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MRS. ANNE WARREN.
To a pious mind, nothing can be more pleasant and instructive, than to observe the care which divine Providence extends over individuals and families, and the influence which religious principles and conduct have on their happiness and prosperity. Nor is this capable of less satisfactory remark in the retired walks of humble life, than in the more splendid career of those, whom rank and fortune have contributed to render conspicuous. The latter may, indeed, command a wider range of observation, and attract the attention of a greater number of spectators;, it may for a time, excite a more intense interest, and furnish lessons peculiarly adaptēd to the few, who move in the higher circles of life; but the former, by lying more within the sphere of ordinary occurrences, though it may awaken less curiosity, will scarcely fail to bring home to the many, those practical results, which it is the chief business of morals to teach, and of religion to enforce.
There are, perhaps, but few families which could have supplied more interesting materials of this description, than that of the excellent and pious individual, who is the chief subject of this Memoir, had but suitable care been employed to preserve them. This deficiency can be but ill supplied by the efforts of memory, whose distinctness becomes perplexed and its confidence diminished, in proportion as objects recede on the current of time. It has been a subject of frequent regret, that those whose lives have not been deficient of incident, sufficient to interest and instruct mankind, and especially those whose piety and good sense would have insured veracity, and a judicious selection ; have but seldom left such minute records of themselves, as were sufficient to preserve their perfect resemblance, or to mark with accuracy the particular guidance of Providence, and the special manifestations of divine grace.
In the occasional recital of domestic history, with which Mrs. Warren's Father was accustomed to entertain and instruct his family, he never mentioned without pious emotion, the care of divine Providence over his ancestors; and especially the method by which they were brought to an acquaintance with God, and with his people. HIS FATHER, and his Father's brother were left orphans when they were infants, by the following mournful occurrence. As
their Father was assisting one of his neighbours to marl his field, suddenly the cart broke down, and falling upon his head, killed him on the spot. The melancholy tidings being hastily brought to his wife, who was not far from the time of her confinement, produced such a shock as to occasion premature labour, of which she died. Thus, by a mysterious Providence, were they bereft of both parents in one day. They were indeed entitled to a small estate, the only resource of their unprovided and helpless condition; but, in consequence of having none to interest themselves in their concerns, nor to enforce their claim, it never came into their possession. That God, however, who is the Father of the fatherless, provided for their sustenance, till they were of sufficient age to be put out to service. They were then, through the good hand of the Lord, placed in a family where they were taught his worship and fear. Many indeed were the privations they had to suffer, and considerable the hardships they had to sustain in this situation; yet, such was the ignorance and irreligion of that time, that scarcely in
any other family in the neighbourhood where they lived, would they have been so effectually restrained from the ungodliness and depravity which pervaded
From this situation Mr. Williams's Father removed to Newmarket in Flintshire. The family into whose service he now entered, was of the Presbyterian persuasion. Here he had the privilege of attending public worship, and the regular devotion of the family: these, accompanied as they were by a consistent and exemplary conduct on the part of his employer, made an impression on his mind favourable to religion. He betook himself to a care ful reading of the Holy Scriptures, and became deeply impressed with the necessity of the religion of the heart. This he made the constant subject of his prayers to the God of all grace, and devoutly waited to see his salvation. In the order of Providence he next removed into Cheshire, about the time that the Wesleyan Methodists first visited that part of the country. As they were then, like the Christians of former times, a “sect every where spoken against," it was with extreme caution that he first ventured to hear them. Being, however, tolerably conversant with the word of God, and accustomed to hear the truth as preached among the Presbyterians, he thought himself competent to detect any material errors in the doctrines of the new sect; and judged it unfair and unmanly to entertain a prejudice against them, without a fair hearing; especially, when he adverted to the ignorance and irreligion of those who were most forward to condemn, and readiest to persecute.