“Along my earthly way
How many clouds are spread!
Darkness, with scarce one cheerful ray,
Seems gathering o’er my head.

Yet, Saviour, Thou art love;
Oh, hide not from my view!
But when I look in prayer above,
Appear in mercy through.

And, O! from that bright throne,
I shall look back and see—
The path I went, and that alone
Was the right path for me.”

“Our lives through various scenes are drawn.” So writes the great poet of the sanctuary; and his words find exemplification in the narrative we are relating; the next scene of which is laid in the heart of the Fens of the Eastern Counties.

This district was originally one of those immense forests which abounded in our land, broken at intervals by spaces which had been cleared, in which were farmhouses, surrounded by land either under tillage or pasturage. In course of time, however, the aspect of the country was changed. Storms which raged from the East raised the sea to a greater height than usual, and inundated the whole expanse, till gradually the woods and homesteads were destroyed, and the place which had been so fair and fertile became a vast dreary plain, sixty miles in length, and nearly forty in breadth, comprehending the North of Cambridgeshire and adjacent portions of Buckinghamshire, Huntingdonshire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Norfolk, and Suffolk. The soil was for the most part spongy and boggy, and the putrid and muddy water, which often stood in pools that never dried, was the cause of numerous forms of disease. The whole was ill-drained, and especially the Eastern portions near the sea, was frequently flooded. Being so undesirable for the residence of man, it was thinly inhabited. Travelling was ordinarily difficult, often dangerous; and it was no uncommon thing for a belated wayfarer to miss the beaten path across the rank and sedgy grass, and plunge into a swamp and be drowned. Even so late as the middle of last century some parishes existed in which there were not two houses communicable with each other except by boat; and it was no uncommon experience even in more favourable localities, at certain seasons of the year, for the flood to rise so high that haystacks were swept away, the stock drowned, and the lower dwelling rooms in the houses half filled with water.

Unpicturesque as the region may appear in the eyes of strangers, it has a beauty entirely its own, and is associated with stories of romance and enterprise as interesting as any that are connected with more familiar spots in our island. We, however, are not now to describe its plains dotted with windmills, its long fines of pollards and its green tracts covered with sleek cattle, or to tell how King Canute listened to the sweet singing of the monks of Ely; or repeat the oft-told tale of Hereward and the Camp of Refuge, and the base betrayal of the brave men who had there sought shelter; but to relate how a company of godly fugitives here found, what their native land denied them, a peaceful home and liberty to worship God in the way they deemed right.

These were some of the French Protestants, whose stedfastness in the faith through long years of bitter and relentless persecution was so marvellous and heroic. In 1685 the Edict of Nantes, a clement and considerate measure, issued in 1598 by Henry IV., which had granted full liberty of conscience to the Huguenots, as these godly people were styled—was revoked by his infamous successor, Louis XIV. The results were immediate and serious. They were absolutely forbidden to worship God according to their simple and scriptural method. Their humble sanctuaries were closed by law, and they were commanded to attend mass in Popish Churches. Persecution followed, and their condition became intolerable. Though not allowed to quit France, some at least contrived to escape, and found their way to England, toward the end of the reign of James II. Though this period was a dark one with the godly in our own land, Providence was kind to these noble refugees. In the then Duke of Bedford they found a valuable friend, who permitted them to settle on Thorney Pen, a portion of his extensive estate near Peterboro’.

The immense work of draining a considerable tract of marsh land to the North of Cambridgeshire, had been inaugurated about forty years before by this nobleman’s father, Francis, Duke of Bedford, and he himself was now bringing the work to a conclusion with great enterprise and ardour. Trustworthy and experienced labourers were imperatively necessary. These had been obtained from Holland, in which country such operations were common. He soon had the sagacity to perceive the character of the men to whom he had granted an asylum, and offered to engage them to assist hi the great undertaking. Pleased with the prospect of employment, they cordially assented, and ere long were busily engaged with others in this toilsome but important work. The Duke Avas thus able to accomplish his purpose, and the tract of land thus reclaimed is
to this day known as the Bedford Level.

Further and more scientific efforts have been subsequently made, and though much even to the present day remains to be done in certain localities, an almost inconceivable improvement has been effected in the whole district. Immense value has been given to lands which were formerly swamps and wastes. Farmers, through the skill of more modern engineers, can prosecute their calling with profit; and enjoy the fruits of their industry in health and comfort. The first organised and successful attempt to render the fens fit for the habitation of men, will however, while time lasts, be associated with these Dutch engineers, and brave Huguenot settlers, though the latter are too often overlooked by ordinary historians.

Their labours must have somewhat resembled that of the navigators or “navvies ” of our day, but far different were their characters and capabilities. They came of a noble race and were not degraded by their toil. Not only were they diligent in their business, but they were sincerely and conspicuously godly. Wherever they went they formed themselves into Christian congregations, erected chapels, and appointed holy brethren to conduct divine worship.

The son of one of their number, David Culey, became a minister of great local eminence. Devout, thoughtful, and thoroughly original, he gathered a Church, which he served as pastor, and became the head or leader of a people, with some distinctive features, long known as Culeyites. Their principles were emphatically evangelical. A curious little volume of 212 pages is still to be met with, containing an embodiment of the theological views of their founder. The sect as such having served its purpose has long ceased to exist, but it cannot be questioned that for many years it did much to extend and foster true religion over a large area.

David Culey’s chapel was at Guyhirn, near Wisbech, and continued to be the home of a little religious community for about a hundred years after his decease, their doctrines and practices much resembling those of the Huntingtonians or the Calvinistic section of the Independent denomination in our day.

For many years the congregation was affiliated with another at Wisbech, the same minister, a Mr. Field, officiating by turns at each place. Not long after the death of this worthy man, in 1847, the causes, however, separated by common consent, the Guyhirn Church hoping to be able to support a pastor of its own.

It should here be noted that at this time the principles and practices of the Strict Baptists were extending rapidly in the Fen district, a fact which was doubtless owing to the many eminent ministers of this persuasion who were then labouring in the locality.

Of these George Murrell, of St. Neots, enjoyed the widest popularity; Thomas Sutton, of Cottenham; David Irish, of Warboys; W. Cattell, of Eamsey; Daniel Ashby, of Whittle-sea; William Palmer, of Chatteris; and William Bull, of Over; though men of very varied gifts, exercised a far reaching influence. The writings of John Stevens (whose first two pastorates were at St. Neots and Boston), with other works of a similar character, were widely read, and developed a wonderful measure of religious intelligence. Many a plain farmer (like Thomas Bonfield, of Chatteris) was a masterly theologian. Many a worthy housewife (like the Mrs. Tolton,[1] to whom the first letter in the Memoir and Remains of John Stevens is addressed), though busy from morning to night in the dairy or the farm, thought deeply on religious questions. Agricultural labourers would discuss points like “Pre-existerianism,” “The law or the Gospel our rule of life,” or “Whether Job’s wife was a godly woman,” on their way to work.

The Church at Guyhirn originally, as we have seen, consisted entirely of Independents, but at this time many of its members were Baptists, and their desire was to obtain the services of a Baptist minister, it being agreed that all who henceforth expressed a wish to join the community should be required to be immersed on a profession of their faith.

John Hazelton appears to have visited them at the commencement of the year 1848, his first sermon being based on the words, “Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound.” One who heard, writes, “We had a feast, for we were very hungry and enjoyed it much.” He produced a most favourable impression, which the labours of a second-Lord’s day considerably augmented: as is evident from the following frank and cordial letter:—

——————-
Guyhirn, Feb. 7th, 1848.

DEAR BROTHER,—Having taken a retrospect of your past visit to Guyhirn, and seeing the unity of the people in favour of your ministry, and how profitably they have heard while you pointed to the Rock of Ages, also the field which appears to open itself in this neighbourhood, and also feeling persuaded there will be a way opened for your coming amongst us; we therefore, as deacons, on behalf of the Church at Guyhirn, give you, with great pleasure, an invitation to come amongst us for three or six months, which time you feel the most disposed to accept, trusting that at the expiration of either of these times you may become our pastor.

We now stand as a Church without a pastor. Mr. Wilkin [who for a short time succeeded Mr. Field.—AUTHOR.] having resigned, we held a Church meeting yesterday. His letter was read, and the Church accepted his resignation. Therefore we now stand separate from the Wisbech Church.

JOHN BRADLEY,
WILLIAM NEWSHAM
Deacons
——————-

On the following Lord’s-day he again occupied their pulpit, and the blessing which was universally realised prompted them to forward a more definite communication:—

——————-
DEAR BROTHER HAZELTON,—At a Church meeting held on the 13th day of February, it was unanimously agreed to give you an invitation for twelve months. We, as deacons, on behalf of the Church, do with exceeding great pleasure make known unto you the mind of the Church. We have all heard you with great comfort and satisfaction. Should you be led among us, we hope your ministry will be blessed to the souls of God’s people, and bringing others to a knowledge of themselves and a knowledge of the way of salvation.

We remain, yours in Christ,

JOHN BRADLEY ,
WILLIAM NEWSHAM,
Deacons

Guyhim, Feb. 15th, 1848.
——————-

In these events our brother evidently saw the hand of Him who openeth and no man shutteth, and shutteth and no man openeth. He therefore acceded to their request, doubtless hoping that he would find a peaceful and permanent sphere of work in the midst of an united and affectionate people. Long before the twelve months had expired it was unanimously felt that it would be unnecessary to prolong the probationary engagement, as all hearts were decided as to their final choice. The views of the Church are thus enthusiastically expressed:—

——————-
OUR DEAR BROTHER IN CHRIST,—It is with feelings of the greatest pleasure and thankfulness to our covenant God, that He who has all things under His control and manages all our affairs, has been pleased to direct your footsteps to this part of His vineyard, to watch over the plants already rooted in Zion, and to sow the seed of eternal truth, that others may spring up and bring forth fruit, feeling certain the Lord has been pleased to bless your ministry amongst us; and in tracing all things which have transpired since you have been with us, we have every reason to feel assured that Zion’s mighty Monarch has been with us. If we look at our congregation, it is nearly four times larger; if we look at the Sabbath-school, it is beyond our most sanguine expectations; if we look at the new-born cause at Murrow, it appears the Lord has created a spirit of hearing, and we hope a hungering for the bread of eternal life. Looking at this state of things, we are led to exclaim, “What has not God wrought!”

We feel every encouragement to give you a pastoral call. As a Church of Christ holding strict principles, we do intreat you to accept the pastoral office over us, this invitation being unanimous. We do hope that you may hear the Head of the Church say unto you, “This is the way; walk ye in it.”

May every spiritual blessing rest upon you. May Zion’s King favour you with frequent visits, and lead you to contemplate the joys that shall be revealed, when life shall be extinct, is the prayer of the Church at Guyhirn.

WILLIAM NEWSHAM,
JOHN BRADLEY
Deacons

July 23rd, 1848.
——————-

What true minister of Jesus Christ could withstand so earnest and pathetic an appeal? Our brother forwarded an affirmative reply in a characteristic letter, a few sentences from which will he read with interest:—

——————-
“May Zion’s Head shed upon us His selectest influence; may the utmost peace and prosperity attend us; may that barren and sterile waste become as the ‘garden of the Lord,’ and oh, may the plants of Zion receive heavenly dews and sunshine again. I hope you will attend to village stations. I hope to see a Sabbath- schoolroom, therefore, I think the vestry had better be fitted up. You must know I want every wheel turning where I am, as I have always lived amongst a little ZEAL. See the friends, and write me soon. Grace, mercy and peace.

I am, dear brethren,

Yours truly in our lovely Christ,

JOHN HAZELTON.
——————-

The union was thus consummated, and all hearts were glad and hopeful. The position was one, in some respects, of delicacy and difficulty. The most cordial unanimity was, however, manifested; although it is not improbable that the composite character of the assembly, before referred to, was the cause of some little friction in succeeding months.

No clouds at first, however, darkened the young pastor’s horizon—and he appears to have commenced his stated labours with great zeal, and the most sanguine expectations of realising the manifest blessing of Heaven. He was now twenty-six years of age. His character had formed; his powers developed; and his principles were beginning to be matured. His early enthusiasm was now becoming modified by his growing discretion; although, perhaps, he had still to learn the wisest way of utilising and repressing his uncommon energy and ardour.

The letter which follows was penned shortly after his settlement on August 7, 1848. He was away on a holiday, and having listened to an unsatisfactory sermon, he thus states the reflections to which it gave rise:—

——————-
“I hope my worship made me desire more than ever to unfold God’s clean things, which are Christ’s Person, work, covenant enactments, and the Church’s unalterable safety, together with the imperishable basis of a poor sinner’s hopes. Oh! how indestructible is religion, I mean that which centres in the great acts of a Triune God, and whose highest note will be for ever—’Unto Him that loved us!’ I hope, when I return, to contend for this, to explain this, to encourage this, and also to detect it in God’s little children.”
——————-

In the same letter he says:—

——————-
“I hope we may be able to cause the Edomites at P— to fear. I intend (D.V.) to try to get my foot and my voice into that Arminian nest, and should there be any young nestlings who require dove’s food, may it be my honour to find them at that place until they are fledged, and able to fly over to Guyhirn Dove-cot.”
——————-

There are also allusions to the necessity of preaching stations, to grants of Sunday-school books, to his preaching an anniversary sermon in Suffolk—in short, the letters of this period are those of a Christian of abounding energy.

But few persons survive who were then intimately acquainted with him. To the kindness of some of these, we are, however, indebted for a few reminiscences which cannot fail to be generally interesting.

He resided with an aged housekeeper, in the little house connected with the chapel. Here he prosecuted his studies with all his former ardour—his sermons manifesting not only considerable breadth and boldness of thought, but a careful elaboration in detail and finish, which could only have resulted from patient and prolonged preparation.

He is remembered to have had a pet cat, which was so attached to him, that it would walk up the village to meet him when he was expected home, and return in triumph upon his shoulder. Occasionally it is said that puss would even find her way into the pulpit.

He was, at that time, stout, and seemed vigorous and healthy, though his complexion had not much colour. His hair was quite black, and he wore it long. He dressed in the fashion of an ordinary dissenting minister. His whole appearance betokened confidence and energy. His address was loud and outspoken; and he struck strangers as a man of “bold and fearless dash.”

From a letter written by a lady, who was, at that time, governess in the family of one of the deacons, and who, therefore, had frequent opportunities of seeing him, we gain an interesting insight into his life and labours at this period.

——————-
“In company with Mr. _________, we used to leave home early on the morning of each Lord’s-day, and drove about two miles, so as to be in time for the opening of the Sunday-school. It assembled in a very unpretending little room attached to the chapel; and the instruction was conducted on very simple lines of Bible teaching. Myself and one of the daughters used to take our dinners, of which we partook in Mr. Hazelton’s humble little parlour, in order to be ready for the afternoon school, which was held before the service.

I was not a member of the Church, and therefore knew nothing of those little matters which too often manifest that God’s children, in spite of what grace has wrought within, are frail and erring creatures. My impressions and recollections are therefore of the public services only, the memory of which is still very interesting to me. The perfect freedom from everything like fashion or show in that quiet little cause, with its homely village manners and customs, is very refreshing to look back upon.

“I was much instructed and encouraged under Mr. Hazelton’s ministry. I especially remember two sermons, which were the means of good to my soul. The first was delivered on a week evening, in a cottage at Murrow, or Parson Drove, I cannot be sure which. Both were small villages. The text of the first was Proverbs 15:29: ‘The Lord is far from the wicked; but He heard the prayer of the righteous.’ Though I cannot distinctly recall the address as a whole, I remember the seat on which I sat, and the influence which the word had upon me. One leading thought, however, remains with me to this day, often taking my mind back to the spot on which I first obtained it—namely, I was sure that some righteous persons had prayed for me. I did not doubt but that their prayers had reached heaven, and would be answered even for me. A hope was thus produced which I never before possessed, nor have I, perhaps, ever quite lost it.

“The other discourse, which was made specially useful to me, was based upon Psalm 56:8: ‘Thou tellest my wanderings; put Thou my tears into Thy bottle; are they not in Thy book?’ I well remember the emotion I then experienced, and some kind words that were addressed to me, after the service, by a member of the Church, a poor but good old man. He was a shepherd on a farm, and so well taught of God, that although he had none of the education of these days, he was well able to cheer the faint and help the desponding.”
——————-

While at Guyhirn he formed one of the most valuable friendships of his entire life. The name of George Murrell, the minister of East-street Chapel, St. Neots, will long be remembered. He was a saintly and much tried man, and a preacher of almost unique power. His voice was thin, his diction plain, and he never made the slightest attempt at rhetorical display. His sermons were well conceived and thoughtful, but their charm lay less in their intellectual ability than in their rare and subtle spiritual pathos. Without working upon mere natural emotion he could appeal at will to the sympathies of heaven-born men, and draw tears from all eyes by a few gentle words.

His congregation was large and influential, and at this time numbered some who had called John Stevens pastor, when the Church assembled for worship in a room in the yard of an inn. To John Hazelton an introduction to George Murrell was an interesting and important event. Their attachment was mutual, frank, and abiding. The “old man eloquent” regarded his younger brother in the ministry with solicitous affection, and counselled and comforted him as only a veteran in the Master’s ranks could: and his influence must have been of unspeakable good to the young and ardent preacher of Guyhirn.

Ere long an interchange of pulpits was arranged, and our friend for the first time visited St. Neots.

Happily we know the texts chosen by him on the occasion. The morning sermon was based on 1 Cor. 15:25, “For He must reign till he He hath put all enemies beneath His feet:” and he dwelt on the reign of Christ and its remits. His reign is based on three-fold right—natural, mediatorial, and acquired—and its results will be the subjugation of all His foes. In the evening his discourse was based on Psa. 135:6: “Whatsoever the Lord pleased, that did He in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and in all deep places.” One sentence only has fastened itself upon the mind of the correspondent to whom we are indebted for these reminiscences. The subject of God’s sovereign choice of His people came under discussion, and he remarked that none question His right to elect angels, but when a minister contends that the Scriptures assert that He has acted in a similar way to the human race, the opposition and enmity of natural men, and even of some reputed Christians, are at once aroused. The congregation was a critical one to address. The chapel was well attended. The people had been trained to think. A decidedly favourable impression was produced by these two memorable discourses, and as years rolled on, our friend was always enthusiastically welcomed, and his printed sermons found a ready sale among his old and attached friends.

The receding years soon grow too dim to be accurately delineated, and the accounts of the Guyhirn pastorate are so few and fragmentary, that it is difficult to arrive at a clearer picture of this period than that with which we have now presented our reader. We behold a pastor, ardent, intelligent, and industrious, laying out all the powers of his renewed manhood for the benefit of an attached flock, a crowded sanctuary, successful village meetings, the blessing of God manifestly resting on labours undertaken for His glory, sinners saved, the Lord’s people comforted, and in a word, almost every conceivable token of spiritual prosperity.

Further details we cannot obtain, save that his sermons were striking and original, and that he was somewhat fond of odd texts, which, however, he always turned to useful account. “On one occasion,” writes a correspondent, “he preached from a most singular portion of the Word of God, though I regret that no record of the sermon appears to exist. Its subject was 1 Chron. 11:22, ‘Also he went down and slew a lion in a pit on a snowy day.’“[2]

Thus for some time the Lord signally blessed him. The chapel was renovated, a gallery erected, and all hearts beat with loyalty and love to their pastor and friend.

* * * * * * *

Very significant and solemn is the fact that matters of the most trivial character often lead to the most serious sorrow in the Churches of Jesus Christ. Words that might allay irritation are unspoken. Offence is taken where none is intended, and mountains are made of mole-hills. Circumstances of a personal and paltry character, to which prudent men should attach no importance, are magnified and distorted.

Thus “roots of bitterness spring up,” and many are defiled. We cannot fully explain these things, otherwise than by resolving them into the inscrutable wisdom of the Divine arrangements, in the development of which it frequently becomes manifest that by events like these, the steps of His servant are directed to extended fields of usefulness.

These observations suggest a clue to the causes which resulted in our beloved friend’s removal from a sphere of labour in which he had been so greatly blessed. Their exact nature we do not know; but it is certain that the state of things was such as to interfere most seriously with the peace and harmony of the Church and impede the course of divine blessing.

No blame was attached to the pastor, who had done his utmost to secure unanimity and concord. He simply yielded to the force of circumstances which he was unable to control; and, to the regret of all, placed his resignation in the hands of his Church. It appears to have been accepted without much demur, and John Hazelton considered himself at liberty to look elsewhere for a ministerial settlement.

Ere long, one seemed to present itself. The Church which met at Eden Chapel, Cambridge, was without a pastor, and hearing of his circumstances, sought his services for a Lord’s-day. Power accompanied this and a few subsequent engagements, and considerable union of heart was created between him and the people. Their minds, however, were set on Samuel Marks, a godly and savoury preacher, who had first ministered to them in May, 1850, and paid them frequent subsequent visits. A formal invitation to the pastoral office was, at length, conveyed to him. With this he could not comply, and on October 13, 1850, it was decided by the Church “to request brother John Hazelton to supply the pulpit during the month of December, with a view to a further call.” On January 19, 1851, a special Church meeting was also held, when “it was proposed and carried by a large majority” that he should “have a further call for three months.” We believe that our brother held these engagements with pleasure, and indulged in a secret hope that this might prove the sphere of his permanent ministry. This none will wonder at. To live and labour in Cambridge could hardly fail to be an object of natural ambition to one to whom knowledge was unrolling “her ample page,” “rich with the spoils of time;” while to serve an affectionate and united Church in so important a locality must have presented itself in an attractive light to a young minister who was wearied with the petty bickerings which could only occur in a rural congregation. This, however, was not to be the scene of his permanent labours. Our brother Marks was still the preacher whom the Church desired; and he was induced to accept an invitation to preach once more in Eden Chapel. Negotiations were reopened. He recalled his former decision, and commenced a peaceful, happy, and useful pastorate, which he did not resign until May, 1870, retaining the esteem and affection of all till the last.[3] Thus the unerring hand of our covenant-keeping God guided the steps of a faithful under-shepherd to this bereaved flock; while, with equal wisdom, our dear brother Hazelton was in due time led to the sphere of his future ministrations.

He therefore returned to Guyhirn, without knowing what course to take. His friends there, however, were impressed with the idea that the course of events indicated that the Lord had further work for him in this place. Interviews were held, the mind of the people ascertained, and at last a formal communication reached our friend, begging him to resume his stated labours among them. He was prevailed upon to consent, and for a few months the old relations were resumed.

It would assuredly be easy to forecast the result. The evil might have been smothered for the time, but it was not stamped out, for in twelve months’ time the condition of things was as bad as ever. Saddened, though in all probability not greatly surprised, John Hazelton handed in his second and final resignation, and toward the close of 1851 it was publicly known that it was his determination to seek another charge.

His reputation was unsullied. To this day his name is honoured and loved by the surviving members of the congregation, though the Church has been disbanded, and the chapel long disused. It is to be wished that the Lord would again plant a Christian assembly in a spot where once He was worshipped and served with such ardour and simplicity.

To a man of his temperament this must have been a season of peculiar anxiety and sorrow. The past was unhappy, the present presented but few hopeful features, the future was uncertain and dark.

He appears to have visited different destitute Churches before he finally bade farewell to his Guyhirn friends.

To this period probably belongs the following incident. A certain Church was nearly riven asunder by the bitter contention of two parties of nearly equal strength. He was invited to serve them on a Lord’s-day evening. Representatives of each section privately waited on him before the service, both entreating him to introduce some sentences into his sermon which might serve to bring the others into ridicule and contempt. Far wiser, however, was the course he adopted. Selecting for his text, “On His head were many crowns” (Rev. 19:12), he made strenuous efforts to exalt his beloved Master very high. Great blessing accompanied and followed the sermon. The congregation was moved and melted; several were specially benefited, and a woman rescued from the blackest despondency. It was also the means of greatly ameliorating the condition of things in the future.

The best of men are men at best, and the course of events caused him, we believe, no light disappointment. In after years he solved the problem which then baffled him. Little did he think that these chequered scenes were the prelude to a long, happy, and most honourable pastorate, for which they formed the Divine preparation. By degrees this, at length, he proved. “Happy is the man that endureth temptation.” Until expectations have been crossed, long laid plans frustrated, and our own poverty of resource realised, we may sing but we shall fail to feel the deep, the solemn truth of the poet’s pathetic words—

“God moves in a mysterious way,
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm.
Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never-failing skill,
He treasures up His bright designs,
And works His sovereign will.”

——————————-
[1] Many of the elder women smoked. The late Israel Atkinson informed us that he had frequently indulged his favourite habit in the company of the above-named Mrs. Tolton, who used a long clay pipe, and puffed with evident enjoyment on the other side of the wide, open fire-place. The prevalence of ague in these marshy districts necessitated the custom, which was immeasurably preferable to the reckless use of opium which has superseded it.
[2] Possibly our dear friend spiritualised the text, and made Satan the lion, the Lord Jesus Benaiah, and the wintry day the period of the Redeemer’s sufferings. This method of teaching the Old Testament Scriptures he almost abandoned in later years. A. G. Brown, sermon No. 55, applies it as an incentive to Christians to do and dare great things for Jesus, the antitype of David. We believe, however, the point to be—the wise use of opportunity. Had Benaiah met the lion on a plain in summer he could not have killed it. He therefore waited till the beast was benumbed with cold in its pit (or den) on a snowy day, and thus was able to slay it.
[3] A short but succinct memoir of this dear and excellent Christian minister, from the pen of our attached friend, Joseph Favell, senior deacon of Eden Chapel, Cambridge, was inserted in the Gospel Herald and Voice of Truth for 1870, page 186.



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