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religious knowledge. Of these, however, I will only insert one. M. “My darling, it grieves me to see you so ill. Mumma cannot make you well; but she prays to God for you, and he can.” ——H. “I know he can, mamma.”——M. “Do you love God?” H. “Yes, mamma, indeed I do.”—M. “Should you like to go to Heaven, where God lives, and all good children go 2"—H. “Yes, dear manuma, I should indeed.” M. “Whom should you see is heaven besides?”—H. “Jesus Christ.”— M. “And do you love Him *—H. “O yes, manuma.”—M “Do you often pray to him, and think of your little Hymns :"—H. “ Not often now, I am so sick."—M. “You know, my dailing, that God sends us sickness for our good.”—H. “Yes, mamma, I know he does.” It is remarkable, that in a conversation which he himself introduced before the commencement of his illness, he said he should like very much to go to heaven, if it were not for the necessity of dying; areservation which probably occurred to him from his having observe", a few months before, the sufferings of a servant previous to her death; but during his illness, he never once mentioned the hour of death, or spoke of going to heaven, except in the most cheerful and unconditional manner. Lest I should tire your readers, Mr. Editor, with these little details, interesting, no doubt, chiefly to the fond heart of a parent, I will transcribe but one other short conver. sation, which took place between my beloved child and mysels, about three of four hours only before the fatal change came ou. I asked him, whether he wished to be in heaven.—H. “Yes, papa.”—P. “Who shall you see there?"—H. “God, papa.”—P. “And any one besides?"—H. “Yes, Jesus Christ.”—. P. “What did he do for you?”—H... I forget Papa"(He was now very weak and exhausted, both in mind and body.)—P. “Did he not die soryou on the cross?"—H. “oyes, papa." –P. “What will he do for you ?"—My dear boy, instead of directly replying as to the hoppiness which was to be expected from his Saviour in heaven, immediately answered, from the impression of what he actually felt, “He comforts me." I shall never so. get the peaceful and feeling tone in which ony beloved child uttered these words. They seemed evidently to come from his heart, aud to express all that they simply mean.— Blessed Lord ' I thank thee for thy condescension and love to this little lamb of thy flock I believe that thou didst indeed comfort him, and bestow upon him that *weetness and patience which so strongly marked his .dispositions and behaviour du
ring the whole of his long illness; and . I cannot doubt that thou wert with him in the dark valley, into which he was just entering when he pronounced the preceding reply. I did not pursue my questions any farther, as he was desirous of being perfectly quiet; except to ask him, as I was leaving the room, how he felt To which he answered, “Better, papa; I feel just beginning to be better." Within a few hours after this little conversation, a trembling fit came on; in one of the intervals of which, reclining his side-lace on the pillow, and looking earnestly and stedfastly upwards, with an eye lighted up with transient brilliancy, and more than mortal expression, we beheld his face, as it had been the face of an angel. “Sweet spirit! thou wast shortly afterwards released from the burthen of the flesh; from all those pains and sufferings from which our fondest affection could not save thee! And I doubt not but thou art resting in the arms of a far tenderer parent. Could I wish to recal thee from that blissful state? Oh no!". Could I say to thee, Thou shalt weep no morethe days of thy mourning are ended? Could I hope to shew thee any thing in this world, like the glory of God, and of the Laub: Or raise thee to any honour here, like receiving a crown of life?” “Thou art, indeed, infinitely happy; all I could most ardently wish for thee is granted, though granted, I am apt to think, too soon." But a time will come, when I shall see reason to think otherwise. Had he been spared, God only knows how great a snare his very loveliness might have proved to us. In mercy, therefore, doubtless in infinite mercy to him and to us, he has taken from us the delight of our eyes and of our hearts. He has housed this sweet lanub, and sheltered him from all the storms and dangers of life in the bosom of that gracious Redeemer, who when on earth spoke those condescendiug and consoling words, “Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” May we be made meet to follow our beloved child at whatever hour our Lord shall call! And while we entreat him, in the mean time, to comfort our wounded hearts, may we never forget those lessons of heavenly wisdom, which we are now learning in this house of our pilgrimage and mourning! As this paper may possibly meet the eye either of some parent who may now be under similar circumstances of affliction with myself, or of some one who may shortly be * See the “Friendly Visit to the House of Mourning.”
brought into them, I may be allowed to mention, that, in addition to the consolation which the-well-known and beautiful tract of the late excellent Mr. Cecil is calculated to afford to every mourner, I derived the mostsolid and delightful comfort from a sermon by Dr. Doddridge, on Submission to Divine Providence in the Death of Children; in which the whole of this interesting subject is so fully unfolded and so admirably applied, that I cannot but strongly recommend the frequent perusal of it to every bereaved parent, but more partleularly to every one who, like me, may be lamenting the loss of an amiable and promising child in very early life.
After all, to adopt the words of a most pious friend, and deeper fellow-sufferer, which in my own case I have found to be strictly true, “the most substantial relief which I experienced, was not so much from distinct arguments proving the reasonableness of resignation; but rather the endeavour te turn the channel of the affections into a pious course. Five minutes fervent prayer , seemed to me to give more substantial relief than an hour's meditation on topics the justice of which could not be questioned. In prayer I conversed with God, I appealed to God, I humbled myself before God, I became resigned to God, I adored God, I loved God, and a holy tranquillity of mind insensibly stole upon me; God was with me whilst I was with him; and if God be with us, we need not nuind what we suffer; God was with the martyrs in the flames, and they undauntedly sang praises in the midst
of the fires.” I will trespass no farther on your indultence than to add, that if the preceding detail, too personal perhaps, and particular, to be generally interesting, should yet tend to excite parents to more than ordinary care and diligence in the religious instruction of • their younger children, which, as in this intance, may, through the Divine blessing, be owarded with a dying testimony from any of whom they may be deprived, on which they may reflect with gratitude and joy as long as they live, the object of this sittle ommunication will be abuudantly answered,
REV. MILES ATKINSON,
Feb. —Died at Leeds, the Rev. Miles Atkinson, A. B. minister of St. Paul's *tch in that town, vicar of Kippax, * lecturer in the parish church of Leeds. * funeral sermon was preached in St. Paul's church, on the 17th February, by the
Rev. Thomas Dikes, LL.B. minister of St. John's church, Hull, and it has since been published for the benefit of the family of Mr. Atkinson. From this excellent sermon we extract a few particulars". Mr. Atkinson officiated in the parish church of Leeds nearly fifty years. The congregation which statedly attended his mi. nistry was one of the largest in the kingdom, and is supposed to have consisted of several thousand persons. Though his income was extremely limited, yet he brought up a numerous offspring in a manner the most creditable to himself, and the most be neficial to them. The doctrines which Mr. Atkinson taught were uniformly those of our church—that man is a fallen corrupt creature, “far gone from his original righteousness;"—that we must be indebted for our justification entirely to the mercy of God, “through the redemption which is in Jesus Christ;"—and that the renewal of the heart in righteousness and true holiness is absolutely neces. sary, in order to our being made “meet for the inheritance of the saints in light.” Nor did he consider these doctrines as curious questions, or abstract points of speculation, but as nuotives to practice, as the powerful means of sanctifying the heart, and raising the affections to heaven. He, therefore, often entered into the detail of moral precept, and instructed his flock in all those relative duties which were required of them. The example of Mr. Atkinson supported and enforced the doctrines which he taught. He was distinguished by fortitude and fidelity in his religious course. In early life he rejected offers of preferment which were made to him, on condition of laying aside his obnoxious religion. To the close of his days he boldly and faithfully set forth the whole counsel of God, never speaking smooth things to please men; never sparing a sin because it was fashionable; never composing his sermons so as to please the higher ranks, while he left the poor to perish for lack of knowledge. His language was plain, but fervent; his rebukes earnest; and many who heard him were led to renounce their sins, and turn to God. His private life was marked with the same integrity which dis tinguished his public ministry. Mr. Atkinson took incredible pains in vi. siting the poor and sick of his flock, sometimes employing five or six hours of the day in this arduous duty. He made a rule to
* Some Memoirs of the deceased, with a volume of his Serinons, will shortly be published for the benefit of his family.
spend a considerable time with each.individual, that he might speak fully and clearly the words of salvation. He instructed the ignorant, supported the weak, comforted the feeble-minded, and directed the dying penitent to “ the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." He taught his flock not only publicly, but from house to house; nor was his zeal fluctuating or evanescent: never did it shine brighter than in the evening of his days. Nor did his zeal spend itself on the circumstantials of religion, or in promoting some favourite sentiment; his object was to uphold the interests of pure religion and genuine goodness. The King had not a more loyal subject, nor the Church of England a more zealous friend. The law of kindness dwelt on his tongue, and was inscribed on his heart. He was a living witness that religion has no tendency to spread a gloom through a house. Has he a child that will not rise up and call him blessed? Has be a friend that will not long remember those words of kindness, and those looks of affection, which were the genuine indications of a mind warmed with benignity and love? It was his affection which won the hearts of so many of his congregation. It was this which caused him to be interred amidst the sighs, and groans, and tears of his numerous people. It was this which softened the severity of reproof, and couvinced his hearers that the feelings of the preacher were in unison with those of the Apostle, when he said to the Jews ‘Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God sor Israel is, that they may be saved.’” His humility displayed itself conspicuously in his last illness. He was brought to the grave by a protracted and painful disease; but amidst his severest sufferings he was
Feb. 25. In Harley-street, Henry Hope, Esq. one of the most eminent merchants of his time. He has left behind him about 1,200,000l.
March 14. In his 76th year, his Grace the Duke of Grafton. -
At Bala, aged 84, Mrs. Roberts, who resided 45 years on a small farm in great distress, and for nine years received relief from
ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTs.
A SF nious INovi Rrr, and Titt's, have been received. We know not how the acknow.
Louisa; Throa Nis; Sorater; T. W.; and S., are under consideration.
Methodists. T.Y. will appear.
No. for February, p. 79, col. 2, 1.6
persectly resigned to the will of God. As his outward man perished his inward man was renewed. He was full of expressions of gratitude to God for his mercies. He appeared to keep his eye steadily fixed on his Redeemer, and to have maintained an unshaken confidence in the promises of God. As he awoke out of sleep on a certain morning, he was heard to say, “I am waiting
for thy salvation, O Lord. I long to be dissolved and to be with Christ." His faith was tempered with the deepest humility. He acknowledged and bewailed the sinfulness of his nature, and humbled himself in the dust. before the God ef heaven. He often said “God be merciful to me a sinner! I have no hope but i. Jesus Christ. I feel it is an awful thing to die, yet I know whom I have believed, and I shall not be forsaken.” This sense of his unworthiness made him value the Saviour of sinners. Whilst life and strength remained he ceased not to exhort, comfort, and edify his children and family. His last lingering words dwelt on the delightful theme which interested his heart. A short time before his death he said to his family, l have a thousand things to say to you; and he then made several efforts to speak, but the powers of utterance failed. He again revived, and poured out his soul in servent prayer, imploring the blessing of God upon them all; and in a few hours expired.
Such was the death of this venerable minis
ter of Christ.“His soul has taken its flight from these abodes of sin and sorrow. . His labours are done, . His sufferings are ended. His work is finished. He has entered into rest," and, through the merits of his Redeemer, he has obtained that crown of righteousness which fadeth not away."
the parish. But having, with the aid of some friends, instituted a suit in Chancery against the executors of a person to whom she was next of kin, she obtained, about six months ago, a decree, which put her in possession of 150,000l. April 6. At Windsor, Hugh Elliott Pearson, eldest son of the Rev. Hugh Pearson,
aged about five years and a half.
read advances. for Bertier, read ie.
FRENCH author, who was engaged in refuting the opinion that St. Paul, St. Philip, and St. Luke, preached the Gospel in Gaul, which he justly represents to be about as well founded as the derivation of the first kings of France, from Francio, son of Priam—has the following quotation from Tillemont :—“ For as to the objection which some have brought forward, that according to Scripture and tradition, the Gospel was carried, by the Apostles, all over the World, even prior to the destruction of Jerusalem, all which can be adduced did not prevent St. Austin from believing that, in his time, there were many nations of Africa, among whom it had not been introduced, and several, where it had not been even preached. St. Frumentius established it in Ethiopia, in the fourth century. History assures us that the Goths, and other barbarians of the North, had not the faith till the time of Valerian ; and that Iberia received it under Constantine, by means of a female slave.” (Mem. Eccles, tom 4.) M. De Chiniac goes on to observe:—“ St. Paul, in his Epistle to the Romans, written about the year 5s, says also, that ‘ their *ound went into all the earth, and *it words unto the end of the *th.' Rom. x. 18. But doubtless, this must be understood of the coun* in which God had ordained that the Apostles should preach the ovel; for they afterwards tra"hust. Onseaw. No. 113.
velled into many places, whither they had not before penetrated, because they had received no directions to that effect. Chrysostom, Epiphanius, Jerome, and some other fathers, assert that St. Paul preached in Spain. From thence some have concluded that the Apostle passed through Gaul, leaving Trophimus at Arles, Sergius Paulus at Narbonne, and Crescens at Vienne. It is, however, very probable, that St. Paul was never in Spain. Pope Gelasius especially denies it”; and it is no unimportant consideration, that not the slightest trace is to be found in Spain, of the preaching of
St. Paulo; for what some modern
Spaniards have said does not merit the least attention. We find, indeed, that St. Paul proposed to himself a journey into Spain; ; but we have no proof that he accomplished his design. How can we be assured that, on this occasion, as on many others, the Spirit of God did not induce him to alter his intention ? What appears certain is, that in the Epistles written from Rome, where St. Paul was not then going to make any stay—Praeteriens wideam vos—the Apostle says nothing more about going into Spain, but constantly observes that he desires, and hopes, speedily to return to the East, being waiting only till Timothy could join him ; provided also, that he came shortly; which intimates that he would depart before his arrival, if it were long delayed. St. Athanasius, who is brought forward to prove that St. Paul preached in Spain, only says, that the Apos
the was ready to gothither” to oxygi. It is the same with St. Cyril of Jerusalem. There is every reason to believe that the other fathers knew nothing further; and that, though they have spoken more positively, they have only presumed upon what St. Paul himself says to the Romansi.” The above arguments are perfectly applicable to the question in hand; since, if it can be proved that St. Paul did not visit Spain, it will be admitted to be even much less probable that he ever entered England. It now only remains to consider one more circumstance, which has been conceived to favour the opinion of St. Paul's passage hither. Smollett says, “Nor was this (Pomponia Graecina) in all likelihood, the only fair patroness of this religion in Britain; for there is great reason to believe that the Claudia mentioned by St. Paul in his Epistles, was the same British lady, afterwards celebrated by the poet Martial, inasmuch as the Apostle, in his second Epistle to Timothy, takes notice of Claudia and Pudens; and Martial names this very Pudens as the husband of Claudia Rufina f.” In answer to this, it may be observed, that though the identity of Claudia should be admitted, which, however, Bishop Stillingfleet doubts $) it will by no means follow that she was converted by St. Paul, or by any other minister in Britain; where, indeed, it does not appear, that although a British woman, she ever lived. For (to use
* Athan. ad Dracont. p. 956. t Dissertation sur le Tems oil la Religion Chretienne lut etablie dans les Gaules, par M. De Chiniac, in Pelloutier's Histoire Des Celtes, vol. vi. p. 253. Dr. Whitby has the following remark upon Rom. xv. 24. “Whensoever I take my journey into Spain,” &c. “Here is an evidence that St. Paul, in purposes of this nature, was not assisted by the Holy Ghost, they being purposes, which, by the providence of God, he was prevented from sulfilling.” : Hist. Eng. vol. i. p. 112. $Orig, Brit. p. 44.
the words of an old Chronicle) “at the commandment of the tyrant Nero (say they *, from Tacitus,) many noble Britons were brought to Rome, who there remaining their confederates, they held it an hononr to have their children named after the nobilitie of the Romans: and from Claudius Caesar was this lady Claudia named, who, according to her worth, was matched in marriage to Rufus, a gentleman of Rome, then a Coronellt, after a Senator, &c. for his sweetness of
behaviour called Pudens, who by his
grave persuasions, caused Martial to reform many things in his writings; and by him is commended for his humanity, piety, learning, and eloquence; as also his wife Claudia the Britain, for her beauty, faith, learning, and languages f.” And Archbishop Usher expressly says: “Claudia Britanna, uxor Pudentis, et mater Lini Episcopi Romani, Roma fidei Christianae celebris fuisse dicitur §.” It will not be improper to mention here, the opinions which have been held by some authors hitherto unnoticed. Grotius, in his zeal to prove that it was “agreeable to the wisdom of Providence to give the widest circulation to the best of doctrines,” includes (besides England) America, and the inmost recesses of the North, in his catalogue of the countries which received the Gospel, either by the means, or, at least, in the days, of the Apostles ||. As there can be little doubt that neither America nor Ireland were known to the ancients, we may venture to exclude them at once ; and, perhaps, we shall be inclined to consider as equally “fabulous and heroic” the tale respecting St. Thomas's tomb * Archbishop Parker, and Bale. t Colonel—answering to a military tribune. Usher says he was a “Centurio;" or a “Primipilaris, first Captain of a legion.” : Speed's Chronicle, b. vi. c. 9. § Brit. Eccles. Antiq. Index Chron. p. 1073. | Grot. De Verit. Lib. ii. Num. 18.