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IS A AC RICHARDSON,
WHO DEPARTED THIS LIFE AT VENTNOR, ON THE ISLE OF WIGHT,
FIFTH MONTH 3RD, 1810.
“Be ye followers of them, who through faith and patience inherit the
promises.”—Heb. v. 12.
CHARLES GILPIN, BISHOPSGATE STREET WITHOUT;
AND SOLD BY
EDWARD MARSH, 84, HOUNDSDITCH, AND OTHER BOOKSELLERS.
The reader of the following pages may be apprised that none of the papers from which they are compiled, were written with the most distant apprehension of ever being printed; and some of the most valuable were penned in so concealed a style, that only a sister, who was acquainted with his manner, was capable of perusing them. Of course many little corrections have been found needful, to fit them for publication. Under these circumstances, it is hoped that the candid and indulgent reader will be able to excuse such faults of style or composition as yet remain.
Next to the Holy Scriptures, there is, perhaps, no description of writings, which have so direct a tendency to improve the mind as sound Religious Biography. In it, we meet with many circumstances or allusions which come home to our own case, in the way of example, or by counsel, instruction, or consolation, conveyed either directly or incidentally. There is often much that interests the mind of the young reader, especially.
One motive for the present attempt has been the persuasion, that this little fragment will be perused with satisfaction, and perhaps to profit, by many amongst the kindred of Isaac Richardson, who are very numerous.
A paper was found amongst his scraps, purporting that at the time when it was written, he had ascertained that there were living, 318 descendants of the first of his ancestors, on his father's side, who joined the Society of Friends. His mother's relations also, are very numerous. of these he was known, as well as by a large number of persons with whom he was wont to associate in pursuit of benevolent objects. A hope is entertained, that it may be useful to unveil to both these classes, a little of that work of Divine Grace, through the influence of which he was favoured to witness preservation from many of the corruptions which abound in the world ; and to know, in a good degree, his will brought into subjection to the Divine will; and some capacity received to labour for the improve
ment and welfare of some of his fellow-mortals, and for the promotion of the Glory of God.
Perhaps it may be thought by some, that there are more memoirs already published than are well read, and that there is no need to obtrude on public notice, so unimportant and obscure a character. It is perfectly true, that the writings of the religious Society of Friends are, by some of their own members, far too little valued ; who, at the same time, complain of the want of instruction. But in the great day of account, will it not be to the condemnation of such as neglect the means of improvement which are within their reach, and who yet complain of their Lord, as one who seeks to gather where he has not strewed, and to reap where 'he hath not sown. The language of our blessed Lord was, “To him that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance : but from that hath not, shall be taken away, even that which he hath.” How awful also is the instruction conveyed in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, to such as neglect their opportunities, and. despise their privileges. “They have Moses and the Prophets, let them hear them. If they hear not Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rose from the dead.” The rich sensualist had slighted his own privileges, and was aware that his brethren were doing the same ; and how earnestly does he entreat that one, known on earth only as a beggar should become their instructor.
To those who were best acquainted with the subject of this Memoir, it was interesting to observe the just estimate which he appeared to entertain of the accumulation of wealth, - that snare whereby so many are entangled. He was also guarded against the engrossing tendency of the necessary cares of business, endeavouirng to keep in true moderation, -rather, like Mary of old, “choosing the one
thing needful,"—the better part, sitting at his Lord's feet, (as was evidently his practice) by private retirement, or in religious meetings—there listening to the Lord's voice in the secret of the heart, seeking to commune with Him in spirit, whom he knew, by blessed experience, to teach as never man taught; with Him who remains to be “ The way, the truth, and the life,” to all who truly believe in his spiritual appearance, as well as in his outward manifestation in the flesh; and who truly love and serve him.
There is another description of persons who have been borne in mind in the compilation of this little tract, viz., that numerous class, who suffer from consumptive diseasethat dispensation of mercy to very many. A disease which speaks in a language which cannot be mistaken, plainly forewarning that dissolution is approaching. A disease, which, whilst it separates from the cares, and gradually weans the mind from the love of this world, yet spares for a sufficient time; and leaves the intellect sufficiently clear, to admit of the mind of the sufferer with his past hours—asking them what report they bore to heaven, and how they might have borne more welcome news”—to ruminate on things past, present, and to come; and to fly for refuge to the hope set before him in the Gospel. He is at the same time forcibly impelled, and sufficiently at liberty, to listen to the sweet soft voice of our compassionate Redeemer; who calleth now, as formerly, “ Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly of heart, and ye shall find rest to your souls ; for my yoke is easy, burthen is light." We are persuaded, that some of the class above alluded peruse these pages
with lively interest; and if they may but derive any hint of caution or instruction, in refer