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second ycar) that God has still with held me from thus sinning against him.
I had frequent convictions while at sea, especially when in estreme dangers, that I was not in the way of my duty; and at the desire of my friends, I returned to live with my parents at Milverton, assisting them in their business, and attending the means of grace, under Mr. Robt. Day, of Wellington. While at sea, I made conscience of secret prayer, reading, &c.; and of ab. staining from what appeared to me to be sinful: and after leaving the sca, I attended statedly to prayer, with my sisters and other acquaintance; but I felt uncasy at not seeing how the Lord, consistently with his-holiness and justice, conld save me, an impure and guilty creature. At length, in reading Dr. Gill on Justification, the Lord, I trust, gave my mind comfortable satisfaction respecting that matter; and showed me, that in Christ, the Lord could be everlastingly glorified in saving the greatest sinner, who is willing to be sa vel in this way. My delight and thankfulness, at first discovering this admirable way of saving sinners, prevented sleep, and kept me from usual worldly company. It created a great indifference about carthly pleasures, led me to devout contemplations on the astonishing subject, and endeared to me the word of God and all the means of grace.
I was baptized by Mr. Day, on July 7, 1753 (along with Mr. Pyne, who was afterwards minister at the Devizes) and joined his church. I there enjoyed the benefits and pleasures of religion till June, 1759, when the church called me to the work of the ministry; and soon afterwards recommended my going to Bris-, tol. On August }, in the saine year, I went to the Academy; and pursued my studies under the instruction of Messrs. Ilugli and Caleb Evans. Soon after my admission, I supplied, wiili my fellow-students, various destitute churches. In August, 1760, Mr. Abraham Larwill, pastor of a Baptist Church at Frome, came to Bristol ; and as I had been acquainted with him, he aí. fectionately wished me divine assistance in my studies, and diTection witere to settle when they were ended; and about a month afterwards he himself dierl, Sept. 6, 1760. At the request of his church, I was called to supply his place the two following Lord's Days after his interment; and in a few months the church desired me to become their ininister when I should leave the Academy. I supplied them abont once a month; and supplied for various pastors, who went to Frome to preach and break bread for them ; but from obedience to my tutors and my own inclination, I could not consent to promise that I would comply with their request, as I hoped to stay at Bristol, at. Icast, two years longer; yet I said nothing designedly discouraging to their written call.
In 1761, Dr. Gill came from Lon.lo: to Bristol, with wluso company I was sometiines favoured. When he reiume 1 home
t to Londothích time they were Academy wit
he was consulted by the Baptist Church in Devonshire Square, which was then destitute; and the Doctor wrote to my preceptor, by desire of that church, requesting that I might visit them for some Sabbaths, with a view to my settling with them. Ac, cordirgly I went to London, and served that people five or six weeks; at the close of which time they gave me a call to become their pastor ; but I came back to the Academy without returning an answer to them. The church at Frome repeated their call also, and, toward the Autumn of 1762, after much prayer, consideration, and consultation with many ministers on the subject, whether I should go to Devonshire Square or to Frome, I retired to a private field in order to implore divine direction, and finally to determine the question ; and, though all my friends among the ministers, except one, advised me to go to London, and the church there propcsed a salary double. to that which was offered at Frome; yet, when imploring the Lord's direction, I felt a persuasion that I was more likely to be useful at Irome than in London; and accordingly I fell in with this conviction. I went to reside at Frome in November 1762, and, on the 5th of April 1763, was chosen by the universal desire of the church, and ordained their pastor; nor have I to this time (March 1803) ever wished that I had settled elsewhere as a minister. At my ordination, the Rev. Caleb Evans began the service by reading and prayer ; the Rey. Mr. Tommas, of Bristol, succeeded in prayer ; The Rev. Ilugh Evans received me into the church as a member, by reading a dismission from the church at Wellington; the members of Frome church unanimously expressed their desire that I would become their pastor, by lifting up of lands; I signified my acceptance of their call, and Mr. Hugh Evans prayed the ordination prayer, which was attended with the laying of the hands of the elders of other churches; he then (elivered the charge from 2 Tim. ii, 15, “Study to shew thyself approved," &c. ; the Rev. R. Parsons prayed ; and the Rev. R. Day, of Wellington, preached to the people from 1 Thess. v. 15; the Rey. Mr. Fuller, of Devizes, closed in prayer." The Rev. Messrs. Neel of Brough, ton, Ilaynes of Braciford, Clark of Crockcrton, &c. joined in the service. Mr. Clark, the survivor of all these ministers, died on April 5, 1803, exactly forty years from the day of my ordination; with whom I lived in Christian intimacy, and no un, kind word eyer passed between us all that time.
From April 5, 1763 to April 5, 1803, I baptized 939 persons, who were received into fellowship with the church at Frome ; besides many more who joined other churches, .
During my whole lile I can reflect on no religious exercise which I have performed but with disapprobation and self-loathing. I bave generally gone from my closet to my palpit prays ing, and sometiines loping for the Lord's presence and blessing ; Lui l hayo, generally returned home overwhelmed with shame
and confusion; and have often thought, that no minister of the gospel ever delivered discourses less likely to honour Gorl or profit man. When I have heard any of my hearers speak in terms of approbation of my sermons, I have been ready to doubt their sinoerity. The more I reflect on my rule, motive, and end, the more I am constrained to detest every performance of my own, and to pray that I may never receive the desert of the best hour I ever spent. I can have no hope as to futurity but from the worthiness of another; and unless a better righteousness than my own had been revealed, I could not have expected that God would have saved me.
Jesus, how glorious is thy graee
When in thy name we trust!
That makes a sioner just.
his Deacons. • In delineating the character of a man who, for half a century,
was an honour to his profission, we would not terminate our · views in a valuable individual; we would say to all our readers,
66 Be ye followers of them wlio, through faith and patience, inherit the promises.” To his congregation we would say, “Remember him who spake to you the word of the Lord ; consider the end of his conversation, - Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever. Many of you will long venerate his memory; and, while you consider him as a man subject to like passions with yourselves, you must praise that grace which kept him from falling, and which was so abundantly manifested in his last sickness.
Mr. Kingdon was remarkably just in luis dealings; charitable, candid, and humble. As to justice, he did not merely aiin to save his character, but acted from higher motives. In all his concerns with mien, he habitually conductel himself as under the eye of hiin who saith, “ As ye would that men should do unto you, so do ye unto them.” He hated every deviation from justice in others; for he considered it as a leading virtue. “ Be just,” he would say, “ before you are generous, for God hates robbery for burnt-offering.” But he did not suppose that doing justly would excuse him from loving mercy. He did not forget to do good and to communicate. He has ofien fed the hungry, and clothed the naked; but he took care 6. not to let his left hand know what his right hand did.” It was sufficient for him to do good, without receiving human applause for his Conduct.
Temperance and self-idential were very obvious traits in his character. lle kept under his body, and brought it into sub, jection. That grace which brought him salvation, oilectually taught him to liye soberly as well as godly in this prescat eyil
ve his rus with 10 saith;o them
Mooing justemy for bun, say,
world. But his temperance was not a monkish austerity, nor the parsimony of a miser, who cannot allow hinself the peces saries of life: no; he used the world as a Christian, but did not abuse it. · Candour and liberality marked his long career, both as a Christian and a minister. It is true, he could not treat avowel Socinians as Christians, because his religion taught him not to degrade, but to honour his Saviour. But he treated as brethren all who appeared to "hold the head;" ofien attending public worship with thein, and sometimes assisting them in it; gladly promoting that pleasing harmony which always subsisted between himself and other ministers. Though he firmly embraced that system of doctrinal truth which is laid down in the Baptist Catechism, yet he did not treat his own creed as a standard for all others, nor presume harshly to censure such as differed from him on those points whereon all good men are not a grced. The repeatedly toll his people, that if they could profit more by attending elsewhere, it was their duty to do it, and he had no right to object. He often laid this down as an axiom, That those doctrires which humble the sinner, cxalt the Saviour, and promote holiness, are orthodox. He was ready to support the weak, and cricourage the gifts of those who were far inferior to himself. Indeed, humility was his principal characteristic. A few weeks before his death, he declared that he never entered the pulpit without a deep sense of his own insuficiency for the ministry ; and never left it withont shame. Ile has said, he sometimes wondered that any should attend his preaching. This humility was not that mimic counterfeit which, wliile it affects to be always degrading selt, betrays a real clesire of applaue ; for he very seldom spilie of himself, but it was the genuine oilspring of self-knowledge.
. He cvidently possessed a spirit of sterling piety, and seemed habitually to realize the divine presence. Ile used to say, That “ an eyje servant among men is a disgraceful character; but one who acts as in the sight of Gol, is an honourable one.” Such an Cyr-scrvant bis general conversation shewed bim to be. When he was obliged to touch on the sins of others, he would say, “I fear such a one bas oftended the Lord);" but he was by no means fond of dwelling on the faults of others. “A bad man's life," he would say, " is too just a piciure of a good man's heart." He Iris chien anforced this thought on his hearers : That "the more light we have, the more we pust discover our moral pollution. The more we enjoy of divine illumination, the more we must discover our ow imperfections: and consequently the less we shall be ineliner to censure others.”
Uis ministerial talents were very considerable, before his powers vcre debilitated by age and affliction : his voice was pleasant ; luis style simple, canolly distant from low vulgarity and pejantic bomb.si; kis su vjects were generally of the utmost importance. He never ventured to address his fellow.creatures from the pulpit without praying for divine direction, in fixing upon a suitable portion of Scripture. As this proved the spiritualily of his mind, so it appeared, in some instances, to have been remarkably directed in the selection of subjects.
Ile frequently enforced the duty of self-cxamination; and inculcated that maxim of our Lord, That “ the tree is known by its fruits.” He was equally cautious to guard his hearers against those notions which, under a pretext of love to the gospel, would
legrace the law of God as a rule of life; or that system which militates against a free and fall salvation by Jesus Christ, flowing from the grace of God, and communicated to the soul by the Iloly Spirit. He loved to preach Christ. " Wo be to me,” said he, “ if I forget my Masier! I should rejoice if I could convey one exalted idea of Christ, were it but to one soul!” “ Par. don us,” said he, once in his prayer, uttered with the utmost energy, “ pardon us, that so lovely a person should be no more loved by us.” I!c often preachecl also, on walking with God, drawing nigli to him, realizing his presence, communing with him, and the all-suficiency of his grace. His ministry was at. teusled with considerable success. Many of his people owe their conversion to his instrumentality. He loved his public work, and performed it as long as he was able. • Leume die in my work,” said he to some of his friends, who, a few years before his death, offered to atford him some assistance.
This gift in prayer was uncommonly excellent. What rich va. riety! -- vhat depth of thought! what beautiful sublimity! --- what glowing devotion were discovered in his prayers ! Aller attending his niinistry almost forty years, I could scarcely ever be inattentive or wearied in uniting with him in ii, --- he seemed to lead us to the very gate of licaven: ani as ke loved prayer himself, so lie promoted prayer-ucetings; always encouraging even the weakest gifts; and often exciting his people to pray with and for cach other. He has often said, if he conld choose how he should spend the last hour of his life', it should be in praying and reading his Bible; - and indeed he did spend liis last days in praying and recoinmending religion. His dying experience was remarkably expressive of ihe excellency of the gospel of Christ. Then le luppily found the promise fulfillezi, 6. That as his days, so his strengih should be;" and that " the grace of Christ was suficient for him *." These were favourite passages with him; froin the latter of which he preached his last sermon. A little before his death, he said, “I know that God loves me, because I know that I love him ; I am persuaded that I shall be a partaker of glory, because I ain the subject of the imuences of the lioly Spirit!” indeed, his dying conversation was devonta 20 full of lore to God and man, so expressive of perfect