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EVANGELICAL MAGAZINE,

SEPTEMBER, 1811.

MEMOIR

OF
THE LATE REV. EBENEZER WHITE,

OF CITESTER.

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Every attempt to develope the principles and illustrate the tendency of Christian truth, accords with the great design for which the ministerial office was instituted. In that insti. tution we discover a wise and benevolent adaptation to the condition of mankind; and its duties, when rightly discharged, like the Scriptures theinselves, are profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness.' Such also are the purposes which should be invariably regarded in the details of Christian biography. Its important ends are not answered by a mere recital of facts and dates. Character must be unfolded; its diversifying causes ascertained; the influence of religion, in its formation, accurately traced; and the immense advantages of that influence so exhibited, as to convince the judgment and impress the heart. Every believer who ' walks worthy of his high vocation,' is a living witness to the truth of the gospel: his life and death are practical confirmations of its divine authority and heavenly origin. Hence the value of those memorials which record the virtues of departed saints, and attest the excellency of that religion which gave them a good hope and everlasting consolation.' 'It is with sentiments peculiarly affecting to himself, that the writer of this account has undertaken the mournful task of transmite ting a brief Memoir of one who was once his faithful friend and pastor. He looks back on the days that are gone, with mingled emotions of gratitude and sorrow; – gratitude for the blessings of social intercourse and Christian fellowship; and sorrow, that those blessings were so imperfectly improved, and that they are now no longer to be enjoyed! But, thanks be to God, we' sorrow not as those without hope;' come to the spirits of just men made perfect;' and even here, are happily associated with the glorified above!

The late Rev. Ebenezer White was the sun of Stephen and Ann White*. He was born in London, March 9, 1771; and

* It is preserved as a traditional record in the family, that some of the ancestors of Mr. White were amongst the first sufferers for Puritanisia ΧΙΣ, ,

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Was baptized in the same month, by that eininent servant of God, the late Rev. Edward Hitchen, then pastor of the church assembling at Il bite Row, Spitalfields. His parents, one of whom survives him, were pio's and respectable; and imparted to bum and to a numerous family, the invaluable advantages of religious education. His inother' (says an affectionate and rear relative of the deceased +) in pious and grateful remembrance of the Lord's helping inand in some difficulties, desired that he might be nained Ebenezer; and his failier, who has now been dead about nine years, mentioned that, from the birth of use child, be had a strong desire and presentiment, that he would be devoted to the service of the Lord in the sanctuary.

It may be truly said of him, that, like Obadiah, he feared the Lord from his youth.' From his earliest years, he was of a grave, serious, and studious turn of mind; manifesting great tenderness of conscience and attention to divine tuings. At a very early age be used to take huis

younger sister into a retired apartment, and pray with her, and urge her to pray for herself. When he was only ten years of age, his father being often detained out late at night by business, he used to read a chapter with his mother and the other children; and on one of these occasions, when his mother proposed to bim to read a prayer, he answered, with great simp. ciły,“ Oh, mother, I don't pray with a book!" with a litie persuasion, he was induced to engage in prayer; and from that time generally ofliciated as the chaplain of the little circle in bis father's absence. Shortly after this, he formed a society of youths, about his own age, who used to cet on Sabbath evenings, in his father's house, for social prayer; and a refreshing season'it often proved to many older and more experienced Christians, who occasionally entered the room, or listened at the door.'

Evidcut and pleasing as were these intimations of early piety, it appears that he had dio diccided intention of entering on the work of the ministry ul a incre advanced period of buis bile.

• He was apprenticed at the usual age, 10 Mr. R. Butler, a respectable hosier, in Gracecburch Street. In this situation he met with a kind friend in the late Rev. John Olding, of Deptford, who en

and No conformity; and that one of these kaving had an information laid agujlist him, when the oflicers came to search his house, took refuge in an oren, over the mouth of which a spuder alınost immediately wove a large web.

This circunstance induced the onlicers to omit searching the oien, as they concluded wat nobody could have been there for monils. By this singular event the good inan escaped. similar story In related in some pari oi' llave's wrungs ; and it is probable, refers to the salle person.

How just the observation of Dr. Paley, that in the waisks and ways of God, great and little are terms of no meaning !'

+ 'l die passages marled by inverted compas are selected fruin an inferettig lever, which the writer receive from his brother, Jr. Walter W laite, v London,

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cotiraged his serious and studious inclination, and supplied him with many suitable books. - During his apprenticeship he was uniformly steady and consistent. His youth was never stained by the pollution of those vicious habits, so fataily prevalent at that period ivhen the passions predominate, and reason, conscience, and religion, are too generally disregarded. - From one of his letters, written about three years ago, to his brother, it appears that at this time he was in some measüre inclined to a system of Hyper-Calvinism, bordering, at least, on Antinomianism, and which nas obtained popularity under the mistaken notion of its tendency to glorify the divine grace, 'though it gives a dishonourable view of the divine character; and the spirit of which is even worse than its principles, tending to subvert all that characterizes the Christian temper.

Mr. White had peculiar reason lo be thankful that he was delivered from the paw of a lion and a bear,' much more dreadful than ever David countered. Alluding to his juvenile feelings and opinions, he says, in the letter referred to, -'[ wish our poor father had not permitted our absence from the meetings of that church where we were naturally and providentially connected, and where we received our baptism. Many a time, when a dupe of a boy, have I ran sweating to H', to be amused, or surprized, when my conscience might have been more effectue ally searched, and my mind edified at White Row.'

But the sphere of business was not that in which Mr. White was qualified to shine. At the expiration of his apprenticeship, his thoughts reverted to a subject which often awakened, Lefore and afterwards, his most anxious feelings. Distressing himself, he consulted bis pious and judicious friends; and at length, by the special recommendation of the late Rev. John Reynolds, of Camomile Street, he offered himself as a probationer for the ministry, to the Directors of Hoxton Academy. To that respectable seininary he was admitted in the year 1796. Here, his diligent application to the various branches of study was highly exemplary, and his personal piety babitually conspicuous. After spending three years at lloxton, he coinmenced his regular labours at Potter's Pury, in Northamptonshire; but not finding the situation congenial with bis wishes, lie removed to Hertford, where he was ordained in April 1801. The Rev. Messis. S. Burder, Reynolds, Greatheed, and Clayton senior, engaged in the principal services on that occasion. For reasons which to the mind of Mr. White fully justified his determination, he lett Hertford in a year or two after his orditation; and under the direction of Mr. T. Wilson, visited Lancashire, where he preached with considerable acceptance and success, for several months at Rochdale, Bamfori, and the neighbouring places. The church assembling in Queen Street Chapel, Chester, had been without a settled pastor

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EVANGELICAL MAGAZINE,

SEPTEMBER, 1811.

MEMOIR

OF

THE LATE REV. EBENEZER WHITE,

OF CHESTER.

Every attempt to develope the principles and illustrate the tendency of Christian truth, accords with the great design for which the ministerial office was instituted. In that instin, tution we discover a wise and benevolent adaptation to the condition of inankind; and its duties, when rightly discharged, like the Scriptures theinselves, are profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness. Such also are the purposes which should be invariably regarded in the details of Christian biography. Its important ends are not answered by a mere recital of facts and dates. Character must be unfolded; its diversifying causes ascertained; the influence of religion, in its formation, accurately traced; and the immense advantages of that influence so exhibited, as to convince the judgment and impress the heart. Every believer who walks worthy of his high vocation,' is a living witness to the truth of the gospel: his life and death are practical confirmations of its divine authority and heavenly origin. Hence the value of those memorials which record the virtues of departed saints, and attest the excellency of that religion which gave them a good hope and everlasting consolation.' It is with sentiments peculiarly affecting to himself, that the writer of this account has undertaken the mournful task of transmitting a brief Memoir of one who was once his faithful friend and pastor. He looks back on the days that are gone, with mingled emotions of gratitude and sorrow; - gratitude for the blessings of social intercourse and Christian fellowship; and sorrow, that those blessings were so imperfectly improved, and that they are now no longer to be enjoyed! But, thanks be to Gud, wer sorrow not as those without hope;' L'we are come to the spirits of just men made perfect;' and even here, are happily associated with the glorified above !

The late Rev. Ebenezer White was the sun of Stephen and Ann White*. He was born in London, March 9, 1771; and

* It is preserved as a traditional record in the family, that some of the ancestors of Mr. White were amongst the first sufferers for Puritanisi

XIX,

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