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men and things and books; matters that occurred to my eyes and my understanding, as I journeyed over England and Scotland in a series of years. Every thing new and curious I noted down, and among the rest, was particularly careful to remark the storys and characters of the most extraordinary women that came in my way. The Memoirs therefore are a Kime/ia, or literary Miscellany; and the ladies mentioned therein, the choice things.
Women of fense and breeding were always the objects of my admiration. I ever honored them as the noblest part of the human creation: And when in travelling, fortune brought me acquainted with those female worthies, whose storys to me appeared entertaining and improving, their notions just and beautiful, and their virtues such as shed a lustre on their souls, and made them glorious, creatures, I thought I could not be too exact in recording them: And now I imagine I cannot do my country a better piece of service, according to my abilities, than to lay before the Public the Memoirs of those ladies. To this the following Historys are owing. As I marked down the extraordinary men I met in journeying: The women surely ought not to be neglected. My accounts of them, and of those things and matters which to me seemed new and curious when
they they occurred, are as compleat as I was able to make them. It was my duty to do it, as well as I was able. But how I have succeeded, is submitted to you first, as an unexceptionable umpire; and in the next place, to every reader.
I have only to add, that the ladies named in the Table of Contents, and most of those mentioned occasionally in the Memoirs, are dead and gone. Excepting Mrs. Chawcer and Mrs. yanson, Mrs. Scbbmberg% Miss West, and Miss Howel, and the happy recluses of Richmond/hire, they are all arrived at the highest degree of happyness and glory, that human creatures are capable of; for in this life they were continually advancing towards God and heaven, and of necessity must have gained the invisible top of the glorious pyramid.
Mrs. Benlow, whose life is the first you sit down to, died a few weeks ago, the 9th of January last. She departed in an instant. Her taper was blown out in the sanctuary. At morning prayer, in chapel, in the twinkling of an eye, that elegant, and most agreeable woman, expired. Her understanding, will and affections, were ever sanctifyed, she lived in a perpetual, spiritual communion with the wisest and best of Beings, and easily dropt the terrestrial veil, as it were her mantle, to ascend to those happy regions, where Jesus>
the the brightness of his Father's glory (a), and the
express image oj his person, displays the bright
'. J! '• •*.'' beams • . r • i ::.:.htv'- 1 .' '. ->
(a) The brightness of the Father's glory, &c.J As' these words of St. Paul have been thought difficult tc* understand, and have .had. divsrs interpretations, you, Madam, who are a constant reader and admirer of. the. Sacred Epistle to the Hebrews^mzy perhaps, be pleased with my observing in a note——that as the word Apaur.
J'a[ma made use of by the Apostle to express the word. rightness, it signifies a shining light 'derjve'd from a Iu-' minous body, and must be used .figuratively when ap-j* plied to things not'. properly luminous:;: and therefore, when Jesus is called die brightness of God's glory,; that;
a bright ray of his glory, it must, and can_ only mean' that, the great Being called the Son ofGoft manisests to' a certain degree the truth, wisdom, goodness and power' of God, is a fining Instanceand Examplar of'those properties which are the great glory of the Supreme Being,: the Universal Father, and has .displayed them to the world in the clearest manner. • The Son manisests in hit' lise and doctrine the attributes of.the Father. He de- clares his will, omnipotence,' and kindness to mankind, and for this reason, is the brightness of God, & Ray, of tisglory. '. '." '/ *:
That as to the words Character Us hupostafeos autou
. express image ef his Person, character fignifys a
mark impressed or engraven, and from hence used metaphorically for any'note that distinguishes one thing from another, and for whatever eminently and peculiarly re-' presents another: that as to the word huposinscos, it doe* not mean Person, as we render it;. jt has no such signification in any ancient author. The.wotd signifies Sub-% Jhnce or Essence, and in respect of Gpd^ as he is immaterial, a pure£pirit, can mean dntythe properties essen-' jial to him, which are the essence of his nature. The properties are to Deity, what extension, solidity, djvifibility, &c.' are to matter. This is all the idea we'ean* * • have
beams of his Majesty to the fenses of all his happy subjects.
have of God's substance or esiencei Jt.fbllows then, in tlie first place, that as eveiy image. must be a different thing from him, or what it is the image of, cannot be the person or thing it represents, but only the likeness thereof; then Jesus Christ can only be the likeness bf God;
he cannot be that God he. is the likeness or image of. >
In the ne^t place, as God hath neither parts nor paffi* bns, and his properties are all we can conceive of his eft Icnce, therefore, Christ's being the express Image ef hi: Person^ as itrjs|expreiTed in the.English Bible, canwily mean, that there is a concurrence of the Fatbe/'s pro? perties in the Son, that is, the Son is a ju/f riprtsentaiien of tbt Father's properties.: «—— He is \hkr' express Image of the Father, in wisdom, goodneft, mercy, pai tie nee, &c. In every thing the Father did, or appeared to dor he is the express Image of his Hypostasis. This most certainly was the idea the Apostle h'ad'-to communicate to the Hebrews. It is a rational and beautiful account of the Lord Jesus. Like the Father, he is full ef grace and truth. He upholds all things by the wotd of his power, that is, by the power given to him in %eaven and in earth.
And when he had by himself purged- o«r-sifts, he fat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high: When he had informed the world what God required of mankind, in order to their being admitted itj.to his favor, notwithstanding they had sinned and fa!Jen short of the glory of God, and had so laid before them the will of their heavenly Father, as to make them no longer the servants of sin, but to become the servant* .of righteousness (by which means Christ put an end to fin b^ himself, by himself purged our sins) then had he the privilege granted him to pass into the heavens, and sit on the tight hand of the throne of the Majesty of the Most High. This makes our religion a delightful thing. In this view of it, it appears very glorious and heavenly.
If it be possible, may you, Madam, die th« death of this admirable woman. As you hasten, as for life and foul, to obtain that holyness without which no one shall see the
Lord that godlike temper of mind, ancj
obedient practice of life, which are necessa-f ry to our dying into happyness, may you never know the miseries of a lingering deathbed sickness; the drenchings, cuttings, burnings, blisterings, and convulsions of the body; the obstructed, darkened, impaired faculties of the mind, and the killing formalities of weeping, separating friends; but at once depart, and have an easy access to all the blessings of those who die in the Lord. This, and every blessing of time and of eternity, % wish you. ... .
Your most faithful humble servant.