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MEMOIR OF MRS. HANNAH MORE. Perhaps no female of modern times has excited more interest, or accomplished more good, than the subject of the present memoir. · Raised up by the good providence of God, at a period when the cause of religion in the higher classes of society was at a very low ebb, and when Christian benevolence made but few efforts for the good of mankind, the strength of her intellect, the substantial piety of her heart, and the correct beauty of her style, attracted attention, and produced a wide and deep impression. Her works, which extend to nineteen volumes, develope sound scriptural knowledge, ardent fidelity, and an affectionate spirit; she wrote for the rich and the poor, and was equally understood and admired by each. She was seldom backward in the reproof of vice, and always ready to commend the Gospel of Jesus. Iniquity, even in high places, was often compelled to quail under the power of her pen, or to retire from her “sound speech which could not be condemned.”
It was not to be expected that such a lady, who had served the public by her pen and example for sixty years, could be permitted to retire from the world without a literary monument being erected to her memory. We had hoped for a complete edition of her works in the popular form and price ; but, disappointed hitherto of this pleasure, we are glad to receive Memoirs of her Life and Correspondence, by William Roberts, Esq., just published by Seeley and Son, in four volumes, post 8vo., a work which, though it contains a few things which appear to us somewhat trifling, will be read with intense interest by all classes of society. The talents of the editor have long been known, and his judgment and piety will suffer nothing in the public esteem by this addition to his publications. He has proved that great judgment was manifested when the papers of this eminent female were placed in his hands for publication.
We are free to confess, however, that much as we like these volumes, and anxious as we are for their circulation in all the families where we have influence, we mean before we dismiss them to glean for the benefit
of our readers who cannot purchase these volumes, and to whet the appetites of those who can, a few of their facts and beauties.
Hannah More was a native of Stapleton, in the county of Gloucester, in the year 1745. Her parents were members of the Established Church, but many of her ancestors were nonconformists, and eminently zealous in the support of religion. Between the age of three and four, the mother of Hannah found that she had learnt to read without her aid; and before she had attained her fourth year, she repeated her catechism in the church, in a way that called forth the admiration of the clergyman. As she grew up, the disposition to acquire knowledge, even in its highest branches, greatly strengthened, and was gratified. In her very childhood she discovered the taste which prevailed through life ; she would make a carriage of a chair, and “call her sisters to ride with her to London to see bishops and booksellers ;" while “the greatest wish her imagination could frame, when her scraps of paper were exhausted, was, that she might one day be rich enough to have a whole quire for herself. And when, by her mother's indulgence, the prize was obtained, it was soon filled with supposititious letters to depraved characters to reclaim them from their errors, and letters in return expressive of contrition, and resolutions of amendment.”
But as it is impossible within our limits to follow our author over his wide field of information, we shall merely mention that the love of knowledge, and the power of mind, soon brought Hannah More into connexion with persons of considerable eminence for literature and wealth ; and when she was only in her seventeenth year, she published her Search after Happiness. This, and other works, which followed in rapid succession, opened channels for usefulness, and increased her fame beyond that of any preceding female writer. The letters which have been collected, that passed between her and the most eminent of the literati, are of the most interesting description, and cannot fail to produce good impressions wherever they are read. A very few facts and pearls, from some of her own letters, will form the principal portion of the remaining part of this article.
Here then is a word on head-dress. Writing from London, where she visited in 1775, to one of her sisters, she says, “I am going, to-day, to a great dinner ; nothing can be conceived so absurd, extravagant, and fantastical, as the present mode of dressing the head. Simplicity and modesty are so much exploded, that the very names are no longer remembered. I am just escaped from one of the most fashionable disfigurers; and though I charged him to dress me with the greatest simplicity, and to have only a very distant eye upon the fashion, just enough to avoid the pride of singularity, without running into ridiculous excess ; yet, in spite of all these sage didactics, I absolutely blush at myself, and turn to the glass with as much caution as a vain beauty, just risen from the small-pox, which cannot be a more disfiguring disease than the present mode of dressing. Of the one, the calamity may be greater in its consequences, but of the other it is more corrupt in its cause."
Here is an awful picture of society in high life, in 1776 :-"A relation of the Duchess of Chandos died at the duchess's a few days ago, at the card-table ; she was dressed most sumptuously; they stripped off her diamonds, stuck her upright in a coach, put in two gentlemen with her, and sent her home two hours after she was dead;" so at least the story goes.
“Baron Burland died as suddenly; after having been at the House of Lords, he dined heartily, and was standing by the fire, talking politics to a gentleman. So you see even London has its warnings, if it would but listen to them. These are two signal ones in one week; but the infatuation of the people is beyond any thing that can be conceived."
“ A most magnificent hotel, in St. James's-street, was opened last night for the first time, by the name of the . Savoir Vivre;' none but people of the very first rank were there, so you may conclude the diversion was cards; and, in one night, the very first time the rooms were ever used, the enormous sum of sixty thousand pounds was lost. Heaven reform us!”
The following passage, from a letter to Mr. Walpole, in 1790, will be read with great interest, under the greatly altered circumstances of . the present day :
“I cannot forbear telling you, that at my city of Bristol, during church time, the congregations were surprised last Sunday, with the bell of the public crier in the streets. It was so unusual a sound on that day, that the people were alarmed in the churches. They found that the bellman was crying a reward of a guinea to any body who would produce a poor negro girl who had run away, because she would not return to one of those trafficking islands whither her master was resolved to send her. To my great grief and indignation, the poor trembling wretch was dragged out from a hole in the top of a house, where she had hid herself, and forced on board ship. Alas! I did not know it till too late, or I would have run the risk of buying her, and made you, and the rest of my humane, I had almost said human friends, help me out, if the cost had been considerable."
But where are we running? We must positively pass over hundreds of interesting pages, and be silent about Bristol, Cowslip Green, Barley Wood, and all the good men and women who visited those places, or wrote to them, or had favours from the excellent pen of the subject of our memoir. Yes, we say we must omit them, lest our readers should complain that our article is too long, or Mr. Seeley should obtain an injunction against our Magazine for robbing his volumes too much. We should, indeed, like to tell of her schools, the opposition she met with, and the manner in which she at length overcame it; of her illnesses, and the support she experienced in those gloomy seasons ; of her studies, publications, her congratulations, ber wit, and a thousand things besides ; but we must abstain. Here, however, are a few lines which we will give, partly because they are very beautiful in themselves, and partly on account of the interest which passing events impart to them. Sir Alexander Johnstone, of Ceylon, had requested her to furnish a few lines on the abolition of domestic slavery in that island : she wrote:
SABAT-HOLDING OUT THE BIBLE.
It breaks the chains of sin,
Oh barter most divine !
Which other trades may miss ;
For endless, perfect bliss.
To love our daily labour ;
Or riot with our neighbour.
A free man works the faster;
Will better serve his master. But we must positively close the volumes, hoping that our readers will shortly take them into their friendly custody. We shall only add, that after having adorned humanity and religion for eighty-eight years, Hannah More exchanged earth for heaven on September 7th, 1833. O that very many of our female readers may be found emulating her example, and ultimately enjoying her reward !
MONITORY HINTS TO CHRISTIAN PARENTS, ON THE RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION OF THEIR CHILDREN.
BY THE REV. JOHN THORNTON, OF BILLERICAY. 1. REMEMBER that it is your duty to use all possible efforts to communicate to the tender pledges of conjugal love, those truths which
have enlightened your own minds, and warmed your own hearts. God himself saith, “ Thou shalt teach them diligently to thy children, and thou shalt talk of them when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up." A thousand insinuations and cavils of objectors are swept away by one divine command. It is the declared will of God that you should early instil into the minds of your children the principles of true religion. You are appointed the guides and guardians of their youth. Without a sense of your obligation, little will be attempted, and still less done, in the religious education of your children. In every engagement where difficulties are to be encountered, drawbacks are to be expected, and trials are to be endured ; nothing is efficient, but a deep, strong, solemn sense of duty. This is the main spring of movement; the mighty lever, before the force of which every obstacle surely, though sometimes slowly, eventually gives way. You may well appropriate the Apostle's language, and exclaim, “Necessity is laid upon us ; yea, woe unto us if we train not up our children in the fear of the Lord.”
2. Remember that there is an adaptation and suitableness in the truths of Christianity to the human mind, at every period and stage of life. Say not, Our children are so dull and stupid, are so volatile and restless, that to attempt to rouse aud fix their attention were a hopeless task. The elements of common learning may be given them, but religion must be left till they are more fit to receive it. These are vain and idle pleas. The Holy Scriptures are full of interesting narratives and wondrous facts, which are well calculated to strike and engage the opening mind. The Bible has been compared to a river, which has shallows where a lamb may wade, and depths where an elephant may swim; or to a store-house, which contains milk for babes, as well as strong meat for those of mature age. It is your part to lead the lambs to these streams, to feed the babes with these nutricious provisions. It is no visionary and romantic employment to which you are urged, but a work of the highest importance both to you and your family. High talents and wise gifts are not necessary; good feeling and good sense will suffice. Apply yourselves, then, to this great and momentous object with earnestness and assiduity. If a whole band of mockers should deride your plans and labours, disregard them and their banters, and pursue your course. Let it be your aim to win, conciliate, and preserve, the affections of your juvenile charge. Every ray of light which is poured into the understanding, should be combined with a genial glow of love ; every exercise of the parental authority, should be softened with tenderness. Set before them examples of early piety, and contrast with these the fearful consequences of vice and profaneness. ,
3. Remember that all your endeavours depend for their success on the blessing of God.
If this is lost sight of, the most plausible theories and systems of education are essentially defective : you must use means, but not rest in them. While we fence, and sow, and plant, and weed, and water a piece of land, we know that it is God alone who giveth the increase. And is it not equally true, as it respects the mental, moral, and religious