Project Canterbury








"He maketh both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak."



Transcribed by Wayne Kempton
Archivist and Historiographer of the Diocese of New York, 2011

[Transcriber’s note: This book is presented courtesy of the Rev. Henry L. Buzzard, former Priest in Charge of St. Ann’s Church for the Deaf in New York. It was given to the Archives of the Episcopal Diocese of New York, along with all of the records of St. Ann’s, by the current Vicar of the congregation, the Rev. Maria Santiviago. Her congregant Evelyn Schafer has prepared the finding aid for the collection.]


Entered, according to act of Congress, in the year 1852, by
in the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Northern District
of New York.


                        THEIR DEPARTED DAUGHTER
                                    IS AFFECTIONATELY INSCRIBED
                                                BY THEIR FRIEND AND
                                                            FORMER PASTOR,
                                                                        THE AUTHOR.


“The Maid is not dead, but sleepeth.”



WHEN our blessed Saviour was on the earth, he wrought many miracles. By his mighty power he raised the dead, healed the sick, cast out devils, gave sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, and speech to the dumb. In this way he proved that he was a teacher sent from God, and that he was himself Divine as well as human, the great mystery of godliness, God manifest in the flesh. But the Lord Jesus Christ is no longer personally among men, and the age of miracles has passed away. Yet is he still on the earth by his providence and by his Holy Spirit, and is still doing wonderful works. He raises to spiritual life those who were dead in trespasses and sins; he cures those who are [5/6] spiritually diseased; he overcomes our spiritual enemies; he opens the eyes of the spiritually blind, unstops the ears of the spiritually deaf, and makes the tongue of the spiritually dumb to sing. And blessed is he whosoever shall not be offended in him.

The mighty works of which we have just spoken are the works of God in Christ by the Holy Spirit. But there are also great and wonderful works that are done by what is called Divine Providence, and some of them seem almost like miracles. Among these works are many of the modern discoveries and inventions, which have all occurred under the providence of God, and are designed for the good of mankind. One of the most useful of these is the art of teaching the deaf and dumb and the blind.

In former years, those who were so unfortunate as to be born blind, or deaf and dumb, were doomed to pass through life in great ignorance, enjoying but few pleasures, and almost [6/7] entirely shut out from the world. But now it is very different. Asylums for the blind and for deaf mutes have been established in various parts of the world, and those who have come into life without the ordinary senses with which we are endowed, are taught the several branches of human knowledge, as well as those heavenly truths which are able to make us wise unto salvation.

These blessed Institutions have, in a certain sense, given sight to the blind, and hearing and speech to the deaf and dumb. They have brought many poor children out of the deepest obscurity, and made them bright ornaments of society. Indeed, within their sheltering walls the children of the rich and poor meet together, and under the blessing of Him who is the Maker of them all, they are delivered from the darkness of ignorance, and furnished with those means of enjoyment which are common to such as are favored with the ordinary faculties and powers which God gives to man.

[8] The object of this little volume is to speak of one, a deaf mute, who, in an Institution of this kind, and under faithful parental care, was so trained in the ways of wisdom and virtue, that she became a bright example of youthful piety, worthy of being held up for the imitation of all in early life, and affording great encouragement to such parents and teachers, as, in God's wise providence, are made the guardians and instructors of deaf and dumb children.

The narrative here given, is in no degree a work of fiction, but a simple statement of facts. It is not pretended that there is in the example here presented, any thing really extraordinary, except when the peculiar disadvantages of the subject of the memoir are taken into consideration. Yet, it will be seen that, even aside from these disadvantages, there were some features in her life, character, and death, which make her example one worthy of the highest commendation, and richly deserving to be recorded for the instruction and guidance of [8/9] children and youth who would remember their Creator in the morning of their days. It is the earnest desire of the writer of this book, to benefit the lambs of Christ's flock; and it is his sincere prayer that those who read what he now writes, may be made wiser and better by the example here placed before them, and learn from it always to live in such a state, that they may never be afraid nor unprepared to die.


[10] CORNELIA AMANDA LATHROP was born in the city of Rochester, New York, on the thirtieth day of August, 1835. She was regarded in her infancy as an unusually bright and promising child, and she appeared particularly sensitive to all kinds of sights and sounds. It was not until she had reached the age when children generally begin to talk, that it was discovered that she would probably never speak. It was a most painful discovery to her parents and friends. Her mother has told me that her first thoughts were, "How will she ever know that she has a soul; that there is a God; that there is a Saviour provided for her?"--forgetting, for the time, the means which are furnished for the instruction of the deaf and dumb in the Institutions of which I have spoken. From that moment her parents felt a [10/11] peculiar tenderness towards this dear child, and they realized that a very solemn responsibility rested upon them, with reference to her instruction and training. When she was but a few months old, they dedicated her to God in Baptism, according to the forms of the Protestant Episcopal Church, promising in her name that she should renounce the devil and all his works, the pomps and vanity of this wicked world, and all the sinful lusts of the flesh; that she should believe all the articles of the Christian Faith; and that she should keep God's holy will and commandments, and walk in the same all the days of her life.

It was in accordance with the Baptismal promises that the parents of Cornelia endeavored to train this beloved child. The following most solemn charge had been given to them, and they felt the obligation of fulfilling it:

"Forasmuch as this child has promised by you, her sureties, to renounce the devil and all his works, to believe in God, and to serve him; ye [11/12] must remember, that it is your parts and duties to see that this infant be taught, so soon as she shall be able to learn, what a solemn vow, promise, and profession, she hath made by you. And that she may know these things the better, ye shall call upon her to hear sermons; and chiefly ye shall provide that she may learn the Creed, the Lord's Prayer, and the Ten Commandments, and all other things which a Christian ought to know and believe to his soul's health; and that this child may be virtuously brought up to lead a godly and a Christian life; remembering always, that Baptism doth represent unto us our profession; which is, to follow the example of our Saviour Christ, and to be made like unto him; that as he died and rose again for us, so should we, who are baptized, die from sin, and rise again unto righteousness; continually mortifying all our evil and corrupt affections, and daily proceeding in all virtue and godliness of living."

Poor Cornelia could hear no sermons, though [12/13] this was not known at the time of her Baptism; but as soon as she was able to learn, she was taught "what a solemn vow, promise, and profession" were then made in her name, and she was "virtuously brought up to lead a godly and a Christian life." Her mother, who had almost the entire care of her, soon found ways and means by which to converse with her, and she has assured me that she does not recollect any instance in which Cornelia failed to understand what she wished to say to her. It was delightful to see how readily one idea after another was conveyed to her mind. Of course she knew nothing of language, so that it was necessary to make use of signs in conveying these ideas. As is generally the case with such persons, her other senses seemed more acute from her lack of the sense of hearing. She had little difficulty in understanding what other children said to her, and was always pleased to have her companions and playmates with her, and they could easily understand what [13/14] she wished to say to them. She was anxious to know all about everything she saw, and when her inquiries were answered in a way which she could understand, she was contented and satisfied.

When she was very young, one of her little friends died, and she was very unhappy about it. She knew not what death was. She attended the funeral, which took place on a very cold day, and after she returned from the cemetery, or burial-place, she began to weep, because, as she said, the little girl would be very cold, and would be afraid to be left alone. The body had been deposited in a tomb, which looked to Cornelia like some kind of house, and she was grieved that her little friend should be left in such a cold and lonely place. Then the subject of death was explained to her. She had been previously taught that there was a God, who was everywhere present, and who could see us at all times. She was now told by signs that we have a soul within us, and [14/15] that, in the case of good children and good people, death is the taking of the soul away from the body, and from this world, that it may go to another and a happier place. She had somewhere seen a picture of angels with wings; and she was told that at death God sends an angel to carry the soul from earth to heaven. Heaven itself was described to her as a beautiful place, where God dwells, and where all is happiness and peace. In this description she was pointed to flowers, and to other beautiful things that she loved; and she understood at once, and was satisfied. After this she never had any fear of death. She regarded it as--the servant Jesus sends--To call us to his arms;--and it was always a delightful thought to her that she should pass through the grave and gate of death to her joyful resurrection.


[16] IT is impossible to name any particular time when Cornelia began to feel interested in the things of the soul and eternity. God touched her heart at a very tender age, and made her one of his own children; and it always seemed a pleasure to her to learn about her Maker and Redeemer, and to be taught the way of salvation through Him who loved her and gave himself for her. She was born with just such a nature as other children have; but she was a child of many prayers, and was early sanctified by the Holy Spirit. A member of Christ, a child of God, and an inheritor of the kingdom of heaven, she lived here as one who belonged to a purer clime; in the world, but not of the world, and ready at any moment to be taken to the skies.

The Church to which Cornelia belonged is [16/17] one that takes especial care of the lambs of Christ's flock. It is a Church that receives tender infants to her arms, and feeds them with the sincere milk of the Word, that they may grow thereby. She has faith to believe that children truly consecrated to God's service, in the ordinance of his own appointment, will be received and blessed by their Heavenly Father; that God's promise concerning those who are trained in his holy ways will be fulfilled; and that thus, there will never be wanting a seed to serve him in all generations. To present every one perfect in Christ Jesus is her great object in regard to those who are admitted to her fold. The "man in Christ" is the chief end of all her holy nurture and admonition; and she feels a sad disappointment when any who have received her nursing care fail to grow "unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ."

The system, therefore, of this Church is what may be called the training system; and when it [17/18] is faithfully carried out, the happy result will usually be seen in the early piety of those who have been under its influence. I do not say that all who are baptized and religiously brought up will become true Christians; but still the promises of God's Word are very positive as to the effect of bringing up the young in the ways of his laws, and in the works of his commandments. The language of that Word is, "Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old he will not depart from it." With such a command and such a promise before us, how can we doubt that it is God's will to have all children given up to him in their earliest days, and then trained as those who have been consecrated to his service, to be his here and forever? It cannot be that God would have children trained with reference to their conversion when they are grown up; but with the expectation that their very childhood will be a Christian childhood. It cannot be that God would have us live through years of [18/19] sin, before becoming his servants and children in Jesus Christ; but that he would have us devote to him the bright morning of our days, and continue steadfast in his service, daily increasing in his Holy Spirit more and more, until we come unto his everlasting kingdom.

It is related of the distinguished and pious BAXTER, that he was at one time greatly troubled concerning himself, because he could recollect no time when there was a gracious change in his character. But he discovered at length that education is as properly a means of grace as preaching; and he thus found a sweeter comfort in his love to God, that he learned to love him so early. The late Bishop GRISWOLD, who was a very holy man, was a Christian from his childhood, and could fix upon no particular time when he began to love God and to believe in Christ. He himself says, "I had an early experience of the comforts of religious hope. At the age of about ten years, I was reduced by distressing sickness to the [19/20] verge of the grave, and for several hours was supposed to be dying. Never can I forget with what lively hope and joy unspeakable, amidst great bodily sufferings, I looked forward to the blessedness of the heavenly state." This excellent man grew up under the system of religious training of which I have spoken, and under its influence he learned to love God so early, that in after years he could not tell when that love first dawned upon his soul.

The same has been true of many devoted Christians; and it would ordinarily be the case, if, from their earliest days, children, consecrated to God in Baptism, should be brought up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. There might be instances that would be exceptions to this general rule. Pious parents sometimes have wicked and dissolute children; and so wicked and dissolute parents sometimes have pious children. Various influences from other sources may counteract and destroy both the good and the bad influences which parents [20/21] exert over their children, and many causes may conspire to make the children different in character and conduct from their pious or their irreligious parents. The most devoted parents may fail to train up their children wisely and judiciously. They may err in judgment, and discourage their children by demanding and expecting too much from them; and in various ways the most pious and tender parents may unintentionally and ignorantly defeat the object nearest to their hearts.

Still, the true idea is to have children so faithfully nurtured in the Lord, as to grow up in Christian piety; and, as a general thing, the precepts and example and admonitions and prayers of pious parents may be expected to have the desired effect upon those who are under their authority and influence; and in such cases there would be no knowledge, ordinarily, of the precise time when the love of God was first shed abroad in the heart; but there would be a gradual manifestation and increase [21/22] of spiritual life and experience, which would richly repay all parental solicitude and care.

The parents of Cornelia felt their responsibility concerning her, to be a most solemn one. They endeavored faithfully to discharge it and though they labored under peculiar disadvantages from her physical disability, God blessed their efforts, and they now find sweet comfort in the thought that their child learned to love God so early that they know not when she began to love him.


[23] CORNELIA had an impression that she was different from other children, a long time before she knew what the difference was. When she was quite a child, the Principal of the New York Institution for the Deaf and Dumb visited Rochester, with several of the pupils, and held an exhibition. They communicated with her readily, and from that time she understood in what respect she differed from children in general. It was then decided to place her in the Institution, when she should reach the proper age. This plan was made known to her, and she seemed pleased that she was to enjoy such advantages. In the meantime she was sent to school, in the hope that she might learn something that would be useful to her as preparatory to her entrance into the Institution. She soon learned to write, but gained [23/24] no knowledge of language. Her powers of imitation were very great; what she saw once, she understood, and never forgot. She was a great favorite with her school-mates, being always cheerful and happy, and ready to do any little acts of kindness that were in her power.

She never appeared to regard her deafness as a misfortune or an affliction, and in all probability, she was never made unhappy by it. It was different with her from what it would have been had she lost the sense of hearing, after having once enjoyed it. But she was deaf from her birth, and never realized what the blessing was which God denied her. Being deaf, she could not learn to speak; for language, as spoken, must be learned by hearing the sounds of letters and words. But, notwithstanding she was thus deprived of both these faculties, which seem so indispensable to our happiness, she was a joyous girl, and made everybody happy around her. She had what is called a happy disposition, which leads [24/25] those who have it to make the best of everything, and not to murmur or complain at God's dealings towards them.

When the time came for Cornelia to go to the Institution at New York, she made all her arrangements with great cheerfulness, disposing of her playthings to her little friends, seeming to think she should have no farther use for them, and took leave of her brothers and sisters, as though she was going a pleasant journey, soon to return to the dear home of her childhood. She was then twelve years old. She was accompanied to the Institution by her parents; and even when they left her among entire strangers, her calmness and fortitude never for a moment forsook her; and when she saw that her parents were deeply affected, she wondered that they should feel so badly. She submitted at once to the rules of the Institution, and so entirely, that her teacher has said that he never but once had occasion to reprove her, and even then he only laid his hand gently [25/26] upon her shoulder, and gave her to understand that he wished her to be obedient. This was sufficient. It was her first and last reproof for a period of nearly four years! She made rapid progress in everything that she undertook, and was soon one of the favorite pupils in the Institution. She improved much in her manners and appearance, became more and more thoughtful and dignified, and made a favorable impression upon all who saw her. She was often visited by her parents and friends, who observed with great pleasure her improvement, and whose hearts were drawn out in thankfulness to God that there had been such a way provided for her instruction.

One of the teachers under, whose care Cornelia was placed has said of her, that she was the life of the class; that she was an example of patience under suffering when ill, of close and careful attention to her studies, and of willing obedience and submission to the rules of the school-room. He says that she was [26/27] particularly interested when she was instructed in religious subjects; that her conduct was that of a Christian; and that she loved the Bible above all other books. She was uniformly kind and affectionate to her fellow-pupils, respectful to those placed over her as teachers, and conscientious in the performance of all her duties. She was quiet and retiring in her manners, shrinking from observation, and seeming to regard others as better than herself.

During Cornelia's connection with the Institution she kept a diary or journal, and wrote many letters to her friends. She wrote a plain, neat hand, and her compositions, though written in a style quite peculiar, yet show that she had an active and inquiring mind. A few extracts from her journal, and one of her letters, will be printed here as specimens of the manner in which she usually wrote. My young readers must remember that it is one of the most difficult things in the world for one who is deaf and dumb to learn to read and write correctly. [27/28] Cornelia certainly wrote better than many girls of her age who have not the same disadvantages. These are the extracts from her diary:

"December 16, 1850.--It was the first day of Mr. Gallaudet's week of supervision. He often comes here. It was very pleasant weather.

December 17.--Mrs. Gallaudet came here. She lives in Hartford. She was happy to see some deaf and dumb pupils in the sitting-room. Their little daughter played on the floor. I think that she is a very sweet girl.

December 18.--I have no news.

Sunday, December 22.--Mr. Jacob Van Nostrand lectured, and we understood about God.

December 23.--Mr. Gallaudet took care of some boys, and Mr. Isaac L. Peet entered the girls' sitting-room, and talked with them. It was very cold, but they were very patient.

December 24.--Some girls went to the city, for they were happy to be there Christmas day. [28/29] I have seen some soldiers walking in the street.

December 25.--Many deaf and dumb pupils were merry on Christmas day, and some ladies and gentlemen came to visit the large tableaux. Mr. O. W. Morris also exhibited the pretty magic lantern till 10 o'clock. They told me many things. My friends gave me beautiful presents. I thanked them and told them, 'merry Christmas day.'

December 26.--Some deaf and dumb pupils arrived here, and entered their school-rooms.

December 27.--I am very sorry because I have no news.

December 28.--Dr. Peet went to the city of New York. I have played with some girls who were very dull.

Sunday, December 29. --Mr. Gallaudet's mother and his wife came to visit the chapel. He lectured about God, and he hoped that we will die and live. The deaf and dumb pupils like to see him. They thanked him.

January 1, 1851.--Some girls arrived here, [29/30] and they were happy on New Year's day. I have no more news.

January 13.--Some girls and boys saw the beautiful lunar rain-bow, in the evening.

Sunday, January 19.--Dr. Peet lectured about God and his character all day.

Sunday, March 9.--Mr. Morris lectured in the large chapel. We understood him.

Thursday, March 13.--In the morning Mr. Morris explained about Mr. Turner, who was thrown by a locomotive, and he was dead. He was very sorry.

Friday, March 14.--In the afternoon, while I sewed my clothes, a girl called me, and I went into the parlor, and I saw my mother, a lady, and my little brother. I was very glad.

Sunday, March 16.--In the morning Mr. E. Peet lectured about the Holy Ghost. Some ladies came to visit the chapel. Mr. Bartlett also lectured about some bad sinners.

March 18.--In the morning there was very much snow. Mr. Trist walked on the railroad. [30/31] He was thrown by the locomotive. He was almost dead. He had his forehead and arm hurt. Some deaf and dumb pupils were very sorry for him.

Sunday, April 6.--Mr. Morris lectured about the Bible, and he said we must be good and obey God.

April 20.--Mr. Morris lectured about Adam and Eve. The map hung on the wall of the chapel.

April 27.--Mr. Gallaudet lectured, and explained about many things. We understood him.

September 18.--Yesterday Mr. Gallaudet's father died at 2 o'clock. The pupils are very sorry for him.

September 19.--Dr. Peet went to Hartford, for Mr. Gallaudet’s father died. They buried him in the grave.

Sunday, September 21.--In the morning Mr. E. Peet lectured from the Bible, and Mr. Bartlett also lectured. I have no more news. I am very sorry.

[32] September 22.--Dr. Peet was very sick all day. Some ladies came to see the Institution for the Deaf and Dumb.

September 25.--In the morning Mr. Carey and his family went to Ohio, for he will teach some Deaf and Dumb pupils. Some pupils here were very sorry for them.

Sunday, September 28.--I am very happy to stay here. Mr. Morris lectured from the Bible, and gave some tracts to us.

October 1.--My sister came to see me. I was very glad to see her. I talked with her about many things.

October 2.--In the evening the moon shone brightly in the sky.

October 4.--In the morning the fog was on the ground. Some ladies and gentlemen visited the pupils in the schools. I received a letter from my Aunt Sarah, while my mother and grand-aunt came to see me. I was very glad to see them.

The last entry in her journal is

[33] A Fable of the Lion and the Mouse.

"A noble lion was once sleeping in a forest. A little mouse was running about near him, and ran up on his back and shoulder. The lion felt him. He awoke, and seized the mouse in his great strong paw. He was angry at the mouse, because he troubled him, disturbing his sleep, and he was going to kill him. The poor little mouse begged the lion not to kill him. The lion pitied him and let him go. The mouse thanked the lion, and ran away gladly.

A few days afterward, the lion was chasing a fox through the forest, and fell into a strong net. He became entangled in the net, and could not escape. He laid down and roared loudly. The little mouse heard him roaring; and came to him. He pitied him. He gnawed the strings of the net, and soon the lion was free. The lion thanked the little mouse, and ran on pursuing his prey.

This fable teaches us that proud, wealthy, and powerful people ought never to despise [33/34] and [33/34] hurt the poor, humble, and weak people; for it may happen that the weak, humble, and poor ones may sometimes be able to help them."

The following is one of Cornelia's letters:

New York, November 25, 1851.

My dear Aunt Sarah,

It gives me great pleasure to write a few lines to you to let you know that I received your letter. I was interested to read your letter, giving me news about things at Rochester. I was very glad to hear from you that you are very well. I am in good health at present. I wrote a letter to you last summer. You told me that you received it from me. It was not lost. I went to Guilford with my father, sisters, and brother last summer. I was very happy to stay there two weeks. My friends told me that they wished that I could stay there. My parents went to Rochester last Friday. I hope that they are very happy to stay there. We went to the great Fair last October. [34/35] I met my father there. I talked with him about different things. Mr. Morris went to Knoxville, in Tennessee, last October. He is the Principal of the Institution for the Deaf and Dumb. His wife and family will go to Knoxville in a few weeks. My new teacher is Mr. Bartlett. I am very happy to have him for my teacher. There are one hundred and seven girls, and one hundred and thirty-six boys in the Institution. Will you please to write a letter to me very soon? You must tell me about news. You must tell Miss Cheney about me. I did not write a letter to her. I am very busy to learn many things. I think that she often waits for my letter. I will write a letter to her next week. We are all very well at present, but I am very sorry to tell you about Miss Mary Ann Smith, who was dead two weeks ago. We were very sorry for her. We went to the chapel. Dr. Peet explained about her. We hope that she went to heaven. We looked at her in a coffin. It was a handsome one. I expect that you will be surprised [35/36] to read it about her. It will be Thanksgiving on the 27th of November. I wish to see you very much. I saw my grandfather's likeness. I remember him. I love him very much. I wish you to send your likeness. I want to see your face. I am very happy to stay here. I suppose that you are very happy to stay at home. I want my Aunt Amanda to write a letter to me very soon. Miss Barnes will go home with me next year. I talk with her about you. She gives her best love and kiss to you. I was very glad that you and my grandfather will come to New York next year. I heard that forty-four children were killed last Thursday in the city. They fell down the stairs of the school-house. I am very sorry for them. I hope they will go to heaven. I often think about God. I love him very much. I give my love and respects to you, my parents, my Aunt Amanda, grandfather, grandmother, and all my friends.

Your affectionate Niece,


[37] WHEN Cornelia had been about one year at the Institution, she had the measles, which left her in a delicate state of health; so that it became necessary occasionally to take her to her own home, which was now in the city of New York, to which place her parents had removed from the city of Rochester. She did not leave the Institution entirely, however, until she had enjoyed its privileges nearly four years. It was during one of these periods of her occasional absence, that she received the holy rite of Confirmation. She was at this time in the fifteenth year of her age. The family's pastor in New York was the Rev. Dr. Whitehouse, who had also been their minister in Rochester; and it was under his care that she was instructed with reference to the renewal of her baptismal promises. She read and reflected much upon [37/38] the subject, and came deliberately to the conclusion that it was her duty to profess and call herself a Christian. Her friends encouraged her in this course, from their thorough conviction that she was truly a child of God, and from their desire to see her in the full enjoyment of the privileges of the Church of Christ. In due time the Confirmation took place, and one of her brothers joined her in the solemn act. The service was familiar to Cornelia, and having her eye upon it, as she stood before the Bishop and the congregation, she gave a silent assent to the solemn question which was proposed to all the candidates, "Do ye here, in the presence of God, and of this congregation, renew the solemn promise and vow that ye made, or that was made in your name, at your Baptism; ratifying and confirming the same; and acknowledging yourselves bound to believe and to do all those things which ye then undertook, or your Sponsors then undertook for you?" The occasion was one of great interest to [38/39] Cornelia. She felt that she was taking a most important step, and that it was a great privilege to be permitted to confess that Saviour before men whom she had so early learned to love, and in whom alone she trusted for pardon and salvation. She could adopt the language of that beautiful Hymn,

                        O happy day, that stays my choice
                                    On thee, my Saviour and my God:
                        Well may this glowing heart rejoice,
                                    And tell thy goodness all abroad.
                        O happy bond, that seals my vows
                                    To him who merits all my love;
                        Let cheerful anthems fill his house,
                                    While to his sacred throne I move.
                        'Tis done, the great transaction's done;
                                    Deign, gracious Lord, to make me thine:
                        Help me, through grace, to follow on,
                                    Glad to confess thy voice divine.
                        High heaven, that heard the solemn vow,
                                    That vow renew'd shall daily hear,
                        Till in life's latest hour I bow,
                                    And bless in death a bond so dear.

Soon after the Confirmation, Cornelia expressed a desire to receive the Holy Communion; [39/40] but she was then too unwell to attend Church, and that solemn duty was deferred. That Sacrament was received by her, for the first and last time, in her sick-room, under circumstances which will soon be more particularly related. It was not until the Winter of 1851-52 that her health obliged her to take her final leave of the Institution with which she had been so long connected, and to confine herself to her home in the city. Her disease had reached her lungs, and she was troubled with a severe and painful cough. She had been at home to pass the Christmas holidays, and though she was quite feeble, yet as it was thought that she was getting better, she was permitted to return to the Institution, in compliance with her own desire. She remained quite comfortable until the month of February, when she became too unwell to attend to her studies, and went home to die! Her disease made rapid progress, and it soon became evident that she was marked for an early grave. [40/41] The last winter she spent at the Institution was one of unusual severity, and her complaint was aggravated by the intense cold. It was hoped that as the Spring came on, the weather would be favorable for her; but she grew weaker and weaker, and was soon laid upon what proved to be her death-bed.

It was during her sickness that Cornelia's Christian character shone forth with peculiar brilliancy and beauty. She submitted sweetly to the will of God, had no fear of the "last enemy," and desired to depart and be with Christ. Her friends who took care of her felt that it was a great privilege to be with her, and witness her calm resignation, and her patient endurance of what her Heavenly Father saw fit to inflict upon her. She was visited frequently by the teachers and pupils of the Institution, and was always very happy to see those with whom she had formerly been associated. On one occasion when Dr. Peet called, he informed her that she would not probably [41/42] recover. She simply replied that she was willing to die. He then asked her on what her hopes were resting, and she said, "on the Saviour." He asked her where she found those hopes. She told him that she found them in such instructions as she had received at the Institution. He afterwards prayed with her by signs; and at the close of the prayer she burst into tears, saying that she was a sinner; but upon being referred to certain passages in the Bible about God's love for sinners in sending His Son to die for them, she became cheerful again, and no more clouds passed over her mind. One morning, after she had been praying a long time, observing a sweet smile upon her countenance, her mother asked what it was that pleased her. She said she was so happy, she could not help smiling. It seemed to those about her that she was enjoying a foretaste of the happiness that awaited her.

A few weeks passed away, and brought the closing scene. She sank gradually day by [42/43] day, and her pure spirit took its flight on the second of June, 1852, in the seventeenth year of her age. She died without a struggle, falling gently asleep in Jesus, testifying in her last moments, that He was precious to her, and that she was ready to die.

                        She died to sin, she died to care,
                                    But for a moment felt the rod;
                        Then, springing on the viewless air,
                                    Spread her light wings, and soar'd to God."


[44] CORNELIA'S death excited the deepest interest wherever she was known, and particularly in the Institution where she was such a general favorite. A letter from one of her teachers, written to her mother some weeks after her death, will best describe the feelings of her school-mates, as well as set forth the prominent traits of her character, and some interesting particulars of her sickness, especially those connected with her reception of the Lord's Supper. The writer is a clergyman of the Protestant Episcopal Church, who, like his lamented father, has done much towards meliorating the condition of the deaf and dumb. The name of GALLAUDET must ever be held in reverence and affection by this unfortunate class of our fellow-creatures.

[45] "GREENWICH, August 3, 1852.

My dear Mrs. Lathrop,

I am sorry that I have been obliged to delay so long, an answer to your very kind letter, which it would require but little knowledge of human nature to perceive, came straight from a mourning mother's heart; though in this instance, thank God, not mourning as those without holy consolation and precious anticipations.

I need not tell you that my visits to your dear Cornelia were the source of great satisfaction to me. I was taught by the gentle sufferer how to live, and how to prepare for death. Her steady patience, and her sweet smile of cheerfulness and resignation to her Heavenly Father's will, can never be effaced from my memory. I must admit, moreover, that my heart was the more drawn out towards her because she was of the number to whom my life thus far has been devoted, and whose highest interests it is my ardent desire to promote. Yes, she was a precious, darling [45/46] child--weep for her--for so long as the tears are not the tears of murmuring or repining, they do honor to the purer portion of our nature. Yes, weep for her, remember her, and hope to meet her.

You speak of the Rev. Dr. Lee's willingness and desire to prepare a memoir of Cornelia. It will undoubtedly be a most interesting and instructive book for our Sunday School libraries. I hope that it may be prepared and published as soon as practicable. I am not in favor of having memoirs of persons published, unless there is something particularly striking, and signally calculated to do good, in their lives. But I think that Cornelia's short life and triumphant death have much in them which should be held up as an example to young persons. Hers was a beautiful instance of the sanctifying and sustaining power of Christ's religion.

I regret that I cannot recall with very minute particularity the interviews and conversations [46/47] which I had with Cornelia. I will therefore attempt a general view, which shall go as much into detail as possible.

I cannot say that I was surprised when I heard that Cornelia was at home in a delicate state of health, with a decided consumptive tendency. When told that she could not return to her place amongst her class-mates in the Institution where she had passed so many happy and profitable hours, it seemed certain to me that the hand of death was upon her, and the shaft was on the wing which, ere many months rolled round, would lay her fragile form in the silent tomb. A shade of sadness was seen to pass over those expressive countenances, usually so radiant with happiness, as they told one another--making her sign by pressing the fore-finger upon the lips--that Cornelia Lathrop was sick, and could not be restored to health again. But they all felt that no one of their number could have been selected who was better prepared for death. All [47/48] through her sickness the most lively interest was taken in her changing condition from day to day; and when, at last, word came that her loving spirit had taken flight, the sorrow of true affection when deprived of its object, was manifest throughout the Institution; though all were comforted with the thought that she had gone to be at rest.

When I first visited Cornelia, she was able to rise from her chair and approach me to offer her friendly greetings. The weather was cold, and great care was necessary to keep out the piercing blasts of early Spring. The nursing hand of parental love had, however, surrounded her with every comfort, and at that time she seemed quite like herself; though I was struck with a certain air of maturity which had not characterized her school-days. She knew it not; yet she had experienced the refining blasts from the furnace of affliction. The impulsive girl had already passed into the thoughtful woman. We sat down, and our spirits [48/49] communed together in the language of signs. Referring to her feeble condition, I asked her if she felt disposed to murmur against God's dealings with her, when she thought of the difference between herself and her vigorous companions at school. With a smile she calmly replied that she did not.

Knowing that in the holy rite of Confirmation she had taken upon herself the solemn vows which had been made in her name at Baptism, I spoke to her of these two important events of her life, and by a few questions was gratified to find that she had clear ideas of her blessings, duties, and peculiar privileges. She acknowledged her sins, but hoped for pardon through Jesus Christ, who had died for her and all mankind. There was nothing highly wrought in anything which I elicited from her by my various questions. Being strong in the power of the Lord, though physically one of earth's gentlest creatures, she was calm, serious, cheerful, submissive, and full of hope for [40/50] the future. Though not then aware of the probable near approach of death, she expressed a decided opinion that she should for Christ's sake be admitted to heaven when she died.

I spoke of the Holy Communion, and asked her if she desired to receive it. She replied in the affirmative with much feeling. She said she would send me word when she was ready to receive it. Having translated to her by signs a portion of Scripture, and prayed with her, I took my leave, being confident, so far as it is given mortals to judge, that my dear friend Cornelia was a living branch of the True Vine.

Owing to various engagements, I was unable to visit her as often as I could have wished; but on every occasion I found her growing in grace, and in fitness for the kingdom of heaven. Before she was confined to her bed, it was my high gratification to administer to her the Holy Communion of the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. Her parents, sister, and aunt were present at this solemn service. It seemed [50/51] a feast of good things to her soul. Her bearing through the whole was reverential and devout. She said that she had received great happiness and profit from this her first Communion. Her faith was strengthened, and her feeling of union with Christ more complete. She often spoke of her companions at school, and desired that they should be the friends of the Saviour.

I was making my arrangements to administer to her the Communion the second time, when I received notice of her death. She had gone to be with her precious Redeemer, and to enjoy the Communion of Saints in that state of existence which seems to us so full of mystery.

I have thrown most of this letter into a narrative form, alluding to many things familiar to you, in order to make it complete. If what I have written will prove of any service in the proposed Memoir, I shall be glad.

Very truly Yours,

[52] It was at the request of the author of this little book that Cornelia's friends procured such testimonials respecting her character and conduct. He thought that those who had been her teachers for months and years were well qualified to speak of her from their own personal knowledge of her; and the tributes they have paid to her memory have only strengthened and confirmed the high estimate he had himself formed of this lovely girl.

The following is extracted from a letter of one of her teachers, to whom she was much attached, and who for several years was connected with the New York Institution for the Deaf and Dumb.

Knoxville, August 9, 1852.

My dear Madam,

The intelligence conveyed in your letter of July 22d was sorrowful and unexpected to me. I had not heard of Cornelia's illness.

[53] Since my arrival here, I have often thought of the class to which I bade adieu last October, and the impression has been upon my mind that I should never see them again. And now it is verified. I have called up in my imagination each smiling face, and witnessed the sparkling eyes as the dear pupils seized upon the thoughts presented to their inquiring minds. Again, I have looked back upon them as they have been sitting before the teacher, while the wondrous story of Christ the Saviour has been portrayed to their minds, and the unbidden tears would fall upon their cheeks as His love for sinners was told to them, and especially when his affection for children was made known; then would the fountains of feeling burst forth, and all the better natures of children be poured out in expressions of love for the Saviour himself, who had loved them and given himself for them.

Since the reception of your letter, I have asked myself: Is it possible that Cornelia, she [53/54] who was the life of the class and the circle there, is gone to dwell with the Saviour, the first of that little group; she who would sit with parted lips and fixed eye, while His life, sufferings, and death were unfolded to her mind; she who would seize her Bible the moment the teacher was through with the lesson, and eagerly scan its pages for the precious promises; she who was always in her place, and with lessons well learned, while health was granted to her? Is she indeed gone? Yes, it must be so, for here before me is the evidence of the fact; here is the letter of that kind mother whose heart bleeds at the loss she has sustained in the death of her beloved daughter, but who can with humble confidence look forward to the time, not far distant, when she will join her in realms of bliss.

I regret that I did not note down some of the little circumstances that undoubtedly occurred in connection with Cornelia, but which have passed away from my memory in the [54/55] multiplicity of things consequent upon the duties of the school-room. I can say, however, that her conduct was that of a Christian. Her conscience was ever awake to duty, nor was she averse to follow its dictates. Her deportment to her school-mates, as well as to others, was uniformly kind and affectionate, and the Bible with her was as a treasure in comparison with other books.

I can only add that I sincerely sympathize with you in your loss; but we ought not to grieve, for our loss is her gain. She has gone to live with Him who had been so long supreme in her thoughts and affections.

Very Respectfully,

The following brief notice of Cornelia's departure was written by an inmate in her father's house immediately after her death:


Our dear Cornelia has left us; but she has [55/56] left us for a happier, far happier home. God was signally with her in her last hours. It was my privilege to witness them; and I esteem it a privilege of no common order. Hers was the most truly Christian death that can be imagined. When I entered the room, the last enemy was approaching. The family were weeping around her; she alone was unmoved. Her eye was clear and calm; her poor weak frame trembled not. There was no symptom of fear; she evinced not the shadow of a doubt. Though perfectly conscious of her situation, her face was radiant with smiles. She asked for prayer, and prayer was offered. Never shall I forget this scene. The Holy Spirit was indeed her Comforter. Angels, ministered unto her, as the shade of the dark messenger fell around her. When sleep was recommended, she took her mother's hand, and, smiling on all her earthly friends, she said, in her silent language, "Yes, I will go to sleep in Jesus." Thus did she leave us; for [56/57] no sooner had she said this than she slept indeed her last long sleep. I would not, if I could, write one word more; yet can I never cease to pray, that when I die, my death may be as calm and as happy as was Cornelia's.

I. F. Cox."

Cornelia had always retained a strong attachment for the place of her birth, and her remains were taken there for interment. The funeral took place in St. Luke's Church, Rochester, on Trinity Sunday, June 6, 1852. It was in this Church that she had been baptized in her infancy, and here was performed the solemn service of her burial. It was my mournful duty to commit her body to the ground, "earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust." In a beautiful spot in Mount Hope--a lovely resting-place for the dead--she sleeps in peace. She said once to her friends that she did not wish to be able to hear, for everything was so calm and quiet she should not like to be [57/58] disturbed. In her silent grave she is still more free from the noise and tumult of the world, and her gentle spirit is with God who gave it, in the Paradise of those who sleep in Jesus, and shall be forever with the Lord.

                        There, anchor'd safe, her weary soul
                                    Shall find eternal rest;
                        Nor storms shall beat, nor billows roll
                                    Across her peaceful breast."

"The maid is not dead, but sleepeth;" and in her sleep all earthly afflictions and deprivations are forgotten. And when she awakes in the last day, the ears that were deaf shall be unstopped, and the tongue of the dumb shall sing. And then all those, now bereaved by her departure, who finally meet her in the world of glory, will joyfully acknowledge that the Lord "hath done all things well; he maketh both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak."

                        "Sweet faded Flower, we would not ask thy stay,
                                    To droop and wither in a world like this,
                        When purer spirits beckon thee away,
                                    To share with them a home of perfect bliss.
                        [59] And thou dost utter now a song of love,
                                    With kindred spirits in thy native skies;
                        There is a happier home in realms above,
                                    The Christian's promised home, his richest prize.
                        Fair Flower, transplanted in a genial clime,
                                    We would not win thee back to earth again;
                        For O 'tis meet that spirits pure as thine
                                    Should be beyond the reach of care or pain.
                        Yet nature weeps; O yes, the spirit flown
                                    Demands a tear; and shall it not be given?
                        We mourn a cherish'd friend and sister gone,
                                    An angel-spirit summon'd back to heaven.
                        Parents! 'tis hard to yield your lovely one,
                                    Your dearest treasure, to an early grave;
                        But O, your Father gave His only Son--
                                    His best belov'd, a guilty world to save.
                        Then yield your treasure back to Him who gave,
                                    Nor mourn that He calls her home so soon;
                        But look with faith beyond that early grave,
                                    And view your daughter in her heavenly home."


[60] I HAVE now finished the narrative which I proposed to give of Cornelia, or the Deaf Mute; but before I take leave of my young readers, I wish to say a few words to them on the importance of early piety. It was her piety that made Cornelia such a lovely and interesting girl. It was this that made her so gentle and kind, so patient and submissive, so exemplary in her life, and so peaceful in her death. She remembered her Creator and her Saviour in the days of her childhood and youth, and, as I have said before, she learned to love God so early, that it was impossible to tell the precise time when she began to love him.

How is it with you, my dear readers? Is the love of God shed abroad in your hearts by the Holy Ghost? Is the blessed Saviour precious to your souls, and are you trusting in him [60/61] for pardon and eternal life? Are you daily endeavoring, by God's help, to keep his holy will and commandments, and are you determined to walk in the same all the days of your life? Those of you who have been baptized have been solemnly dedicated to the service of God; and it is your bounden duty to live in accordance with your Baptism. Your sponsors "did promise and vow three things in your name. First, that you should renounce the devil and all his works, the pomps and vanity of this wicked world, and all the sinful lusts of the flesh. Secondly, that you should believe all the articles of the Christian Faith. And, thirdly, that you should keep God's holy will and commandments, and walk in the same all the days of your life." The question is asked in the Catechism, "Dost thou not think that thou art bound to believe, and to do, as they have promised for thee?" And the answer is, "Yes, verily; and by God's help so I will. And I heartily thank our Heavenly [61/62] Father, that he hath called me to this state of salvation, through Jesus Christ our Saviour. And I pray unto God to give me his grace, that I may continue in the same unto my life's end." You are admitted to the precious privileges of that covenant of grace by which salvation is given to mankind; but remember that it is only by living and acting according to these privileges that you can secure your own final salvation in the kingdom of God above. It is your duty to live as those who have been given up to God's service. If you do not thus live, God will neither own nor bless you. In order to have your Baptism do you any lasting good, you must live as children of God, as members of Christ, and as inheritors of the kingdom of heaven. You all have a very sinful nature, and you must pray to God to renew and sanctify it by his Holy Spirit. You must repent of your sins, and believe in Jesus Christ as your Saviour. You must follow his example, and obey his will. Thus only [62/63] can you become the true children of God, and be saved at last in the world of blessedness beyond the grave. Your admission to the Church of Christ by Baptism will increase your final condemnation, if you live without God in the world, and die without a hope in Christ as your atoning Redeemer. All your precious privileges here will bring upon you a heavier punishment hereafter, if you misimprove or neglect them. O, then, beware, lest you come short of the kingdom of heaven! You may lose everything that is promised in the covenant of grace, by not keeping your own part of the covenant. When you were presented for Baptism, the minister said to your Godfathers and Godmothers as follows: "Dearly beloved, ye have brought these children here to be baptized; ye have prayed that our Lord Jesus Christ would vouchsafe to receive them, to release them from sin, to sanctify them with the Holy Ghost, to give them the kingdom of heaven, and everlasting life. Ye have heard [63/64] also that our Lord Jesus Christ hath promised in his Gospel to grant all these things that ye have prayed for: which promise he, for his part, will most surely keep and perform. Wherefore, after this promise made by Christ, these children must also faithfully, for their part, promise by you, that are their sureties, (until they come of age to take it upon themselves) that they will renounce the devil and all his works, and constantly believe God's holy Word, and obediently keep his commandments."

These promises were made in your name, and they are solemnly binding upon you; and unless you faithfully keep them, you cannot be saved. You are old enough now to understand what was done for you at your Baptism, and it is time for you all to begin, if you have not begun already, "to lead a godly and a Christian life." O pray to God for a new heart and a right spirit, and he will give you his blessing. You are children of the covenant, and have special encouragement to labor and [64/65] pray for your salvation. God waits to be gracious to you. He says, in tenderness and compassion, "I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me." Seek him, then, I beseech you, while he may be found, and call upon him while he is near. If you seek him, he will be found of you; but if you forsake him, he will cast you off forever. Seek him now, through Jesus Christ, exercising true repentance and a lively faith, and he will have mercy upon you, and abundantly pardon. Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them."

                        O, in the morn of life, when youth
                                    With vital ardor glows,
                        And shines in all the fairest charms
                                    That beauty can disclose;
                        Deep in thy soul, before its powers
                                    Are yet by vice enslaved,
                        Be thy Creator's glorious Name
                                    And character engraved;
                        [66] Ere yet the shades of sorrow cloud
                                    The sunshine of thy days;
                        And cares and toils, in endless round,
                                    Encompass all thy ways;
                        Ere yet thy heart the woes of age,
                                    With vain regret, deplore,
                        And sadly muse on former joys,
                                    That now return no more.
                        True wisdom, early sought and gain'd,
                                    In age will give thee rest:
                        O then, improve the morn of life,
                                    To make its evening blest."

This memoir may be read by some who have never yet given their hearts to the Saviour, though they have had line upon line, and precept upon precept, from the days of their earliest childhood. Let such be warned of their awful danger, and turn unto the Lord now, while it is an accepted time, and a day of salvation. The departed Cornelia will rise up in judgment against you, unless you repent; for, notwithstanding all the disadvantages under which she labored, she became a true child of God, and an humble disciple of the Lord Jesus [66/67] Christ. Unlike her, you have the blessings of hearing and of speech; and yet you have thus far heard God's Word in vain, and perhaps your voice is never lifted up in prayer to your Almighty Preserver and Benefactor. How deep will be your condemnation, if, in the midst of all your mercies, you forget God, neglect the Saviour, and die in your sins! Let the goodness of God lead you to repentance, and even now consecrate yourselves to his service. He graciously says, "I will remember my covenant with thee in the days of thy youth;" and yet you are rebelling against him, and neglecting the "great salvation!" "Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the Lord hath spoken; I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me." O how sad will be your lot, if you turn a deaf ear to the calls of mercy, and die unreconciled to God through the blood of the everlasting covenant!

1 would add a word, in conclusion, to those [67/68] of my readers who are deaf mutes,--to those who "Never hear the sweet music of speech," nor use their own tongues in happy converse with parents and friends, or in the praises of God. My heart yearns towards you, and I would fain lead you to the Lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world. Many of you have been taught the way of salvation through Jesus Christ. God has raised up for you kind friends, who have founded Institutions and Asylums for you, where you may be instructed in the wisdom of this world, and also gain that knowledge which cometh from above. It was in one of these Institutions that Cornelia made such rapid progress in useful and holy knowledge, and she felt thankful to God for the great privileges which she there enjoyed. Some of you may have been with her as her schoolmates, and so may have been intimately acquainted with her. If so, I doubt not you can bear witness to the truth of what [68/69] I have said concerning her character and conduct. Let me urge you to imitate her bright example, to follow her as she followed Christ, so that you may meet her among the saints in light. Some of you may be in other Institutions of the kind, or with your friends at home. Some may be enjoying all the advantages which those in your situation can possibly have, and others may be denied these blessings. It is a most blessed thing that so much has been done for such as you. We will thank God with you, that you have so many sources of enjoyment opened to you, as springs in a desert; and we will pray that you may be happy here and forever. Our deepest sympathies are with you. Our hearts are touched with tenderness whenever we see you expressing your thoughts and feelings in your silent language; and we would, if possible, give you the blessings of which you are deprived. But it is God who has afflicted you, and he does all things in goodness and love. "He doth not afflict [69/70] willingly, nor grieve the children of men." The time will come when you will see why he has thus dealt with you. "Though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies." It may be, however, that, like Cornelia, you do not regard your deprivation as an affliction. If this be the case, you have great reason for gratitude to God that he has made you contented and happy under what seems to us a heavy trial. May you be more and more submissive to the Divine will, till you enjoy the blessedness of heaven itself. In that bright world we shall know even as we also shall be known. Every thing that is dark and mysterious in God's dealings with us here will be fully revealed to our enraptured souls, and we shall have as much cause to rejoice over our earthly adversity, as over our earthly prosperity. Let such considerations cheer and sustain you, and keep you from all sadness and despondency. Be true to your duty, and act up [70/71] to the light which God has given you. You will have less to account for than those who have greater advantages; but still you must not fail to live in accordance with the knowledge which you have received. God will judge you according to what you have, and not according to what you have not. Whatever privileges, therefore, may be your portion, may you give all diligence to make faithful improvement of them. May you learn to love God, to believe and trust in Christ, and to seek the blessed influences of the Holy Spirit. And may He who made the deaf to hear and the dumb to speak, have mercy upon you, and bless you! May he comfort you in every trouble, cheer you in every sorrow, sustain you in every trial, and save you with an everlasting salvation! The pleasures and cares and afflictions of life will soon be over, and we shall all sleep in our graves. But at last

"A voice shall ring upon the slumbering ear,"

and all that are in the graves shall come forth, [71/72] and give account of themselves to God. O may we all render that account with joy, and not with grief; and so have part in that blessed kingdom where are joys unspeakable and full of glory!

                        "The deaf shall hear, and the dumb shall speak,
                                    In the brighter days to come;
                        When they pass through the troubled scenes of life,
                                    To a higher and happier home.
                        They shall hear the trumpet's fearful blast,
                                    When it breaks the sleep of the tomb;
                        They shall hear the righteous Judge declare
                                    To the faithful their blessed doom.
                        And the conqueror's shout, and the ransomed's song
                                    On their raptured ear shall fall,
                        And the tongue of the dumb, in the chorus of praise,
                                    Shall be higher and louder than all.
                        Oh! Thou, whose still voice can need no ear,
                                    To the soul its message to bear,
                        Who canst hear the unuttered reply of the heart,
                                    As it glows in the fervor of prayer,
                        Speak in thy pity and power to those
                                    Who only thee can hear;
                        And bend to the call of their speaking hearts
                                    Thine everlasting ear."


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