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health, but could not entirely dis- to state the particular occasions and rea. possess his mind of the possibility
sons for it. In regard to myself, they are
so various and important, that I cannot of the event occurring, as had been
mention them half, and therefore say, in intimated. When, therefore, the general--I propose to take a serious renight arrived, he requested two or view of my past life, in order to bumble three serious friends, to whom he
myself before God for my innumerable had confidentially mentioned the humbly to enter into covenant with Him,
transgressions against Him ; next, by faith subject, to sit up with him, and
through Jesus the great mediator, preunite with bim in devotional exer- vious to my sitting down at the Lord's cises. They did so; and though
Table, for the first time, on the ensuing as the hour of two drew near, Mr.
Sabbath. Thirdly, to beg a sanctified use
of the late most affecting providence, the A. naturally felt some degree of death of my dearly beloved sister;" and agitation, yet, no sooner had the lastly, to pray for victory over spiritual clock struck, than his mind was pride and my bodily appetites and pas
sions." set completely at ease; and, it is believed, he afterwards retired An account is then added of to rest as usual. It would hardly the devotional engagements in have been deemed necessary, or which the day was spent, and a desirable, to mention this circum- copy of the covenant with God, stance here, were there not reason
to which he at that time solemnly to believe, that not a few of his affixed his name, but which is too friends, having heard of a remark- long for present insertion. able dream which he once had, From this time nothing particubut not knowing the particulars, lar is known, as having occurred have attached a degree of mystery in the history of Mr. Audley, till and importance to the event, for the year 1790, in which, or about which this simple statement shows that time, he gave up his business there is no reason.
as a woolstapler, and finally relinThough Mr. Audley had been quished commercial pursuits. What for several years a partaker of were his particular reasons for this divine grace, he does not seem step cannot now be stated. It is publicly to have professed himself not, however, improbable that one a follower of Christ, by connecting important inducement, was a rehimself with his people, till Janu- vival of the desires he had before ary, 1786. This step was evi- felt, of being engaged in the work dently taken under a deep sense of the ministry. He appears, for of its importance; and it would be some time, to have been in the well, if a public profession of reli- habit of assisting at the meetings gion were always entered on, with of the church for devotional exerthat close self-examination, that cises, and of occasionally addresshumble dependance on sustaining ing the children of the Sunday grace, and that holy fervour in School, on the Sabbath evenings; seeking it, evinced by the subject but it was not till the year above of our narrative. Previously to mentioned, that he received the his appearing at the table of the sanction of the church with which Lord, he set apart a day expressly he was connected, for exercising for fasting and devotional engagé his gifts, in the public ministry ments; and himself thus states of the word. At what places, or the occasion :
to what extent he was at first en“ Having for some time been convinced, gaged in doing so, cannot now be that fasting is a duty founded on the New Testament, I determined to set apart the • Mrs. Housman, of Lancaster, a most first convenient day for that purpose, and amiable and pious woman, to whom hie bave made choice of Wednesday, January was particularly attached. She died within 4, 1786. Mr. Bennet observes, that when a year after her marriage, leaving behind we make use of fasting, it may be proper ber an infant son.
ascertained: nor is it distinctly assistance in liquidating the debt known, whether he ever proposed incurred by the erection of the settling, as the stated pastor of any meeting-house, society; though the probability At the close of 1809, and the seems, that he only contemplated commencement of the following occasionally officiating, as oppor- year, Mr. Audley was engaged in tunities might arise. No private preaching principally at Cammemorandum of the times and bridge. The Rey. William, (now places at which he preached has Dr.) Harris, at that time the bebeen found among his papers, loved pastor of the church in bearing an earlier date than 1808. Downing Street, having been laid It is well known, however, that aside, for a time, by the rupture of for several previous years he had a blood-vessel, availed himself of often assisted in the villages round his assistance. He preached, with Cambridge, and supplied for the the exception of a few services, Ministers of that town and neigh- from Nov. 26, 1809, till the 25th bourhood. From this time till of February following; and to a 1820, (when the account breaks considerable extent, attended to off,) his engagements were nume- other pastoral duties. rous, and the Sabbaths compara- In 1813, an event occurred, tively few, in which he was not which led to his regularly offiofficiating for some congregation. ciating, during a considerable time, His exertions in the villages were, for the congregation worshipping in some instances, particularly suc- in Green Street Meeting-house, in cesstul. This was especially the the same town. Mr. Stittle, a case at Sawston, a village about singular but excellent old man, seven miles from Cambridge, where who had originally been sent out he was in a great degree instru
as a preacher by the celebrated mental in founding the congrega- John Berridge, after having lation at present existing. He first boured in that place for many preached the lecture there in Octo- years, expired in the mooth of ber 1807; and after frequently July. He had, during his last assisting in carrying it on, he had years, resided in a cottage belongthe pleasure, on Lord's-day, Sep- ing to Mr. Audley, which being tember 30, 1810, of preaching two very near his own residence, he sermons at the opening of a barn had enjoyed frequent intercourse in the village, for constant public with him, and received many inworship. În the summer of 1811, stances of kindness from him. the erection of a neat chapel was Entertaining some fears as to his commenced, which was opened in congregation after his death, he March 1812; and on the 15th of had requested Mr. Audley, if posDecember in that year, he had the sible, to supply them for a time gratification of being present at himself. On the afternoon of July the ordination of the Rev. H. 25th, he accordingly preached Mr. Tyler, (now of Sawbridgeworth,) Stittle's funeral sermon; and from over the newly formed church. that time continued to occupy the “ So far," he observes, referring pulpit, with very few Sabbaths to this occasion, “ I have the satis- excepted, till August in the folfaction of seeing that my labours lowing year; and there is reason have not been in vain." He also to believe his services were both heard of some pleasing instances acceptable and useful. of usefulness which had attended In the beginning of 1820, he his labours there. It should be
was entirely laid aside by a vioadded, that he also exerted him- lent attack of inflammation on the self, to some extent, in obtaining lungs. He felt himself so greatly reduced by this illness, that even affairs had doubtless operated in after the disease had been subdued, his own mind, as the motive of his he had but little expectation of conduct. That his resources were, ultimate recovery.
After being at one time, not only respectable confined to the house about ten but abundant, there is every reason weeks, he was able to be taken in to believe; but by what unfortua sedan to public worship: and nate circumstances they afterwards feeling his strength gradually re- became so contracted as they ultiturning as the spring advanced, mately were, has not, it is believed, he in the summer visited his been disclosed to any of his friends. friends in Essex, and spent some The fact, however, becoming evitime at Hastings, in each of dent, his well known character bewhich excursions he occasionally came a more than sufficient pledge preached
to his friends, that they were such Early in the summer of 1821, as to commend him to their affecMr. Audley, somewhat to the tionate sympathy. By their kind astonishment of his friends, va- and prompt liberality, an annuity cated the residence he had for was secured to him, which, though several years occupied at Cam- it of course left him without the bridge, which, from its retired situa- abundance of former days, was tion on an eminence, at a remote amply sufficient to raise him above part of the town, had received the pressing necessity. It should also truly appropriate designation of be added, that the manner in which “ Mount Pleasant." His furni- this was done, wbile it showed ture, with a valuable and extensive their regard for his feelings, re. library, which he had been for flected additional lustre on their several years collecting, were sold, own. with very few reservations; and In 1822, he spent some time at the house let, two rooms only Swansea, in South Wales, from being retained for his own occa- whence, though then seventy-two, sional use. These, however, he he crossed the Bristol Channel to occupied but very little ; for till visit some friends in Devonshire; about two or three years after, at in which excursion he frequently which time he sold the whole of preached with much acceptance. the premises, he was, for the most Some time after this he was statpart, either lodging in London, or edly ministering at Huntingdon, visiting different parts of the coun- during several months. He aptry. That after having for so many pears to have felt a lively interest years enjoyed the comforts of a
in an attempt which had for a conprivate and respectable establish- siderable time been making, to ment, and being surrounded by an raise an Independent interest in extensive circle of attached friends, that town; and had often contrihe should, at the advanced age of buted to assist the object, by seventy, forego such advantages, occasionally preaching there. On and subject hinself to the neces- one of his visits he received an sary inconveniences of a changing application to preach to the people and uncertain dwelling, certainly for three months, with which he appeared, at first, somewhat sure complied, and it is believed, conprising. It was with this feeling, tinued some time longer after these that his intimate friends regarded were expired. The interest was the event of his leaving Cam- certainly much indebted to his bridge; until it some time after be- seasonable and judicious assistcame painfully apparent, that a ance at that time. His services material change in his pecuniary proved so acceptable, that the cougregation was induced, notwith- wards he appeared to revive, and was standing his advanced age, to re- evidently cheered by the kind attention of
friends, who paid him every mark of request his permanent residence
spect. He was rarely absent from public among them ; but with this invita
worship, and appeared much to enjoy bis tion be did not comply. They are religious engagements; but felt hiinself now happily settled with a minister, inadequate to undertake any part, even at and have removed from a ware
our prayer meetings. Beside other oppor
tunities, he usually spent a few hours with house, which they then occupied us on the Lord's-day; and his suciety as a place of worship, to a respect- seemed to transport us to Cambridge, ever able meeting-house which has since
dear to our recollections as well as to his.
During the winter he had an attack of been erected in the town.
illness, under wbich he expected to sink, From this time Mr. Audley was but was speedily restored to nearly his frequently changing his abode. accustomed state of health. Toward the With some intervals, he lodged end of March, however, his infirmities for a considerable time at Penton
rapidly increased, and he was soon after
confined to the bed. There was not much ville, Croydon, and Dorking, and
positive disease, and his medical attenparticularly at the last feeling, dants, one of them a pious and distinhowever, the inconvenience of such guished physician from London, long rean unsettled mode of life, he had tained an impression that he might yet be
restored. But it appears that nature exbeen for some time anxious to ob- hausted, he gradually became weaker in tain a neat and small habitation; body, and more imbecile in mind, though so situated, that with little fatigue, without any remarkable aberration of bis he might be able regularly to at powers to the last.
“ I wish it were in my power to give a tend public worship. He at lengh more copious account of the state of bis met with one, at Stoke Newington, mind during his last illness; but this his which appeared particularly suit- natural reserve, which for the most part able. To this he removed about continued, has preveoted. Excepting in
answer to direct inquiries, he said little on Michaelmas 1826; a step which the subject of personal religion, and his was unquestionably highly con- own prospects. There appeared in him an ducive to the comfort of his last acquiescence in the divine will, and calm days. One thing which rendered expectation of bis departure. He often this situation more especially de- providence which had brought him hither,
expressed his thankfulness for the kind sirable, was that he had again to receive, in his enfeebled and dying state, the opportunity of enjoying the the attentions which Christian friends society, and attending the mini- readily paid. At my last interview with stry of his former respected friend the evening sun sweetly beamed across his
biin, which could be called conrersation, and pastor, the Rev. Dr. Harris, bed. This led to some remarks respecting who had recently undertaken the the Sun of Righteousness, and the beams charge of the Independent Church of glory radiating from his immediate in that village.
He was cheered. Animation The particulars lighted op his countenance. He pointed relating to the few remaining up with energy, Ah, said he, I want to months of Mr. Audley's life, can
look thither.' He often professed, that not be better narrated than in the only the grand first truth of the Gospel words of that gentleman; who, in
would support him, that Christ Jesus
came into the world to save sinners.' A answer to the request of a friend for few days before his departure, be told Mrs. some information on the subject, Harris, that he was incapable of thinking ; writes as follows:
(0, what a lesson to those who postpone
the most important of thoughts to a dying “ About Michaelmas last he came to hour!) he could only with Stephen look reside at this place. His first appearance up and say, Lord Jesus receive my impressed us inuch, n8 we had not seen spirit.' I saw him on Thursday, when he him for some time, and he had recently seemed to be in considerable pain. To the been ill. There were in his looks and remarks which I made he only looked an inanner, indications of rapid advances to answer, and at length, with much iudisthe termination of a long and useful tinctness of articulation, requested me to career on earth. For some time after. pray with him. I saw him no more. Oa Saturday, Mrs. Harris perceived, that he As a private Christian, the chawas still more rapidly declining ; but we
racter of Mr. Audley stands dewere notwithstanding surprised, in the evening, by hearing that he suddenly com- servedly high. It may truly be plained to his nurse of a sense of suffoca- said of him, as of Cornelius, that tion, and died almost instantly."
he was " a devout man." There Thus on Saturday evening, was a uniform gravity and seriousApril 28th, this venerable servant ness in his deportment, which, of Christ closed his mortal career, though often blended with Chrisin the seventy-seventh year of his tian cheerfulness, yet sufficiently age. Though there was not in his indicated a mind habitually alive last moments, any of that ecstatic to the importance of spiritual rapture which some believers have things. He was in the constant experienced, there was that calm habit of spending a large proporand settled confidence in the rich tion of time in the private exerprovisions of divine mercy, which cises of devotion. Thrice in the equally illustrates the reality and day, at least, did he usually retire value of personal religion. In his for this purpose; and that a condeath, the words of the Psalmist siderable time might be enjoyed received another illustration :- without interruption in the morn" Mark the perfect man, and be- ing, he made a point of rising hold the upright, for the end of early, very often as early as four that man is peace.”
or five o'clock. Several memoIn presenting a brief review of randa found among his papers, the character of Mr. Audley, it and written while he was on difmust be owned, that he had many ferent journeys, show that he was peculiarities in his personal habits, at such times equally attentive to and some in his natural disposi- this particular. He would often, tion. The former, however, may after arriving late in an evening perhaps be attributed to the almost at a place which he was to leave uniformly unfavourable influence early on the next morning, inof a single life ; and the latter dulge himself with only three or were, in a great degree, counter- four hours rest, rather than abridge acted by the operation of eminent the time for his morning or evenpersonal religion. He possessed ing exercises. It was no unusual a sound understanding; and being thing for him, on such occasions, naturally fond of studious pursuits, to rise as early as one o'clock in he had acquired a very considera- the morning. Another feature in ble extent of information. This, his Christian character was his added to his personal worth, strict observance of the Sabbath. made him a highly acceptable Though in general unusually carecompanion among an extensive ful in guarding against exposure circle of friends. Genuine hospi- to cold or damp, it was not a tality marked his intercourse with little that would keep him from them at his own house, which was attending the public ordinances always open to the friends, and of divine worship. So great was especially the Ministers of Christ. his attachment to these, that till To the poor he was a kind and within a few weeks of his death, valuable friend; often aiding them, he often attended the three serwhile he had it in his power, in a vices of the Sabbath, as well as pecuniary point of view, or as- those on other evenings in the sisting them, not less effectually, week. On the Lord's day he was by his judicious advice. By many desirous of keeping his mind as whom he has thus befriended, his free as possible from all secular memory will be long cherished concerns, and was therefore acwith affectionate respect.
customed to leave any letters