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aid. Perhaps his readiness “ to do good to all men as he had opportunity,” was in some measure owing to the confidence inspired by his uniform success. Though he possessed little of “this world's goods” himself, yet, in an important sense, he had at his command the resources of the Christian community. The extent of his personal influence was almost indefinite. Others might have the same benevolent wishes, but they had not the correspondent means with which to put them into execution. They could not bring their fellow-men to think and act in accordance with their own views.
In his social character, the “sweet influences of Christianity were harmoniously blended. He aimed to be a follower of Christ in the social and family circle. The impression which he uniformly gave his children, and intimate friends, was that the design of the family institution, as well as of all human friendships, is to lead the soul to God, and to the fellowship of heaven. Religion was the guiding motive of his domestic government. He did not fall into the error of some Christian parents, who, while they refrain from instilling into the minds of their children a desire for riches or for honorable connections, fill their youthful bosoms with the idea that human learning and intellectual distinctions are of more importance than Christianity itself-parents who seem to make the development of their children's intellects their only aim.
Mr. Cornelius, while he attached all due importance to mental endowment and cultivation, sought for his children first of all the kingdom of God and his righteousness." He did not copy the common and fatal mistake, that religious education must be postponed, till the child has arrived to the period of youth or manhood. On the birth of one of his children, he consecrated him to Christ audibly, and in a most affecting manner—an act of dedication so marked and so solemn, that it produced a
permanent impression on all who witnessed it. In the behalf, and in the presence of his children, he offered to God such prayer, as without doubt came up from the depths of a parent's heart, anxious beyond the power of expression for the everlasting happiness of his children-such prayer
“penetrates the heavens," and is heard by him who “ keepeth covenant and remembereth mercy.” He acted on the great truth, that the human mind and the human conscience are active, before the thoughts and feelings can be expressed by the medium of language. When he could discover by the color on the cheek, by the expression in the eye, or by the passionate exclamation, that there was a feeling of uneasiness in the bosom of his children, arising from moral causes, that there was a faint, feeble testimony of conscience that they had done improper actions, or were the subjects of improper feelings, then he believed that an education was commencing, which was to go on forever-that a train of influences was to be laid, which would end in glory or in wo eternal. He manifested little of that foolish indulgence, that misplaced and miscalled tenderness, which has been the ruin of not a few promising children. At the same time, there was no tyrannical exercise of authority, or rigorous family government. There was that sweet union of firmness and mildness, which shows that perfect domestic discipline is consistent with the highest degree of affection for children, or rather is inconsistent and incompatible with the want of it.
He was remarkably opportune in giving religious instruction to his household. There are times in the life of almost every child, when it shows peculiar affection for its father or mother, when from some unexplained causes, all the little fountains of joy and love in its bosom are sending out their streams to bless a parent's heart. Such opportunities Mr. Cornelius gratefully seized to com
municate some religious truth, or to awaken some pious emotion, and thus lead the infant mind directly to its Creator and Redeemer.
It may here be remarked, that the feelings of his children towards him as a friend and a father, were of the most affectionate character. He fully secured their uninterrupted love, as well as their respect and confidence, The entire amount of the influence which he exerted in his family, can never be described. It was composed of a thousand ingredients, which sweetly mingled, arising from his personal appearance, his expressive countenance, his flow of generous feeling, his disinterestedness, and the elevation of his religious principles.
Some letters, written to his children at various periods of his life, are here inserted.
" Augusta, Maine. • My dear son E., « Your
often thinks of you, and M., and T., and little E., as he goes about the country. He would love to live more at home with you, and see you, and talk with you, every day. But your papa hopes he is the servant of Christ, of whom you have so often heard him and mamma speak, and Christ says that we must love him and serve him above every one else ; and be willing to go any where, and suffer any thing, for his sake. Now you know, that there are a great many people in the world, who have no one to tell them about God, and that good Saviour; and your papa is trying hard to educate a great many ministers, who may go and preach as he used to do in Salem. This is the reason, my dear E., why your father cannot stay at home more, and why he sometimes has to travel all night, when you are asleep, and warm in your bed. But Christ is so great and good, and he has suffered and done so much for poor and sinful
men, that we can never do too much, or deny ourselves too much for him. Should you not like to have a good education, and one day, go and preach about Christ, and tell poor ignorant persons how they may be saved, and go to heaven when they die? Oh! how papa would love to
And now if you will be good, and love God and Christ with all your heart, more a great deal than you love any one else, you may be a minister, and do more good than you could in any other way. I hope you think much of God, and pray and read the Bible. I hope that you will set an example to all the other children, and help your mother by being very kind and obliging. I shall be happy when I come home, to hear that you have been a good boy, in school and out of school.
“Looking on the map, you will see where I now am. Augusta is a pretty town, on the bank of a beautiful river, called the Kennebec. I have been to Waterville, where there are two college buildings like those at Andover. You must read, and then you will know much about these and other places where I go."
6. James River, Virginia. My dear son E.,
“ If you will look on the map of Virginia, and then for James river, at the spot called Jamestown, where you remember the first settlers of North America came on the 15th of May, 1607, you will see where I am, while I write to you. I am in the steam-boat Norfolk, which is passing up the river to Richmond. I have just been on deck to see the place where the first trees in this great western world were cut down by white men, and where the first houses were built. You can ask your mamma to give you a book in which you can read again the whole history, so that you may tell me all about it when I see you, if I should ask you. The town is not so large as it
once was, It stands upon a beautiful island in the river, which is here several miles wide.
The island appears to be five miles long, and one mile, or more, broad. There are a few old houses in a state of ruin, and only one good house which belongs to a rich planter, and stands near the place where the first houses were put up. But what interested me most, was an old brick wall, said to be part of a house of worship, which was built soon aster the first settlement was made. It is the foundation of the old steeple. It stands alone, near the bank of the river, in the midst of some old tall trees, without any other part of the meeting-house being left. If I knew how to paint, I would give you a picture of it, with the beautiful river which runs by it. Here these good people met to worship God, to thank him for bringing them safe over the great ocean, and to ask him to protect them and their little children from being destroyed by sickness, or what they dreaded still more, from being murdered by the Indians. Just behind this old wall, there is a small grave-yard, where they buried their dead. I could perceive it distinctly, with its little low brick wall, in the midst of the bushes which have grown around it, and under the large trees which I have mentioned. Here the bones of those who erected the first house of worship, have quietly lain for two hundred years! Here they will lie, my dear son, till the morning of the resurrection, when the trumpet of the archangel will sound, and you and I, and your dear mother and brothers and sisters, shall all come forth out of our graves, to go to judgment! Then these graves where the first settlers of America were buried, shall open, and the people who built this ancient church will rise, and you and I may see them, and perhaps stand beside them, before the bar of Jesus Christ. Or are you afraid that he will say to you, ‘Depart from me into everlasting fire?' Oh! my son, these are terrible words! I hope you will