Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

highest degree resemble the illustrious women described in them. You are not idle as beauties generally be, nor remiss in decorating your mind with-attributes superior to ordinary humanity. You have a passion for that natural grace and pleasure that are annexed to truth and useful knowledge. You are diligent in obtaining understanding, that you may ever think and act to the glory of God, your own eternal happyness, and the good of others. '°

When youJostryx>ur .husband,-an excellent man, (if sincerity and the sweetest temper, adorned with wit, taste, and learning, are things that give excellence to men) and was not then, if -1 remember right, full .one' and twenty, you 'did not appear at the public places in the elegance of woe, but immediately with your infant daughter withdrew, and,in the remotest, silent retreat, determined to live an example of reason and goodness, and steer. right onwards in the ways of perfection. The misfortunes of losing your little charming companion, could not make a change in this resolution. You knew the world was a bauble, ^and its speculations and practices the products of interesl and pleasure; that under the common vizard of virtue and religion, falfiood and self, made a fair appearance, and that few, very few, had any other spring of action than temper or de

[graphic]

sign, tho all pretended to act by principles j and therefore, in that fine, romantic vale, through which the bright Glenkroden harmoniously winds along, you were fixed in your purpose, to neglecJ the things which are behind, and Jlretch forward to those before, for the prize that is in Christ Jesus, of God's high calling.

Ut cum carceri bas missos rapitungula currus \ In fiat equis auriga sum <v'tnctntibm, ilium ." Pr*ttrritum temnctti, extremos inter euntem.

:..'' . •; ■ ■ 11

Here, Madam, your sole ambition and

aim. is to be wife, and do good. In voluntary returns of the life and love your creator gave you, you daily pay your tribute to heaven; and by the best outward evidence of good works, you shew the inward regeneration and renewal of your mind. The doctrine of salvation takes up the course of your life. To be in Christ a new creature here, and hereafter in a glorified state with him and his God and Father, is your sole prayer.

In a word, while such numbers of your sex, of distinction and fortune, are swayed by natural temper, and the false opinions and customs of the world; and fansy themselves pious for swallowing the preparation of the doctors; that tritheiftic apostacy which Fathers and Councils forged, and Popes and Theologers have conspired to establish j you, Madam, A 3 concontinue to worship the Father of the universe only, through Christ the glorious Mediator j and by your counsel, your favor, and your example, do all that is possible for one mortal to do, to advance rectitude, and promote original christian religion, among the wild inhabitants of the mountains you live on. A trinity in unity is no part of your confession of faith. You want not spectacle and pleasure to save you from falling into the languid state of heaviness and affliction. Your religion attaches you to truth, and the honor of God—to that venerable Christianity which the sacred authors of the Bible reveled: And your books and philosophy, your linnen-work and country business, leave no room for regretting the tumultuous situation. They hinder you from ever sensing the irksomeness of solitude and indolence. By the happyest employments of time, you make the desart a paradice, and in the wildest part of the universe, form a state of happyness, that is as much superior, I believe, to what a multiplicity of amusements, and the excess of expensive action can produce in the world, as the tranquil state of beatifyed beings is beyond the joys of mortals. To fay it, piety and goodness are the bright criterions of your life. You are a blessing to the poor all round you. You enlighten their minds. You cloath and feed their bodies.

[graphic]

If this be the exact picture of Mrs. Monk" house, and sure I am it is not over-painted, then to whom should I dedicat but to you, Madam, a work that contains a history of as valuable and extraordinary women as ever lived in privat life; women of a philosophical genius, a considerable learning, and a rational benevolence j engaged in various perplexing scenes; subject to many untoward incidents; but still appearing as formed of nobler materials than the dust of the? ground, a meUore Into, and according to the measure of mortals, perfect even as our Father in heaven is perfect. In religion, like you, they were all strict Unitarians. Their faith was pure and scriptural: And to it they added the affecting, transforming influences of the gospel j those invaluable influences which give a substance to what is unseen j — a presence to the future things of the other world.

Such, Madam, were the ladies whose Memoirs I lay before you, and therefore I imagine you will be pleased with the faithful accounts I give of every interesting particular relating to them. It was my fortune to become acquainted with them in my perambulations over Great Britain, and by mere accidents, in the manner my good genius made me known to Mr. Monkhduse and .his" kdy, when it brought-me first to your hof

A 4 pitable pitable, happy mansion, the night I lost iny way in my journey from'Wharton-kall to Amblefide, and was greatly distressed by a mischief I had received, and a thousand perils that surrounded me on the fells of Westmorland. Many a time has my uncommon passion for the extraordinary works of nature* and other curious things, brought me into such perplexed circumstances, and obliged me to pass a night in a cave, or lie on the fern of a mountain: but I had always reason to rejoyce in the end for the fortunat acquaintance my adversity produced. I will tell you a short story.

[graphic]

As I travelled once in the month of September, over a wild part of Tcrkjhire, and fansyed in the afternoon that I was near the place I intended to rest at, it appeared from a great water we came to, that we had for half a day been going wrong, and were many a mile from any village. This was vexatious j and to perplex it higher, the winds began to blow outrageously, the clouds gathered, and as the evening advanced, the rain came down like water-spouts from the heavens. All the good that offered was the ruins of a nunnery within a few yards of the water, and among the walls once sacred to devotion, a part of an arch that was enough to shelter us and our beasts from the floods and tempest. Into this we entered: the

horses

« AnteriorContinuar »