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that they were governed by a practical re- fare of the people of his charge. He gard to the will of God. Some of these deemed no labour too toilsome in setting estimable individuals now survive him, before them their awful condition as transhaving been conscientious fellow-workers gressors against Heaven, and the safety in the same holy cause, and are entitled provided for them in the all-atoning sacrito be ranked among the best pillars of the fice of the Lamb of God. He was ever church.
attentive to the wants of his flock; and In the year 1799, an edition of the as his means of relieving their temporal Welsh Bible and Common Prayer-book, difficulties were very limited, what he from a copy prepared principally by the could give was of necessity the produce Rev. D. Davies, Rector of Penegoes, of strict self-denial. He was diligent in Montgomeryshire, was being printed at speaking to those in health, as well as in Oxford, for the Society for promoting sickness, respecting their eternal concerns; Christian Knowledge. The Rey. Robert which, with preparing with assiduity and Hughes, Fellow of Jesus College, under. prayer three sermons every week, and the took to correct the press; but when the other pastoral occupations above-menPentateuch was completed, he resigned tioned, fully occupied his time. It would the employment, and was succeeded by be well if all who undertake the sacred Mr. Roberts, who was then keeping his office would imitate this zealous minister terms. This occupied him above eighteen of Christ in his abundant and self-denying months. In the year 1809, he was en labours. Yet, amidst all his exertions, it gaged, in conjunction with other clergy- was a prevailing source of regret with him men, in collating and preparing another that he had done so little in so blessed a edition of the Welsh Bible and Common cause. Prayer-book, 20,000 copies of which were During Mr. Roberts's connexion with printed, and all circulated by the above the above parishes, he was cheered by the mentioned society. He was a member of marks of moral and religious improvement that venerable institution, and for its be- with which God was pleased to bless his nevolent and extensive operations, both at ministrations. The Sabbath was more home and abroad, he felt unfeigned gratis reverenced, public worship more regularly tude to God.
attended, and a few of his parishioners Mr. Roberts, when first ordained, was gave satisfactory evidence of a saving appointed by Dr. Peers, the present vene- change of heart. His zeal and activity rable Rector of Morden, in Surrey, to indeed created some opposition : but this the curacy of Chislehampton and Stad. he bore with meekness and patience; and hampton, about seven miles from Oxford, the pressure of it, susceptible as he was, which he served about four years. In became considerably relieved by many acts addition to his duties at these churches, of kindness, and, above all, by the success he read prayers and preached every Sun- which crowned his exertions. day evening at Toot Baldon, a village in the year 1803, the solicitations of three or four miles distant. The parish his friends, as well as his own inclinations, church of that place had been suffered for prompted him to return to the principality, many years to lie in a most dilapidated where a curacy was ready for him. His state. A few clergymen, commiserating attachment to his native country was very their fellow-creatures and earnestly desir great; and his attainments in Welsh liteous to further their eternal interests, had, rature made him an important blessing by their united exertions, so far repaired it to it in various ways. When his intended as to admit of persons assembling for Divine departure was announced, great und unworship; and it was served gratuitously feignied sorrow was felt by many under till a small subscription was obtained. Á his pastoral care. Several of those who Sunday-school was also established. Thus had been benefited by his ministry, acthe subject of our memoir read the ser companied him part of the road; to whom vice and preached three times every he said, “ Had I known what your feelings Sunday, besides attending early and late and mine would have been at this separatwo Sunday-schools, and walking from tion, I never would have encountered the parish to parish ten miles in the course of trial." How striking a testimony is here the day, in every kind of weather, and at presented of his character, and of the afall seasons of the year. The teachers of the fection with which his hearers regarded Sunday-schools ofChislehampton andStad him! His rector, also, deeply regretted hampton, and all other persons who felt dis. the removal of his faithful curate, whose posed, met at his lodgings one evening in labours he encouraged, and greatly rethe week to consult with him as to the most joiced in the good effects which resulted promising and efficient means of promoting from them. Since his death, he has exthe growth of religion in their own souls- pressed the unshaken esteem and regard in those of the attendants at the schools, which he felt for the deceased during the and among their neighbours in general. On space of thirty years. another evening in the week, he attended His new field of labour was Tremeir. at Baldon for the same purpose. Thus was chion, in Flintshire, His zeal for his his time wholly and most conscientiously Master's cause, and the salvation of sin. devoted to the spiritual and endless wel ners, was soon conspicuous; and he en
deavoured, through good report and evil when a zealous and diligent clergyman is report, to warn, exhort, and reprove the thus countenanced in his labours of love eril doer; and to ground and settle the by his diocesan. Mr. Roberts had in true convert in faith and love. The state Bishop Horseley a steady friend, whose of the Established Church in North Wales house was always open to him, where he at that period was much to be deplored, spent many hours with profit and pleasure Apathy seemed to bave seized pastors and in literary and scriptural conversation. people, and awful was the extent of igno. While the bishop was waiting for an oprance, and the depravation of morals. It portunity to prefer him, death suddenly is now considerably improved; being bless- removed him to another scene. ed with many national schools, and pious In the year 1807, the living of Tremeir. pains-taking ministers; though it is still chion became vacant, and great was the most devoutly to be wished that the gene- joy of the parishioners, when their conrality of the clergy were more alive to the scientious curate was presented to it. This responsibility of their office-more regard. was the first living which Bishop Cleaver ful of the day, when they only who shall had to dispose of, after his translation to be found “ clear of the blood of the peo- the see of St. Asaph. Mr. Roberts ever ple,"—who “take heed unto themselves cherished sentiments of great respect and and to the doctrine," pho study to shew gratitude for his benefactor, from whom themselves "approved of God, workmen he also received much friendly counsel that need not to be ashamed, rightly di- and attention. Indeed the urbanity of viding the word of truth,”-shall be ac- that prelate's disposition, the courteous, kpowledged as the true servants of Christ, kind, and affable manner in which he and shine as the brightness of the firma. treated his clergy, and the paternal tenment, and as the stars for ever and ever. derness with which he advised them,
Sunday-schools, those important instru. gained him general respect and affection. ments of usefulness, when judiciously Mr. Roberts after this appointment, did managed, were at that time established not relax, but increased, if possible, his in many places in England ; but it is be- assiduity and watchfulness over his flock, lieved there was not one in Wales in con- ever forming plans to promote their ad. nexion with the Established Church when vancement in the love of Christ, and meetMr. Roberts undertook the curacy of ness for the joys of eternity. Well he Tremeirchion. He dared to be singular; knew, and deeply he revolved the weighty and commenced one in that parish, which truth contained in that striking passage, is still carried on. He also preached twice “ No man having put his hand to the on the Lord's day; and the earnestness plough, and looking back, is fit for the with which he enforced the scriptural doc- kingdom of God." trines of the church impressed many, and The deceased had not only a heart to greatly increased the congregation. His feel for his own flock, but to deplore the discourses were thoroughly orthodox. The spiritual wretchedness and darkness which depravity and helplessness of man through overspread the greater portion of the habithe Fall, the atonement made by Christ table globe. He unfeignedly rejoiced in upon the cross for the sins of the the establishment of Bible and Missionary world, justification by faith, and the ne- and other religious and benevolent socesity of holiness as an evidence of faith, cieties, at home and abroad, and was with the regeneration and sanctification of therefore very anxious to see his own the people of God through the mighty county come forward and countenance energy of the Holy Ghost, -were the those Christian and philanthropic plans ; points on which he chiefly dwelt. No one and at his suggestion, and mainly by his could be more earnest in exhorting his exertions, the Flintshire Bible Society people to give all diligence to make their was formed in the year 1813, and is still calling and election sure. Correct notions in operation. In the first year, upwards of truth, if not attended with unwearied of 7001. was collected, and above 11,000 efforts to die unto sin and live unto righ- copies of the sacred volume have through teousness, he uniformly represented as an its medium been circulated in that small opiate to lull the soul to misery everlasting county. The extensive field of labour
He also began, what he ever afterwards embraced by the Church Missionary Socontinued, a Thursday-evening school. ciety-their endeavours to make known Persons of all ages were allowed to at the Gospel of Christ, where otherwise his tend, to read, and to hear the Scriptures saving name might never be heard-their explained. These exertions were, at the scrupulous care in selecting Missionaries, time of their commencement, so novel in the pains taken to prepare them for their Wales, that they were arraigned as strong work, and the gracious success with which proofs of Methodism. Many were offended God has in various places crowned their at them; and one of the neighbouring cler. labours, made him regard it an imperative gymen complained to the bishop (Horseley) duty to forward the designs of that society of this excess of labour. The bishop re- to the utmost of his ability. The Denturned to the accuser the following ap- bighshire and Flintshire Church Missionary propriate and confounding reply: “Sir, I Association was established principally wish you would do the same." It is well through his instrumentality in the year 1826, and upwards of 6001. have been re. After four or five nuinbers, the work was mitted to the parent society. He had discontinued. Had he but met with sufparticipated in the grand designs of this ficient co-operation, it might have been valuable institution and pleaded its cause an important means of furthering the inamongst his friends and in his own parish terests of true religion, in the principality, at a much earlier period. The first col- which was his object in establishing it. lections in the Established Church in In 1828, through the zeal and liberality of North Wales, for the Bible and Church some English friends he was encouraged Missionary Societies, were made in his to surmount many obstacles, and to prochurch in 1812 and 1813. The princi. pose a Tract Society for the supply of small pality is greatly indebted to the Society religious tracts, both Welsh and English. for promoting Christian Knowledge, and This proposal, to his great satisfaction, was every considerate and unprejudiced Welsh- cordially received, and the establishment man' regards it with veneration ; but it of it occupied much of the last year of his was by no means adequate to our domestic life. Thirty thousand Welsh Tracts have wants—to say nothing of that awful dearth been already published by this infant inof the inspired writings which prevails stitution. among the other nations of the earth. It In the midst of these manifold public might reasonably be expected, that a man engagements, his own advancement in of such a character as the deceased could spirituality of mind, and meetness for not but feel thankful to God for the ex. heaven, was conspicuous. His own soul istence of these benevolent and invaluable suffered not for want of care, while he institutions, and for that broad impress of was labouring to benefit the souls of others. Divine approbation which is stamped on He was more given to prayer than any their operations. Surely the man who individual known by the writer of these finds the Scriptures a safe lamp to guide lines. Nor did he neglect even the minor his own feet into the way of safety and aids to usefulness. In particular, he was peace, will cheerfully endeavour to hold assiduous in keeping up his classical knowforth the same torch of celestial light be- ledge ; and seldom a day passed without fore his wandering fellow-beings of every his reading the Scriptures in four different clime. The man who failed to obtain languages - almost daily studying the Hemedicine for his spiritual disease and an brew text that he might become better unshaken foundation, whereon to ground acquainted with the real meaning of the his hope of immortality, till the atoning sacred Scriptures. sacrifice of Christ was unfolded to his view His anxiety for the salvation of the souls by the Holy Ghost, will consider it a of men was a commanding feature in his duty, and a high privilege to assist in character; and if he omitted, or thought sending among the perishing nations of he omitted, any opportunity of furtherthe earth heralds of salvation to directing his great object, it occasioned him their attention to that “ Lamb of God the deepest sorrow. One who for many which bas been offered to take away the years enjoyed the adyuntage of his society, sin of the world.”
and of observing his daily conduct, says, Mr. Roberts much lamented that that “His great anxiety for the spiritual welfare valuable exhibition of Christian doctrine of his parishioners always struck me very and practice, the Book of Homilies, was forcibly. No weather could deter him 60 scarce in the principality; for of the few from his parochial duties, and his faithblack-letter copies that were extant, it was fulness, plainness, and earnestness by the with great difficulty that a perfect one sick-bed, were great indeed. He was sincould be procured. He laboured there- gularly happy in bringing things home fore to promote a new edition in the to the conscience. He was the serious Welsh language. He submitted his pro- Christian in his church, at the bed of the posal to different public societies, which sick, and, as you well remember, in his all declined the undertaking on account parlour. He could reprove sin in the of the expense; but still considering that great, as well as the poor. His society the interests of the Establisbed Church was highly useful and edifying. I seldom and the knowledge of scriptural doctrine left him without feeling a wish that I would be greatly promoted by the mea. could, though even at a great interval, sure, he collated and prepared an edition, follow in his steps. On the death of a and published 1000 copies; for the ex- parishioner, his feeling of distress was pense of which, from various causes, he often strongly excited, lest he had not was never wholly re-imbursed, and a part sufficiently admonished him to attend to of the impression is yet on hand. The the concerns of eternity in the time of clergy of different dioceses have borne health.” It is unnecessary to notice his testimony to the faithfulness of this re most scrupulous adherence to truth, and print from the only Welsh edition, that of the religious regard he observed and en. 1606 to which he was pledged to adhere. joined on his family, and all around him,
The subject of our memoir projected to the whole of the Sabbath-day. also a magazine, partly Welsh and partly Mr. Roberts was anxious for the prosEnglish, called Cylchgrawn Cymrn, to perity of the Established Church ; and, which he was the principal contributor. thongh pleased to hear of the erection of addicional churches, his earnest wishes and the night was fast approaching in which prayers were, that they mnight be supplied no man can work. Indeed, he seemed to with pious men-men not only by educa- be ripening for the heavenly mansions ; tion, but by devotedness of heart, qualified and his devotedness to God, and diligence for the sacred function. He much desired in his work, increased as he drew nearer that some measures could be adopted for his eternal home. He had been partiselecting and training young men for the cularly earnest with his flock the last year holy office, of a different nature to what or two, and fervent in daily prayer for their now obtains, and that some judicious salvation. The application of his sermons plan could be arranged for the church to was always close and heart-searching, avail herself of the services of her lay- but latterly eminently so. “ It was imposmembers; or that the order of deacons sible," observed one of his regular hearers could be more distinctively and usefully in his simple language, “to escape : you brought into operation; which points he were driven to a corner, and there was no stated more at large in a pamphlet pub possibility of a loop-hole.” He endealished in 1822.
voured to convince men of their lost state One remarkable trait in his character, by nature, and by practice- to drive them was his disposition to forgive injuries. from every false refuge to Christ-and to He would say, “ I not only wish to for. stir up all who knew the Saviour, to lead give, but to kill the inclination to hostility a life in all things corresponding with their and unkindness by some act of favour;" holy profession. “Go forward," was his which he effected, or endeavoured to grand motto; forget the things which effect, in several instances. Ilis humility are behind, and reach forth to those which also was remarkable. He never would are before : and by every affectionate and bear the mention of his own zealous solemn consideration he urged his flock labours. His omissions of duty, which to press toward the mark for the prize his own tender conscience alone often of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. could discover, caused him great anguish The time of the departure of this deof mind. An individual who knew him voted servant of Christ at length arrived. well writes, “I never met with one so God, in his inscrutable providence, was distinguished for the important Christian pleased to remove bim in the very zenith grace of true humility, nor one whose con- of his usefulness; and his death, though duct was more influenced by a single eye to himself an infinite gain, was a great to the glory of God. This was exhibited loss to the neighbourhood where God had in one particular respect-that his plea- stationed him. A minister who knew him sure always appeared to be as great to well, and duly appreciated his labours, rehear of good done by others, as if brought marked, “ We have lost a host in Mr. about by his own means; and repeatedly Roberts; but we ought to say, and must have I known him delighted to hear things say, God's will be done.” He had suffered attributed to others, and the praise given severely, occasionally, for many years of to them, of what he alone had been the his life, either from a deep-seated chronic instrument. He evidently possessed that disease, or a peculiarly nervous and bilious test given by Doddridge, of growth in system, which greatly increased during grace," a heart teeming with plans for the the last months of his life. This constigood of his fellow-creatures." Many had tutional disease materially affected his he formed which he was unable to ex- religious consolations during every stage ecute. He sometimes indulged a hope of of his life. If the Scriptures authorize us having a larger income, that he might, to connect peace and joy with unwearied amongst his liberalities, which the world diligence in every duty in making known knew not of, have it in his power to and extending the kingdom of Christ, and present a collection of books to candidates that diligence, not prompted by vain, selffor holy orders.
righteous feelings, but emanating from a Mr. Roberts's sense of the value of holy desire to glorify God, we might extime was conspicuous to all who knew pect that Mr. Roberts would have been him : he viewed it as a most important ever rejoicing in the Lord. Sueh, howtalent, and used frequently to say that ever, was not the case. Notwithstanding " the fragments of time must be gathered the excellence of his general conduct, his up, and not wasted;" and that he would devotedness to his high calling, his selfrather “give any thing than his time." renunciation, his earnest desire to see the He was miserable in society, unless the cause of his Saviour prosper, and his ferconversation was religious, or on some vent prayer; the state of his bodily conimportant subject. When he went from stitution prevented his enjoying that peace home, it was frequently his practice to in believing which many Christians posfix on a text for a sermon, that he might sess. But in his most joyless hours he have a profitable subject for his thoughts bowed to the authority of God, and with on the way, that his travelling hours might child-like simplicity acquiesced in his not be lost. The last spring was more ways. The latter years of his life were particularly marked by that abstraction less strongly marked by spiritual depresfrom every thing that interfered with the sion than the preceding. During his last useful employment of time; as if he knew illness he twice discovered distress of mind respecting the safety of his soul, but practice ; and that his conversation and not of long continuance. He kept his example excited religious sentiments in bed for the last fortnight of his life; and his friends, as well as in many of his pahe bore much pain with the greatest pa- rishioners." Mr. Roberts published two tience. At every interval of ease, when or three Sermons, an Essay on the Welsh awake, his active mind was employed in Language,and has left for posthumous pubprayer, in reading, or being read to. He lication a small work in Welsh, entitled, begged to be prayed for as a great sinner, “Directions to live in the Fear of God even above all other men; but acknow all the Day," and a collection of metrical ledging there was infinite merit in the Psalms and Hymns, adapted to public atonement of Christ. The penitential worship, and private reading for religious Psalms, particularly the thirty-second, edification. with Scott's Commentary thereon, Brad. The expressions of esteem which his ley's Sermon of the dying Christian com- lamented departure has called forth, shew mitting his soul to God, and that prayer how high he stood in the estimation of all in Jenks, “ for power to live by faith in who knew him. Thus one friend writes Christ and the Divine promises,“ were by to his bereaved widow : “ It is almost imhis earnest desire often read to him. He possible to supply the place of the friend once said, with a gleam of holy pleasure, whom the inhabitants of Tremeirchion “I long to realize the hope of being on have lost. I never before conceived it Mount Zion.” He wrote several metrical possible for any Christian minister to have verses in Welsh on his dying bed with a so much endeared himself, or to have pencil, and one, almost with a dying hand, identified himself so intimately with the expressive of his unworthiness of God's spiritual and temporal interests of his mercy, and the utter worthlessness of all people. The feelings evinced in the pathings without him. He entreated one risb generally are those of the deepest who prayed with him a few hours before affliction : greater grief could not, I am his departure, not to Hatter him, but to satisfied, have been felt, even if they had pray for him as the chief of sinners. On lost the nearest and dearest relative in the same person saying to him afterwards, their own individual families. Their lan“ There is a friend who sticketh closer guage, one and all, is, Our pastor lived than a brother," he replied, “ Yes, Jesus among us for six and twenty years; and who cleanseth from all sin,” which were he was, during the whole of that time, our almost his last intelligible words. The sincerest adviser, our truest friend. When great anxiety for the salvation of others, in sickness, in sorrow or trouble, he visitwhich had ever been a striking feature ed us, comforted us, and nourished us. in his character, was visible at the very His counsel and his purse were at our close of life ;-in his exhorting his beloved service. He taught us, as well by his partner to be diligent in reading the Bible, words as by his example, to become and in prayer ; another relative, to keep Christians in the full sense of the term.'" holy the Sabbath-day; desiring a parish Such was the life of the subject of this ioner to look at a monumental statue in memoir-a life led by a prevailing suTremeirchion church, for the attitude in preme desire to glorify God, and to benewhich a Christian should be found (which fit man. Such was his death-a death deis that of prayer); and inquiring after the prived of every thing terrific by a simple health of a young person, he added, dependence on the free mercy of God in “ Charge the young to serve the Lord.” Christ Jesus. Let the readers of these Indeed, his whole flock, calling them “my lines reflect, that they are called upon, poor people," lay near his heart, during not only to approve and admire the selfall his illness, fearing he had not warned denying and exemplary conversation of and visited them sufficiently. Within a the child of God but to imitate it; to few hours of his decease, he was heard to beseech God to implant the same spiritual express a wish that one day only were principles in their own hearts; that their allowed him to go round the parish, and lives may be in some good measure contell ench individual with his dying breath, formable to the requirements of the Divine “ Halt not between two opinions.”
law. They are under equal obligations to This useful minister of Christ died July serve God in sincerity. They stand in 25, 1829, in the 54th year of his age, and the same relation of creatures to him, was interred at his native place. Llan being made by him, and sustained by his nefydd, in Denbighshire, followed by his unmerited bounties. The same Saviour sorrowing parishioners; who testified on invites them to come unto him. They that mournful occasion, and still continue are freely offered the same spiritual aids of to testify, the greatest sense of the excel. the Holy Spirit. They are moving on to lency of his character, and personal worth, the same righteous tribunal, and doomed by every expression of grief and respect. to enter on the same eternity, where they li may with justice be said of this pious shall endlessly rejoice in God, or suffer and benevolent man, writes one of his in- his fiery indignation : therefore let them timate friends, “that the whole of his la tread in his steps, follow his faith, --consiborious and useful life was devoted to the dering the end of his conversation. promotion of Christian knowledge and