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MR. SOLOMON ASHBOURN.
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HE DIED IN 1711; AND SOLEMNLY BEQUEATHED THE FOLLOWING VERSES TO HIS PARISHIONERS:
Ye stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: As your fathers did, so do ye. Acts 7:51. I have labored in vain, I have spent my strength for nought, and in vain: Yet surely my judgment is with the Lord, and my work with my God. Isaiah 49:4.
But that generation, which was abandoned to all wickedness, is gone: So are most of their children. And there is reason to hope, that the curse entailed on them and their children is gone also: For there is now a more lively work of God here, than in any of the neighboring places. Tues. 13. About noon I preached at Swinfleet, under the shade of some tall elms. At six in the evening I preached on the Green at Thorne, to a multitude of people. The work of God goes on swiftly here: Many are awakened, many converted to God. Wednesday, 14. I preached to an elegant congregation at Doncaster; in the evening to a numerous one at Rotherham. Thursday, 15. I preached in Paradise Square, in Sheffield, to the largest congregation I ever saw on a week-day. Friday, 16. I preached in the evening at Derby, to many genteel and many plain people. Saturday, 17. I preached at noon in Castle-Donnington; but in the open air, for there was no enduring, the House. Yet they persuaded me to preach within at Nottingham in the evening; but the House was as hot as an oven. Sunday, 18. I made shift to preach in the Room at eight; but at five I went to the Cross. We had a London congregation; and all as well behaved as if they had been in Moorfields.
One who had left us, to join the Quakers, desired to be present at the love-feast; in the close of which, being able to contain himself no longer, he broke out and declared, he must join us again. I went home with him; and, after spending some time in prayer, left him full of love and thankfulness. Mon. 19. At five our House was quite filled with people, and with the presence of God. Farewell, ye loving, lovely followers of the Lamb! May ye still adorn the doctrine of God your Savior!
About nine I preached in the market-place at Loughborough; about noon, at Griffy-Dam; and in the evening, at Ashby. Tuesday, 20. I preached in Markfield church about noon; and in the evening at Leicester; where we had an exceeding solemn time, while I described the Son of man coming in his glory. Wed. 21. The House was filled at five, and we had another solemn opportunity. About eight, calling at Hinckley, I was desired to preach: As also at Forcell, ten or twelve miles farther. When I came to Coventry, I found notice had been given for my preaching in the park; but the heavy rain prevented. I sent to the Mayor, desiring the use of the Townhall. He refused; but the same day gave the use of it to a dancing-master. I then went to the womens market. Many soon gathered together, and listened with all seriousness. I preached there again the next morning, Thursday, 22, and again in the evening. Then I took coach for London. I was nobly attended; behind the coach were ten convicted felons, loudly blaspheming and rattling their chains; by my side sat a man with a loaded blunderbuss, and another upon the coach. Sun. 25. Both the chapels were full enough. On Monday, I retired to Lewisham to write. Tuesday, AUGUST 3. Our Conference began; which continued and ended in peace and love. Sunday, 8. I was at West-Street in the morning, and at the new chapel in the evening, when I took a solemn leave of the affectionate congregation. This was the last night which I spent at the Foundery. What hath God wrought there in one-and-forty years!