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APRIL, 1829.


THE subject of this memoir was born at Topsham, Devon, May 30, 1737, O.Š. His pious parents, both of whom were honourable members of the Baptist church at Exeter, trained up their children, by precept and example, in the fear of the Lord, and their endeavours were crowned with a blessing. In early life we find this youth, (not like many young persons, who, though they receive a religious education, spend the morning of their days in thoughtlessness, vanity, and sin,) retiring alone on Lord's day evenings for reading, meditation, and prayer. In his private memoranda, written in the 19th year of his age, it is recorded that, in consequence of perusing, on those occasions, Dr. Doddridge's Rise and Progress of Religion, he was first awakened to a serious concern for the salvation of his soul; and deeply convinced of his guilt and dangerof the awful consequences of dying in an unconverted state, he felt an earnest desire to obtain salvation.

Reflecting on the author's forcible appeal and earnest entreaty not to delay seeking the mercy of God, but immediately to implore his forgiveness and acceptance, Mr. P. writes, "I could not resist any longer, but, impressed by these awful considerations, conscious of their infinite importance, and of my wretched and ruined condition, I went to God in prayer in the best manner I could, formed new resolutions of amendment, and proVOL. IV. 3d Series.


ceeded in this formal manner for some time, concluding all was well with me, because I did not allow myself to continue in my former course of inconsideration, neglect of prayer, and the concerns of my soul. After a while I gradually declined in my attention to divine duties, grew increasingly formal and cold, and at length I sunk into total indifference. Conscience would not allow me to continue long in this state. I knew something must be done to recover me from this 'criminal condition, or I should never be safe or happy. This induced me to form fresh resolutions of amendment. I renewed my vigilance in reading, watchfulness, and prayer. after repeated efforts in this way, my feeble endeavours all failed, and not knowing well what course to pursue, I began to think it would be in vain for me to seek and strive, or watch and pray any longer. 1 had now nearly concluded it would be better for me to give all my endeavours over as useless; I was also much discouraged by the mistaken apprehension I had formed of this text- It is not in him that willeth, nor in him who runneth, but God that sheweth mercy.' I was now greatly perplexed, and knew not what to do. Convinced there could be no permanent peace to the wicked, I heartily resolved not to rest satisfied in this unhappy state of indecision; I therefore returned again to the re-perusal and earnest consideration of the Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul. This treatise had been the

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first mean of awakening me to se- | Christ died for my sins; and these rious consideration of mind. In a fearful apprehensions were forcibly second review of this excellent renewed, whenever I witnessed, as book, for which I shall ever have a spectator, the administration of I continued cause to be thankful, I was most the Lord's Supper. powerfully impressed with the au- earnestly praying that God would thor's earnest and pointed inquiry, not leave me to hardness of heart, whether the reader had sincerely that I might not lose the sense I submitted to the righteousness of then felt of the evil nature of sin, God by faith, so as to surrender and the great concern I had for a himself entirely to the Lord Jesus personal interest in the mediation Christ for life and salvation? If and death of the Lord Jesus Christ. not, however he might be awakened I was considerably relieved of my and alarmed, the wrath of God doubts and fears under these conabideth on him. This (writes Mr. flicts, by considering, and being in I some measure enabled to accept, P.) almost overwhelmed me. now saw and felt more powerfully the free and unconditional invitathan before, my great sinfulness tions of the gospel, addressed to and guilt before God, and clearly sinners, as such. Among these, perceived I must perish, if I did the endearing declaration and pronot possess a personal interest in mise of the Saviour, Him that the justifying righteousness of cometh unto me I will in no wise Christ. Such was the anxiety of cast out;' and 'Blessed are they my mind at this time, from the that hunger and thirst after righteapprehension that I had not any ousness, for they shall be filled ;' beneficial interest in the righteous- were peculiarly sweet to ness and atonement of the Re- Several passages in the Psalms deemer, that I considered it an encouraged me also to trust in God. infinite mercy every morning II received help likewise by attendawoke, to find myself out of hell. Now I could scarcely think of any thing but the atrocious evil of sin, and the great danger to which I had exposed myself in consequence of my numerous and aggravated transgressions, especially in having neglected God's appointed method of mercy, in which alone sinners can be saved.



ing a Christian conference meeting, many circumstances of which were I now increasbeneficial to me. ingly felt my utter insufficiency for any thought or action spiritually good, and was fully convinced I could not be justified in the sight of God by any act of my own. believed that Christ is as able as I was, he is willing to save unto the uthowever, happily relieved from my termost, and therefore to save me, deep distress, by the divine as- although I had grievously transUnder this surance in which I was enabled to gressed against him. rejoice, that the blood of Jesus conviction, I was enabled joyfully Christ, his Son, cleanseth from all to commit myself wholly to the sin.' This inspired me with en- Reedeemer, to be sanctified and couragement and comfort. I was saved. The gracious declaration, led to earnest prayer, and hoped II love them that love me, and had a saving interest in the Lord they that seek me early shall find Jesus Christ. Notwithstanding this, me,' was inexpressibly precious to Convinced of, and humbled I hesitated and feared, apprehend- me. ing I might be mistaken, because on account of, my moral poverty I could not firmly believe that and nothingness, and hereby,

through grace, more delivered from self-dependence, I was enabled to commend my soul to the Lord Jesus Christ, on whose divine mediation and merit I rested my eternal salvation.

"At this time I felt additional encouragement and confidence, from the inspired testimony, which says, 'We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren ;' for I was assured there were not any persons on earth I loved so much as the people of God."


After conflicting some time with various feelings of hope and fear, joy and sorrow, during which he was sincerely cleaving to God in the use of the means of grace, Mr. P. enjoyed scriptural evidence of his having passed from death unto life." Among other proofs from Scripture which induced him to draw this conclusion, he quotes Judges xiii. 23. and 2 Cor. v. 17; from the former, he inferred that God had experimentally shewn him things connected with salvation; and from the latter, that he was "in Christ Jesus," because old things had with him passed away, and all things had become spiritually new. Having thus most devoutly first given himself to the Lord, Mr. P. saw it to be his duty and privilege to unite with his people in church fellowship, and accordingly offered himself a candidate for communion with the Baptist church at Exeter, then under the pastoral care of the Rev. E. Jones, and on Lord's day, July 24, 1757, in the twentieth year of his age, he related, at a meeting of the above church, his experience of the operations of divine grace on his heart, of which the foregoing is an abstract. To his great joy he was accepted as a member, and after having been baptized, was received into full communion.

In this Christian church he appears to have enjoyed much holy pleasure, mingled with self-jealousy, filial fear, and deep humility. When his apprenticeship with Mr. Waymouth, haberdasher, at Exeter, had expired, Mr. P. in 1758, removed to London, and engaged himself with a respectable house of business. In the following year he was received, by letter of dismission from the church at Exeter, a member of the church in Grafton-street, Soho, London.

In 1760 he married Miss D. Norton, and in about three years after commenced business for himself, as a haberdasher and glover, in Fleet-street.*


Mr. P. was chosen to the deacon's office in the church in Grafton-street, in 1771, the duties of which he discharged with fidelity and usefulness many years. division in that church having been agreed to, by mutual consent, Mr. P. with about seventy other members, withdrew, and in 1776, formed a separate Baptist church in the Adelphi, since extinct. In this new connection Mr. P. was actively useful. He united, with other members of the church, in conducting a Christian conference, meeting for mutual edification. Our departed friend's addresses on those occasions were beneficial to several persons, some of whom have dated their first serious impressions from them. His character and talents were so highly estimated by his fellow members, that

* Many years after Mr. P. had been in trade in Fleet-street, in consequence of having his shop open for business on the day message from the minister then of St. Bride's Church, on the profanity of transacting business on that holy day. In reply, Mr. P. inclosed a copy of Robinson's History and Mystery of Good Friday, and heard no more afterwards of his obligation to the religious observance of that day.

usually called Good Friday, he received a

when the pastoral office became | long succession of years, had acvacant in that church, Mr. P. was cumulated a large stock of Chrisrespectfully solicited to accept it, tian knowledge and experience. which he declined.

In 1787 he joined the church in Little Wild-street, then under the pastoral charge of Dr. Samuel Stennett, of which Christian community he continued an honourable member many years, and till some time after the Doctor's death. At this period Lord's day evening lectures were not generally instituted, and Mr. P. was in the holy habit, as most of our pious nonconformists used to be, of improving his Lord's day evenings at home, in private retirement and in family duties. His practice on those occasions was to assemble around him his servants and young people (he had several employed in his business), sone one of whom read a portion of Scripture, on which Mr. P. usually commented, briefly reviewed the services of the day, and concluded the Sabbath with prayer.

When our friend left business he removed to Hammersmith, where he resided some years. During his abode there, he was called to sustain an almost irreparable loss in the decease of his wife, who died at the age of 84, in the year 1814. She had been the affectionate and pious partner of his life fifty-four years. Though this bereavement deeply depressed his spirits, our friend bore the mournful event with humble resignation to the divine will. After his removal from Hammersmith, he resided in different and distant places under the roof of his son, Captain John Pudner, whose anxious solicitude to soothe his father's declining days terminated only with his lengthened life.

Our deceased friend, by constant reading, patient thoughtfulness, and close observation for a

He had attained no inconsiderable acquaintance with men and things, both in the church and in the world, which, had he not been habitually reserved and retiring, might have been communicated with great advantage to his relatives and friends.

His doctrinal views were strictly Calvinistic, and in discipline he conscientiously adhered to primitive principles. He was from conviction a protestant dissenter of the Baptist denomination, but was cordially united in Christian affection to all who love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity among the various denominations of Christians, however they might differ from him in minor matters. Our friend's entire life, from his early youth to the close of his days, was characterized by genuine humility, pious principles, holy practice, inflexible integrity, and habitual devotion. He exemplified a consistent course of Christian profession for seventytwo years, and outlived all his early friends and acquaintances, and the ministers who had been his successive pastors.

No man had a more humbling sense of the depravity of his nature before God; no one felt a deeper conviction of his need of an interest in the all-sufficient righteousness and atoning sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ, for his justification and acceptance with God. A humble, entire, and constant dependence on the mediation and merit of the Messiah, was a prominent feature in his Christian character and experience. He constantly manifested a practical reliance on the promised gracious operations of the Holy Spirit. Nothing appeared more odious to him than pride-nothing more lovely than lowliness of mind. No

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