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THE REV. C. NEALE,
BIRTH OF MR. NEALE-THE PIOUS CHARACTER OF HIS PARENTS
ACCOUNT OF HIS ELDEST BROTHER, BENJAMIN-LINES WRITTEN BY
HIM ON TAE DEATH
OF HIS ELDEST BROTHER—BRIEF ACCOUNT
OF HIS SISTER AND HIS SECOND BROTHER, AND OF THEIR DEATHS
MOTHER-VARIOUS LETTERS FROM HER TO
HER YOUNGEST SON-HER DEATH.
CORNELIUS NEALE, born August 12th, 1789, was the youngest child of Mr. and Mrs. Neale, of St. Paul's Church Yard, who for many years conducted a large china manufactory. Mr. James Neale was twice married : his family by his first wife consisted of seven children, who, all but one son, died in infancy or very early life. This son lived long enough to experience the judicious and tender treatment of his mother-in-law, but died in early manhood.
* The materials of this chapter are furnished, partly by Mrs. Neale, and other members of the family; partly by the Rev. E. Grinfield and myself.-EDITOR.
Mr. J. Neale married, for his second wife, a lady from Staffordshire, Elizabeth Simpson, the greatly revered mother of his seven last children. Mr. Neale was a man of sound and zealous piety; and while sedulously attentive to, and very prosperous in, his temporal occupations, he was indefatigably active in promoting the cause of religion. The venerable John Newton was the intimate friend and visitor of this family. With his assistance, in 1792, they established a meeting for social prayer in their house, during the awful period of the French Revolution. He also conducted a monthly lecture in their family, till the period of his death. Of the London Missionary Society, in particular, Mr. Neale was one of the earliest, warmest and steadiest upholders. А small river bearing his name is to be found in some of the maps of this Society's settlements. It was thus called as a slight acknowledgment of their obligations to him. On the capture of the
Duff,” a ship employed by that Society in the conveyance of the Missionaries, he came with the tidings to his wife, but under too much distress to be able immediately to relate them; and under such evident grief, that she concluded the calamity he had to communicate must be of a very heavy and personal kind : and no personal loss ever so much affected him.
“ It was the custom of Mr. and Mrs. Neale,” (as related by one of the members of the family,) “ to retire together every evening after tea for prayer. I apprehend,” he adds, this was the time that they most especially pleaded for their
children, their grandchildren, and near nexions.”
Of Mr. Neale's second family, only four lived to mature years; Benjamin, Hannah, Samuel, and Cornelius.
Benjamin, the eldest son, was placed under the same course of classical tuition with his two younger brothers; but, after a few years, he was removed to take an active share in his father's business in St. Paul's Church Yard. From conscientious motives, and in a spirit of filial obedience, he applied himself sedulously and successfully to the duties he undertook; and his youngest brother frequently remarked, that if he relinquished the allurements of literature, it was neither from want of inclination for such pursuits, nor from deficiency of talent to have rendered him eminent in them. But besides possessing a naturally amiable and yielding disposition, the grace of God appeared early to have touched his heart, and made him anxious only to be found in the strait path of duty. His engagements, however, did not preclude him from paying attention to general reading and information in the useful literature of the day; and in the fatigue of committees, and societies for the promotion of the Gospel, his labour and strength were usefully and most cheerfully expended. As a speaker in large meetings and public societies, Mr. B. Neale was remarked not only for his touching, simple, and perfectly natural, but oftentimes for his very powerful, eloquence. This life of usefulness, however, was short. A rapid decline carried him off in the thirtieth year of his age, August 6th, 1816; four years after his marriage, and two years and a half after the death of his father, Mr. James Neale.
Mrs. Neale was thus bereft of one, who was becoming more and more the stay and comfort of her declining years. The following lines, written on the occasion, by her youngest son, Cornelius, express his tender sympathy towards his aged and widowed mother, and convey also a very just tribute to the memory of his eldest brother.
TO HIS MOTHER,
ON THE DEATH OF HIS BROTHER BENJAMIN.
Oh, weep not for him, 'tis unkindness to weep;
He sleeps, O, how kindly! on Jesus's breast;
Weep not that so soon he is gone to be blest ;
Short, short was the circuit his sun journey'd through ;
We gather the flower when full in its bloom,