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sus Christ,” &c. But Mr. Brown had a numerous family, and met with considerable trials in it: he too much resembled Eli, in his indulgence of his children. He was also under the pressure of pecuniary difficulties, and had therefore accepted the chaplaincy of Morden College, Blackheath, while vicar of Olney. Mr. N., in these circumstances, undertook the curacy of Olney, in which he continued near sixteen years, previous to his removal to St. Mary Woolnoth, to which he was afterward presented by the late John Thornton, Esq. As Mr. N. was under the greatest obligations to Mr. Thornton's friendship while at Olney, and had been enabled to extend his own usefulness by the bounty of that extraordinary man, it may not be foreign to our subject, to give some general outline of Mr. Thornton's character, in this place. It is said of Solomon, that the Lord gave him largemess of heart, even as the sand on the sea shore: such a peculiar disposition for whatever was good or benevolent was also bestowed on Mr. Thornton. He differed as much from rich men of ordinary bounty, as they do from others who are parsimonious. Nor was this bounty the result of occasional impulse, like a summer shower, violent and short: on the contrary, it proceeded like a river, pouring its waters through various countries, copious and inexhaustible. Nor could those obstructions of imposture and ingratitude, which have often been advanced as the cause of damming up other streams, prevent or retard the course of this. The generosity of Mr. Thornton, indeed, frequently met with such hinderances, and led him to increasing discrimination; but the stream of his bounty never ceased to hold its course. Deep, silent, and overwhelming, it still rolled on, nor ended even with his life. But the fountain from whence this beneficence

flowed, and by which its permanency and direction were maintained, must not be concealed. Mr. Thornton was a Christian. Let no one, however, so mistake me here, as to suppose that I mean nothing more by the term CHRISTIAN, than the state of one, who, convinced of the truth of Revelation, gives assent to its doctrines—regularly attends its ordinances—and maintains, externally, a moral and religious deportment. Such a one may have a name to live while he is dead: he may have a form of godliness without the power of it—he may even be found denying and ridiculing that power—till, at length, he can only be convinced of his error at an infallible tribunal; where a widow, who gives but a mite, or a publican, who smites on his breast, shall be preferred before him. Mr. Thornton was a Christian indeed; that is. he was alive to God by a spiritual regeneration. With this God he was daily and earnestly transacting that infinitely momentous affair, the salvation of his own soul; and, next to that, the salvation of the souls of others. Temperate in all things, though mean in nothing, he made provision for doing good with his opulence: and seemed to be most in his element when appropriating a considerable part of his large income to the necessities of others. But Mr. Thornton possessed that discrimination in his attempts to serve his fellow-creatures, which distinguishes an enlightened mind. He habitually contemplated man, as one who has not only a body, subject to want, affliction, and death; but a spirit also, which is immortal, and must be happy or miserable for ever. He felt, therefore, that the noblest exertions of charity are those, which are directed to the relief of the noblest part of our frame. Accordingly he left no mode of exertion untried to relieve man under his natural ignorance and depravity. To this end, he purchased Advowsons and Presentations, with a view to place in parishes the most enlightened, active and useful ministers. He employed the extensive commerce in which he was engaged, as a powerful instrument for conveying immense quantities of Bibles, Prayer-Books, and the most useful publications, to every place visited by our trade. He printed at his own sole expense. large editions of the latter for that purpose; and it may safely be affirmed, that there is scarcely a part of the known world, where such books could be introduced, which did not feel the salutary influence of this single individual. Nor was Mr. Thornton limited in his views of promoting the interests of real religion, with what sect soever it was connected. He stood ready to assist a beneficial design in every party, but would be the creature of none. General good was his object: and, wherever or however it made its way, his maxim seemed constantly to be, Valeat quantum valere potest. But the nature and extent of his liberality will be greatly misconceived, if any one should suppose it confined to moral and religious objects, though the grandest and most comprehensive exertions of it. Mr. Thornton was a philanthropist, on the largest scale—the friend of man, under all his wants. His manner of relieving his fellow men was princely. Instances might be mentioned of it, were it proper to particularize, which would surprise those who did not know Mr. Thornton. They were so much out of ordinary course and expectation, that I know some, who felt it their duty to inquire of him, whether the sum they had received was sent by his intention or by mistake. To this may be added, that the manner of presenting his gifts was as delicate and concealed, as the measure was large. Besides this constant course of private donations. there was scarcely a public charity, or occasion of relief to the ignorant or necessitous, which did not meet with his distinguished support. His only question was, “ May the miseries of man in any measure be removed or alleviated?” Nor was he merely distinguished by stretching out a liberal hand: his benevolent heart was so intent on doing good, that he was ever inventing and promoting plans for its diffusion at home or abroad. He, who wisely desires any end, will as wisely regard the means. In this, Mr. Thornton was perfectly consistent. In order to execute his beneficent designs, he observed frugality and exactness in his personal expenses. By such prospective methods, he was able to extend the influence of his fortune far beyond those, who, in still more elevated stations, are slaves to expensive habits. Such men meanly pace in the trammels of the tyrant custom, till it leaves them scarcely enough to preserve their conscience, or even their credit; much less to employ their talents in Mr. Thornton's nobler pursuits. He, however, could afford to be generous; and, while he was generous, did not forget his duty in being just. He made ample provision for his children: and though, while they are living, it would be indelicate to

say more, I am sure of speaking truth, when I say—

they are so far from thinking themselves impoverished by the bounty of their father, that they contemplate with the highest satisfaction the fruit of those benefits to society which he planted—which it may be trusted will extend with time itself—and which, after his example, they still labour to extend. But, with all the piety and liberality of this honoured character, no man had deeper views of his own unworthiness before his God. To the Redeemer's work alone, he looked for acceptance of his person and services: he felt that all he did, or could do, was infinitely short of that which had been done for him, and of the obligations that were thereby laid upon him. It was this abasedness of heart toward God, combined with the most singular largeness of heart toward his fellow-creatures, which distinguished John Thornton among men. To this common patron of every useful and pious endeavour, Mr. N. sent the “Narrative” from which the former part of these Memoirs is extracted. Mr. Thornton replied in his usual manner, that is, by accompanying his letter with a valuable bank note; and, some months after, he paid Mr. N. a visit at Olney. A closer connection being now formed between friends who employed their distinct talents in promoting the same benevolent cause, Mr. Thornton left a sum of money with Mr. N. to be appropriated to the defraying of his necessary expenses, and the relief of the poor. “Be hospitable,” said Mr. Thornton, “and keep an open house for such as are worthy of entertainment. Help the poor and needy. I will statedly allow you 200l. a year, and readily send whatever you have occasion to draw for more.” Mr. N. told me, that he thought he had received of Mr. Thornton upward of 3000l. in this way, during the time he resided at Olney. The case of most ministers is peculiar, in this respect. Some among them may be looked up to, on account of their publicity and talents: they may have made great sacrifices of their personal interest, in order to enter on their ministry, and may be possessed of the warmest benevolence; but, from the narrowmess of their pecuniary circumstances, and from the largeness of their families, they often perceive, that an ordinary tradesman in their parishes can subscribe to a charitable or popular institution much more liberally than themselves. This would have been Mr. N.'s case, but for the above-mentioned singular paironage. A minister, however, should not be so forgetful of his dispensation, as to repine at his want of power in

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