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JOHN FOSTER was born Sept. 17, 1770, and was the eldest son of respectable and pious parents. His father, who was a weaver as well as farmer, was a sedate, strong-minded, and useful man, and took a prominent part in the religious society of which he was a member. The son, from his earliest youth, manifested a thoughtfulness, discrimination, and spirit of observation and inquiry, which attracted the attention of others, and obtained for him the name of "old fashioned." He shunned the society of boys of his own age; and from the circumstances into which he was thrown, he acquired a degree of timidity which amounted to an "infinite shyness." His youth, until he was seventeen years of age, was spent in spinning and weaving; an employment which excited his deep disgust, and from which he escaped as often as possible, to devote himself to study and meditation. He felt conscious of the ability to weave a fabric superior to "double stuffs and lastings," and resolved to give his energies to objects worthy of his powers.
At the age of seventeen, he became a member of the Baptist Church in Hebdenbridge, under the pastoral care of Dr. Fawcett, a most excellent and worthy divine, and a friend whom Mr. Foster had every reason to hold in grateful remembrance. Here, having resolved to devote himself to the gospel ministry, he applied himself so closely to his studies, that fears were entertained for his health. "Frequently whole nights were spent in reading and meditation; and on these occasions, his favorite resort was a grove in Dr. Fawcett's garden. His scholastic exercises were marked by great labor, and accomplished very slowly. Many of