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EVANGELICAL MAGAZINE.

MARCH, 1810.

1

SKETCH OF THE CHARACTER

..: OF
· THE LATE MR. THOMAS HAWKES,

OF PICCADILLY, LONDON. The following brief memorial of a worthy and liberal man, is taken from a Serinon preached on occasion of the death of Mr. Hawkes, at Orange Street Chapel, Dec. 24, 1809, by the Rev. John Townsend. This sermon is printed, but not published, being circulated only among the friends of the deceased; we are permitted, however, to insert in this work that part of it which relates to the character, experience, and closing scene,' of Mr. Hawkes. .

The preacher takes for his text, Matt. xxiv. 44, ' Therefore, be ye also ready ; for in such an hour as ye think not, the San of man cometh. In these striking words Mr. T. observes, That we have, Ist, A part of the character of Christ, - he is “the Son of man. Odly, An important event stated, the Son of man

cometh. Süly, The uncertainty of the period when this event shall take place, m'ye know neither the day nor the hour.' 4thly, An appropriate and impressive inference deduced from the whole, therefore be ye also ready.' Having illustrated each of these parts of the text, Mr. Townsend proceeds to direct the attention of his hearers to the character of his departed friend; on which he expresses himself thus :

“ If what I have to say on this part of the subject resulted only from my own knowledge and from my own feelings, id might be suspected that in drawing his portrait I was governed by the partiality which friendship insensibly induces; but I ain addressing some in this congregation who know hiin much longer, if not more intimately, than I did: and I know you are of opinion that it is scarcely possible to speak too highly of his general character. You have been near observers of his temper and conduct, and can bear honourable testimony to the energy of that grace which was in him, and also to the

abundance of that fruit which it yielded, - scarce a single day passing over his head that was not marked by somework of faith and labour of love. A oni

i mi · The first point of view in which we shall consider him, is that of a tradesman. He had been well educated for this departa ment of life by the manner and spirit in which he had conducted himself as a servant; for, whilst in that capacity, he was remarkably active and industrious, always economical in the use of his time (generally making seven days in a week) and extremely frugal in his expenditure. When he began the world for himself, it was not under those auspicious circumstances which fall to the lot of soine young men, who, in addition to a business already formed, have ample supplies to conduct it with ease and success. But whatever he lacked, in point either of connexions or property, was sufficiently counterbalanced by his uniform endeavour to oblige, joined with unremitting prudence and activity; and aided by the economy and active services of his invaluable partner in life, of whom I feel no scruple in saying (without any disparagement to the many excellent females I am addressing) that she was one of the most industrious, benevolent, and pious women of ou day.

For some time he had difficulties to struggle against, but he soon began to surmount them; and in a very few years the Lord so blessed the work of his hands that he became exposed to a new danger, - that of being carried away by the delusive allurements of prosperity; but here also the Lord assisted him, and enabled him to set his face as a flint, and hazard the sacrifice of his temporal advantage to the testia mony and approbation of his conscience. His business introduced him not only to the first nobility of the land, but also to the princes of the blood; some of whom, once accus-. tomed themselves to see and consult with their tradesmen on the Lord's Day morning. This evił practice he resolutely withstood, and refused to attend; yet, he did it in such a way as to avoid giving offence* In short, he acted as. an independent, just, and disinterested man towards his superiors. Towards his equals he was affable and obliging, and ready to render them advice and assistance pro.. portioned to his ability. As a master, he was humane and

I remember well his telling me that he was once sent for on the Lord's Diiy mrnias, to altend on a person of high rauk, just as he was selling offre worship Gud. Ho expressed his surprize to the groom, asked him if he knew what day it was, and intimated thalte inessage must certainly refer, to next day. The groom} assured him it was oot the case ; but that his master mus!'s ehim immediately. lie then desired the groom to pressot his cuts to h 8 R - H-mons, and inform him that he always made a point of attendinihe worship of God or thal day; but that hc would wait upon hiin early the next inorsing; and, to the honour of the Pbere received him wiih his usual e vility,

· liberal: he thought the labourer worthy of his hire. I have. before me to-day those who can reflect upon twenty, twentyfive, yea, some of you more than thirty years connection with him; and the unfeigned tears I have seen you shed for the loss of your late employer, demonstrate that you have lost a friend; as well as a master, and speak louder than any encomiums I, can utter.

We look at him as a relative. How many I am addressing this morning, who have to bless God for him under this character! Though you were the children of other parents, and to all appearance destined to live in places remote from the metropolis and each other, he gathered you around him, considered you in the light of children, and placed you in situations and circumstances which tended to your comfort and prosperity, He sweetened the cares and duties of your station with the cheerful smile of approbation, and the tokens of his friendship and liberality. As he prospered, he studied to promote your prosperity; and when Providence permitted him no longer to abide among you, to smooth the thorny path of life with his counsel and his company, he scattered among you the fruits of his honest, persevering, and successful industry. I most sincerelý sympathize with you all; because I know that, in your departed relative, you have lost a guide, a friend, | and a father; but make his God your God, his faith and exa perience yours, - make that Jesus, in whom he trusted for salvation and eternal life, your Saviour and your all, and you shall join his company in those realms of purity 'and bliss to which he is gone!

When I recollect the spirit and conduct of our departed friend in the domestic circle, and contrast them with those of some other professors, how marked is the difference! To their wives they are churls, to their relatives they are tyrants, and to their servants they are oppressors. They too prosper in the world ; but they hold all that the bounty of Heaven has lavished upon them with such a covetous grasp, that their nearest and most indigent and afflicted relatives, nay, even their own children, cannot extort from them the smallest token of liberality.

Again: Let us look at our departed friend as a Christian. There is reason to think that he was very early acquainted with the truth and power of that religion, in the belief of which his heart felt the true influence of sanctification, and by the rich consolations of which he was abundantly supported in the near prospect of death and eternity. He was by education and habit a churchman; and, of course, he not only attached hime self to that communion, but when he could not find what he esteemed to be the pure gospel in sermons preached at church, be frequented such chapels as bad á near resemblance in their Horship to the practice of the establishment. His attendance

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