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As it was the earnest desire of Mrs. PATTEN that something should be written for the encouragement of her descendants, and others, especially the widow and fatherless, that they may be enabled to trust in the wisdom, goodness, and faithfulness of a covenant-keeping God.
Through all this long wilderness, Mrs. P., with her little brood marched contentedly along, hand in hand, unitedly. The subsequent letters will show where her great support and consolation rested, through her various trials in the sickness and death of her beloved husband, in the meridian of life, and five dear children, of which the reader would, probably, be gratified to know more particularly.
As there were a number of incidents and anecdotes omitted in the memoir of Mrs. Patten, owing to the writer not living with his mother, which it is thought best to insert, though not to interfere with the memoirs, only to add. The death of her eldest son was a very grievous affliction. He was a remarkably intelligent child from infancy-when not two years old he calle: four young students, who were studying with his father, preparatory for College, into the parlorthey immediately obeyed, and the child, after
taking his infant book and chair, sat down witit dignity, and after reading, as he thought, a sufficient portion; arose, and leaning over his chair said, boys, be still, and then began his prayer, with the same expressions his father had used in the morning, though in broken language, like a child—his mother, being in the next room, and hearing him, called to him, thinking it made the duty of prayer too light-when the lads saw how the exercise ended, they were merry, though before appeared very solemn.
When this child' was five years old, he was attacked with a severe quinzy, which it was sup. posed would prove fatal. The mother's ar
anxiety was very great, she was satisfied his knowledge and age were sufficient to impress his mind and heart with the love of his God and Saviour.The mother's prayers and intercessions were most fervent for the life of the child, until she could evidence the love of the Saviour shed abroad in his heart, she would then resign him cheerfully. Contrary to expectation, the child recovered. As soon as he was able to walk, he went into the garden to meet his dear mother, with an emaciated form, and anxious countenance, caught hold of her garment and said, pray ma’ma do tell me, what I must do to be saved? The happy results of this inquiry may be ascertained by his subsequent life, and triumphant death, at the age of ten years, which the reader
find in the memoir of Mrs. Patten.
After the decease of this beloved child, the
following Hymn was found in his closet, supposed to be in his own hand-writing, set to music.
• Come let us join our cheerful songs
With angels round the throne ;
But all their joys are one.
To be exalted thus,
For He was slain for us.
Jesus is worthy to receive
Honor and praise divine,
Be Lord forever thine.
Let all that dwell above the sky,
And air, and earth, and seas,
And speak their Maker's praise.
The whole creation join in one
To bless the sacred name,
And to adore the Lamb."
It is presumed that a brief Obituary of the father of the lamented child, whose history is narrated above, will not be uninteresting to the Christian reader. The Rev. WILLIAM PATTEN, Sen ,was born in Billrica, Massachusetts, in 1738 His parents were pious, and of respectable stand ing, and much beloved.
At what time their son became pious, cannot
be ascertained. When a child, it is believed not seven years of age, he composed a sermon on the first verse in the Bible--"And God created the heaven and the earth"-which, from justness, and connexion of the thoughts, excited surprise.
He was docile, manly, regular, diligent, and faithful, and ever discovered a maturity of mind in advance of his years. At the age of twelve, he was admitted to Harvard University, and through the whole of his Collegiate course, he incurred no censure, but was highly commended for his exemplary conduct, and proficiency in his studies.
Within about two years after he graduated, he became a preacher of the gospel, and such was his popularity, that after hearing him one or two Sabbaths, the church and society in Halifax, Massachusetts, unanimously invited him to take the office of their Pastor, with which he accepted, and was ordained six weeks before he was nineteen years of age. He soon after married Miss Ruth WHEELOCK, daughter of the Rev. Eleazer Wheelock, founder and first President of Dartmouth College.
When Mr. Patten had continued in Halifax about ten years, his youth, and want of opportunity to study, obliged him to sit up two whole nights every week, which brought on a series of hypochondriac fits, which, by the misjudgment of his physicians, they all thought of the apoplectic kind, and therefore reduced him to death's-door, but by journeying and relaxation he was by a Divine blessing, in some measure restored to health, though ever after subject to a return of the disease if any extra excitement occurred.
Mr. Patten thought it adviseable, by a party council, selected and called by himself, though much against the approbation of the church and congregation in general, to obtain a dismission, believing on the whole it would prove beneficial to them, as he was unable to perform parochial duties to his own satisfaction. Soon after re. turning health and a desire to be employed in his Master's service, induced him to re-settle in the ministry. He was installed colleague pastor with the Rev. Elnathan Whitman, over the South Church in Hartford, Connecticut. He continued in this situation about seven years, when former indisposition returned with increasing violence, especially his failure of voice, so that he could perform no public service, nor even offer a prayer audibly in his family. He languished and declined nearly two years, when, after a life of
peculiar trial, he died in great peace, in the bosom of his father's family, at Roxbury, Massachusetts, January 16th, 1775, aged 37 years.
In person, Mr. Patten was above the middle stature he was well formed, and there was a remarkable dignity connected with ease and grace in all his movements_his countenance was manly, his eye intelligent, and expressive. His voice was clear and sonorous, full and distinctevery tone adapted to the sentiment he uttered. The attention of every one was immediately ar