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usefulness among you be answered; may they be exceeded in the prosperity of the chureh and congregation, and in the increase of spirituality and holy enjoyment in my own soul!
“ I am glad you are successful in getting acceptable supplies; this is a point which should be attended to. I should like the congregation to have the best of preachers. My books, &c. I must send from London before Christmas day, that I may have no trouble with then after my return from Brighton.
“I am extremely happy in the prospect of being with your family on my first entrance into Liverpool; it will be far superior to my being with strangers. This half year has been a trying one as to preaching engagements, both on Sabbaths and on week-days. I continue supplying Hoxton, and the New Chapel, Somer's Town, till Christmas: the day after Christmas day I hope to go to Brighton, to stay there three Sabbaths, and to return on the 17th of January, to supply Roydon, and Hertford the next week; and the last Sabbath in January, to take my leave of this part of the kingdom by two sermons at Hoxton.
“Tell our friends at Newington chapel that I am tolerably well, and wish to be kindly remembered te them. Farewell, my valued friend. “I am sincerely your's,
“ THOMAS SPENCER."
The purposes expressed in this letter were ae. complished according to the order in which they are stated. He visited Brighton, and preached m. the last Sabbath of the old year three times, at Mr. Styles' chapel in the evening a sermon adapted to the season, from 1 John ji. 17, And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof; but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever!! On the evening of the 1st of January, 1811, he preached an appropriate discourse at the Countess of Huntingdon's chapel; and on the following Thursday, and three times on the Sunday, he preached at Mr. Styles'. On the Monday evening, being the first Monday in the month, the missionary prayer meeting was held in Brighton, when he delivered a most animated and impressive address from Mat. xiii. 16–17, • Blessed are your eyes for they see,
your ears for they hear ; or verily I say unto you, that many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.' He continued another Sabbath in Brighton, and left that place some time in the following week. Passing through London, he went into Hertfordshire. On Sunday, January the 20th, he preached at Roydon, morning and afternoon, and at Hoddesdon in the evening. On the Tuesday evening he preached at Hertford, and slept again under his paternal roof. On Wednesday evening he preached at Stansted, and on Thursday evening again at Hertford. This was, I believe, his last visit to his native town, and to his father's house ! The separation which then again took place be. tween himself and his beloved family was final. The farewell which he bade to the scenes of his in fancy and childhood was eternal ! : I cannot suppress
melancholy feeling which this reflection has awakened in my mind. I am arrived at length upon
the of a mournful detail, which all along I have anticipated with emotions of distress, Alas! that one so useful should be so soon removed! And that ere we enter on the solemn engagements of his pastoral life, we should be compelled to notice circumstances so closely connected with his death !
The following Sabbath, January 27th, was the last he spent in Londou. On that day he preached in the morning at Hoxton chapel, from Phil. iji. 8, • Yeá, doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord.' And in the evening at Tonbridge chapel, from 2 Cor. iv. 3, . But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost. The labours of this Sabbath completed his engagements at Hoxton and Tonbridge chapels; but on the evening of the following day (Monday) he took an affectionate leave of his beloved friends
the constituents—the tutors the students-and the congregation at Hoxton, from the pulpit of that chapel. The crowd that pressed to hear his last sermon (for so it proved) in London was immense. One common sentiment of attachment and grief seemed to pervade the assembly. A friend charged him on that occasion not to play upon the passions. Not that he was in the habit of doing this; but there appeared on this occasion a probàbility that he might. To that suggestion he replied-that 6 neither his feelings nor his conscience would admit of such trifling.” He addressed the people on this interesting occasion from those memorable words of Paul-Acts xx. 24, ó Brit none of these thing's move me, neither count I my life dear unto me, so that I may finish my course with joy, and the ministry which I have received of the Lord Jesus."*
Thus were Spencer's labours in the metropolis closed forever-labours--the renewal of which thousands anticipated with delight. But he was ripening fast for glory--and rapidly advancing to the termination of his course. Yea, the impression of his excellence--the feeling of regret at his departure -Was yet strong and lively in the hearts of many, when the tidings of his death shed a deeper sorrow through the scenes and circles which he had edified by his public instructions, or enlivened by his private friendship !
It was on the 28th of January, that Mr. Spencer preached his farewell sermon at Hoxton chapel and it was on the 15th of August, in the same year, in the same pulpit--and to nearly the same congregation--that his funeral sermon was delivered by the Rev. Henry Forster Burder, one of the tutors of the academy. In that discourse, a just and elegant tribute was paid to the mingled piety and talent which formed the charm of his ministry. From the known endowments of the preacher, and from the opportunities which he enjoyed of obtaining a correct estimate of Mr. Spencer's powers, that tribute must derive considerable propriety and force : and as it chiefly regards his ministerial labours in London, I shall close these imperfect memoirs of them with an extract from it. “ During the last two years
of our valuable friend's residence at Hoxton, he was very frequently engaged
See Appendix, No. IV.
în preaching in London and its vicinity. As this chapel has been, on many occasions, the scene of his labours, and has been often thronged with the multitudes attracted by his abilities and piety, I need scarcely attempt an estimate of his pulpit talents. That they were eminent--that they were brilliant that they were captivating-will not, I think, be denied by any who witnessed their exhibition. He undoubtedly displayed no small degree of pulpit eloquence, and his eloquence was distinguised by characteristic features. It was not the kind of eloquence in which a youth of genius might be expected most to excel, and of which luxuriance of imagination constitutes the chief attraction; it was not a peculiar vivacity of fancy, which gave life te his addresses, although in this respect they were not deficient; but they rather owed their effect to the energy
and animation infused by the ardour of his soul, and to the unaffected fervour of his religious feelings, the impression of which was aided by no small advantages of person, voice, and elocution. In endeavouring rightly to appreciate his qualifications for the duties of the Christian ministry, I must not omit to notice the truly edifying manner in which he conducted the devotional exercises of the pulpit. His gift in prayer was peeuliarly excellent. The language of his petitions seemed to breathe the ardent aspirations of a heart alive to God, and aceustomed to enjoy followship with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ."*
* See a Sermon, delivered in Hoxton chapel, on the death of the Rev. T. Spencer, by the Rev. Henry Forster Burder, M. A. one of the tutors of the Hoxton Academy-page 32