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portance than that of marriage. Mr. Eyre found in his valua« ble partner a character just adapted to his own.

At tins time .the chapel at Homerton was vacant; and the gentlemen who had purchased it, for the purpose of introducing the gospel into that place, fixed their attention on Mr. Eyre. Though the parish is populous, the place of worship was then very small. Amidst these unpromising appearances, Mr. Eyre, after much deliberation, advice with friends, and prayer for divine direction, determined to make trial. He left his beloved residence at Chelsea (repeating to his dear partner the last lines of Milton's Paradise Lost) and "entered upon his new engagement about Christmas 1785; which introduced by far the most eventful period of his life. At his first arrival he went into lodgings; .but, as his prospects of usefulness began to enlarge, he took a house, and soon after opened a school; which .he continued some years, and for which he was eminently qualified, not only by his talents, but especially by his affection for youth. Accordingly, no man could be more beloved than he was by his pupils; who derived as much advantage from his free conversation in the parlour, as from the regular instructions in the school. £

He now considered himself as fixed, by the Divine Providence, at Homerton; where his labours were evidently blessed, his congregation rapidly increased, and his chapel was considerably enlarged. As it pleased God to continue this connection to the close of his valuable life, we shall here review the manner in which our departed friend discharged the important duties of his pastoral office, rejoicing that many living witnesses can bear us testimony, that we exhibit no exaggerated portrait.

Mr. Eyre had subscribed to the Articles of the Church of England, and received them in their plain and obvious Calvinistic sense. The sentiments they contain were, however, by him acknowledged of still higher authority. The Bible was his body of divinity, .and the Lord Jesus was his only Master. His hearers can bear witness that he did not shun to declare the whole counsel of God. His sentiments neither verged towards Antinomianism, nor sunk into Arminianism. Like the immortal Calvin, he adopted and acted upon the motto, The middle waif is t/te safest. Sj

Mr. Eyre was once preaching" in Cornwall, and having occasion to notice the doctrine of election in the course of his sermon, he dwelt upon it for some time, as part of the gospel truth, to the entire satisfaction of those who belonged to the place, and even many others; but as he was leaving the pulpit, a local preacher, a great stickler for Arminianism, and who probably attended on that occasion, for the purpose of opposition, stepped forward, in the face of the congregation, and with great effrontery, charged Mr. Eyre with having advanced, in his sermon, a point of doctrine which he was not able to defend. Upon this a debate commenced, which was supported on the part of Mr. Eyre with so much ability, that his antagonist left him to be borne away in triumph. This circumstance is still. fresh in the memory of several persons in that neighbourhood. But, firmly asMr.Eyre held the doctrines of grace, .he did not imitate some modern preachers, who, to use his own words, "-Not only deny the moral law to be a' rule of conduct; but, by the whole tenor of their spirit, behaviour, and preaching, encourage pride, envy, malice, wrath, revenge, and every'other evil disposition."

* Two of the first of these are now in tlif ministry : Mr.Vardy, amonr^ the T>isse?nters; and Mr. Wilson, in the Established C'nuich. Reside these, Mr. Eyre had the honour to instruct for the ministry, Mcssis. \V. Priestley, Pine, WilJ'uore, *n4

G«o:lw\n. *

6 AlcdU) tu;issimus ibis.

Of man, as born in sin, and going astray from the womb, he drew no flattering likeness.' He presented him in the plain faithful manner of Scripture-delineation :—

"Worse than this," said he', " he cannot be; and better we dare not represent him. If such a guilty creature be saved, it must be by grace alone j if such a polluted creature be made meet for Heaven, it must be by tJie washing of regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy Ghost."

While he thus humbled man, he was no less desirous to exalt the Saviour.

"If we ascribe to him," said he, " in consequence Of his meritorious death and righteousness, as our surety, substitute, and representative, deJiverancc from the guilt of sin and the wrath to come, reconciliation to God, pardon, justification, sanctification, adoption, and eternal life, we ascribe no more to him than the Holy Ghost has taught us to do in the Scriptures. If we attribute to him all divine perfections and opeiations, and honour him, in every respect, even as we honour the father, we shall not offend the God of Truth. In short, exalt him how we will, we shall never exalt him higher than the Father did, when lie exalted him at his own right hand in glory. — As Christ and hi-s Spirit cannot be divided in a sinner's salvation, the blessings procured must be applied. It is as necessary that the Holy Ghost should make us meet for He.iven, by his efficacious grace, as that Christ, by his meritorious obedience and sufferings, should redeem us, and prepare a place for us {."

These specimens will give such of our readers as did not know JYJr. Eyre, some idea of his sentiments in divinity. They must not conclude, however, that his ministry was confined to these important truths alone. He was not afraid'to warn men of their danger, to invite them to the Saviour, to charge the impenitent sinner with self-destruction, or to insist upon all the precepts of God as of universal obligation. He knew how to encourage the diffident, to strengthen the weak, and console the distressed.

His manner of preaching was, for the most part, simple and unadorned.. He always appeared much more desirous of im

+ " Union and Friendly Intercourse;" &c.; a Sermon preached st Mr. Wesdey't Chapel. City Road, 1758.

pressing his audience with the great subjects of his minis trjr than of exciting their attention to the .dress in which they were delivered. In his esteem, that preacher who does not aim at the conscience, forgets the end or' his mission. With a taste capable of perceiving and relishing the beauties of composition, he possessed a mind superior to tlie art of huntingsimilies, adjusting periods, and studying cadences, when he ought to be alarming the supine and impenitent sinner; or establishing, comforting, or directing the Christian, Though his manner was simple, " The plainest words with him, acquired the truest character of eloquence; and which is rarely to be found, except where a subject is not only intimately known, but cordially beloved." In a letter to a friend, he says of himself, "I am never satisfied with what I do. I can assure you, it is my constant grief that 1 serve the Lord no better. 1 never preach a sermon but I groan over it in spirit, and reflect on myself, a thousand times, for taking so little pains in winning sinners to Christ, and exciting believers to live wore devotedly to their adorable Saviour. I see more glory in Christ than my lips can utter; and I condemn myself for coming so short of my own views and conceptious; and while 1 lament my unskilfuiness, and want of fervent zeal in his setvice, 1 wonder that he suffers his precious treasure to remain in sneh an earthen vessel."

Humble as was his opinion of his own talents, his ministry was very acceptable to real Christians of every denomination; and, in general, to others. He says, however, on this subject, "The pleasure many professors express {viz. to have received under his ministry) is not the criterion of profit to be relied on. Nor do I ever venture to conclude, that because congregations arc pleased, they must, therefore, be profited."

Popularity alone has too often, perhaps, been deemed a decisive test of talents and usefulness in a preacher. We cannot, always allow the claim.

It is soothing to the carnal mind, not only to be made easy under the indulgence of our malignant tempers, but to have that very malignity sanctified with a good name. So little talent is required here, that some, who have courted popular applause, recur to defamation, especially of their brethren iu the ministry, as the easiest substitute for it. "I knew a

i)ieacher," says a good writer, " who, by this expedicut alone >ecame, all of a sudden, the idol of the populace." To lead a sect, to infuse party-spirit, to make men arrogant and malevolent, is the easiest task imaginable, to which almost any man is equal, and can be no proof of usefulness; but to pros dncc the contrary effect, to subdue spiritual pride, to inspire genuine devotion, to influence men to deny all ungodliness and worldly lust, and to live soberly, righteously, and gou\y,is the genuine test of usefulness, beeauseit is the legitimate ends to which the talents of a preacher should be couspcratprf'- and lie whose ministry has this tendency, and, by the influence of the Holy Spirit, is made eminently useful in producing such -effects, possesses that popularity alone worthy of' enjoyment:—• such was Mr. Eyre's. He who gave him talents, enabled hiiri to devote them, in the purest manner, to the best of purposes; and crowned his efforts with success. Under his ministry many have been turned from the error of their ways ; who will be his crown of rejoicing in the day of the Lord.

He regularly preached, when his health would permit, three times every week to his own congregation; beside sermons on ■ particular occasions. He concluded every year with a discourse, in which he enumerated general and particular mercies during that period; and commenced every year with ant other, to engage his people to devote themselves anew to the glory of God their Saviour.

He did not consider his duties as confined to the pu'pit. He laboured to instruct the young people, of both sexes, in his congregation: appointing the young men to meet him on the Tuesday of one week; and the young females, on the same day of the following. A lady, of piety and intelligence, formerly one of the socfoty, has favoured us with the plau he adopted on these occasions :—

'• They began by repeating the Assembly's Catechism; which he ex. plained to them regularly through. In the^e Lectures, the leading doctrines of Christianity, comprized in that excellent formulary, were set forth with perspicuity and plainness, and at the same time with ariection, prompted by a desire to impress their minds with these important truths. After this, the young people, in rotation, were expected to answer questions proposed by him, on the subjects it contained; and, on these occabions, Jie entered wore jully into the meaning of that excellent body of divinity, so as to apply it in an experimental way. The affection and solicitude he discovered lor the spiritual improvement of those who attended these meetings, will be long remembered by them with sentiments of grateful affection. This plan being finished, he entered on a course of Lectures on Scripture History j which were well calculated for instruction and improvement, as they were treated in a religious and philosophical manner. The Lectures on Creation, the Flood, &c. were interspersed with many philosophical remarks. At each of these Lectures, passages of Scripture were explained, which were given him by those who attended; and the meetings concluded with prayer. The condescending manner in which he behaved, to his young friends on these occasions, had a tendency to endear him much in their esteem; and it seemed his chief aim to remove any difficulties which might arise, and place the interesting subjects brought forward in such a light, as to encourage their minds in the pursuit of divine things."

He also preached a sermon every Whit-Monday to young

Seople. Indeed, his love to them was almost unexampled, carcely did he ever addiess the throne of grace in public, without pleading earnestly for them; and they, in return^ . loved him with an ardour bordering on enthusiasm.

While he was thus attentive in instructing the children of the rich, he did not neglect those of the poor. A school was instituted, under his influence, bv the if.di^-i of his concrretia-» tion, for teaching and clothing thirty poor girls; which was followed by a similar institution by the gentlemen, for twenty poor boys. — Writing to a friend, he says, on this subject, *' Blessed be God, I have lately experienced the most pleasing proofs of his goodness, in the disposition of my friends, to extend their benefits towards the children of the poor. Being a father myself* and knowing the advantages of instruction, I cannot but rejoice in this provision for the children of the poorer part of my flock."

These institutions gave a new direction to his pastoral visit?. In one week he met all the subscribers to the female school at the house of each lady, in rotation; and, after engaging in prayer, spoke from some passage of Scripture, given by the lady for the occasion.. In the following week, he met the gentlemen, subscribers to the boys' school, in the same manner.

A character like his must possess influence; and, in his circle, a very powerful and extensive one. It was justly remarked by Mr. 11 ill, in the sermon preached at Mr. Eyre's funeral, and the remark is highly important," That ministers very much impart their own spirit and temper to their congregations. Humble and affectionate ministers diffuse the same spirit amongst their people; as ministers that are full of spiritual pride, generally have their people puffed up with pride and self-conceit." Mr. Eyre's congregation, in a great measure, imbibed his generous and enlarged views, his humble Christian temper; and, like him, they devoted large portions of their property to the cause of Christ: nay, such was his influence, that even those of his hearers, who never gave any decisive evidence of genuine religion, were so far acted upon by his example, as to contribute largely to any cause advocated by him. Perhaps few, if any, ministers in the united kingdom, from a congregation of equal number, could command such pecuniary aids ; and so frequently as he did.

As li is'influence was great, his desires were equally strong, to use it for the glory of his Lord. No man on earth can. charge the memory of Mr. Eyre with abusing the influence he possessed, or tinning it to his own temporal advantage. He has been known even to refuse munificent offers made to him. "God," said he, one day to a friend, " has given me influence among my dear people; and I am bound, by the strongest tics, to use this, perhaps weightiest talent I possess, to his glory."

No man ever knew belter how to employ every talent in his congregation. Prom the rich he obtained money; and from that part of his congregation who had little money to bestow, hut were influenced by the love of Christ, he obtained what is above all price, — their personal labour in visiting the siek, and teaching the ignorant. By their assistance he carried on his Sunday-school, and Society for Visiting the Sick J.

J Hrrr the foliowing incident occurred, which, in some of its circumstances, f»

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