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congregation of a very handsome and diligence to his magisterial duties, till costly communion-table.
his increasing, infirmities obliged him to The fidelity, prudence and zeal, with desist from meeting his brother magiswhich he discharged the important trust trates on the bench. For some time bereposed in him by the late Francis Du- fore his death his friends were sorry to kinfield Astley, Esq., who, knowing his evident marks of his declining integrity, discretion and clear understand strength, and were therefore prepared for ing, appointed him an executor of his the mournful event that followed, when, will, along with Thomas Gisborne, Esq., after a short confinement to the house, he ought to be mentioned to his honour. quietly sunk to rest. He was interred in When Mr. Astley died, his only son was his family vault in the burial-ground bean infant. There was, therefore, every longing to the place where he had attended probability that the executorship would be divine worship, and the Sunday following both onerous and long. The estate was the minister of the chapel preached his deeply mortgaged, and liable to many funeral sermou to a crowded congregation, other claims. The legal advisers of the from these very appropriate words, “ Mark mortgagee strongly urged the executors to the perfect man, and behold the upright; sell portions of the estate to pay off the for the end of that man is peace." mortgage. Mr. Ashton saw, however, its
J. B. capabilities, and firmly resisted all persuasions to that effect, asserting that he March 26, at Ryton, near Coventry, would try so to manage the estate as to aged 76, WILLIAM FREEMAN, Esq. Mr. pay off the mortgage without having re- Freeman had been throughout his life a course to a sale. One who was present member of the Great meeting-house consaid, “You are a bold man;" but bold as gregation, Coventry, to the interests of the plan was, he lived to accomplish it, which he was most deeply attached. That for at the time when the heir came of age, congregation derived honour from his he had so prudently and perseveringly connection with it. Though he did not discharged the trusts of his executorsbip, mix himself up with public business, and that he delivered the estate into his hands was indeed remarkably retiring in his free from debt, with an income arising habits, his value was too true and solid from it of about twenty thousand pounds to escape general estimation; and his &-year.
name alone was taken as a sufficient guaMr. Ashton bad a sincere reverence for rantee for the substantial merit of all religion. His piety was not ostentatious, with which it might be associated. He but deeply seated the heart, equally was a man of extensive and varied attain. distant from enthusiasm and coldness. ments, and of vigorous and far-seeing His faith was firm in the unity of God intellect; the fineness of his taste was and the divine mission of Christ, and he equal to the soundness of his sense ; above seized on all occasions to honour the all pretension himself, he was never to be Saviour by joining with his fellow-com- deceived by the pretension of others; he municants at the Lord's table. In his possessed å wit as keen as his judgment domestic relations he was peculiarly was stable; and religion, in all the ferhappy. He married the daughter of the vour of its devotion, was as distinctive of late Mr. Turner, of Godley, a most ami. him as was his love of knowledge and his able lady, whose excellent qualities greatly force of thought. This, it will be seen, endeared her not ouly to her husband is a description of no common man, and and family, but to all who knew her, and such it is intended to be. It relates to her death, about twelve years ago, was one who was among the noblest of the lamented by the whole neighbourhood. class of spiritual aristocracy to which he
Few persons, perhaps, have passed belonged. St. Paul estimates the effect through life with more tranquil enjoyment of Christianity in these words,—“God than Mr. Ashton, both in the bosom of hath not given us the spirit of fear; but his family and amongst his neighbours. of power and of love and of a sound His sound judgment in selecting able mind.” A more accurate view of the managers of his works, greatly diminish- peculiarities of Mr. Freeman's character ed the cares of business, and left more than that which this sentence expresses, time for social enjoyment amongst his could scarcely be desired. The spirit it friends, and for discharging the duties of commends was eminently his spirit; and & magistrate in the neighbourhood, in under its influence he became one of the which his clear judgment rendered him finest examples of a manly Christianity very useful. A few years ago he resigned which it has ever been the privilege of the business into the hands of his sons, after writer of this testimony of affection to which he attended with more than usual know. A destitution of every thing like servility or cowardice, either as regarded Their long mutual regard had led, natuopinion or action,—a strong will united rally and by degrees, to an union, which with a kind heart,--and a mental consti- bore the promise of continued and solid tution remarkable for its healthy tone,- happiness. Their views, their principles, these characteristics must have struck their tastes, their pursuits, were in perfect every one but slightly acquainted with harmony. Each lived for each ; each was him.
A more intimate acquaintance re- suited to each. In addition to numerous vealed the fact, that these general features sources of bliss, their lot was cast in a of character were, according to the differ- manufacturing village, where they received ent applications of which they were capa- the kindest attentions from high and low, ble, carried throughout the whole sub- and bad access to some cultivated and stance of the man. Power, love, soundness intelligent society, and were favoured with of mind,--these were naturally exhibited special opportunities of increased and still in the energy with which any subject of increasing usefulness. Nothing, in a word, thought was grasped, and the depth to seemed wanting to the felicity of the which it was fathomed; in the intense country-pastor and of his dearest friend. perception of beauty in all its forms; and Such was the brightness, the fleeting in the possession of a sage-like wisdom,- brightness, of the morning! Dark clouds just as they were morally exhibited in were gathering in the horizon. Amidst unswerving integrity; in all-comprising circumstances of peculiar interest, Mrs. goodness; and a constant service of truth. R. L. Lloyd was visited with tedious illAn heroic firmness of principle, patient ness; and this, when to all appearance it as well as active in its heroism,-a tender had been removed, left behind it traces of sympathy, as cheerful as it was pathetic,- a far more distressing malady. The powers a freedom from all affectation and assump- of reason and self-command were sudtion, all cant and vanity and flightiness, denly impaired; and, as the issue, the these things won for him in no ordinary scene recently so fair and auspicious, degree the respect, the attachment and closed in death. the confidence of each one who was happy Nevertheless, time and occupation will in being numbered among bis friends. give relief to the wounded heart: ChrisHe thus presented, as has been already tian devotion, faith and hope will do more; said, a peculiarly manly character, and these will pour into it a healing balm. In his manliness was distinctively Christian. that heart Memory, it is true, will be po He owed much to nature, much to dili. “unbidden guest;"" pious faith and duty" gent intellectual cultivation ; but he owed will own “the wisdom of the unerring no less to that faith and hope in the gog. sway;" and, often and earnestly as the pel which supplied to him the life of life. tearful eye is raised to Heaven, the sor. What he was—all he was, was regulated rowing breast will the better know and feel and sanctified, directed and perfected, by the import of the assurance—“Blessed as firm a reliance upon, and as pious an are they who mourn, for they shall be obedience to, the religion of Jesus, as were comforted!"
N. ever called forth by the great revelation of truth and mercy which God has made April 12, at Romsey, Mr. ABRAHAM through his Son.
Naish, aged 87 years. While the voice Mihi quidem vivit semperque vivet.
of flattery is too often sounding forth an
r. unmerited eulogium over the memory of “Died, on Sunday last [April 1st], at the departed, let not the name of this aged Inkford, Worcestershire, the residence of patriarch pass away without a modest her brother, REBECCA, the much-loved record of the apostolic simplicity of his wife of the Rev. Rees L. LLOYD, of Belper, character, and of his many excellences Derbyshire, and eldest surviving daughter and retiring, unobtrusive virtues. The of the late Mr. Richard Greves.”—Mid- subject of this notice was born in the land Counties Herald, April 5.
village of Little Lambourne, in the northThis is the record of a most unlooked. ern part of Hampshire, and the only school for and severe bereavement; of a blow education which he ever received was from that has fallen heavily upon many kindred a village dame remarkable for her stately and friends, and upon one sufferer in bearing and dignity of character; but he particular.
soon found how delightful is science to In October, 1845, the subject of the the soul, and by perseverance and assipresent article of obituary became a wife. duity advanced very far in the knowledge She and the late partner of her joys had of Mathematics, as well as in the study of known each other from childhood. They general literature. At the age of 18, he had been brought up in the same neigh came to reside at Romsey, and immedibourhood, and under the same influences. ately on his settling in life attracted the
attention and secured the high esteem of only for disappointment and vexation. the most influential persons in the town. While thus serving what appeared to him After this period, he began to hear the the cause of Christian truth, his interest name of Dr. Priestley every where reviled, was likewise shewn in the great work of and the sect to which he belonged spoken education by his fulfilling, for a consideragainst: resolving to judge for himself, he able number of years, the duties of Se. obtained one of his books, and instantly cretary to our schools. In both these perceived the clearness of his reasoning capacities, his habits of regularity in the and the scriptural nature of his arguments, conduct of business were well applied, and thus he persevered until he became and he did what his hand herein found his true disciple; the venerable Lindsey him to do faithfully and zealously, so long was also held in equal estimation. He as ability was continued to him. But it took great delight in the study of law, his pleased our heavenly Father to prove him knowledge of which was of service to by the deprivation of one of the greatest many of those who have but little to leave, of all earthly blessings-a deprivation and who, by his kind assistance, were sorely trying to any, but peculiarly trying enabled to leave that little to their children to one of active habits like bimself. His without the expense of legal advice. He was the sad, irreparable loss of sight! was also very considerate of the poor; nor And now came the call for the duty to did he too searchingly inquire into their which I have adverted, of waiting the will faults before relief was granted, but“quite of God in faith. Many, in such circumforgot their vices in their woe." He was stances, would have been rendered restuniformly cheerful, kind and hospitable. less and discontented, and been inclined
to dwell in querulous tones on the preMarch 26, at Manchester, aged 50, Mr. ciousness of the gift which they had irreJoun CHAPMAN. The best obituary notice coverably lost: it was not so with him. we can offer of this worthy man, will be in I never saw him, after this sad deprivathe concluding paragraphs of the sermon tion had befallen him, that I did not find preached, the Sunday after his funeral, at him cheerful, and disposed to dwell with Cross-Street chapel, Manchester, by Rev. thankfulness on the pleasures that still William Gaskell,
remained to him,--still interested as ever “ While accompanying me in these in the higher objects to which his more thoughts, some of my hearers will have active days had been devoted -still solifound in them a general reference to the citous for the progress of knowledge, and character of a friend, removed from earth freedom, and social improvement-still since we last met together, who, as it earnest on behalf of the views of Chrisseems to me, well exemplified the spirit tian doctrine which he had been led to which I have endeavoured to recommend, embrace, and still affording an encouragboth in actively doing and patiently bear. ing example of their power to comfort, ing the will of God.
sustain and console. And when at last "In early life he had belonged to a the pains of earth were drawing to an different religious denomination from our end---even in his dying hours—what were own; but having seen reason to adopt the objects which had lain close to his the faith so generally spoken against, he heart, was made distinctly manifest amidst was ever ready to give his testimony on the dim wanderings of thought and feel. its behalf, and shewed the sense which ing, as the one continually reverted to he entertained of its value by acting as matters connected with the schools for Treasurer, for several years, to our Village which he had laboured, and the other Missionary Society, which has for its found vent in portions from the hymns object the support of Unitarian views of of praise and hope and holy trust in Christian truth among the poor, in places which he had so often joined together where but for its assistance those who with us here. He is gone, we humbly hold such views would be unable to wor- trust, to the land where all is well with ship together at all. This was an office all who well have dove'-where the sight which, from the want of interest frequent of God's wonders shall never again be ly exhibited towards the objects of the veiled from his eyes, but a far higher Society, demanded at times no little ex- glory than ever rests upon earth shall ercise of the faith and trust of which I shine in everlasting splendour before have spoken; but conscious that those them. Thither let us prepare to follow objects were good, he steadily worked the him; holding ourselves ready for every work that was given him to do, and I Christian duty, for every work of piety have often admired the cheerful, hopeful and love, and waiting in faith through spirit which he brought to circumstances whatever trials we have to pass, till our in which most would have seen reason Father calls us home.”
We are glad to perceive that the subject of demoniacal possession is beginning to attract some attention in this country. In the Gentleman's Magazine for January of the present year, the following notice appears :
A premium of Fifty Guineas has been awarded to the Rev. Thomas Woodward, formerly of T. C. D., and now Curate of Fethard, in the diocese of Cashel, for the best essay on the following subject-What evidence does Holy Scripture afford for the opinion, that demoniacal possession ceased at the ascension of our Lord and the apostolic age; and how does our practical knowledge of human life correspond with the notices of Scripture on the point?"”—The wording of the thesis is not to be commended for its precision: we should suppose from it that the ascension of our Lord and the apostolic age were one and the same thing. Again, Mr. Woodward's "practical knowlege of human life” may convince him that the Devil does not now enter the bodies of Irishmen; but when did he cease to do so—at the Union, or the Reformation, or the landing of St. Patrick ? These are questions which we do not see how a practical knowledge of human life can enable any man to answer, and therefore “ the point,” whether possession ceased with the apostolic age, cannot be settled in this way.
How far demoniacal possession was a phenomenon peculiar to the times of the promulgation of the gospel, is a question on which those who believe in its reality are not agreed. Some think that it always did and does still exist; others, that it was limited to that age. The reader may be surprised, perhaps, to find that Jortin * believed Providence to have suffered evil spirits to exert their malignant powers so much at that time, to give a check to Sadduceism among the Jews and Epicurean atheism among the Gentiles; that Semler thought some unusual power was then allowed to the Devil. He may be less astonished that Bishop Warburton held the Devil to have had an important part in the economy of Grace, and that demoniacal possessions were reasonably to be expected at the promulgation of the gospel, because they have an intimate relation to the doctrine of redemption. The relation appears to be this, that as the Devil had triumphed in the Fall of man, it was necessary he should be signally discomfited by him who came to bruise the serpent's head.
Since the controversy which the publication of Mr. Farmer's admirable work excited, the question of demoniacal possessions has been
* Farmer's Essay on the Demoniacs of the New Testament, pp. 129, 145. VOL. V.
little agitated in this country. Among those who in theology are “ nullius addicti jurare in verba magistri,” the conviction is, we believe, universal, that they were nothing more than natural diseases-epilepsy and melancholy or raving madness. The unlettered reader of the Bible probably acquiesces in what seems to him the word of Scripture, and believes that devils in the vulgar sense had possession of the bodies of men in the times of the gospel history. Educated theologians of orthodox denominations are rather shy of enunciating their opinions on this point, but if pressed would probably declare their belief that the demoniacs of the gospel were really possessed by evil spirits, though no man who reads the New Testament in the original could fall into the vulgar error of confounding demons with devils. The Bishop of Oxford, in a volume of Sermons preached before the Queen and published at her request, has declared his own belief in the reality of possession, and holds it up as a providential circumstance that the story of the Gadarene demoniac and the destruction of the swine has been given by three of the evangelists, to refute all doubts on this subject. In Germany, such has been the change of opinion since the days of Semler, we apprehend an attempt to support the popular notion would be regarded nearly in the same light as a defence of the Ptolemaic system of the universe.
Of those who hold the reality of possessions in the time of our Saviour, some believe that evil spirits still continue to occupy the bodies of men, and find in this belief the easiest solution of the fearful phenomena of mental disease. The majority, probably, think that there was something peculiar and exceptional in the state of the world in the age of the preaching of the gospel, and that what is now a natural disease was then the effect of a supernatural cause. It would not be very easy to defend such an opinion on philosophical grounds; but this may be alleged in its behalf, that madmen do not now profess that they are possessed by demons, as they did in the age of the apostles, and that if we accept the testimony either of themselves or their contemporaries, we must believe that those whom our Saviour healed were really inhabited by evil spirits.
This is in truth the only argument which can be urged against the opinion which has been supported by the scriptural and classical learning of Joseph Mede, Sykes and Farmer, and the medical discrimination of Dr. Richard Mead. It would lose all force if we could shew that at the present day exactly the same opinions prevail and the same language is held, in cases where every intelligent observer admits that there is no real possession, and that the disease is simply natural, having its appropriate place in a system of pathology. It was therefore with great interest that we read a series of articles on Demoniacal Possession in India, in the Dublin University Magazine for March, September and October last. We regard them as containing such a valuable contribution to theological science, that we propose to transfer their substance to the pages of the Christian Reformer, where we think they will be better appreciated than among the very miscellaneous contents of the Magazine in which they first appeared. Much of their value must depend of course on the authority from which they come. We are informed that they were written by Mr. Robert Xavier Murphy, Mahratta interpreter to the Supreme Court of Madras. They