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Hear what he says (and when you hear any thing from his word, say to yourself, “At least this is certain") They that feared the Lord spake often one to another; and the Lord hearkened, and heard it ; and a book of remembrance was writa ten before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of Hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.
That these truths may be written in every heart, God of his infinite mercy grant, for Jesus Christ's sake. Amen.
· ILLUSTRIOUS EXAMPLES OF PIETY.
1672. He was born at Presto a very a
ANN BAYNARD, descended from a very ancient and res. pectable family, was born at Preston, in Lancashire, in the year 1672. Her parents perceiving her lively genius, joined with a natural propensity to learning, gave her a very liberal education; which she improved to the best and noblest purposes.
She was skilled in the Latin and Greek languages, in ma. thematics, and in philosophy. Her compositions, in Latin, displayed uncommon facility and elegance of expression. She had a strong and capacious memory a comprehensive and exalted mind, still covering more and more knowledge. " In this particular alone,” she would often say, “ it is a sin to be coniented with a little.”
But with all her genius, and all her acquirements, she was free from vanity and affectation. With profound humility, and prostration of mind, she testified, with St. Paul, “ I count all things but loss, for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord."
She used often to say that, “human learning is of little worth, unless, as a handmaid, it leads to a knowledge of Christ, revealed in the Gospel, as our Lord and Saviour.”
4 What avails,” said she, “Solomon's skill in the works of nature, if we do not discern the God of nature Of what advatage is it to be versed in astronomy, if we never study by our holy practices, to arrive at the blessed regions ? or to be só skilful in arithmetic, that we can divide and subdivide to the smallest fraction, if we do not learn to num. ber our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom ? or to understand the diseases of the body, if we do not know where to find the balm of Gilead, the wine and oil of the good Samaritan, the Lord Jesus, to pour into the wounds of our own soul.”
She was diligent, and fervent, in performing her religious duties. She constantly attended the prayers of the church, and the sacrainent, unless prevented by sickness, to which, in the latter part of her life, she was inuch subject. She embraced all proper opportunities of retirement, for the purposes of devotion and ineditation. Like David, she communed with her own heart, privately examining the state of her soul, that she might stand in awe, and sin not. She had a high regard and veneration for the sacred name of God; and made it the business of her life, and the great end of her study, to promote his glory, and the interests of religion.
Her alms could not, from her circumstances, be very extraordinary as to the ainount; but they were so as to the cheerfulness and constancy with which they were bestowed. Whatever her allowance was, she duly laid aside a certain portion of it, for the relief of the poor. Neither did her charity rest here; but raised itself to a higher degree of spirituality, and beyond the scene of this world. She observed, with deep concern, the errors, follies, and vices of the age; and was not only importunate in her intercessions for the good of the world, but solicitous to benefit the souls of those with whom she conversed, by friendly reproof, good counsel, or learned and pious discourse.
In the exercise of this Christian love, she lived and died. On her death-bed, she said to the clergyman who attended her: “ I wish that young people may be exhorted to the practice of virtue, and to the study of philosophy; and, more especially, to read the great book of nature, that they may see the wisdom and the power of the Creator, in the order of the universe, and in the production and preservation of all things. This will fix in their ininds a divine idea and an awful regard of God; which will heighten devotion, lower the spirit of pride, make theu tremble at folly and profaneness, and coinmand reverence for his great and holy name. That women are capable of such improvement is past all doubt, if they would set about it in earnest, and spend but half that time in study and thinking, which they do in visiting, in folly, and vanity. They would thus acquire a stability of mind, and lay a sound basis for wisdom
and knowledge, by which they would be the better enabled to serve God, and to assist their neighbours." This learned and pious young woman died at Barnes, in Surry, on the 12th of June, 1697.
Written by the late Rev. Mr. Negoton. In 1782 my sister-in-law, Mrs. Cunningham, was unexpectedly and suddenly bereft of an affectionate and excellent husband; and in the same year she lost an amiable daughter. Her trials were, thus very great, but she was prepared for them. Her faith was strong, and her conduct exemplary. Her character, as a Christian, and the propriety of her behaviour in every branch of relative life, appeared with peculiar advantage in the season of affliction.
Though she had many valuable and pleasing connections in Scotland, yet her strongest tie being broken, she readily accepted my invitation to come and live with us. She was not only dear to me as Mrs. Newton's sister, but we had lived long in the habits of intimate friendship, and I knew her worth. She had yet one child reinaining, her dear Eliza, who was then in the twelfth year of her age. We already had an orphan niece, whom we had, about seven years before, adopted for our own daughter. My active fond imagination anticipated the time of my sister's arrival; and drew a pleasing picture of the addition which the company of such a sister, such a friend, would make to the happiness of our family. The children likewise, there was no great disparity between them either in years or stature. From what I had heard of Eliza, I was prepared to love her before I saw her, though she came afterwards into my hands like a heap of üniold gold, which, when counted over, proves to be a larger sum than was expected. My fancy paired and united these children; I hoped that the friendship between us and my sister would be perpetuated in them. I seemed to see them like twin sisters, of one heart and mind, habited nearly alike, always together, always with us. Such was my plan ; but the Lord's plan was very different! I admire his wisdom and goodness; and I can say from my heart, “ He has done all things well.”
My sister had settled her affairs previously to her re moval, and nothing remained but to take leave of her friends, of whoin she had many, not only at Anstruther, where she resided, but in different parts of the country. In February, 1783, I received a letter from her, which, before I opened it, I expected was to inform me that she was on her way to London. But the intelligence was, that in a little journey she had made to bid a friend farewell, she had caught a violent cold, which brought on a fever and a cough. Though she described her illness in as gentle terins as possible, that we might not be alarmed, I instantly gave up the hope of seeing her. Succeeding letters confirmed my suspicions ; her malady increased, and she was soon confined to ber bed. Eliza was at school at Mussleburgh. Till then she had enjoyed a perfect state of health, but while, her dear mother was rapidly declining, she likewise caught a severe cold, and her life was soon thought to be in danger. On this occasion that fortitude and resolution which strongly marked my sister's character were remarkably displayed. She knew that her own race was almost finished : she earnestly desired that Eliza might live, or die with us; and the physicians advised a speedy removal into the south. Accordingly, to save time, and to spare Eliza the impression which the sight of a dying pa. rent might probably make upon her spirits, and possibly ap. prehensive that the interview might too much affect her own, she sent her beloved and only child directly to London. She contented berself with committing and bequeath. ing her to our care and love, in a letter, which I believe was the last she was able to write. Thus powerfully recommended by the pathetic charge of a dying mother, the dearest friend we had upon the earth; and by that plea for compassion which her illness might have strongly urged even upon strangers, we received our dear Eliza, as a trust and a treasure, on the fifteenth of March, 1783. My sister lived long enough to have the comfort of knowing that Eliza was safely arrived, and was perfectly pleased with her new situation. She suffered much in the remaining part of her illness, but she possessed a hope full of glory. She departed this life on the tenth of May, 1783; respected and regretted by all who knew her.
I soon perceived that the Lord had sent me a treasure indeed. Eliza's person was agreeable; her address was easy and elegant; and all her movements were graceful, till long illness, and great weakness, bowed her down. Her disposition was lively, her genius quick and inventive; and if she had enjoyed health, she would probably have excelled in every thing she atteinpted, that required ingenuity. Her
understanding, particularly her judgment, and her sense of propriety, were far above her years: there was something in her appearance which usually procured her favour at first sight. But her principal endearing recommendations which could be fully known only to us who lived with her, were the sweetness of her temper, and her heart formed for the exercise of affection, gratitude, and friendship. Whe. ther, when at school, she might have heard sorrowful tales from children who, having lost their parents, had experienced a great change of treatment when they were placed under the direction of uncles and aunts, and might think that all uncles and aunts are alike, I know not; but I afterwards understood from herself, that she did not come to us with any highly-raised expectations of a very kind reception. But she soon found that it would scarcely have been possible for her own parents to have treated her more ten, derly; and it was, from that time, the business and the pleasure of our lives to study to oblige her, and to dleyiate the afflictions which we were unable to remove.. We likewise quickly found, that the seeds of our kindness could hardly have been sown in a more promising and fruitful soil. I know not that either her aunt, or J, ever saw a cloud upon her countenance during the time she was with us. It is true, we did not, we could not, unnecessarily cross her ; but, if we thought it expedient to over-rule any proposal which she made, she acquiesced with a sweet smile, and we were certain that we should never hear of that proposal again. Her delicacy, however, was quicker than our observation, and she would sometimes say, when we could not perceive the least reason for it, “ I am afraid I answered you peevishly, if I did, I ask your pardon. Indeed, I did not intend it. I should be very ungrateful, if I thought any pleasure equal to that of endeavouring to please you."
When I received my first adopted child, I seemed to acquire new feelings, if not exactly those of a parent, yet, as I conceive, not altogether unlike them; and I long thought it was not possible for me to love any child as I did her. But when Eliza came, she, without being her rival, quickly participated with her in the same affection : I found that I had room enough for them both, without prejudice to either. I loved the one very dearly, and the other not less than before, if possible, still more, when I saw she entered into my views, received her cousin, and behaved towards her with great affection, ascribing many little indulgences and attentions that were shown her, to their proper cause, the con