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Robert Patterson, Sr.
Art of Domestick Happiness
(Pittsburgh: Patterson/Butler & Lambdin, 1817)

  • Title page   Dedication
  • Advertisement   Index

  • Poems
  • Odes
  • Epistles
  • Elegies
  • Sonnets, &c.

  • Transcriber's Comments

  • The Pattersons of Pittsburgh  |  extracts from Rev. Robert Patterson's diary  |  Hiland Church




    D O M E S T I C K   H A P P I N E S S,





    Author  of  The  Independency  of  the  Mind,  affirmed.

    Dans cet asyle solitaire
    Suis-moi, viens charmer ma langueur,
    Muse, unique depositaire
    Des ennuis secrets de mon coeur. --
    -- Phis sensible que Philomele,
    Je viens soupirer avec elle
    Dans le silence des forets.






    [ ii. ]



    [ iii ]






    Is affectionately inscribed,



    PRY'THEE accept this token. It is penned
    With my accostumed candour, if not ease,
    On which the artless language of thy friend,
    More than the poet's power presumes to please
    To hearts like ours, no pedantry of phrase,
    Could, 'tis conjured, the same charm impart,
    As loose-clad sentiment, when it conveys
    The bolt that strikes, directly to the heart!

    Nor is there room for affection, when
    The pulse of bosom-felt affection throbs
    To inscribe, as now, an offering with the pen
    Which, nor with fiction decks, nor flattery daubs:

    Yet shall the page, on which I write thy name.
    Record our friendship. This, to me, is fame.


    [ iv ]



    [ v ]


    FROM the various legitimate motives which have, by others, been offered to the literary world for stepping into its notice, the Recluse is unable to select a satisfactory one for his own intrusion. Nor perhaps is it necessary to allege any. What he has written, he has written; -- and, in presenting these effusions to the publick, he avails himself of none of these self-derived privileges of authorship by which frequently the reader's mind is prematurely biassed.

    If, indeed, all works of a literary nature, were to be classified by the moral complexion of the sentiments contained in them, the Recluse would presume upon a higher standing than his poetical claims alone might warrant. His humble hopes, however, shall not be frustrated, if his qualifications, as a poet, do not exclude this volume from the libraries of people of common taste: For though he professes not to be quite dead to the stimulating voice of literary ambition, poetick merit (unless his heart deceives him) is but a secondary object of his concern. -- His mind has, for some years, been persuaded, that a general reformation of sentiment throughout Christendom is going on. And it is a favorite notion with



    him, that all important works, whether of Nature or of Grace, are carried slowly on, and by means frequently too diminutive for the notice of hasty or careless observers. There being no station, according to his judgment, too obscure ot too contemptible for an under agency, he knows not why the feeble efforts of even the Recluse of Locust Ridge, may not find a place in the common bundle of those causes which are to effect the universal amelioration of the human character -- With this remark before him, every reader will perceive, that although the smaller pieces in this collection may still go under the trite classification of trifles, yet can scarcely one be picked out in which a moral design is not obvious, and whose co-operative significancy ought to be overlooked.

    Emboldened by this consciousness of their intrinsick merit, the Recluse is willing to sink the honors of the poet in the sentiments of the man; and is prepared to hear, within the quiet recesses of his retirement, the publick opinion of his labours without the least disposition to question the correctness of a taste which may cavil at his works, or throw obloquy upon his name.


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    (page out of order -- placed here for readers' convenience)

    I N D E X.

    The art of Domestick Happiness
    Alexis and Curtis
    The Pig and Pismire
    Odes -- Twilight Musings
               Christmas Eve
               The Close of the Year
               To George Washington
    Epistles -- To a friend in England
                   To Eliza
                   To the same
                   To a friend in Virginia
                   To Zara in the Country
                   To Zara in Philadelphia
                   To Ignatius
    Elegies --- Joseph Dew
                   James Coxe
                   Rebecca Bolton
                   Alexis and Thirza
                   Eliza Graham
                   M. Murray



                   E. Trevor
                   P. Bostwick
                   The loss of L'Epervier
    Sonnet -- To T. Jefferson
                  To Eliza
        During a voyage to Europe
        During a calm at sea
        Envy -- The two Roses
        Sincerity -- The Violet
        Ostentation -- The Nigtingale and Peacock
        Flattery -- The Lady and the Bee
        Plain Dealing -- The Squirrel and Leopard
        Friendship -- The Eagle and Dove
        Natural Character -- The Dove and Kite
        Contention -- The two Lions
        Old Age -- The Dove and Linnet
        Diffidence and Presumption -- The Canary bird & Crow
        The Lion vanquished
        The Ass and the Hog
        The Elephant and other animals
        The Silk worm and the Spider
        The Bear, Monkey and Hog
        The Bee and the Drones
        The two Parrots and Magpie



    The Monkey and Puppet shower
    The City bell and Village bell
    The Flute playing Ass
    The Ant and Flea
    The Pellitory and Thyme
    The two Rabbits
    The Eggs
    The Goose and Serpent
    The Muff, Fan and Parasol
    The Frog and Tadpole
    The Bustard
    The Swan and Linnet
    The Leech and Viper
    Invitation to a walk
    To Eliza on her Criticisms
    The Wind Up
    The Break Loose
    The Awkward Reply
    The Retort Courteous
    Lines to a young Lady on her approaching Nuptials
    The Odd Leaf
    Poor Old Roan
    To Malvina
    The Frog's Remonstrance


    [ vii ]







                                HOME is the resort
    Of love, of joy, of peace, and plenty, where
    Supporting and supported, polished friends
    And dear relations mingle into bliss.


    [ viii ]



    [ 9 ]






    WHEN Youth and Beauty, Health and Virtue blend
    Into one mass, to serve one common end,
    And their united energies employ
    To build the temple of Domestic Joy,
    Say, shall the muse's lyre remain unstrung,
    And leave the Art of Happiness unsung?
    Connubial Bliss, the brightest gem that can
    Give lustre to the diadem of man,
    Like rubies, blushing in Golconda's mine
    Demands the artist's dextrous skill to shine.
    Such skill be his who, thus in votive verse,
    Attempts those arts of pleasing to rehearse
    Which give a polish, in domestick life,
    To the twin-crown of husband and of wife.



    Turn now the eye of observation round,

    (under construction)



    Is, that with speed abrupt, in fits and jerks,

    (under construction)



    Its bulk and strength thro' years of wind and rain; --

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    The circumstances alter much the case.

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    Slovoeno is a sloven who destroys,

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    Fiction no more! and we, where'er we are,

    (under construction)



    Must watch with care those minuter things

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    And shall we not, in a much dearer friend,

    (under construction)



    When all things with the man of sense goes right,

    (under construction)



    Whilst she, behold! who from dishonours's stain,

    (under construction)



    Whence oft, in married life, the same effect

    (under construction)



    Whereas a right capacity to please,

    (under construction)



    And multiply the real joys of man; --

    (under construction)



    To all those sweets for which so many sweat, --

    (under construction)



    Expressive of the feelings of his breast --

    (under construction)



    Nurse up the seed which they have planted there,

    (under construction)



    Their dish of matrimony still is crude.

    (under construction)



    'Tis now or never that you must inspect
    Your chart of life, or be forever wrecked!
    Domestick Happiness is like an herb,
    Fragrant and fair if ne'er a foot distrub;
    But if molested in its still retreat
    Its bloom is gone, and wasted every sweet.
    The first small miss will weaken your first power,
    And tend to make you weaker every hour;
    Till Habit shall enthral you with her gears
    And goad you on through all your future years.






    [ 30 ]

    NOTES &c.


    [ 31 ]


    And pave the floor.   See Page 11, 17th Line.

    The regularity of the paved bottom of Lake Erie is an astonishing instace of artificial design in the works of nature. Had I not satisfied my curiosity by actual examination, I should have some difficulty in believing as a fact, that for many miles, with scarcely a break, there is a regular pavement of smooth stones, (from 3 or four, to 12 or 15 feet square) along the shore of Lake Erie, on which the surf plays without any sensible wearing. The work is jointed in a mason-like manner, and so close, even, and regular, that one can scarcely forbear supposing it to be a monument of human labour and ingenuity.

    Cleanliness. See Page 13, 5th Line.

    Cleanliness, is to the body what decency is to the manners; it serves to prove the respect which a man has for society and for himself, for man ought to respect himself. -- Bacon.

    It is on all hands agreed, that the person who is not ornamented with the quality of cleanliness cannot appear in company without shocking all present.

    It is acknowledged, (says some author, whose name escapes my recollection) that beauty ordinarily introduces the passion of love into the heart; but cleanliness fastens it there.

    "Sentir bon and sentir mauvais, sont deux extremites opposes, le milieu c'est la propriete, qui consiste, a ne rien sentir.     Deserres de la Tour.

    The more a nation is civilized, the more regard is paid to this part of civility.

    The personal cleanliness of the inhabitants of Atabeite is an object that merits peculiar attention. Both



    sexes never omit to wash with water three times; when they rise, at noon, and before they go to rest. They also keep their clothes extremely clean, so that in the largest communities no disagreeable effluvia ever arises, nor is there any other inconvenience than hear.     Cook's Voyages.

    Cleanliness is a mark of civility. It may be said also to be the nurse of Love. A young woman of very inferior beauty, but who is constantly clean and tidy, has often been known to outrival a handsome slut. Even old age has something agreeable about it, when it is accompanied with a neat and clean look: in the same manner as a piece of polished and shining metal, affords us more pleasure to look at, than a new vessel soiled and eaten with rust. If cleanliness renders us agreeable to others, it gives ourselves an air and fealing of ease. It is an excellent preservation of Health; and many vices which are apt to ruin the mind and body, cannot subsist with this gentle habit, which has a strong analogy with mental purity, and which exerts in us, by a natural effect, fine sentiments which excites in us, by a natural effect, fine sentiments and noble passions. Experience teaches us that the power of custom by familiarizing us with the most atrocious crimes diminishes the horror of them; and on the contrary, that those who have constantly good examples before their eyes, shun every thing which at first shocks them. It is the same with our ideas. Our senses, which are the channels through which all images are brought to the mind, can only transmit thither the impressions of surrounding objects: if these happen to be of a modest, cleanly, and beautiful kind, they suggest corresponding thoughts of chastity, purity and elegance.     Spectator.

    Clean as a Bride. See Page 24, 13th Line.

    A young woman who loves the elegance of a simple dress, will never present herself to the eyes of her husband in the disorder of those negligent women whose virtue resembles their untidiness



    (under construction)


    [ 34 ]






    [ 35 ]


    (pages 36-68 under construction)


    [ 69 ]





    [ 70 ]


    (pages 70-85 under construction)


    [ 86 ]

    ODES, &c.


    [ 87 ]

    (pages 87-112 under construction)


    [ 113 ]



    [ 114 ]

    (pages 114-165 under construction)


    [ 169 ]



    [ 170 ]
    (pages 170-173 under construction)


    [ 174 ]



    Of Philadelphia, written in the West Indies.

    Ah! fatal spit! where dire disease has spread
      Seductive baits to catch the unwary prey,
    Whilst on thy borders, filled with fears, I tread,
      A cloud obscures the cheerful face of day.

    Pestiferous blasts around this salve-tilled soil,
      Threatening, with open menace, or, with craft,
    Lurking beneath a zephyr's flattering smile,
      With equal speed, urge Fate's unerring shaft.

    Here, oft retired from Pleasure's busy band,
      On some grey mount I choose an hour serene,
    To gaze on fields where Death has stretched his hand,
      Tread the parched hills, and count the graves between.

    'Midst these promiscuous hopes, we seek in vain
      The tawdry cenotaph of human pride; --
    Death's victims here are well content to gain
      Some clay to hold them and a shrub to hide.

    Yet, o'er yon sloping boxom of the vale,
      Methinks mine eye would linger as it roves;
    There would the faltering voice of Friendship hail
      The Pensive Muse -- the genius of the groves.



    In that low spot where thick bananas spread
      Redundant foliage to the autumnal shower,
    On Death's cold lap, Coxe leaned his prostrate head,
      And sunk beneath the pressure of his power.

    From childhood trained by academick rules,
      His eagle genius, whither science lead,
    Brushed through the cobweb learning of the schools,
      While Fancy round her vagrant visions spread.

    Brightening with age, like ice before the sun,
      From Widsom's lamp he snatched a meteor-beam,
    By which he learnt those crooked paths to shun,
      Which lead to death -- to wretchedness supreme.

    Full oft his friends have held a long debate,
      (Nor dare the muse the question yet decide)
    Whether the comick muse was more his mate,
      Than graver-faced philosophy his guide.

    So young, so learned, so excellent, and fair,
      He left his home to gain a foreign fame,
    And had he 'scaped this pestilential air,
      No youth through years had borne a brighter name.

    Sad was the hour, when first from home he strayed
      Dull was the gale that sighed for his return;
    Languid the waves which round his vessel played;
      And dark the day which left his friends to mourn.

    Scarce had the bark attained this fatal strand,
      When hostile fever, with malignant brow,
    Arraigned his prey, and, with a barbarous hand,
      Struck the deep wound -- a wound that's bleeding now.



    O, could my verse, like his own numbers, melt
      Your frozen hearts, ye sons of apathy!
    In every breast should sorrows, deeply felt,
      Hang round his urn, and be his Elegy.

    But since this boon the gracious powers deny,
      An humbler service, hallowed task! be mine;
    At pensive eve, with friendly zeal to hie
      And pour Affection's tribute on the shrine.


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    (remainder of book under construction)


    Transcriber's Comments

    REV. ROBERT PATTERSON. 1773-1854.

    ROBERT PATTERSON. 1773-1854.

    (under construction)

    Robert Patterson offered Hugh Henry Brackenridge the only real competition he received at home in the field of letters. Both men were popular writers of the day, Patterson serving the muse of poetry while Brackenridge authored the first fiction printed west of the Alleghenies, Naturally, enough, both men were also interested in the printing business, on which their fame depended, and took direct measures to establish the trade more firmly in Pittsburgh. Because of that fact, the life story of Robert Patterson belongs with the history of the western press as well as with the history of western belles lettres.

    He was born on April 1, 1773, in Saratoga County, New York, the son of Joseph and Jane Moak Patterson. 1 Part of the Patterson clan already lived in Philadelphia when Joseph Patterson brought his family to the area around Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. The new Canonsburg Academy had just opened; in fact, lessons were conducted on the lawn while the buildings were being finished. 2 Taking advantage of the opportunity, "Robert Patterson was the first student to recite at Canonsburg Academy, in 1791, 'under the shade of same sassafras bushes, growing in a worm fence,' on the banks of Chartiers Creek." 3 As his uncle (also Robert Patterson) was professor of mathematics at the University of Pennsylvania, 4 it seemed logical to send the boy east to finish his education -- as well as to place him under a watchful eye, perhaps the latter



    insinuation is unfair, for young Robert had decided to enter the ministry. while he journeyed across the mountains in 1794, he met George Washington on his way to Pittsburgh to quell the Whiskey Rebellion. 5 Feelings were to run high and political tensions increase before Robert's return west.

    After graduation, Patterson toured the countryside for four years and was then licensed to preach, his first pastorates being in the vicinity of Erie, Pennsylvania. 6 Almost thirty years of age, he doubtlessly eked out a scant living in the pulpit, but he was sincerely devoted to his calling. As was the custom in earlier days, the ministry invariably supplied presidents for educational institutions; and the thriving Pittsburgh Academy offered Patterson the president's chair in 1807 for a term of three years. 7 The position was no sinecure; teaching duties gave him frequent contacts with the students, among them Samuel Reed Johnston. At the same time, and until 1833, Patterson preached at the Highland Presbyterian Church, 8 and in his spare moments be began to write the poetry which earned him a local reputation. Native talent plus the best education then available in the new world made him truly a man of letters in a generally unlettered era.  

    At the conclusion of his term at the Academy, Patterson decided to indulge his interest in books, and in addition to earn himself a living, by venturing into bookselling with John Hopkins as a partner. 9 Being a minister and a professor, he had a fine background for editing and a penchant for choosing religious and cultural works for publication, At first in


    34 competition with the well-founded bookstore of Zadok Cramer, Patterson and Hopkins had the trade to themselves when Cramer left for the South. Their advertisements in the Gazette were modest and formal: "Gentlemen who wish to subscribe for this excellent and complete set of Dr. Johnson's Works, are invited to set their names on a subscription paper in the Bookstore of Patterson and Hopkins." 10 In spite of every evidence of a successful enterprise, the partnership dissolved "by mutual consent" in 1812, and the firm became "R. & J. Patterson." 11 An amusing note was sounded on the title page of a book published by Patterson about 1813: "The Honest Man's Almanack: this almanack contains nothing to encourage the evil practices of liars, drunkards, rogues, lazy fellows, infidels, tories, cowards, bad husbands, and old bachelors." 12 Sermons are not necessarily confined to churches, as Patterson evidently was aware. He made his publishing house fulfill a double purpose.

    Canonsburg gave Patterson not only his education, but also his wife, Jane Canon was the daughter of Colonel John Canon, founder of the town, whom Patterson had probably met during his years at school. 13 Although born to prominence, Jane must have been proud to be courted by one of the more promising young men of the time -- minister, scholar, and budding poet. Poetry and courtship are related elements, but Patterson did not become a full-fledged poet until the publication of his book of poems in 1817, 14 before which date he had submitted several short verse-pieces to the Gazette. 15 Under the pen-name of "The Recluse," he wrote copiously and  



    took his efforts seriously, at one time to the extent of publish- ing two columns in defense of a poem that had been rejected.16

    The quality of his prose indicates self-conscious pedantry:
    This circumstance, though trivial, leades me to exult in having selected the Two Roses, as the first victim for immolation upon the shrine of taste; for in the first place, it demolishes every pretext of suspected allusions, which the master of the sacrifice has conjured up from the lurid charnel-house of egotism; and, in the second place, it relieves me from an implied engagement to furnish fresh offerings for his reeking altar. 17

    The eternal outraged author! The criticism of Solon Buck is justified by Patterson's outburst:

    ... very little of the material in the early papers could pass as belles-lettres. Prose was now too stilted, now too rhetorical, now far too flowery in comparison with the better prose of the day; poetry often dripped with sentimentality or swelled with flatulent bombast ... 18
    Patterson is no more guilty than the others who encouraged and employed artificiality of style.

    In 1840 Robert Patterson retired from his multiple duties and went to the country to live. He wisely withdrew while he was still prominent and still hearty enough to enjoy his leisure. Fourteen years later, on September 5, 1854, 19 he died, a distinguished contributor to the literature of the frontier.

    ========== Excerpt from: "PRESBYTERY OF ERIE" ============

    ...Robert Patterson was the son of Rev. Joseph and Jane (Moak) Patterson. He was descended from a family illustrious for its patriotism, and what is better, for piety and zeal for the service of the Lord. The father of Robert Patterson was born in the north of Ireland, in the year 1752. His father, though but a lad at the time, was at the famous siege of Derry; and the sufferings to which the Patterson family were subjected in consequence of this siege, were most severe and distressing. This branch of the family emigrated from Scotland to Ireland, in consequence of the terrible persecutions, carried on by Claverhouse, under Charles II. The grandfather of Robert Patterson was the son of John, the founder of the Irish branch of the family. 1

    1 Sprague's Annals.


    Rev. Joseph Patterson, the father of Robert, was licensed to preach the gospel in 1788. He was a most useful and laborious minister, and died at Pittsburgh, Pa., in 1832.

    Robert Patterson, the subject of this sketch, was born at Stillwater, New York, on the 1st day of April, 1773, near the spot afterwards celebrated as the field of one of the most severely contested battles of the Revolution. Not long after his birth, his parents removed to Germantown, Pa. The battle of Germantown occurred during the sojourn of the family at that place, and Mr. Patterson, then in his fifth year, distinctly remembered many of its scenes. After a brief residence in York County, the family removed to the West, and took up their abode in Washington County, Pa.

    In the spring of 1791, Robert Patterson commenced his academical studies at the Cannonsburg Academy, then just opened. He recited the first lesson that was heard in connection with that institution teacher and pupil seated under the shade of a tree, on the banks of the now classic Chartiers. After prosecuting his studies for three years in the Academy, he went east and entered the senior class of the University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated in the fall of 1795. On his way to Philadelphia, the journey there being made on horseback, he met the forces sent out by the Government to quell the Whiskey Insurrection.

    Mr. Patterson had a great thirst for knowledge. He was not content with his collegiate course, and so lingered in the halls of his Alma Mater after his graduation. He was employed for nearly five years as tutor in the University, at the same time prosecuting, still further, his studies in the languages and higher mathematics.


    He returned to the residence of his father, who was then pastor of the Raccoon Church, in 1800, and on the 30th day of April, 1801, was licensed to preach the gospel by the Presbytery of Ohio. His theological studies had been prosecuted in part with Rev. Ashbel Green, D. D., while he was connected with the University, and in part under the direction of Dr. McMillan.

    The next year after his licensure, Mr. Patterson took a tour over the destitute region of what was afterward the territory of the Presbytery of Erie. He visited the shore of Lake Erie, preached at various places, and finally was encouraged to think of settling in the congregations of Erie and Upper and Lower Greenfield, These latter churches were afterwards known as Middlebrook and North East. Rev. Elisha McCurdy had preceded him here, and soon after Mr. Patterson's first visit, he, in company with Joseph Stockton (4), James Satterfield (6), and his own famous "praying elder," Philip Jackson, organized the churches of Upper Greenfield (Middlebrook) and Lower Greenfield (North East).

    At a pro re nata meeting of the Presbytery of Erie, held at Pittsburgh, on the 30th of September, 1802, during the sessions of the Synod of Pittsburgh, Mr. Patterson was received under its care. At the same meeting calls were presented for his pastoral labors from the congregations of Erie and Upper and Lower Greenfield, of which he declared his acceptance. Acts iii. 19 was assigned him as the subject for a sermon as part of trials for ordination. At a meeting of Presbytery held at Lower Greenfield, or North East, on the 1st day of September, 1803, the congregation of Erie, having from some cause declined entering into the


    arrangement, Mr. Patterson was ordained and installed as pastor of the congregations of Upper and Lower Greenfield. Here he labored faithfully and with the practice of much self-denial until the 22d day of April, 1807, when at his own request the pastoral relation was dissolved, During his labors in this field he resided at North East, and took frequent missionary tours up and down the Lake, and for a time preached a part of the time at a place called Portland. A wide-spreading fir-tree is still pointed out by an aged citizen of the neighborhood, as having been planted by Mr. Patterson's own hand.

    In April, 1807, he accepted an invitation to take charge of the Pittsburgh Academy, now the Western University of Pennsylvania. During the three years he presided over this institution, he numbered among his pupils many who afterwards filled prominent public stations, and who often spoke in grateful terms of his care and faithfulness as an instructor.

    In October, 1812, Mr. Patterson was dismissed from the Presbytery of Erie, to connect himself with the Presbytery of Redstone, From 1810 to 1836 he was engaged in secular business, book-selling, and at times the manufacture of paper, having been one of the proprietors of one of the first paper mills established in the West. This business was carried on extensively for nearly a quarter of a century, bringing him into extensive public notice, yet not always resulting in success. Indeed, he suffered many severe reverses, yet was always esteemed a man of most undoubted probity and honor.

    During the greater portion of this time, he was stated supply of the Hilands Church, situated about seven miles from Pittsburgh, and in the bounds of the Presbytery


    of Ohio. The people of this charge have often remembered his faithful ministrations; and the recollection of the relationship he had sustained to them, with its many pleasing associations, was a theme of grateful acknowledgment on his part, to the latest period of his life.

    In 1840, Mr. Patterson removed to the country a short distance from Pittsburgh. The infirmities of age were now upon him, and he ceased to preach regularly, yet he was always ready, when physical strength would permit, to preach in neighboring churches when they were vacant. For many years increasing spirituality seemed to characterize his mind. The things unseen of the eye of sense absorbed his attention and filled his mind, as was obvious from his reading and conversation. Scarcely a friend or even a stranger paused for a moment at his door, without having their attention called to the things of religion. Rev. Richard Lea who knew him well, remarks that he did not remember a single conversation with him for many years, were the interview long or short, in which the subject of the soul's great interest had not been introduced. In the bosom of his own family, where he was ever the most tender of husbands, and the most affectionate of fathers, and in the enjoyment of that domestic intercourse which had for him a peculiar charm, his spirituality of character and heavenly-mindedness, shone forth with brightest lustre.

    His last illness was brief. His disease was dysentery. It assumed an alarming character about a week preceding his departure. When all hope of recovery was precluded, his brother Joseph said to him, "You will soon he with that Jesus whom you have loved so long." He smiled a pleased assent. His brother then remarking


    that "God showed the same mercy in breaking up as in building up a family," he replied that "We are too prone to regard only one of God's attributes -- his mercy; forgetting that he was infinite in them all -- his justice as well as his mercy." Other remarks showed that whilst tenderly mindful of those around, his thoughts were with that Saviour he was so soon to see.

    On Sabbath afternoon he lapsed into a state of almost lethargy, which continued with little interruption until Tuesday evening, September 5, 1854, when without a quivering muscle, or a heaving sigh, he passed away from earth.

    There are perhaps few to whom could be applied with greater propriety the words which were the last he ever read, when he led for the last time the devotions of his family, on the Wednesday preceding his decease: "For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself." Phil. iii. 20, 21.

    In August, 1801, Mr. Patterson was united in marriage to Miss Jean, daughter of Col. John Canon, the proprietor of Cannonsburg. They had seven children, five daughters, and two sons.

    The following paper from the pen of Rev. Richard Lea, will throw light upon his character:

    "Rev. Robert Patterson, son of Joseph, was like his father in many respects: rather short and heavy, very lively and good natured. He was not a student, but a good scholar; long known in Pittsburgh as a bookseller, but preaching for twenty-five years, nearly every Sabbath,


    in Hilands Church. He had labored previously in Erie County, Pa. He lived many years, in a hearty old age, after his resignation as pastor.

    "I never knew one so remarkable for under-valuing self. In judicatories he spoke impulsively, and if replied to pointedly, none enjoyed it more than himself. He would catechize a young man's performance earnestly, and ending with, 'It is too much like my own performances;' or 'It is very poor indeed, but far better than I could do myself.' The severest thing he ever said was, 'Moderator, as a performance, that is more logical and accurate than anything of my own, but I never did preach such a Christless thing. I never will vote for a sermon that has not the slightest perfume of the Rose of Sharon.'

    "He often told with great gusto, the following, which was rather at his own expense: --

    "'I was riding on horseback through the mud, seven miles to Hilands, to preach on Sabbath morning. A traveller overtook me. I told him he must be fond of violating the Sabbath to travel over such awful roads.

    "'And what are you doing, friend?

    "'O, I'm going to church.'

    "'Do you think it makes much difference to the horse ? Couldn't you get preaching nearer?'

    "The church was soon reached, and I said, 'Suppose you come and hear preaching; it will rest both you and your horse.'

    "'Who is the preacher?'

    "'One Patterson.'

    "'Did he preach in Erie once?'


    "'Then I won't stop -- he is the dryest old stick I ever heard.'


    "His own sermons were all extempore, and very much taken up with the relative duties of husbands and wives, parents and children. He abounded in anecdotes, sure to speak of Jesus; often, with tears, of his mother.

    "The text he often parsed -- spoke of nouns and verbs, etc., often exclaiming, 'O, the sweetness of the personal pronouns. Any one can say, a Saviour, the Saviour; it takes a Christian to say, my Lord, my Saviour.'

    "Every one wished to lodge him, at Presbytery. He would put all at ease by saying, 'What a bountiful meal God has given you for us.' 'Put as much cream into my coffee as though you kept a cow, and as much sugar as if you had a sugar camp.'

    "'Make your tea strong, and weaken with cream and sugar.'

    "'Madam! What a nice big boy you have! Give him to Christ, and ask him to make him a missionary.'

    "To a lady who asked him what school she should send her daughter to, he replied, 'That one that has the most religion in it.'

    "'Don't send your boy into the world until he has found Christ. But if he will go, follow him with prayers and tears. Give him and God no rest, until he is converted.'" ...

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    last revised: March 1, 2012