Page images
PDF
EPUB

inhabitants of this his devotedly loved and native place he extended a paternal care and regard,--a regard inherited from a Father, for whose memory, to the termination of his existence, he cherished the highest veneration and affection of which the human heart is susceptible! In proportion to the services, which the best feelings of his nature caused him ever to be prompt to render to you, you have felt his loss; and with unusual warmth of affection you have lamented the departed beauty of our Israel! But reflections on his exalted virtues may prove to you the sweetest source of comfort under your bereavement, as well as an incitement to you to lead holy and useful lives; and cause you not to relax in the performance of your appointed duties, though the term of

your

existence should be protracted beyond that assigned to man. He had attained the

age

of three score years and twelve; still he appeared as though he were in youthful vigour. The agile limb, which bore him swiftly on his way, had become amongst you a theme of innocent admiration. But it was still further remarkable that the brilliancy of his talents seemed to gain additional splendour with advancing years; nor could age damp those sweet and holy affections of his soul, which were his peculiar characteristic, and which must be, like itself, immortal!

In this place he presided in the threefold light of a natural as well as a legal protector and a spiritual guide. His door opened alike to the plaint of distress, to the appeal to justice, or to the petition for counsel under every difficulty. When his hand afforded relief to the necessitous, the compassionate manner in which it was bestowed highly enhanced the value of the gift. He possessed so large a share of tender sympathy for the sufferings of his fellow-creatures, that at the recital of woe his heart sickened, and he

b.

X

account.

forgot to eat his bread. The exquisite sensibility of his feelings was strikingly united to superior fortitude of mind. If, on occasions which called for acts of prompt resolution and vigorous aid, his succour was required, it was at hand. We will advert to an incilent, concerning which, after a lapse of full forty years, an aged boatman in this country will feel much interest in giving a detailed

He came upon the shore at a time when a violent storm prevailed at sea. The crew of a fishing-boat, consisting of five Formby men, gave him information that a vessel was in distress, and pointed out its situation. Through a telescope he descried some men lashed to its masts. This fearful scene producing the excitement of the keenest anguish in his mind, he directed the boatmen to take out their boat to the rescue of the perishing mariners, and in such a cause to commit themselves to the protection of the Almighty. But their fears led them to withstand the entreaty.—He then peremptorily re-urged his appeal; he said he would share their danger, and go

in the boat with them, and offered them a reward for their exertions. He excited them to take courage from the expectation that their own lives would be preserved, whilst they were using their efforts to save those of their fellow-creatures. They no longer hesitated to make the attempt, although the accomplishment of the enterprise appeared to them solely to admit of possibility; but they petitioned that they only might embark in the undertaking, alleging that assistance could alone be rendered by persons accustomed to the management of the boat. His fervent prayer uttered over them, he went on (putting his horse to its fullest speed) to obtain further aid. The little bark, amidst the mighty tempest and the raging billow, made its advances to the wreck. It reached the shattered vessel, (thc main part of which had sunk,) but not before it was midway filled with water;-into the precious ark three men fell from the masts almost lifeless! It pleased God that it brought its crew with the rescued to its shore in safety. The interview which took place between him (who was the instrument under Providence of preservation to the shipwrecked) and the captain of the vessel thus saved, is held in lively remembrance by an eye-witness of the scene. Tears of joy and tears of deep gratitude relieved each overcharged heart. The Formby seamen received a two-fold reward, in their promised recompense, and in the blessed success, which crowned their efforts.

The vigilant care with which he guarded the coast, caused the corporation of Liverpool in the

year 1798, to present him with the freedom of that borough. His acceptance of it was requested, 66 as a mark of

« PreviousContinue »