Deacon William Palmer 02

An obituary for Palmer was placed in the Evangelical Magazine Volume 16, (see page 168). It tells us little about his circumstances except that he came to Bourton from Olney in 1744.
(NB In the official History of the County of Gloucester Volume 6 (1965), pp. 33-49 on Parishes: Bourton-on-the-Water it says that a Thomas Collett was succeeded, in or before 1759, by his son William at Nethercote and in 1765 he sold it to William Palmer. Palmer's son Samuel went bankrupt soon after his father's death. In the late nineteenth century part of the estate and the former manor-house belonged to William Snooke Stenson, who also owned Bourton manor. His son sold the Nethercote estate to Mr E H Cook, the owner in 1962.)
On Friday, August 8, 1807, died at Bourton on the Water, Gloucestershire, Mr William Palmer, aged 81. He was born at Olney, of religious parents, whose affectionate instructions were early blessed to him. When about 30 years of age (c 1744), he removed to Bourton, where he enjoyed the able ministry of the late Rev Benjamin Beddome for nearly 40 years. Owing to a great variety of mental conflicts, it was long before he ventured to make a public profession, which at length, however, he did, and was afterwards chosen a deacon of the church; the duties of which office he performed in a conscientious and diligent manner for upwards of 20 years. He uniformly consulted the best interests of Zion, and ardently sought the welfare of the Christian society to which he belonged. Every appearance of seriousness among his young connections gave him unfeigned pleasure and he cherished early piety to the utmost of his power. He had a strong affection to social exercises of prayer and Christian communion; well knowing that such meetings are, generally speaking, an index of the spiritual state of a church he was often called upon to lead the devotions of his brethren on those occasions, which he did with deep humility and spiritual ardour, much to their satisfaction and advantage.
Till within a year or two of his death, he was scarcely confined from the house of God a single Sabbath, during the space of 50 years. His heart devised liberal things, and he was ever ready to devote his property towards the private and public support of the cause of Christ. He had made it a point from his youth, on no ocsasion to be without a Bible in his pocket. This he mentioned on his deathbed, stating, that he had found it highly beneficial to him, especially in his journies and strongly recommending it to others. His intimate acquaintance with the Scriptures and his close walk with God rendered his conversations very spiritual and edifying. Firmly established in the truth, he felt a holy indignation at all those sentiments which were derogatory to the infinite dignity of his Lord; yet this was connected with tender compassion towards those who had unhappily imbibed them, and with great candour towards all his brethren who differed from him in lesser matters. In the glorious doctrines of the gospel he had a permanent source of sacred delight, which did not altogether fail in his worst seasons of temptation and distress; at the same time, his soul abhorred the thought of their being abused to lull professing Christians into supineness, or to serve the cause of licentiousness. Maintaining a very deep impression of personal guilt and depravity, of extreme unworthiness and innumerable imperfections, it was his supreme desire habitually to make use, by faith, of the atonement and intercession of his adorable Lord; and he often groaned in spirit that the exercise of his faith was so weak, so that consequently his spiritual enjoyments were so variable: nevertheless, amidst all changes of frame, he was enabled to rejoice in the unchangeablencss of a covenant God. In an exclusive reliance on the blood and righteousness of Christ, he lived and died; often mentioning, with joy and admiration, the glorious name given both to Christ and his Church - "The Lord our Righteousness"; Jer xxiii. 6; and also Prov. ix. 1-6 and Ps. lxviii. 18. These passages, with many others, very frequently formed the interesting subjects of his delightful contemplation and Christian converse. With the gradual decay of nature, he had all the supports and consolations which are to be desired; and, according to his frequent wish, he left to his family and friends strong testimonies of the fidelity and kindness of his Saviour, in upholding him to the end.

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