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Mr. and Mrs. Lindo 1
Collected by Miss Mary
A. T. -------------- o 2 6
Donation ----- --- 0. 2 o
ll. 1 1s. 6d.
Mr. J. Haynes .... 0 17
Of Mr. Thomas
Contributions in aid of the Society will be thankfully received by Sir Culling Eardley Eardley, Bart., Treasurer, and Rev. Ebenezer Prout, at the Mission House, Blomfield-street, Finsbury, London; by Mr. W. F. Watson, 52, Princes-street, Edinburgh: J. Risk, Esq., 108, Fife-place, Glasgow; and by
Rev. John Hands, Society House, 32, Lower Abbey-street, Dublin.
favour of Rev. Ebenezer Prout, and payable at the General Post Office.
Post-Office Orders should be in
lon box : REED AND PAluyon, PRINTERs, PA to RNost ER now.
The late Rev. Thomas Lewis was bom at his maternal grandfather's house, near Ludlow, iu Shropshire, in the year 1777. His parentage was highly.respectable. He was favoured, from his . infancy, with a religious education, principally under the care of » pious aunt. It was not, however, till he was about sixteen years of ago, that he was brought, while attending 'he preaching of the gospel iu the Methodist connexion, to know and feel effectually the power of the truth. On this occasion, he was the subject of deep convictions. For many, months he felt great distress; of mind, not daring to take the encouragements, or appropriate tbo promises, of the Divine Word; but led, at last, by the Holy Spirit, to cast himself wholly on the mercy of God, in his Son Jesus Christ, and devoutly to seek light from above, it shono into his heart, and cheered him with the consolations and the joy of salvation. He became a regular attendant on the Prayer-Meotings, where bis correct demeanour and pious conversation procured him the favourable notice of his Christian friends. At their invitation, he took an active part in their devotional exercises. He united, also, with their "Benevolent
Society" for visiting the sick; and shortly was pressed to join their preachers at the Workhouse. After he had delivered some exhortations there, he accepted a pressing invitation to go and labour in the Canterbury Circuit, and continued an esteemed and acceptable preacher in that connexion till the year 1802. In consequence of some change now taking place in his doctrinal views, he frequently availed himself of the ministry of the Rev. John Clayton, of the Weigh House, as also of that of the Rev. Charles Buck, to whom he especially acknowledged himself indebted for kind and valuable assistance in his studies. Meanwhile, at the particular desire of his friends Messrs. Reyner and Robert Cowie, he frequently occupied the pulpits at Kingsland Chapel, and at Highbury Grove, Islington.
The religious destitution of the parish of Islington, at that day, was deeply felt and deplored by some good people in the neighbourhood. With a view, therefore, to secure to themselves and others the privilege of an evangelical ministry of the Word, a few Christian men among them took the Chapel in the Grove, which continued for some time to be variously supplied. These zealous friends of the Truth, acting on the principle of Christian union, saw it advisable to organize themselves into Church-form; which having done, they invited Mr. Lewis to take the oversight of them in the Lord. After much prayer for direction, and some conversation with his friends, ho accepted their call. He was tho more impressed with the conviction that this was the post of labour to which the Lord had appointed him, from the fact that he had earnestly desired, and made it his prayer to God, that if He should see meet to call him out into His vineyard, He would bo pleased to assign him a spot not previously cultivated by ministerial labour, that he might not build upon another man's foundation. In his call to Highbury Grove, he felt that his prayer was heard in a graciously visible manner. His ordination took place at Orange Street Chapel, in April, 1804. The ministers engaged on that occasion wero the Revs. C. Buck, G. Burder, B. Hill, and Dr. Nichol.
Tho period of his ordination was an epoch in the lifo of Mr. Lewis (then in tho twenty-seventh year of his age), of interesting emotions, at the time, and which had an influential bearing on tho whole of his subsequent years in tho ministry. He felt that he had just entered on a relation to the Church of Christ, and to society at large, of the very gravest character; and that ho was invested with an office involving duties and responsibilities of the highest order; that he had become the central object of observation to not a few earnest and vigilant witnesses of the courso he was about to pursue; above all, that he stood in the view of his Lord as one broken off from every earthly pursuit, to devote his entire self,—his time, his talents, his heart, his soul,—exclusively to His service and glory in tho world. It is sufficiently evident, from numerous passages of his Diary, that he was powerfully impressed with the character of tho engagements
to which ho was thus committed for life. In reference to his assuming tho pastoral office, he thus writes:—
"When I left secular affairs to devoto myself wholly to the ministry, it was with much fear and trembling; and my mind was much distressed with misgivings lest I had deserted my proper place, and become an intruder."
He was at all times remarkable for the humble estimate he entertained of his own worth and abilities. Some years after his settlement in the pastorate, we find him thus writing of himself:—
"How unfit, both as it respects natural parts, and piety, too, do I appear to be for the sacred work in which I am employed! If I have really entered upon it without tie Divine warrant, I pray that my God may put mo out of it, and save me from the shame and sin of being an intruder. Lord! thou knowest, I wish to be what thou wouldst have mc; where thou wouldst have me; and about what thou wouldst have me. O direct my path!"
His ministry in Highbury Grove was greatly blessed, not to his own small Church and congregation only, but to the neighbourhood around him; and it was soon found needful, from the increase of worshippers at the Grove, to procure a larger and more commodious house. To effect this object, the friends of the good causo readily united their efforts; and that handsome place of worship was erected to which they gave the appropriate name of Union Chapel. To this house, capacious enough to accommodate from ono thousand to twelve hundred persons, did Mr. Lewis and his people remove, in about two years after his ordination. It was opened for regular service, on tho 29th of August, 1806; on which occasion, the ministers engaged were the Bevs. Henry Gauntlctt, Vicar of Olney ; Dr. Bogue, of Gosport; and Dr. Ben. McDowall, Senior Min