Glenorchy Lady Wilhelmina Maxwell
Glenorchy Lady Wilhelmina Maxwell, distinguished for her benevolence and piety, was born at Preston, Scotland, September 2, 1741. Her early years, though sedulously watched over by her kind and intelligent mother, were' nevertheless too much devoted to the folliess and gayety of fashionable life. When she had attained the age of twenty-three years, her mind was aroused by a serious illness to reflections on her present character and future prospects; and musing on the first question in the Assembly's Catechism, "What is the chief end of man?" — "It is to glorify God, sand enjoy him forever," she asked herself, Have I answered the design of my being? Have I glorified God? Shall I enjoy him forever? Thus reflecting, she gradually felt the sinfulness of her nature, perceived the total alienation of her heart from God, and applied to her heavenly Father through Christ for pardon and grace. The remainder of her life was distinguished by the consistency of her deportment. She enployed much of her time in acts of benevolence; in wise and pious conversation; in an extensive, judicious, and profitable correspondence; and in every other means for promoting the conversion of sinners and the edification of saints. For such benevolent actions, she was called a Methodist, and represented as a wild enthusiast; but such opposition her principles enabled her patiently to endure, and, through evil and good report, to pursue her work of faith and labor of love. She was an intimate friend of Darcy Lady Maxwell, as, like her, a friend to Mr. Wesley and his preachers. In 1774 she opened a chapel in Edinburgh called "Lady Glenorchy's chapel," where Mr. Jones, of Plymouth, preached for over fifty years. She built also several places of worship in the country. Though her health declined, her activity and usefulness were unabated, till, on the 17th of July, 1786, she was summonsed to her reward. She bequeathed, by her will, five thousand pounds for the education of young men for the ministry in England; five thousand pounds to the society in Scotland for the propagation of Christian knoewledge; and the greatest part of the residue of her property to charitable and pious purposes. See Memoirs of Lady Glenorchy, in Burder's Pious Women. — Jones, Christian Biography; Jamieson, Religious Biography, page 228; Stevens, History of Methodism.