Page images
PDF
EPUB
[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Mrs. Hannah More.—Nearly fifty years have passed away since this good and useful woman began to exert her pen to effect a moral change in the minds of the rising generation; and few writers have equalled her in the application of great talents to the improvement of society, from the humblest to the most exalted station in life. When licentious principles began to be propagated with industrious zeal, and to threaten the very foundation of all moral and social order, then did this Christian Heroine stand foremost to oppose the inroads of the enemies of righteousness. It is said, that by the power of her reasoning and the elegance of her

[ocr errors]

compositions, she succeeded, if the phrase may be admitted, in rendering piety fashionable and popular, when the very name of religion was treated with indifference, if not with absolute contempt. Truly in this case may it be said. “ When the veil of mortality descends upon splendid genius, that has long been devoted to the instruction and best interest of mankind, the noblest monument that can be erected to commemorate its worth, and perpetuate its usefulness, is to hand down such excellence for the evidence and imitation of not only the present, but of future generation.-Born 1745—Died 1833.

MRS. ELIZABETH CARTER.-The biographer of this learned lady thus speaks, (for be it remembered she acquired, in early life, a proficiency in languages to an extraordinary degree) “But among her studies, there was one which she never neglected ; one which was always dear to her, from her earliest infancy to the latest period of her life, and in which she made a continual improvement. This was that of religion, which was her constant care and greatest delight. Her acquaintance with the Bible, some part of which she never failed

G

to read every day, was as complete as her belief in it was sincere.

And no person ever endeavoured more, and few with greater success, to regulate the whole of their conduct by that unerring guide.-Her piety was indeed the very piety of the gospel, shown not by enthusiasm, or depreciating that of others, but by a calm, rational, and constant devotion, and the inost unwearied attention to acquire the temper, and practice the duties of a Christian life. She never thanked God, like the proud Pharisee, that she was not like others; but rather, like the Publican, besought him to be merciful to her a sinner.

Miss ELIZABETH SMITH.—After noticing the many excellent qualities of this amiable and gifted young lady, it is said (speaking of her great learning) nothing however was neglected which a ought to know; no duty was omitted which her situation in life required her to perform. But the part of her charaeter on which continues her biographer, “I dwell with the greatest satisfaction, is that exalted piety which seemed always to raise her above this world; and taught her, at sixteen years of age, to resign its riches and its pleasures almost without

woman

مر

regret, and to support with dignity a very unexpected change of situation. For some years before her death, the Holy Scriptures were her principal study; and she translated from the Hebrew the whole book of Job, &c. &c. The benefit which she herself derived from these studies, must be evident to those who witnessed the patience and resignation with which she supported a long and painful ilness, the sweet attention which she always showed to the feelings of her parents, and the heavenly composure with which she looked forward to the awful change which has now removed her to a world where' as one of her friends observes, her gentle, pure, and enlightened spirit will find itself more at home than in this land of shadows.' She was born at Burnhall, in the county of Durham, 1776; and finished her course in the thirtieth year of her age.

MRS. SARAH TRIMMER.—This ingenious, clever, and useful woman, was born at Ipswich, January 6th, and after receiving an excellent education under the eye of her father, Mr. Joshua Kirby, married Mr. Trimmer when in the 21st year of her age, by

[ocr errors]

" that

whom she had twelve children, to whose education it appears she devoted herself with exemplary assiduity. Perhaps we are indebted to the circumstance of Mrs. Trimmer's having children of her own to educate, for the idea that suggested her excellent plans of instruction ; consequently, the appearance of so much important information, as that which pervades almost every page of her writings. Before the appearance of her Sacred History, “how often did it happen ” says her biographer, the tender mother was at a loss to reply to the questions of her intelligent child when reading the Saered Volume; how frequently did she wish for that help which was now afforded her.” Many a mother may be said to have expressed the same opinion as the lady who wrote to Mrs. T. thus“you, my dear Madam, have been my model ever since I undertook the very important charge of educating my children myself. Your prints adorn my school room, and the description of them has brought my children very forward in sacred and profane history. All your other books are in my library. Your Sacred History we are now reading,

« PreviousContinue »