Obrázky stránek
PDF
ePub

art too much absorbed in study, my beloved child; for, however innocent it may be, yet, like the doves in the temple, it fills up a place in the temple of thy heart, which ought to be otherwise occupied and dedicated to the Lord, in whose hands thou wouldest become an instrument to promote the knowledge of pure Christianity. Come, my beloved, if a right hand, or a right eye, be called for, give it up—the Lord loves a cheerful giver, and he will restore thee an hundred-fold.”

“ Thy talents, my beloved child, if rightly directed, would tend to spread heavenly knowledge, and to extend the government of the Prince of Peace.”

These faithful and affectionate epistles were highly prized by the young man to whom they were addressed, he kept them in his pocket-book, that he might peruse them frequently. Indeed his affection for his mother might be almost termed romantic, Nor was the advice they contained disregarded ; for we find in his diary the following passages written about the same time,“ I seemed willing to part with all that I might win Christ. May I never love anything more than him, but be favoured to keep everything in subordination, yea, under his feet. In another place he says he is determined “to abridge the time devoted to natural science," lest his thoughts and affections should be too much engrossed by it. “ Soul keep in the valley,” he writes, “be content to let any one take the precedency: study to be more than to seem.

Mrs. Allen was for many years a widow, but

It was

her son William endeavoured to supply, by his filial affection, the loss she had sustained. his chief delight to minister to her wants and to soothe the pains and infirmities of her age. His visits to her at that time were almost daily. Nine years before her death, he, on one occasion, says in his journal, that he has been to see his dear mother, who was in a sweet state of mind; adding that she had described to him some of the feelings with which she had been favoured in the night. “I was affected,” he says, “and told her I longed that we could go together, for we seemed to have a foretaste of the glory that should be revealed.” “ No, no," she replied, “ there is more for thee to suffer and to do yet—the Lord has a work for thee.

William Allen was associated in works of philanthropy with Clarkson, Wilberforce, and others ; and, at one time, with the well-known Robert Owen. This latter connection, however, cost him great distress of mind, when he discovered Mr. Owen's sentiments on the subject of religion. On one occasion he writes" Alas! Owen with all his cleverness and benevolence wants the one thing, without which, parts and acquirements, and benevolence are unavailing." He had hopes, however, that he should bring him over to the truth, and with that view he invited him to his house when he was in London. Mrs. Allen thought her son was wrong in this instance, and she left the room when Mr. Owen entered it, saying, that she could not remain in the same room with a denier of her Lord. We think that she carried her zeal too far, and that her son's endeavours to bring him to a knowledge of the truth was the most com

mendable line of conduct. After many conversations and long letters bad passed on the subject, Allen came to the determination to dissolve the connection. On this occasion he wrote a kind and earnest letter to him, assuring him that he should pray for him though he was parted from him. We may here remark, that many benevolent individuals were induced to favour Mr. Owen's views, on account of their philanthropic aím, who afterwards experienced very painful feelings, and withdrew on account of his infidel principles.

Mrs. Allen lived to see her son nearly three score, and pursuing a career of extensive usefulness. She died at a very advanced age: to quote his words, she “slept in Jesus," January, 1830.

MRS. KNIBB,

MOTHER OF WILLIAM KNIBB.

Mrs. KNIBB was a pious and intelligent woman. She had a large family, and feeling the importance of such a trust, morally and intellectually as well as physically, it was her chief aim to communicate religious truth to her children in such a manner as to carry conviction to their young minds—at the same time, that she hoped it was taking deep root in their hearts. When, therefore, she taught them to commit to. memory passages of Scripture, prayers, and hymns, she explained the meaning in a simple manner, so that they should feel them to be applicable to their own childish wants. It would be well if this were always considered in instructious to children; for, even at an early age, they want to know the reason for what they are called upon to believe. Appeals to the feelings, and even to the conscience, frequently make but a transient impression from not being clearly pointed out to the understanding.

Two of her sons, Thomas and William, attached themselves to the Missionary cause, and were sent out to Jamaica by the Baptist Missionary Society. William is best known to the friends of the cause

was

[ocr errors]

his brother met with an early death whilst engaged in this self-denying work.

William Knibb was born at Kettering, with a twin sister, on the 7th of September, 1803. He

a lively clever boy-very fond of playespecially of playing at marbles ; but he was no less fond of books, and most of his pocket-money was laid out in books. The “ Youth's Magazine” was a great favourite, and he took it in. One day he had spent so much time in play, that his mother said to him—" William, I am afraid you have not learned your catechism.” “O yes, I have, mother,"

O was his reply ; “it rained the other day, and I could not play, so I went up an entry and learned it there.” One of his sisters says of him-" The chief traits of his early character were warm affection, unbounded generosity, management and economy, accompanied with great vivacity."

Thomas was four years older than William. He was equally amiable and earnest in whatever he engaged in,

but there was a wide difference in their characters. Thomas was mild almost to timidity ; William ardent, firm, and enterprising. They went together to a Sunday-school, where they were regarded with affectionate interest by their teacher, who looked upon them both as promising youths.

William was apprenticed as a printer to a gentleman at Bristol, in whose service his brother was engaged. Here he was for several years teacher at the Broadmead Sunday-school. The young men were both anxious to be engaged in Missionary work, and they encouraged each other on in the

On one occasion the elder expressed fears lest the appointment of native teachers should in

cause.

« PředchozíPokračovat »