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of his neighbours. “ Aye,” said one who met him going to hear bis favourite minister," if your father was alive, Master Townsend, you durst not go on in this way: he would cut your legs off' rather than you should forsake your parishchurch,” It appeared, as Mr. Townsend was one day going to the Rosemary Branch, to hear the Rev. Ab. Booth, in passing through Devonshire Square, he met the minister of his parish-church : "So, Mr. Towase:d,' said he, and clapped him on the shoulder, you are going the wrong way.' * That is an awful thing indeed, Sir, if it be true," replied Mr.Townsend; “ but I hope I am not. I ain going, Sir," added he, “where the gospel is preached." I don't know what you call the Gospel,
' returned the clergyman;' but I know, if you go to church vou will be sure to hear it there.' Whatever he might hear from the reading-desk, Mr. Townsend knew he should not hear the gospel from the pulpit, and therefore persevered, regardless of the intreaties of his relations, and the opinion of the world. The evangelical principles he had embraced, did not lie vormant; bur produced such effects, that nunbers who bated the trutlis which were so precious to his soul, were obliged to confess, that he was a good man, and had no blemish, - but this religion. His whole life abounded in acts of extraordinary benevolence. His accounts of expenditure, from the time of his setting out in trade, are filled with items.of money applied to the relief of poor people of every description. He paid for the education of some scores of indigent children; and has saved many a needy tradesınan from ruin. Poor persons, of honesty and industry, seldoin applied to him for the loan or gilt of a sınall sun of money, without success. He had formerly tried his fortune repeatedly in the lottery, in expectation of a large prize; bùt he made it the constant matter of his prayer, that he might never have one, without a heart to use it to the glory of God. He knew how to relish the happiness of overwhelming a needy person's feelings with his kindness. There have been some very affecting instances of this: he could not relate a conversation be bad with Mr. Winter, of Painswick, last August, without tears. sous knew more of the motives and principles of the lower orders of mankind, or were better acquainted with their min
It was dangerous to go to bin with a false tale of distress, for he could generally detect it. Though he conferred his favours without exacting homagc, he took care to let the objects of his bounty know, that hu thought they were obliged to bim.. He had been among the poor as a benefactor, and Lad encouraged them to consider hinn under the character of a friend; and their frequent applications to him, in consequence, gave him an opportunity of acquiring an insight into their principles of action. There is a curious story told of
Few perhis humanity some years ago :- When his eldest brother was in possession of the estate, he sent Charles one day to collect rents froin the poor people; but the good man saw so much misery, that it excited his compassion; and, instead of bringing home the rents, he was money out of pocket.
Bene olence was not, bowever, a g cater trait of his character than a love of secresy; and hence bui little is known of his personal experience is : Christie pustead of talking much about religion, b, cudearvurei to exemplify it, li was in:possible to know his character by a short acquai atance'; bet ihose who were most and longest with will, une in observing that he was one of those few persons of whom esteem is crea ated with :cguaintance. After residing in lodgings a few years, at Clapton, about the year 1777, he took a house at Homerion. He used to leave business earlier in winter, and spend his evenings at hoine in reading, with a companion, some pious authoi till supper-time: after which, he smoked his pipe, as a relief to his asthma; and his companion read țill eleven o'clock, the hour when he retired to rest. In this way the writings of Fox, Whitefield, Romaine, James Hervey, and the late Tiyland, were read through, and administered to his edification. From the death of Mr. Hait, he attended reguJarly the ministry of the late Mr. Romaine, until the gospel was introduced at Homerton Chapel, On Mr. Eyre's settlement there, he formed an acquaintance with that zealous and active servant of our Lord; which continued to the deair of Mr. Townsend, and tended greatly to enlarge the field of his usefulness, especialiy froin the time when he becaine possessed of his large fortune, by the death of his brothers.
Mr. Eyre, who had greatly exerted himself in the establishment of the Missionary Society, for sending the gospel abroad, was equally zealous for its propagation at home: a society was formed for this purpose, by a few pious and afiluent persons in his own congregation, which was conducted with great ability by their minister. It pleased God to bless their etibus in such a manner, as to encourage a considerable enlargement of the sphere of their labours. Mr. Eyre, in a plan wluch he drew up for this purpose, and laid before the society, observed, that “ It appears by the returns lately made to the flouse of Commons, that there are about 9,500,000 immortal souls in this kingdon, whichi, upon an average, are about 1000 to each parish. Suppose 400 in a parisli, one with another, were to attend the churches, that would scarcely amount to 2,000,000; and if 1,000,000 inore were und-r the instruction of Methodists and Dissenters, there would still be above 6,000,000 despituie of all kind of religious instruction.” Without interiering, therefore, at all with those excellent institutions already formed, he proposed that the Society should educate, in their own manner,
such a number of pious young men for the ministry, and so far contribute to their support as their funds would allow, and as might be necessary for introducing the gospel into such situations as would be otherwise destitute of it. The plan of edu. cation was to be confined to twelve courses of lectures; six of which were to be on the bistory, religion, evidences, and theology of the Bible; and six on science, literature, the duties of a preacher, &c. including the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures. In this plan Mr. Townsend most cordially co-operated ; and, by his will, dated July 31, 1802, bequeathed 4000l. to the Society, to which, upon a tutor being engaged to carry the above plan into execution, he added, by his codicil, dated December 14 following, the suin of 6000l.; both which sums have been recently paid by his executors.
In the midst of his affluence, Mr. Townsend has fiequently acknowledged, that additional riches brought an increasing burden; and, with many tears, complained of his state of mind, compared with former experiences. Scarcely had the good man been in possession of his fortunę two years, before he began to feel the time of his departure was at hand.
On Tuesday the 28th of December, after eating a hearty dinner, he was suddenly seized, and said to his house-keeper, “ I feel as if I was going to die.” From this time until Friday evening, he continued much indisposed ; and then his disorder assumed so serious an aspect, as to leave no hopes of his recovery. During a few intervals of ease, he would speak to his friend Mr. Eyre, in short and suitable sentences upon spiritual subjects; and on Sunday the 2d of January, he died much lamented by his Christian acquaintances, and a multitude of poor objects who had long reaped the harvest of his bounty.
On the 16th of January, Mr. Eyre preached his funeral sermon from Rev. xiv. 13. « Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from henceforth: yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours, and their works do follow them." By his will he also bequeathed to the Gloucester Infirmary, 5001. – to the Stroud Dispensary, 2001. - to the Marine Society, 500l. - to the Philanthropic Society, 2001. — to the Society for the Relief of Blind Persons, 5001. — to the Deaf and Dumb Society, 500l. — to the Benevolent Society, held at Homerton Chapel, 501. -- to the Treasurer of this Magazine, for the Relief of Poor Widows of Gospel Ministers, 1001. — to the Schools at Homerton Chapel, 4001,
In the conversion of this good man, we would, first, grate• fully acknowledge the advantage of an Evangelical Ministry, whilst we would point out, for imitation, the conduot of his good brother, who first invited hiin to hear the gospel. Let parents thus lead their children, and masters their servants. Let those young persons who have happily been brought from " the broad road which leadeth to destruction," into “ the ways of pleasantness, and the paths of peace,” Jabour to introduce their former associates to the house of God; and then, perhaps, they may become the instruments of their salvation.
2. Let as observe how the gospel operated on Mr. Townsend, in love to God, and benevolence to man; especially inducing him, when he possessed but one' talent, to lay it out well. In him the poet's description was verified:
" Stillest streams oft water fairest meadows;
And birds that Autter least,
Are longest on the wing." Instead of the empty, fruitless noise of many professors of religion, Mr. Townsend silently sowed in secret, what will be reaped openly, at the end of the world.
3. How frequently one talent, well improved in praise of the Redeemer, makes a man ruler over many more. i Them that honour me, I will honour.” He who lends to the Lord, is frequently repaid with compound interest.
4. How much more blest are the reflections of a good man, who, from evangelical motives, has been enabled to use his property in benefiting the bodies and souls of his fellow creatures, thau thereflection of those who have laboured to acquire iminense property, to leave it to others who will, perhaps, waste it faster than it was obtained ! Much wiser would it be in many parents to leave to their children portions sufficient to stimulate their industry and keep them usefully employed, than such large masses of property, as make application needless, and frequently leads the unhappy possessors to vice, profligacy, disease, and premature death! We could point out families, at this day, of the highest respectability in the religious world, whose pious fathers expended more money in the cause of genuine benevolence, than they left to their children; yet these children have been rising in the world, whilst the immense fortunes of other families, not so minded, have melted away. - There is that scattereth and yet increaseth ; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet; but it tendeth to poverty. The liberal soul shall be made fat; and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself." Brethren, the time is short; it remaineth, that they that buy, be as though they possessed not; and they that use the world, as not abusing ii; for the fashion of this world passeth away. Blessed is that servant who is found occupying at the coming of his Lord.
A MISSION TO BENGAL RECOMMENDED.
The geographical situation of the land selected by Gorch for the residence of his peculiar people, and for the incarnation, sufferings, death, and resurrection of the Messiah, illustrates the divine wisdom, and deserves our serious attention, particuJarly as it may affori us useful instruction for the conduct of missions.
The Seriptures lead us to conceive the following objects to have been principally intended by the dispersation which separated the Israelites from the rest of
mind :--Is, That dur. ing the long period of darkness, wben the Gewiles were “ concluded in unbelief," the worship of God mht not be totally extinguished in the world, but be preserred among Israel, his peculiar people. 2d, That, even during this dark period, sone rays of the knowledge of God might be communicated to the surrounding nations, who should beer of his great ome, and of his strong band, and of his stretched-out arm. 34, That an expectation of the Messiah, as the desire of al nations, right gradually be diffused among the Gentiles, and pave the way iti the successful preaching of his glorious gospel.
4th and last; That, after the ascension of Christ, bis apostles and let people among the Jews might publish the gospel among all varios, beginning at Jerusalem. Even the futue and last restoration of the Jews to their own land, and their conversion to Cirrust, will not be beneficial to themselves only. The prophecies of Ezekiel, Joel, and Zechariah, and the cievenili chapier of St. Paul's epistle to the Romans, lead us to expect, that the morn of the Jews, and their conversion and victory over their enemies, will be accompanied with smh signal displays of the power and grace of God, as to be instrumentai in gathering the fulness of ihe Gentiles into the church: “And I will set my glory among the Heathen, and all the deathen shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid upon them: so the house of Israel shall know that I am the Lord their God, from that day and forward; and the Ileaihen shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity: because they trespassed against me, therefore hid I my face froni them, and gave them into the hand of their enemies; “so fell they all by the sword.”.
For cfiecting the above purposes, what spot could have been so well selected for the residence of the children of Israel as Canaan? It acijoined to, and bad an immediate cominunication with the empires of Assyria, Babylon, and Persia; with the rich kingdom of Egypt, and Tyre, the mart of the world. Throngh the gulphs of Arabia and Persia, Palestine has a ready intercourse with India, China, and the eastern coast of Africa;