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dote against pride; in the mention of them I feel no mortification.
Gray's-inn-lane, in the parish of St. Andrew, Ilolborn, was the place of my nativity. I was born the ninth and last child of John and Catherine Winter, on the ninth of October, in the year one thousand seven hundred and forty-two, and was baptized on the sixteenth day of the same month, in the parish church.
I am very unacquainted with the history of my family, but from what I have heard of the place of my father's birth, which was in, or near, Nottingham, and his being educated a dissenter, I am inclined to conceive
descent is from Dr. Winter, mentioned in Palmer's Non-conformist Memorial. However, this can be but conjecture, and would be of little consequence could it be ascertained.
I know my mother was a native of Guildford in Surry. Her immediate descent was humble. She was the second wife of my father. He was by trade a shoe-maker, in very moderate circumstances; he was elected in the latter part of his life, head porter of Gray's-inn, a situation worth sixty pounds per annum. He died of . a consumption when I was nine months old. I remember to have heard it remarked, when I was a child, that on his death bed, he much
lamented that he had not felt himself affection. ately disposed towards me.
But it may be easily accounted for, from my being too young to have any thing attractive, and from the petulance and decay of spirits, not uncommon to persons in that disorder.
My mother survived him seven years, in a declining state, which also terminated in a consumption. She was not wanting in her affection to me; but I was nursed and reared principally by her sister, who was sheltered both by my father, and herself, from one of the most cruel husbands that ever disgraced human nature; and she had the greatest share of my affection. . This foster parent was removed from the family by necessity, previous to my mother's decease. My brother, at the time of my mother's death, about twenty-three years of age, and my
sister about seventeen, with myself, were the only survivors of the nine children. My brother, who had served seven years' apprenticeship to a Watch-maker, soon fell a sacrifice to youthful lusts. I had been encouraged to hope for support from him, but in consequence of his bad conduct, he enlisted in the East India service, and died abroad. My sister designed to exert herself for me, and had she been as prudent as she was capable, might have supported me till the usual period in which lads are apprenticed: but she had many attractions, and fell into ensnaring company. A few years she was the dupe to vice, but afterwards reformed ; and I have reason to conclude was effectually awakened and savingly converted by Mr. Romaine's ministry, and died under the influence of divine grace.
After the death of my mother, I was suffered to wander the streets, and spend my time in idleness and childish dissipation. Soon after I was turned of eight years, I was admitted into the charity school of St. Andrew, Holborn, and thought it an high honor conferred upon me. I felt it an affliction to be deprived of school. ing, and frequently found time hung heavy till I gained the privilege. When returning from school, I found myself excluded our apartments, I was often in want of food, and at a loss for many hours to know what was become of
my sister. By degrees I missed pieces of furniture, and perceived affairs going on seriously bad. My mother had the care of several sets of chambers in Gray's-inn ever since I could remember, which in conjunction with the business of a laundress, was the means of our subsistence; my sister was very ingenious with her needle and her pen, and conducted the whole business with great credit during the period wherein my mother lay helpless. Previous to that time, she was her right hand, and was encouraged to go on with the business after her decease; but she had formed a tender connection which was never consummated, and having been drawn into dissipation, matters became daily embarrassed.
She took occasion one day to inform me the furniture would be sold, that she must go to service, and that I must go to the work-house. She was not deficient in affection. I dearly loved her, and I hoped the event would turn out for good. I do not recollect finding myself reluctant to my fate. It was a peculiar pleasure to me to be informed I should be continued in the school.
I was introduced into a ward of thirty boys. Many inconveniences it may be supposed I felt,* but with all I can recollect that I was at the same time impressed with a sense of many mercies, and became soon familiarized to the situation,
* Of these the author has noticed several instances, such as crouding together a great number of boys into one bed, allowing them insufficient food, disregarding their cleanliness, neg. lecting their health, &c. These the editor has suppressed above, and would not have remarked them here but for the sake of lamenting--that the design of charitable institutions should so often be subverted wholly or partially, through the
avarice or inattention of hirelings. This might, in some measure at least, be prevented, if proper persons would undertake to inspect them. The editor remembers, when in Dublin, to have met with a gentleman who had retired from business, and lived on a small independence, who devoted himself entirely to this object. He investigated all the benevolent establishments in the city, and having ascertained the design of them, and the advantages the beneficiaries were authorized to expect from them, he published the account, to enable any of the inhabitants to judge whether justice was done them; and visited them weekly in rotation himself. How many ways are there of doing good, even where persons have it not in their power to afford pecuniary assistance. How desirable is it to deserve the eulogium pronounced on Mary, “ She hath done what she could.”
As to the condition itself in which Mr. W. frankly acknowledges himself to have been found, it must prove very unacceptable and offensive to all those who worship " the God of this world," and can think of nothing worthy attention separable from guineas and ribbons. Were it not for the remoteness of the scene, how much more scandalized must they be when they hear our apostles saying, " even to this hour we both hunger and thirst, and are naked and buffetted, and have no certain dwelling place;" and to read of the mother of our Savior, that “She brought forth her first born son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for him in the inn.”