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Carnarvonshire. He was born in 1642, and was educated at Oxford. His childhood and youth were vanity. When he became a preacher, the popular applause be met with proved a great temptation to him, as he afterwards complained, calling himself a vain glorious fellow. He conforined in 1662, at Brompfield, in Herefordshire, but afterwards removed to the valuable living of Stretton in Shropshire, which had a delightful seat. He held it till it pleased God to visit the town with a malignant fever, whereby many of his parishioners were cut off; by which providence he was awakened to a great solicitude about his everlasting state. He was inuch dissatisfied with his conformity, and could not be easy in his mind till he had taken a resolution to quit his living, though he was three hundred pounds in debt, chicfly contracted by annexing some out buildings to the parsonage house. He had kept the cause of his trouble to himself, till his wife, surprizing him in his retirement, told him-she was determined not to part from him a moment till he communicated it to her. He then told her, he could not be satisfied to continue any longer in Stretton as minister of that place; and that he was much concerned for her and her child, as to their future subsistence. She desired him to do as his conscience directed, and assured him she could freely resign herself and her child to the provie dence of God, whose care of them she did not at all distrust. This answer of hers greatly supported and encouraged him, He next communicated his case to Mr. Quarrel, who had been ejected. He advised him to count the cost before he entered upon a suffering state. Mr. Maurice replied, if he kept his living any longer, his conscience would fly in his face. He therefore immediately resigned it, and preached his farewell sermon on Luke xxiii. 3. Upon which the chancellor of the diocese sent him a citation, charging him with reflecting on the government of the church. He sent him for answer, That what he delivered was not to reflect upon, or cause disrespect to any, but to silence the cries of an awakened conscience. What personal estate he bad he discovered to his creditors, who took all away. They who remained unsatisfied, put him in Shrewsbury jail, where he was often remarkably relieved by persons utterly unknown to him. His keeper's wife, who at first treated him harshly, was converted by his means. At last, some friends engaged for the payment of his debts, and he was set at li
berty: upon which he lived in Shrewbury a considerable time, and then removed to Abergavenny. He was soon after chosen pastor to a considerable body of people, at Llanigon and Merthyrcynnog, within a few miles of that town : but his services were not confined to them. His capacious soul moved in a much larger sphere. From the time of his coming into these parts, as long as he was able, he spent his time in travelling all over Wales; where preaching the Gospel of Christ in those dark parts was his daily work : and God blessed his endeavours to the conviction and conversion of many souls. The poor people travelled far to hear the word, and attended it in vast numbers, with extraordinary earnestness. He endured many hardships from travelling in all weathers in those mountainous places, and being often but poorly accommodated, both in respect to diet and lodging. He was often way-laid by his eneinies, but was “hid in the hollow of God's hand.” They once searched his house for him, when he had been preaching ; but he was hid in a closet, adjoining the room where the meeting was held, and they could not find the door. Another time a constable came into the room where he was preaching, commanding him to desist; when, with an undaunted courage, he charged him in the name of the great God, whose word he was preaching, to forbear inolesting him, as he would answer it at the great day. The man hereupon sat down and trembled, heard him patiently till he had done, and then departed. Mr. Maurice was taken but once, and then he was bailed ; and upon appeare ance discharged by the favour of some justices of the peace, who were his friends and relations. He was sometimes reduced to great straits whilst he lived at Shrewsbury, but was often surprizingly relievedOne time when he had been very thoughtful and was at prayer with his family, suiting his petitions to their necessitous case, a carrier knocked at the door, enquired for Mr. Maurice, and delivered to him a handful of money untold, as a present from some friends, but would not tell who they were. The same person also another time brought him a purse of money very seasonably in a like necessity. His wife became en. titled to forty pounds per aun. soon after his leaving Stret. ton; but it was unjus:ly alienated for ten years. However, she was clearfully industrious in mean employments, and contented with the coarsest fare ; being ambitious only, if
possible, possible, to have the sureties and obligations discharged; which, through the good providence of God, Mr. Maurice had the satisfaction of living to see, though he died soon after.
He was so assiduous in his work that he was advised by his friends to be more sparing of himself; but he used to answer, “When a man has loitered the best part of his day, and the evening draws on, he had need to double his strokes.” Excessive labour at last so broke his constitution, that it hastened his end. His behaviour on the bed of sickness was answerable to the past conduct of his life. He discovered a deep sense of the divine goodness to him and his. When his wife observed to him, that he had had a wearisome night, he replied, “What if I have ? Job had many wearisome nights.” When he saw the people weeping about him, he said to ber, “Dost thou observe the loving kindness of the Lord to us poor strangers, in raising us so many friends? The love of God in Christ is a great refreshment to my soul! Blessed be God, who has made thee and me partakers of the same grace.” He was far from an apprehension of merit, and yet rejoiced in the tes. timony of his conscience. « There is nothing I have to trust to (says he) as to my work and labour, and yet I shall have joy of that too.” He died in July, 1682, about fifty years of age.
MAURICE, WILLIAM, was born Dec. 23, 1762, at Chapel Town, in the parish of Ecclesfield, near Sheffield, in Yorkshire: was sent to school when about three years of age ; and such was his proficiency, that at the age of four he could repeat the Catechism and many passages of Scripture. He continued at school till his twelfth year; and acquired, besides reading, writing, and arithmetic, some knowledge of the Latin tongue. Immediately on his leaving school, his father, who was a nailer, taught him his trade ; and afterwards Mr. Maurice partly worked at, and partly presided over, some mines, in getting iron ore. Still he was assiduous in acquiring knowledge, and gladly embraced every opportunity to read. But, alas! he did not search for the best knowledge, and was ignorant of its necessity and value. Mr. Maurice received from his parents moral instructions; yet, he had not the advantage of a religious education. Though he altended the church regu.
larly, he paid no other regard to the Lord's day; and was I even in the habit of profaning it openly, after public wor
ship. It was no uncommon thing for him, after going twice to church, to strip off his Sunday clothes, put on his ordinary dress, and play at foor-ball. His constitution being then strong, and his mind active, he was passionately fond of youthful sports, and excelled particularly in that rustic amusement. Soine of his competitors greatly envied him, and his party having once gained the victory on the evening of the Lord's day, quarrelling and fighting ensued ; and some on the opposite side were determined to wreak their vengeance upon him. Three of them, accordingly way-laid him; and, in repelling their furious attack, he nearly killed one of them, while his own arın was much injured. The alarm of the village, the concern of his parents, and dread of the fatal consequences, deeply impressed his mind. Apprehensions of divine wrath, especially for profaning the Sabbath, and the fear of legal punish. ment, filled him with unutterable anguish. He groaned, he prayed, he vowed; but still his mind was like the troubled sea. This scene of agony happened in April, 1770, A few days afterwards, Mr. Maurice hearing that the rev. Mr. Grove was to preach at Barnsley, on Easter Monday, resolved to attend, and went with his arm bound up. The text was very appropriate, Isaiah iii. 10, 1l. “Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him ; for they shall eat the fruit of their doings : woe unto the wicked, it shall be ill with him ; for the reward of his hands shall be given him.” Mr. Maurice felt that his state as a 'sinner was accurately described, his character exactly drawn, and his dooın faithfully denounced. The sharp arrow of conviction pierced his inmost soul; but the leading balın of the Saviour's blood and grace was partly applied by means of the samne preacher,' and the same discourse. So soon as he re. turned home, he searched the Scriptures; heavenly light arose on his soul ; the Spirit of supplication was poured out; and, by means of prayer, the Lord gave him a good hope through grace, and a comfortable sense of divine mercy. He now began to love the Lord, his word, his ordinances, his ways, and people; as heartily as ever he had loved the ways of sin, and the workers of iniquity. His knowledge, holiness, and comfort increased; and he gave the most satisfying evidences of a saving change. The Bi
ble and religious books were his daily and delightful com, panions. An excellent piece of good John Bunyan's, called • Come, and welcome, falling into his hands about this time, was much blessed to his soul. He now attended the ministry of the rev. Mr. Grove, at Masbrough, near Rotheram; and was admitted as a member of the church of Christ there, after giving a solid and satisfactory account of his experience. His life was an ornament to his Chris. tian profession. Nir. Maurice soon felt and expressed & serong desire to serve God in the Gospel of his Son, and to proclain the excellence of that Redeemer whom he found so precious. Having asked counsel of the Lord, he was en: couraged to proceed amidst many difficulties. He consulted Mr. Grove, whoin he ever respected and loved as his spiritual father; and by the recommendation of that worthy ininister, Mr. Maurice entered the academy at Northouram, near Halifax, then under che direction of Mr. Walker. He continued there the usual time; and was distinguished by ability, industry, piety, and prudence. Often has he been heard to express his obligations to Mr. Walker and Mr. Grove for assistance in his studies. Profiling by such aid, his strong and ardent mind made rapid improvement.
Leaving the Academy with universal esteem, Mr. Man. rice discovered eminent and edifying gifts as a preacher, lle soon received and accepted an invitation to Haslingdon, in Lancashire; where he continued to preach with general acceptance for a few months : and then, receiving an una niinous call froin the church of Christ at Stockport, in Cheshire, he was ordained as their pastor. He laboured among the faithfully for five years. The Lord blessed his labours; and there were seals of his ministry in that church and congregation; but trials of yarious kinds were mingled with his comforts, disappointinents with success. Disturbances arose among a few about mere trisies, and rendered his situation extreinely irksoine. The people had an increasing esteemn for their minister, yet would not be at peace among themselves. He durst not, however, leave his post without the call of his Master. That call was given by an opening for his removal to Bolton, in Lancashire.
Two or three years previous to this period, some of the people of Bolton heard Mr. Maurice preach an occasional sermon, at a village about five miles from that place. The discourse was pleasing and profitable to them, and they