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FROM HER BIRTH TO HER MARRIAGE.
FROM A.D. 1759, TO ABOUT 1785.
Introductory remarks-Her birth-Piety of her parents Concern for the
conversion of their children-Gaiety of Mrs. HAWKES in her younger years-Her love of music and reading-Her marriage.
The devout and discerning reader will not have proceeded far in this volume, without feeling that it displays a character of unusual vigour in the christian life ; and it is believed that no such reader will close the volume, without thanking God for the examples which it offers of faith and wisdom in his servants, and the evidence which it gives of His own gracious dealings.
The subject of the following Memoir evidently belongs to that company spoken of in Rev. vii. 14. “ These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb:" and the precious faith which she obtained, “ though tried with fire, will be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter i. 7.
The intention of the following pages is to manifest, chiefly by a reference to the diary and letters of the deceased, the supporting and purifying nature of that
faith which she had embraced; and the genuine humility which accompanied her high attainments in the school of Christ.
Three sources of affliction may be marked in the history of this eminent servant of God. In the earlier part of her married life, she enjoyed worldly prosperity,
- but was severely exercised by domestic trials. To this course of discipline succeeded the loss of affluence and ease; which reduced her to a state of dependence on the bounty of others.
These trials were augmented during the latter years of her life by very acute and unusual bodily sufferings ;-and throughout this course, it is most instructive and encouraging to witness the power of religion in sustaining her spirit, and in raising her above all her complicated and lengthened trials.
Mrs. HAWKES was born in the year 1759, at Broad Marston in Gloucestershire, where her parents resided. She was the youngest of thirteen children, five of whom died in childhood. Her father, Mr. THOMAS EDEN, was a person of strong sense and real piety. He was intimately acquainted with the Rev. John Wesley; and his house was always open for the reception of that eminent servant of God, and his accompanying preachers, in their annual circuit visits to that place. Mr. Wesley used to preach, on these occasions, at Pebworth church, in a neighbouring village: but to provide more frequent opportunities for preaching the gospel, Mr. Eden built a small chapel at Broad Marston, near to his own house, the services of which were always performed by Mr. Wesley's preachers.* Mr. Eden also left an estate,
* The reader will remember that at the period when Mr. Eden lived, the Church of England was in a lamentably torpid state, which induced many of its pious members to encourage lay preachers.
of about £60. a year, to be expended in several parishes, for the education of children, from the age of five years, until they were able to go to work.
We may revert with equal pleasure to the christian character of Mrs. Eden. It appears that devoted piety, and strict attention to maternal duties, rendered her equally valuable both as a wife and a mother. The instructions which she gave her children were continually watered by her prayers and tears, as well as illustrated by her example.
Though there are sad instances to the contrary, yet it has been often seen that eminently pious parents have been blessed with eminently pious children. The command “ Train up a child in the way that he should go," is connected with the promise," and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” St. Paul, when bearing testimony to the unfeigned faith of Timothy, calls to remembrance that which also dwelt first in his grandmother Lois, and his mother Eunice. A short extract from a letter of Mrs. Eden's, dated Dec. 1781, addressed to her second daughter Mrs. Jones, will enable the reader to form some idea of Mrs. Eden's feelings both with respect to herself and her children. She writes as follows:
“I thankfully acknowledge the loving-kindness of the Lord, in carrying on his good work in my soul. Truly can I say, it is my desire to live entirely to his glory. Blessed be God, my health is much mended of late; and I trust the Lord will spare me longer, to make me fitter to enjoy his blissful presence in aglorious eternity. I hope you and Mr. Jones go on well, and press after greater depths of humble love, and more of the image of your heavenly Father. I have many cares and fears : but I cast them all on him who careth for me. The souls of