Imatges de pÓgina

the Tabernacle for shelter. Among these was a young man, who was personally acquainted with Mr. Kinsman, at Plymouth.Seeing him in the pulpit, he immediately resolved to wait the conclusion of the service, and inquire after the welfare of his relations. This he accordingly did; to whom Mr. Kinsman replied with his usual affability,“ Your good aunt, and religious mother, are both lately gone to heaven; but which way are you going? What will your pious mother say, if she should miss her William there?” Though the sermon had not the least effect, this sentence struck him to the heart, and God made it the means of his conversion. He afterwards became a very valuable member of the Church, at Dock, and died an Israelite indeed. Some years after this, his youngest son, an immoral young man, mar. rying, and having a child born to bim, applied to Mr. Kinsman to baptize it. He having some knowledge of his character, told him he would baptize his child for its grandfather's sake; and then began to relate the striking circumstance of his father's conversion. This so affected the young man, that from that time he became serious, and was in 1793, a member of the same church at Dock.




Penelope Goulding Coke, the subject of this memoir, was born at Bradford in Wiltshire, in the year 1762. Her father, Joseph Smith, Esquire, was bred up an attorney at law, and exercised his profession at Bradford. In the early part of his professional life, he acted as steward to the Duchess of Kingston, and afterward held the same station under Earl Manvers, formerly Lord Newark. He was indefatigable in his application to business, and though filling for many years those public stations which were inseparable from his profession and agency, his char. acter was such as enabled him to escape those public censures, which most men are compelled to suffer as a tax for being emi. nent. He was a man of established integrity, and of universally

good report throughout all the county of Wilis; and wherever be was fully known, he was highly respected for being superior to those dishonourable intrigues which too often disgrace those who should be ministers of justice and the interpreters oi law. Towards the termination of his career, he suffered much from bodily afflictions; and during the last five years of his life was wholly confined to his house, through a stroke of the palsy. He survived his wife many years, and finally departed this mortal state in a joyful hope of a glorious cternity, at the advanced age of between seventy and eighty.

Mrs. Coke's mother, whose maiden name was Goulding, was of a remarkably delicate constitution. She was esteemed peculiarly handsome in her early years; but she suffered many bouily afflictions, wbich rendered her a subject of complica ed infirmi. ties through a considerable portion or her life. Sne died ar lost of a dropsy, when she had attained about the nftieth year oi her age. The peculiar delicacy of her constitution, and the complicated infirmities under which she laboured, were considerable. These severe trials to her patience frequently gave a tinge of moroseness to her expressions, which occasiorally spread a gloom over the family, that would otherwise, in all probability have worn a perpetual smile. By nature she was of a reserved temper, which was frequently mistaken for haughtiness; and the occasional complaints which bodily indispositions extorted from her, gave a confirmation to the opinion which was entertained. But this reservedness, and these complicated afflictions, together with their real and apparent effects, only served to exall the filial affection of her daughter, who, on those painful occasions, was enabled to display one of the most amiable virtues which can adorn the female character.

Mr. and Mrs. Smith had an only son, whose name was Joseph. 'It was his father's design that he should study the law, and thus qualify himself for those offices which he himself had held for many years with honour and advantage. But this profession not meeting with the young man's approbation, he was sent to Oriel College, Oxford, to take his degrees for holy orders; this being an avocation more suitable to his inclinations and views. One day, while belonging to this college, he, in company with a illow-student, went to bathe in the Isis. But, alas ! he got out of his depth, and not being able to swim, the waters soon became his grave. His companion, when he perceived his perilous situa

tion, being a good swimmer, instantly hastened to his assistance. He soon reached the spot in which his friend was gasping for life, but unhappily failed in his attempt to save him. Instead of this, the expiring young man seized him with the grasp of death, and both sunk to the bottom to breathe no more. The alarm was instantly spread: but though every exertion was made, their bodies could not be found during the whole day; but on the succeeding, they were discovered at a considerable distance from each other, and from the place where the accident happened.Besides this son, Mrs. Smith had a daughter who was also called Penelope ; but she died in her infancy.

It was not long after the death of her sister, that the dear subject of these memoirs was born. Great were the rejoicings of her parents on this event; and she was called Penelope Goulding, to perpetuate her mother's maiden name, and to commemorate that of her departed sister. Inheriting from her mother that delicacy of constitution for which both were so remarkable, she partook in no small degree of her bodily infirmities; and in consequence of this hereditary affliction, was exposed to the influences of causes, which, on stronger habits of body, would have made little or no impression. While very young, she was sent abroad to a boarding school, and, as might naturally be expected, was obliged to submit to all the branches of its rigid discipline. This treatment, being widely different from that which she had been accustomed to receive from an indulgent mother, contained more severity than her constitution could bear. In a certain degree, she sunk under it; and in a short time was so debilitated as to be scarcely able to lift her hand to her head. This in all probability laid the primary foundation of a complaint, which occasionally followed her through life, and finally terminated in her death.

That public schools have their excellencies, no man can doubt; but that they have their evils also, it would be folly to deny. It is deemed a branch of common politeness to study the appetite, in subordination to the health of a person advanced to a state of maturity. But in most public seminaries rigid discipline predominates over all. Fettered with an inflexible rule which refu. ses to bend to any circumstances or conditions, except those of imperious necessity, the governor and governess deem it no contemptible virtue do disregard the feelings of such as are committed to their care. Tenacious of their rights, pre-established usage determines every case. The robust may conform, but the infirm must sink beneath the exercise of authority to which their strength is wholly unequal. In every department of life, we behold variety. No human law can enforce discipline uniformly; without becoming oppressive to some, or affording laxity to others. In both of these cases the end is defeated by the very measure which was instituted to secure it; the law becomes tyrannical, and in proportion as it is thus applied, is manifestly unjust.

Alarmed for the safety of their only child, her parents did not leave her long in a situation, which so visibly impaired her health, and endangered her life. She was accordingly taken home, and nursed with all that tenderness which might naturally be expected from parents, whose fondness, under such circumstances, is not always kept within the bounds of moderation.

Professing themselves to be members of the Established Church, they saw and felt the necessity of strongly inculcating its various principles, particularly those of morality and virtue, upon the mind of their young daughter. And though it is highly probable at this time, that they were totally ignorant of experimental religion, the method which they adopted, was not so much for the sake of decency and decorum, as from a full conviction that her eternal happiness was connected with those truths, and that practice, which they taught her both to reverence and em. brace. These lessons and admonitions being frequently repeat. ed and strongly enforced, made a deep impression; and though this was not sufficiently efficacious to become at all times a spring of action, it was too firmly rooted to be easily erased, or treated with contempt. Instead of this, it became her monitor in her most thoughtless moments; embittered the cup of unhallowed pleasure with remorse; and, finally, through divine grace ended in consequences which we shall soon contemplate with plea


But whatever lasting effects these early admonitions might secretly have produced, they appeared after some time to be only slight and transient. As she advanced towards a state of maturity, that instinctive vivacity which is so natural to the youthful mind, led her forth to associate with companions whose hearts had been total strangers to those serious impressions of which her's had occasionally felt the influence. Her parents, unwilling, through reprehensible fondness, to curb her inclination, lest

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they should give her sorrow, undesignedly encouraged this propensity, by neglecting to oppose its progress with marks of decided disapprobation. Unhappily this doting negligence in a great measure counteracted their salutary admonitions, and by leaving unmolested those natural productions of the carnal minil, permitted them to grow till they nearly gained the ascendency in her bosom.

Influenced by the power of example, and urged by the bias of an unrenewed nature, she soon drank into the spirit which prevailed among her associates, and insensibly joined in their amusements, particularly in that of dancing, of which she was remarkably fond. Cards also were soon introduced to her notice. But though she occasionally wasted some hours in this branch of fashionable folly, it was generally begun with reluctance, persevered in with regret, and rost frequently followed by remorse. A transient recollection of those principles which she had embraced, and been taught to revere as sacred, occasionally filled her mind with sorrow, and drew from it an involuntary sigh in the midst of those imaginary pleasures which she was pursuing with reluctant avility. ller understanding was so far enlightened, as to perceive the inconsistency between her principles and her conduct. This embittered the enjoyment which ignorance draws from foolish amusements; and the anguish was heightened by the inability which she found to act conformably with her judgment, and in opposition to the exam. ples which she followed, St. Paul has drawn her picture with discrimating exactness, in Rom. vii. 19, “ For the good that I would, I do not; but the evil which I would not, that I do."

During these early years, she regularly attended divine service in the Established Church with her parents and the rest of the family; and on these occasions her apparent devotion was so far superior to that of others of her age and acquaintance, as to excite the attention of many who had then an opportunity of marking her conduct. This fact has been transmitted to me since her death, by a person who þad secretly made his observation in this place of public worship. Still, however her devotion did not appear in her own estimation to flow from a proper principle, because it did not lead to those gracious effects by which the genuine servants of God are distinguished. The principle of her devotion was too weak to save her from the amusements, which, in the same moment she both followed and despised. It was a

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