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over his own spirit broods the cloud of anxiety and sorrow! Happy shall I be if the perusal of these imperfect memoirs tend to excite in the breast of any a spirit of Christian sympathy and prayer for the ministers of the gospel ; or if these statements of the labours and anxieties of their office, shall induce those to pause and count the mighty cost, who may be thoughtlessly pressing forward to the arduous work. Let such remember the worth of souls the guilt of becoming accessary to their ruin--and the solemn account all must render at the bar of God, who have taken upon themselves the responsibility of seeking, by every possible method, to promote their eternal interests.
T'hese considerations seemed ever present to the view of Spencer. The feelings of an affectionate and faithful pastor's heart breathe in every sentence of the following letter,
TO MR. HADDON.
Liverpool, May 31, 1811,
MY DEAR FRIEND,
“ You really must excuse my apparent nege lect in not writing you before ; but if you knew the number and pressing nature of my avocations, you would not wonder. I now feel, and deeply too, the dreadful responsibility of my employment. I have sick beds constantly to attendma namerous congregation committed to my charge--a charaeter to sustain, which ought ever to appear free, even
from the very appearance of evil--and all this with the most depressed state of feelings, and but little experience of the arduous duties the course of the Christian ministry embraces. Often do I exclaim, who is sufficient for these things ?? Oh! that I may find that my sufficiency is of God. I ain led at times to derive encouragement from the good which I trust the blessed Spirit has accomplished by my feeble labours ; but then I think at gain of my youth, my inexperience, my exposure to the fiery darts of the wicked one, and the possibility of my eventually becoming a cast-away.'
“Oh! there are many feelings of this painful class in my mind, which few can share, which I cannot dare frequently to communicate.
66 All this, and much more, do I daily feel. I wish you were with me. I could say a thousand things I cannot write, and you might console me with the comforts wherewith you yourself are comforted of God! Do pray for me, for I need it more than ever now. Often do I dispense to others that consolation I cannot take myself.
6 Thank you a thousand times for Cecil. Oh! they are admirable ; what a character was he. Oh! that the Head of the Church would but make me like him. The tracts are just what I wanted; may a Divine blessing attend the distribution of them. Farewell! “I am your's affectionately,
" THOMAS SPENCER.".
In another letter he writes :
6 Cecil's works are a high treat indeed : you cannot think how I enjoy the perusal of them. There are such valuable hints for ministerg-such inesti
mable directions, that I hope I shall erince the ben, efit of reading them, to the last hour of the day in which I am appointed to work !
The church and congregation at Liverpool now became anxious for Mr Spencer's ordination, and Thursday the 27th of June was appointed for that solemn service. In the following letter he announc. ed it to his early friend and patron, Mr. Wilson, whose presence on that occasion he earnestly de sired.
TO THOMAS WILSON, ESQ.
Liverpool, June 4, 1811.
MY DEAR SIR,
* I am happy to inform you, that Thursday June the 27th is the day appointed for my ordination. Will you allow me to expect the pleasure of your presence and society on that solemnity ? If you were here, you would be pleased with my prospect of usefulness, and you would be able to suggest some hints to our friends about the new chapel. Little things are apt to be neglected, and their neglect, though apparently trifling, would spoil the whole concern. We may well congratulate each other on the triumph the dissenters have obtained over an intolerant and oppressive spirit. They have imagined a vain thing: the Lord reigneth, let the people tremble. You know the great depression of spirits under which I have for some time labour
ed; may the Lord appear a present help in this time of trouble, T'he walls of Zion are to be built, it appears, in troublous times, for such they are to me ; yet I would submissively commit my cause to
ordain that the benefit of his Church, and the good of others, shall be promoted by the ills I endure. You know poor White, of Chester, has received the end of his faith the salvation of his soul; I delivered the oration over his grave.
Mr. Fletcher, of Blackburn, preached his fuperal sermon. We are all dying creatures, hastening to the world of immortality. I think that lately the world has appeared to me in its true light it passeth away.' May we by every dispensation of Providence be rendered more meet for the inheritance of the saints in light : in due time may we be clothed upon with our house, which is from heaven. Present my kind respects to Mrs. and Miss Wilson. I hope you will try to visit Liverpool by the time mentioned. Wishing much to see you, I remain, dear Sir,
" Affectionately your's,
" THOMAS SPENCER."
The day of ordination at length arrived. The chapel in which Mr. Spencer preached being but small, that service, which, amongst dissenters of the congregational order, is remarkably solemn, was performed at the chapel in Byrom-street, Liverpool, which was handsomely granted to the people at Newington e hapel for that special purpose. It was indeed an interesting day. The services were com . menced by the Rev. Mr. Evans, of Stockport, whe read soitable portions of scripture, and implored the
Divine blessing upon the sacred engagements of the day. The Rev. Joseph Fletcher, M. A. of Blackburn, then delivered an admirable introductory discourse, and received from Mr. Spencer his confession of faith, together with answers to the questions usually, on such occasions, proposed to the minister to be ordained ;* Mı, Spencer then kneeling down, surrounded by his fathers and brethren in the ministry, the Rev. John Cockin, of Halifax, offered up, with deep solemnity, the ordination prayer, accompanied by the imposition of hands. To this act of ordination succeeded a most impressive and affecting charge from the Rev. William Hor. dle, of Harwich, Mr. Spencer's former tutor and friend. The passage on which this excellent address was founded was Col. iv. 17. • Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it.' The Rev. Mr. Roby, of Manchester, preached to the people or Mr. Spene eer's charge, upon the duties which devolved on them in the relation that day publicly recognised from Gal. iv. 18, “It is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing.' The service was throughout ngt affecting and impressive; it was characterized by a peculiar, solemnity, both in the feelings of the ministers and the people. The tender frame and delicate mind of Spencer was nearly overwhelmed by the awful considerations which then pressed upon him. Had the melancholy event which so rapidly succeeded this interesting serviee been
* For Mr. Spencer's confession of faith, &c. see Appendix, No. VI.