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THE

EVANGELICAL MAGAZINE

AND

MISSIONARY CHRONICLE

SEPTEMBER, 1826.

MEMOIR OF THE REV. THOMAS WILLIAMS,

LATE OF EIGNBROOK CHAPEL, HEREFORD

son

The subject of this Memoir was the he entered the academy at Aberga

of that venerable servant of venny, under the tuition of the late Christ, the late Rev. W. Williams, Rev. Dr. Benjamin Davies, where he Dissenting Minister at Brecon and remained for seven years; and when Aber, who laboured with great suc- he left 'the seminary, he received cess among the Independents for from his tutor an honourable testimony more than half a century, and was with regard to his character, abilireckoned, in his day, one of the most ties, and proficiency.' Mr. Williams popular and respectable Ministers was ordained at Pump-street, in the in the county of Brecon; he died city of Worcester, where he laboured Dec. 1st, 1800, aged 83. The Rev. with great acceptance for two years,

Thomas Williams was born in the and from thence he removed to the year 1755, at a place called Drawvi- city of Hereford, where he has been lan, near the town of Newport, in the the faithful Minister of Eignbrook county of Monmouth, on his grand- Chapel for upwards of 44 years. father's estate. He felt his lost con- When he first settled at Hereford, he dition as a sinner when he was very met with many trials, and encountered young, but the death of one of his some opposition as a Dissenting sisters had been sanctified by the Spi- Minister, yet he relied on the all-suffirit of God in bringing him to form the cient aid of his God, for strength to resolution of giving himself up to the persevere in the face of them all. Lord and unto his people, and he was Among his manuscripts was found received as a member of the church the following paper, written by himof Christ at Aber, when about 16 self, which was a covenant engageyears

of age. His friends soon finding ment between him and the Lord: it that he possessed great abilities, is as follows:encouraged him to devote himself to the Christian ministry, and in or

“ Eternal and ever blessed God, I Thomas der to be better qualified for the im- Williams, Dissenting Minister at Hereford,

do most solemnly and seriously on thiš day, portant work of preaching Christ to

being the 3d of September, in the year of perishing sinners, in his 17th year our Lord 1783, renew and ratify my coveVOL. IV.

2 N

my life

nantongagemonts with thee-which engage that we havo religion in tho heart; ments I entered into some years back, but for he was anxious to see all who the instrument has been mislaid. As a vile polluted sinner , I come unto my insulted professed

Christ adorning the doctrine Creator, Preserver, and Redeemer

, and plead of their Divine Master by a consisthe sovereign merits of thy Son for a gracious tency of conduct. Towards the people reception. This day do I, with the utmost

of his charge, he acted the part of solemnity, surrender myself to thee, truly

a tender father, always ready to desirous of consecrating myself, all I am and have, to thee wholly and for ever, determined assist them when in difficulties. His by the assistance of Divine grace, ever to hold counsels were much sought after, myself in an attentive posture, to observe

and in his death the poor bave the first intimations of thy will, and ready to lost a friend they will not soon spring forward with zeal and joy, to the immediate execution of it. Tothy direction also forget. His charities were not few, I resign myself and all I am possessed of, to and he knew how to follow the be disposed of by theo in such a manner as direction of Christ—" Let not thy thou shalt in thine infinite wisdom judge left hand know what thy right hand most subservient to the purposes of thy glory. Uso me, O Lord, I beseech thee as an instru.

doeth.” And the cause of Christ has ment of thy service, number me among thy lost a firm supporter, for he was peculiar people, let me be washed in the always ready to advocate every plan blood of thy dear Son, let me be clothed with his righteousness, let me ben osan cetinded by true religion ; he was one of the

first

laid before him for the extension of into his image, impart to me, through him, who established an Auxiliary Bible all needful influences of thy purifying, cheer- Society at Hereford, and was chosen ing, and comforting-Spirit. And let

one of its first Secretaries. The be spent under those influences and in the light of thy gracious countenance, as my

moral darkness of the inhabitants of Father and my God. And when the solemn the county of Hereford pressed very hour of death comes, grant, 0, my Father, heavily on his mind, and he wanted that then, with peculiar delight, I may remember these my engagements to thee,

to give every encouragement to those that I may employ my latest breath in thy who laboured under the Home Misservice! And do thou Lord, when thou seest sionary Society, by inviting them to the agonies of dissolving nature upon me, his house, and having their cause should then be incapable of recollecting it. pleaded annually in his pulpit. As Look down, O my heavenly Father, with a a proof of his great attachment topitying eye, upon thy languishing, thy dying wards his own people, he left his child ; place thine everlasting arms under- valuable library, and about two hunneath me for my support, put strength and dred pounds for the

use and support ceive ine into the embraces of thine everlast- of the cause at Eignbrook. Mr. ing love, and welcome me to the abode of Williams had married Miss Mary them that sleep in Jesus, to wait thy final Bradley, an highly accomplished and hope of which I now lay hold on thy young lady, of the city of Worcester, covenant and set my hand unto it.

which happy union lasted with una" THOMAS WILLIAMS. » bated felicity for about 36 years; she

died in the Lord in the month of March, Mr. Williams was in the habit of 1823. His natural constitution was writing his sermons very full, and very strong, and he enjoyed an almost they were always plain, evangeli- uninterrupted state of health until cal, and often energetic. His fa- Sept. 1823, when, on a visit at Aber, vourite points in all his discourses in Breconshire, he was taken very were, Christ and him crucified, ill; his complaint was an inflammation the work and influences of the of the bladder, and he never recovered Holy Spirit, bringing sinners to the of its effects, although he was enaknowledge of the truth, together bled to resume the ministry. The with the necessity of maintaining last time he preached, was the first good works, as the best of evidences Sabbath in January, when he preached

ON

ESSAY IV.

twice and administered the sacrament; On the following Monday, with overy and those who were present will mark of respect, his body was interred long remember the earnest manner at All Saints Barying-ground, and in which he addressed them on that there it will rest until the last trumoccasion. On the following Wednes- pet shall sound, and the mortal body day he was taken very ill, and shall put on immortality. On Sunday from that time he was almost in Feb. 12, the Rev. David Lewis, of constant pain, yet he maintained his Aber, preached his Funeral Sermon, usual composure and uttered not à from Psalms Xxxix. 9, and so much murmuring word. When a particular respect was shown to the deceased, friend came one morning to ask him that the Chapel at Eignbrook was how he was, after having a very rest- erowded to excess a long time before less night, “0,” said he, “I thought the service commenced, and through that I should have been at my Father's the whole service many were seen house before this time;" and to an weeping for their departed pastor. affectionate sister that attended him, Aber.

D. L. when he saw her great anxiety for his recovery,

he said, “ God's ways are the best, therefore may the Lord's ON MILTON'S TREATISE will be done." And when in the most excruciating pain, his language

CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE. was, “that his heavenly Father laid not a stroke too heavy or too many upon him;" and he said to his medical attendant, “I have nothing to face death with but Christ.” “ Well,” said the

The Sabbath and the Lord's Day. Doctor, “you have a sure foundation.” THE opinion of our author on the He answered with great emphasis, Mosaic Law generally, which was the “ Yes, and it will never give way.'

subject of our last Essay, included the A few hours before the struggle was

belief that the Fourth Commandment over, he wanted to see his sister; and and to be of force only till the setting

was intended solely for the Israelites, when the servant went to call her, up of the Messiah's kingdom; and that, a friend observed to him that to die under the Gospel, no particular day is was a hard work, he assented and ex- appointed by Divine anthority to be claimed, “O Death where is thy—"; kept holy above other days. After his breath would not allow him to discussing these points at consider proceed ; and when his sister came,

able length, be gives the following as the scéné was truly affecting; but Sabbath was originally an ordinance

the result of his inquiries :-“ Since the he endeavoured to console her in the of the Mosaic Law—since it was given following manner_“My dear sister, to the Israelites alone, and that for the may God bless you and keep you express purpose of distinguishing them all; I am going to my Father, and I from other pations, it follows that, if commit

you

all to the care of Jesus."' those who live under the gospel are Soon after the Doctor was sent for, . the law in general, least of all can they

emancipated from the ordinances of who, when he entered the room, be considered as bound by that of the asked him how he was? He answered Sabbath, the distinction being abo

struggling hard; all that I can say lisbed which was the special cause of is, Lord Jesus receive my spirit.” He its institution. Hence we arrive at the continued to breathe a little longer, following conclusions : first, that under and his happy spirit took its flight to the gospel no one day is appointed

for

divine worship in preference to another, the realms of eternal day, about four except such as the church may set o'clock on Friday morning, Feb. 3, apart of its own authority for the vo1826, in the 71st year of his age. luntary assembling of itu membota ;

wherein, relinquishing all worldly af. 1. To urge tho sanctified observance fairs, we may dedicate ourselves wholly of the Lord's Day, from the reasons to religious exercises, as far as is con- and authority of the Mosaic law, is sistent with the duties of charity: imprudent and inconclusive; for it is and, secondly, that this may conve- open to the perpetual objections which niently take place once every seven were described in our last Essay. The days, and particularly on the first day refutation of those objections is, to say of the week, pr ded always that it the least, a matter of extreme difficulty be observed in compliance with the and nice discrimination; and thus the authority of the church, and not in obligation of a most important branch obedience to the edicts of the magis- of practical religion would be left in a trate : and, likewise, that a snare be very precarious condition. Qot laid for the conscience by the alle- II. A real and cogent obligation, for gation of a Divine commandment, bor- the sanctification of the entire Lord's rowed from the decalogue; an error Day, may be solidly established from against wbich Paul diligently cautions the positions laid down by Luther and us (Col. ii. 16.) For, if we under the Calvin, and avowed or implied by gospel are to regulate the teime of our Milton. The design of public ordi. public worship by the prescriptions of nances is to produce and improve spithe decalogue, it will surely be far safer ritual and internal religion. Outward to observe the seventh day, according exercises are of no value, but as the to the express commandment of God, effects and expressions of such a state than, on the authority of mere human of mind. To cultivate that state of conjecture, to adopt the first. I per- mind, a cessation from worldly emceive, also, that several of the best di- ployments, conversation, and trains of vines, as Bucer, Calvin, Peter Martyr, thinking, is absolutely necessary: not, Musculus, Urísnus, Gomarus, and indeed, such a cessation as would be others, concur in the opinions above servile, and merely mechanical, which expressed."

would avail nothing to the end deThe judicious translator, in one of signed, but such as is dictated by the his valuable notes, has shewn that enlightened mind and devotional feelPeter Martyr had an honourable title ings of the genuine Christian, the ser. to be left out of the list just given. But vice of love, delight, and liberty. The we are concerned to say, that Luther necessity of this cessation, and its exmust be added to it. The opinion tent over the hours of domesticity and which the two great leaders of the Re, privacy, may be fully established, from formation maintained on this subject the properties of the human mind, from was, that the moral obligation of the the associations of sentiment and feel. Fourth Commandment belonged to the ing, and from the advantages of a more Mosaic economy alone, that wnder the abundant and regularly returning opgospel every day is alike; but that, portunity for secret devotion and fafor the more edifying celebration of the mily instruction. As, then, the great public ordinances of religion, it is ex- end of life, the noblest and the most pedient that Christian societies should universally obligatory, is to procure concur in the appropriation of one and and advance the holiness and salvation the same stated day ; that the Apos- of ourselves, and all whom we can intolic Churches, without any Divine pre- fluence, the MORAL OBLIGATION of a cept, fell not unnaturally into the adop- sanctified observance of the whole tion of the day immediately succeeding Lord's Day may be inferred in the the abrogated Jewish Sabbath; tbatmost conclusive manner. on account of the universal practice III. From many passages in the and convenience, it is the most advisa- writings of Calvin, it is evident that he ble to adhere to this day; and that the reasoned in the manner preceding : and obligation of ceasing from worldly em- so, it is probable, did others of the Reployments, and cultivating private de- formers. But it is ever to be lamented votion, religious reading, meditation, that they did not pursue the train of and the like, arises solely from consi- thought to its proper length, por en. derations of ntility and harmony with force it agreeably to its vast importthe public exercises.

ance. Perhaps their zeal against the Upon this subject we submit the superstitious festivals of the Papacy, ensuing observations:

betrayed them into an indiscreet break

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