Page images
PDF
EPUB

pauperism, and the important benefits which have resulted from such systems wherever they had a fair trial.

The following resolution was offered to the meeting by the Rev. Mr. Allen, and unanimously adopted

Resolved, That it is extremely important to provide employment for the poor of this City and -Liberties."

As to the interest my brother felt in the concerns of the Society after its organization, I present the following testimony with which a friend has kindly favoured me

“Rev. Sir:-Understanding from Mrs. Allen, the widow of your much respected brother, that you are engaged in writing a sketch of his life, I beg leave to add to the memory of departed worth, by stating some few particulars,' which came within my immediate notice. Some few years back a Society was formed, called the Provident So. ciety, for supplying the poor but industrious females with work, to assist them in support of themselves and families. I was engaged in keeping the accounts, and managing the internal concerns of the house, where the work was given out to applicants.”—“It was with great pleasure I witnessed the zeal and attention your brother displayed in promoting and carrying into complete effect the object of the Society. Very often have I seen him receiving from the hands of those persons employed, the work completed, and paying them the small pittance allowed; also delivering to them, and others, a further supply of employment. He was the principal, if not the first, to establish a department called the Straw Room, for the employment of the juvenile part of those families.”—“He would often give them lectures on religious subjects, and established prayers, and a hymn, mornings and evenings, which was strictly attended to. He was active in procuring the assistance of several ladies, for cutting out garments distributed to the working persons. And as setting the example, Mrs. Allen kindly assisted in

the same.

In short, he was unwearied in his exertions for the firm establishment of the Provident Society, “Accept, dear Sir, the sincere respects of your friend, &c.

“ ROBERT PULLEN. “ Philadelphia, December 13th, 1830.”

My brother was also, January 17th, 1824," appointed by the Select and Common Council of the City of Philadelphia, a Director of the Public Schools, for the education of children at public expense, for the first section of the first School District of the state of Pennsylvania.”—He was reappointed in 1825, 26, and 27. The duties connected with this appointment, likewise required considerable attention, especially from him who spared no labours in doing good.

On this subject I have the testimony of a lady, whose situation enabled her particularly to notice his movements. She observes, in a letter to myself

" The Rev. Benjamin Allen, with his usual Christian zeal and disinterestedness, fulfilled the various duties of an attentive and faithful Director. In the spring of 1825, he delivered lectures on Seripture History and Astronomy, in connexion with the magic lantern, in the Lombard Street Public School; we have reason to believe, they were productive of lasting benefit. Each child with delight was eager to be the first to give a correct answer to his questions. They committed to memory,

and recited many portions of Scripture, illustrative of the different views presented to them.

“We have much reason to believe he had their spiritual, as well as temporal interest, deeply at heart. And we hope, through the merits of a blessed Redeemer, he is now reaping the reward of the faithful and just steward. 6. The female teacher,

E. R. E." I also annex the following“ Rev. Benjamin Allen-Sir: At a meeting of the Board

Ee

318

MEMOIR OF REV. BENJAMIN ALLEN.

of Directors of the Public Schools, first section, held April 26th, 1825, the following resolution was passed :

“ Resolved, That the thanks of the Board be presented to the Rev. Benjamin Allen, for his benevolent offer to instruct the children of the Public Schools in Scripture History, and that the teachers be required to afford him every facility, and to make any necessary arrangements to effect his object.

Your obedient servant,

“ CLEMENT S. MILLER, Secretary. April 27th, 1825.”

Though his engagements were thus diversified, and his labours truly overwhelming to any ordinary mind or body, yet, I am informed, he punctually attended to all his appointments.

His pecuniary embarrassment still followed him. I was enabled to render him assistance by circulating some of his publications. This he gratefully acknowledges.

6 October 18th, 1824. “ Dear Thomas :-Your very acceptable letter, and seasonable help, came duly. The latter deserves my sincere acknowledgments, for it was most seasonable. My circumstances, in consequence of efforts to extinguish old matters, will need aid this autumn, and winter especially; and I am thankful for the prospect, as well as for the fact, of help through you.”—“One demand has got into a lawyer's hands, but it is in part met.

“ The Lord is good in all his doings. They are necessary, even the disciplining ones; and sometimes I almost fear even they are not enough. My heart has so much evil it needs much grace. Pray for me and for our father. The Lord bless you all. Love to all. 6. Truly as ever,

B. A."

[ocr errors]

CHAPTER XX.

BIRTH OF CHILDREN-HEALTH FAILS-JOURNEY TO VIRGI

NIA-ALSO TO CANADA-PUBLISHES NEWTON FAMILY

ELECTION OF ASSISTANT BISHOP.

On the birth of his fifth child, October 27th, my brother wrote to me

“ PHILADELPHIA, November 7th, 1822. “ Dear Thomas :-You have another nephew, named Benjamin. He, however, is so much oppressed with phlegm, that his living is very doubtful. May the Lord make him His, and all else is of very little moment. “Truly yours,

B. ALLEN.” On the birth of his sixth and last child, he also writes to me

" A sixth little one now is added to our number—a son, we call him Henry Thornton—the Christian benefactor of Buchanan and others. I pray God to sanctify and make him a blessing." September 21st, 1827.

He was born August 20th.

While on this subject I would add, that my brother observed, that though he had the expectation of considerable property on two different occasions in his life, yet he felt thankful that it was withheld from him, and had reason to praise the Lord. And as to his children, the Lord would provide for them; none of his plans embraced temporal aggrandizement for them. He was particularly opposed to their being engaged in mercantile business, as it was a

scene of such peculiar temptation. If his children were not qualified for clergymen or teachers, he wished them to be mechanics.

As might well have been anticipated, from his unprecedented labours, his frail body soon began to fail him. In the summer of 1823, he must have been seriously diseased. On these occasions he endeavoured to present the most favourable symptoms to his friends. Thus it was difficult for me, especially at a distance, to ascertain his real situation. He wrote to me

“ September, 1823. “Dear Thomas :-My health has been rather more precarious than usual, this summer.”. .“ I am now very well, as much so as ever. During the summer I was unwell, but that is all over, and probably I am the better for it.”

Shortly after the above, he also was called to pass through the small-pox. The report of his death reached me, and filled me with painful anxiety, until I received a letter from himself. He writes

“ January 29th, 1824. “Dear Thomas :-You would have heard particularly about my small-pox, but before I wrote you last, I was perfectly well. It was in December I was attacked, or the last of November, and in a week or two, very well; and ever since, have been much better than before. So my life is lengthened, and may the Lord help us both to serve him."

With reference to his own health, and the health of his wife, my brother travelled both north and south. By a letter of August 11th, 1823, he informed me of having just returned from a visit to Hudson.

During the summer of 1824, he, with part of his family, visited me in Montgomery County, Maryland. He preached in both of my churches. From thence he passed on to his old parishes in Virginia.

« EelmineJätka »