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and these were seconded by the arguments of a pious, but very artful Jesuit, who skilfully selected the points which were likely to receive some support from those notions of the authority and antiquity of the church, which she had imbibed. All these, however, were resisted with a firmness which, perhaps, few girls of eighteen could have exhibited. Her correspondence with the Jesuit is still preserved, and affords striking proof of early talent, much acquaintance with the points in dispute, as well as the greatest diffidence and humility. After her marriage, the superintendence of her domestic concerns, which she never permitted herself to neglect, and the education of her children, in which she had no assistance from a governess, seemed likely to furnish full employment for her time. Yet she found opportunity to pursue her private studies with unwearied application. « I often look back with wonder as well as gratitude,” says one of those who enjoyed the privilege of being her scholar, “ on those years when I can account for the employment of every hour from eight in the morning till nine at night, and know not how it was possible for her to do
ma petite maison le mieux possible, pour que Mademoiselle y soit à son aise. Je suis avec toute la sensibilité et la reconnoissance possible de ce que Madame fait pour Mademoiselle ; elle n'a plus que cette ressource à present. J'ai l'honneur d'etre, &c.”
all that I know was done before or after those hours. The notes in her Bible, and the perusal of books, in order to collect them ; her work on the Revelation, of which only a very small part is published, and which, with the plan which accompanies it, required immense labour; her papers on various and very different subjects ; many things written for the Christian Magazine ; some very ingenious remarks on Mr. Kennedy's Scripture Chronology, which contain very laborious calculations *;- all this, and much more, must, I think, have been chiefly done before we went to her at eight in the morning. Her manner of teaching children was so uncommonly pleasant, that I never knew a child who did not like to be with her. Indeed she was a favourite with all young people, and much information and instruction might be gained from her familiar conversation. Many useful in-ventions originated with her : the dissected maps, now in very general use; the chronological cards,
* “ I certainly had something in my head when I wrote the note, page 30, which I afterwards forgot. The same has hap. pened to me on many other occasions, for I always wrote with my door open to children and servants, who were coming and going about the common concerns of the family, which, however trifling in themselves, I always considered as the duty of my station, and always gave them my chief attention. The Calculations in the letter to a friend (on Scripture Chronology) obliged me, indeed, sometimes to bolt my door, but yet I was so often disturbed that I went over many of them. six or seven times." Letter from Mrs. B. in 1771.
which were highly approved by many of the best
Mrs. Bowdler lived at a time which produced many extraordinary women, to none of whom, perhaps, she was inferior. Her talents were great and varied; she possessed a fine imagin, ation, a strong and highly cultivated understanding, a sound judgment, extensive information, and elegant taste. But neither the talents which she had received from the bountiful hand of Providence, nor her various acquirements, had the effect of raising self-esteem. She was diffident and unassuming, never overstepping the modesty of her sex; but rendering her powers and her know. ledge more pleasing, by the unaffected simplicity which attended the display of them. Her “ Practical Observations on the Revelation” have been already mentioned; they were published during her life, and again after her death, and form a
very interesting and instructive volume. The author first gives a short analysis of the book of Revelation, chiefly after Mr. Mede; this is fol-' lowed by some ingenious observations on the mark of the beast, the testimony and death of the witnesses, the preaching of the everlasting Gospel, and the Millenium, or reign of Christ on earth; and the remainder of the volume is occupied in inculcating the various practical lessons to be derived from the whole - a meek and humble spirit, fear and watchfulness, patience, courage, and steady perseverance; the doctrines of freewill; the unity of God; and faith in the Messiah; temperance, purity, and self-denial. With a view to this practical instruction, a more particular view is taken of some of the prophecies, and various remarks and reflections introduced, some of which will, perhaps, be new to most readers, and all are as pleasing as they are useful. — Among several subjects on which Mrs. Bowdler committed her thoughts to paper, mention has been made of her Remarks on Mr. Kennedy's System of Chronology; they were printed in the shape of two letters to a friend, and contain, among other things, some very sensible observations on the question, whether our Lord eat the Paschal Lamb on the night before he suffered, and some rules for forming a scheme of Scripture Chronology. At the conclusion of the second letter, the writer is led to make some re..
marks, which show so faithfully her turn of mind, that the reader will, perhaps, pardon their insertion.
posed to their from without it to the skir
6 When we consider our first parents as deprived at once of all the blessings of Paradise, turned into the wild world, liable to ignorance of mind and infirmity of the body, exposed to their own unruly passions within, and the attacks of wild beasts from without, directed only to seeds, herbs, and wild fruits for food, and to the skins of beasts for clothing, we are apt to think the sentence severe. Every one, according to his different turn of mind, is for supposing them supplied with something that appears to himself most valuable; and Mr. Kennedy therefore supplies them with the knowledge of astronomy. But let us suppose them, to please all, endowed with all knowledge, provided with all conveniences of life ; let a palace rise out of the ground, like Milton's Pandemonium ; let the blessed angels be set to serve them, and employed in all the servile offices to which we subject our fellow-creatures: what would be the consequence? You cannot take away the freedom of man's will ; and while that remains, he may refuse subjection to the will of God, and misery must follow. Will gratitude attach him ? that tie was too weak in Paradise. Will a sense of his own infirmity, and a fear of punishment ? those apprehensions must soon wear off when so little had been felt. But if Adam and Eve had stood a fresh trial, what shall we say of their posterity ? would not a race educated in idleness, in pleasure, and indulgence, have been like their fellows amongst us, forgetful of God, careless of each other, ungrateful to their parents ? and would not intemperance and love of pleasure, increasing from day to day, have produced a sickly, miserable race of beings, each