance, as she said, â€œ Victory! victory! through our Lord
Jesus Christ.â€ |
She relapsed again, taking no further notice of any one
resent, } ;
. â€œGod be praised for the triumph of faith,â€ I said.
44 ANNALS OF THE POOR,
â€œ Amen,â€ replied the soldier.
The Dairymanâ€™s uplifted eye showed that the Amen
was in his heart, though his tongue failed to utter it.
A short struggling or breath took place in the dying
oung woman, which was soon over, and then | said to
â€œMy dear friend, do you not feel that you are sup-
â€œThe Lord deals very gently with me,â€ she replied.
â€œ Are not his promises now very precious to you ?â€
â€œThey are all yea and amen in Christ Jesus.â€
â€œ Are you in much bodily pain?â€
â€œ So little that I almost forget it!â€
â€œHow good the Lord is!â€
â€œ And how unworthy am I!â€
â€œ You are going to see him as he is.â€
ag Shdinn E hone-ol believe that I am.â€
She again fell into a short slumber.
Looking at her mother, I said, â€œ What a mercy to have
a child so near heaven as yours is!â€ ,
â€œAnd what a mercy,â€ she replied in broken accents,
â€œif her poor old mother might but followher there! But,
Sir, it is so hard to ,
â€œT hope, through grace, by faith, you will soon meet,
to part no more ; it will be but a little while.â€
â€œ Sir,â€ said the Dairyman, â€œ that thought supports me,
and the Lordâ€™s goodness makes me feel more reconciled
than I was.â€
â€œ Father....mother....â€ said the reviving daughter, â€œhe
is good to me.....trust him, praise him evermore.â€
â€œSir,â€ added she in a faint voice, â€œI want to thank you
for your kindness to me....[ want to ask a favor.,..you
buried my sister....will you do the same for me?â€
â€œ All shall be as you wish, if God permit,â€ I replied.
â€œ Thank you, Sir, thank you....1 have another favor to
ask....When I am gone, remember my father and mother.
They are old, but I hope the good work. is begun in their
souls.,..My prayers are heard....Pray come and see them
DAIRYMANâ€™S DAUGHTER, 45
1 cannot speak much, but I want to speak for their
sakes..,.Sir, remember them.â€
The aged parents now sighed and sobbed aloud, utter.
ing broken sentences, and gained some relief by such an
expression of their feelings. gx â€˜bo
At length I said to Elizabeth, â€œDo you experience any
omy or temptations on the subject of your eternal
â€œNo, Sir; the Lord deals very gently with me, and
gives me peace.â€
â€œ What are your views of the dark valley of death, now
that you are passing through it?â€
â€œTt is not dark.â€
â€œ Why so?â€ |
â€œ My Lord is there, and he is my light and my salva.
â€œ Have you any fears of more bodily suffering?â€
â€œThe Lord deals so gently with me, I can trust him.â€
Something of a convulsion came on. When it was
past, she said again and again,
â€œThe Lord deals very gently with me. Lord, I am
thine, save me.....Blessed Jesus.....Precious Saviour.....His
blood cleanseth from all sin....Who shall separate 2....His
name is Wonderful....Thanks be to God....He giveth us
the victory....1, even I, am saved...0 grace, mercy, and
wonderâ€”Lord, receive my spirit! |
â€œ Dear Sir....Dear father, mother, friends, I am going...
but all is well, well, well â€œwi .
She relapsed againâ€”We knelt down to prayer. The
rd was in the midst of us and blessed us.
She did not again revive while I remained, nor ever
speak any more words which could be understood. She
slumbered for about ten hours, and at last sweetly fell
asleep in the arms of the Lord, who had dealt so gently
I left the house an hour after she had ceased to speak.
I pressed her hand as I was taking leave, and said,
â€œ Christ is the resurrection and the life.â€
She gently returned the pressure, but could neither
46 ANNALS OF THE POOR.
open her eyes nor utter areply. I never had witnessed
a scene so impressive as this before. It completely filled
my imagination as I returned home. â€˜
â€œ Farewell,â€ thought I, â€œdear friend, till the morning
of an eternal day shall renew our personal intercourse, .
Thou wast a brand plucked from the burning, that thou
mightest become a star shining in the firmament of glory.
I have seen thy light, and thy good works, and f will
therefore glorify our Father which is in heaven, I have
seen in thy example what it is to be a sinner freely saved
by grace. I have learned from thee, as in a living mirror,
who it is that begins, continues, and ends the work of
faith and love. Jesus is all in all; he will and shall be
glorified. He won the crown, and alone deserves to wear
it, May no one attempt to rob him of his glory; he
saves, and saves to the uttermost. Farewell, dear sister
in the Lord. Thy flesh and thy heart may fail, but God
is the strength of thy heart, and shall thy portion
I was soon called to attend the funeral of my friend, who
breathed her last shortly after my visit. Many pleasing
yet melancholy thoughts were connected with the fulfil-
ment of this task.. | retraced the numerous and important
conversations which I had held with her. But these could
now no longer be held on earth. I reflected on the inter-
esting and improving nature of Christian friendships,
whether formed in palaces or in cottages ; and felt thank-
ful that I had so long enjoyed that privilege with the
subject of this memorial. I indulged a sigh for a moment,
on thinking that I could no longer hear the great truths
of Christianity uttered by one who had drunk so deep of
the waters of life. But the rising murmur was checked
by the animating thought, â€œ She is gone to eternal restâ€”
could I wish to bring her back to this vale of tears ?â€
As [ travelled onward to the house where lay her re-
mains in solemn preparation for the grave, the first sound
of a tolling bell struck my ear. It proceeded from a
village church in the valley directly beneath the ridge of
DAIRYMANâ€™S DAUGHTER. 47
a high hill, over which I had taken my wayâ€”it was Eliz-
abethâ€™s funeral knell. It was a solemn sound, but it
seemed to proclaim at once the blessedness of the dead
whe die in the Lord, and the necessity of the living pon-
dering these things, and laying them to heart.
The scenery was in unison with that tranquil frame of
mind which is most suitable for holy meditation. A rich
and fruitful valley lay immediately beneath; it was
adorned with corn-fields and pastures, through which a
small river winded in a variety of directions, and many
herds grazed upon its banks. A fine range of opposite
hills, covered with grazing flocks, terminated with a bold
sweep into the ocean, whose blue waves appeared at a
distance beyond. Several villages, hamlets, and churches
were scattered in the valley. The noble mansions of the
rich, and the lowly cottages of the â€” added their re-
spective features to the landscape: â€˜The air was mild, and
the declining sun occasioned a beautiful interchange of
light and shade upon the sides of the hills. In the midst
of this scene the chief sound that arrested attention was
the bell tolling for the funeral of the Dairymanâ€™s daugh-
Do any of my readers inquire why I describe so mi-
nutely the cireumstances of prospect scenery which may
be connected with the incidents I relate? My reply is,
that the God of redemption is the God of creation like.
wise ; and that we are taught in every part of the Word
of God to unite the admiration of the beauties and won-
ders of nature to every other motive for devotion. When
David considered the heavens, the work of Godâ€™s fingers,
the moon and the stars, which he has adorned, he was
thereby led to the deepest humiliation of heart before his
Maker. And when he. viewed the sheep, and the oxen,
and the beasts of the field, the fowl of the air, and the
fish of the sea, he was constrained to ery out, â€œO Lord,
our Lord; how excellent is thy name in all the earth !â€
I am the poor manâ€™s friend, and wish more especially
that every poor rs should know how to con-
nect the goodness of in creation and providence
48 ANNALS OF THE POOR,
with the unsearchable riches of his grace in the salvation
of a sinner. And where can he learn this lesson more
instructively than in looking around the fields where his
labor is appointed, and there tracing the handy-work of
God in all that he beholds? Such meditations have often
afforded me both profit and pleasure, and I wish my
readers to share them with me.
The Dairymanâ€™s cottage was rather more than a mile
distant from the church. A lane, quite overshaded with
trees and high hedges, led from the foot of the hill to his
dwelling. lt was impossible at that time to overlook the
_ suitable gloom of such an approach to the house of
I found, on my entrance, that several Christian friends
from different parts of the neighborhood had assembled
together to pay their last tribute of esteem and regard to
the memory of the Dairymanâ€™s daughter. Several of
them had first become acquainted with her during the
latter stage of her illness; some few had maintained an
affectionate intercourse with her for.alonger period. But
all seemed anxious to manifest their respect for one who
was endeared to them by such striking testimonials of
true Christianity. |
It is not easy to describe the sensation which the mind
experiences on the first sight of a dead countenance,
which, when living, was loved and esteemed for the sake
of that soul which used to give it animation. A deep
and awful view of the separation that has taken place
between the soul and body of the deceased since we last
beheld them, occupies the feelings; our friend seems to
be both near, and yet far off. The most interesting and
valuable part is fled away; what remains is but the
earthly perishing habitation no longer occupied by its
tenant. Yetthe features present the accustomed associa-
tion of friendly intercourse. For one moment we could
think them asleep; the next reminds us that the blood
circulates no moreâ€”the eye has lost its power of seeing,
the ear of hearing, the heart of throbbing, and the limbs
of moving. Quickly a thought of glory breaks in upon
DAIRYMANâ€™S DAUGHTER. 49
the mind, and we imagine the dear departed soul to be
arrived at its long-wished-for rest. It is surrounded by
cherubim and seraphim, and sings the song of Moses and
the Lamb on Mount Zion. Amid the solemn stillness of
the chamber of death, imagination hears heavenly hymns
chanted by the spirits of just men made perfect. In
another moment the livid lips and sunken eye of the
clay-cold corpse recall our thoughts to earth and to our-
selves again. And while we think of mortality, sin,
death, and the grave, we feel the prayer rise in our bosom,
â€œÂ© let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last
end be like his!â€
If there be a moment when Christ and salvation, death,
judgment, heaven, and hell, appear more than ever to be
momentous subjects of meditation, it is that which
brings us to the side of a coffin containing. the body of a
Elizabethâ€™s features were altered, but much of her like-
ness remained. Her father and mother sat at the head,
her brother at the foot of the coffin, manifesting their
deep and unfeigned sorrow. The weakness and ho
of old age added a character to the parentsâ€™ grief, whic
called for much tenderness and compassion.
A remarkably decent-looking woman, who had the
management of the few simple though solemn ceremonies
which the ease required, advanced towards me, saying
â€œ Sir, this is rather a sight of joy than of sorrow. Our
dear friend Elizabeth finds it to be so, I have no doubt.
She is beyond alfsorrow. Do you not think she is, Sir ?â€
â€œAfter what I have known, and seen, and heard,â€ I
replied, â€œI feel the fullest assurance, that while her body
remains here, her soul is with her Saviour in Paradise.
She loved him here, and there she enjoys the pleasures
which are at his right hand for evermore.â€
â€œ Mercy, merey upon a poor old creature almost broken
down with age and grief, what shall Ido? Betsyâ€™s gone
â€”my daughterâ€™s dead. Oh! my child, I shall never see
thee more! God be merciful to me a sinner!â€ sobbed
out the poor mother.
50 ANNALS OF THE POOR.
â€œ'That last prayer, my dear good woman,â€ said I, â€œwill
bring you together again. It is a cry that has brought
thousands to glory. It brought your daughter thither,
and I hope it will bring you there likewise. He will in
no wise cast out any that come to him.â€
â€œ My dear,â€ said the Dairyman, breaking the long si-
lence he had maintained, â€œlet us trust God with our
child, and let us trust him with our own selves. The Lord
gave, and the Lord has taken away ; blessed be the name
of the Lord! We are old, and can have but a little far-
ther to travel in our journey, and thenâ€â€”he could say no
The soldier before mentioned reached a Bible into my
hand, and _ said, â€œ Perhaps, Sir, you would not object to
reading a chapter before we go to the church.â€
I did so; it was the fourteenth of the book of Job. A
sweet tranquillity prevailed while Iread it. Each minute
that was spent in this funeral-chamber seemed to be val-
uable. I made a few observations on the chapter, and
connected them with the case of our departed sister.
â€œTam but a poor soldier,â€ said our military friend,
â€œand have ne of this worldâ€™s goods beyond my daily
subsistence; but | would not exchange my hope of sal-
vation in the next world for all that this world could
bestow without it. What is wealth without grace?
Blessed be God, as I march about from one quarter to
another, I still find the Lord wherever I go; and thanks
be to his holy name, he is here to-day in the midst of this
company of the living and the dead. I feel that itis good
to be here.â€ |
Some other persons present began to take a part in
the conversation, in the course of which the life and ex-
perience of the Dairymanâ€™s Daughter were brought for-
ward in a very interesting manner; each friend had
something to relate in testimony of her gracious disposi-
tion. One distant relative, a young woman under twenty,
who had hitherto been a very light and trifling character,
appeared to be remarkably impressed by the conversation
of that day; and I have since had ground to believe that
DAIRYMANâ€™S DAUGHTER, 51
divine grace then began to influence her in the choice of
that better part, which shall not be taken from her,
What a contrast does such a sceneas this exhibit, when
compared with the dull, formal, unedifying, and often
indecent manner in which funeral parties assemble in the
house of death!
But the time for departure to the church was now at
hand. I went to take my last look at the deceased.
There was much written on her countenance: she had
evidently departed with a smile. It still remained, and
spoke the tranquillity of her departing soul. According
to the custom of the place, she was decorated with leaves
and flowers in the coffin: these indeed were fading flow-
ers, but they reminded me of that Paradise whose flowers
are immortal, and where her never-dying soul is at rest.
I remembered the last words which I had heard her
speak, and was instantly struck with the happy thought,
that â€œdeath was indeed swallowed up in victory.â€
As I slowly retired, I said inwardly, â€œPeace, my hon-
ored sister, to thy memory, and to my soul, till we meet
in a better world.â€
In a little time the procession formed: it was rendered
the more interesting by the consideration of so many that
followed the coffin being persons of truly serious and
After we had advanced about a hundred yards my
meditation was unexpectedly and most agreeably inter-
rupted by the friends who followed the family beginning
to sing a funeral Psalm. Nothing could be more sweet
or Solemn. â€˜The well-known effect of the open air in
softening and blending the sounds of music was here pe-
culiarly felt. â€˜The road through which we passed was
beautiful and romantic: it lay at the foot of a hill, which
occasionally re-echoed the voices of the singers, and
seemed to give faint replies to the notes of the mourners.
The funeral knell was distinctly heard from the church
tower, and greatly increased the effect which this simple
and becoming service produced.
I cannot describe the state of my own mind as pecu-
52 ANNALS OF THE POOR,
liarly connected with the solemn singing. I never wit-
nessed a similar instance before or since. I was reminded
of elder times and ancient piety, 1 wished the practice
more frequent. It seems well calculated to excite and
cherish devotion and religious affections.
We at length arrived at the church. The service was
heard with deep and affectionate attention. When we
came to the grave, the hymn which Elizabeth had select-
ed was sung. All was devout, simple, decent, animating.
We committed our dear friendâ€™s body to the grave, in full
hope of a joyful resurrection from the dead.
hus was the veil of separation drawn for a season.
She is departed and no more seen. But she will be seen
at the right hand of her Redeemer at the last day ; and
will again appear to his glory, a miracle of grace and a
monument of mercy.
My reader, rich or poor, shall you and I appear there
likewise? Are we â€œclothed with humility,â€ and arrayed
in the wedding-garment of a Redeemerâ€™s righteousness ?
Are we turned from idols to serve the living God?
we sensible of our own emptiness, flying to a Saviourâ€™s
fulness to obtain grace and strength? Do we live in him,
and on him, and by him, and with him? Is he our all in
all? Are weâ€œ lost and found ?â€ â€œdead and alive again ?â€
My poor reader, the Dairymanâ€™s daughter was a poor
â€œaed ee the child of a poor man. Herein thou resemblest
er: but dost thou resemble her as she resembled Christ?
Art thou made rich by faith? Hast thou a crown laid
up for thee? Is thine heart set upon heavenly riches !
If not, read this story once more, and then pray earnestly
for like precious faith. If, through grace, thou dost love
and serve the Redeemer that saved the Dairymanâ€™s
daughter, grace, peace, and mercy be with thee. The
lines ure fallen unto thee in pleasant places: thou hast a
goodly heritage. Press forward in duty, and wait upon
the Lord, possessing thy soul in holy patience. Thou
hast just been with me to the grave of a departed believer.
Now â€œgo thy way till the end be; for thou shalt rest,
and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.â€ Dan. xii. 13.
DAIRYMANâ€™S DAUGHTER, 53
Nore. The mother died about six months after her
daughter, and I have good reason to believe that God was
merciful to her, and took her to himself. May every
converted child thus labor and pray for the salvation of
their unconverted parents. The father continued for
some time after her, and adorned his old with a walk
and conversation becoming the Gospel. 1 cannot doubt
that the daughter and both her parents are now met to-
gether in â€œthe land of pure delights, where saints immor-
AN AUTHENTIC NARRATIVE.
BY REV. LEGH RICHMOND.
Durine a residence of some yearsâ€™ continuance in the
neighborhood of the sea, an officer in the navy called
upon me and stated that he had just taken a lodging in
the parish for his wife and children, and that he an
African whom he had kept three years in his service.
â€œThe lad is a deserving fellow,â€ said the officer, â€œand
he has a great desire to be baptized; I have promised
him to ask you to do it for him, if you have no objec-
â€œ Does he know anything,â€ I replied, â€œ of the principles
of the Christian religion ?â€
â€œQ yes, 1 am sure he does,â€ answered the captain;
â€œfor he talks a great deal about it in the kitchen, and
often gets laughed at for his pains; but he takes it all
* Does he well as your servant ?â€
â€œ Yes, that he does: he is as honest and civil a fellow
as ever came aboard a ship, or lived in a house.â€
â€œ Was he always so well behaved ?â€ .
â€œNo,â€ said the officer; â€œwhen I first had him he was
often very unruly and deceitful; but for the last two
years he has been quite like another creature.â€
â€œ Well, Sir, I shall be very glad to see him, and think
it probable I shall wish to go through a course of in-
60 ANNALS OF THE POOR.
struction and examination; during which I shall be able
to form a judgment how far it will be right to admit him
to the ordinance of baptism. Can he read ?â€
â€œ Yes,â€ replied his master; â€œ he has been taking great
pains to learn to read for some time past, and can make
out a chapter in thÃ© Bible pretty well, as my maid-servant
informs me. He speaks English better than many of his
countrymen, but you will find it a little broken. When
will it be convenient â€˜that I should send him over to
â€œTo-morrow afternoon, Sir, if you please.â€
â€œHe shall come to you about four o'clock, and you
shall see what you can make of him.â€
With this promise he took his leave. I felt glad of an
opportunity of instructing a native of that land whose
wrongs and injuries had often caused me to sigh and
. At the appointed hour my African disciple arrived. He
was a very young-looking man, with a sensible, lively,and
pleasing turn of countenance.
I desired him to sit down, and said, â€œ Your master in-
forms me that you wish to have some conversation with
me respecting Christian baptism ?â€
â€œYes, Sir, me very much wish to be a Christian.â€
â€œ Why do you wish so?â€
â€œ Because me know that Christian go to heaven when
â€œ How long have you had that wish?â€ I said.
â€œEver since me hear one good minister preach in
America two years ago.â€
â€œ Where were you born ?â€
â€œIn Africa. Me was a very little boy when me was
made slave by the white men.
â€œ How was that ?â€
â€œ Me left father and mother one day at home to go to
get shells by the sea-shore ; â€˜and, as I wasstooping down
to U arword them up, some white sailors came out of a boat
and took me away. Me never see father nor mother
AFRICAN SERVANT. â€˜61
â€œ And what became of you then ?â€
â€œMe was put into a ship and brought to Jamaica, and
sold to a massa, who kept me in his house to serve
him some years; when, about three years ago, Captain
Wâ€”, my massa that spoke to you, bought me to be
his servant on board his ship. And he be good massa;
and me live with him ever since.â€ :
â€œ And what thoughts had you about your soul all that
time before you went to America?â€ | asked him.
â€œ Me no care for my soul at all before then. No man
teach me a word about my soul.â€
â€œWell, now tell me farther about what happened to
you in America. How came you there!â€
â€œMy massa take me there in a ship, and he stop there
one month; and then me hear the good minister.â€
â€œ And what did that minister say ?â€
â€œ He said me was a great sinner.â€
â€œ What, did he speak to you in particular?â€
â€œYes, me think so; for there were a great many to
hear him, but he tell them all about me.â€
â€œ What did he say ?â€
â€œHe say all about the things that were in my heart.â€
â€œ What things ?â€
â€œMy sin, my ignorance, my know nothing, my believe
nothing. The good minister made me see that me think
nothing good, nor do nothing good.â€
â€œ And what else did he tell you ?â€
â€œHe sometime look me in the face, and say, that Jesus
Christ came to die for sinners, poor black sinners as well
as white sinners. Me thought this was very good, very
good indeed, to do so for wicked sinner.â€
â€œAnd what made you think this was all spoken to you
in particular ?â€
â€œ Because me sure no wicked sinner as me in all the
place. The good minister must know me was there.â€
â€œ And what, did you think about yourself while he
preached about Jesus Christ ?â€ )
â€œ Sir, me was very much afraid when he said the wick-
ed must be turned into hell fire. For me felt that me
a 6 _
62 ANNALS OF THE POOR.
was very wicked sinner, and that make mecry. And he
talk much about the love of Christ to sinners, and that
make me cry more. And me thought that me must love
Jesus Christ ; but me not know how, and that make me
cry nn '
â€œDid you hear more sermons than one during that
month ?â€ |
â€œYes, Sir; massa give me leave to go three times, and
all the times me wanted to love Jesus more, and do
what Jesus said; but my heart seem sometime hard like
â€œ Have you ever heard any preaching since that time ?â€
â€œ Never, till me hear sermon at this church last Sunday,
and then me long to be baptized in Jesusâ€™ name.â€
â€œ And what have been your thoughts all the time since
you first heard those sermons in America; did you tell
anybody then what you felt?â€
â€œNo; me speak to nobody but to God. The good
minister say that God hear the cry of the poor; so me
ery to God, and he hear me. And me often think about
Jesus Christ, and wish to be like him.â€
â€œCan you read %â€
â€œ A little.â€
â€œWho taught you to read ?â€
â€œGod teach me to read,â€
â€œWhat do you mean by saying so?â€
â€œGod give me desire to read, and that make reading
easy. Massa give me Bible, and one sailor slow me the
letters; and so me learn to read by myself with Godâ€™s
good help.â€ )
â€œ And what do you read in the Bible ?â€
â€œO me read all about Jesus Christ, and how he loved
sinners; and wicked men killed him, and he died and
came again from the grave, and all this for poor negro.
And it sometimes make me ery, to think that Christ love
80 poor ym ry
d what do the people say about your reading and
praying, and attention to the things of God?â€
â€œSome wicked people, that do not love Jesus Christ,
AFRICAN SERVANT, 63
call me great fool, and negro dog, and black hypocrite.
And that make me sometime feel angry; but then me
remember Christian must not be angry. Jesus Christ
was called ugly black names, and he was quiet as a lamb;
and so then me remember Jesus Christ, and me say
nothing again to them.â€
I was much delighted with the simplicity and apparent
sincerity of this poor African; and wished to ascertain
what measure of light and feeling he possessed on a few
leading points. St. Paulâ€™s summary of religion* occur-
ring to me, I said, * Tell me what is faith? What is your
own faith? What do you believe about Jesus Christ and
your own soul ?â€
â€œMe believe,â€ said he, â€œthat Jesus Christ came into
the world to save sinners; and though me be chief of
sinners, Jesus will save me, though me be only poor black
â€œWhat is your hope? What do you hope for, both as
to this life and that which is to come ?â€
â€œ Me hope Christ Jesus will take good care of me, and
keep me from sin and harm, while me live here: and me
hope, when me come to die, to go and live with him
always, and never die again.â€
â€œWhat are your thoughts about Christian love or
charity? I mean, whom and what do you most love?â€
â€œ Me love God the Father, because he was so good to
send his Son. Me love Jesus Christ, because he die for
poor sinner. Me love all men, black men and white
men too; for God made themall. Me love good Chris-
â€” people, because Jesus love them, and they love
Such was my first conversation with this young disci-
ple; I rejoiced in the prospect of receiving him into the
church, agreeably to his desire. I wished, however, to
converse somewhat further, and inquire more minutely
into his conduct ; and promised to ride over and see him
in a few days, at his masterâ€™s lodgings.
_ * Now abideth faith, hope, charity; these three: but the greatest of
theee is charity. 1 Cor. xiii. 1,
64 ANNALS OF THE POOR.
When he was gone, I thought within myself, God hath
indeed redeemed souls, by the blood of his Son, â€œ out of |
kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.â€ | It
is a happy thought, that â€œEthiopia shall soon stretch
forth her hands unto God. Sing unto God, ye kingdoms
of the earth, O sing praises unto the Lord!â€
Not many days after the first. interview with my Afri-
ean disciple, ] went from home on horseback with the
design of visiting and conversing with him again at his
masterâ€™s house, which was situated in a part of the parish
near four miles distant from my own. The road which
I took lay over a lofty down or hill, which commands a
prospect of scenery seldom equalled for beauty and mag-
nificence. It gave birth to silent, but instructive contem-
The down itself was covered with sheep, grazing on
its wholesome and plentiful pasture. Here and there a
shepherdâ€™s boy kept his appointed station, and watched
over the flock committed to his care. I viewed it as an
emblem of my own situation and employment. Adjoin-
ing the hill lay an extensive parish, wherein many souls
were given me to watch over, and render an account of,
at the day of the great Shepherdâ€™s appearing. The pas-
toral scene before me seemed to be a living parable, il-
lustrative of my own spiritual charge. I felt a prayerful
wish that the good Shepherd, who gave his life for the
sheep, might enable me to be faithful to my trust,
It occurred to me about the same time, that my youn
African friend was a sheep of another more distant fol
which Christ will yet bring to hear his voice. For there
shall be one fold and one Shepherd, and all nations shall
be brought to acknowledge that he alone â€œrestoreth our
souls, and Jeadeth us into the paths of righteousness for
his nameâ€™s sake.â€ On the left hand of the hill, as I ad-
vanced eastward, and immediately under its declivity,
extended a beautiful tract of land intersected by a large
arm of the sea, which (as the tide was fast flowing in)
formed a broad lake or haven of three miles in length.
AFRICAN SERVANT. 65
Woods, villages, cottages, and churches, surrounded it in
most pleasing variety of prospect. Beyond this lay a
large fleet of ships of war, and not far from it another of
merchantmen, both safe at anchor, and covering a tract
of the sea of several miles inextent. Beyond this again,
I saw the fortifications, dock-yards, and extensive public
edifices of a large seaport town. The sun shone upon
the windows of the buildings and the flags of the â€”
with great brightness, and added much to the splendor
of the view.
I thought of the concerns of empires, the plans of
statesmen, the fate of nations, and the horrors of war.
- Happy will be that day, when He shall make wars to
cease unto the end of the earth, and peace to be estab-
lished on its borders !
On my right hand, to the south and south-east, the
unbounded ocean displayed its mighty waves. It was
covered with vessels of every size, sailing in all directions ;
some outward-bound to the most distant parts of the
world ; others, after a long voyage, returning home laden
with the produce of remote climes. |
At the south-west of the spot on which I was riding,
extended a beautiful semi-circular bay of about nine or
ten miles in circumference, bounded by high tliffs of
white, red, and brown-colored earths. yond this lay
a range of hills, whose tops are often buried. in cloudy
mists, but which then appeared clear and distinct. This
chain of hills, meeting with another from the north,
bounds a large fruitful vale, whose fields, now ripe for
harvest, proclaimed the goodness of God in the ok ome
vision which he makes for the sons of men. It is he who
â€œprepares the corn; he crowns the year with his good-
ness, and his paths drop fatness. They drop upon the
pastures of the wilderness, and the little hills rejoice on
every side. The pastures are clothed with flocks; the
valleys are also covered over with corn: they shout for
joy, they also sing.â€
As I pursued the meditations which this magnificent
and varied scenery â€”" in my mind, I approached the
66 ANNALS OF THE POOR,
edge of a tremendous perpendicular cliff with which the
down terminates ; I dismounted from my horse and tied
ittoabush. The breaking of the waves against the foot
of the cliff, at so great a distance beneath me, produced
an incessant and pleasing murmur. The sea-gulls were
flying between the top of the cliff where I stood and the
rocks below, attending upon their nests built in the holes
of the cliff. The whole scene, in every direction, was
rand and impressive; it was suitable to devotion. The
reator appeared in the works of his creation, and called
upon the creature to honor and adore, To the believer
this exercise is doubly delightful. He possesses a right
to the enjoyments of nature and providence, as well as to
the privileges of grace. His title-deed runs thus: â€œ All
things are yours, whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas,
or the world, or things present, or things to come; all
are yours, and ye are Christâ€™s, and Christ is God's.â€
I cast my eye downwards a little to the left, towards a
small cove, the shore of which consists of fine hard sand.
It is surrounded by fragments of rock, chalk cliffs, and
steep banks of broken earth, Shut out from human in-
tercourse and dwellings, it seems formed for retirement
and contemplation. one of these rocks I unexpect-
edly observed a man sitting with a book which he was
reading. The place was near two hundred yards perpen-
dicularly below me ; but I soon discovered by his dress,
and by the black color of his features, contrasted with
the white rocks beside him, that it was no other than my
African disciple, with, as I doubted not, a Bible in his |
hand, I rejoiced at this unlooked-for opportunity of
meeting him in so solitary and interesting a situation. I
descended a steep bank, winding by a kind of rude stair- |
case, formed by fishermen and shepherdâ€™s boys, in the |
side of the cliff down to the shore.
He was intent on his book, and did not perceive me
till I approached very near to him.
â€œ William, is that you?â€
â€œ Ah! massa, me very glad to see you. How came
AFRICAN SERVANT. 67
massa into this place? Me thought nobody here but
only God and me.â€ ,
â€œ] was coming to your masterâ€™s house to see and you
rode round by this way for the sake of the prospect.
often come here in fine weather to look at the sea and
the shipping. Is that your Bible ?â€
â€œ Yes, Sir, this is my dear good Bible.â€
â€œT am glad,â€ said I, â€œto see you so well employed ; it
is a good sign, William.â€
â€œ Yes, massa, a sign that God is good to me; but me
never good to God.â€™
â€œ How so ?â€
â€œMe never thank him enough, me never pray to him
enough; me never remember enough who give me all
these things. Massa, me afraid my heart very bad. Me
wish me was like you.â€
â€œLike me, William? Why, you are like me, a poor
helpless sinner, that must, like yourself, perish in his
sins, unless God of his infinite mercy and grace pluck
him as a brand from the burning, and make him an in-
stance of distinguishing love and favor. There is no
difference ; we have both come short of the glory of God:
all have sinned.â€
â€œNo, me no like you, massa; me think nobody like
me, nobody feel such a heart as me.â€
â€œYes, William, your feelings, I am persuaded, are like
those of every truly convinced soul who sees the exceed-
ing sinfulness of sin, and the greatness of the price which
Christ Jesus paid for the sinnerâ€™s ransom. You can say
in the words of the hymn,
â€œT the chief of sinners am,
But Jesus died for me.â€
â€œO yes, Sir, me believe that Jesus died for poor negro.
What would become of poor wicked negro, if Christ no
die for him? But he die for the chief of sinners, and
that make my heart sometime quite glad.â€
â€œWhat part of the Bible were you reading, William ?â€
â€œMe read how the man on the cross spoke to Christ,
68 ANNALS OF THE POOR.
and Christ spoke to him. Now that manâ€™s prayer just
do for me. â€˜Lord,remember me ;â€™ Lord, remember poor
negro sinner: this is my prayer every morning, and some-
time at night too: when me cannot think of many words
then me say the same again, Lord, remember poor negro
â€œ And be assured, William, the Lord hears that prayer.
He pardoned and accepted the thief upon the cross, and
he will not reject you; he will in no wise cast out any
that come to him.â€
â€œNo, Sir, I believe it; but there is so much sin in my
heart, it make me afraid, and sorry. Massa, do you see
these limpets,* how fast they stick to the rocks here?
Just so sin stick fast to my heart.â€
â€œTt may be so, William ; but take another comparison :
do you cleave to Jesus Christ by faith in his death and â€”
righteousness, as those limpets cleave to theâ€ rock, and
neither seas nor storms shall separate you from his
love.â€ ) :
# That is just what me want.â€
â€œTell me, William, is not that very sin, which you
speak of, a burden to you? You do not love it: you
would be glad to obtain strength against it, and to be
freed from it, would you not?â€
â€œQO yes; me give all the world, if me had it, to be
â€œ Come, then,'and welcome, to Jesus Christ, my broth-
er; his blood cleanseth from all sin. He gave himself
as a ransom for sinners, He hath borne our griefs and
carried our sorrows. He was wounded for our trans-
gressions; he was bruised for our iniquities; the chas-
tisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes
we are healed. The Lord hath laid on him the iniquity
of us all. Come, freely come to Jesus, the Saviour of
â€œ Yes, massa,â€ said the poor fellow weeping, â€œ me will
come, but me come very slow; very slow, massa; me
* A kind of shell-fish which abounds in the place where we were, and
which sticks to the rocks with great force.
AFRICAN SERVANT. 69
want to run, me want to fly. Jesus is very good to poor
negro, to send you to tell him all this.â€
â€œBut this is not the first time you have heard these
â€œNo, Sir, they have been comfort to my soul many
times since mÃ© hear good minister preach in America, as
me tell you last week at your house.â€
â€œ Well, now I hope, William, that since God has been
so graciously pleased to open your eyes, and affect. your
mind with such a great sense of his goodness, in giving
his Son to die for your sake; I hope that you do your
endeavor to keep his commandments; I hope you strive
to behave well to your master and mistress, and fellow-
servants. He that is a Christian inwardly, will be a
Christian outwardly ; he that truly and savingly believes
in Christ, will show his faith by his works, as the Apos-
tle says. Is it not so, William â€â€â€™
â€œYes, Sir, me want to do so. Me want to be faithful.
Me sorry to think how bad servant me was before the
good things of Jesus Christ come to my heart. Me wish
to do ob te my massa, when he see me, and when he
not see me, for me know God always see me. Me know
that if me sin against my own massa, me sin against God,
and God be very angry with me. Besides, how can me
love Christ, if me do not do what Christ tell me? Me
love my fellow-servants, though as me tell you before,
they do not much love me, and J pray God to bless them.
And when they say bad things, and try to make me
angry, then me think, if Jesus Christ were in poor negroâ€™s
place, he would not revile and answer n with bad
words and temper, but he say little, and pray much.
And so then me say nothing at all, but pray God to for-
The more I conversed with this African convert, the
more satisfactory were the evidences of his mind being
spiritually enlightened, and his heart effectually wrought
upon by the grace of God.
The circumstances of the place in which we met to-
gether, contributed much to the interesting effect which
710 ANNALS OF THE POOR,
the conversation produced on my mind. The little cove
or bay was beautiful in the extreme. The air was calm
and serene. â€˜The sun shone, but we were sheltered from
its rays by the cliffs. One of these was stupendously
lofty and large. It was white as snow: its summit hun
directly over our heads. The sea-fow} were flying aroun
it. Its whiteness was occasionally chequered with dark
green masses of samphire, which grew there. On the
other side, and behind us, was a more ual declivity
of many-colored earths, interspersed with green patches
of grass and bushes, and little streams of water trickling
down the bank, and mingling with the sea at the bottom.
At our feet the waves were advancing over shelves of
rocks covered with great variety of sea-weeds, which
swam in little fragments, and displayed much beauty and
elegance of form, as they were successively thrown upon
Ships of war and commerce were seen at different dis-
tances. Fishermen were plying their trade in boats
nearer to the shore. The noise of the flowing tide, com-
bined with the voices of the sea-gulls over our heads,
and now and then a distant gun fired from the ships as
they passed along, added much to the peculiar sensations
to which the scene gave birth. Occasionally the striking
of oars upon the waves, accompanied by the boatmenâ€™s
song, met the ear. The sheep aloft upon the down
sometimes mingled their bleatings with the other sounds.
Thus all nature seemed to unite in impressing an atten-
tive observerâ€™s heart with affecting thoughts.
I continued for a considerable time in conversation
with the African, finding that his master was gone from
home for the day, and had given him liberty for some
hours. I spoke to him on the nature, duty, and privilege
of Christian baptism; pointed out to him the principles
of the Scriptures upon that head, and found that he
was very desirous of conforming to them. He appear-
ed to me to be well qualified for receiving that pledge
of his Redeemerâ€™s love; and I rejoiced in the prospect
of beholding him no longer a â€œstranger and foreign-
AFRICAN SERVANT, 71
er, but a fellow-citizen with the saints and household of
I was much pleased with the affectionate manner in
which he spoke of his parents, from whom he had been
stolen in his childhood; and his wishes that God might
direct them by some means to the knowledge of the
â€œWho knows,â€ I said, â€œ but some of these ships may
be carrying a missionary to the country where they live,
to declare the good news of salvation to your country-
men, and to your own dear parents in particular, if they
are yet. alive.â€
â€œQ! my dear father and mother: my dear, gracious
Saviour,â€ exclaimed he, leaping from the ned he
spake, â€œif thou wilt but save their souls, and tell them
what thou hast done for sinnersâ€”butâ€”â€
He stopped, and seemed much affected.
â€œMy friend,â€ said I, â€œI will now pray with you for
your own soul, and those of your parents also.â€
* Do, massa, that is very good and kind; do pray for
poor negro souls here and everywhere.â€
This was a new and solemn â€œhouse of prayer.â€ The
sea-sand was our floor, the heavens were our roof, the
cliffs, the rocks, the hills, and the waves, formed the walls
of our chamber. It was not indeed a â€œplace where
prayer was wont to be made,â€ but for this once it became
a hallowed spot: it will by me ever be remembered as
such. The presence of God was there.â€”I prayed.â€”The
African wept. His heart was full. I felt with him, and
could not but weep likewise.
The last day will show whether our tears were not the
tears of sincerity and Christian love.
It was time for my return; I leaned upon his arm, as
we ascended the steep cliff in my way back to my horse,
which I had left at the top of the hill. Humility and
thankfulness were marked in his countenanee. I leaned
upon his arm with the feelings of a brother. It was a re-
lationship I was happy to own. I took him by the hand
at parting, appointed one more interview previous to the
72 ANNALS OF THE POOR.
â€œ God bless you, my dear massa.â€
â€œ And you, my fellow-Christian, forever and ever.â€
day of baptizing him, and bade him farewell for the
The interesting and affecting conversation which I had
with the African servant, produced a sensation not easy
to be expressed. As I returned home I was led into
meditation on the singular clearness and beauty of those
evidences of faith and conversion of heart to God which
I had just seen and heard. How plainly, I thought, it
â€” that salvation is freely by grace, through faith ;
and that not of ourselves; it is the gift of God; not of
works, lest any man should boast. t but the Holy
Spirit, who is the Author and Giver of the life of grace,
could have wrought such a change from the once dark,
perverse, and ignorant heathen, to this now convinced,
enlightened, humble, and believing Christian? . How
manifestly is the uncontrolled sovereignty of the divine
will exercised in the calling and translating of sinners
from darkness to light! What a lesson may the nomi-
nal Christian of a civilized country sometimes learn from
the simple, sincere religion of a converted heathen!
I afterwards made particular inquiry into this youn
manâ€™s domestic and general deportment. Everything 1
heard was satisfactory; nor could J entertain a doubt
respecting the consistency of his conduct and. character.
I had some further conversations with him, in the course
of which I pursued such a plan of scriptural instruction
and examination as I coneeived to be the most suitable
to his progressive state of mind, He improved much in
reading, carried his Bible constantly in his pocket, and
took every opportunity which his duty to his masterâ€™s
service would allow, for perusing it. I have frequently
had occasion to observe, that among the truly religious
poor, who have not had the advantage of learning to read
in early youth, a concern about the soul, and desire to
know the Word of God, have proved effectual motives
for their learning to read with great ease and advantage
AFRICAN SERVANT. 73
to themselves and others. It was strikingly so in the
I had, for a considerable time, been accustomed to meet
some â€˜serious persons once a week, in a cottage at no
great distance from the house where he lived, for the
purpose of religious conversation, instruction, and prayer.
Having found these occasions remarkably useful and in-
teresting to myself and others, I thought it would be very
desirable to take the African there, in order that there
might be many witnesses to the simplicity and sincerity
of real Christianity, as exhibited in the character of this
promising young convert. I hoped it might prove an
eminent means of grace to excite and quicken the spirit
of prayer and praise among some over whose spiritual
progress J was anxiously watching. _
I accordingly obtained his masterâ€™s leave that he should
attend me to one of my cottage assemblies, His master,
although he did not himself appear to live under the in-
fluence of real religion, or to manifest any serious con-
cern respecting his own state, yet was pleased with my
attention to his servant, and always spoke well of his
I set out on the day appointed for the interview. The
cottage at which we usually assembled was near four
miles distant from my own residence, and was situated
at the corner of an oak wood which screened it both from
the burning heat of summer suns, and the heavy blasts
of winter south-west storms. As I approached it I saw
my friend, the African, eg under a tree waiting my
arrival. He held in his hand a little Tract which I had
given him; his Bible lay on the ground. He rose with
much cheerfulness, saying,
â€œ Ah! massa, me very glad to see you; me think you
long time coming.â€
â€œWilliam, I hope you are well. Iam going to take
you with me to a few of my friends, who, I hope, are
also the friends of the Lord. We meet every Wednes-
day evening for conversation about the things that belong
74 ANNALS OF THE POOR.
to our everlasting peace, and I am sure you will bea
â€œMassa, me not good enough to be with such good
people. Me greatsinner. They be good Christians.â€
â€œTf you were to ask them, William, they would each
tell you they were worse than anybody. Many of them
were once, and that not very long ago, living in an open-
ly sinful manner, ignorant of God, and the enemies of
esus Christ by thought and deed. But divine grace
stopped them in their wicked course, and subdued their
hearts to the love and obedience of him and his Gospel.
You will only meet a company of poor fellow-sinners,
who love to speak and sing the praises of redeeming
love; and I am sure that is a song in which you will be
willing to join them.â€ |
â€œOQ! yes, Sir, that song just do for poor William.â€
By this time we had arrived at the cottage garden-
gate. Several well-known faces appeared in and near
the house, and the smile of affection welcomed us as we
entered. It was known that the African was to visit the
little society this evening, and satisfaction beamed in
every countenance, as I took him by the hand and intro-
duced him among them, saying, â€œI have brought a broth-
er from Africa to see you, my friends. Bid him welcome
in the name of the Lord.â€
â€œ Sir,â€ said a humble and pious laborer, whose heart
and tongue always overflowed with Christian kindness,
â€œwe are at all times glad to see our dear minister, but
especially so to-day, in such company as you have brought
with you. We have heard how gracious the Lord has
been to him. Give me your hand,â€˜good friend, (turning
to the African,) God be with you here and everywhere ;
and blessed be his holy name for calling wicked sinners,
as I hope he has done you and me, to love and serve him
for his mercyâ€™s sake.â€
Each one greeted him as he came into the house, and
some addressed him in very kind and impressive lan-
â€œMassa,â€ said he, â€œme not know what to say'to all
AFRICAN SERVANT, 715
these good friends; me think this look like little heaven
upon earth.â€ |
Ho then with tears in his eyes, whieh, almost before
he spoke, brought responsive drops into those of all pres-
â€œ Good friends and brethren in Christ Jesus, God bless
you all, and bring you to heaven at last.â€
It wus my stated custom when I met to converse with
those friends, to begin with prayer and reading a portion
of the Scriptures.
When this was ended, I told the people present that
the providence of God had brought this young man for
a time under my ministry; and that finding him very se-
riously disposed, and believing him to be sincere in his
religious profession, I had resolved on baptizing him
agreeably to his own wishes. I added that I had now
brought him with me to join in Christian conversation
with us; for, asin old times â€œthey that feared the Lord
spake often one to another,â€ as a testimony that they
thought upon his name, so I hoped we were fulfilling a
Christian and brotherly duty in thus assembling for mu-
Addressing myself to the African, I said, â€œ William,
tell me who made you ?â€
â€œ God, the good Father.â€
â€œWho redeemed you?â€
â€œ Jesus, his dear hin. Who died for me.â€
â€œWho sanctified you?â€
â€œThe Holy Ghost, who teach me to know the good
Father, and his dear Son, Jesus.â€
â€œWhat was your state by nature ?â€
â€œ Me wicked sinner, me know nothing but sin, me do
nothing but sin; my soul more black than my body.â€
â€œ Has any change taken place in you since then?
â€œ Me hope so, massa, but me sometime afraid no.â€
â€œIf you are changed, who changed you?â€
â€œ God, the good Father; Jesus, his dear Son; and God
the Holy Spirit.â€
â€œ How was any change brought about in you ?â€
76 ANNALS OF THE POOR.
â€œGod make me slave when me was young little boy.â€
â€œHow, William! would you say God made youa slave?â€
â€œNo, massa, no; me mean God let me be made slave
by white men to do me good.â€ |
â€œ How to do you good ?â€ |
â€œHe take me from the land of darkness and bring me
to the land of light.â€ __ TS pari
â€œ Which do you call the land of light; the West India
â€œ No, massa, they be the land of Providence, but Amer-
ica be the land of light to me; for there me first hear
good minister preach. And now this place where I am
now, is the land of more light; for here you teach me
more and more how good Jesus is to sinners.â€
â€œ What does the blood of Christ do?â€
iÂ» cleanse from all sin. And as me hope, from my
â€œ Are then all men cleansed from sin by his blood ?â€
* O no, massa,â€
â€œ Who are cleansed and saved ?â€
â€œThose that have faith in him.â€
â€œCan you prove that out of the Bible ?â€
â€œ Yes, Sir; â€˜He that believeth on the Son hath ever-
lasting life; and he that believeth not the Son shall not
see Ii e, but the wrath of God abideth on him.â€™ John iii.
â€œ What is it to have faith ?â€*
â€œMe suppose that it is to think much about Jesus
Christ; to love him much, to believe all he says to be
true, to pray to him very much; and when me feel very
weak and very sinful, to think that he is very strong, and
very good, and all that for my sake.â€
â€œ And have you such faith as you describe %â€
â€œQO! massa, me think sometimes me have no faith at
â€œWhy so, William ?â€
â€œWhen me want to think about Jesus Christ, my mind
run about after other things; when me want to love him
my heart seem quite cold; when me want to believe all
AFRICAN SERVANT. â€œ97
to be true what he says to sinners, me then think it is
not true for me; when me want to pray, the devil put
bad, very bad thoughts into me, and me never thank
Christ enough. Now all this make me sometimes afraid
I have no faith.â€
I observed a very earnest glow of attention and fellow-
feeling in some countenances present, as he spoke these
words, I then said,
â€œT think, William, I can prove that you have faith,
notwithstanding your fears to the contrary. Answer me
a few more questions,
â€œ Did you begin to think yourself a great sinner, and
to feel the want of a Saviour,of your own self, and by
your own thoughts and doings ?â€
â€œQO! no, it came to me when me know nothing about
it, and seek nothing about it.â€
â€œ Who sent the good minister in America to awaken
your soul by his preaching ?â€
â€œ God, very certainly.â€
â€œWho then began the work of serious thought and
feeling in your mind?â€
â€œThe good God; me could not do it of myself, me
sure of that.â€
â€œDo you not think that Jesus Christ and his salvation
is the one thing most needful and most desirable ?â€
â€œQ! yes, me quite sure of that.â€
â€œDo you not believe that he is able to save you?â€
â€œYes, he is able to save to the uttermost.â€
â€œDo you think he is unwilling to save you ?â€
â€œMe dare not say that. He so good, so merciful, so
kind, to say he will in no wise cast out any that come to
â€œDo you wish, and desire, and strive to keep his com-
â€œYes, massa, because me love him, and that make me
want to do as he say.â€
â€œ Are you willing to suffer for his sake, if God should
call you to do so?â€
â€œMe do think me could die for the love of him; he
78 ANNALS OF THE POOR,
not think it too much to die for wicked sinner; why
should wicked sinner think it much to die for so good
and righteous a Saviour ?â€
â€œJ think and hope I may say to you, William, Thy
faith hath made thee whole.â€
Thus ended my examination for the present. The
other friends who were in the house listened with the
most affectionate anxiety to all that passed. One of
them observed, not without evident emotion,
â€œT see, Sir, that though some men are white, and some
are black, true Christianity is all of ong color. My own
heart has gone with this good man every word he has
spoken,â€ : :
â€œ And so has mine,â€ gently re-echoed from every part
of the room,
After some time passed in more general conversation
on the subject of the Africanâ€™s history, I said, â€œLet us
now praise God for the rich and unspeakable gift of his
grace, and sing the hymn of redeeming loveâ€â€”
â€œNow begin the heavenly theme,
Sing aloud in Jesusâ€™ name,â€ Ã©&e,
which was accordingly done. Whatever might be the
merit of the natural voices, it was plain there was melody
in all their hearts. 7
The African was not much used to our way of singing,
yet joined with great earnestness and affection, which
showed how truly he felt what was uttered. When the
fifth verse was ended,
â€œNothing brought him from above,
Nothing but redeeming love,â€
he repeated the words, almost unconscious where he
â€œNo, nothing, nothing but redeeming love bring him
down to poor William; nothing but redeeming love.â€
The following verses were added, and sung by way of
conclusion ; .
AFRICAN SERVANT. 79
See, a stranger comes to view ;
Though heâ€™s black,* heâ€™s comely too ;
Come to join the choirs above, ,
Singing of redeeming love.
Welcome, Negro, welcome here,
Banish doubt, and banish fear ;
You, who Christ's salvation prove, -
Praise and bless redeeming love.
I concluded with some remarks on the nature of sal-
vation by grace, exhorting all present to press forward
in the heavenly race, It was an evening, the circumstan-
ces of which, had they never been recorded on earth,
â€” yet doubtless registered in the book of remembrance
I then fixed the day for the baptism of the African,
and so took leave of my little affectionate circle,
The moon shone bright as I returned home, and was
beautifully reflected from the waters of the lake: harmo-
ny and repose characterized the scene. I had just. been
uniting in the praises of the God of grace and providence ;
and now the God of nature henabe a fresh tribute of
thanksgiving for the beauties and comforts of creation, as
David sang, â€œ When I consider thy heavens the work of
thy fingers, the moon and the stars which thou hast or-
dained: what is man that thou art mindful of him, or the
son of man, that thou visitest him ?â€â€™ |
In a few days the African was baptized; and not long
after he went a voyage with his master. |
Since that time 1 have not been able to hear any
tidings of him: whether he yet wanders as a pilgrim in
this lower world, or whether he has joined the heavenly
choir in the song of redeeming love in glory, I know not.
Of this Iam persuaded, he was a monument to the Lordâ€™s
praise. He bore the impression of the Saviourâ€™s image
on his heart, and exhibited the marks of converting grace
in his life and conversation, with singular simplicity and
unfeigned sincerity. O! give to God the glory.
* Song of Solomon, i, 5.
AN AUTHENTIC NARRATIVE.
BY REV. LEGH RICHMOND.
I ee no apology for introducing to the notice
of my ers a few particulars relative to a young fe-
male Cottager, whose memory is particularly endeared to
me from the circumstance of her being, so far as I can
discover, my first-born spiritual child in the ministry of
the Gospel. She was. certainly the first of whose con-
version to God, under my own pastoral instruction, I can
speak with any degree of precision and assurance,
Every parent of a family knows that there is a very in-
teresting emotion of heart connected with the birth of
his first-born child. But may not the spiritual parent be
allowed the indulgence of a similar sensation in his con-
nection with the children whom the Lord gives him! If
the first-born child in nature be received as a new and
concrete blessing, how much more so the first-born
child in grace! I claim this privilege; and crave permis-
sion, in writing what follows, to erect a monumental
record sacred to the memory of a dear little child, who,
I trust, will at the last day prove my crown of rejoicing.
Jane 8 was the daughter of poor parents in the
village where it pleased God first to cast my lot in the
ministry. My acquaintance with her commenced when
she was twelve years of â€œee by her weekly attendance
86 ANNALS OF THE POOR,
at my house among a number of children whom I regu-
larly instructed every Saturday afternoon. â€”
They used to read, repeat catechisms, -â€” hymns,
and portions of Scripture. I accustomed them also to
pass a kind of free examination, according to their age
and ability, in those subjects: by which I hoped to see
them made wise unto salvation.
In the summer I frequently used to assemble this.little
group out of doors in my garden, sitting under the shade
of some trees which protected us from the heat of the
sun. From hence a scene appeared which rendered my
occupation the more interesting ; for adjoining the spot
where we sat, and only separated from us by a fence,
was â€˜the church-yard, surrounded with beautiful prospects
in every direction.
I had not far to look for subjects of warning and ex-
hortation suitable to my little flock. I could point to
the graves and tell my pupils that, young as they were,
none of them were too young to die; and that probably
more than half of the bodies which were buried there
were those of little children.
I told them who was â€œthe resurrection and the life,â€
and who alone could take away the sting of death. I
used to remind them that the hour was â€œcoming in the
which all that are in the grave shall hear his voice, and
shall come forth; they that have done good unto the res-
urrection of life, and they that have done evil unto the
resurrection of damnation. I often availed myself of
these opportunities to call to their recollection the more
recent deaths of their own relatives,
Sometimes I sent the children to the various stones
which stood at the head of the graves, and bade them
learn the epitaphs inscribed upon them. I took pleasure
in seeing the little ones thus dispersed in the church-
yard, each committing to memory a few verses written
in commemoration of the departed. They would soon
accomplish the desired object, and eagerly return to me
to repeat their task. |
Thus my church-yard became a book of instruction
YHE YOUNG COTTAGER. 87
and every grave-stone a leaf of edification for my young
Theehurch itself stood in the midst of the ground. It
was a spacious antique structure. Within those very
walls I first proclaimed the message of God to sinners.
As these children surrounded me, 1 sometimes pointed to
the church, spoke to them of the nature of public wor.
ship, the value of the Sabbath, the duty of regular attend-
ance on its services, and urged their serious attention to
the means of grace. I showed them the sad state of
many countries where neither churches nor Bibles were
known; and the no less melancholy condition of multi-
tudes at home, who sinfully neglect worshipand slight
the Word of God. I thus tried to make them sensible
of their own favors and privileges. Neither was I ata
loss for another class of objects around me from which I
could draw useful instructions, for many of the beauties
of nature appeared in view.
Eastward of us extended a large river or lake Of sea-
water, chiefly formed by the tide, and nearly enclosed
by land. Beyond this was a fine bay and road for ships,
filled with vessels of every size,, from the small sloop or
cutter to the first-rate man-of-war. Qn the right hand
of the haven rose a hill of peculiarly beautiful form and
considerable height. Its verdure was very rich, and many
hundred sheep grazed upon itssides and summit. From
the opposite shore of the same water, a large sloping ex-
tent of bank was diversified with fields, woods, hedges,
and cottages. At its extremity stand, close to the edge
of the sea itself, the remains of the tower of an ancient
church, still preserved as a sea-mark. Far beyond the
bay a very distant shore was observable, and land beyond
it; trees, towns, and other buildings appeared, more es-
pecially when gilded by the reflected are of the sun.
To the south-westward of the garden was another
down, covered also with flocks of sheep, and a postion of
it fringed with trees. At the foot of this hill lay the
village, a part of which gradually ascended to the rising
ground on which the church stood.
88 ANNALS OF THE POOR,
From the intermixture: of houses with gardens, or-
chards, and trees, Se a very pleasing aspect.
Several fields adjoined the garden on the east and north,
where a number of cattle were pasturing. My own little
shrubberies and flower-beds variegated the view, and
recompensed my toil in rearing them, as well by their
beauty as their f nee, i
Had the sweet Psalmist of Israel sat in this spot he
would have glorified God the Creator by descanting on
these his handy-works. I cannot write Psalms like Da-
vid, but I wish in my own poor way to praise the Lord
for his goodness, and to show forth his wonderful works
to the children of men. But had David been also sur-
rounded with a troop of young scholars in such a situa-
tion, he would once more have said, â€œOut of the mouths
of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength.â€
I love to retrace these scenesâ€”they are past, but the
recollection is sweet. A
I love to retrace themâ€”for they bring to my mind
many former mercies which ought not, for the Lordâ€™s
sake, to be forgotten.
Ll love to retrace themâ€”for they re-assure me that, in
the course of thatâ€™ private ministerial occupation, God was
pleased to give me a valuable fruit of my labors.
Little Jane used constantly to appear on these weekly
seasons of instruction, I made no very particular obser-
vations concerning her during the first twelve months.
She was not then remarkable for any peculiar attainment.
Her countenance was not engagingâ€”her eye discovered
no remarkable liveliness. She read tolerably well, took
pains, and improved. )
Mildness and quietness marked her general demeanor.
She was very constant in her attendance on public wor-
ship, as well as on my Saturday instructions. But, gen-
erally speaking, she was little noticed except for her reg-
ular conduct. Had I then been asked of which of my
young scholars J had formed the most favorable opinion,
poor Jane might probably have been omitted,
How little Gs we oftentimes know what God is doing
THE YOUNG COTTAGER. 89
in other peopleâ€™s hearts! What. poor judges we fre-
quently prove till he opens our eyes! His thoughts are
not our thoughts, neither are our ways his ways.
Once, indeed, during the latter part of that year, I was
struck with her ready attention to my wishes. I had,
agreeably to the plan above mentioned, sent her fale the
chureh-yard to commit to memory an epitaph which I
admired. On her return she told me that in addition to
what I had desired, she had also learned another which
was inscribed on an adjoining stone; adding that she
thought it a very pretty one.
I thought so too, and perhaps my reader will be of the
same opinion. Kittle Jane, though dead, yet shall speak.
While | transcribe the lines, I can powerfully imagine
that I hear her voice repeating them.
EPITAPH ON MRS. A. B.
Forgive, blest shade, the tributary tear,
That mourns thy exit from a world like this;
Forgive the wish that would have kept thee here,
And stayed thy progress to the seata of bliss.
No more confinâ€™d to grovâ€™llingâ€™ scenes of night, Â©
Nu more a tenant pent in mortal clay,
Now should we rather hail thy glorious flight,
And trace thy journey to the realms of day.
The above was her appointed task; and the other,
which she voluntarily learned and spoke of with pleasure,
is this :
EPITAPH ON THE STONE ADJOINING.
It must be soâ€”our father Adamâ€™s fall
And disobedience brought this lot on all.
All die in himâ€”but hopeless should we be,
Blest Revelation, were it not for thee.
glorious Gospel! heavenly light, whereby
We live with comfort, and with comfort die;
And view be ond this gloomy scene, the tomb,
â€˜A life of endless happiness to come,
I afterwards discovered that the sentiment expressed
in the latter epitaph had much affected her. But at the
90 ANNALS OF THE POOR.
riod of this little indident I knew nothing of her mind.
Thad comparatively overlogked her. I have often been
sorry for it since, - Conscience seemed to rebuke me,
when I afterwards discovered what the Lord had been
doing for her soul, .I seemed to have neglected her ; yet
it was not done designedly. She was unknoWn to us
all; except that, as I since found out, her regularity and
abstinence from the sins and follies of her young equals
in age, brought upon her many taunts and jeers from oth-
ers, which she bore very meekly. But at that time I
knew it not. I was young myself in the ministry, and
younger in Christian experience. My parochial plans
had not as yet assumed such a principle of practical order
and inquiry, as to make me acquainted with the character
and conduct of each family and individual in my flock.
My young scholar soon became my teacher! I first
saw What true religion could accomplish, in witnessing
her experience of it. The Lord once â€œcalled a child
unto him, and set him in the midst of his disciples,â€ as an
emblem and an illustration of his doctrine. But the
Lord did more in the case of little Jane. He not only
called her, as a child, to show by a similitude what con-
version means; but he also called her by his grace to be
a vessel of merey and a living witness of that almighty
oe and love by which her own heart was scam to
It was abont fifteen months from the first period of
her attendance on my Saturday school, when I missed
her from her customary place, Two or three weeks had
gone by without my making any particular inquiry re-
specting her. I was at length informed that she was not
well, But apprehending no peculiar cause for alarm,
nearly two months passed away without any further men-
tion of her name being made. er ies
At length a poor old woman in the village, of whose
religious disposition I had formed a good opinion, came
and said to me, â€œ Sir, have you not missed Jane Sâ€”â€” at
your hotse on Saturday afternoons ?â€
THE YOUNG COTTAGER. 91
â€œYes,â€ I replied, â€œI believe shÃ© is not well,â€
â€œNor ever will be, I feur,â€ said the woman.
â€œWhat, do you apprehend any danger in the case ?â€
â€œ Sir, she is very pdorly indeed, and I think is in a de-
cline. She wants to see yon, Sir; but is afraid you
would not come to seeâ€˜such a poor young child as she
â€œNot go where poverty and sickness may call me}
eae she imagine so? At whose house does she
â€œ Sir, it is a poor place, and she is ashamed:to ask you
to come there. Her neighbors are noisy, wicked people,
and her own father and mother are strange folks. ey
all make game at poor Jane, because she reads her Bible
s0 much.â€ at |
â€œDo not tell me about poor places and wicked people, *
that is the very situation where a minister of the Gospel
is called to do the most good. I shall go to see her; you
may let her know my intention.â€ |
â€œ] will, Sir; I go in most days to speak to her, and it
does oneâ€™s heart good to hear her talk,â€
â€œIndeed!â€ said 1; â€œwhat does she talk about ?â€
â€œTalk about, poor child! why, nothing but good
things, such as the Bible, and Jesus Christ, and life and
death, and her soul, and heaven, and hell, and your dis-
courses, and the books you used to teach her, Sir. Man
scoff at her, and say they suppose Jane counts hersel
better than other folks. But she does not mind all that.
She will read her: books, and then talk so pretty to her
mother, and begâ€™ that she would think about her soul.â€
â€œThe Lord forgive me,â€ thought I, â€œfor not being
more attentive to this poor childâ€™s case.â€ I seemed to
feel the importance of early instruction more than ever
I had done before, and felt, a rising hope that this girl
might prove a kind of first fruits of my labors.
now recollected her quiet, orderly, diligent attendance
on our little weekly meetings; and her marked appro-
bation of the epitaph, as related above, rushed into â€”
thoughts. â€œI really hope,â€ said I, â€œthis dear child wi
92 ANNALS OF THE POOR,
rove a true child of God. And if so, what a mercy to
er, and what a mercy for me.â€
The next morning I went to see the child. Her dwell-
ing was of the humblest kind. It stood against a high
bank of earth, which formed a sort of en behind it.
It was so steep that but little would grow in it; yet that
little served to show not only, on the one hand, the pov-
erty of its owners, but also to illustrate the happy truth,
that even in the worst of circumstances the Lord does
make a kind provision for the support of his creatures.
The front aspect of the cottage was chiefly rendered
pleasing by a honeysuckle, which Juxuriantly climbed up
the wall, enclosing the doors, windows, and even the
chimney, with its twining branches. As I entered the
house-door, its flowers put forth a very sweet and re-
freshing smell. Intent on the object of my visit, I at the
same moment offered up silent prayer to God, and enter-
tained a hope that the welcome fragrance of the shrub
might be illustrative of that all-prevailing intercession of
a eemer, which I trusted was, in the case of this little
child, as â€œ a sweet-smelling savorâ€ to her heavenly Father.
The very flowers and leaves of the garden and field are
emblematical of higher things, when grace teaches us to
make them so.
Jane was in bed up stairs. I found no one in the
house with her, except the woman who had brought me
the penniee on the evening before. The instant I looked
on the girl I perceived a very marked change in her coun-
tenance ; it had acquired the consumptive hue, both white
and red. A delicacy unknown to it before, quite sur-
poner me, owing to the alteration it produced in her
ook. She received me first with a very sweet smile,
and then instantly burst into a flood of tears, just sob-
â€œTam so glad to see you, Sir.â€
â€œ] am very much concerned at your being so ill, my
child, and grieved that I was not sooner aware of your
state. But I hope the Lord designs it for your good.â€
THE YOUNG COTTAGER. 93
Her eye, not her tongue, powerfully expressed, â€œI hope
and think he does.â€
â€œWell, my poor child, since you can no longer come
to see me, I will come and see you, and we will talk over
the subjects which | have been used to explain to you.â€
â€œ Indeed, Sir, I shall be so glad.â€
â€œThat I believe she will,â€ said the woman; â€œfor she
loves to talk of nothing so much as what she has heard
you say in your sermons, and in the books you have
â€œ Are you really desirous, my dear child, to be a true
Christian ?â€ â€˜ |
â€œOQ! yes, yes, Sir, 1 am sure I desire that above all
I was astonished and delighted at the earnestness and
simplicity with which she spoke these words.
â€œSir,â€ added she, â€œI have been thinking, as I lay on
my bed for many weeks past, how good you are to in-
struct us poor children: what must become of us with-
out it ?â€
â€œT am truly glad to perceive that my instrictions have
not been lost upon you, and pray God that this your pres-
ent sickness may be an instrument of blessing, in his
hands, to prove, humble, and sanctify you, My dear
child, you have a soul, an immortal soul, to think of;
you remember what I have often said to you about the
value of a soul: â€˜ What would it profit a man to gain the
whole world and lose his own soul ?â€
â€œYes, Sir, I remember well you told us that when our
bodies are put into the grave, our souls will then go
either to the good or the bad place.â€
â€œ And to which of these places do you think that, as a
sinner in the sight of God, you deserve to go ?â€
â€œ'Tâ€™o the bad one, Sir.â€
â€œ What, to everlasting destruction ?â€
â€œ Yes, Sir.â€
â€œ â€˜Why so?â€
â€œ Because I am a great sinner.â€
â€œ And must all great sinners go to hell ?â€
94 ANNALS OF THE POOR.
â€œ They all deserve it; and I am sure I do.â€
â€œ But is there no way of escape? Is there no way for
a great sinner to be saved ?â€
â€œYes, Sir; Christ is the Saviour.â€
â€œ And whom does he save ?â€
â€œ All believers.â€
â€œ And do you believe in Christ yourself?â€
â€œIT do not know, Sir; I wish I did; but I feel that I
â€œWhat do you loveâ€™ him for ?â€
â€œBecause he is good to poor childrenâ€™s souls like
â€œ What has he done for you?â€
â€œHe died for me, Sir, and what could he do more ?â€
â€œ And what do you hope to gain by his death ?â€
â€œA good place when I die, if I believe in him, and Jove
ts you felt any uneasiness on account of your
â€œQO! yes, Sir,a great deal, When you used to talk to
us children on Saturdays, I often felt as if I could hardly
bear it, and wondered that others could seem sd careless.
I thought I was not fit to die. I thought of all the bad
things I had ever done and said, and believed God must
be very angry with me; for you often told us that God
would not be mocked; and that Christ said, if we were
not converted we could not go to heaven. Sometimes I
thought I was so young it did not signify: and then
again it seemed to me a great sin to think so; for [knew
I was old enough to see what was right and what was
wrong; and so God had a just right to be angry when I
did wrong. Besides, I could see that my heart was not
right; and how could such a heart be fit for heaven ?
Indeed, Sir, I used to feel very uneasy.â€
â€œMy dear Jane, 1 wish I had known all this before.
Why did you never tell me about it ?â€
â€œSir, I durst not. Indeed I could not well say what
was the matter with me; and I thought you would look
upon me as very bold, if I had spoken about myself to
THE YOUNG COTTAGER. 95
such a gentleman as you: yet I often wished that you
knew what I felt and feared. Sometimes, as we went
away from your house, I could not help erying; and
then the other children laughed and jeered at me, and
said I was going to be very good they supposed, or at
least to make people think so. Sometimes, Sir, I fancied
ou did not think so well of me as of the rest, and that
urt me; yet I knew I deserved no particular favor, be-
cause I was the chief of sinners.â€
â€œMy dear, what made St. Paul say he was the chief of
sinners? In what verse of the Bible do you find this ex-
pression, â€˜the chief of sinners? Can you repeat it?â€
â€œ* This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all accepta
tion, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sin-
ners; is not that right, Sir?â€
â€œYes, my child, it is right; and I hope that the same
conviction which St. Paul had at that moment, has made
you sensible of the same truth. Christ came into the
world to save sinners; my dear child, remember, now
and for evermore, that Christ came into the world to save
the chief of sinners.â€
â€œSir, I am so glad he did. It makes me hope that he
will save me, though I am a poor sinful girl. Sir, 1 am
very ill, and I do not think I shall ever get well again. I
want to go to Christ, if I die.â€
â€œGo to Christ while you live, my dear child, and he
will not cast you out when you die. He that said, â€˜ Suf-
fer little childgen to come unto me, waits to be gracious
to them, and forbids them not.
â€œ What made you first think so seriously about the state
of your soul ?â€
â€œ Your talking about the graves in the churchyard, and
telling us how many young children were buried there.
I remember you said one day, near twelve months ago,
â€˜Children! where will you be a hundred years hence?
Children! where do you think you shall go when you
die? Children! if you were to die to night, are you sure
you should go to Christ and be happy? Sir, I shall
96 ANNALS OF THE POOR, ~
never forget your saying â€˜childrenâ€™ three times together
in that solemn way.â€™
â€œDid you never before that day feel any desire about
your soul ?â€
â€œ Yes, Sir, I think I first had that desire almost as soon
as you began to teach us on Saturday afternoons; but on
that day I felt as [never did before. I shall never forget
it. All the way as I went home, and all that night, those
words were in my thoughts, â€˜ Children! where do you
think you shall go when you die? I thought I must leave
off all my bad ways, or where should I go when I died ?â€
. i what effect did these thoughts produce in your
â€œSir, I tried to live better, and I did leave off many
bad ways; but the more I strove, the more difficult I
found it, my heart seemed so hard; and then I could not
tell any one my case,â€
â€œCould you not tell it to the Lord, who hears and
answers prayer ?â€
â€œ My prayers (here she blushed and sighed) are very
poor at the best, and at that time I scarcely knew how
to pray at all as I ought. But 1 did sometimes ask the
Lord for a better heart.â€
_ There was a character in all this conversation which
marked a truly sincere and enlightened state of mind.
She spoke with all the simplicity of a child, and yet the
seriousness of a Christian, I could scarcely persuade
myself that she was the same girl I had been accustomed
to see in past time. Her countenance was filled with in-
teresting affections, and almost spoke much more than
her tongue could utter. At the same time, she now pos-
sessed an ease and liberty in speaking, to which she had
formerly been a stranger; nevertheless she was modest,
humble, and unassuming. Her readiness to converse was
the result of spiritual anxiety, not childish forwardness,
The marks of a divine change were too prominent to be
easily mistaken; and in this very child I, for the first time,
witnessed the evident testimonies of such a change.
How encouraging, how profitable to my own sqpl !
THE YOUNG COTTAGER. 97
Â« Sir,â€ continued little Jane, * I had one day been think-
ing that I was neither fit to live or die; for L could find
no comfort in this world, and I was sure I deserved none
in the other, On that day you sent me io learn the verse
on Mrs. Bâ€”â€”â€™s headstone, and then I read that on the
one next to it.â€
â€œI very well remember it, Jane; you came back and
repeated them both to me.â€
â€œThere were two lines i in it which made me think and
meditate a great deal.â€
â€œ Which are they ?â€
â€œ* Hail, glorious Gospel! heavenly light, whereb
We live with comfort, and with comfort die. 9
â€œI wished that glorious Gospel was mine, that I might â€”
live and die with comfort; and it seemed as if I thought
it would be so. Â©} never felt so happy about my soul
fore. The words were often in my thoughts,
â€˜Live with comfort, and with comfort die,â€™ â€
â€œ Glorious Gospel, indeed!â€ I thought. â€”
â€œ My dear child, what is the meaning of the word Gos-
ee Good news.â€
â€œGood news for whom ?â€
â€œFor wicked sinners, Sir.â€
â€œWho sends this good news for wicked sinners?â€ |
â€œThe Lord Almighty.â€
â€œ And who brings this good news ! â€
â€œSir, you brought it to-me.â€™
- Here my soul melted in an instant, and I could not re-
press the tears which the emotion excited. The last an-
swer was equally unexpected and affecting. I felt a
fatherâ€™s tenderness and: gratitude for a first born child.
Jane wept likewise. â€œAfter a little pause she said,
â€œO Sir! 1 wish you would speak to my father, and
mother, and litile brother ; ; for 1 am afraid they are going
on very beaty." ;
â€œ How so ?
98 ANNALS OF THE POOR.
â€œSir, they drink, and swear, and quarrel, and do not
like what is good; and it does grieve me so, 1 cannot
bear it. If I speakâ€™a word to them about it, they are
very angry, and laugh and bid me be quiet, and not set
up for their teacher. Sir, I am ashamed to tell you this
of them, but I hope it is not wrong; I mean it for their
â€œ] wish your prayers and endeavors for their sake may
be blessed; I will do also what I can.â€
I then prayed with the child, and promised to visit her
As I returned home, my heart was filled with thank-
fulness for what I had seen and heard.
Divine grace educates the reasoning faculties of the
soul, as well as the best affections of the heart; and
happily conseerates them both to the glory of the Re-
deemer. Neither the disadvantages of poverty, nor the
inexperience of childhood, are barriers able to resist the
mightv influences of the Spirit of God, when he goeth
forth â€œ where he listeth.â€ â€œGod hath chosen the foolish
things of this world to confound the wise; and God hath
chosen the weak things of the world to confound the
things which are mighty.â€
. Little Janeâ€™s illness was of a lingering nature. I often
visited her. â€˜The soul of this young Christian was grad-
ually, but effectually, preparing for heaven. I have sel-
dom witnessed in any older person, under similar cireum-
stances, stronger marks of earnest inquiry, continual se-
riousness, and holy affections. One morning as I was
_ walking through the churchyard, in my way to visit her,
I stopped to look at the epitaph which had made such a
deep impression on her mind. I was struck with the
reflection of the important consequences whichâ€™ might
result from a more frequent and judicious attention to
the inscriptions placed in our burying-grounds, as memo-
rials of the departed, I wish that every grave-stone
might not only record the names of our deceased friends,
but also proclaim the name of Jesus, as the only name
THE YOUNG COTTAGER, 99
iven under heaven whereby men can be saved. Perhaps,
if the ministers of religion were to interest themselves
in this matter, and accustom their people to consult
them as to the nature of the monumental inscriptions
which they wish to introduce into churches and church-
yards, a gradual improvement would take place in this
respect. What is offensive, useless, or erroneous, would
no longer find admittance ; and a succession of valuable
warning and consolation to the living would perpetuate
the memory of the dead.
When I arrived at Janeâ€™s cottage, I found her in bed,
reading Dr. Wattsâ€™ Hymns for Children, in which she
took _â€” pleasure.
â€œ What are you reading this morning, Jane ?â€
â€œSir, I have been thinking very much about some
verses in my little book. Here they are:
â€˜There is an hour when I must die,
Nor do I know how soon â€™twill come ;
A thousand children, young as [,
Are called by death to hear their doom.
Let me improve the hours J have,
Before the day of grace is fled ;
There's no repentance in the grave,
Nor pardon offered to the e
â€œSir, I feel all that to be very true, and I am afraid
I do not improve the hours I have, as J] ought todo. I
think I shall not live very long; and when I remember
my sins, I say,
â€˜ Lord, at thy foot, ashamed I lie,
Upward I dare not look ;
on my sins befure I die,
And blot them from thy book,â€™ .
â€œDo you think he will pardon me, Sir â€
â€œMy dear child, I have great hopes that he has par-
doned you; that he has heard your prayers, and put you
into the number of his true children already, You have
had strong proofs of his mercy to your soul.â€
â€œ Yes, Sir, | have; and I wish to love and bless him
for it. He is good, very good.â€ 3
100 ANNALS OF THE POOR.
It had for some time past occurred to my mind, that a
course of regulated conversations on the first principles
of religion would be very desirable from time to time, for
this. interesting. childâ€™s sake; and I thought the Church
Catechism would be a proper ground-work for that pur-
â€œ Jane,â€ said I, â€œ you can repeat the Catechism ?â€
â€˜* Yes, Sir, but I think that has been one of my sins in
the sight of God.â€
â€œWhat, repeating your Catechism ?â€
Â« Yes, Sir, in such a way as I used to do it.â€
â€œHow was that!â€
â€œVery carelessly indeed. I never thought about the
meaning of the words, and that must be very wrong.
Sir, the Catechism is full of good things; I wish 1 un-
derstood them better.â€
â€œWell then, my child, we will talk a little about those
good things which, as you truly say, are contained in the
Catechism. Did you ever consider what it is to be a
member of Christ, a child of God, and an inheritor of the
kingdom of heaven ?â€ .
â€œT think, Sir, I have lately considered it a good deal,
and I want to be such, not only in name, but in deed.and
in truth. You once told me, Sir, that â€˜as the branch is
to the vine, and the stone to the building, and the limb
to the body and the head, so is a true believer to the Lord
Jesus Christ.â€™ But how am I to know that I belong to
Christ as a trueâ€™ member, which you said one day in the
church, means the same as a limb of the body ?â€
â€œDo you love Christ now in a way you never used to
do before ?â€
â€œ Yes, I think so, indeed.â€
â€œ Why do you love him?â€
- * Because he first loved meâ€”he died for sinners.â€
â€œ How do you know that he first loved you?â€
- â€œBecause he sent me instruction, and made me feel
the sin of my heart, and taught me to pray for pardon,
and love his ways: he sent you to teach me, Sir, and to
show me the way to be saved, and now I want to be
THE YOUNG COTYAGER, 101
saved in that way that he pleases. Sometimes I feel as
if I loved all that he has said and done, so much, that I
wish never to think about anything'else. I know I did
not use to fee] so; and I think if he had not loved me
first, my wicked heart would never have cared about him.
I once loved anything better than religion, but now it is
overzeniag to me.â€
â€œDo you believe, in your heart, that Christ is able and
â€” to save the chief of sinners ?â€
â€œ And what are you ?â€
â€œ A young but a great sinner.â€
â€œTs it not of his merey that you know and feel your-
self to be a sinner?â€
â€œCertainly ; yes, it must be so.â€
â€œDo you earnestly desire to forsake all sin ?â€
â€œIf I know myself, I do.â€
â€œDo you feel a spirit within you resisting sin, and
making you hate it?â€
â€œ Yes, I hope so.â€
â€œ Who gave you that spirit? Were you always so?â€
â€œIt must be Christ who loved me and gave himself for
me. I was quite different once.â€
â€œNow then, my dear Jane, does not all this show a
connection between the Lord Jesus Christ and your soul ?
Does it not seem as if you lived, and moved, and had a
spiritual nn from him? Justas the limb is connected
with your body, and so with your head, and thereby gets
power to live and move through the flowing of the blood
from one to the other, so are you spiritually a limb or
member of Christ, if you believe in him. Do you under.
â€œ Yes, Sir, 1 believe I do; and it is very comfortable
to my thoughts to look up to Christ as a living head,
and to consider myself as the least and lowest of all his
â€œ Now tell me what your thoughts are as to being a
child of God ?â€ |
â€œTam sure, Sir, Ido not deserve to be called his child.â€
102 ANNALS OF THE POOR.
â€œCan you tell me who does deserve it ?â€
â€œNo one, Sir.â€
* How then comes any one to be a child of God, when
by nature we all are children of wrath ?â€
â€œ - Godâ€™s grace, Sir.â€
â€œ What does grace mean ?â€
â€œFavor; free favor to sinners.â€
â€œRight; and what does God bestow upon the children
of wrath, when he makes them children of grace ?â€â€™
â€œA death unto sin, and a new birth unto righteous-
ness; is it not, Sir?â€ . 7
â€œ Yes, this is the fruit of Christâ€™s redeeming love ; and
I hope you are a partaker of the blessing. The family of
God is named after him, and he is the first-born of many
brethren. What a-mercy that Christ calls: himself â€˜a
brother.â€™ My little girl, he is your brother, and will not
be ashamed to own you and present you to his Father at
the last day, as one that he has purchased with his
â€œ] wish I could love my Father and my Brother which
are in heaven, better than Ido. Lord, be merciful to me,
a sinner: I think, Sir; if 1 am a child of God,I am often
a rebellious one. He shows kindness to me beyond oth-
ers, and yet I make a very poor return.
â€œAre these thy favors by
To me above the fy | avs
Then let me love thee more than they,
Afid strive to serve the best.â€™â€
â€œ'That will be the best way to approve yourself a real
child of God. Show your love aa thankfulness to such
a Father who hath prepared for you an inheritance among
the saints in light, and made you an inheritor of the king-
dom of heaven, as well as a member of Christ and a
child of God. Do you know what the kingdom of heaven
_ Just at that instant her mother entered the house be-
low, and began to speak to a younger child in a passion-
ate, scolding tone of voice, accompanied by some very
THE YOUNG COTTAGER, 103
offensive language ; â€˜but quickly stopped on hearing us
in conversation up stairs. a |
â€œ Ah, my poor mother!â€ said the girl, â€œ you would not
have stopped so short if Mr. â€”â€” had not been here.
Sir, you hear how my mother goes on; pray say some-
thing to her, she will not hear me.â€
I went toward the stair-head and called to the woman ;
but she suddenly left the house, and for that time escaped
â€œSir,â€ said little Jane, â€œI am so afraid if I go to heaven
I shall never see my poor mother there. As I lie here
a-bed, Sir, for hours together, there is often so much
wickedness, and noise, and quarrelling down below, that
I do not know how to bear it. It comes very near, Sir,
when oneâ€™s father and mother go on so. I wantthem all
to turn to the Lord, and go to heaven. Tell me now,
Sir, something about being an inheritor of the kingdom
of heaven.â€ |
â€œYou may remember, my child, what I have told you
when explaining the Catechism in the church, that â€˜ the
kingdom of heavenâ€™ in the Scriptures means the church
of Christ upon earth as well as the state of glory in heav-
en. The one is a preparation for the other, All true
Christians are â€˜heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ,â€™
and shall inherit the glory and happiness of his kingdom,
and live with Christ, and be with â€˜him forever. â€˜This is
the free gift of God to his adopted children; and all that
believe aright in Christ shall experience the truth of that
promise, â€˜lt is your Fatherâ€™s good pleasure to give you
the kingdom.â€™ You are a poor girl now, but I trist*an
entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into
the everlasting kingdom of our Lord. and Saviour Jesus
Christ.â€™ You suffer now, but are you not willing to suf.
fer for his sake, and to bear patiently those things to
which he calis you?â€ .
â€œO yes, very willing; I would not complain. It is all
right.â€ , ven"
Se Then, my dear, you shall reign with him. Through
much tribulation you may perhaps enter the kingdom of
104 ANNALS, OF THE POOR,
God; but tribulation worketh patience, and patience ex-
perience, and experience hope. As a true,member of
Christ, show yourself to be a dutiful child of God, and
your portion will be that of an inheritor of the kingdom
of heaven. Faithful is He that hath promised; commit
thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him, and he shall
bring it to pass.â€
# Thank you, Sir; Ido so love to hear of these things.
And I think, Sir, I should not love them so much if I had
no part in them. Sir, there is one thing I want to ask
you. It isa great thing, and I may be wrongâ€”I am so
youngâ€”and yet I hope [ mean right
, Here she hesitated and paused.
â€œ What is it? do not be fearful of mentioning it.â€
A tear rolled down her cheekâ€”a slight blush colored
her countenance. She lifted up her eyes to heaven for
a moment, and fixing them on me with a solemn, affecting
â€œ May so young a poor child as I am be admitted to the
Lordâ€™s Supper? I have for some time wished it, but dared
not to mention it for fear you should think it wrong.â€
â€œMy dear Jane, I] have no doubt respecting it,* and
shall be very glad to converse with you on the subject;
and hope that He who has given you the desire, will bless
his own ordinance to your soul. Would you wish it
now or to-morrow ?â€
â€œTo-morrow, if you please, Sirâ€”will you come to-
morrow and talk to me about it? and if you think it
roper, I shall be thankful. I am growing faint nowâ€”I
ope to be better when you come again.â€
was much pleased with her proposal, and rejoiced in
the prospect of seeing so young and sincere a Christian
thus devote herself to the Lord, and receive the memo-
rials of a Saviourâ€™s love to her soul. :
* It will be perceived that this interesting and excellent Tract is from
the pen of a devout Episcopalian ; and in publishing this incident entire,
it may be proper to say, that the Publishing Committee would not be
understood a any opiuion in relation to the practice of admin-
istering the | Supper in private,
THE YOUNG COTTAGER. 105
Disease was making rapid inroads upon her constitu-
tion, and she was aware of it. But as the outward man
â€˜decayed, she was strengthened with might by Godâ€™s
Spirit in the inner man. She was evidently ripening fast
for a better world.
I remember these things with affectionate pleasure. [
hope the recollection does me good. I wish them to do
good to thee likewise, my reader; and therefÃ©re I write
I was so much affected with my last visit to little Jane,
and particularly with her tender anxiety respecting the
Lordâ€™s Supper, that it formed the chief subject of my
thoughts for the remainder of the day.
I rode in the afternoon to a favorite spot, where I
sometimes indulged in solitary meditation; and where I
wished to reflect on the interesting case of my little dis-
Me was a place well suited for such a purpose. |
In the widely sweeping curve of a beautiful bay, there
is a kind of chasm or opening in one of the lofty cliffs
which bound it. This produces a very romantic and
striking effect. The steep-descending sides of this epen-
ing in the cliff are covered with trees, bushes, wild flow-
ers, fern, wormwood, and many other herbs, here and
there contrasted with bold masses of rock or brown
earth. , =
In the higher part of one of these declivities, two or
three picturesque cottages are fixed, and seem half sus-
oÃ©eaed in the air. | |
From the upper extremity of this great fissure or
opening in the cliff, a small stream of water enters by a
cascade, flows through the bottom, winding in a varied
course of about a quarter of a mile in length, and then
runs into the sea across a smooth expanse of firm hard
sand, at the lower extremity of the chasm. At this point
the sides: of the woody banks are very lofty, and toa
spectator from the bottom, exhibit a mixture of the grand
and beautiful not often exceeded.
106 ANNALS OF THE POOR,
Near the mouth of this opening was a little hollow re-
cess, or cave, in the cliff, from whence, on one hand, I
could see the above-deseribed romantic scene; on the
other, a long train of perpendicular cliffs, terminating in
a bold and wild-shaped promontory, which closed the
bay at one end, while a conspicuous white cliff stood di-
rectly opposite, about four miles distant, at the farther
point of the bay.
The open sea, in full magnificence, occupied the cen-
tre of the prospect; bounded, indeed, in one small part,
by a very distant shore, on the rising ascent from which
the rays of the sun rendered visible a cathedral church,
with its towering spire, at near thirty milesâ€™ distance.
Everywhere else the sea beyond was limited only by
A frigate was standing into the bay, not very far from
my recess; other vessels of every size, sailing in many
directions, varied the scene, and furnished matter for a
thousand sources of contemplation.
At my feet the little rivulet, gently rippling over peb-
bles, soon mingled with the sand, and was lost in the
waters of the mighty ocean. The murmuring of the
waves, as the tide ebbed or flowed, on the sand; their
dashing against some more distant rocks, which were
aoa fantastically with sea-weed and shells; sea-birds
floating in the air aloft, or occasionally screaming from
their holes in the cliffs; the hum of human voices in the
ships and boats borne along the water: all these sounds
served to promote, rather than interrupt, meditation.
They were soothingly blended together, and entered the
ear in a kind of natural harmony.
In the quiet enjoyment of a scene like this, the lover
of natureâ€™s beauties will easily find scope for spiritual
Here I sat and mused over the interesting character
and circumstances of little Jane. Herel prayed that
God would effectually teach me those truths which I
ought to teach her,
en I thought of her youth, [ blushed to think how
THE YOUNG COTTAGER. 107
superior she was to what I wÃ©ll remembered myself to
have been at the same age: nay, how far my superior at
that very time. I earnestly desired to catch something
of the spirit which appeared so lovely in her: for simple,
teachable, meek, humble, yet earnest in her demeanor,
she bore living marks of heavenly tÃ©aching.
â€œ'Tâ€™he Lord,â€ thought I, â€œ has called this little child, and
set her in the midst of us, as a parable, a pattern, an em-
blem. And he saith, â€˜ Verily, except ye be converted, and
become as little children, ye shall not enter into the king-
ae of heaven.â€™ O that I may be humble as this little
I was thus led into a deep self-examination, and was
severely exercised with fear and apprehension, whether J
was myself a real partaker of those divine influences
which [ could so evidently discover in her. Sin appear.
ed to me just then to be more than ever â€œ exceeding sin-
ful.â€ Inward and â€˜inbred corruptions made me tremble.
The danger of self-deception in so great a matter alarmed
meâ€”lI was a teacher of others: but was I indeed spirit-
ually taught myself? Ang |
A spirit of anxious inquiry ran through every thought;
I looked at the manifold works of creation around me;
I perceived the greatest marks of regularity and order;
but within I felt confusion and disorder.
â€œThe waves of the sea,â€ thought I, â€œebb and flow in
exact obedience to the laws of their Creator, Thus far
they come, and no furtherâ€”they retire again to their aÂ¢-
customed bounds; and so maintain a regulated succes.
sion of effects.
â€œ But, alas! the waves of passion and affection in the
human breast, manifest more of the wild confusion of
a storm, than the orderly regularity of a tideâ€”Grace can
alone subdue them. .
â€œ What peaceful harmony subsists throughout all this
lovely landscape! These majestic cliffs, some clothed
with trees and shrubs; others bare and unadorned with
herbage, yet variegated with ee earths ; these
are not only sublime and delightful to behold, but they
108 ANNALS OF THE POOR.
are answering the end of their creation, and serve as a
barrier to stop the progress of the waves. |
â€œ But how little peace and harmony can I comparative-
ly see in my own heart! "The landscape within is mar-
red by dreary barren wilds, and wants that engaging char-
acter which the various parts of this pa ak kb me
so happily preserve. Sin, sin, is the bane of mortality,
and heaps confusion upon confusion wherever it pre-
â€œ Yet, saith the voice of Promise, â€˜ Sin shall not have
dominion over you.â€™ O! then, â€˜ may I yield myself unto
God, as one that am alive from the dead, and my members
as instruments of Rewepiyness unto God,â€™ And thus
may I become an able and willing minister of the New
â€œT wish I were like this little stream of water. It
takes its first rise scarcely a mile off; yet it has done.good
even in that short course. It has passed by several] cot-
oer in its way, and afforded life and health to the in-
habitantsâ€”it has watered their little gardens as it flows,
and enriched the meadows near its Taare It has sat-
isfied the thirst of the flocks that are feeding-aloft on the
hills, and perhaps refreshed the shepherdâ€™s boy who sits
watching his masterâ€™s sheep hard by. It then quietly
finishes its current in the secluded dell,and, agreeably to
the design of its Creator, quickly vanishes in the ocean.
â€œ May my course be like unto thine, thou little rivulet!
Though short be my + â€˜of life, yet may I be useful
to my fellow-sinners as I travel onwards. Let me be a
dispenser of spiritual support and health to many! Like
this stream, may I prove â€˜the poor manâ€™s friendâ€™ by the
way, and water the souls that thirst for the river of life,
wherever! meet them! And, if it please thee,O my God!
let me in my latter end be like this brook. It calmly,
though not quite silently, flows through this scene of
peace and loveliness just before it enters the sea. Let
me thus gently close my days likewise; and may I not
unusefully tell to others of the goodness and mercy of
my Saviour, till I arrive at the vast ocean of eternity !
THE YOUNG COTTAGER, 109
â€œ'Thither,â€ thought I, bien er is fust hastening.
Short, but not useless, hasbeen Aer course. I feel the
great importance of it in my soul at'this moment, I view
a work of merey there, to which I do hope I am not quite
a stranger in the experience of my own heart. The thought
enlivens my ws and leads me to see that, great agis
the power of sin, the power of Jesus is greater; and,
through a I may meet my dear young disciple, my
child in the Gospel, my sister in the faith, in a brighter,
a better world hereafter.â€ '
There was something in the whole of this meditation
which calmed and prepared my mind for my promised
visit next day. I looked forward to it with affectionate
It was now time to return homewards, The sun was
setting. The lengthened shadows of the cliffs, and of
the hills towering again far above them, cast a brown,
but not unpleasing tint, over the waters of the bay. Far-
ther on the beams of the sun stil] maintained their splen-
dor. Some of the sails of the distant ships, enlivened by
- its rays, appeared like white spots in the blue horizon,
and seemed to attract my notice as if to claim, at least,
the a prayer, â€œGod speed the mariners on their
vO hs ;
I quitted my retreat in the cliff with some reluctance :
but with a state of mind, as I hoped, solemnized by re-
flection, and animated to fresh exertion. |
I walked up by a steep pathway, that winded through
the trees and shrubs on the sides of one of the precipices.
At every step the extent of prospect enlarged and acquir-
ed a new and varying character, by being seen through
the trees on each side. Climbing up a kind of rude inar-
tificial set of stone stairs in the bank, I passed by the sin-
gularly-situated cottages which I had viewed from be-
neath ; received and returned the evening salutation of
the inhabitants sitting at their doors, and just come home
from labor; till I arrived at the top of the precipice, where
I had left my horse tied to a cow
The sun was now set; the bright colors of the western
110 ANNALS OF THE POOR. â€
clouds faintly reflected from the south-eastern hills, that
were unseen from my retreat in the cliff, or only perceived
by their evening shadows on the sea, now added to the
beauty of the prospect on the south and west. Every
element Sinwivated tp the interesting effect of the sce-
ry. The earth was diversified in shape and ornament.
Tie voaters of the ocean presented a noble feature in the
landscape. The air was serene, or only ruffled by a re-
freshing breeze from the shore. And the sunâ€™s fiery
beam, though departing for the night, still preserved suc
a portion of light and warmth as rendered all the rest de-
lightful to an evening traveller.
The next morning I went to Janeâ€™s cottage, On enter-
ing the door, the woman who so frequently visited her
met me, and said:
â€œ Perhapsy Sir, you will not wake her just yet; for
she has Tata asleep, and she seldom gets much rest,
I went gently up stairs, The child was in a half sit-
ting posture, leaning her head upon her right hand, with
her Bible open before her. She had evidently fallen
asleep while reading. Her countenance was beautifully
componet and tranquil. A few tears had rolled down her
cheek, and (probably unknown to her) dropped upon the
pages of her book.
looked around me for a moment, The room was
outwardly comfortless and uninviting; the walls out of
repair; the sloping roof somewhat shattered ; the floor
broken and uneven; no furniture but two tottering bed-
steads, a three-legged stool, and an old oak chestâ€”the
window broken in many places, and mended with
pele of paper. A little shelf against the wall, over the
stead where Jane lay, served for her medicine, her
food, and her books.
â€œYet here,â€ I said to myself, â€œlies an heir of glory
waiting for a happy dismissal. Her earthly home is poor
indeed: but she ~ a house not made with hands, eter-
nal, in the heavens. She has little to attach her to this
world, but what a weight of glory in the world to come!
THE YOUNG COTYrAGER. 111
This mean, despised chamber, is a palace in the eye of
faith, for it contains one thats an inheritor of a crown.â€
J approached without waking her, and observed that
she had been reading the twenty-third chapter of St.
Luke. The finger of her left hand lay upon the book,
pointing to the words, as if she had been using it to g
her eye while she read. I looked at the place, and Ws
pleased at the apparently casual circumstance of her fin-
ger pointing to these words:
, â€œ Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy king-
â€œTs this casual, or designed?â€ thought Iâ€”â€œ Kither way
it is remarkable.â€ But in another moment I discovered
_ that her finger was indeed an index to the thoughts of
her heart. She half awoke from her dozing state, but
not sufficiently so to perceive that any person was pres-
ent, and said in a kind of a whisper,
â€œ Lord, remember meâ€”remember meâ€”rememberâ€”re-
member a poor childâ€”Lord, remember meâ€”â€”â€
She then suddenly started, and perceived me, as she
became fully awake: a faint blush overspread her cheeks
for a moment, and then disappeared.
â€œDame K , how long have I been asleep ?â€”Sir,
I am very sorry "
â€œ And Iam very glad to find you thus,â€ I replied: â€œ you
may say with David, â€˜J laid me down and slept; I awaked,
for the Lord sustained me.â€™ What were you reading ?â€
â€œThe history of the crucifying of Jesus, Sir.â€ _â€”
â€œ How far had you read when you fell asleep ?â€
â€œTo the. prayer of the thief that was crucified with
him; and when I came to that place, I stopped, and
thought what a mercy it would be, if the Lord Jesus
should remember me likewiseâ€”and so I fell asleep and
I fancied in my dream that I saw Christ upon the cross;
and I thought I said, â€˜Lord, remember meâ€™â€”and I am
sure he did not look angry upon meâ€”and then I awoke.â€
All this seemed to be a sweet commentary on the text,
and a most suitable forerunner of our intended sacra-
mental service, .
112 ANNALS OF THE POOR.
â€œ Well, my dear child, 1 am come, as you wished me,
to administer the memorials of the body and blood of our
blessed Saviour to you; and I dare say neighbor Kâ€”â€”
will be glad-to join us.â€
â€œTalk to me a little about it first, Sir, if you please.â€
â€œ Well, you know this is an institution established by
Christ himself. The Lord has ordained bread and wine
in the holy supper, as the outward mark which we be-
hold with our eyes. It is a token of his love, grace, and
blessing, which he promises to, and bestows on all who
receive it, rightly believing on his name and work. He,
in this manner, preserves among us a continual remem-
brance of his death, and of the benefits which we receive
P t do you believe respecting the death of Christ,
Jane ?â€ .
â€œThat because he died, Sir, we live.â€
â€œ What life do we live thereby ?â€
â€œThe life of grace and mercy now; and the life of
glory and happiness hereafter: is it not, Sir?â€ |
â€œYes, assuredly; this is the fruit of the death of
Christ; and thus he opened the kingdom of heaven to
all believers. As bread and wine strengthen and refresh
your poor, weak, fainting body, in this very sickness, so
does the blessing of his body and blood strengthen and
refresh the souls of all those that repose their. faith, hope,
and affections on him who loved us and gavÃ© himself for
Tears ran down her cheeks as she said, â€œOQ! what a
Saviour !â€”O! what a sinner !â€”How ,kind! how good!
â€”And is this for me ?â€
â€œFear not, my child. He that has made you to love
him thus, loves you too well todeny you. He will in no
wise cast out any that come to him.â€ |
â€œSir,â€ said the girl, â€œI can never think about Jesus,
and his love to sinners, without wondering how it can
be. I deserve nothing but his anger on account of my
sins; why then does he love me?. My heart is evil;
why then does he love me? I continually forget all his
THE YOUNG COTTAGER. 113
goodness ; why then does he love me? I neither pray
to him, nor thank him, nor doany thing as I ought to do;
why then such love to me ?â€
â€œ How plain it is that all is merey from first to last!
and that sweetens the blessing, my child. Are you not
willing to give Christ all the honor of your salvation,
and to take all the blame of your sins on your ow
â€œYes, indeed, Sir, I am. My hymn says,
â€˜Blest be the Lord, that sent his Son
To take our flesh and blood ;
He for our lives gave a own,
To make our peace with God.
He honored all his Fatherâ€™s laws,
Which we have disobeyâ€™d ;
He bore our sins upon the cross,
And our full ransom paid.â€™â€ â€”
â€œJT am glad you remember your hymns so well, Jane.â€
â€œSir, you donâ€™t know what pleasure they give me. I ,
am very glad you gave me that little book of hymns for
A severe fit of coughing interrupted her speech for a
while. The woman held her head. It was distressing
to observe her struggle for breath, and almost, as it were,
efor life. |
â€œPoor dear!â€ said the woman, â€œI wish I could help
thee, and ease thy pains; but they will not last forever.
â€œGod helps me,â€ said the girl, recovering her breath,
â€œGod helps me; he will carry me through. Sir, you
look frightenedâ€”J am not afraidâ€”this is nothingâ€”I am
better now. Thank you, dame, thank you. I am very
troublesome ; but the Lord will bless you for this and
all your kindness to me; yes, Sir, and yours too. Now
talk to me again about the Lordâ€™s. supper.â€
â€œ What is required, Jane, of them who come to the
Lordâ€™s supper? There are five things named in the
Catechismâ€”do you remember what is the first ?â€
She paused; and then â€” a solemn and intelli..
114 ANNALS OF THE POOR.
gent look, â€œTo examine themselves whethÃ©r they repent
truly of their former sins.â€
â€œY hope and think that you know what this means,
Jane: the Lord has given you the spirit of repentance.â€
â€œNo one knows, Sir, what the thoughts of past sins
have been to me. Yes, the Lord knows,â€™ that is
enough; and I hope he forgives me for Christâ€™s .sake.
His blood cleanseth from all sin, Sir, I sometimes think
of my sins till I tremble, and it makes me cry to think
that I have offended such a God; and then he comforts
me again with sweet thoughts about Christ.â€
* It is well, my child: be it so. The next thing men-
tioned in that answer of your Catechism, what is it ?â€
â€œ Steadfastly purposing to lead a new life.â€
â€œ And what do you think of that ?â€
â€œ My life, Sir, will be a short one; and I wish it had
been a better one. But from my heart I desire that it
may be a new one for the time to come. I want to
forsake my evil ways and thoughts, and evil words,
and evil companions; and to do what God bids and
what you tell me is right, Sir, and what I read of in
my Bible. But I am afraid I do not, my heart is so full
of sin. However, Sir, I pray to God to help me. My
days will be few; but I wish they may be spent to the
â€œ The blessing of the Lord be upon you, Jane, so that
whether you live, you may live to the Lord; or whether
you die, you may die unto the Lord; and that, living or
dying, you may be the Lordâ€™s. What is the next thing
aso have a lively faith in Godâ€™s mercy, through Christ,
â€œDo you believe that God is merciful to you in the
pardon of your sins?â€™
â€œT do, Sir,â€ said the child, earnestly.
â€œAnd if he pardons you, is it for your own sake,
â€œNo, Sir, no: it is for Christâ€™s sake, for my Saviour
Jesus Christâ€™s sake, and that onlyâ€”Christ is all.â€
THE YOUNG COTTAGER. 115
â€œCan,you trust him ?â€
.* Sir, | must not mistrust him? nor would I if I might.â€
â€œRight, child; he is worthy of all your trust.â€
â€œ And then, Sir, I am to have a thankful remembrance
of his'death. I can never think of his dying but I think
also what a poor unworthy creature I am; and yet he is
so good tome. I wish I could thank him. Sir, I fave
been reading about his death. How could the people do
as they did to him? But it was all for our salvation.
And then the thief on the crossâ€”that is beautiful. I
hope he will remember me too, and that I shall always
remember him and his death most thankfully.â€
â€œAnd lastly, Jane, are you in charity with all men?
Do you forgive all that have offended you? Do you bear
ill-will in your heart to anybody ?â€
â€œ Dear Sir! no; howean I? If God is so good to me,
if he forgives me, how can I help forgiving others? There
is not a person in all the world, I think, Sir, to whom I
do not wish well for Christâ€™s sake; and that from the
bottom of my heart.â€ Ta
â€œ How do yow'feel in regard to those bold, wanton, ill-
tempered girls at the next door, who jeer and mock you
so about your religion ?â€ |
â€œ Sir, the worst thing I wish them is, that God may give
them grace to repent; that he may change their hearts,
and pardon all their wicked ways and words. May he
forgive them, as I do with all my soul!â€ |
he ceasedâ€”I wished to ask no more. My heart was
full, â€œCan this be the religion of a child?â€ thought I;
â€œQO that we were all children like her !â€
I then said, â€œ My dear friends, I will now, with Godâ€™s
blessing, partake with you in the holy communion of our
Lordâ€™s body and blood.â€
The time was sweet and solemn. I went through the
sacramental service. ) a
The countenance and manner of the child evinced pow-
erful feelings. Tears â€”â€” with smiles; resignation
brightened by hope; humility animated by faith; child-
like modesty adorned with the u anding of a riper
116 ANNALS OF THE POOR.
age , gratitude, peace, devotion, patienceâ€”all these were
When I had concluded the service I said, * Now my
dear Jane, you are indeed a sister in the church of Christ.
May his Spirit and blessing rest upon youâ€”strengthen
ak refresh you !â€
* My mercies are great, very great, Sir, greater than I
can expressâ€”I thank you for this favorâ€”l thought | was
too youngâ€”it seemed too much for me to think of; but I
am now sure the Lord is good to me, and J hope I have
â€œYes, Jane; and I trust you are sealed by the Holy.
Ghost to the day of redemption.â€
â€œ Sir, I shall never forget this day.â€
â€œ Neither, I think, shall I.â€
â€œNor I,â€ said the good old woman; â€œsure the Lord
has been here in the midst of us three to-day, while we
have been gathered together in his name.â€
â€œSir,â€ said the child, â€œ1 wish you could speak to my
mother when you come again. I am so. about
_ her soul; and I am afraid she cares nothing at all about
â€œTI hope I shall have an opportunity the next time I
come. Seven my child.â€
â€œ Good-by, Sir, and I thank you for all your kindness
â€œ Surely,â€ I thought within myself as I left the cot-
tage, â€œthis young bud of grace will bloom beauteously
in Paradise. The Lord transplant it thither in his own
od time! Yet, if it be his will, may she live a little
onger, that I may farther profit by her conversation and
Jane was hastening fast to her dissolution. She still,
however, preserved sufficient strength to converse with
much satisfaction to herself and those who visited her.
Such as could truly estimate the value of her spiritual
state of mind were but few; yet the most careless could
not help being struck with her affectionate seriousness,
THE YOUNG COTTAGER. 117
her knowledge of the Scriptures, and her happy applica-
tion of them to her own ease. â€œThe holy spark divine,â€
which regenerating grace had implanted in her heart,
brightened as she drew near the close of life, and kindled
into a flame which warmed and animated the beholder.
To some, | am persuaded, her example and conversation
were made a blessing. Memory reflects with gratitude,
while I write on the profit and consolation which I indi-
vidually derived from her society. Nor I alone. The
last day will, if I err not, disclose farther fruits, resulting
from the love of God to this little child; and, through
-her, to others that saw her. And may not hope indulge
the prospect, that this simplÃ© memorial of her histo
shall be as an arrow drawn from the quiver of the Al-
mighty to reach the heart of the young and thoughtless ?
Direct its course,O my God! May the eye that reads,
and the ear that hears, the record of little Jane, through
the power of the Spirit of the Most High, each become a
witness for the truth as it is in Jesus!
I remembered the tender solicitude of this dear child
for her mother. I well knew what a contrast the dispo-
sitions and conduct of her parents exhibited, when com.
pared with her own,
I resolved to avail myself of the first opportunity I
could seize, to speak to the mother in the childâ€™s pres-
ence. One morning soon after the interview above rela-
ted, I chose another path for my visit. The distanee was
_ not quite half a mile from my house. The path was re-
tired, I hereby, avoided the noise and interruption which
even a village street will sometimes present to disturb
the calmness of interesting meditation.
AsI passed through the churchyard and cast my eye
on the memorable epitaph; â€œSoon,â€ I thought within
me, â€œwill my poor little Jane mingle her mouldering re-
mains with this dust, and sleep with her fathers! soon
will the youthful tongue which now lisps hosannas to the
Son of David, and delights my heart with the evidences
of early piety and grace, be silent in the earth! Soon
shall i called to commit her body to the ground,
118 ANNALS OF THE POOR,
â€˜earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust.â€™ But O!
what a glorious change! Her spirit shall have then re-
turned to God who gave it. Her soul will be joining the
hallelujahs of Paradise, while we sing her requiem at the
grave. And her very dust shall here wait, â€˜in sure and
certain hope of a joyful resurrection from the dead.â€™â€
. I went through the fields without meeting a single â€˜in-
dividual. I enjoyed the retirement of my solitary walk ;
various surrounding objects contributed to excite useful
â€˜meditation, connected with the great subjects of time and
eternity. I was now arrived at the stile nearly adjoining
her dwelling. The upper window was open, and I soon
distinguished the sound Of voices: I was glad to hear
that of the mother. I entered the house-door unperceived
by those aboveâ€™stairs, and sat down below, not wishing
as yet to interrupt a conversation which quickly caught
â€œMother! mother! I have not long to live. My time
will be very short. But I must, indeed I must say some-
thing for your sake before I die. O mother! you havea
soulâ€”you have a soul; and what will become of it when
~~ die? O my mother, 1 am so uneasy about your
â€œO dear, ! shall lose my childâ€”she will dieâ€”and what
or do when you are gone, my Jane ?â€â€”~she sobbed
â€œMother, think about your soul. Have you not neg-
lected that ?â€
â€œYes, I have been a wicked sinner, and not loved that
which was good. What can I doâ€
â€œ Mother, you must pray to God to pardon you for
Christâ€™s sake. You must pray.â€
â€œ Jane, my child, | cannot pray; I never did pray in all
my life. I am too wicked to pray.â€
â€œ Mother, I have been wanting to speak to you a long
time; but I was afraid to do it. You did not like me to
say anything about yourself, and I did not know how to
begin. But indeed, mother? must speak now, or it ma
be too late. I wish Mr. â€”~'was here, for he could talk
THE YOUNG COTTAGER. 119
to you better than I can. But perhaps you will think of
what I say, poor as it is, when] am dead. Iam buta
young child, and not fit to speak about such things to any-
ody. But, mother, you belong to me, and I cannot bear
to think of your perishing forever. My Lord and Saviour
has shown me my own sins and corruptions; he loved
me and gave himself for me; he died and he rose again ;
I want to praise him for it forever and ever. I hope I
shall see him in heaven; but I want to see you there
too, mother. Do, pray do, both father and you, leave
off swearing and all other bad ways; go to church and
hear our minister speak about Jesus Christ, and what he
has done for wicked sinners. He wishes well to souls,
He ee me the way, and he will teach you, mother.
Do not be angry with me, mother; I only speak for your
good. I was once as careless as you are about the things
of God. But I have seen my error. I was in the broad
road leading to destruction, like many other children in
the parish, and the Lord saw me, and had mercy upon me.â€
â€œYes, my child, you was always a good girl, and mind-
ed your book.â€
â€œNo, mother, no; not always. I cared nothing about
oodness, nor my Bible, till the minister came and sent
for us, as _ now, on Saturday afternoons. Donâ€™t
you remember, mother, that at first you did not like me
to go, and said you would have no such godly pious doings
about your house; and that I had better play about the
streets and fields, than to be laughed at and made
of for pretending to be so good? Ah, mother! you did
not know what I went for, and what God designed for
me and my poor sinful soul. But, thank God, I did go,
and there learned the way of salvation. Mother, I wish
you had learned it too.â€
As I listened to this affecting conversation, it appeared
to me, from the tone and manner of the motherâ€™s voice,
that she was more under the influence of temporary grief,
on account of her childâ€™s extreme illness, than sincere
sorrow*for any real sense ofther sins. I however hoped
the best, and rejoiced to hear such weighty and impor-
120 ANNALS OF THE POOR,
tant exhortations dropping from her daughter's lips. I
felt that present circumstances rendered it far more val-
uable than my own could have been.
I have often, since that time, seen the wicked and care-
less much affected while sitting by the dying bed of a
near relative: I have witnessed their temporary acknowl-
edgments of sin, and heard their professions of amend.
ment. But, after a short season, all has passed away
like the morning dew. The friend has been buried out
of sight. â€˜The world and its cares, the flesh and its sins,
have returned with new temptations, and the eloquence
of iniquity has prevailed over the voice of truth.
_ On the other hand, how frequently have the death-beds
of true believers been blessed to the eye-witnesses of the
triumphs of grace over sin, death, and hell! Often has
the careless bystander received the first saving impres-
â€˜sion of divine truth, while the dying Christian has expe-
rienced and testified the supports of love and mercy in
the trying hour. At such seasons, faith wields a bright
and burning torch, which occasionally softens the hard-
est, and warms the coldest heart. The expressions of
that heavenly consolation and devout solicitude which
the Holy Spirit vouchsafes to some, thus become the
happy means of grace and blessing for the conversion and
edification of others,
At this moment the house-door opened, and a younger
child, a brother of Janeâ€™s, came in. The mother asked
from above, who it was: the boy replied; and, without
farther inquiry, she remained in the chamber. I beckon-
ed to the lad to sit down quietly; and thus it stil] re-
mained unknown that I iran belo,
â€œ Mother,â€ continued Jane, â€œthat is my brother, and
will soon be your only remaining child. Do, pray, en-
courage him to follow good ways; and send him to Mr.
â€”â€”, and he will be kind to him, as he has been to me.
He is a wild boy, but I hope he will be brought to think
about his soul in time. Those naughty wicked boys
teach him to swear and fight, and run after all nanner
of evil. Lord, help him to flee from the wrath to come.â€
THE YOUNG COTTAGER. 121
I made a sign to the boy to listen to what his sister said
concerning him. He seemed to hear with attention, and
a tear dropped down his cheek.
â€œ Ay, Jane, it is hoped that he will, and that we all shall
â€œ Mother, then you must flee to Christ. Nothing you
can do will save you without that. You must repent
and turn from sinâ€”without the grace of God you will
never do it; but seek, and you shall find it, Do, for
your own sake, and for my sake, and my little brotherâ€™s
The woman wept and sobbed, without replying. Inow
thought it time to appear, went to the bottom of the stairs,
and said, â€œ May a friend come up?â€
â€œ Mercy on me!â€ said the mother; â€œ there is Mr. â€”â€”.â€
â€œCome in, Sir,â€ said Jane; â€œI am very glad you are
come now. Mother, set a chair.â€
The woman looked rather confused; Jane smiled as I
entered, and weleomed me, as usual,
â€œT hope I-shall be forgiven both by mother and daugh-
ter, for having remained so long below stairs, during the
conversation which has just taken place. I came in the
hope of finding you together, as I have had a wish for
some time past to speak to you, Sarah, on the same sub-
jects about which J] am happy to say your daughter is so
anxious. You have long neglected these things, and I
wished to warn you of the danger of your state; but
Jane has said all I could desire, and I now solemnly ask
you whether you are not much affected by your poor
childâ€™s faithful conversation? You ought to have been
her teacher and instructer in the ways of righteousness; |
whereas now she is become yours. ippy; however, will
it be for you, if you are wise and consider your latter
end, and the things which belong to your peace, before
they are hidden from your eyes! Look at your dying
child, and think of your other and only remaining one, an
say whether this sight does not call aloud upon you to
hear and fear.â€ |
Janeâ€™s eyes were filled with tears while Ispoke. The
122 ANNALS OF THE POOR,
woman hung her head down, but betrayed some emo-
tions of dislike at the plain dealing used towards her.
â€œ My child, Jane,â€ said I, â€œ how are you to-day ?â€
â€œSir, I have been talking a good deal, and feel rather
faint and weary, but my mind has been very easy and
happy since I last saw you. I am quite willing to die
when the Lord sees fit. I havÃ© no wish to live, except
it be to see my friends in a. better way before I depart.
Sir, I used to be afraid to speak to them; but I feel
to-day as if I could hold my peace no longer, and I must
tell them what the Lord has done. for my soul, and what
I feel for theirs.â€ â€” Bie ek
There was a firmness, I may say dignity with which
this was uttered, that surprised me. â€˜The character of
the child seemed to be lost in that of the Christian: her
natural timidity yielded to a holy assurance of manner,
resulting from her own inward consolations, mingled
with spiritual desire for her motherâ€™s welfare. This
produced a flush upon her otherwise pallid countenance,
which in no small degree added to her interesting appear-
ance. â€˜The Bible lay open before her as she sat up in
the bed. With her right hand she inclosed her motherâ€™s.
â€œ Mother, this book you cannot read ; you should there-
fore go constantly to church, that you may hear it ex-
plained. It is-Godâ€™s book, and tells us the way to
heaven; I hope you will learn and mind it; with Godâ€™s
blessing it may save your seul. Do think of that, moth-
er, pray do. Iam soon going todie. Give this Bible to
my brother; and will you,be so kind, Sir, as to instruct
him? Mother, remember what J say, and this gentleman
is witness: there is no salvation for sinners like you and
me, but in the blood of Christ; he is able to save to the
uttermost; he will save all that come.to him; he waits
to be gracious; cast yourself upon his mercy. I wishâ€”
I wishâ€”Iâ€”I.â€ |
She was quite overcome, and sank away ina kind of
fainting fit. |
Her mother observed that she would now probably
remain insensible for some time before she recovered.
THE YOUNG COTTAGER. 123
I improved this interval in a serious address to the
woman, and then prepared to take my departure, perceiy-
ing that Jane was too much exhausted for further con-
versation at that time. -
As I was leaving the room the child said faintly,
â€œCome again soon, Sir my time is very short.â€
I returned home by the same retired road which I had
before chosen. I silently meditated on the eminent
proofs of piety and faith which were just afforded me in
the scene I had witnessed. Surely, I thought, this is an
extraordinary child! What cannot grace accomplish !
Is it possible to doubt, after this, who is alone the Author
and Finisher of salvation? or from whom cometh every
good and perfect gift? How rich and free is the mercy
of Jehovah! Hath not he â€œchosen the weak things
of the world to confound the things which are mighty ?â€
Let no flesh glory in his presence; but he that glorieth,
Jet him glory in the Lord.
_ Ata very early hour on the morning of the following
day, I was awoke by the arrival of a messenger, bringing
an earnest request that I would immediately go to the
child, as her end appeared to be just approaching. It
was not yet day when I left my house to obey the sum-
mons. â€˜The me star shone conspicuously clear.
The moon cast a mild light over the prospect, but grad-
ually diminished in brightness, as the eastern sky became
enlightened. â€˜The birds were beginning their song, and
seemed ready to welcome the sunâ€™s approach. The dew
plentifully covered the field, and hung suspended in drops
from the trees and hedges. A few early laborers ap-
peared in the lanes, travelling towards the scene of their
daily occupations. All bestia was still and calm. My
mind, as I proceeded, was deeply exercised by thoughts
concerning the affecting events which I expected soon to
witness, The rays of the morning star were not so
beautiful in my sight as the spiritual lustre of this young
Christianâ€™s character. Her night was far spent; the
morning of .a better day was at hand. When I arrived
at the house I found no one below; I paused a few min-
124 ANNALS OF THE POOR.
utes, and heard the girlâ€™s voice very faintly saying, â€œ Do
you think he will come? I should be so gladâ€”so glad
to see him before I die.â€
I ascended the stairsâ€”her father, mother, and brother,
together with the elderly woman before spoken of, were
in the chamber. Janeâ€™s countenance bore the marks of
speedy dissolution. Yet although death was manifest in
the languid features, there was something more than
ever interesting in the whole of her external aspect. The
moment she saw me,a renewed vigor beamed in her eyes
â€”grateful affection sparkled in the dying face.
Although she had spoken just before | entered, yet for
some time afterwards she was silent, but never took her
eyes off me. There was animation in her lookâ€”there
was moreâ€”something like a foretaste of heaven seemed
to be felt, and gave an inexpressible character of spiritual
beauty even in death.
At length she said, â€œ This is very kind, Sirâ€”I am going
fastâ€”I was afraid I should never see you again in this
I said, _ My child, are you resigned to die ?â€
a Qui 3
â€œ Where is your hope ?â€
She lifted up her finger, pointing to heaven, and then
directed the same downward to her own heart, saying
successively as she did so, â€œChrist there, and Christ
These words, accompanied by the action, spoke her
meaning more solemnly than can easily be conceived.
A momentary spasm took place. Looking towards her
weeping mother, she said, â€œI am very cold, but it is no
matter, it will soon be over.â€ _
She closed her eyes for about a minute, and on open-
ing them again, she said, â€œI wish, Sir, when I am gone,
you would tell the other children of the parish how good
the Lord has been to me, a poor sinnerâ€”tell them that
they who seek him early will find himâ€”tell them that the
ways of sin and ignorance are the ry os) ruin and hell;
ne pray tell them, Sir, from me, that Christ is indeed the
THE YOUNG COTTAGER. 125
way, the truth, and the life; he will in no wise cast out
any that come. Tell them, that I, a poor girlâ€”â€”â€
She was quite exhausted, and wall for a while, into a
torpid state, from which, however, she recovered gradually,
uttering these expressions : * Where am I ?~I thought I
was goingâ€”Lord, save me.â€
â€œ My dear child, you will soon be forever in his arms
who is now guiding you, by his rod and staff, through the
valley of the shadow of death.â€
â€œ] believe so, indeed I do,â€ said she; â€œI long to be
with him! 0, how good, how great, how merciful !â€”
Jesus, save me, help me through this last trial.â€
She then gave one hand to her father, the other to her
mother, and said, â€œGod bless youâ€”God bless youâ€”seek
the Lordâ€”think of me when J am goneâ€”it may be for
your goodâ€”remember your soul ! for Christâ€™s sake,
remember your souls, then all may be well; you cannot
know what I have felt for both of you. Lord, pardon and
save my dear father and mother !â€
She then took hold of her brotherâ€™s hand, saying,
â€œThomas, I beg of you to leave off your bad ways; read
the Bibleâ€”I give you mineâ€”I have found it, a precious
book. Do you not remember oor little brother who died
some years since '~he was praying to the last moment
of his life. Learn to pray when you are in health, and you
will find the comfort and power of it when you come to
die ; but first of all pray for a new heartâ€”without it you
never will see God in heaven; your present way leads to
misery and ruin. May the Lord turn your heart to love
and follow him.â€ |
To the other woman she said, â€œI thank you, Dame
K , for all your kindness since I have been ill; you
have been a Christian friend to me, and ] hope the Lord
will remember you for it, according to his rich mercy.
You and I have many a time talked entas about death ;
and though I am the youngest, he calls me first to pass
through it; but, blessed be his name, I am not terrified.
I once thought I never could die without fear, but indeed
I feel quite happy now it is come; and so will you, if
126 ANNALS OF THE POOR.
you trust himâ€”he is the God both of the old and the
â€œ Ah, my child!â€ said the woman, â€œI wish I was as fit
to die as you are; but I fear that will never beâ€”my sins
have been many, very many.â€
â€œ Christâ€™s blood inanstt from all sin,â€ said the child.
At this moment, instead of growing weaker through
the fatigue of so much speaking, she seemed to gather
fresh strength. She turned to me with a look of surpris-
ing earnestness and animation, saying,
â€œYou, Sir, have been my best friend on earth; you
have taught me the way to heaven, and I love and thank
you for itâ€”you have borne with my weakness and my
ignoranceâ€”you have spoken to me of the love of Christ,
and he has made me feel it in my heartâ€”I shall see him
face to faceâ€”he will never leave me nor forsake meâ€”
he is the same, and changes not. Dear Sir, God bless
The child suddenly rose up, and with an unexpected
exertion threw her livid, wasted arms aroundme as | sat
on the bedside, laid her head on my shoulder, and said
distinctly, â€œGod bless and reward youâ€”give thanks for
me to himâ€”my soul is savedâ€”Christ is everything to
me. Sir, we shall meet in heaven, shall we not ?â€”O
es, yesâ€”then al] will be peac eâ€”peaceâ€”â€”â€
She sunk back on the bed, and spoke no moreâ€”fetch-
ed a deep sighâ€”smiled, and died.
At this affecting moment the first rays of the morning
sun darted into the room, and seemed to describe the
glorious change which her soul had now experienced.
For some time [ remained silently gazing on the breath-
less corpse, and could hardly persuade myself that Jane
was indeed no longer there.
As I returned homeward, I found it difficult to repress
the strong feelings of affection which such a scene had
excited. Neither did I wish it. Religion, reason, and
experience rather bid us indulge, in due place and season,
those tender emotions which keep the heart alive to its
more valuable sensibilities. Jesus himself wept over the
THE YOUNG COTTAGER. 127
foreseen sorrows of Jerusalem. He wept also at the
grave of his friend Lazarus. Such an example conse-
crates the tear of affection, while it teaches us, concerning
them which are asleep, not to â€œ sorrow as those that have
I s6on fell into meditation on the mysterious subject
of the flight of a soul from this world to that of depart-
ed spirits. â€œSwifter than the rays of light from the sun,
has this childâ€™s spirit hastened, in obedience to its sum-
mons from God, to appear in his immediate presence.â€
How solemn a truth is this! But, washed in the blood
of the Lamb that was slain, and happily made partaker
of its purifying efficacy, she meets her welcome at the
throne of Go Sin, death, and hell are vanquished
through the power of Him who hath made her more than
conqueror. He will himself present her to his Father, as
one of the purchased lambs of the flockâ€”as one whom
the Spirit of God â€˜ has sealed unto the day of redemption.â€™
\â€œWhat a change for her! from that poor tattered
chamber, to the regions of Paradise! from a bed of straw
to the bosom of Abraham! from poverty, sickness, and
pain, to eternal riches, health and joy! from the condition
of a decayed, weary pilgrim, in this valley of tears, to
that of a oo traveller, safely arrived at home, in the
rest that remaineth to the people of God! |
â€œT have lost a young disciple, endeared to me by a
truly parental tie. Yet how can I complain of that as
lost, which God has found? Her willing and weleome
voice no longer seeks or im instruction here. But
it is far better employed. The angele who rejoiced over
her when her soul first turned to God, who watched the
pangpe of her short pilgrimage, and who have now car-
ried her triumphantly to the heavenly hills, have already
taught her to join
â€˜In holy song, their own immortal strains.â€™
Why then should I mourn? The whole prospect, as it
concerns her, is filled with joy and immortality : â€˜ Death
is swallowed up in victory.â€™â€
128 ANNALS OF THE POOR,
On the fourth day from thence Jane was buried. I
had never before committed a parishioner to the ground
with similar affections. The attendants were not many,
but. I was glad to perceive among them some of the chil-
dren who had been accustomed to receive my weekly
private instructions along with her. I wished that the
scene might usefully impress their young hearts, and that
God would bless it to their edification, As I stood at
the head of the grave during the service, I connected
past events, which had occurred in the churchyard, with
the present. In this spot Jane first learned the value of
that. Gospel which saved her soul. Not many yards from
her own burial-place was the epitaph which has already
been described as the first means of affecting her mind.
with serious and solemn convictions. It seemed to stand,
at this moment, as a peculiar witness for those truths
which its lines proclaimed to every passing reader. Such
an association of objects pboibueok a powerful effect on
The evening was sereneâ€”nothing occurred â€˜to inter-
rupt the quiet solemnity of the occasion. â€œPeaceâ€ was
the last word little Jane uttered while living; and peace
seemed to be inseribed on the farewell scene at the grave
where she was laid. A grateful remembrance of that
peace revives in my own mind, as [ write these memori-
als of it; and O! may that peace which passeth all under-
standing be in its most perfect exercise, when I shall
meet her again at the last day. |
Attachment to the spot where this young Christian lay,
induced me to plant a yew-tree close by the head of her
grave, adjoining the eastern wall of the church, I de-
signed it as an evergreen monument of one who was
dear to my memory. The young plant appeared healthy
for a while, and promised by its outward vigor long to
retain its station. But it withered soon afterwards, and,
like the child whose grave it pointed out to notice, early
faded away and died. The yew-tree proved a frail and
short-lived monument. But a more lasting one dwells
in my own heart. And possibly this narrative may be
THE YOUNG COTTAGER, 129
permitted to transmit her memory to other generations,
when the hand and heart of the writer shall be cold in
Perchance some, into whose hands these pages may
fall, will be led to cultivate their spiritual young plants
with increased hope of success in so arduous an endeavor.
May the tender blossoms reward their care, and bring
forth early and acceptable fruit!
Some, who have perhaps been accustomed to under-
value the character of very youthful religion, may hereby
see that the Lord of grace and glory is not limited in the
exercise of his power by age or circumstance. It some-
times appears in the displays of Godâ€™s love to sinners, as
it does in the manifestation of his works in the heavens,
that the /east of the planets moves in the nearest course
to the sun, and there enjoys the most powerful influence
of his light, heat, and attraction.
The story of this Young Cottager ipvolves a clear
evidence of the freeness of the operations of divine grace
on the heart of man; of thÃ© inseparable connection be-
tween true faith and holiness of disposition; and of the
simplicity of character which a real love of Christ trans-
fuses into the soul. |
How many of the housÂ¢hold of faith, in every age,
â€œ Alike unknown to fortune and to fame,â€
have journeyed and are now travelling to their â€˜city of
habitation, through the paths of modest obscurity, and
almost unheeded piety! Itis one of the most interesting
employments of the Christian minister to search out
these lillies of the valley, whose beauty and fragrance are
nearly concealed in their shady retreats. To rear the
flower, to assist in unfolding its excellencies, and bring
forth its fruits in due season, is a work that delightfully
recompenses the toil of the cultivator.
While he is occupied in this grateful task of laboring
in his heavenly Masterâ€™s garden, some blightsome tempest
may chance to take away a favorite young blossom in a
premature stage of its growth.
130 GRAVES OF DAIRYMANâ€™S DAUGHTER,
If such a case should befall him, he will then perhaps,
as I have often done, when standing in pensive recollec-
tion at little Janeâ€™s grave, make an application of these
lines, which are inscribed on a grave-stone erected in the
same churchyard, and say,
â€œ This lovely bud, so young and fair,
Callâ€™d hence by early doom,
Just came to show howâ€™sweet a flower
VISIT TO THE GRAVES OF THE DAIRYMANâ€™S DAUGHTER
AND YOUNG COTTAGER, JULY, 1823.
The most interesting reflections, says a writer in the
London Baptist Magazine for June, 1824, were suggested
by a visit to the Isle of Wighi;* in company with a long-
respected Christian friend, who kindly solicited the writer
to leave, for a few days, the cares and hurry of active
life, for a scene so conducive to health and so exhilarat-
ing to the mind. It was scarcely possible to contemplate
the works of God in that lovely island, without being re-
minded ofthat paradise which contributed to the happi-
ness of our first parents in the days of their innocence,
and which could not THEN fail to excite their holy admi-
ration, and to elicit from them that glory to the Crea-
tor which corresponded with the powers with which
they. were endowed. We were effectually reminded,
however, that the Isle of Wight was not the garden of
â€” ; for we beheld the memorials and the triumphs of
On entering the churchyards we saw, in conspicuous
characters, the records of the generation that had passed
away within our remembrance. Near these inseriptions
we saw, in fading characters, a tribute of respect to the
* This beautiful island, which is about twenty-one miles long and
thirteen broad, lies near the Southern shore of England. ,
AND YOUNG COTTAGER, 131
Sea that passed away in the days of our fathers.
e also saw stones and monuments covered with yellow
and hoary lichen, and containing an account of the grand-
fathers, and great-grandfathers, and still more remote
ancestors, till our attempts to make out the inscriptions
ceased to be successful. On these occasions the reader
may easily conceive that we were strongly impressed with
the awful and extensive dominion of the king of terrors.
Our object, however, was not so much to visit the tombs
of the unknown among the dead, as to repair to those
churehyards where we could find the â€˜sequestered spots
devoted to those concerning whom we each could say,
â€œ Let me die the death of the righteous, and Jet my last
end be like his!â€ In such researches we found the grave
of â€œ Little Jane,â€ the â€œ Young Cottager,â€ in Brading church-
yard, where the writer copied her epitaph.
On the following day, (July 16, 1823,) we visited the
cottage where â€œthe Dairymanâ€™s Daughterâ€ had resided,
and where she closed the days of her pilgrimage. Her
mother, we were informed, did not long survive her affee-
tionate daughter; and the aged Dairyman, we learned,
had been dead a few years. â€˜The _â€” is now occupied
by her brother and his wife, both of whom we saw: and
among other ed we were highly grat-
ified with 4 sight of Elizabethâ€™s Bible; on inspecting
which, we saw not only her own hand-writing, but also
that of a succession of ancestors for more than a century
before her death.
Proceeding over the same ground as the funeral pro-
cession had done, we arrived at Arreton churchyard,
where we found, without difficulty, the grave we sought.
Indeed, every child seemed perfectly familiar with the
The interesting Memoir, by Rev. T. 8. Grimshawe, of
the Author of the â€œ Dairymanâ€™s Daughter,â€ â€œ the ae
Cottager,â€ and the â€œ African Servant,â€ substantiates eac
of those Tracts as x Narrative of facts which occurred
under the authorâ€™s ministry in the Isle of Wight, where
he labored nearly eight years, when, in 1805, he was re-
132 GRAVES OF DAIRYMANâ€™S DAUGHTER,
moved to Turvey, where he died, May, 1827, in the 56th â€”
year of his age, and the 30th of his er:
The Memoir contains a letter from Mr. John Higgins,
a friend of Rey. Mr. Richmond, who, having obtained
from him permission to examine the original letters of
the Dairymanâ€™s Daughter, says, â€œ It was not without pleas-
ure and surprise I found, on the perusal of the originals, |
that they were in every respect as he had given them,
with the exception of the bad. spelling, the unnecessary
use of capital Jetters, and a word which was here and
there added or omitted to make the young womanâ€™s mean-
ing more intelligible.â€
The Memoir also states that the Rev. Mr. Hughes, one
of the Secretaries of the British and Foreign Bible Socie-
ty, visited the spot where the Dairymanâ€™s Daughter for-
merly resided, and â€œ interrogated her brother, whether the
circumstances of the story were precisely the same as re-
lated in the Tract. To this he replied, there was only
one fact that was misrepresented. Being asked, with
some degree of anxiety, what the fact was, he observed,
that Mr, Richmond had described a vine, trained by the
side of the window, whereas it was not a vine, but an
othing could be more satisfactory as to the essential
authenticity of the, Narrative. The Memoir states (in
1828) that 4,000,000 copies of this Tract were said then
to have been circulated in nineteen different languages,
The reports of Tract Societies relate multitudes of â€”
instances in which this Tract has been blessed in the con-
version of souls to God. Many such accounts were di-
rectly transmitted to the author, the last of which, receiv-
ed by him but 24 hours before his death, was that of a
clergyman whose antipathy against Tract Societies had
induced him to select the Dairymanâ€™s Daughter for the
purpose of criticizing and exposing its defects, In the
perusal of it he was so penetrated by the truths it con-
tained, that the pen of criticism fell from his hand, and
he was himself added as another trophy of Divine e.
In 1822, Rev, Mr. Richmond visited the Isle of Wight,
AND YOUNG COTTAGER. * 133
and the following is an extract of a pastoral letter, ad-
dressed, during his absence, to his a at Tur-
vey: â€œI went one day to a part of my old parish where
religion most prevailed, and sent word that I should be
glad to shake hands with as many as would come down
to the sea-shore, where I sat upon a rock. More than
500 men, women, and children came, and I gave each a
Tract and a blessing. It was a scene full of deep and
trying affections. 1 can never describe it, or think of it,
without ardent feelings. We have put up grave-stones
to Little Jane and the Dairymanâ€™s Daughter. Some
hundreds attended, and the Tracts were distributed that
respect those dear persons. It was a time of great feel-
ing, and a tribute of much love was paid to the graves of
the deceased. Seme were there weeping with gratitude
in having been brought to God through the reading of
these very Tracts. 'The father and mother of Little Jane
were at the grave while the stone was putting up. We
then went to the house where she died, and the â€˜ Youn
Cottagerâ€™sâ€™ Tract was given to every one that came. it
will be a sweet day of remembrance to me, for it took
place on September 12. On that day, twenty-five years
ago, I first received my own serious impressions through
reading Mr, Wilberforceâ€™s beok on Christianity, in my
little study, at Brading; and Little Jane was the first
fruits of my change of principles.â€ |
The Rev. Mr. Richmond received, in Scotland, numer-
ous testimonies to the usefulness of his Tracts. On one
occasion he distributed a copy of the â€˜ Young Cottagerâ€™
to each of sixty Sabbath School scholars, who encireled
themselves around him. â€œNot an eye,â€ he says, â€œwas
dry, and my own with difficulty allowed me to g0 through
the simple and interesting ceremony. One girl, who was,
two years since, converted by Godâ€™s blessing on this
Tract, as she approached me was so affected, that she
dropped on her knees and burst into tears.â€
134 GRAVES OF DAIRYMANâ€™S DAUGHTER,
The first of the following epitaphs on the coin
of the Dairymanâ€™s Daughter and the Young Cottager, was
written by a lady, the other by the faithful and affection-
ate minister to whom the world is indebted for these
records of their religious experience. oe
TO THE MEMORY OF
â€œTHE DAIRYMANâ€™S DAUGHTER.â€
Who died, May 30, 1801, aged 31 years.
She being dead, yet speaketh,
Stranger, if eâ€™er, by chance or feeling led,
Upon this hallowed turf thy footsteps tread,
Turn from the contemplation of this sod,
And think on ber whose spirit rests with God.
Lowly her lot on earth; but He, who bore
Tidings of grace and blessings to the poor,
Gave her, his truth and faithfulness to prove,
The choicest pleasures of his boundless loveâ€”
Faith, that dispellâ€™d afflictionâ€™s darkeat ,
Hope, that could cheer the passage to the tomb,
Peace, that not Hellâ€™s dark legions could destroy,
And love, that filled the soul with heavenly joy ;
Death of its sting disarmâ€™d, she knew no fear,
ae pence Be eee oe lingered here.
p t; May we, like thee, be bleatâ€”
In life be faithful, aad in dpaith find. vent.
SACRED TO THE
MEMORY OF LITTLE JANE, â€” _
Who died, Jan. 30, 1799, in the 15th year of her age.
Ye who the power of God delight to trace,
And mark with joy each monument 4f grace,
Tread lightly o'er this grave, as ye |
â€œThe short and simple annals of the poor.â€
A child reposes underneath this sod,
A + ee ee aoa to God.
Rejoice, yet a8 thetic tearâ€”
Jane, the â€œ Young Cotinger,â€ lies buried here,
AND YOUNG COTTAGER, 135
JOURNAL OF A VISIT TO THE ISLE OF WIGHT, BY REV.
JAMES MILNOR, D.D., CHAIRMAN OF THE EXECUTIVE
COMMITTEE OF THE AMERICAN TRACT SOCIETY, IN THE
- Werwere now approaching Brading, where the Rev.
Legh Richmond commenced his ministry, were passing
through the rich and delightful scenery which -he so
tastefully describes, and about to behold, and in some
instances to press with our footsteps, those almost hal-
lowed spots on which occurred events the remembrance
of which he has perpetuated in those memorable Tracts,
the â€œ Young Cottager,â€ the â€œAfrican Servant,â€ and the
â€œ Dairymanâ€™s Daughter.â€ . We had with us these invalu-
able Tracts, and employed ourselves in reading such
parts of them especially as were calculated to direct our
attention to the several. places which he does not name,
but describes with such fidelity to nature, that the obser-
vant traveller needs no other guide to point them out. I
am glad that weâ€™can bear our testimony to the accuracy
of his descriptions, because many have supposed them to
be principally fanciful, and on this account much that
adds greatly to the interest of his narrative, and is highly
instructive in showing the Christian the religious feeling
with which the works of the great Creator should be
viÃ©wed, and the profitable use to which their contempla-
tion may be applied, has been in many editions of them
@mitied. Though not so intended by the curtailers of
these Tracts, the retrenchments, in my opinion, is an in-
justice to their lamented author, and an injury to the
narratives themselves. |
On arriving at Brading, we drove immediately to the
churchyard where are interred the remains of little Jane.
There were sevÃ©fal children playing near the gate. I
asked a fine-looking little gir] if she could show us the
grave of Jane, the Young Cottager. â€œO yes,â€ she said,
and advanced before us as our guide. After showing us
the grave of Jane, and standing over it as long as we
136 GRAVES OF DAIRYMANâ€™S DAUGHTER, Â©
desired, in silent, but affecting meditation, she told us â€”
she would show us the verses on Mr. and Mrs. Berryâ€™s
tomb-stone, that Jane had got by heart, and repeated to
Mr. Richmond, â€œ Well, my dear,â€ said I, â€œ the aâ€™
of these verses helped Jane to become a good girl, an
to die happy, did it not?â€ She answered, â€œ Yes, Sir,â€ as
she did my next inquiry, whether she would not try to be
as good a girl and die as happy as little Jane. The epi-
taphs which little Jane committed to memory, and espe-
cially the one on Mr. B.â€™s tomb-stone, which was probably
the means, under God, of her first serious impressions,
are both pious and es and their influence on the
mind of this youthful candidate for heaven may show the
simple means the Holy Spirit often employs to accom-
plish the conversion of the soul to God.
We went from the graveyard into the church, a very
ancient structure, not less, the sexton assured, us than
eleven hundred years old, It has been enlarged since its
first erection, and is remarkable for nothing in its interi-
or, but two singular tombs with wooden effigies of the de-
ceased, several] plainer but apparently very old monuments
of stone, and a most helter-skelter inconvenient arrange-
ment of the pews. â€˜Its location, however, is at once se-
questered and convenient to the village, above which it
is considerably elevated. The parsonage, a comfortable-
looking abode, is immediately adjacent to the churchyard.
From the church, the view of Brading Haven, the bay
beyond, the elevated hill on the right, and the a
bank upon the left, and the other scenery describe Ff,
Mr. Richmond in the Young Cottager, as seen from this
epots are all just as there represented. On our way from
rading to Sandown-bay, the prospects were variegated
and pleasing, and as we passed the fort, we emerged
upon one of the grandest views of the ocean through the
bay we had yet seen. Here was pointed to us the high
down, which Mr. Richmond describes in the African Ser-
vant, the perpendicular cliff in which it terminates, and
the jutting rock under which he discovered and conversed
so interestingly with his sable friend. Nothing could be
AND YOUNG COTTAGER. 137
mote true to nature than the surrounding scenery as he
describes in that Tract.
We saw the cottage of the celebrated John Wilkes, in
the garden of which are flourishing several rose-bushes,
said to have been planted by his own hands. It is very
near the water, but on an eminence so raised above it as
to present an extensive sea-view. We then proceeded on
to the village of Shanklin, consisting of a few neat cot-
tages, and stopped at a residence bearing nothing of a
tavern aspect, but affording us the refreshment we need-
ed. After our lunch we walked down to what is called
Shanklin Chine, a large romantic fissure or chasm in the
cliff that fronts upon the sea. The descent to the beach is
7 an ordinary road, and then you return again through the
chasm to Shanklin. No description extant of this singu-
lar spot is either. so minutely accurate or so beautiful as
that given by Mr. Richmond in the â€œ Young Cottager,â€
as one of his places of solitary religious meditation. We
occupied the same â€œ little hollow recess in the cliffâ€ from
which he surveyed and delineated the scenery around.
We there read deliberately his graphic description of the
various interesting objects that: lay before him, and could
discern no difference between it and the noble scene in
actual view, except that a mist hid from us â€œ the tower-
ing spireâ€ of the Chichester cathedral, that in these
ful times we beheld no â€œ frigate standing in the bay,â€ and
but few vessels of any description happened at that time
to enliven the prospect. We lingered long upon and near
the beach, and then proceeded up the chine, along the
side of which the fishermen have formed a convenient
footpath, with a resting-place or two on the way, where
an interesting point of observation happened to offer.
Several neat cottages with small gardens have been erect-
ed within the fissure, each of which, while sheltered from
the weather by its lofty sides, enjoys an extensive pros-
pect of the sea,
Returning to the village, we resumed our carriage, and
passing by Shanklin church, a neat old edifice, we came
to Bonchurch village, which is quietly seated in what is
138 GRAVES OF DAIRYMANâ€™S DAUGHTER,
called the undercliff, a deep recess between a very lofty
eminence or down on the inland side, and a high bank
towards the sea. We got out of the carriage and pro-
ceeded along the bank, for the sake of the view which it
presented of some excellent scenery not before disclosed.
Below the village we threaded the way down a foot-path
to the road, and got into our carriage, our course now
lying up a valley between gently sloping but lofty hills
on either side. Landscapes of peculiar beauty and varie-
ty, exhibiting numberless fields of grain nearly ripe for
the harvest, herds of cattle and flocks of sheep, with here
and there a company of hay-makers busily employed, pre-
sented themselves in ever-changing aspects as we ascend-
ed or descended the successive slopes of this delightful
valley. We had long in sight, and at length passed at
some distance, the splendid seat and extensive park and
grounds of Lord Yarborough, called Appuldurcomb,
Travellers have given rapturous descriptions of the inte-
rior and its rich collections of paintings and sculpture.
Of these we shall probably never have a sight; but it
was commended to our notice by circumstances of a very
different kind. It was there that the sister of the Dairy-
manâ€™s Daughter died, whose funeral Mr. Richmond at-
tended at the request of the latter; and where, on a visit
about a week after, he had his first conversation with her
whose religious experience, as narrated by that faithful
minister, has had a more extensive influence in the world
than ever attended any similar publication. He gives in
the Dairymanâ€™s Daughter a correct account of the situa-
tion and appearance of Appuldurcomb, and of the adja-
cent scenery. We saw â€œthe summit of the hill adjoin-
ingâ€ the venerable mansion, to which he ascended after
the visit referred to ; the triangular pyramid of stone near
which he sat down to meditate, oa the magnificent sur-
rounding prospect. In full view of this elevated spot we
read his extended description, and turned southward, and
south-eastward, and northward, and westward, and ad-
mired, as he had done, the unequalled beauty of the
scene. Certainly neither of us had ever read the descriptive
AND YOUNG COTTAGER, 189
part of the Dairymanâ€™s Daughter with the like interest
und emotions. My feelings obliged me to resign the
book to my companions, and under the various emotions
the narrative and the scene excited, it was difficult for any
of us to prosecute our reading; but with an intensity of
interest: we gazed upon the lovely prospect until it could
be no Jonger seen.
We now approached Arreton, the village in the ehurch-
ard of which lie interred the mortal remains of Eliza-
eth Wallbridge, the sainted daughter of the Dairyman.
About a mile from it we stopped before the cottage from
whieh her soul ascended to its rest, and were kindly re-
ceived by her ee brother, a man now advanced in
years, and still a resident in the mansion of his birth.
He showed us Elizabethâ€™s Bible, in which was simply
written, â€œ Elizabeth Wallbridge, daughter.of Joseph and
Elizabeth Wallbridge ; bern 1771â€”
us up stairs into the room in which she expired. We
added our names to a long list in a book kept by her
brother for the purpose, and then took our leaye; Mr.
Wallbridge in a very respectful manner thanking us for
Our simplicity in finding satisfaction in such a visit,
would be a fruitful subject of derision to men of the
world; but if they will indulge our simplicity, and we
can enjoy feelings such as these scenes excited, let them
laugh, and we will delight in everything calculated. to
cherish the memory of the pious dead.
On leaving the cottage, our path was the same as that
over which moved the funeral procession of the Dairy-
manâ€™s Daughter, in the manner so affectingly described
by Mr. Richmond. It lay through a narrow but excel-
lent road, winding between high green hedges, and some-
times under an arch formed by the trees on either side ;
a lofty cultivated hill on the right, and a charming view
of the luxuriant valley now and then breaking upon us
to the left. As we read the account of the solemn
passage of the mourning yet rejoicing relatives and friends
of the deceased, we were ready almost to realize its ac-
140 GRAVES OF DAIRYMANâ€™S DAUGHTER, ETC.
tual vision, and-hear the pious strains of melody as they
then filled the air and ascended to the skies. â€˜Thus pre-
pared, we reached Arreton church, and leaving our car-
iage to ascend the hill without us, we went to the grave
of Elizabeth, read the beautiful lines which love of her
character, and the recollection of her triumphant death
have caused to be inscribed on her simple monument,
meditated for a while on her present glorious state, drop-
a a tear of sympathy, but not of sorrow, and silently re-
From this to Newport, our destined resting-place, we
could only talk on things connected with the scenesyand
incidents, and reflections of the day ; uniting in the sen-
timent, that Paris, with all its palaces, and gardens, and
paintings, and statues, had afforded no such gratification
to our eyes as the glorious works of God on which the
had dwelt'in this enchanting isjgnd ; and none of its mul-
tiplied attractions â€˜such an inward feast as the mental
associations. of this dayâ€™s travel had supplied.
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TargetNamespace.1: Expecting namespace 'http://www.uflib.ufl.edu/digital/metadata/ufdc2/', but the target namespace of the schema document is 'http://digital.uflib.ufl.edu/metadata/ufdc2/'.
The element type "div" must be terminated by the matching end-tag "