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he then was, it was impossible that such a change as he had felt, could pass unnoticed : he was no longer the gay, thoughtless creature which he had been ; and hence he hi soon becaine, in his turn, the butt of ridicule and contempt: but this was not all; he was now out of his time, and a wide world before him, without property, and repeatedly threatened with the withdrawment of favour from the only earthly friend he had who could assist him. Under a sure conflict on this account, he wandered in the fields one afternoon. Forlorn and disconsolate, at length he sat down on a bank, and beyged of the Lord to give him counsel and comfort from his divine word. On opening his Bible, that Scripture iinmediately presented itself to his view, “ Then Peter said, Lo, we have left all, and followed thee. And he said unto them, Verily, I say unto you, there is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brother, or children, for the kingdom of God's sake, who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting." Luke viii. 28, 29, 30. He laid but little stress upon opening the book on that particular passage, though it was very singular;' but he was led to conclude that the word was given him from God. Thus was his darkness turned into light; and he returned home, filled with joy and peace in believing.

A temptation now beset him, not very uncommon to young professors, who have been left in the days of their unregeneracy to associate with dissipated characters, namely, What he should do to shake them off? but this, like many other fears which assaulted him in his way, was totally needless; for no sooner did they learn that he had become a Methodist, and, as soine of them were pleased to term it, gone mad, than they saved him all trouble on that ground, by withdrawing themselves from him. There was, however, one of his former companions in sin and folly, whom he would gladly have sought after (that was the person whose faithful reproof, though directed to another, was spoken through hiin to his own heart); but he had, in the interval, married and removed from the place where he lived when Mr. Knight first knew him ; but as he was, in the sovereign appointment of Providence, to be the instrument of greater good to his soul, he was directed to find him out in the following singular way :Mr. Knight had then an only sister, who lived at Brompton; and on


he the Easter Tuesday morning, he set out from home with ar view to spend the day with her. Just as he got to Hyde

Park Corner, two persons overtook him, walking a quick ont pace, and as they passed, be heard one of them say to the ze other, “I hope Mr. Roinaine will not have taken his text pe before we get there.” What,” said Mr. Knight to him00self, “is Mr. Romaine going to preach hereabouts this

morning! then I will go and hear him too." He followed

them to the Lock Chapel ; and one of the first persons I whom he saw on entering it, was the brother of his former

acquaintance; froin whom, after service, he learned the place of his brother's abode ; and it was not long before he went to his house. With mutual and cordial greetings they once more met ; and on the best of principles that friend. ship was renewed again, which only terininated with his life. “ Thus,” an excellent writer observes, “ if we look back upon our past experience, it will generally be found that the leading facts, which gave a direction to all that followed, were not according to our own choice, or knowledge, but from the hand of an over-ruling Providence, which acts without consulting us *."

In the person above referred to, be found a spiritual guide and counsellor. With religious books, except his Bible, he had little or no acquaintance; in this particular he was very useful to him, especially by putting the Rev. J. New. ton's twenty-six letters, under the signature of Oinicron, into his hands. He also introduced him to a prayer and experience meeting, which proved a great blessing to his soul; and first took hiin to Tottenhain Court Chapel, to bear the Gospel. With biin Mr. Knight constantly attended the ministry of the late Mr. Toplady, at Orange Street Chapel, on Sunday and Wednesday evenings. In attending at that chapel, he first met with the lady who afterwards becaine his partner in life, whose constant affection and unreinitted regard for his happiness, he always acknowleged. They were married Nov. 3, 1776. As this union took place without the knowledge of his relations, they were much incensed ; and he was, in consequence, with an increasing family, exposed to many trials and difficulties. When thus pressed with temporal difficulty, be was one night, after retiring to rest, communing with his own heart on his bed, and runninating on the past events of • See Jones's Life of Bishop Horne, page 20.


his life, sleep departed from his eyes; and about midnight he felt something of the meaning of that Scripture, where it is said of the father of the faithful, “ An horror of thick darkness fell upon him t;"' it seemed as if all the sins of his childhood, youth, and manhood, passed in gloomy succession before his eyes; and, in the agonies of despair, he was brought at last to this conclusion, That, consistently with the holiness of God's nature, and his inviolable regard to his divine perfections, he never could be saved.' Just

as he came to that point, his wife, in her sleep, repeated, , with a peculiar emphasis, those words in one of Dr. Watts's Hyınns :

“[{is powerful blood
Did ovce atone;

And now it pleads before the throne !" Language cannot describe what he felt from the effect which was produced in his mind; yet unbelief suggested, “ These are only the words of Dr. Watts; they are not the 'wards of God; but," said he “are they not warranted by the word of God?” and then these Scriptures came with divine power to his soul: “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord ; though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Isaiah i. 18. Again, that in Heb. vii. 25. “Wherefore he is able to save them to the ultermost that come unto God by him ; seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them."-But especially i John i. i. “And the blood of Jesus Christ bis Son, cleanseth from all sin !"'-When his partner awoke in the morning, he asked her if the above words of Dr. Watts were not in her mind while she slept; she answered, “ Yes; and they were sweet indeed to my soul.” He then opened the matter to her; and they mutually rejoiced in God their Saviour.

We now come to consider the leading of Providence in preparing the way for his entrance into the sacred work of the ministry. His, old and esteemed friend, the late Mr. John Ledward, many years clerk of Spa Fields Chapel, had often pressed Mr. Knight to go with him to a meeting, which had been held ihere for some years on Monday evenings, for young men to engage in prayer, and exercise their gifts, by speaking froin a passage of Scripture for about † Gen. sy. 11.

a quarter

a quarter of an hour each ; but as the proposal was not agreeable to him, he declined it; till at length he was overcome by his importunity, and went with him on Monday evening, February 11, 1782. One of the gentlemen of the connittee, who presided on those occasions, asked him to engage in prayer; with which request, after some hesita. tion, he coinplied; and while the clerk and people were singing a few verses of a hymn after prayer, the gentleman pressed him (as but few of the young friends who used to speak were present) to give a word of exhortation. He was struck with the sense of his entire unfitness; and the clerk ** was obliged to give out an additional verse or two, before he would consent. However, at length, he opened the Bible, and said something in a very crude and unconnected way, on Proverbs iii. 35. “ The wise shall inherit glory; but shame shall be the promotion of fools." The friends present expressed much kindness and pressed hiin to attend again. From that evening, he continued to meet with them regularly ; attended merely from the pleasure and profit which he found in their society, and, without the least idea of what proved the eventual issue. On Monday evening, April 15, 1782, just as he was about to stand up, and, in bis turn, address the people, to his great mortification the late Mr. Wills, and another minister, came into the Chapel, and sat down at the table before him. He was instantly seized with such a trembling, that he could scarcely find the text, or read the words, which were in Rev. xv. 2, 3. "And I saw as it were, a sea of glass, mingled with fire,”? &c. Having got through the appointed time for speaking, with much embarrasment in his own feelings, he sat down abashed and confused. After the service, he would fain have crept out; but Mr. Wils, with great pleasure in his coun. tenance, beckoned Mr. Knight to him, and made him promise to call on him ere long; and it was not long, indeed, before he saw him, on an occasion very far from his thoughts that evening; for the very next day, his friend who conducted the little society, came about one o'clock from Mr. Wills, to say that he must preach in his stead, at Lady Huno tingdon's Chapel, in the Mulberry Gardens, and that he would take no denial. Heimmediately went with bis friend. to Mr. Wills, and intreated to be excused; especially on the grounds of youth, inexperience, and want of preparation, Mr. Wills only smiled at him, and told him to go, in the VOL.III.--No.57.


ery nes about one ead, at Lady at

strength of the Lord. As he perceived it must be so, he went with the friend who brought him the message ; " and O, (says he, what did I feel when I came to the place, and beheld a multitude assembled to hear an old experienced minister of the Gospel; and I, a poor unlettered stripling, sent in his room! It pleased the Lord to give me a degree of comfortable enlargement in prayer; and I was enabled to speak on that text, “ My beloved is white and ruddy ; the chiefest among ten thousand *,” with a liberty of spirit and utterance beyond what I could have expected. From this memorable evening, doors were opened for me in various places, and I was led on, by the hand of God, from step to step, until I was, with five other young men, set apart for the work of the ministry at Spa. Fields Chapel, on Sunday, March 9, 1783.".

To the affectionate regard of his friend and patron, Mr. Wills, he was indebted, under Providence, for adınission into Lady Huntingdon's connection; being appointed Master of the Charity School, and Assistant Preacher at Spa Fields Chapel. With Mr. Wills he continued to labour, as a son with a father, in the Gospel, for above five years : but, alas ! an unhappy dispute took place between Lady Huntingdon and Mr. Wills, which procured his dismission from the connection, and as Mr. Knight was expected either to give up his friend and pairon, or quit bis post,) he was led to withdraw from the chapel.

An apparently unanimous invitation was now given him to serve Pentonville Chapel, which, with the advice of his friends, he accepted. The chapel was opened on Sunday, Sept. 28, 1788; and he quilted it at Midsummer 1789. Previously to his leaving Pentonville Chapel he had the honour and happiness of preaching several times to his old friends at the Tabernacle and Tottenham Court Chapel ; and when his friends, the late Messrs. Keen and West, found his ground at Pentonville, from the offence wbich the Gospel gave, would not long be tenable, they gave him a inost cordial and affectionate invitation to settle in their connection. With joy and gratitude he accepted it; and in the review of fifteen years, spent in his blessed Master's service, he bore his testimony to the uninterrupted kindness of the worthy managers and ministers in that honoured part of the Lord's vineyard ! • Sol. Song v. 10.


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