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street, Chorlton on Medlock, as a testimonial of their affcctionate regard, June 3, 1846."
This testimonal was presented on Whit-Wednesday, at the annual tea party ; and Mr. Ashton had great pride in showing his friends this token of the love and respect of the scholars.
Next to the more sacred claims of his own household Grosvener-street Sabbath-school was near and dear to his heart ; and both scholars and teachers reciprocated the feeling, they looked upon him with love and respect. It is difficult, even now, to realize the truth that we shall! see him no more in the flesh-that he will no more walk up these aisles, and round those classes, nor stand on this platform,-as he was wont,—with one hand behind his back, looking upon those cheerful faces ; nor elevate his voice from this desk in tones of faithful warning and affectionate entreaty. His more immediate personal influence is gone, but though absent to our bodily eyes, he is present to our mental vision ; and we think of his looks, and fancy what he would say long after the tones of his voice have faded i upon the ear. We might have wished his stay longer; but God in his wisdom bas ordered it otherwise; and if we remember what he has said to us in former times-and imagine what would be his advice to us when tempted to do wrong - then, of Mr. Ashton it may be said " He being dead yet speaketh.”
This powerful, this sanctifying Spirit, knows no resistance,-works sweetly and yet strongly; it can come into the heart, whereas all other speakers are forced to , stand without. That still voice within persuades more than all the loud crying without ; as he that is within the house, though he speak low, is better heard and understood than he that shouts without doors.
NEAP. THE KINGDOM OF GOD, BUT NOT IN IT. They that are in the visible church, and partake of external vocation, are but like a large list of names, as in civil elections is usual, out of which but a small number rise to the dignity of true Christians, and are invested with their privileges. Some men in nomination to offices or employments, think it a worse disappointment and di grace to have been in the list, and yet not have made our calling sure, than if their names had not been mentioned at all. Certainly it is greater unhappiness to have been not far from the kingdom of God, as our Saviour speaks, and miss of it, than still to have remained in the farthest distance ; to have been at the mouth of the haven, the fair haven indeed, and yet driven back and shipwrecked.
THE STONES FOR THE HEAVENLY TEMPLE.
Let us not delude ourselves—this is a truth, if there be any in religion—they that are not made saints in the estate of grace shall never be saints in glory. The stones that are appointed for that glorious temple above, are lewn, and polished, and prepared for it here, as the stones were wrought and prepared in the mountains for building the temple of Jerusalem.
THE FATHER BEHELD THROUGH THE MEDIUM OF THE SON.
But our Saviour taking sin out of the way, puts himself betwixt our sins and God, and so makes a wonderful change of our apprehension of him. When you look through a red glass, the whole heavens seem bloudy; but through pure, uncoloured glass, you receive the clear light, that is so refreshing and comfortable to behold. When sin un pardoned is betwixt, and we look on God through that, we can perceive nothing but anger and wrath in his countenance. But make Christ the medium, our pure Redeemer, and through him, as through clear, transparent glass, the beams of God's favourable countenance shine in
upon the soul.
THE PROOF OF EFFECTUAL CALLING. Therefore make your calling sure, and by that your election ; for that being done, this follows of itself. We. are not to pry immediately into the final event, but read it in the performance of present duty. Though the mariner sees not the pole-star, yet the needle of the compass, that points to it, tells him which way he sails. Thus the heart that is touched with the load-stone of divine love, trembling with godly fear, and yet still looking towards God by i fixed believing, points at the love of Christ, and tells the soul that its course is heavenward, towards the haven of eternal rest. He that loves, may be sure he was loved first ; and he who chooses God for his delight and portion, may conclude confidently that God hath chosen him to be one of those who shall enjoy him, and be happy in him for ever; for that our love and electiug of him is but the return and repercussion of the beams of his love shining upon us.
MAN'S TENDENCY TO ABUSE WHAT HE POSSESSES. We breathe up and down in au infected air, and are very receptive of the infection, by our own corruption within
We readily turn the things we possess here to i occasions and instruments of sin, and think there is no liberty nor delight in their use without abusing them. How few are they that can carry, as they say, a full cap even ! that can have digestion strong enough for the right use of great places and estates ! that can bear preferment without pride, and riches without covetousness, and ease , without wantonness !
TRIALS NECESSARY TO TEST TRUE MEEKNESS. How shall a man know whether his meekness and calm-, ness of spirit be real or not, while he meets with no provocation, nothing that contradicts or crosses him ? But when somewhat sets upon him that is within itself very unpleasant and grievous to him, and yet if in that case he retains his moderation of spirit, and flies not out into impatience, neither against God nor men, this gives experiment of the truth and soundness of that grace in
him ; whereas, standing water that is clear at the top while it is untouched, yet if it have mud at the bottom, stir it a little and it rises presently. THE MAIN DESIGN OVERLOOKED-SUBORDINATES CHIEFLY
REGARDED. This, I say, is the great work, wherein all those glorious attributes shine jointly, the wisdom and power, and goodness and justice, and mercy of God. As in great maps, or pictures, you will see the border decorated with meadows, and fountains, and flowers, &c., represented it it, but in the middle you have the main design; thus is this foreordained redemption amongst the works of God. All his other works in the world, all the beauties of the creatures, and the succession of ages, and things that come to pass in them, are but as the border to this main piece. But as a foolish, unskilful beholder, not discerning the excellency of the principal place in such maps or pictures, gazes only on the fair border, and goes do farther; thus do the greatest part of us.
MEMOIR OF SARAH ANN ROBERTS.
WRITTEN BY HER FATHER. Twelve years ago Sarah Ann Roberts came with her parents to Manchester, and, residing near Grosvenor-street
Tabernacle her brother George, one Sunday, was seen looking through the window of the Sunday school; he was invited in by Mr. Townend: he went in, and, being received as a scholar, he invited his sister to accompany him, she did so, and she became a scholar too.
In a short time afterwards the late Mr. Ashton, one of the conductors, addressing the school, alluded to the say. ing of the Saviour, “ Behold, I stand at the door and knock," and showing how loving and patient the Saviour was, she became so affected as to cause her to decide to give God her heart.
From the time she did so she became a member of the Wesleyan Association, as well as a scholar in the school. Long before it was known to the family she went to Mrs. Wilson's class on a Wednesday afternoon, none of the family knowing whither she was going from week to week, and her sister often wondered where she went so regularly at that time.
While she was exceedingly diffident regarding her profession of religion, she was much in earnest and attentive to the school and the house of God, and always anxious to promote the interests of the school and society.
Her diligence and attention to what was said to her were deserving of imitation.
On one occasion, Mr. Fothergill, himself anxious to see the scholars attentive to the Word, proposed to give to the scholar a neat Bible who would bring the best written report of a sermon preached by Mr. Patterson, on Sunday, March 26th, 1852. She was anxious to obtain the prize. When the reports were given in, it was decided that Sarah Ann Roberts' was the best. She had the Bible presented to her by Mr. Fothergill, and the gift was much prized by her during her life.
Her illness, which was long and tedious, was not an occasion for murmuring or impatience. Very few have borne their afflictions with greater resignation than she did. She was in temper amiable, and in suffering submissive. When visited by her teacher, Mr. Sanders, or by her conductors, Mr Miller, Mr. Gault, and Mr. Fothergill, she always ex