Solomon Ashburn – Rector of Crowle

John Wesley preached in Crowle on a number of occasions. He visited the tomb of a former rector on a couple of times.

Wesley Diaries - July 1770
Wesley Diaries – July 1770

Wed 18 July 1770
About noon I preached at Crowle. This is the place the former Rector of which contemporary with my father ordered those words to be inscribed upon his tomb stone

Here Lies the body of
SOLOMON ASHBURN
FORTY YEARS RECTOR OF THIS PARISH
All the day long have I stretched out my hands
Unto a disobedient and gainsaying people
So I gave them up unto their own hearts lusts
And let them follow their own imaginations

They did follow them for many years but at length God hath visited them

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Rector of Crowle

Mon 12 July 1779
I preached at Crowle and afterwards searched the church yard to find the tomb of Mr Ashbourn. We could find nothing of it there At length we found a large flat stone in the church but the inscription was utterly illegible the letters being filled up with dust. However we made a shift to pick it out and then read as follows

Here lies the body
of
MR SOLOMON ASHBOURN
HE DIED IN 1711
AND SOLEMNLY BEQUEATHED THE FOLLOWING VERSES TO HIS PARISHIONERS
Ye stiff necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears ye do always resist the Holy Ghost As your fathers did so do ye Acts vii 51
I have laboured in vain I have spent my strength for nought and in vain Yet surely my judgment is with the Lord and my work with my God Isia xlix 4

But that generation which was abandoned to all wickedness is gone So are most of their children And there is reason to hope that the curse entailed on them and their children is gone also For there is now a more lively work of God here than in any of the neighbouring places

 

Storehouse reports the tomb stone thus;

 

Here lies, in the grave of his dear wife formerly deceased, the body of Solomon Ashbourn, M. A. late vicar and patron of this vicarage, who died the 18th of January, in the year of our Lord’s Incarnation, 1711, and of his own age 67

And after his many years labours for the lasting happiness of the whole parish, he being dead, yet speaketh to such parishioners as are still under strong delusion and wickedness,

In the words of  St. Stephen, Acts 7. 51. and the Prophet Isaiah 49.4

[Acts 7.51 – 51You stubborn and stiff-necked people, still heathen and uncircumcised in heart and ears, you are always actively resisting the Holy Spirit. As your forefathers [were], so you [are and so you do]!]

[Isaiah 49.4 – 4 But I said, “I have labored in vain; I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity; yet surely my right is with the Lord, and my recompense with my God.”]




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