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MEMOIR OF THE REV. THOMAS ORTON, LATE OF
HUGGLESCOTE. The language of Eliphaz, the Teman and Ann Orton, of Ibstock, in the ite, to Job, as to his coming to the county of Leicester, at which place grave in a full age, like as a shock they occupied a small farm; but Mr. of corn cometh in in his season, was Orton's father dying young, and his not only verified in the experience of mother not being able to manage the the venerable patriarch himself, but land, was necessitated to place her has been since his day in the history children in such situations as she of thousands of others. The pages could procure for them. The subof your increasingly valuable · Re. ject of this memoir had, therefore, pository,' Mr. Editor, have contained to leave his parental roof when a many feeling illustrations of the mere child, and when very sparingly, above-named scripture, in the inter- if at all, educated. It is said that esting memoirs furnished for them he learned to read where he was of several of our esteemed ministers, first hired to drive plough: but whenour beloved fathers in Christ, who ever he learned, it is evident that have finished their course in peace while young he could read to his and safety—with much credit to own advantage, for he had not been themselves, much benefit to the in service long before a situation was churches they served, and much be obtained for him in a highly respectloved and honoured by the Con- able family in Ibstock. There, the nexion to which they belonged. gentleman with whom he lived, comAnother must now be added to the plained that his servants were too list of those departed but esteemed frequently in the village when they worthies, who, being dead, yet ought to have been at home; his speak’ to their surviving brethren, lady replied, “that cannot be said of and loudly call upon them to be fol. Orton, for if he is not about our lowers of them who through faith and business you may always find him patience inherit the promises. in some of the out-buildings read
The Rev. Thomas Orton, late of ing his book.' This book, we are Hugglescote, was the son of William told, was a pocket Bible or TestaVOL. 7.-N. S.
ment. What a blessing it would be he was young, and during his apto many servants in the present day, prenticeship. and the families they serve, if in this It is an unhappy circumstance respect they would go and do like- that several of his own memoranda of wise.'
This account of him con- events that transpired in the early firms the observation many have stages of his history are without made, that from a child he was of a dates. It appears, however, that :houghtful and studious turn of while young he had some taste for mind-much given to reading and rhyming, though perhaps never much meditation. While young he was talent for poetry; and his very great injured in his feet by an accident at deficiency at the commencement of plough, which it was thought would his christian course, even of the first unfit him for employment in hus- rudiments of education, make his bandry, and he was ultimately ap- early efforts at composition appear prenticed to an eminently pious man, to very great disadvantage; and yet Mr. T. Webster, of Barton, whose to one experimentally acquainted name is deservedly held in high with that difficulty, some of his earli. esteem in the church of which he was est productions, even in verse, will long an honourable deacon. There excite surprise, and indicate that Mr. Orton not only learned to excel in he possessed a thoughtful head and his business as a custom-weaver, but pious heart. This is peculiarly aphe also learned in early life the parent in one of his early poems, way to heaven—was planted in the expressive of his experience while house of the Lord, and flourished afflicted, written during his apin the courts of our God. He also prenticeship, and directly after his • brought forth fruit even in old recovery from the typhus fever. It age.' While an apprentice it was contains many happy thoughts, feelhis privilege, and soon became the ingly and forcibly expressed; but delight of his soul, to sit under the the writing is bad, and the spellpungent and heart-searching minis- ing worse, and both appear in adtry of the late Mr. Samuel Deacon, mirable contrast with his maturer between whom and his master the efforts in after life. On the 25th of most affectionate intimacy and ten- May, 1788, he was baptized and derest brotherly love uniformly sub- united with the General Baptist sisted. They often took sweet coun
church at Barton. The consistency sel together, walking to the house of his walk and conversation, his of God in company; and frequently humility, thoughtfulness, and prudid this poor fatherless and almost dence, soon led the church to which friendless boy enjoy the benefit of he belonged to invite him to take a their counsel and their care, their part with others in conducting meetexample and their prayers. Many ings for prayer and exhortation. In times has he looked back upon those these exercises he is said to have days with heart-felt gratitude and given general satisfaction; and as adoring praise, that he was led by his moral character was without a a kind providence at this eventful blemish, and his profiting by study. period to so favourable a situation, ing the word was now apparent unto
to a business, to a family and con- all, he was soon called to the more nections, which tended so much to the frequent exercise of his talents in promotion of his best interests, both the pulpit. He entered upon for time and eternity. The precise this work with much fear and time of his embracing the truth as trembling, and under a very painful it is in Christ cannot now be accu. sense of his unfitness for so imporrately ascertained; but it was while tant an undertaking. This impres
sion, notwithstanding his rapid pro- liberty, and that speedily.' Such at gress in knowledge and in usefulness, that time were this good, and may I and in the esteem of his brethren, not say great, man's views of himself ; continued almost to his dying day. and such were his pantings after that There was, indeed, a remarkable holiness without which no man can similarity in the spirit he breathed see the Lord. He was accustomed at the commencement and at the from early life to think and speak close of his christian course. On much of the justice, majesty, and some occasions, long after he had holiness of the Most High, and to been engaged in the ministry, he was abase himself in the dust before exercised with painful apprehensions him. The amazing contrast which of his unfitness for his work, and at seemed ever apparent to him, between times tempted to doubt whether he the holiness of God and his own was truly converted to God. He imperfections, kept him truly in the not unfrequently recorded his views fear of the Lord all the day long. and feelings upon subjects which he In 1791, when about twenty-three deemed of high importance, either to years of age, he entered into the himself or others :-thus he writes, marriage state with Mary Barton, April, 1813: Oh that my heart was daughter of John and Elizabeth Bar. directed to keep thy commandments. ton, pious and esteemed members I long to be sincere in all my work, of the same church with himself. both in public and in private. It Upon this state he manifestly enhath often been matter of doubt to tered with a feeling sense of his me, whether I have ever experienced entire dependance upon the Author a real change of heart; if I have not, of his existence for all that could Oh my God, now work that impor- render him either comfortable in himtant change in my soul. Thou self, or useful to others. He comknowest I desire, and I hope thou posed a wedding song for the occaknowest I have long and sincerely sion, which, if destitute of the fire desired it. If I know any thing of and flowers of poetry, contains much my own heart, I am sure I desire it of the power and spirit of piety. above riches, or honours, or aught The union
to have been that earth can grant.' By what highly satisfactory to the parties conmeans, he then asks, can I obtain cerned. They lived together in the so valuable a blessing and again enjoyment of conjugal affection and humbly prays, and solemnly asks, christian love for twenty-five years
Lord is not this thine own work, and eight months, and had a family of must it not come from thine own nine children. The most honourable hand ? . If I do not enjoy it, make it testimony is borne to the character evident to me that I do not; if I do, of the departed wife in the handgive me a firm persuasion of it, that writing of her disconsolate husband. I may derive that comfort from it, “Her death,' he remarks at the time this conviction, this assurance would it took place, was unexpected; but impart.' He then adds, in immediate her end was peace. I buried her in connection with the same subject, sure and certain hope of a blessed “How awful must it be, to preach resurrection. On the whole, we upon the nature of conversion, ex- have been happy, though we have plain it, insist upon its necessity for had many trials. She was a virothers, yea, absolute necessity, and tuous, pious, and faithful wife; and yet not enjoy it myself! How great though I wish to be resigned to the under such circumstances must be will of my God, yet I feel parting to my presumption. Upon this im- be hard work.' And truly his situportant subject, Lord, set my soul atation was at that time peculiarly dis
tressing, as six out of his nine specimen of his early efforts at poetry. children were living, and his re
Gird up your loins, ye men of God, sources for those that were dependant
And put your armour on; upon him very limited.
Jesus, your captain, calls you forth, It may not be improper to observe To victory and a crown. here, that at the time the separation
Let not the number nor the power, took place betwixt the churches at
Of all your foes combin'd, Barton and Hugglescote, Mr. Orton's Dismay you in this noble work, residence was at Hugglescote, and For heavenly aid you'll find. with that branch of the church
Lo! yonder see your Jesus stands, he became united. He had then Your brother and your friend, been a preacher some years, and his Whose arm's almighty, and he will labours began to be duly appreciated,
His feeblest dock defend. as it appears from his own memo- Let but your hearts be firmly join'd, randa that the day Mr. Deacon, of In dear fraternal love; Barton, resigned the pastorate at
Then though the gates of hell unite,
They never can you move.' Hugglescote in 1798, Mr. Orton was chosen by the Hugglescote branch His labours continuing acceptable to become their pastor.
On this and useful, he was set apart in the occasion we find him, by his diary, following year, 1799, to the pastoral again in his closet, pleading with his office, by prayer and imposition of Heavenly Father as follows, ‘Alhands. The charge to the pastor was mighty God, grant unto thy dust delivered by the Rev. Benjamin Pol. that mind which was also in Christ lard, of Quorndon, from 1 Tim. iv. 16, Jesus; that zeal for God and for the and Mr. R. Smith, of Nottingham, salvation of precious souls; that preached to the people. The whole deadness to the world and devoted- of the services were conducted with ness to thy will, which in his peculiar much solemnity, and produced a deep circumstances it becometh him to impression upon the audience. cherish. May he effectually learn answer to fervent prayer the blessing that important lesson, “ Not my will, of God appears to have rested upon but thine be done.”. O grant him the labours of his young and devoted that wisdom which is from above, servant. Sep. 23, he writes, ‘was the which is first pure, peaceable,' &c. first day I baptized.' The number of The prayer is much too long to be candidates, it seems, was five: the inserted here, but it is one that is full day was a day of good things to both of feeling and strikingly appropriate. pastor and people. On this occasion At their next church-meeting, he Mr 0. again tuned his poetic lyre, delivered, or rather read, an inte and the verses he composed were resting address he had carefully pre- cung immediately after his coming pared for the occasion, containing a out of the water; two of which very clear and scriptural description read as follows:of what a church of Christ should
* By this solemn act to day, be; what are the duties and privi
We the Saviour's voice obey; leges, the dangers and supports of Feel both peace and joy within, its true members. He also composed
Taste the sweets of love divine. some lines to be sung on the same
Cease lo wonder then, that we, occasion, which at the time excited In Jesu's name baptiz'd should be, considerable interest; and perhaps, Rather to his sceptre bow, to some of his numerous friends, they
Own him as your sovereign too.' may not appear altogether uninterest
(To be continued.) ing here ; they will, at least, afford a
A MEMORIAL OF BARTHOLOMEW DAY.
The substance of a discourse by the Rev. J. Jones of March.
In the life of all persons some parti. circumstance which called some of cular days are memorable as the date them into existence. of circumstances that have influenced The 24th of August, the festival of remote experience. So the return St. Bartholomew, is either by design of particular days revives the recol- or by accident, distinguished in lection of events that have greatly modern history by feats of tyranny affected the character of nations and and cruelty against conscientious prosocieties. On many accounts it is testants. It was on this day, in the proper to cherish the remembrance year 1572, that a horrid massacre of some periods, while it is better to began in France, in which allow others to flow into oblivion. cruelly and treacherously slain about Events tending chiefly to perpetuate 70,000 protestants against the errors enmities cannot be forgotten too soon,
popery. On the same day, in the if the causes of them are disavowed; year 1724, a great number of protestbut if the principle of them is still ants were put to death at Thorn, maintained they cannot be entirely for under a pretended legal sentence of gotten ; nor is it right that they should, the chancellor of Poland, for being if the recollection tends to encourage concerned in a tumult occasioned by fortitude urder injustice, and perse- a popish procession. And on this verance in the maintainance of liberty day, in the year 1662, came into and of truth. Hence the Hebrew operation in this country the Act of christians were exhorted by the word Uniformity, which was the occasion of inspiration to call to remembrance of about 2,000 ministers and students the former days in which after they at once leaving the church of Engwere illuminated, they endured a land, as they could not in conscience great fight of afflictions.' Here the comply with the requirements of the apostle commends the principle of Act; and committing themselves and recollecting former days of suffering their families to the guidance and to encourage perseverance in opinions support of Divine Providence. and practices endeared and strength- It is to this event, by which Barened by persecution, It is on this tholomew day is signalized, that I principle that your attention is re- wish, more especially, to direct your quested to circumstances that ren- attention. In order to this, however, der memorable the day on which we it will be desirable to give a very now assemble.
brief sketch of the state of religion Every Lord's-day is indeed memo- for some time before. rable for events of highest interest to At the commencement of the sixevery christian mind. It becomes us teenth century, England, with the never to forget that the christian Sab. rest of Europe, was overspread with a bath is especially commemorative of thick cloud of ignorance of true relithe Saviour's triumph over death and gion. Generally uninformed respecthell, in his glorious resurrection from ing the contents of the inspired vo
But in addition to this, lume, the people were patiently led by and other great events important in ecclesiastics almost as ignorant as their bearing on the observance of themselves, in blind veneration for the first day of the week for christian the pope of Rome, in a course of worship, this day in the present year ceremonial observances instead of rais marked in the history of the dis- tional piety; and were satisfied and senting churches of this nation by a pleased with rustic amusements in