« FöregåendeFortsätt »
MEMOIR OF THE RIGHT HON. long ; longer than I should have
THOMAS WENTWORTH, EARL done, but for the sake of these OF STRAFFORD.
dear pledges, which a saint in hes
ven has left me." —Here he paused, THOMAS Wentworth, one of the dropped a tear, looked upon his most eminent statesmen of the se- children, and proceeded : « What venteenth century, was born of a I forfeit for myself is a trifle: that noble family in Yorkshire, and, at my indiscretions should reach my the commencement of the reign of posterity, wounds me to the heart. Charles I. became a zealous op- Pardon my infirmity.Something ponent of the measures adopted I should have added, but I am not by the Court. Soon afterwards, able; and therefore I let it pass, however, he quitted the patriotic And now, my Lords, for myself. party, was created Earl of Straf- I have long been taught, that the ford, and appointed Lord Lieute- afflictions of this life are overpaid nant of Yorkshire, from which by that eternal weight of glory post he was shortly after promoted which awaits the innocent. And to that of Lord Deputy of Ireland. so, my Lords, even so, with the But his conduct there giving great utmost tranquillity I submit mydissatisfaction to the nobility, he self to your judgment, whether was impeached on his return by that judgment be life or death. that violent party to whom he had Not my will, but thine, O God, be formerly been attached, and who done!" now persecuted him with relent. The eloquence and innocence of less fury. .
Strafford induced those judges to The Earl of Strafford defended pity, who were most zealous to himself against the accusations of condemn him: Charles I. himself the House of Commons with all spoke long in his defence ; but the the presence of mind, judgment, spirit' of revenge, which had been and sagacity, that could be ex- chained for eleven years, was now pected from conscious innocence roused, and the sacrifice of his and ability. His children were life alone could give the people saplaced beside him, while he was tisfaction. He was therefore conthus defending his own life and demned by both houses of Parlia. the cause of his royal master. ment, and nothing remained but After he had. in a long and elo. for the King to give his assent to quent speech, delivered without the bill of attainder. Charles, premeditation, confuted all the however, who loved Strafford tencharges of his enemies, he thus derly, hesitated, and was extremely drew to a conclusion: “ But, my reluctant, trying every expedient Lords, I have troubled you too to put off so dreadful an office as, : CHRIST. GUARD. VOL. VI. :
that of signing the warrant for his And so, being reconciled to the execution. While the King was mercies of Jesus Christ my Sathus agitated by contending fears viour, into whose bosom I hope and suspense,. his doubts were at shortly to be gathered, to enjoy last silenced by an act of singular eternal happiness, which shall nemagnanimity in the condemned ver have an end, I desire heartily Lord. He received a letter from to be forgiven of every man, if any that nobleman, entreating him to rash or unadvised words or deeds put an end to his unfortunate have passed from me; and desire (however innocent) life, and to all your prayers; and so, my Lord, quiet the tumultuous people by farewell, and farewell all things in granting them the request for this world. The Lord strengthen which they were so importunate. my faith, and give me confidence “ In this," added Strafford, “my and assurance in the merits of Christ consent will more acquit you to Jesus. I trust in God we shall all God than all the world can do be- meet to live eternally in heaven, and sides. To a willing mind there is receive the accomplishment of all no injury: and as, by God's grace, happiness, where every tear shall I forgive all the world, with a be wiped from our eyes, and sad.. calmness and meekness of infinite thoughts from our hearts; and so, contentment to my dislodging God bless this kingdom, and Jesus soul; so, Sir, to you I can resign have mercy on my soul.” the life of this world with all ima. The Earl of Strafford then bid ginable cheerfulness, in the just adieu to his brother and friends acknowledgment of your most dis- who attended him, to whom he tinguished favours.”
gave various advices, and commis At length Charles, after many sions ; and having sent a blessing doubts and fears, signed the war- to his nearer relations who were rant for Strafford's execution, who absent, “ Now," said he, “ I have was allowed only the short interval nigh done! One stroke will make of three days to prepare for the my wife a widow, my dear children suffering of the fatal sentence. fatherless, deprive my poor ser· The resignation and Christian vants of their indulgent master, hope which this victim of popular and separate me from my affecindignation had displayed during tionate brother and all my friends! his trial and confinement, did not Bút let God be to you and them forsake him on that awful day. He all in all.” He then began to dismoved forward from his apartment robe ; and, while preparing him. to Tower Hill with an elated coun- self for the block; “ I thank God,” tenance; and on his arrival at the said he, “ I am nowise afraid of scaffold, he addressed himself to death, nor am daunted with any the Archbishop of Armagh, his terrors; but do as cheerfully lay brother Sir George Wentworth, down my head at this time, as ever and a few others who were there I did when going to repose.” . present, in a speech which he de- With one blow the executioner livered with tranquillity, and from terminated the existence of this which we have selected the follow. unfortunate nobleman ;, who, whating particulars..
ever might have been his errors, : "I do,” said he, “ freely forgive certainly merited a less severe senall the world; a forgiveness not tence from his sanguinary enemies; from the teeth outwards (as they and whose conduct was evidently say), but from my heart. I speak directed, through the whole of in the presence of Almighty. God, his virulent persecution, by those before whom I stand, that there is sentiments of religion which alone not a displeasing thought that can support the mind under the ariseth in me against any man. pressure of adversity.
ESSAYS ON THE NAMES AND SHEPHERD OF THE SHEEP” (John,
TITLES GIVEN TO OUR DIVINE X, 1, 2, 3); and may, with equal REDEEMER.
propriety, be referred to the en. ... No. V..
trance of his ministerial servants : The Door (of the Sheep).
on their work, In this important
" office none ought to engage but The name of Christ which is by his appointment, expressed in now to engage our meditation, the internal call of his Spirit the though derived from a very humble suitable communication of his gifts allusion, contains the most import and graces and in the use of ant lessons of instruction. Let us the constituted ordinances of his not stumble then at its apparent church: for “ how can they preach meanness. The most exalted things except they be sent ?” (Rom. X. in nature fall indeed infinitely be. 14, 15.) But the allusion imine. neath his essential dignity and diately passes over to the church, glory; yet the most common things and the entrance of every indivimay tend, in the present state, to dual believer into it, in which He mark out to the eye of faith, some represents himself, not only as the of the glories of his person, or Shepherd, but as the only Door of the benefits which we derive from admission into the fold of God; in his mediatorial character and his divine nature everywhere preworks. The excellency of each sent to guard and bless his people; selected, and.combined in one perand in his mediatorial character son, would alone give us the scrip- becoming all things which they can tural character of the Redeemer; want, the only, but all,sufficient a character worthy of our highest Saviour. That God has, in the love and, most fervent adoration. world, a peculiar people, his own But one glance of his true glories sheep, his chosen Hock, is one of in the heavenly world, would doubtthe grand truths of revelation. less convince us, that the half had. These were the special objects of not been told us; that he is not the Saviour's love; the persons hè only endued with individual, per, had respecti to in his condescenfections; but, in his divine and hus sion, his agonizing passion, and man nature, is the “ ALI. AND IN bleeding cross; and shall be the ALL.” Hence, as the Door of the subjects of his grace, and the pare sheep, he solicits and deserves our takers of his salvation. “ The good serious attention.
shepherd knows his sheep;"_" he The idea seems to have beon calls them by name;". (because) derived from the representations « he gave his life for them.'' he had just before been making (Ver. 14, 15; ver. 3.) His church of himself as the Shepherd of the is, therefore, very fitly compared fock, and which is prosecuted in to a fold, wherein he brings his the following verses with a peculiar redeemed people, by his grace; and engaging delicacy. I keeps them safe from danger, and
It is first applied to his own en, supplies all their need. Within this trance upon his office, in opposię favoured spot, and under his protion to every false pretender to the tection, they are secure even in Messiahship: “ HE THAT ENTER. this wilderness world ; but shall ETH IN BY TIIE DOOR, 18. The triumph more abundantly in the knowledge of it, when removed to The door which sin has shut, that fold of glory, wherein all his righteousness alone can open; but chosen ones shall rest above. But, man is a sinner, and “there is into the one or the other, he is the none righteous, no not one." Un only entrance; the door of admis- less, therefore, he can cease to sion into the divine favour now, be a sinner for the time to come, and the only way to eternal life as well as render a perfect atoneand salvation. The unfolding of ment for his past transgressions, the character will more thorough- the sentence of exclusion from the ly impress these important views Divine presence can never be reupon the mind, and, while dis- moved. But man can do neither. covering our entire dependence Atonement or ransom he has none upon the blessed Redeemer, for to give; the righteousness of the law every spiritual hope and enjoy. he can never attain to; the best ment, will exalt his person and his works or duties he performs, when work, and make them precious to weighed in the balances of the us, if we are amongst those “ who sanctuary, are FOUND WANTING; have believed through grace." ' while continued- iniquity might
Blessed Jesus! may we enter by justly add to the Divine displeathee into the abundant joys and sure. He, then, that trusts to open glories of thy salvation !
again, in this manner, the way of A door implies, that every other access to the Father, must be told way of access is denied: while, if it that the door is shut. The entrance be suitable, it prevents the neces- is guarded by the dreadful sword sity of any other, and is itself the of justice, though the wisdom and proper and only way of admission. mercy of a covenant God has proHence Christ is called the Door, vided and discovered another way,
(1.) In opposition to every other in which the sinner may approach hope of access in our return to and live : “God hath given to us God; of entrance into his church eternal life, and this life is in his and kingdom. Ever since the fall Son." of man he has been banished from He is the door with regard to his the presence of the Lord. The door suitableness and sufficiency. The of Paradise was shut against him, atonement for sin, and the obediwhere innocence and perfect pu- ence of righteousness, are works rity invited the presence of the which necessarily belong 'to the Creator, and secured to the crea- undertaking and office of Him ture communion and fellowship who proposes himself as the Rewith a holy God. “ So he drove deemer of sinners. His perfect out the man: and he placed at the atonement is, therefore, all-suffieast of the garden, cherubim and cient to bring us back to God; his a flaming sword, which turned righteousness to justify from all every way, to keep the way of things. Thus says the Apostle the tree of life.”. (Gen. iii. 22, (Rom. viii. 3, 4), “ What the law 24*.)
could not do, in that it was weak * In our translation the design of the
through the flesh, God sending his cherubim was to prerent bis access again
own Son in the likeness of sinful to the tree of life; but the word rendered flesh; and for sin, condemned sin keep, may, with propriety, be revdered in the flesh : that the righteouspreserve; and, in this sense, may mark out ness of the law might be fulfilled that new way of life and salvation, which in us, who walk not after the flesh. was thus revealed after the fall, and of h which the cherubic representation was the
but after the Spirit.” Upon this figurative emblem. If the old way was thus shut up, according to the covenant of works, Jesus Christ, the tree of life, in the celesa. & new and living way was thus revealed to tial paradise.
ground we have access to God, our great object will be to bring it and a covenant right to all the into experience, by faith. While blessings of his salvation. “ He we take a short but comprehensive made his soul an offering for sin ;" view of that infinite variety of he “ brought in everlasting righte- blessings into which he opens, and ousness ;' and the triumphs of his to which he brings his believing resurrection have justified the sor- people, may the Lord, by the rows of his death, and secured its precious influences of his Špirit, benefits to his people. When he grant to us the sweet enjoyment ! burst the bars of death and opened There is, indeed, no entrance the doors of the grave, he disco- into any vital practical religion but vered every impediment removed, by Christ, and by faith in him. and showed us the way to the hea- That religion that does not place venly world. This, as it is con- him as the beginning, that is not sidered the work of the Father and entirely dependent upon him for of the Spirit, is a sure testimony all its supplies, that does not place of his perfect acceptance, and a his glory as the end of all, is not proof that justice was satisfied, of God. Yea, it is contrary to the the law honoured, and every per- plain declarations of his word; it fection of the divine nature glorie arises from an ignorance of Scripfied in the redemption of the cross. ture truth, a misapprehension of As it is his own work, it not only the evil of sin and our sinful state; demonstrates his wisdom, compas- it rests upon a wrong foundation ; sion, and love, but is a display (in proceeds upon false principles, and the most convincing manner) of is directed to a wrong end. Plauhis almighty power; and assures sible it may be in its appearances, us that he is able to save return- and beneficial in its effects upon ing sinners to the uttermost. “ We those around us, but can never be then, who were afar off, may now acceptable in the sight of God. come near through him.” Every The true believer traces back all forbidding circumstance is re his religious exercises and duties moved; every necessary pre-requi. to the grace of Christ, and of his site is provided; the Forerunner is Spirit, as their source; he expects himself before the throne to pre- their acceptance only through the pare our way and secure our aca merits of his blood, and the preceptance, and the faithful promise valence of his intercession; and establishes our believing expecta. acknowledges his glory as the only tion. Every name, and every cha- proper end of all. The more abunracter, of the dear Redeemer, dant, therefore, the fruits of grace teaches us this lesson, that, though are in his heart and life, the more without him there is no salvation he feels indebted to Him who is the for guilty sinners, in him is trea. Giver of all, and without whom he sured up all we need. If we ap- daily feels he can do nothing. Reproach through him, our accept- pentance and faith, the first steps in ance is certain. Were any one to the Christian course, those special use the same figurative language, graces, upon the possession and 66 I will be your door to such a exercise of which all other coveperson;" we should readily under- nant blessings are suspended, were stand his meaning to be, I will en- the purchase of his blood, and are sure your entrance, and favourable the gifts of his hand. He is “ex• reception: thus, through Jesus, we alted to give repentance," and " is approach unto the Father; “ WE the author and finisher of faith.” COME WITH BOLDNESS TO THE Here begins all practical Christi. THŘONE OF GRACE, &c."
anity ; thus it is carried forward The doctrine indeed is plain : by the faith of Jesus; and is there.