James Nunn: A Stone of Ebenezer

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Joshua Nunn and Mary Alexander’s second child, James, became a Baptist Minister. He wrote about his life and beliefs, and these were compiled in a pamphlet called A Stone of Ebenezer (Google Books), published in 1848. It contains information useful for family historians while at the same time telling us a great deal about James’ personality and views. He admits to transgressions which surprise us in a “man of the cloth”, but I suspect admitting to sins is partly part of his faith – to show the forgiveness of Christ – but also it demonstrates his honesty. If people knew he had transgressed, he decided to own up to it. He didn’t present himself as a 100% pure, goodly, holy man, and that would no doubt draw people to him and his chapel, feeling that he wouldn’t judge them negatively for their pasts. He writes that he has enemies (whether because of his trangressions, or perhaps his beliefs, his friends and networks), and that they would use his transgressions against him. Confessing to them so publicly was a way to short-circuit them.

The pamphlet is divided into several sections:




Pg 1

FELLOW CITIZENS of the household of God, we are living in days when men appear to be throwing off all restraint; and upon religious subjects wrecklessly proceed their own ways. Gross inconsistency is leaped over with the idea, “Oh, we are not called to reconcile apparent contradictions.’ “” We are not. But, our sophistry we are. Truth is truth; error is error; and an archangel cannot make them otherwise. Nor is there a way between truth and error. We are either right, or we are wrong in all we do. There is no medium
path between truth and error; and persons may be as conscientiously wrong as they are right. By what standard then, you may say, are we to judge? I answer, by the Word of God, which, when the eternal Spirit, who has indited it, inclines our hearts to take it, without the opinions of men, is sufficiently plain to inform us of the will of God, both as to salvation, doctrine, reproof, and instruction in righteousness, (through faith). 2 Tim. iii. 15, 16.

The best of men are but men, and when left to their own understanding, are sure to err, I wish you therefore, to judge for yourselves, only by the Word of God; not to follow me or any other man, any further than we follow Christ and his holy word.

This has been my advice to you for nearly four years, which it is, since you first sought me out to speak to you in the name of the Lord, during that period up to the present, I have every reason to believe God sought me out by you for your welfare; and amidst the various, and vilest reports that enemies could
possibly forge, through the grace of God, I have been able to stand, giving them every opportunity of proving their base and false reports, but they have never had the honesty to dare the attempt of proof; I have been enabled by the mercy of the Lord to leave them to their dishonourable work; feeling this
pleasure in my soul, that all their lies cannot make me guilty, nor bring guilt into my conscience, by any thing they may say, that I know I am not guilty of. Í have often felt that flesh and blood does not like thus to be mortified; and should, at times, if the Lord had left me to my own feelings, have made them bring their proofs, or acknowledge their base lies before a jury; but the Lord said, ‘The thing that is too hard for thee, bring it unto me, and I will hear it;’ ‘take up thy cross and follow me,’ and blessed be his name I have felt the pleasure in being enabled to leave it in his hands: for I have seen more of his power these last four years to uphold and to bless, amidst all the rage of lying reporters, than I ever witnessed all my life before; and that it matters but little what men may say against us, if God is for us, and though I have nothing
to boast in but the free unmerited grace of my covenant God; yet through his mercy, I am ready any day to measure by fair investigation, any of my false accusers, ministers or not, that have acted or spoken against me, in any pecuniary transaction, or as a husband, father, master, neighbour, or minister, (excluding my unhappy fall, ten years ago,) and with some of my accusers I will include even that. I am not boasting; for I know they with all their lies, cannot paint me a viler trangressor than I feel myself before the throne of my
gracious God; but I thus write to them, that through the mercy of God, I dare them to a fair investigation to establish their vile assertions. I feel I am a poor, helpless, worthless, wicked sinner, but I bless the ever precious name of him on whom I lean for daily help and preservation, that he has given me grace to enable me to walk in, and out before you, worthy of my vocation, and in a way to give the lie to my accusers. My only boast is-

“Jesus, thy blood and righteousness
My beauty are, my glorious dress;
Midst flaming worlds in this array’d,
With joy shall I lift up my head.”

At the same time, I wish to remind you

Pg 2


that these reporters in Zion are the most effectual engines of mischief that satan (the separater of brethren,) can use to disturb the peace of God’s family, and the worst plague spot the church of God is troubled with; all the external ene mies are not worth a thought, compared to these helpers in Zion to do the devil’s dirty work; for the devil is a separater of the brethren, and a liar from the beginning;’ and these sort of slanderers are under his influence, for they never stop to enquire whether the things they report are true or false, but are apparently delighted with dirty employment, and they eagerly pass in connection with any MOAT with their filthy communication, to publish their own self-righteousness: (viz.) see my zeal for the Lord, and consistency. If such individuals really felt, and longed for the welfare of Zion, if even what they had received was, in their belief true, their mouths would be shut by inward grief, and their desire of preventing the enemy of the cross the opportunity of rejoicing that a servant of God had fallen by the enemy of souls, would cause them to hold their peace, till some private investigation had taken
place, before they opened their wide mouths. But this would not publish the self-righteous zeal of these sort of professors.

I had no intention of appearing before you in this printed form, when I first sat down to write a few ideas in answer to the request made in the number of the Earthen Vessel upon the subject of Strict Communion. I had asked the Lord to direct my thoughts and pen, and after due consideration, I was led to this conclusion, that the subject of Baptism, as I have laid it before you, was necessary to be connected therewith; and found, after I had put my thoughts to paper, that they would exceed the limits of a magazine; I then concluded in laying it before you in print. Whilst thinking upon this subject, I was led to the conclusion that my enemies, ever ready to make their assertions good, and mine bad by every trifle, that it would be a good subject for them, as I had not submitted to a reordination, if I did not connect some short account of my call by grace, and to the ministry, with the following subject. I then, after much prayer, decided upon giving a brief but faithful statement of my Call, &c., and the leading particulars of providence from the first till my settlement with you.

I have intentionally been as plain, and as positive as possible. If my remarks appear sometimes too hard, it is with the best of views, to bring, if it is the Lord’s gracious will, some of his who are sinking into indifference as to God’s honour connected with his order in the ordinances of his house to reflection. Through his mercy I am careless about the smiles or frowns of mortals. I never did care much about popular applause; I feel much less now. I have learned like many others that to be a changeable bauble-Hosannah to day; crucify to morrow; and, in my opinion, the day is close at hand, when those that truly fear God, will not ‘have much of the popular side of the question. Those who are so fond of it will have to give up their profession, or walk with the despised outcasts; for God has, commenced, and it is my opinion that he will not withdraw his judgments from the nations of the earth, until he has separated his church from the world, and their carnal feelings and pursuits, and have overthrown the beasts. Then, and not before, shall the glory of the Lord be revealed, so that watchmen shall see eye to eye. Longing for your spiritual establishment in the truth of Jehovah, I remain,

Your’s to serve in the Lord,


pg. 3

[Early convictions, etc.]

BELOVED IN THE LORD:-I had determined in my mind before I came to you not to be REORDAINED, from what I had seen of the carnal pride, and usurpations of parsonical authority in such proceedings, I likewise believing it to be unscriptural; and your agreeeing to my settlement among you as your pastor, without RE-ORDINATION, connected with reports which have been plentifully circulated against me, have exposed you to the marked disapprobation of the churches generally around you, manifested by their refusing dismissions (of removing members) to you. I have often thought your position called upon me to place before you in print my call from darkness to light, by grace; and likewise my call to the work of the ministry. I have at last determined by the help of the Lord to do so. In the following sheet, and for the truth of which I can appeal to the Searcher of all hearts; and earnestly pray for his sanctioned blessing upon it, for his glory, your soul’s comfort, and others likewise. This has been the stimulus that has forced me before the public in this printed form.

In the year 1817, the seventeenth year of my mortal existence, my foolish, unsettled, roving propensities led me to leave the roof of my kind and christian parents, as I had done several times before, to join my wicked companions, leaving my poor parents with almost broken hearts, as they were entirely ignorant as to where their foolish and ungrateful son had once more fled. The design of my foolish flight from my parents’ roof was to release myself from certain restraints which I was under when at home, and that I might give full scope to my wild and foolish feelings in the pursuit of what I then thought true pleasure; notwithstanding it was connected with a great many painful feelings at different times. Thus I proceeded for some time; but all thoughts of home and kind parents were not altogether buried. One Lord’s Day; I well remember it now, as well as though it were but yesterday, I sat brooding over my wicked course, while my joyful companions were singing their songs, my heart was smitten, my parents’ instruction and conduct had not entirely lost its effect. I secretly wiped away the tears

what the feelings of my parents and family would be, when they heard of my situation, that I leaped out of bed and unconcerned about the family in the next room, I prayed aloud in the agony of my mind that the Lord would appear for my deliverance, and change my heart and my conduct. My poor mother came to me in the morning, with a heart almost broken, to see her unworthy and foolish boy in such a situation, and overcome with parental affection, was obliged to embrace her long lost prodigal.

The Lord mercifully appeared; I was reprimanded, and advised to leave my wild and wicked companions, and return home to my friends, which I did; and soon obtained a situation. But my employer having something to do with a theatre, and as our business was over of about six o’clock. I spent most of my evenings in going to the play, and thus became acquainted with persons who visited the tavern, to play at different games, which just suited my carnal feelings, and my resolutions were soon broken.

It pleased the Lord, in his providence to open a better situation for me in


another part of the metropolis; but still I had my evenings to myself, and soon had my evenings to myself, and soon found out a tavern, where different games were played, and frequented them. During this period, the Lord was pleased to work powerfully upon my soul; and as I used to go home on the Lord’s-day, I went with my parents and family to the house of God. My conscience smote me; the way I spent my week evenings I knew was wrong. Under these workings of soul I resolved to give up my former course, and my tavern company. I prayed in the day frequently when by myself, and resolved never more to meet at the tavern; and satan worked hard and deceitfully with me, but I was ignorant of his devices; for after I had gone a mile, in my walks, another way, that I might not meet with any of my companions, and thus to escape their entreaties, satan told me, it was not right for me to act thus, for if I was brought to see my error, I should go back and tell them the error they were in. From these feelings I was thus turned several times; but found every time, that though I had been a bold and fearless champion for satan, that I had not got courage to broach religious subjects, and instead of me overcoming them, I was overcome, and joined in the games, thinking in my mind another opportunity would be more suitable.

I used to go to bed miserable; when alone in the day, I used to weep, thinking it was all up with me, that God had given me over to a reprobate mind. I had by me a Rippon’s hymn book and often used to say, as I really felt the language:

‘Nothing but a bath of love divine
Could melt this stubborn heart of mine.”

Thousands of times did I tell the Lord so. Guilt stopped my mouth when I attempted to pray. My language used to be, day after day—

“I would, but cannot pray,
Though I endeavour oft;
This stoney heart can ne’er relent,
‘Till Jesus makes it soft.”

Thus harrassed, I was at last obliged to break off all at once, and leave them in the hands of the Lord, for him to shew them their error, as I hoped he had done to me; but to do this I must leave my situation; which I did. I was at home for some weeks; my soul much tormented. I was afraid to let any of my family see me on my knees; for I thought they would conclude that I did it to deceive them, and to make them think I was religious. I used therefore to go into the Regent’s Park, and get into some secluded spot to pour out my soul unto God; but if it happened to to rain I concluded that I was such a wicked wretch, and that God would not allow me to pray unto him. Once I was under a bridge that goes over the canal; and whilst on my kneees, I thought the bridge was cracking, that God would not hear such a wicked wretch, and was obliged to get up and run, for fear it should fall upon me. During this exercise I thought the Lord’s hand was against me for giving up my situation, for I could not hear of another. But the Lord was working by a friend of my family, and the Lord by him opened, and led me quite into a different path, and the Lord evidently gave me favour in the eyes of the head manager and proprietor of the firm; it was a house where they took, in cash, £100 a day, and booked another £100, in their busy season and it was their busy season when I had to commence my labours, as cashier and clerk; for such a situation I felt when it was proposed, to be as unfit as a babe, for having been of such a wild disposition, and at sea for two years, I had forgotten what little I had learned. I thanked them for their kind offer, but feeling my entire incapacity for the situation, I said, I must decline it, gave them a specimen of my wretched writing, expressed my entire ignorance of arithmetic, with many other excuses, the truth of which the gentleman was obliged to acknowledge, but put them all aside, by saying, “You can try; no harm in trying; will you try ?” I answered, I esteemed his kindness, that I was willing to try, but was certain it was of no use. But all my arguments failed. I was to go and try the next week. I set too immediately; bought a card with the pence and multiplication table, and began school, teaching myself.

In this situation, I was plunged in thousands of difficulties, perplexed, harrased and confused, beyond the powers of words to describe – ten young men employed, four and five up at a time for change, whose check for their money I was obliged to take care of, enter them into a check book in their separate names, and make my book balance with their’s.

Pg 5.

Sometimes up till twelve o’clock at night and could not make them balance after all. In the hurry of business, some of what I had written in the day-book, I could hardly understand myself, these trials I thought would drive me into a mad-house. I had been striving night and day, and praying, and travailing in my soul that the Lord would help me over the difficulties, for nearly three months. The gentleman then told me that he was very sorry that his brother was tired, and had concluded that the situation was too much for me, that I had tried hard, but he was afraid I should have to leave. I was not prepared for the blow; but the Lord still gave me favour in his sight, for he said the day after, that he had been thinking that the season would soon be over; and that then I might go to an evening school and improve myself; that he was going out of town for a fortnight, and that I was to stop till he returned. During that fortnight, business being much more slack, I got more confidence and managed the matter much better; so at the fortnight’s end, when he returned, he not only expressed his satisfaction, but told me I might consider my situation secure, so that I never went to school from that hour to this. But oh the strong crying unto God during this period-oh the working of satan, tempting me to give it all up, and return to my old easy path; but God was merciful to preserve me. I soon got out of the desk; and lived with the firm between four and five years. After I had got over these difficulties, another soon pressed upon me. One of the young men who had influenced himself all he could in my favour, prevailed upon me to spend the Sunday with him, at his friends in the country; horses were provided – we started early for some miles in the country-but oh, what a miserable evening it was to my poor soul. I thought after all the Lord’s goodness, thus to rebel, was a sin indeed. I was obliged to give all those things up and become single for the Lord.

The clouds began to break, the flowers of God’s promise began to open; the fragrance of rich unmerited mercy to poor sinners like myself, filled the very atmosphere of religious employment. Seven o’clock prayer meetings were pleasurably attended; I soon became a speckled bird; one called me by one name, and another ridiculed me: but God led me on till April, 1819. I was proposed to the church at Blandford Street, Manchester Square, where my Father and mother had been members for years, under Mr. Keeble’s ministry, which was much blessed to my soul. Many were astonished, knowing as they did, my former wild, unsettled life. But I was enabled to give my testimony of what the Lord had done for my soul. I was baptised and joined the church in 1819, in my 19th year.

This becoming known to two of the sisters of the gentlemen of the firm where I lived, and they being members of a Baptist church, used to detain my cup at breakfast time, that they might question me as to my views respecting the divinity of Jesus Christ, they believing that he was a good man, but not God as well as man. I had no Concordance then. But I had a Bible. I used to search and pray that I might find portions of God’s words, as weapons to fight them with. When I obtained some which they could not answer my soul used to rejoice. But as it happened at times that they had got some that I could not answer, then I was sunk in soul misery, thinking as they were well educated, and their minister too, that it must be my ignorance that had led me into the error; thus I was harrased nearly out of what little mind I had got. During this soul and mental conflict, which lasted more than a year and a half, the Lord was in the end pleased, (when ready almost to give up,) to reveal my interest fully in the atoning blood of my blessed Christ. I was settled beyond all their arguments; I then had such weapons to fight with, that the controversy very soon ceased. I was then called to the east end of the town, but often used to call upon them; and after a time, found that the Lord had led both them and their minister to embrace the divinity of Jesus Christ. About this time, I became acquainted with her, who I was afterwards favoured with as an helpmate, and a better no mortal was ever favoured with. After Mr. Keeble’s death, 37 besides myself and wife, left and formed a church; and in due time, took possession of Mount Zion Chapel, Hill Street, Dorset-square, and there continued till we removed to Ipswich, January, 1831.

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Call to and settlement in the ministry

During my membership at Blandford Street, one of the members who had ‘ heard me several times give my ideas upon

Pg 6.

on a portion of scripture, in my turn, at the ten o’clock prayer meetings, proposed me (quite unknown to me) to the church, for them to call upon me to try my gifts for the ministry. When I was informed of the subject, my soul became much concerned about the solemn work of the ministry. I had often thought I should like

“To tell to sinners round,
What a dear Saviour I had found,”

But now it pressed heavy upon my soul; my unfitness and inability for such a work weighed heavy upon my mind. Under these exercises of soul, I bowed myself before Jehovah’s awful throne, with my pocket bible in my hands to ask the Lord to give me a portion of his holy word, by which I might know his righteous mind upon the subject. I held the Bible clasped in my hands, till I had done my supplications; then let the Bible fall on my bed, (by the which I was kneeling) for it to open where the Lord would be pleased to tell me his mind about the all-important matter of going out to speak in his holy and blessed name. The Bible opened, and the first words my eyes fixed upon, were- “For ye shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight: for the Lord will go before you, and the God of Israel will be your rereward,” (Isaiah lvi. 12.) “Enough my dear Lord” I said; I felt it, I received it as an answer from my covenant God. I went upon the strength of these words; I have been supported many, many times, since by their blessedness; but I had to learn by opening circumstances, in his mysterious providence, (more than would fill a volume) what was couched up in their meaning. I spoke ten months before the church on the Lord’s day in the afternoon, at a time when I was in situation, managing a heavy department of business. I was in it from eight in the morning till ten and twelve o’clock at night-had to set up in my cold bed-room without a fire, in the winter months, till two o’clock in the morning.

But notwithstanding all, such a ten months of blessed nearness to God, and sweet pleasure flowing from his blessed manifestations, I never had before nor since. It was then, indeed, my soul was favoured to draw near the Lord. Jehovah was then mercifully preparing me for my future trials. Just before the close of my time for trying my gifts, an affecting circumstance occurred in the church, by one of the members, (that sealed my doom). A most exemplary, kind, affectionate man as ever I knew, was allowed to terminate his mortal existence by his own youthlike hands, I drank into my minister’s sentiments, who believed that such persons, gave awful proof they had no part or lot in the matter of salvation.

Many staggering at the circumstances, came to me during the week, shook to the very centre, almost ready to give up all hope. I was full of zeal, and having a portion fixed upon my mind, “kept by by the power of God unto salvation,” &c. went forth to prove that if he had been the Lord’s, he would have been kept. But I have since learned that men’s sentiments are but the sentiments of men: secret things belong to God; from things I then heard, and which I have been brought since to reflect upon, I believe he laboured under temporary insanity’; but this step worked against me, and there was a majority of two or three against my being sanctioned to go out as a minister, and I was forbidden to preach.

For some weeks my soul was much tried upon the subject. I had enjoyed the sweetness of the work, and I felt in my heart a determination not to be shut out of the work by man. I was going to hire a chapel, to do wonders: “But thou shalt not go out with haste,” came with power, and God came with it. I had heard of Mr. Bailey, of Great Alie-street, but I had never seen him; his residence was in the neighbourhood where I then lived, and my mind was led out to go and see him. I did so; he very kindly asked me into his parlour. I represented the case as though it had occurred with a young  man that I was intimately acquainted with; I shall never forget how patiently he heard me out, and then he looked at me, and with fatherly kindness said: “And pray, are not you the young man?” I confessed that I was. He immediately put his hand kindly upon my shoulder, saying, “My dear young friend, don’t take any steps, wait, you are not to go out with haste;’ when the Lord has opened the way, he knows where you are, and he will find you.” I viewed him as a father; I heartily thanked him, and went home quieted in my soul, to wait till God sent for me, not thinking it would be so long first, nor that he would come in the way he did, but he had something to teach me before he called me to teach others.

Pg 7.

About a month after my interview with Mr. Bailey, a friend called upon me to inform me of a business to be disposed of; and as I was thinking of settle ing in life, I enquired of the Lord, and went after it, and saw the hand of the Lord in the matter, as I thought. I anticipated much time to myself to read and meditate upon God’s word, and promised myself much enjoyment; but, alas! I had had my ten months of sweets. I found how very different it was to manage a business for myself, to what it was for others. I soon had deep anxieties; but I was up early and late, and found but little time to read, and by-and-bye could not think what was the matter with me; I did not appear to have any inclination; I lamented it, and tried to create it, but found this in the end to be the work of God. The cares of business claimed my mind and time, and I settled down in it for a time; but I was seized with the rheumatic fever and was set fast in all my limbs; I tried every means, but still continued so that I could not get about – gave up my business, and was in a short time reduced to a mere skeleton. Every one thought I was in a rapid decline; but the Lord, in his own time, blessed the means used, so that the pain was removed; the physician ordered me into the country, where I could have warm salt water baths; I did so, and the Lord mercifully blessed the means, and soon restored me in a measure to health; I then went with my intended partner to her uncle’s, who was a member of the Baptist chapel at Chatham, but he lived at Rainham, about four miles off; so that himself and others had established a prayer meeting on the Lord’s day evening, and one week evening; the first Lord’s day afternoon, he with others, expressed a wish for me to read and speak a few words to them in the evening; I declined, but they would take no denial. I was wonderfully shaken; they were old pilgrims in Zion. I had not spoken for so many months, and had no expectation of ever speaking again. I went into the orchard bowed down, and wished I had never come to the place. My eyes were soon fixed upon a young apple tree wonderfully laden with fruit; blessed be the dear name of Jehovah, he fixed my mind, and preached most powerfully to my soul by that apple tree; how I was led to compare the difference between that beautiful tree and my ugly self-its fruitfulness and my wretched barrenness. Jehovah soon heard my cry-my soul was melted within me, my head seemed like a fountain. I wept for sorrow and joy; so much so, I was then afraid I should not be able to speak for weeping, but I went. The Lord appeared to be with me; the friends asked me to speak to them again on the week evening: I did so; they then waited upon me to beg that I would engage every time while I continued in the country. I felt the fire re-kindled, I engaged – the people increased, so that before I left, the little house the passage and front-garden were full. As soon as I returned to London, although I had not spoken for a year and a half before, to my surprise, a person waited upon me to supply a place at Twowaters, Hertfordshire, where he belonged, nearly thirty miles, in direct opposition to the place where I had been, making the distance between the places, seventy or eighty miles. This circumstance struck me very forcibly, and I engaged to go. I now began to think that the Lord, after all, had got a work for me to do in his vineyard, although it had been re moved from my mind nearly a year-and-a-half. On my return, two of the deacons waited upon me from the church at Blandford-street, to say that they had heard that I had been speaking, and that if I continued to do so, they must separate me. I told them the church could do as they pleased; I had heard the voice of God so plain, and seen his power so fully, that if he was pleased to call me anywhere, I should most certainly go, and leave the result with him, and so I did; for five years from that time I was not idle one Lord’s day, unless through illness or some other justifiable cause. I used sometimes to travel sixty miles, and preach three sermons, and sometimes walk sixteen miles and preach three sermons. I often wonder now, what I used to say; they used to call me Peter, but the Lord blessed the word during this five years of itineracy. I was married, and had three children, and lost one by death; my dear wife was delicate; in 1827 the Lord was pleased to lay his afflicting hand upon us both, so that we were both of us brought down to the borders of the grave. At this time, a friend came from Suffolk, who was baptized with me; we had spent much time and converse together, so that we were then united in heart. He pressed us hard to go down to his house as soon as we were able to take the journey: we received his kind invitation,

Pg 8.

and promised to go as soon as possible, which we did. Oh, the mysterious ways of the covenant God of Israel! This was another swivel link in his wonderful chain of providence. The evening we arrived at Ipswich, my friend Collins had to preach to a few people that assembled in a small chapel in Ipswich. I was too weak to preach, but he prevailed upon me to read and pray, which I did. The people before we left, got me to promise them a sermon before I left the country, if the Lord should restore my health. My gracious God did restore both my health and my dear wife’s, and I gave them the promised sermon, which the Lord appeared greatly to bless. Here I must notice a few particulars, to shew something of God’s mysterious ways; these people at Ipswich were supplied on Lord’s days by a young man from a Baptist church about 12 miles off: (viz.) Wattisham; their minister, Mr. Rey nolds, was out, and had engaged another minister to supply for him; but it so happened that from an unpleasant matter at home he was obliged to send word to the people at Wattisham that he could not possibly come; these friends therefore detained this young man, and he was obliged to send word to the friends at Ipswich to say that he was detained, and that they must get some one else; they not knowing who to get, and not having the note till the Lord’s day morning, were at a loss to know what to do. My name was brought up, wondering as to whether or not I was returned to London, they finally concluded upon driving over to Mr. Collins’ Chapel, to see if I had left. I had provided everything, and sent to London to say that we should, if all was well, be home on the Friday previous, but it so occurred that there was one of the friends who had expressed his mind much hurt, because we had not spent an evening at his house rather, therefore, than leave under these circumstances, we decided stopping over the Lord’s day, and made arrangements accordingly; and I had engaged to preach once for my friend Collins, so that when these friends came, behold the Lord had detained me. I preached for my friend Collins in the morning, (for we were at the chapel when they came) and returned with them to Ipswich, and preached in the afternoon and evening for them, and great grace seemed to rest upon us; there were some old travellers that could not meet with the truth in the town, as they had been in the habit of hearing; it was a little more modernised; God was pleased so to bless the word to them, that their minds became fixed and determined to separate and form a distinct church. I went several times from London to supply for them. In due time there was a chapel to be sold, they purchased it, and in 1829, there were twenty of them formed into a church. I was to commence my as a supply; I did so, by travelling back ward and forward to London every week; this I had engaged to do from their repeated entreaties, till I could see my way clear to move from London; so I continued for nearly two years, thus I had travelled more than fourteen thousand miles, and preached more than three hundred sermons to them, before I could arrange matters to settle among them. Ah! the strivings of soul, the weariness of body, after having travelled 146 miles, and preached three sermons, and many times almost frozen stiff on the coach that dreadful hard winter: but the Lord blessed my labours, the church and congregation increased, and in January, 1831, I moved with my family to settle among them, and the following letter of dismission was sent from Mount Zion Chapel, Dorset-square, London, after I had made a profession and had been a member with most of them for eleven years.

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Letter of Dismission

The Church of Christ of the Particular Baptist Denomination, meeting for Divine Worship, in Mount Zion Chapel, Hill-street, Dorset-square, London, to, the Church of Christ of the same faith and order, meeting for the worship of God, in Dairy-lane Chapel, Ipswich, in the county of Suffolk.

CHRISTIAN BRETHREN,-Your letter, bearing date December 18th, 1830, requesting the dismission of our very dearly beloved brother and sister James Nunn, and Eleanor his wife; came before us, at our Church Meeting, Monday evening, December 27, 1830, was attended to, and an honourable dismission of our very dear brother and sister, James and Eleanor Nunn passed the vote of the church, under strongly marked feelings of much christian affection, and amidst many tears; when it appointed that a letter, certifying the same to you, should be drawn up and prepared to receive signature on Lord’s day, January 2nd, 1831.

“The dismission of our dear brother, who, as a member, and as a deacon, has filled his station in the church of God among us with so much honour and use fulness, deeply wounds our feelings, and bleeds our affections; we feel it a be reavement and a loss; and yet we are glad that the gospel should be sounded abroad from among us, by one whom we so highly esteem, in whom, by the grace of God, we have so much confidence; whom the Lord has, under a perpetuated chain of most descriptive, distinguishing and expressive circumstances, so mani festly blessed with the blessing of salva tion; and favored with such clear conceptions of the revealed plan of mercy, with so much firmness and affection in thetruth of Christ, and with so much adaptation for the experimental instruction and comfort of others in the fundamental realities of the full, free, and sovereign grace of the glorious triune God in covenant, abounding in the mediatorship and mediatorial person of our Lord Jesus Christ, to the salvation of the chief of sinners.

“The master calleth for our dear brother, and we give him up into the public work of the gospel ministry, and to come among you by that call. May he be as useful, and as great a blessing among you in the public ministry, as he has been among us in the office of deacon, that through his instrumentality you may be enlarged, and have prosperity as a church, many souls may be born again for the kingdom of God, many comforted in their pilgrimage and built up in the faith of Christ, many enemies of the Lord confounded, and the Lord’s name, merciful and gracious, be savingly memorialized in Ipswich, down to generations future, even till when the present shall have long corporeally slept in dust, and their spirits shall have long been assimilated to, and associated with the just made perfect.

“Rebecca was not more loved in the house of Bethuel her father, neither did they feel more keenly at her departing to be at a distance united with Isaac, nor were they more desirous of her future welfare, than our dear sister Eleanor Nunn is esteemed among us, than we feel her dismissal, not that we are con cerned for her future comfort. Her exemplification of christianity with honor among us; her original membership, activity, and usefulness in a female society formed among us for the benefit of our temporal affairs, will long be felt and recollected with much esteem for her, and thanks to God for her instrumentality: As she has been in private life, so God grant she may be in a public one, a help meet for our brother’s comfort; and may she jointly with him, be a blessing conferred by the hand of God upon you, and henceforth, wherever future movements of providence may direct their course.

“We dismiss them from our book, but not from our hearts; from our communion, but not from our affections, and although we lose their presence, we believe the period will never come when they will loose an interest in our prayers.

Receive our beloved brother and sister with warmest affection and love, as we resign them, and let them never lack that esteem for them in your breasts, which they have always so warmly possessed in ours. Receive them as the Lord’s servants, not forgetting the Lord is always present to see how his servants are treated. Study to comfort them both, as their comfort is inseparable; and always remember that your comfort as a church is inseparably identified with the comfort of your minister, and cannot long stand apart from it, nor without it.

Farewell, brethren. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all, even so, and ever so, Amen.

“Signed in behalf, and in the presence of the Church assembled at the Lord’s table, Lord’s day, January 2nd, 1831. JOHN FOREMAN, Pastor:

Daniel Curtis, John Sears, Thomas Clark, John Cumings: Deacons

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Circumstances of Affliction and Trial: removing from Suffolk, to the Settlement at Beulah Chapel, Somers’ Town

In 1837, I was called to pass through another trial, the removal of my dear help mate by the hand of death. (See the particulars in the obituary at the end of these brief outlines.) The church had now increased to about two hundred and seventy members, and the congregation greatly increased, but I was getting too great. I had stood the storm of bad names for 7 years, but the enemy had got round us; we had united in a union prayer meeting with

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different churches in the town. Jehovah knows how to cripple us when we run too fast. I was left, and fell. I was in London, a young man who had married one of my members and settled in London, came to me to beg of me to go to his house, for his wife was in great distress of mind, her child being dangerously ill. I therefore went, and there met with a young woman who was living in London, a member of the church at Ipswich. I had no more idea of meeting her, than I had of meeting Mahomet; but so it was, after I had spent some time, I said I must move towards home. The young woman stated she had something to say, and asked if I would allow her to walk with me as far as I went her way home? to which I agreed; we got into conversation from one thing to another, and that very night I fell with her. Oh! the weeks and months of inward bitterness; oh! how often did I earnestly pray that whatever the Lord was pleased to afflict me with for my folly, to save his cause from being wounded, but the Lord’s will was not mine; in the latter end of 1838, I wrote a letter to the church at Ipswich, stating my unhappy fall, and likewise the resignation of my office as their minister, and left my home immediately (according to the advice of my medical adviser), for 4 months, for the benefit of my health, as it was much reduced. My resignation was not accepted, and notwithstanding my enemies tried hard, there was a large majority of the members and of the congregation that longed for my restoration, and after a time for me to labour again among them; but I felt in my soul, that I never could return again to preach; I had PROFESSEDLY, a dear brother in the ministry in London, whom I had introduced to supply my people in the summer months, to give him a little country recreation, who while he was meeting with me upon the most friendly terms at my house in London, was corresponding with my most bitter enemies, and goading them on to keep up their hostilities, because he had in his mind (secretly) a man that he wanted to get there, a letter to prove this was finally obtained in his own hand writing, which Mr. Foreman saw. He obtained his end, the friend was invited, left his people, and went to Ipswich. I returned to my family. I knew this person. Mr. Collins was with me in Ipswich, and we met him; we stopped, and had some conversation, when I told him I had no desire to stop in Ipswich to preach, but that there was one matter I must obtain before I left, (viz.) to see some plan adopted by the people, that held the chapel, to pay honourably those persons who had lent their money to the place, and that when that was arranged, I should retire. He answered, that it was only just that it should be so, but he soon found that the party that had invited him, wanted to hold the place without paying a farthing of the debts, and so they acted for twelve months. During these twelve months, I was determined that the people should not thus be robbed; but thinking to prevent my opposition in this matter, they circulated the vilest falsehoods; a deputation of my friends waited upon me to hear if there was any truth in those vile reports; my reply was, I fear nothing besides what I have honestly related in my letter to you as a church; this led me foolishly to publish a letter. My enemies, with this kind friend in London, raked and scraped up in every place in London and country all that they possibly could imagine, deputies from the enemy’s camp from Ipswich met at his house in London, but through the tender mercy of the Lord, they could not establish any of their vile reports; though some of their number acknowledged afterwards that they had watched me for some time previous to my fall, to get something against me, but could not, and they seemed truly delighted when the Lord permitted my fall. I was enabled to persevere, and finally the trustees came to the resolution that those who held the place should be released from all interest, but that they should pay £60. a year till the debt was paid. They asked me who should have the first offer? I answered, those that held the chapel; they took a fortnight to consider of it, and at the end of the fortnight declined it, shut up the place, and delivered up the keys.

Long previous to this, I had met with the minister, at his house, with Messrs. Cooper, Collins, and other trustees, at his request. then stated if the people would engage to pay £50. a year, to be divided among the shareholders, that that was all I wanted; they all acknowledged that my request was only fair and honourable, and Mr. Cooper asked me if it was agreed to, whether I would sign a document to give up all claim, except that of a trustee. I answered, yes; a document was there and then drawn up,

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and I immediately signed it: but the minister and his friends never attended to it, although he said at that meeting if they did not agree to so fair a proposal, he would not stay with them, but he did till they were compelled to give up the place or else sign the deed proposed by the trustees as before described.

Whilst all this was going on, many of the members withdrew and formed into another church, and many of the congregation met with them in some rooms. I and my family met with them, but I would not speak; I felt I could not; I then thought I never would speak again; but from various circumstances, and an affectionate letter, signed by one-hundred and forty-nine, with “I will go before you, and be your rereward,” compelled me to begin my labours again; and after Dairy Lane Chapel was given up, the friends with whom I was then connected, returned to the old chapel, engaging to pay the debt which has been done hitherto, according to the deed; the other party built a new chapel, the ministers from Suffolk, and some from London, flocked to their help; everything ap peared as though it would be sure to prosper; but, alas, it soon failed, and their minister left.

I continued with my dear friends, (for to me they were, and are dear;) they came round me like a faithful band, when the drawn swords of my enemies were pointed against me. But from various and heavy losses, I was under the necessity of returning to London, and in 1843, myself with wife and family moved to London.

Before I proceed further, as to the providence of God in bringing me among you, I wish to state that I was married to my present wife, August 13, 1839, at Warboys in Huntingtonshire, by Mr. Irish. I do this, because I find that some persons have recklessly, and unsparingly, from their love of lying, reported that she was not my wife, that she merely lived with me. God will find out my enemies in time, and make them to know they are liars. But this I have found, in many instances, nothing is too daring for envy, and the most unaccountable lies will be eagerly received by lovers of reports. There are many in the professed religious world, that appear to have a delicious employment, when they have some of the failings of God’s people to talk about. Canting hypocrites I have known, and do know now some of the most deficient in moral worth, that are the foremost in this dirty work; but they cover it over with their apparent (hypocritical) indignations against sin, and their love of consistency; so that they beguile many, in making them believe that they are the very essence of holiness. Let this digression suffice.

After I came and settled in London, 1 went backwards and forwards to Ipswich, to supply for months, or sent supplies, till God, in his providence, directed Mr. Poock to them. When they had fixed upon him as their pastor, I resigned.

When your delegate first waited upon me to supply your pulpit, I know I was not very eager to come; the truth was, I had no wish; I thought what you had been used to, or the sort of doctrines you had heard for some length of time, were far from according with my views, and I had no desire to get into hot water, having had enough of strife, feeling that God had made his truth more precious to my soul than all the applause of men, but the Lord overruled it. I finally consented to supply for you, and have not had hitherto to regret the step I took. My earnest wrestling with God daily is, that he may mercifully keep me to his glory, and enable me, fearless of the frowns, and careless of the smiles of any, to proceed in the truth; giving me, increasingly, a single eye to his glory, through his divine goodness I feel a firm persuasion that he will be my help; that amidst all my circumstantial losses, I am brought to live more upon his faithfulness, and am the less concerned about the faithfulness or unfaithfulness of the creature. While I can be of any benefit to you as a church, I am willing to stay with you; when my ministry has lost its power, inform me (as christians kindly,) that you wish me to leave, and I will speedily resign the pulpit, and trust my case in his hands, who never has deserted me yet.

We are not living in days, that leads any thinking christian, to expect much peace, only in God. God is come forth out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth; Britain with the rest; and great trouble is coming upon us; by which, in my opinion, he will strip his people of their carnal trinkets, and bring them into the real enjoyments of eternal substance-bring them away both priest and people that are his from their carnal self-trumpery and exhibitions of their fair shews in the flesh, to humility

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and self abasement before God, and to walk humbly with him. My prayer is for myself, for you as a church, and for all that love his dear name, that by the spirit’s influence we may enter into our chambers, and shut our doors by a living faith, experimentally into the everlasting love, infinite wisdom, almighty power, and undying faithfulness of a covenant God, as our God. Sweet chambers of retreat, when all is bustle and confusion round the world. Led into these, you will “shut your door,” that is, you will remain quiet at home: you will not be running about with the confused mass, but remain in your safe blessedness. And while all is confusion without, you, with a feeling sense of your protection in God, will be able to sing

“Is Jesus mine? then I am prepared, (by
To meet with what I thought most hard,
Yes, let the winds of trouble blow,
And comforts melt away like snow.

No blasting tree, nor failing crop,
Can hinder my eternal hope;
The creatures change, the Lord’s the same,
Then let me triumph in his name.”

This is no mere theory, I have proved the fact; and there are none that love his dear and holy name, but my soul’s wish is, that they may enjoy like blessedness; even those that have spoken hard against me. I have none that I feel the least wish to hurt: I could have hurled several from their high standing in the opinion of men; but it is such mean work. They claim my pity, they have it; I know they are like myself, but men: and only kept as the Lord in his sovereign mercy is pleased to keep them. If they have anything to boast of, I could stand by their side and show that the welfare of Zion, and the comfort of his people, has been my sole delight. No distance too great to travel; no time too long to serve; no assistance in pecuniary matters required, but I was always ready to attend to. But I forbear-“My judgment is with the Lord, and my work or reward with my God.” (Isaiah xlix, 49.)

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Obituary of Mrs James Nunn, from the Gospel Herald

My principal object in publishing the following obituary of my first wife, is because some of my enemies (especially the minister in London I have previously mentioned, and his friends,) have circulated that it was not true, and got up by myself merely to deceive.

The envy of some people makes them reckless in every bad feeling, to propagate any and every falsehood, so that they may but accomplish their malicious intentions:

“Pale envy withers at another’s joy,
And hates the excellency, it cannot reach.”

I have carefully read, and re-read the following obituary over and over again; I am satisfied, that there is not a sentence in it but what is true; so true that it defies contradiction. May the republishing of it be blessed to many, who will thus see it, that perhaps, would not but for its re-publication. Whilst thinking of republishing the above, I was brought to outline of God’s abundant goodness to the determination of publishing a brief our dear child; which tells me, though God has wonderfully tried me; that he has wonderfully blessed me. I hope, in some blessed measure, I feel it so.

“BELOVED BRETHREN-The subject we are now about entering upon is of deep importance, and one with which we must all, sooner or later become more particularly acquainted; in this we learn something of our frailty and folly; here we see our earthly prospects blighted, and the source from which our choicest earthly comforts flow, turned into a channel to convey the most heart-rending sorrows we ever experienced. It is in the chamber of death we learn something of the vanity of all things separated from Christ, the only source where real pleasure is to be found.

“Solemnity takes possession of the mind are when we enter the chamber of the dying; nature is called forth in all her fine feelings of sympathy, whilst we behold weeping children and relatives, and specially if we behold in the person before us, a beloved friend, with whom we took sweet counsel together; yet whilst we weep, and feel all that mortals can feel in friendly and christian sympathy, what are our feelings compared to his who is brought to behold the partner of his bosom ready to be torn from him by the rude hand of death? All the past years of uninterrupted happiness they have been blessed to enjoy the many acts that bespoke that her many periods still in lively remembrance, pleasure was wrapt up in his comfort-the when her voice was heard speaking comfort in times of sorrow-the oneness of soul so lieve in pains and sickness with many other often expressed in her anxious desire to rethings, rush before his mind; whilst with almost broken heart he gazes upon the beloved of his bosom, the affectionate

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companion of his joys and sorrows, who is about leaving him, not for a month’s journey, but no more to return, and he left to experience an habitation of comparative solitude, a vacancy in every department, the want of an affectionate help-mate to welcome his return, to whom he can relate his sorrows and joys; and whilst he gazes upon his dear offsprings, have to mourn that they have no tender fond mother to watch over and take care of them. Who but those that have been similar situated can enter into his feelings in such a situation? Fellow traveller to the kingdom of never-fading happiness, think of him in your petition when you appear at the throne of God, the only refuge where he can unbosom his aching heart, whilst he acknow- ledges with the poet,

‘Thy ways, O God, with wise design,
Are fram’d upon thy throne above;
And every dark and bending line,
Meets in the centre of thy love.’

“Jehovah, in whom we live, move, and have our being, has declared that there is a time to be born, and a time to die.’ Our departed friend was born in London, in 1802, and was accustomed at a very early age to attend, with her parents, the Baptist Chapel, Blandford Street, London, under the ministry of that eminently useful man of God, Mr. John Keeble.

“At the early age of twelve years she became the subject of many serious impressions and strong exercises of mind, which soon became very evident to others; these continued and increased with growing years. About the age of sixteen, she commenced a correspondence, by letter, with an uncle, which, in the Lord’s hands, was rendered very beneficial, in relieving and strengthening her mind in the ways of the Lord.

“In her nineteenth year she commenced a correspondence with her now bereaved partner, and not having frequent opportunities of personal interview for better than two years, they were obliged to correspond by letters which were kindly owned of God for her instruction: in answer to one, she observes, ‘I am frequently cast down, and conclude no one loves nor enjoys so little as I do; but there is no necessity for me to attempt to describe to you my conflict, for in your last you described to me all that I have been labouring under for years. I have to bless the Lord, for I can see it has been the means, in his hands, in directing me into the blessedness of that covenant that is ordered in all things and sure, and of raising my affections to my heavenly Father in gratitude. I hope I can say I love his commandments, and anxiously wish to walk in them; but when I consider how limited my knowledge is of divine things, I am ready to draw back: nevertheless, I hope to be enabled to go forward, leaning upon my beloved Redeemer, and follow him in his appointed ways.’ At the age of nineteen, she, with her eldest sister, and a friend, then residing with them, publicly professed their attatchment to the Lord and his comandments, by walking in the ordinance of believer’s baptism, and were united with the Particular Baptist Church, at Blandford Street, under the pastoral care of Mr. John Keeble, whose ministry was much blessed to her, and to whom she was particularly attached. After the death of Mr. Keeble, she left with many others to form the church now meeting at Zion Chapel, Dorset Square; the ministry of Mr. Foreman she much enjoyed, to whom she was sincerely united to the last.

In 1825 she was united by marriage to her now bereaved companion; more than three years’ correspondence had now passed away, during which period she had been called to pass through much sorrow. The beloved sister, with whom she had been baptized, was suddenly, in the confinement of her first child, snatched from her by death-in full health and bloom of youth. She experienced affliction in her own person, and was under the hands of a physician some time, occasioned by a serious fall. Connected with these, the object of her affections was seized with a complaint that for a long time nearly deprived him of the use of his limbs, and many concluded he was about leaving the stage of mortality; in these afflictions she writes,’ May the dealings of our heavenly Father be sanctified, that he may be more and more honoured by us, and that we may be enabled to say in all our troubles and afflictions, ‘It is well;’ HAPPY LIVING! to know that whatever we may meet with is under the all-wise appointment of our covenant God; may we draw our peace from him in all our trouble, and by faith hang upon_Christ as our living head, our all in all. In another, ‘I still think the Lord will raise you up again; I cannot forget the promise he gave me, namely, ‘ He shall be a minister of God for good unto thee.’

“In 1828, both she and her beloved partner were laid aside by a serious affliction; when sufficiently recovered, they visited a friend in Suffolk, for the benefit of their health, which finally led to their subsequent removal from London, but not till after the severe trial of the destruction of their premises and property by fire; having saved the two children from the flames, she said to her husband, when they had arrived at a neighbour’s house opposite. ‘Oh! my dear James, what mercy there is mixed up with all our trials; what is the loss of the property compared to the safety of ourselves and the dear babes? The dear Lord is teaching you by these things to know how, experimentally, to speak a word in season to them that are tried,

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and to comfort others with the comfort wherewith you are comforted of God. You remember when the Lord took our first little dear from us, that you said, I shall know how to preach experimentally upon sovereignty; now, my dear, we know by experience something of safety.’ During the two years and three-quarters Mr. Nunn travelled backward and forward from London, to supply the people at Ipswich, she would sometimes say, ‘I feel the loss of your company very much, and satan sometimes would tempt me to think that it is very hard to lose you three days in the week, especially every Lord’s day, but I wish to leave it with him who does all things well.’

“In 1831, she with her husband and family were removed to Ipswich. During the six years she resided at Ipswich, fresh scenes of trial opened to her view; the loss of her only sister, with the child, a few days after her confinement, and her beloved husband several times seriously ill. Being of delicate health, she was frequently laid aside by affliction. In 1836 she appeared to all about her as though she must leave the stage of mortality; but the Lord was pleased to revive her, and raise her up again. On this occasion she said to her husband, when going to chapel, ‘I should like to have been able to go with you, for

‘There my best friends, my kindred dwell,
There God my Saviour reigns.’

But, (said she,) I have seen so much of the loving-kindness of the Lord in my afflictions, that I would say with the Psalmist, Oh! magnify the Lord with me, let us exalt his name together.’

“In April, 1837, being very desirous of meeting her christian friends once more at the anniversary of Mount Zion Chapel, she went to London for that purpose, and to visit her relatives. She observed, ‘I may never have another opportunity.” She was favoured to meet with them, and hear the anniversary sermons. The Lord personally favoured her with his presence: she was much gratified; the house and people of God were her delight. Whilst in London she had a bad cold, and when she returned to Ipswich she had a bad cough, which she was never before troubled with. In June it became very trying, and the physician was called in; when he was gone, she said to her dear partner, ‘I am afraid all he can give me will do me but little good.’ Pulmonary consumption had already taken possession of her delicate constitution, though she had not been apprized of it. Her health gradually declined; she often said, ‘I am not long for this world, but there is a better one to come.’ The latter end of the month her cough became very troublesome, and her bodily weak ness very great, so that she could talk but very little, therefore was deprived of the company of her christian friends, which she often lamented. She would say sometimes, ‘How I should like to have a company of the friends come and sing and pray; I should like to hear them once more upon earth, but it would be too much for my poor head.’ She became much worse, and was obliged to keep her bed. Reviving a little on the Lord’s day, she said to her husband, ‘I think I could bear to hear you read.’ On reading the 43rd of Isaiah, she remarked, with a good deal of feeling, ‘Well do I remember those words in the first verse, being applied with power to my soul, when about fifteen years of age; I wept for joy, and said, What me, Lord, such a worthless creature as me Lord, who am but a child? Ah! my dear, (she said to her husband) many changes we have seen taken place since then; but God has been our guide and friend, and faithful to his word, up to the present moment, and will be unto the end.’ On one occasion, seeing her husband looking rather anxiously, because some tears escaped her eyes, she said, ‘They are tears of joy, do not think I grieve; no, all that I wish is, to lay in the arms of my loving Lord as a little child.’

“In the month of August, she observed to a friend, ‘I am much weaker, I cannot talk but very little; but it is not my dying testimony, but my living one that will tell the most.’

One day, when a little more revived, her husband said, Many years, my dear, have rolled away since we first conversed about the doctrines of grace, what do you think of them now? She answered, ‘Those precious truths of his word, that I have long heard, are my support now day and night: yes, yes, they are sweet, as Mr. Stevens says in one of his hymns,

‘Sweet to reflect how grace divine,
My sins on Jesus laid;
Sweet to remember that his blood
My debt of suffering paid.
‘Sweet in his righteousness to stand,
Which saves from second death;
Sweet to experience, day by day,
The Spirit’s quickening breath.
‘Sweet in his faithfulness to rest,
Whose love can never end;
Sweet on his covenant of grace,
For all things to depend.’

And then said, ‘I cannot give up one of the blest doctrines of grace, and may the Lord ever enable you, my love, to preach them as you have done.’ Up to this time she had been enabled to read: the bible and Mr. Stevens’ hymn book had been, more or less, her daily companions, as they had been many times when in health. About the middle of the month she was unable to read; and some times her weakness was so great, and her cough so very troublesome, that she could


hardly bear any one to speak or move. One time she said, ‘I could hardly speak, or bear any one else to speak; but what a mercy I can thinks about Jesus, who always think of me.’

‘Dear name, the rock on which I build,
My shield and hiding place;
My never failing treasury fill’d
With boundless stores of grace.
‘Weak is the effort of my heart,
And cold my warmest thought;
But when I see thee as thou art,
I’ll praise thee as I ought.’

At this period of her affliction she had very bad nights, but she said, ‘The losing my night’s rest do not disturb me, as long as I have the presence of my Lord.’ One morning, speaking of the Redeemer, she said those words have been so precious,

‘Yes, thou art precious to my soul,
My transport and my trust;
Jewels to thee are gaudy toys,
And gold is sordid dust.
‘I’ll speak the honours of thy name
With my last labouring breath;
And dying clasp thee in my arms,
The antidote of death.’

Almost every day she would say sweet Psalm 23rd, ‘The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want,’ &c. On the morning of the 27th, she said, ‘I have been asking the Lord every day to give me some portion of his word to feed upon: when first I was laid aside, he said, ‘Be still and know that I am God,’ which was my support for some time; after which he said, ‘I will be with thee to the end:’ and now he has given me one to seal the whole, Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.’ She added how sweet those words

‘Great Comforter descend and aid
My soul to mount on high,
Take up my thoughts, and keep them stay’d
Where all is perfect joy.
‘Amidst those ever shining skies,
Where God resides above,
No sin or sorrow e’er shall reign,
The kingdom’s fill’d with love.’

Another morning she said, ‘I have not had much sleep, but a good night, for the dear Lord has told me he will make my bed in all my afflictions.’ In the course of the day she said, “Satan has been telling me, my dear James, that it cannot be right for me to think more of you than your dear children; I do think of you, but I hope not immoderately, for I have seen so much of the goodness of the Lord, that I can leave you and the dear children in his care; for I have not come to a death bed to learn your kindness, I have long had every proof of that, therefore I can comfortably leave them with you.’ The almost breaking heart of her attached and afflicted companion could no longer refrain speaking its agonies, by a flood of tears; raising her feeble hand, with her handkerchief, to wipe them away, she said, ‘My dear James, do not weep so, it will only make me uncomfortable; I have had, and still have many joys; but what are these compared to those joys that await us: I am going home, and know in whom I have believed; I shall be satisfied when I awake in his likeness. Oh! it is worth dying to realize.’

‘Oh, think with what rapturous shouts we shall rise,
To join with the glorified choirs,
When Jesu’s bright chariot appears in the skies,
And death at his coming expires.’

And then said, with feeling, ‘My dear love

‘Anticipate heaven, ’twill sweeten those hours
When sorrow all round you appear;
Will strew all the road to Mount Zion with flowers,
And smooth the rough pathway of care.’

Referring to her father, she said. “Poor dear, I have not been able to have him up to day, the Lord has left him in this world of sorrow to see all his children leave the stage, except me and dear brother John; the Lord support him now, and when he shall have to witness my departure. I should like to see John once more, but that I must not think of in this world, but it is a comfort that I have reason to believe I shall in that world where separation shall never be known.’

“Getting weaker every day, and the phlegm becoming more and more troublesome, which sometimes seemed as if would suffocate her, she said, ‘I do not know why I should be afraid of that, my times are his hands who loveth me, and what are my afflictions compared to his? I know that there is a mansion prepared for me;’ and wished the two following verses of Mr. Stevens’ to be read :

‘There is a land of living joy,
Pure endless bliss without alloy :
Where God has fixed his dwelling place,
And shews, unveiled, his smiling face.
‘There every breath is heavenly praise,
Their light is God’s essential blaze;
There love is life, and work is rest,
Oh, there shall I be ever blest.’

With peculiar feeling she said, ‘Yes, and

‘With eyes made strong enough to bear the sight,
To gaze with infinite delight;
Drink in the excellence divine,
And with Immanuel’s glory shine.’

Speaking of the portion of scripture to be

Pg. 16.

spoken from after her death, she said, ‘I hope Mr. Collins will not say any thing about me, only as one of the humblest of God’s people, for all I am, and all I have and enjoy, is of God’s free grace.’

“Two or three evenings before she left this world of sorrow, after taking her medicine, she said, ‘These are bitter draughts, but I shall soon drink full draughts of bliss.” Her cough being particularly troublesome, she observed, There is very little more rest for me here below, but there is a nobler rest above. I can see that beauty in his character, by the eye of faith, that I can cast my all, for time and eternity, in his hands: feeling assured he will perform that which concerneth me. Oh, that blest abode!

‘Jerusalem, my happy home,
My soul still pants for thee;
Then shall my labour have an end,
When I thy glories see.’

When the physician had left her, she said, ‘It is a satisfaction to you, my dear, for him to come; he has been very attentive and kind, but he can do no more for me than he has done; the Lord is now calling us, after
years of conjugal happiness, to part, but not for ever; what a mercy, we shall meet again where parting will never be known.’ In the evening she whispered, When shall I their choruses join?’ At seven o’clock the next morning, the 12th of September, the Lord was pleased to call her to that rest her spirit longed for, in the 35th year of her age.

To yonder world of everlasting day,
Her ransomed spirit flew away;
The unveil’d glories of her Lord to view,
And feast on wonders ever new.
‘No cloud to interrupt her sight,
No setting sun create her night:
But bless’d with endless light to gaze
On him who saved her by his grace.’

“On Monday, the 18th, her mortal remains were deposited in the family vault in Grundisburgh Chapel. Lord’s day, the 24th, Mr. Collins preached a very impressive discourse from Psalm ix. 4, words Mrs. Nunn had particularly blessed to her in one of her first afflictions.”

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Obituary of Eleanor Hephzibah Nunn

ELEANOR HEPZIBAH NUNN was the fourth daughter, born in St.Mary’s Stake, Ipswich, Suffolk, April 1st, 1833. She was naturally of a meek, quiet disposition, and appeared to enjoy remarkable good health until 1842, when her blood appeared to be in an impure state from bad feet and an abscess in her back. Means were used and she appeared a little better; but in 1843 she got worse. Then during her last affliction the Lord of glory was pleased, according to the riches of his grace, to convey glory in the bud into her soul; but this was concealed for some time in her little wounded heart, for fear, as she afterwards said, lest she should deceive her parents in what she might say. The disease made rapid progress; and the medical attendant stated, that there was great danger, as her lungs were affected. This produced great anxiety in the minds of her parents as to her eternal state. Her mother-in-law (here we must say that, as she felt for her as her daughter, and was loved by Eleanor as such, we shall in our further remarks use the word mother) felt greatly concerned to talk to her upon the point, but could not feel liberty, till one day, as she was nursing her on the sofa, she having become very ill and appeared rather dull, she said to her, you don’t appear so well this morning, my dear; she answered, “no dear mother, I do not;” do you think you shall get well again dear? was the next question. “I sometimes think, my dear mother, I shall not,” was her reply. If you were to die my dear, where do you think you should go to? was the next enquiry; in answer to which, her little heart gave vent to its feelings in a flood of tears, as she replied, “that is what I want to know I should not be afraid to die, if I knew I was going to heaven, but I am such a sinner!” The emotions of both can be better felt than described; her mother’s feelings were overcome in witnessing the goodness of Jehovah, in bringing a child only ten years of age, thus to seek for mercy.

After this she was enabled to open her mind to her mother freely, as to the state of her mind; she said that she first began to think upon religious subjects, from herself and sister reading chapters of the Bible in the winter evenings; she used to reckon upon the time appointed to read; some chapters interested her much, especially the one where the Pharisee and the Publican went up to the temple to pray. And that some remark that her mother made, impressed her so, that when she told a story or did any thing that was wrong, she felt unhappy; then she would read the Bible, and pray, thinking for these she should be sure to go to heaven; and was quite surprised, when she heard her father say in his sermon, that such services would not take us to heaven, and she thought he must be wrong.

Pg. 17

In May, 1843, when she was seized with severe pain in her side, from coughing, she became alarmed, wondering what would become of her if she died, but this soon wore off; until a short time after, she heard her father preach from Prov. xxiii. part of 23 verse, “Buy the truth, and sell it not.” This sermon the Lord blessed, sealing it home with power, in bringing her to a knowledge of what she was by nature; for she felt she had not that truth her father spoke about. And from that time she cried night and day, ‘Lord, what must I do to be saved?’ she was afraid the Lord would not have compassion upon her, as she felt herself to be such a sinner, but was afraid to reveal her mind for fear (as before stated) she should deceive her parents.

One day before we left the country, she was very low, fearing the Lord did not love her; her mother gave her the 103d Psalm to read, from which she then received a little comfort, but much more a little time after; and it continued a favorite Psalm till her departure. She was in this anxious state for a long time; she used to say she believed the Lord loved them that feared Him, but her cry was, do I fear Him? She stated that she frequently got comfort from her father when preaching, and from his conversation; and especially from one of Mr. Hart’s Hymns,

Come ye sinners, poor and wretched,
Weak and wounded, sick and sore,
Jesús ready stands to save you,
Full of pity join’d with pow’r.
He is able, he is able, he is able;
He is willing; doubt no more.

and that of Cowper’s was her constant theme at one time,

The Lord will happiness divine,
On contrite hearts bestow,
Then tell me, dearest Lord, is mine
A contrite heart or no?

Also, one of Mr. Horne’s as follows:

Will my doubting ne’er be o’er?
Will the Lord return no more?
When shall I the Saviour see,
And be sure he died for me?
How I waver to and fro;
Rising high and sinking low;
Now to heaven I aspire,
Now to shades of death retire.

When a glimpse of hope appears,
Soon ’tis lost in doubts and fears;
Oh! I fear ’tis all a cheat;
Keep me, Lord, from self-deceit !

Lord, thy light, thy love display,
All my darkness chase away;
Everlasting peace restore
Bid me disbelieve no more.

Thus, she continued, for some time, the Lord proving his sovereignty; he had honoured her father as the instrument of bringing her to the knowledge of her state as a poor guilty sinner, to cry for mercy, and afterwards to comfort her; but he had another in reserve, to liberate her, or set the little “captive maiden” free. At this time, she, with the family, were settled in London, and attended the ministry of Mr. Wyard, of Oxford Street, her father then going weekly to Ipswich. During this period Mr. Wyard preached from the 104th Psalm, 34th verse- “My meditation of him shall be sweet,” &c. By this sermon her soul was set at happy liberty; and from that time she was enabled to believe that the Lord was the God of her salvation. This was the last sermon she was favoured to hear; her bodily strength not permitting her to attend, but her faith appeared to increase daily. She often said, she knew in whom she believed, and that she felt assured that he would never leave her, not even when she came to die.

Her disease increased rapidly. Her mother said to her one day, “You have a little faith now, my dear;” “Oh, yes;” she replied, “I would not part with it for all the world.” When asked, if she did not think at times it was hard to bear so much pain? She replied, “Sometimes; but then I think what are my pains compared to what Jesus suffered on the cross! I can say ‘Sweet affliction that brought me near to God.”” In answer to another question she said, “If Jesus did not love me, I should have left off thinking of him before now.” Whilst nursing her one day, her mother said, “My dear child, I don’t know how to part with you.” She calmly said, “Why dear mother, if you think the Lord will take me to heaven, you can; if you thought I was going to hell ,you would be much more uncomfortable.” The reply was, “Then you feel, dear Eleanor, that you can give us all up ?” “Yes,” she said, “dear mother; not because I do not love you all, but I wish to go to heaven, and you and dear father will come, and we shall sing the song, “Worthy the Lamb who was slain for us;” for there is nothing worth living for here.

Pg. 18

The second of Ephesians, and eighth of Romans were great favourites of her’s in the latter part of her affliction; and that hymn of Cowper’s on the Doctrines of Grace; she gave her hearty amen to every verse as it was read to her

“A form of words, though e’er so sound,”
Will never save a soul,
The Holy Ghost must give the wound,
And make the wounded whole.”


“Thou dear Redeemer, dying Lamb,
We love to hear of thee,
No music’s like thy charming name,
Nor half so sweet can be.”

was her constant theme in the last part of her illness. One day she said, “Dear father, do you think I shall know my dear mother when I get to heaven ?” He answered, “Yes, my dear child.” She immediately replied,” But Jesus will be our soul’s delightful theme.” Whilst nursing her one evening he said to her, “Are your meditations of the dear Lord still sweet ?” She said, “Not always the same, dear father.” He replied, “Changes are our lot, whilst here below, my love.” “Yes, dear father,” she said, “heaven would be no change if it were not so.” On another occasion she said to her father, “Satan has been tempting me to believe that I do not pray, because I am not able to kneel down as I used to do; but the Lord looketh at the heart.’ The Lord’s-day before her death she said, “How delightful it will be to sit around the throne, and sing Hallelujah to the Lamb who has washed away all my sins in his most precious blood. The following Monday evening she said, “I thought, dear mother, I should have gone home, this afternoon.” When asked why? she said, “I looked at you but could not speak; and everything in the room went round.” “And were you not afraid?” was asked. When she replied, “Oh no; the Lord was with me; and I had such a happy night, last night, though I was so full of pain that I could not go to sleep; yet, when the pain was gone I did not want to go to sleep; how kind, (she said) the Lord is to me!” The same night, which was the one before her death, her father carrying her up to bed, observed, “I shall not have my dear child to carry you up many times more.” She replied, “No, my dear father; Then shall I their chorus join.””

The following day about half an hour before she died, she said, “Oh that the dear Lord may come and fetch me home to night! or in an hour!” Her mother said, “Then you will never see any of us any more.” Turning her head with a most impressive look, she said, “Yes, dear mother; before the throne!” Her mother then repeated that verse “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.” She answered with emphasis, No, ‘for thou art with me, thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”” After which she laid her head down; and shortly, and softly breathed her ransomed spirit into the bosom of her Lord, on January 30, 1844, aged ten years, and ten months. Her mortal remains were laid by the side of her beloved mother at Grundisburgh in Suffolk.

The bodies of mother and daughter there lie,
Their spirits redeemed by Jesus’s blood,
Are safe landed beyond the ethereal sky,
To live and rejoice for ever with God.

Their bodies lay molder in the dust
‘Till the resurrection of the just;
Then, mortal, put on immortality,
And joined with Spirit, live eternally.

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