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Mr . John Rowland . 1828 . Aug . 9 , at Boston , in Lincolnshire , in the 77 th year of his age , Mr . John Rowland . It would be impossible to do justice to the many excellent virtues that marked the character of this gentleman * , and if he were to attempt to express all he feels , the writer fears he should be suspected of partiality to the memory of a much esteemed friend : but if strict
honesty , enlarged and diffusive benevolence prompting to every exertion in behalf of mankind , give any claim to notice , he is sure he shall be excused for wishing to put on record an instance of rare and illustrious merit . There are some that are ennobled by their
discoveries m science , by their literary productions , or by brilliant achievements ; without any claim to such distinction , devoid of the dazzling and showy qualities of humanity , Mr . Rowland possessed the higher praise of being , in the fullest sense of the word , a g ood man .
The leading feature in his character was honesty . He was educated a Calvinist ; but being early led to doubt , by the accidental perusal of an Universalist tract , he abandoned the creed of" his fathers and adhered to Unitarian ism , as the doctrine of the gospel . In this he found those springs of comfort and those motives of activity which bespoke it more convincingly to his sensitive mind than the profoundest reasonings , the faith
once delivered to the saints . Led on by his integrity of feeling , he imagined it his duty , not merely to profess his conviction in private among those who maintained the same sentiments , but openly to avow them , and assist , to the utmost of his power , the spread of truth . The religious society of that denomination at Boston numbers him among its supporters ; and , to the day of Ma death , he continued warmly interested in its welfare .
Having himself known what it was to undergo a change of neutiment , he understood the duty and obligation of charity . He often expressed his surprise , that reflecting men should zealously support sentiments that seemed to him so fraught with inconsistency and perplexity , but he spoke with animation of the purity of their intentions , and their unwearied labours in furtherance of the
general interests of religion , and in this * spirit liberally contributed to every institution that professed public utility . Indeed , there is hardly a benevolent establishment in the town that he did not in some way or other befriend . His private charities were also extensive . His idea of pure and undefiled religion was , that it consisted in visiting' the
widows and fatherless in their afflictions , and keeping himself unspotted from the world . This was a Scripture he was wont to quote with peculiar animation , and most faithfully did he act up to it . Like the benevolent Howard , he weut about doing good ; he sought out objects of relief , thinking that the modest and retiring amoug the sons of affliction
were ofteu more truly deserving of succour than they who clamorously obtrude their woes on public view . It may with the greatest truth be said of him , the blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon him , and he caused the widow ' s heart to sing for joy . The calls upon his pocket were almost daily , and never was the supplicating hand held out in vain .
He used sometimes to fancy that he was too indiscriminate in his givings , but he could not repress the benevolent impulses of his nature ; and he was perhaps happier in the thought that he was sometimes imposed upon , than he would have been iu the apprehension that he had sent away empty a worthy object . One instance of his consideration of
others must be noticed ; it is very characteristic , and shews the kindness of his heart in a most pleasing view . He was going to chapel one Sunday morning , when it was the depth of winter , and by the way met with a friend with whom he entered into conversation . It
naturally passed upon the inclemency of the season , and Mr . Rowland asked him if he kuew any distressed family who wanted proper nourishment and warmth on such a day . He was told of a family that had seen happier times , who applied to a butcher the day
preceding for a joint of meat , for they had not tasted meat for many days , but were refused , because the tradesman , though he acknowledged their honesty , could not afford to trust them . He instantly turned back , ordered the largest joint in the shop to be sent without delay , and added a sum in money to buy fuel and
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Oct. 2, 1828, page 717, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2565/page/61/