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In the year 1800, when certain projects were formed to abridge the religious liberties of the Dissenters, Mr. F. corresponded with some distinguished senators on the subject, and in a very respectful and judicious, but firm and upright manner, pointed out the pernicious, tendency of the measures in contemplatiou. Copies of these letters now lie before me. But as I should not think it justifiable to publish them, without the express approbation of the gentlemen to whom they were addressed; so I conceive there is no occasion to solicit their consent; as it is well known the design was abandoned, and indeed issued, through the good hand of God, and the kind dispositions of government, in the confirmation and extent of our liberties.
Mr. Fuller's first Marriage—His Parental Affection--Account of his Daughter SarahMrs. Fuller's Illness and Death-Lines written by himself in Reference to that Event-His second Marriage to the Daughter of the Rev. Mr. Coles, of whom some Account is given in a Note—His Second Family--Domestic Comfort-Distress respecting his Eldest SonAccount of his Nephew, Joseph Fuller-Mr. Fuller's concern for the Spiritual Welfure of more Distant Relatives and Friends.
MR. FULLER'S first wife was Miss Gardiner, the daughter of Stephen and Sarah Gardiner, people of respectable character at Burwell in Cambridgeshire; to whom he was married Dec. 23, 1776. The original name of the family was Gardner, and a tradition has been preserved, that it was changed to Gardiner, at the instigation of Stephen Gardiner, who was Bishop of Winchester in Queen Mary's reign; though it is hard to divine his motive for wishing this alteration, as no reason
of relationship is assigned for it: but so it is said that it was. Mrs. Fuller was born in 1756, and died 1792. She had in all eleven children, three of whom were buried at Soham, five at Kettering, one in the sea, and two survive.
All of those who were removed by death were very young, excepting two; namely, a daughter, who was between six and seven years of age; and his eldest son, who died at sea, when he was about twenty-seven years old. The loss of the former was a very severe trial, of which I shall insert a full and particular account. The latter, as is well known to many, was a source of unspeakable distress for several years; yet a brief relation of this affliction may be truly instruetive both to parents and to young people. Some degree of hope attended it in the end.
For the best interests, not only of his children, but of all his relatives, both by sanguivity and affinity, Mr. Fuller always discovered a great concern. This will appear by his letters to more distant relatives, as well as by those addressed to his own children, and by other interesting documents.
With respect to his parental tenderness towards his daughter, I was an eye-witness of the uncommon degree in which it was manifested. She died May 30th, 1786, aged six years and nearly six months. She was a very
intelligent and amiable child, and gave much hopeful evidence of early piety; as I can attest from my own knowledge, as well as from the following narrative drawn up by her Father.
“ Sarab Fuller was born at Soham, Dec. 7, 1779. At the time of her birth I committed her to God; as I trust I have done many times since. Once in particular, viewing her as she lay smiling in the cradle, at the age of eight months, my heart was much affected : 1 took
in my arms, retired, and in that position wrestled bard: with God for a blessing ; at the same time offering her up, as it were, and solemnly presenting her to the Lord for acceptance.
In this exercise I was greatly encouraged, by the conduct of Christ towards those who brought little children in their arms to him for his blessing. At that time I wrote the following lives :1 Dear child! for thee my bowels how they roll!
Fruit of my body, darling of my soul;
Thy lífe may pleasure give--but O to die ! 2 To dark futurity my thoughts will run;
To that vast world when this is filed and gone :
For thee thy parent's heart is pain’d with care. 3 In whose kind hand shall I thy welfare leave?
Not in mine own-myself I cannot save:
“ 'I have frequently, when carrying her in my arms, sung over her such lines as the following, with much affection:
May'st thou live to know and fear him,
Trust and love him all thy days;
dwell for ever near him, See his face, and sing his praise.“
" Or this:
O may'st thou live to reach the place,
And sing his name to harps of gold.' “She was a child of great vivacity of spirits, but nothing remarkably vicious.
The only time in her life that I had any occasion to use a rod, was when she was about four years old, for telling a lie. Having one day a great inclination to go out, she asked leave, and then said she had obtained it, when she had not.
“ About Michaelmas, 1785, she was invited by our kind friends Mr. and Mrs. Ryland and Miss Tyler, to pay a visit to Northampton. She went, and stayed eleven or twelve weeks, during which time Mrs. Trinder kindly took her into her school. Her proficiency in reading, speiling, &c. gave us much pleasure. But, alas for us! how long will it be, ere we cease to set our eyes upon that which is not? Death was then preparing to blast our rising