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Fox JULY, 1798.
MEMOIRS OF Mr. EDWARD DALTON.
HE.subject of this article, who was well known and
Chriftians, and who died December 5, 1797, was an eminent christian; and to the last, both by the temper of his mind and the actions of his life, honoured the profession which he made. His religion was not merely notional; nor did it conlist in a stated round of external devotion, or a te. nacious regard to the principles and rules of that defective 1ystem of morals with which too many profeffors are well fatisfied; but it answers to that account of religion given by the Apostle—“ If any man be in Christ he is a new creature, old things are paired away; behold, all things are become new *.' His acquaintance with the truth and importance of chriftianity was carly, but it was real and lasting: and the providence by which he came to the knowledge of it is worthy of notice.
After it pleased the Lord to bring a near relation of his to the knowledge of Christ, the never ceased to long and
pray for the salvation of her whole family ; but her efforts were more particularly directed toward her two youngest brothers, Arthur and Edward. The former of these was attentive to what she said, occasionally heard the gospel preached, and endured some opposition on account of it. But it was far otherwise with the subject of this paper. He not only considered the conversation The had with him concerning a change of heart as nonsense, and tending to melancholy;
2 Cor. V. 17. VOL. VI. 0 0
but he at times shewed strong marks of enmity againft the gospel, and expressed some little resentment against the friend who presled so earnestly upon him its vast importance. The prayers of his fifter were at last answered, but they were anfwered By terrible things in righteousness! *"
On the 24th of December, 1772, Mr. Dalton and the brother before mentioned, went to spend their holidays at Stanmore, the parish of which their father was rector. His brother Arthur got out of the stage at Edgeware, and took the foot way from thence to Stanmore, but dropped down dead before he reached his father's house. This was an awful providence in. itself, and greatly affected the whole family; but his brother Edward was most deeply impressed by it. When he saw-his brother brought home a lifeless corpse, that brother who the evening preceding had accompanied him to one of the London Theatres, and who but a few minutes before had parted from him in the bloom of youth and full of sprightliness, it produced on his hitherto thoughtless mind the most serious and lasting impressions. On seeing the relation who had so often prayed for him, and strove to excite his regard to the things of God, he feized her hand, and exclaimed, “ Is he happy? Is he happy ?” his countenance at the same time strongly expref, sing the agitation of his mind. She answered, “ It is not in my power to determine that, but it is a loud voice to the living, and says, “ Therefore be ye also ready, for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of Man cometh.†" · He replied with earneftnes, “ () yes, it is indeed, it is indeed !” His mind was now evidently awakened to a sense of his own finfulness and danger, and the remainder of the time spent at his father's house, (about a fortnight) was devoted to reading the scriptures, Venn's New Whole Duty of Man, and other religious books. He found much pleasure in this exereise, to which also he added frequent prayer. The change of his heart and life was soon manifest, and excited the notice of his friends f. One friend cautioned him against being led aftray by the Methodists, and another wrote a
. Pfal. Ixv. 5. + Matt. xxiv. 44. | His father call'd him aside, begging to know if he had been guilty of any great sin that was likely to bring him and the family into disgrace. This affected Mr. Dalton very much, and he replied, “0, Sir, I am one of the greatest finners upon the face of the earth, and if not pardon'd thro the blood of Christ, I ain loit for ever!"--His father answered : “O if that is all, you will soon get the better of that when you get into the world again.'
very curious letter to his father on the same subject. But he was enabled to endure the sneers and the frowns of creatures, steadily pursuing his heavenly course in spite of all opposition. On his return to London, he attended at the Tabernacle, and became a communicant there.
From London he went to refide at Bishop Stortford, where he sat under the ministry of the Rev. Mr. Angus, and cordially associated with the serious people who belonged to his church. On his wishing to sit down with them at the Lord's Table, it was for fone time rejected, because he did not belong to a regular church. But the clear and abundant proofs of his being one who walked with God, and honoured his christian profession, at last overcame the scruples both of the Minister and the church, and he commemorated with them the death of the dear Redeemer, till he returned to London again. After which he mostly attended the ministry of Mr. Romaine and Mr, Foster; and also of Mr. Newton, after he became minister of St. Mary Woolnorth.
Although Mr. Dalton was a man of great prudence and unremitting industry, and made conscience of asking the guidance and blessing of God in all his temporal affairs, yet his first effort in business (which was in a partnership) was attended with many difficulties and embarrassments, during which his greatest concern was, left by any deficiency in his payments he should bring a reproach upon his christian profession. Soon after this connexion was dissolved, Providence began to smile upon his endeavours, and finally by a wholesale and retail business in partnership with Mr. B, of Cheapfide, together with some family legacies, he at, tained to considerable property ; but to the honour of die vine grace it appears, that his outward prosperity.did not produce those unfanctified effects too often seen in profeffers who prosper in the world; and who become vain, proad, and worldly; but he was still the plain, serious, and humble christian, he had ever been, continuing to "do juftly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with God.”
That he asked counsel, and sought the blessing of God in his temporal affairs, may be seen by the following circumfance. When he had serious thoughts of entering the married ftate, he proposed to the young person with whom he corresponded, upon that important topic, (the present Mrs. D-) that they should mutually retire at a certain hour every morning and evening, to pray for each other at a throne of grace, and folicit the blessing of God upon their