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to expect to hear the sound of her could be found to do! Mr. Austin voice, unless a question were asked on this occasion wrote to the her. These things are so unusual ministers who formed the Baptistnow-a-days, that their singularity board in London, who gave him excites surprise and deserves to be the best legal advice that they mentioned.

could procure, and, after a vigor. Notwithstanding the opposition ous and long continued contest, by that was raised in Sutton Coldfield paying some few costs or a trifling against Mr. Austin's ministry, the fine, he escaped. Lord owned and blessed it. The But the great head of the church place in which the congregation was now paving the way for his met was found insufficient to ac- removal to London, where a sphere commodate them, and they were of more extensive usefulness devising means for procuring a awaited him ; but where, at least larger, when a person of some con- for many years, his situation was siderable property in the town, who not more enviable than it was at had been among the foremost of Sutton Coldfield. About the year their persecutors, made them an 1780 he was in the practice of offer to erect a more spacious one preaching occasionally at the large for their use, which they accepted and populous town of Birmingand what was more remarkable ham, to which place some of his still, he afterwards frequently came friends from Sutton had removed. to hear Mr. Austin during the time In a little time a neat and comthat he continued to preach there, modious chapel was built there, which was about nine years. The principally by the exertions of a increase of the Baptist profession Mr. Joseph Green, who was among in Sutton Coldfield proved exceed the first fruits of Mr. Austin's ingly galling to the high church ministry and one of his est friends. party. Mr. Ryland was a man To assist in reducing the debt that who would sometimes go out into had been incurred by the erection the fields and high-ways, and in- of the building at Birmingham, vite sinners to come to Christ; but Mr. Austin took a journey to Lonhe had removed to Birmingham, don, collecting for it on his way, and his successor was no friend to and while here he received an indissenters. The writer of this vitation from the congregation at remembers to have heard Mr.Austin Fetter-lane, which terminated in give a most affecting detail of the his settlement among them in the harrassing measures that were re. year 1785, at which time he was sorted to, with a view to annoy about thirty five years of age. him, and render bis situation un. Mr. Austin's removal to Loncomfortable, by forcing him to don, formed a new era in the hisserve the offices of church-warden, tory of his life. He was now in overseer of the poor, &c. &c. as a the meridian of his days, and conpunishment for his nonconformity. sequently capable of as great A justice of the peace who resid- exertion as at any period of his ed in the neighbourhood, and pos- mortal career ; but there are persessed of overwhelming influence, sons now living who remember took the lead in all this; and what what he then was as minister of was singular, he openly declared the word, and what he lived to be. that his sole reason for wishing to They marked his progress in the impose these burdensome offices knowledge of the scriptures, and upon Mr. Austin was, a conviction they can testify that, unlike many that he would discharge the duties who have entered upon the minisof them with integrity and faith- terial office, he did not settle upon fulness, a thing which no one else his loes, by adopting the foolish

conceit that there was nothing to be the means of ascertaining. It may
attained beyond what he was be correct that he denied the pro-
already in the possession of. “It per deity of the Saviour--and it
was my great merey,” said he to may be that he only denied the
the writer of this only a few days eternal generation scheme; that
before his death, never to have is, that the Son of God was be-
been shackled with human systems gotten in pure deity! Whatever
and creeds. I formed my own there might be in this, 'tis certain
system upon a diligent study of that the church in Fetter-lane were
the word of God, without troub- stigmatized as Arians, and lay
ling myself about what was held under a load of opprobrium on that
by this or that great writer.” account. We do not however
Happy they who imitate him in believe that Mr. Austin ever held
this respeet, without regarding Arian sentiments, though he had
what Dr. Crisp or Dr. Gill, or too much good sense to hold the
any renowned doctor has held. doctrine of eternal generation. He
A mind open to convietion, and nevertheless accepted the pastoral
sufficiently independent to follow office, and was ordained over them
truth wherever that shall lead, is a in the month of February, 1786.
high state of privilege, but it falls Of the circumstances attending
to the lot of few; and hence the the destruction of the chapel by
present wretchedly degraded con- fire, which took place Dec. 4th.
dition of the churches around us 1788, the vicissitudes and incon-
in regard to religious knowledge. veniences to which it necessarily
Forming an estimate upon a com- exposed both pastor and people
prehensive scale, it may confi- until the present building was
dently be questioned whether we erected—the difficulties that arose
are not rather going backward in consequence of the imprudent
than forward. But this is a topic conduct of those who had taken
so prolific of remark that we must the management of the building,
not pursue it. We have briefly and a vast variety of other cir-
adverted to it for the sake of ac- cumstances connected with this
counting for the unpopularity which subject, we have not room to
attended Mr. Austin for many speak. The reader who wishes to
years after his settlement in Lon- know them, we beg leave to refer
don, but which gradually subsided to the Baptist Magazine for Nov.
though it was never entirely re- 1816. where they may find all the
moved. The congregation in particulars given with commenda-
Petter-lane was small, and the ble accuracy and sufficient minute-
church consisted of not more than ness of detail. Reserving for
thirty members, when Mr. Austin another article, a view of Mr.
settled among them; and there is Austin's doctrinal sentiments after
reason to believe that several of his judgment in divine things be-
them at that time did not hold the came matured, and of his character
proper and essential Deity of the as a Christian and the pastor of a
Son of God. Mr. Ebenezer Smith, Christian church, we shall bring
who had lately had the pastoral the present towards a close by a
charge of them, had been assistant rapid glance at the success of his
preacher to Dr. Gifford at Eagle labours during the thirty years he
street, but is said to have left that held forth the word of life at
church in consequence of his Fetter-lane, until his removal to
“ having embraced the Arian the mansions of eternal rest, where
notion of the person of Christ.” we confidently trust he is “ ever
What Mr. Smith's sentiments on with the Lord.”
this point really were, we have not We believe it has not often

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fallen to the lot of an individual in thought him very heretical about our day to prosecute his ministry the Sonship of Christ, and some under circumstances that more im- have suspected him of being tincperiously called for the exercise tured with Sandemanianism, beof patience, self-denial, and con- cause of his simple view of faith! fidence in God, than those under even to the present day we bewhich Mr. Austin laboured. With lieve that these foolish notions a family that gradually encreased are prevalent among the dissenters to thirteen children, five of whom in the metropolis respecting the survive to bewail the removal of a church in Fetter-lane. We remost indulgent father, his income member within the last three years from the church was only a scanty to have heard an Independent pittance--for several years not minister, who came to supply for more than a guinea a week, and Mr. Austin on a Sabbath evening, for a much longer time not ex- preach a discourse from Heb. i. 3. ceeding a guinea and a half; from which he undertook to prove though during all this period he the Divinity of the Saviour, and devoted himself unreservedly to his eternal existence as a divine the duties of his office, preaching person, with such vociferation and three times on the Lord's day, laborious bodily exertion, as were and once

more during the really terrible to the congregation, week. The state of the church and which could only be accounted also at the time he took the over- for upon the principle that he sight of it was calculated to har- supposed they all denied that rass and distress them. 'Tis pro- doctrine, and that he was deterbable he was not at the moment mined to convince them of their aware of the extent to which the error; whereas the real truth is, leaven of false doctrine had spread, that they believe that doctrine as and how far it had corrupted the firmly as himself! But such is the mass, for had that been the case, influence of prejudice upon the wisdom would have suggested the human mind even among our leadpropriety of dissolving the union ing dissenting ministers. that subsisted among them, and of Conscious in the rectitude of forming the church anew. But his own conduct, and that what this was not done, and for several he delivered to others as the docyears it subjected him to a painful trine of Christ was the truth of conflict in rooting out the abettors God, Mr. Austin gave himself of strange doctrines. His own very little concern about these delicate frame and nervous com- calumnies, or took much pains to plaints were little calculated to refute them. When he had been arm him for the conflict, and had some years in London, and the , he not been privileged with a church under his pastoral care source of support and consolation was found to prosper, his Baptist out of himself, we can scarcely brethren condescended to think conceive the possibility of his liim worthy of a little notice. Mr. persevering as he did, and ulti- Booth and Mr. Martin at different mately surmounting all difficulties. periods interrogated him respectThe ministers of the Baptist deno- ing his views of truth; the former mination for many years stood was so fully satisfied, that he made aloof from him; suspecting him a very favourable report to the to be not quite sound in the faith; board, which tended much to reand he was consequently a speck- move their prejudices, and he led bird among them. Some afterwards became one of their doubted if he were orthodox number, and a stated preacher of respecting the Trinity -- others the Monthly Lecture." Mr. Mar

65

tin questioned him closely upon rejoicing in the day of the Lord his Arianism, and when Mr. Aus- Jesus. tin had disclosed his whole mind, [To be concluded in a future Number.] he remarked in his strong energetic manner,

Well Mr. Austin, “ if that be Arianism, I am an Our Portrait of Mr. Austin, Arian too, and I wish there were which accompanies this Memoir, many more such Arians in Lon-exhibits him in the attitude of don!”

preaching, and at a moment, well The church at the time of Mr. remembered by those that attendAustin's death consisted of nearly ed his ministry, viz. when, having two hundred members-of whom discussed his subject, he came to only four remain that belonged make the application of it to the to it when he took the pastoral hearts and consciences of his charge. We have heard him re- hearers. Then all his energies mark, too, that about two bundred were collected, the fore finger had died, or were removed to pointed as in the print, and the other places, who had been con- voice and manner always indicatnected with the church during the ed his solicitude to impress them time he presided over them. His with the vast importance of divine ministry therefore may fairly be truth. If it be found to differ in considered as a successful one. some respects from the print given But independent of his success in in the Baptist Magazine, we are gathering a church, thousands of persuaded that every unprejudiced others have from his mouth heard mind will admit that the difference of the way of salvation—they have is all in our favour! The painting been pointed to the Lamb of God wasex

executed by his highly esteemwhich taketh away the sin of the ed friend and brother, Mr. W. world-and warned to flee from Stephens, formerly of Prescotthe wrath to come. Let us indulge street, now of Manchester, who the pleasing hope that many of appears to us eminently to excell these will be his joy and crown of in the correctness of his likenesses.

ELEGY ON THE DEATH OF THE REV. ABRAHAM AUSTIN.

[By a member of the church late under his pastoral care.]

STRIKE the harp; tho' grief surrounding

Bids the tear responsive flow;
Strains harmonious softly sounding,

Soothe the mind depress’d with woe,
Fond remembrance hovers o'er thee,

Austin, when thy name we hear;
And the long esteem we bore thee,

Draws the sympathetic tear.
No strain'd eulogy, to raise thee

Would the modest muse approve;
Whilst thy many virtues praise thee,

Richly fraught with acts of love.
Yet would friendship's aid, combining

With affection, raise the lay ;
Hoping thus to check repining,

Whilst his worth we would pourtray.

Peaceful, mild, discreet, and feeling,

To the poor a constant friend ;
Wounds of discord gladly healing,

Where his influence could extend.
Zealously his efforts lending,

Aiding free instruction's plan;
Education's boon extending

To the needy sons of man.
Those who sat beneath his teaching,

Know he labour'd souls to win;
Ever pointing out, in preaching,

CURIST, THE SACRIFICE FOR SIN.
No sectarian zeal could bind him,

To withhold the gospel call;
His enlarged views inclin'd him,

Freely to encourage all.
Evermore on Christ relying,

For his spirit and his grace,
Whilst the promises applying,

To the ransom'd sinner's case.
Christian excellence adorn'd him ;

Oft his grateful heart he'd raise,
To the

grace of God, which form’d him
So to speak his Saviour's praise.
Since he's call'd from hence for ever,

Let us hear the warning voice;
And, as taught by him, endeavour

To make wisdom's ways our choice.
Left the cross, the crown he's wearing,

Mingling with the heavenly throng;
And his part with rapture bearing,

In the everlasting song.
Clerkenwell.

J. T.

SUNDAY READING. [It has been suggested to the Editor, by some ministers whose judgment he highly respects, that the utility of this work would be greatly encreased by devoting a certain portion of each number to the insertion of short Essays or Discourses particularly adapted to be read by such individuals or families on the Lord's day, as have it not in their power conveniently to purchase larger works. He therefore purposes, during the present year, to make the experiment, by giving in each number, one paper of a doctrinal, and another of a practical tendency, and the two that follow may be regarded as a specimen. As he cannot always spare room to quote the texts of scripture at full length, it is extremely desirable that the reader should have a Bible beside him, and that he would never pass over a text that is referred to, without turning to it.]

THE IMPORT OF THE RESUR- and leading objects of the AposRECTION OF CHRIST.

tolic ministry. It was in reference “ And with great power gave the to this part of their office, that

apostles witness of the resurrection when the hour of bis dreadful and of the Lord Jesus ; and great grace accumulated sufferings drew near, was upon them all.Acts iv. 33.

Jesus said unto them, 6 Ye also To testify of the resurrection of shall bear witness because ye have the Lord Jesus Christ from the been with me from the beginning." dead, was one of the important John xv, 27. To these chosen wit.

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