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felt persuaded that he should not he conversed with his relatives, or recover, although perfectly willing any friends' who bappened to be to adopt any means which seemed present. There was even an innoeent to promise a successful termina- playfulness of manner in some of tion to his disorder. But consider his expressions, which evidently ing in his own mind, that this sick betokened how completely at ease ness was sent to warn him of his his own mind was, knowing in end, he endeavoured to prepare whom he had believed. That he himself and others for that solemin' could in any measure glorify God event. And now was seen the un- by his life and actions, he solely speakable benefit of a good hope, attributed to a power infinitely bei through grace, in the perfect merit yond his own. He was confident. and righteousness of the Redeemer. that if that had not been vouch
The love of the eternal Trinity. sated to him, he would, as he dethe merciful goodness of God the clared, have been even as other Father, the glory of the only be- unconverted men are, despisers of gotten Son of the Most High, his. God, hateful and hating one anexcellence as a Saviour, his justi- other. He considered himself as a fying righteousness to atone for our brand plucked from the burning. transgressions, his finished salva- When under considerable suffering, tion to deliver us from the penalty he said, “ I desire to kiss the rod, and condemnation of a violated and the hand of Him that holds it. law; these were the subjects which The Scripture says, the effectual afforded him abundant support in fervent prayer of the righteous the awful hour of death. It was availeth much; and I hope I shalt then distinctly perceived, that to- have the prayers of the righteous pics of a more abstruse kind, will in my behalf; for I am satisfied, not always vield the same grateful no other can be of any avail. satisfaction, as those which are of I have been long convinced, but deep and vital consequence. Mi- I am now more fully persuaded nor differences of Opinion must of the truth than at any former pethen give place to the one hope of riod of my experience; indeed, it our calling; for there is salvation is my dying testimony, that all our in no other name but in that of tears of repentance, our prayers, Christ Jesus: other foundation can qur duties, or our solemn resolu, no mąn lay than that which is al- tions against sin, however nécesready laid.
sary and useful they are, as evi· Of the various expressions which dencés of a renewed mind, cannot were uttered by him, in the full justify us in the sight of God. I contemplation of his last great desire to renounce every thing for change in death, a few only have the excellency of the knowledge of been selected. As he had former Christ Jesus my Lord. When I ly lived in the habit of secret ejacu- think of the fulness and glory of the lation and mental prayer, he might Redeemer, the God-man, Christ be frequently heard by those who Jesus, I feel more than ever my attended upon him, unconsciously, own vileness and sinfulness.” At as it were, giving utterance to the another time, when in much bodioverflowings of a heart that was ly pain, he said, "If I, a sinful, enriched and sanctified by divine but, I trust, a pardoned individual, grace. The patience, resignation, am called to bear so much outand calmness which lie now mani ward suffering, how dreadful must fested, made a deep impression on that punishment be which shall be those who witnessed his conduct inflicted upon the impenitent and at this trying moment. During the unbelieving! What must sinners intervals of relaxation froňr pain, in their own persons hereafter en
dure, except they repent!" Upon people of the parish where he lived, one occasion he said, in a manner to more especially for those who," peculiarly characteristic of his own said he,“ never pray for themviews, “ Blessed are the dead who selves.” Except upon one or two die in the Lord, for they rest from occasions, he did not say much their labours :' but," said he, “ it respecting the happiness of heaven. would not be becoming in me to But on the Saturday, which was add the remaining part of the verse, only two days before he died, he . and their works do follow them, inquired what day of the week it having none of my own at all wor- was? And being told, he said, he thy of notice.” He repeated, with hoped to spend, on the morrow, an evident delight, the well-known eternal sabbath in heaven. “ What lines,
a glorious sight will that be, to see “ When I survey the wond'rous cross," &c.
the King in his beauty ; to join the
innumerable company of angels and At times he suffered from the sug- justified spirits, singing, · Worthy, gestions of the great enemy of our worthy is the Lamb that was slain, souls, “ who,” said he, “ has been to redeem us to God by his blood. exceedingly busy with me; intima- Speak ye comfortably unto Jerusating, that I was only a deceiver lem, and cry unto her (not whisand a hypocrite ; that religion was per), that her iniquity is pardoned, å fable, &c. but I know, that &c.” At another time, he said, Satan was a liar from the be- he felt and experienced more than ginning. He tempted our blessed he could give utterance to; that he Lord, and now he is biting my heel; appeared to be surrounded by heaI mean, he is assailing my human venly messengers, waiting to connature--he is throwing some of his vey his spirit to the realms above. fiery darts at me, but they shall That he was at this time perfectly not be permitted to wound me.” In aware of every thing, was evident a little while after he was relieved from the great kindness and tenfrom these distressing doubts, and derness which he expressed for was enabled to express his free- every part of his family, by whom dom therefrom, by exclaiming, he was then encircled. He said, .6 Conquered!”
it was hard work to die, tbat body He imagined his dismission would and soul would not readily part have been easy; for he expected, asunder. from the nature of his complaint, In this state he continued hourly that he should have died several getting weaker, being full of days, days before he actually expired; with his faculties scarcely impaired; but he prayed, that he might not coming to his grave like a shock of be impatient, but be willing to wait corn in his season; and, as if to God's time. When freed from the mark the reality of his hope, and temptations already spoken of, he the nature of his faith, which could expressed his belief of salvation not be shaken even in the awful through the atoning blood of the moment of death, the last articulate Saviour, in the strongest possible sound he was heard to“utter on terms. “I am,” he said, " as fully the morning of his dissolution was assured of my final salvation, as if that of “ Jesus." In a very few I now beheld the Son of God bleed- hours afterwards, on the 29th day ing upon the cross for me.” It was of October, 1821, and in the 89th at this time he exhorted his son to year of his age, his unfettered spipreach Jesus Christ, and him cru- rit was summoned into the presence cified, as the only infallible means of that God, whom, in his life and for rescuing sinners from the wrath by his death, he had sought to to come. He prayed much for the glorify,
No one was ever more ready to rather as the certain result of those admit than himself, that his failings Scriptural maxims, by which the were many. But for tenderness of life of this much-respected indiviconscience, for strict adherence to dual was mainly governed. In a truth, for integrity and uprightness word, it may be said of him, “ He of conduct, for an earnest and ha- was a faithful man, and feared God bitual desire to exemplify the prac- above 'many.” Nehemiah, vii. 2. tical effects of true godliness, few This passage was chosen as a have been more distinguished suitable subject for a sermon adaptduring so great a number of years. ed to the occasion, and which was Nor will the foregoing statement be preached at West Malling Church, deemed by any as exceeding the on the Sunday after the funeral had bounds of truth or probability, but taken place.
LETTER TO A RELATIVE UNDER AFFLICTION. MY DEAR FRIEND,
of means? Still let us, while we Your situation demands and humble ourselves before God on has my tenderest feelings. Could this account, remember who hath I be instrumental in affording you said, “ Return, O backsliding chilthe smallest degree of comfort and dren, unto me, and I will hea] your support therein, I should be pecu- backslidings.” Is not this the voice liarly thankful; and, as it is my of every affliction, “ How shall I sincere desire and prayer, I trust give you up?" Surely it is. He the Lord will answer my request. corrects his children in mercy, that What can I say or do that shall they may not be condemned with tend to your relief, but affection- the world. Whom he loves he chasately endeavour to encourage your tens. Let us not be discouraged confidence in Him who never failed at that which is an evidence of his any who sought Him, in the way of fatherly regard. What though he his own appointing, by prayer and is pleased to put us into the fursupplication? While we look at nace, let us remember, that He our trials, we are ready to say, sits as the refiner and purifier of “ All these things are against me.” his people, and that He will so This discourages us, and tempts us temper all his dispensations toto have hard thoughts of God; to wards them, that they shall lose think that he deals severely with nothing but the dross of corruption, us. We feel we have no strength His design in all this is, that they of our own to combat with such may come forth as gold, and be difficulties; this makes us despond found meet for his eternal kingdom, and say, “ How shall I stand the There the inhabitants shall no more trying day?”How, indeed, but say they are sick, neither shall bý turning to that strong-hold in there be any more pain. the day of trouble, the Lord Jesus Let me recommend to your conChrist, who has graciously reveal- sideration Zech. xiii. 9, “ I will ed himself to us in his word as the bring the third part through the or strength of the needy in their fire.” Observe, the Lord will not distress.”—Isaiah, xxv. 4. Does leave them in it; but engages to the enemy of our souls suggest to bring them through. What is his our minds this discouragement, that design? Why, the most gracious we have notsought to improve the re- that can be intended; that which, ligious opportunities that have been I hope, my friend desires above all afforded us, and therefore have no things-purification; or, in other right to appropriate the privileges words, that we may become parconnected with diligenee in the use takers of the divine nature. · What's etfect shall these trials have? Why, engaged in the behalf of those they shall call on my name, Shall whose hearts are upright towards this be in vain? No; I will hear him; who sincerely desire to subthem; I will say it is my people; mit to his discipline; whose lanI will make it known to them so guage is, Do with me as seemeth clearly, that they shall say, The thee good, only remember me with Lord is my God. May we not the favour thou bearest unto thy say, Happy are the people who people. What a friend, then, is have the Lord for their God, what- Jesus Christ! and is he ours? He ever be the means of bringing them is the friend of sinners, without exinto the enjoyment of such a union? ception, that are made sensible this Let us, then, look up to Him is their character; and who, under for that resignation to his wilt, as the consciousness of it, are applymay enable us, under the most af- ing to him for mercy and grace to Aictive dispensations, to say, “ The help in time of need.He knows cup which my Father has given me, all our feelings; he submitted to may I not drink it?" Allow it to be tempted himself, that he might be grievous, still let us remember, know how to succour his followers. it shall yield the peaceable fruits of when passing through the same. righteousness to such as are look- In all their afflictions, he is afflicting to Him for the same. Does my, ed; and he not only sympathizes friend say, Alas ! I feel my weak with them, but promises his grace ness to be such, that I fear I shall shall be sufficient for them, and never be able to overcome these that his strength shall be manifest difficulties. To you, then, especi- in their weakness. What more can ally, the promise belongs," He I say, but enforce the encouragegiveth power to the faint; and to ment of the Psalmist ? « Trust in them who have no might he in- the Lord at all times; pour out creaseth strength." It is the con- your heart before him." God is a sciousness of our insufficiency that refuge for us. That you may be excites me to try to encourage your enabled thus to do; and find, in so confidence in Him, who is a strong- doing, the joy of the Lord to be hold in the day of trouble, and your strength in the time of trouble, knoweth them who trust in him. Is rendering you more than conqueror infinite Wisdom, Love, and Power, over all; is the earnest desire and à mere spectator of their trials ? prayer of your affectionate friend, Surely no. All his perfections are
THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS.
The search after happiness is so pursued in a wrong direction; the general, that not an individual will source from whence it springs is be found who is not, in some unknown to the generality of manway or other, engaged in its pur kind, and is accessible only to those suit; yet, like the deceitful shar who fear God and walk in his dow, which vanishes with a rapi- ways: “ Great peace -havethey dity proportionate to the attempt who love thy law." which is made at reaching it, so While the men of the world are does this desired object, for the inquiring with anxious solicitude, most part elude the grasp of its "Who will show us any good ?" the numerous votaries. If weexamine true Christian earnestly desires, into the true cause of failure, we that the light of his Father's counshall discover, that the object is tenance may be lifted upon him. This affords bim more real glad- rebellious with stroke upon stroke, ness of heart than if his corn and or will at length, "provoked by wine were increased. His life is their obduracy and impenitence. hid with Christ in God; he pos- leave them to perish amid their own sesses a joy the world can neither delusions. give nor take away; and which, The Christian, indeed, has sotunlike the trifling vanities of time rows to undergo, with which the and sense, will yield support and worldling is unacquainted; but consolation when every other hope these sorrows are usually either fails. “ The blessing of the Lord the forerunners of, or are accommaketh rich, and addeth no sor- panied with, peculiar consolations. row therewith.”
His grief for sin leads him to a On the other hand, view a man more lively contemplation of the in the midst of his worldly enjoy. Saviour's sufficiency; his sense of ments, without a sense of God's his weakness and infirmity enpresence and blessing, how poor, ables him more to rejoice, that and how dissatisfied is he, notwith- God hath laid belp upon one that standing all his earthly possessions! is mighty, and promised, “ that as “ What shall it profit a man if he his day is, so his strength shall be.” gain the whole world and lose his The existence of corrupt affections own soul?” Better were it to have makes him feel increasing gratitude Lazarus's portion; to be reduced to that God, who has put into his to the utmost extremity of worldly heart good desires, and oftentimes misery, with attendant angeks ready vouchsafes to draw up his mind to to convey his glorified spirit into the contemplation of high and holy Abraham's bosom, than, like the things; and thus the very trials he rich man, to fare sumptuously, and meets with have a sanctifying and be clothed in purple and fine linen, beneficial effect, leading him to and at length consigned to ever- more intimate communion with his lasting misery, “where the worm Saviour, and producing in him more dieth not, and the fire is not abiding peace and consolation, and quenched.” O what an awful con- animating him to prepare more trast, and what a striking lesson, habitually for that rest which redoes that narrative afford to the maineth for the people of God. ungodly rich man! “ Let not, This peace, and this consolathen, the wise man glory in his tion, will be found nearly connected wisdom; neither let the mighty with, and proportioned to, our dillman glory in his might: let not the gence and assiduity in improving rich man glory in his riches; but the means of grace, and walking let him that glorieth glory in this, closely with God. The careless that he understandeth and knoweth and negligent Christian will be me."
made to feel in his measure, that How miserable is the state of the way of transgressors is hard ; those who, amidst the sorrows of while the humble, watchful, de this life, and the reproaches of voted Christian shall experience, their own conscience, are yet living that as afflictions abound consolain neglect of God, unmindful of the tions abound also; and sball, at gracious invitation, “ Come unto last, be enabled to set to his seal. me, all ye that are weary and heavy that all the ways of the Lord are laden, and I will give you rest.” So mercy and truth to them that fear long as this message of mercy is him and keep his commandments. disregarded, God will either visit the