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persons of fastidious refinement would call course expression, and uncouth gesture *.
It pleased God to honour him, however, with signal and yery extensive success in the conversion of many.“ sinners from the errors of their ways, and the building up of the saints on their most holy faith." The church at present consists of about 150 persons, who have all been united under his own eye; and most of them are the fruits of his own ministry. Many others, called by grace, through bis instrumentality, were removed from the world antecedent to his own departure; and some of them died in the triumphs of faith.
Soon after his settlement at Poole, he married Miss Frances Welch, a pious young lady, endowed with a handsome fortune; with whoin he lived in harmony for many years, and who is now his bereaved widow.
In the midst of all his knowledge and success, we do not
• A woman, who once heard him preach, on coming out of the place of worship, observed, in the simplicity of her heart, “This man drives it into the very soul of us!”.
" As a specimen of his cast of mind and turn of expression, I recollect," says the Rev. Mr. Kingsbury, of Southampton, to whom we are indebted for most of the materials in this Memoir, " the following sentences, which I know to be correct, having written them down many years ago, soon after I heard them from his lips:
“ There are many so wise they will not be defrauded of a shilling, who are so foolish as to be cheated out of their souls and salvation."
"A Protestant professor, who had an orthodox creed, but lived an infamous life, solicited his sister, who was a Roman Catholic, to go with him to hear the Protestant preaching ; but she smartly replied, " Brother, what are you the better for it?' - Many have a good religion, but are not the better for it."
" He is a good merchant who parts with what he cannot keep, and seeks after what he cannot lose."
" The world expect perfection in a Christian; but they do not understand the saintship which they ridicule. A perfect black may find fault with a few specks on a white man's skin."
" Christians, after conversion, are like Lazarus ;-though raised to life, they have still their grave-clothes on.".
" Afflictions - the Hebrew word, says Gurnal, signifies troops, -- and God's people are like inn-keepers, who think and complain that they have too many quartered on them.”
"s Children wanting the breast need no argumeots to make them cry; so souls feeling their want of Christ need no arguments to make them pray."
Speaking of Christians being always possessed of grace, though not always comfortable in the enjoyment of the grace they possess, he ob. served, Rich men are yet rich, though they may not have much money in the house."--Several more observations are recited by Mr.Kingsbury, who adds,
The compiler carinot answer for all these sentences as Mr. Ashburner's own, — some may be quotations ; but they show his taste and familiar manner. And every body must own, that such sentiments, couched in such a style, accompanied with a loud voice and sprightly action, are calculated to strike the minds, and make deep impressions on the memories of the bulk of crowded congregations,
mean to intimate that he was free from infirmities: no one was more willing to own and bewail them than hinself. While · be was earnest in communicating truths to others, he was himself often cast down with the most distressing doubts; and was often afraid, “ lest, after baving preached to others, he himself should be a castaway.” These apprehensions arose partly from his views of the spiritual nature and sanctifying operations of real religion ; partly from the deep knowledge he had of his own heart, and the strict observations he made on the mixture of motives which discover the nselves in the labours of the sanctuary; and partly from that legality of spirit to which good men are prone.
His severe covflicts, however, occasioned that tender sen sibility, which was easily touched with compassion toward those who were exercised with sinilar fears. They taught him how to speak a word in season to him that was weary and ready to faint ; and many can witness what" a son of consolation” he became to tempied and distressed minds. Indeed, it is in the school of experience, and with a discipline so diver. sified as to be best suited to different circumstances and dispositions, that our great Master trains up his pupils to be hum. ble, affectionate, patient, and sympathizing ministers in his church.
Between four and five years ago he was attacked with a paralytic stroke, which so in paired his faculties as to oblige him to desist from his delightful employ, Infirmities, both of body and mind, followed so fast opon him, as to induce bin to resigo his office as pastor of the church. The people chose in his stead their present acceptable and esteemed minister, the Rev. T Durant, who was ordained to the pastoral office Sept. 8, 1901. The mo«t undisturbed harmony continued to subsist between Mr. Durant and his late venerable friend, from the commencement of their acquaintance to the time of his death,
It is remarkable, that after the threatening attack before mentioned, he was restored to a full capacity for preaching again, in turn with his successor, with almost as much clearness and energy as ever, for some time. About two years ago, he was seized, after preaching on the preceding Sabbath, with a violent hæmorrage from the head; the blood Howing in such quantities, as to baffle, for'a time, all the efforts of medical skill, and to leave no rational hope of recovery; but, contrary to all expectation, he was once more restored to a measure of health and strength, which enabled him again to appear with vigour in the pulpit for a series of several months.
But, at length, the time drew near that Ashburner must die. The last service in which he engaged on a week-day, was the concluding prayer after the general Sacrament, at the Hants Association, held at Poule, April 25, 1804; and the last sermon he preached was delivered on the following Sabbath, April 29. The text was Rom. viii. part of the 20th and 34th verses. In this discourse he treated on the two intercessions in which the Christian is interested, as tbe pledge and earnest of his future inheritance: -- the intercession of Christ in Heaven, and the intercession of the Spirit in the heart. When Mr. Ashburner came home, he said, " Now my work is done !! This last sermon was much blessed to the comfort of God's people ; and one young man in particular, knowing the indisposition under which the aged preacher laboured at that time (for his strength gradually decayed) said, If he never heard him again, he should have reason to bless God that he heard him at that time. · The day after the Association, April 25," I had,” says Mr, Kingsbury, “ the opportunity of spending an hour or more with my dear old friend : I found himn in a state of body which gave me little rational hope of his long continuance. He had dropsical symptoms, which I considered as the natural consequence of the profusion of blood some time before. I had every rea son to conclude this would be our last interview; and I have no doubt, from the tenor of his conversation, he thought the same. In our discourse, we took a retrospect of our life as connected with our friendship; of the many changes we had seen among our mutual connexions; we recollected the faithfulness of God to his promises, how much better he had been to us than our fears had suggested; what he had done for us and by us, as Christians and as ministers; and we looked forward with a pleasing hope, to a state of everlasting blessedness and perfec. 1 tion. Recurring to his former doubts, he assured me that, .. though he had no raptures, he felt solid peace in believing. Our last parting was sanctified and sweetened by prayer and praise; in which, pleasing views were taken of the topics of our recent conversation. I believe we had the refreshing presence of God, and enjoyed the assistance of his good Spirit; and we both felt as though we should never meet again till we arrived in Heaven.
During his last illness he enjoyed sweet peace of mind, with à calm resignation to the will of God, and a good hope through grace. He spoke of dying with great familiarity and fortitude; and said, “ I used to have doubts and fears respecting death; but now the sting of death is gone; Jesus is precious; I have no fear as to death'; that is all gone." At another time he said, with sweet composure of mind, " I wait for thy salvation, O Lord; I have got the world behind me, and I am glad I have done with it: and I see a greater beauty in that promise than ever," -“ As thy day is, so shall thy strength be." . • The Rev. Johň Lewis, of Ringwood, had an interview witli Mr. Ashburner a short time before his death; and enjoyed so much pleasure in his company and conversation, as nothing on
with sweet cath'; that is gone; Tesa
this side Heaven could exceed. His doubts and fears were all departed, and his will entirely swallowed up in the will of God. “ I have,” said he,“ my dear brother, no choice as it respects life or death; I have a persuasiou in my own inind that I shall die suddenly; the thought is not in the least distressing; whether I live this night or not, be it as the Lord will, I am ready to go whenever he calls. I shall never again worship him in his house below, but shall join in nobler worship above. In the time of health I have had many sore conflicts and doubts; but now, in the near view of eternity, I have none: thus it was with me when God laid his afflicting hand last upon me; but when restored, my confiicts and doubts returned: and pow I think death near, it hath no sting in it.” A female friend, who was much with him, reports, that, about a fortnight before he died, when he was going to bed, he said, “ The sting of death is taken away. It makes no difference to me whether I open my eyes on this world or on another."
From this time to the day of his dissolution, being for the greater part confined to his bed, he grew weaker and weaker; still expressing perfect confidence in Christ, composure of mind, and delightful expectation of being convoyed by attending angels to the celestial paradise. About nine o'clock in the morning of Monday the second of July, his happy spirit was released from the house of clay in which it had so long “ groaned, being burdened,” and sprang away from carth, and all its labours, griefs, and diseases; and, we have every reason to believe and hope, reached its appointed rest in one of those many mansions which the Lord Jesus went to prepare for all his disciples : “ For he died for them, that, whether they wake or sleep, they should live together with him.”
His remains were attended to the grave by a number of neighbouring ministers, six of whom held the pall, and others preceded the corpse, among whom was the respectable clergyman of the parish; and followed by his weeping widow, and a long train of genuine inourners. The solemnity of their countenances, and their sighs of sorrow, spåke to the heart a language which words can ill express. The burial-ground was filled with persons, who attentively listened to the service at the interinent. Mr. Adams, of Salisbury, also since deceased, addressed the people, and concluded with prayer. From tbe grave the people procecded to the meeting-house. The Rev. Henry Field, of Blandford, opened the worship; the Rev. J. Lewis, of Ringwood, prayed. The funeral-sermon was then delivered by Mr. Kingsbury, which has since been published, with a sketch of Mr. A.'s life. --The Rev, Thomas Durant paid a tribute of respect to the memory of his predecessor, in a sermon on the Lord's Day evening after the interment. Funeral discourses were also delivered by many of the most respectable ministers in the neighbourhood; and at all the places to which he had been accustomed to pay an Aunual visit.
ON CONFORMITY TO THE WORLD.
Hints submitted to the consideration of professing Christians, who either themselves mir with the world, in their amusements,
or suffer their children to do it. ..It is pleasing, no doubt, to see the great number of hearers that attend the preaching of the word; but it is grieyous at the same time to observe, how great a proportion of these cry, “ Lord ! Lord !” and yet, in works, dishonour and deny hini, especially by their attachment to the company, and pleasures of the world'-a practice' by which many of God's owin: people are grieved, and their own profession rendered unprofitable. When in the company of Christians, they would fain appear to see and believe as they do ; yet, when experimental subjects become the topic of conversation, it is plain they are out of their element; and manifest, by a total silence and a reserved couotenance, that a trifing story would have suited them much better. Were you the next day to see them in the company of the world, they then appear at home; for in their society they never drop a sentiment that is serious, or moral, fearing it would be esteemed particular and unpleasant; and should any reflections be made on religious characters, they will join in the speer.
The writer of this article knows some who attend the preaching of the gospel, that mingle with the gay world in all their amusements, and yet can hear their faithful pastors on the Lord's Day say, in the language of divine writ, “ Wherefore, come out from among them, and be se separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing*." They go farther, they will eat and drink at the Lord's Table one day with his dear people; and the next, will associate with the profane, who are haters of God, and join at a card-party, a ball, or a comedy. How distressing is the conduct of such professors ! they grieve the Holy Spirit, bring great dishonour on the gospel, and are a stumbling-block to their weak brethren. These are sitting down at ease in Zion, crying, “ Peace, peace !" when God has never spoken it.
Whoever can join in the world's pleasures and diversions with satisfaction and delight, can have no real fellowship or communion with God; “ For what concord hath Christ with Belial + 7" To those who love this world's pleasures, Heaven itself could yield no felicity, since there must be a meetness here for glory. The apostle Paul, addressing the Corinthians, says, “ Whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God ll.” Do