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These considerations appear to warrant the author of this Memoir, in offering to the Governors of the New-York Hospital, some account of the exemplary life of our late most excellent and valuable friend and associate, JOHN MURRAY, jun. who is now translated into that "better world," where our praises, or our opinions, cannot in any degree affect him. But to us, who knew and loved him, and to his fellow citizens at large, the recollection of his amiable character, the review of his well-spent life, and the testimonies we can truly bear to his many virtues, must prove both interesting and consolatory. And it may be hoped, that the loss we have sustained, may impress our minds with a due consideration of the truth, that Divine Providence has apportioned to every one some peculiar duties to perform, in order to prepare us, when every part of the great business of life is over, for an admittance" into that city, whose walls are salvation, and its gates praise."
JOHN MURRAY, jun. was born in this city, on the 3d of the 8th month, in the year 1758. He
was the son of Robert Murray, the principal of the highly respectable commercial house of Murray, Sansom, and Co., of London and New-York ; and brother to Lindley Murray, of the city of York, in England, whose literary character is well known in Europe and America.
When about twelve years of age, he was a scholar with myself at Friends' Grammar School, in Philadelphia. The remainder of his education he received in England,
In his youthful days he was remarked as being of an uncommonly active and lively disposition. Early in life he commenced business in this city with Moses Rogers, was very successful in his commercial pursuits, and, after a few years, withdrew himself from this concern.
His mind, for sometime, had received deep religious impressions, and under the power of the mild and humanizing principles of the Gospel, his natural feelings were controlled, and, in a good degree, subjected to the benign influence of divine grace. From this time he became zealously engaged to promote every measure, that
would conduce to ameliorate the condition of mankind, without distinction of sect or colour, But, that he might be rightly qualified, under the guidance of the Divine Spirit of his Lord and Master, he considered, that a sense of religious duty should precede his actions for promoting benevolent purposes, and thus secure the divine blessing on all his undertakings.
About this period his father proposed to him, to admit him as a partner in the house of Murray, Sansom, and Co., which flattering offer he declined, from a sense of religious obligation.
Having acquired, as he conceived, a competent share of this world's goods, he apprehended it to be his duty, as a faithful steward, to show his gratitude to his Creator, in giving up a due por, tion of his time and substance, towards assisting the poor and indigent; by encouraging them in habits of industry, and in promoting the means of bestowing upon their children the benefits of education. In order to accomplish this purpose, he gradually relinquished all mercantile pursuits.
How rare it is to meet with a person, in the course of a prosperous business, to stop short, and say "I have enough-hereafter I will consider, what Providence has put into my hands, as a trust for the good of my fellow creatures!"
It would extend this memoir to an improper length, to attempt exhibiting his various pursuits, in advancing the great cause of universal philanthropy, which, at different periods of his life, engaged his attention. I will therefore confine myself to some prominent features, that may serve to illustrate the general character, of our late excellent and valuable friend.
The first public engagement of benevolence in which he embarked, was, as a Governor, of this Hospital, to which he was first elected in 1782, and successively afterwards to the present year, a period of 37 years. During this time, he rendered this Institution many essential and important services; by his uniformly kind and affectionate attention to the sick, and in advancing the general interests of the Hospital. He was re-, marked for his punctual and regular attendance,
when his health permitted, of the monthly and special meetings of this Board,
In the year 1785, he was sedulously engaged in the formation of the " Society for Promoting the Manumission of Slaves, and for protecting such of them as have been or may be liberated." At this period, the minds of most of our citizens were not enlightened on the great subject of African Emancipation, and their deep rooted prejudices were so violent, that the friends of humanity, in asserting the rights of the people of colour, had to encounter innumerable and serious difficulties. An enmity, accompanied with a bitter spirit, was excited in the minds of those, whose selfish interest induced them to consider the acts of the Society, as an interference in their personal rights-the members, therefore, were constantly exposed to personal insult. But, knowing the integrity of their motives, and convinced of the justice of the cause, no difficulties could deter JOHN MURRAY from contributing largely, in a pecuniary way; and uniformly, and zealously, by personal exertions, in support of a cause, that he