Page images



"Honour thy Father and thy Mother."





Beloved and venerated parents, your memory is cherished by your children with a devoted affection: Shall they pay no outward tribute of respect, nor leave of you any memorial for the future? To you, under Providence, we owe it, that we breathe the breath of life— that we open our eyes to the glorious light—behold the beauties of all created things, and rejoice in a happy existence. To you we owe yet more; that we were trained to lives of usefulness, guided in the paths of virtue, and from your lips received the inspired words to turn the heart in love to God. With us and our children the recollection of beloved features will pass away; and shall the memory also of your worth, affections, and devoted service with us perish for ever! The thought of it brings the reproach of a delinquency in filial duty to you, and also of the neglect of the sacred obligation we owe to our posterity, to perpetuate your precepts and example, for their observance and imitation. To com


mernorate these I would invoke to the service more than the skill of the Egyptian art of conservation, that your character and memory might be embalmed in the hearts of our descendants in all the purity and beauty in which you lived, and yet live in the recollections of your children: And as your long lives were a bright exemplification of the power of Gospel truth, so may your memory live in its light and life, enshrined in living temples of love and devotion, for ages to come.

To commemorate by written memorial all those of good name who have lived and died would multiply books beyond the capacity of readers to peruse more than a very limited selection. The beneficence of the Creator produces in his creation the good and the beautiful in boundless profusion. The sequestered flowers that bloom unseen by human eye, and "waste their sweetness on the desert air," do not uselessly grow,—but produce a seed that in time may germinate in light, and lend a cure to the healing art. The humbly good that pass through life and challenge no admiration of men may unobtrusively instil into many hearts sentiments to be perpetuated for the moral and religious preservation of our race: And if their virtues do but bloom in the sight of the Creator's Eye, and shed a fragrance that is but an incense to Him, they will not have lived in vain.

To claim a worldly distinction for those whose endeavour it ever was—"to do justly, and to love mercy, and walk humbly with their God"—would be to act in conflict with the spirit that actuated their lives. Acting solely in obedience to their apprehension of duty to man and his Creator, such a pretension would be rebuked by the recollection of that self-watchfulness that ever guarded them against the weakness of human vanity, and accounted all that was good and excellent as emanating from a Divine Source; the merit of which man cannot rightfully claim as his own. Yet all of their history that may be useful to others, in precept or example, it is a duty to rescue from forgetfulness and loss; and to perpetuate it, is in perfect consonance with their sentiments and character. If their lives were rightfully devoted, the record of the testimony of that devotion cannot fail to be useful; and faithfully to portray, is unavoidably to commend,—for the facts speak praise: But praise cannot reach "the dull cold ear of death,"—and their offspring cannot share it but by a like deserving.

The plain and simple memoirs of Philip and Rachel Price will readily and harmoniously blend in the narrative. United early in life, they lived together in cordial affection and harmony of views for more than half a century. Born and educated in the Society of Friends, and both at an early age brought under that Divine influence which alone can constitute them truly its members, they devoted their protracted lives faithfully to the duties which its discipline, its testimonies, and its faith enjoin.

« PreviousContinue »