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By W. H. of Oxford.
THE MUSIC BY THE REV. DR. HAWKER.
thy warnings, holy Lord! And own that thou are just;
6 4 3
word, And hum-bled in the dust.
Boast not, O Death, before our eyes,
Of holy cherubim, the voice
ODE TO THE LARK,
Welcome the returning spring;
Shake thy plumes, and sweetly sing t
Now the day-spring beams from far,
Higher, higher still aspire:
Yon blue vault, divinely bright,
Sweetly strikes the ravish'd eye;
Seek, O seek, thy native sky!
THE LATE REV. JOHN EYRE, A. M.
WHILE we narrate the lives of others, we ourselves are dying. The hand is now cold in death which first introduced this Work to the public, and has, in the course of ten years past, recorded so many bright examples. It is a debt we owe, both to our late respected Editor and to the public, to add his example, as another instance of holy zeal in life, and blissful piety in death.
"The great ends of Christian Biography," says Mr. Fuller, are instruction and example. By faithfully describing the lives of men eminent for godliness, we not only embalm their memory, but furnish ourselves with fresh materials and motives for a holy life*." This observation will be found to apply to the subject of these memoirs, no less justly than to the amiable PIERCE as they were natives of neighbouring towns, they were also men, in many respects, of kindred minds.
Of the earliest part of Mr. Eyre's life, our materials are, unhappily, very scanty. He was born at Bodmin, in Cornwall, of very respectable parents, in the month of January, 1754.It appears they gave him a liberal education; for he was taught Latin at an early age: not, however, being intende any of the learned professions, he was, at fifteen, removed from school, and placed as an apprentice with a Mr. Oliver, clothier and shopkeeper at Tavistock.
Prior to this event, even so early as at four years old, he was not without serious thoughts. At that period, a godly man, taking him up in his arms, said, "There is such a thing as the pardon of sin, and there is such a thing as knowing it ;" an impression was made thereby on his mind, which, when recollected at the age of fourteen, urged him to pray, in order to obtain this blessing for himself. Of such importance is it to implant the
Memoirs of Mr. Pierce, p. 288.
seeds of divine truth in the minds of children! Though they may be long buried, we seldom find that they are totally lost. "The great Assize, or Day of Judgment," a little book that used to lie in his father's window, so struck him by the beauty and richness of its imagery, that he could once nearly repeat the whole.
Religiously disposed, as he appears to have been in-the earliest part of his life, at Tavistock he became the very reverse. It will not, indeed, be matter of surprize to those acquainted with the wickedness of the human heart, that a young man, sanguine in his temper, of quick perception, and eager in his pursuits, unrestrained by parental authority, destitute of religious instruction, placed in a town where vital religion was but little known, and associating with companions more dissipated than himself, should, occasionally at least, exhibit affecting instances of dissipation and depravity. It was on the day following one of those scenes of revelling, in which he had been personally engaged, as Mr. Eyre was travelling alone in a chaise, on the road from Tavistock to his native place, that a passage of the holy Scriptures, which he had formerly read, rushed on his recollection with all the force of truth, aided by the poignancy of guilt, and "the powers of the world to come." Deep conviction, accompanied with the greatest distress, immediately seized his mind. The arrows of the Almighty drank up his spirit; and this anguish, no doubt, urged him to fervent prayer. On his return to Tavistock, instead of seeking his foriner associates in sin, he ardently enquired after those whose conduct had before convinced him, that they were seriously concerned for their immortal happiness.
There were, at that period, two brothers, young men, of a very respectable family, both of whom have since proved “burning and shining lights," as ministers of the gospel, who for some time had laboured under similar convictions. These he found, and with them he formed a cordial and lasting friendship.
What pious reader can review, without sympathetic interest, a scene which presents three young men, all destined to be eminently useful in the church of Christ, meeting together and forming an acquaintance from their mutual experiences: now confessing their sins and deprecating divine wrath, and then enquiring with ardour what they must do to be saved :as yet ignorant of the truth as it is in Jesus; and without a preacher of the gospel, or any kind Christian friend, to shew unto them the way of salvation!
One of this little company yet survives, to inform us (of what it is reasonabl o believe) that," being ignorant of God's righteousness, they went about to establish one of their own;' and that, although the reformation of Mr. Eyre's character was visible to all, none but his associates knew the horror of mind
* Messrs. John and Wm. Saltern.