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The Delaware register, or, Farmers', manufacturers' & mechanics' advocate. [volume] (Wilmington, Del.) 1828-1829, November 01, 1828, Image 1

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84020593/1828-11-01/ed-1/seq-1/

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Our l'uhlic Juin mils hh they ought to be—"The
ehiclo of IniclUgeuee, m
the common
ewein of Hcandal."
No. I.
The Delaware Register is published every Saturday
morning, by A. 8f H. Wilson , No. 5, West High Street, at
Two Dollars per annum, if paid in advance ; or Two Dollars
and Fifty Cents at the end of the year.
Handbills, Cards, Blanks, Pamphlet«, and Job Printing in
general, executed with neatness and despatch, and at mode
rate prices, at the Office of the Register.
{J0- Advertisements inserted on reasonable terms. _
<£>nshial gate.
Many years have passed, and multitudes have gone down
to the grave, since there lived in the lower part of the State
of Delaware, a few miles from the Bay that washes its east
ern coast, a venerable minister of the gospel, of the Metho
dist connexion, named Henry Worthington. His natural tal
ents were of no common order, his education had been libe
ral, and he possessed a heart overflowing with benevolence.
He was a native of England, in which country he had expe
rienced calamities that wonld have broken down his spirit, had
it not been for that faith which beholds in every dispensation
of Providence, the hand of a Father too wise to do wrong,
and too good to deal unkindly. The partner of his bosom and
his only child, an intelligent and pious daughter w ho had just
entered her eighteenth year, and was soon to have been uni
ted in matrimony to one every way worthy of such a precious
gift, were struck dead by lightning before his eyes; olfording
a painful evidence tfeat " not ulways on the guilty head de
scends the fated flash." Circumstances that could not be
foreseen or provided against, had stripped him of the greater
portion of what little worldly property he possessed, and after
much meditation and prayer, he concluded to bid adieu to his
native place, where every object around him wus calculated
to fill his mind with bitter recollections. Shortly after his ar
rival in America he settled in Delaware, at the spot before
mentioned, where, by his humility, his holy life and conversa
tion, his labors of love and untiring zeal and faithfulness in
the service of his Divine Master, he gained the good w ill and
esteem of all the inhabitants of the neighborhood except a
few who did net wish to stop short in their ungodly career,
and could not bear the admonitions and reproofs of this faith
ful servant of Heaven. Of this small number was a middle
aged man named Blytiie Conway, noted only for his ava
ricious disposition, and his oppression of the poor. His dwel
ling was about four miles from Mr. Worthington's. His wife
died before the lutter settled amongst them, and his family
consisted of himself, his daughter Matilda, grown to
hood, and several negroes. He was universally disliked, and
few visited his house except on business. He never attended
the preaching of the gospel, and it was with great dilficulty
his daughter could prevail on him to permit her to frequent
the house of prayer. Matilda hud always been of
■disposition, und her virtues had endeared her to all her
quuintances. Her father, though not absolutely cruel to her,
was far from treating her with that kindness which her
a lenou
plary attention to him entitled her to receive, and her unaba
ted alfection for him, under such circumstances, excited the
admiration of their neighbors. She had uttended the minis
try of Mr. Worthington but a few months till she made
Jenin public dedicuti
to the little flock which had been collected by the lubors of
that good man. This step met with the most violent opposi
tion from her father, who, from that time forbid the clergy
man from entering his house.
Bbfore proceeding further I must inform my readers that
Conway, with all his wealth, was an unhappy man, and sore
ly tormented by an accusing conscience,
ny, attempt to drow n the voice of that faithful monitor
in. bv a resort to the inebriating goblet,
wretchedness from the public eye, he spent much of his time
m solitude, and frequently, at night, without regard to the
8t,r«: of the weather, ..odd he wander through the neighbi
rr '? country, and often not return till near morning. He
a so
of herself to God, und united herself
He did not, like ma
But, to conceal his
and liis daughter had just finished their evening meal on a ve
ry sultry day in summer, when he informed her that he intend
ed to walk out. Matilda directed his attention to the gloomy
clouds that lowered in the west, and gave token that a more
than usually terrific thunder storm was approaching, and kind
ly, but in vain, remonstrated with him on the danger of expo
sing himself on such an awful night as was about to overtake
them. He had been gone but a little time ere the storm broke
forth with tremendous fury, threatening every thing within its
reach with destruction. The heavens appeared to be on fire,
and the thunder grew louder and more alarming at each suc
cessive peal. Hour after hour passed away, and the storm
still raged, nor did it abate until after day-break. Conway
had not returned, and Matilda, who had passed the night un
der the most fearful apprehensions of his fate, was preparing
to go in search of him, when a knocking was heard at the
door, on opening which one of the neighbors appeared, who
imparted, in language calculated least to alarm her, the in
telligence that her father had, during the night, missed his
way and fallen into a pit, by which he was so much injured
that he was not able to reach home without assistance, and
that he would soon be brought to the house by men who had
been sent for that purpose. Every possible preparation was
inadc to receive him, and in a short time he was beneath his
own roof, where all the surgical help that could be procured,
was administered to him. His lovely daughter, like a minis
tering angel, watched by his bedside, and endeavored to an
ticipate his wishes. She saw him gradually sinking into the
grave, and ventured to talk of those subjects to which she
deemed it important that his attention should be turned. She
spoke of the love of God manifested in the gift of his Son, of
the promises made in the gospel to the penitent sinner, of the
holiness of God, and the necessity of repentance and fuith in
the Lord Jesus. But she perceived that such conversation
was extremely disagreeable to her father, and did not for sev
eral weeks allude to these topics, when she once more spoke
of them, and in addition, entreated him to become reconciled
to Mr. Worthington. Her piou9 efforts were, however, unavail
ing, and all she could obtain was his consent that she might
daily read to him a portion of the Scriptures.
Conway had until this time cherished a hope that he would
recover, but he was now convinced that his end drew nigh,
and that in a little time he would be an inhabitant of eternity;
and it was to this conviction that Matilda was indebted for
whatever success attended her endeavors to awaken her
father's mind to serious concerns. Hitherto, when she had
talked of religion and the present enjoyments and glorious
prospects of those who embraced it, lie had scoffed at these
things as only worthy the attention of old women and fools,
and weak-minded men. But now he began to be sensible of
his danger and of his need of something to support him in his
atHiction. His daughter continued to point him to the refuge
provided in the gospel, but he ns constantly affirmed that there
might be hope for every wretch on earth but him; that he had
cut himself entirely oft'from every reason to expect that mercy
wo^Jd be extended to him. After the lapse of a few weeks
Matilda with delight heard him request her to send for Mr.
Worthington, "for,'* said he, " I wish to ask his pardon for
my unkindness towards him, and, though I have no hope of
Heaven's forgiveness, yet, if the prayers of mortal may be
heard in iny behalf, they will be those of that holy man."
His desire was complied with, and when the messenger arri
ved at the house of the good pastor he was so enguged in
contemplation as not at first to perceive his entrance. It was
a beautiful calm evening in October. The sun had just gone
down and his departing rays were illuminating the heavens
with that magnificent variety of brilliant colors which gives
an unrivalled splendor to a North American autumnal sunset.
Mr. Worthington, who was an enthusiastic admirer of nature,
was gazing intently on the. glory of the scene, and thinking
how like to such a going down of the sun, was the death of
the righteous, when Conway's request was made know'll to
him. Disciplined in the school of aftliction, he was ever
ready to weep w'ith those wdio wept, and immediately obeyed
the summons. On entering the chamber o t the sick man, the
latter remarked, " O sir, this visit is undeserved, but not un
expected, for I am not ignorant of your readiness to be use
ful to your fellow' creatures, even though they have treated
you as I have done," and was proceeding to apologize for his
former conduct, when Mr. Worthington entreated him to say
no more on the subject, and kindly assured him that he freely
forgave him, " and," observed he, " it will indeed afford me
heartfelt pleasure if I should be made the instrument of ad
ministering consolation to you in your distress, and of indu
cing you to adopt those means whereby you may obtain the
forgiveness of your God." 44 Talk no more to me of the for
giveness of God," said the sick man, " until you hear of the
crimes to be forgiven, and then if you think prayers for me
can reach the skies, offer them up." 44 I was the only child,"
said lie, " of pious parents, both of whom died soon after 1
attained my twenty-first year. They gave me a good educa
tion, and left mo a fortune sufficiently large to enable me to
procure every comfort in life that a reasonable man could de
sire. But notwithstanding that same Being who sprinkled the
firmament with innumerable worlds, had with equal profusion
scattered blessings in rny path, I was not satisfied with my
portion, and for all his favors I retired naught but the basest
ingratitude. Avarice took possession of my soul, and such
was the power that she exercised over me, that I determined
to augment my treasures even at the risk of my salvation. I
became unfeeling and oppressive to the poor; unpitying to the
distressed; and turned a deaf ear to the cries of the miserable
and unfortunatë. I beheld unmoved, the tears of the widow
and the orphan. They plead in vain to me, and when my
daughter has afforded them what little relief it was in her pow
er to bestow, I was offended and blamed her for her charity.
In reviewing my life, I have wondered at the matchless clemen
cy of that God who rolls the thunder through the skies and
plays with the forked lightning, in not striking me dead
whilst I have been wringing the last farthing from some poor
debtor. Although I have not imbrued my hands in the blood
of a fellow mortal, I have been worse than a murderer. I
have, by my cruelty, sent a worthy but unfortunate
broken-hearted to an untimely grave. He possessed more
than a competency, and it was not by any neglect or impru
dence on his part that his circumstances became embarrass
ed. I heard of his difficulties, and offered to assist him. The
terms on which I proposed my aid were such as might be
pected from the most greedy extortioner, and nothing but his
urgent necessities could hove induced him to accept them.
Thus I laid the foundation for his ruin. When the time for
payment arrived, he was not able to meet his engagement,
and to obtain a temporary relief he was compelled to comply
with my still greater exaction. Time after time was he obli
ged to resort to me, under similar circumstances, until all his
property had to bo sold to satisfy my demands, and he
reduced to beggary. You must agree with me, sir, that I
have small claims to Heaven's pity, when I tell you that l
beheld with the most inhuman unconcern, that man, with his
locks whitened more by grief than age, and almost bereft of
reason, soliciting the charity of an unfeeling world. Hit* mis
fortunes soon brought him, as I have before said, to the
grave; and his wife, who had been tenderly brought up, and
had been accustomed to ease and plenty, died soon after, in«
poor house, a confirmed maniac. They left two boys, too
young to be sensible of their parents* wrongs. These chil
dren were apprenticed by the guardians cd' the poor, and will
shortly be of age. I have provided r/nply for them in my
will, as the only means by which I o*n make any reparation
for the injustice I have done to th*m and their parents. I
have also endeavored to make institution for the injuries I
have done to others.'*
The weakness of Conway ftequently obliged him to stop in
the course of his narrative, and he was now so much exhaust
ed that he soon fell asleep. Mr. Worthington and another of
the neighbors remained with him till morning, when, after
supplicating for mercy oiyhis behalf, they took their departure,
the unhappy man still declaring that he was afraid to hope
for forgivoness. He was now declining rapidly. Matilda re
sumed her place by his bedside, and read and prayed with him.

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