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copal Church, and honoured the doctrine of her Saviour by a consistent walk of faith and piety. She was married late in life, and lived only until her son was nine years old.
It is said to have been the uniform and ardent desire of Mrs. Moore, the mother of Mrs. Bedell, that all her sons should devote themselves to the ministry of the Gospel ; a desire which was remarkably gratified by the gracious providence of God, in raising up from her sons and grandsons, not less than five preachers of the truth; three of whom still survive to labour in their important vocation.
The subject of the present memoir, was the only son of his parents. His father had three daughters, the children of a former marriage, who were in a most eminent degree affectionate and useful sisters to him, and made, in the hands of God, the main instruments in educating him for the work in which his life was so usefully employed. They were permitted to receive from him in return, the most unequivocal proofs of his affectionate gratitude, and two of them survived him to lament his departure from the earth.
Though in most instances we are able to trace in childhood the germs of the future character of the man, it is but rarely the fact, perhaps, that the brightest and valuable traits in the mature character, are very early discovered. In the instance before us, however, we find remarkable evidences in his earliest life, of the same lovely characteristics which were so strikingly displayed in his subsequent career of excellence. From his infancy, he is remembered as a gentle and interesting child, making himself the object of universal favour and affection in the family circle. His disposition was so amiable and equal, that he was scarcely ever seen to be excited by an angry passion. There was a sweetness in his voice, and a softness and delicacy in his manners, which attracted to him the love of all. His talent for music, which afterwards became so remarkable, developed itself very early in his life. When but two years old, he could sing several tunes with accuracy, and at this infantile period, when taken to witness a military parade, his success in following the time of the martial music with a little drum which was slung upon his neck, arrested the notice of the bystanders with astonishment. From his childhood, his constitution was delicate, and his nervous system painfully susceptible. His timidity and diffidence were so great, that for two years after the proper age for his instruction in school had arrived, he could not be persuaded to go, unless attended by his elder sister, and was thus easily led to seek for his amusements at home, and to avoid the society of other children, calculated to injure the moral influence under which his parents desired him to be educated.
These little characteristics of his childhood are interesting to us, as we have witnessed them in the operation of his succeeding life. They are less so, however, than some others which at this period
were equally remarkable. He exhibited in his earliest years the evidence of that benevolence and liberality which were so prominent in his mature character, and which literally scattered through his whole life, for the good of others, as fast as he was able to gather. Before he could speak with plainness, when the poor presented themselves at the door of his father's house, he would run to them with his little hands filled with articles of food, and unsolicited, press upon them its acceptance. So eager was this desire, that he could not be pacified unless he were supplied from the house, with the food which he sought, and his offering was received by those to whom it was made. His forgiveness of spirit was equal to his liberality. The same unwillingness to repeat the ill that he knew or heard of others, which marked him at all times as a man, distinguished him also as a child. This temper was beautifully displayed on one occasion, when he was very young, which is remembered by his family. One of his companions, in the hastiness of ungoverned anger at
small offence which he had received from him, ran into a blacksmith's shop, and seized a shovel of hot coals, which he threw down the back of this little child in the spirit of revenge. His dress was low in the neck, and the fire easily fell beneath it upon his flesh, and having to run a considerable distance to his home, his back was exceedingly burned, and many months passed before it was entirely healed. Yet when his father and friends made arrangements
to punish the boy who had so cruelly injured him, he entreated with earnestness that he might be forgiven ; and his friends could satisfy his perseverance only by a reluctant consent. His strict adherence to truth, under all circumstances, became a general subject of remark at home and at school, and preserved him through many difficulties which he was obliged to encounter.
In all these traits of character, he stands forth as a beautiful example of excellence in childhood, well worthy the consideration both of parents and children. The Spirit of God seems to have early guided him in the attainment and exhibition of such a character, as in its ultimate fruits highly adorned the Gospel of which he became a minister. The only son of a mother adapted in every respect, both in power of intellect and piety of heart, to direct his youthful mind into paths of peace and excellence, he had great advantages for the early formation of valuable principles of character. And though in his subsequent youth, he was comparatively thoughtless, but never immoral, when we connect together his early sweetness of mind and temper, with his final course of usefulness to men, we cannot but feel the conviction, that the Lord was early sowing the seeds of spiritual life in his heart. We cannot indeed say distinctly how much he was indebted to this excellent mother, who was so soon removed from him, nor feel authorized actually to add his name to that long list which stands in the history of the
Church, as witnesses to the worth and influence of maternal piety. But we ought not to notice the remarkable connexion between his early and later life, under the circumstances in which he was placed, without gathering the encouragement to fidelity in duty which they may gain from it, to whom God has been pleased to give, both children to be guided to himself, and a real desire that they may become his children in eternal glory. A mother's instructions in the things of the Lord, and a mother's prayers for the spiritual blessing of the Lord, form the most valuable privilege and treasure which can be bestowed upon a child. “The promise is to us, and to our children.”
In the year 1802, this valued mother was taken to her rest, leaving an animating example of piety to bless this only son, with whom she is now rejoicing in “a city not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” He was left to the charge of his elder sisters, of whom it is not too much to say, that in tenderness, affection and usefulness, they filled up to him a mother's place. Not long after his mother's departure, his father failed in business, and the family was in consequence reduced to very narrow circumstances in life. This unexpected change in their condition gave them peculiar distress on account of this muchloved child. They had nursed and cherished him with united affection, and had watched over the talents which he displayed, and the promise which he of future usefulness, with the deepest interest; and