« FöregåendeFortsätt »
By the care of that good man and able divive, our friend's views of the plan of redemption, through the atonement and obedience of the Son of God, became more scriptural, simple, and clear. The rubbish was removed ; and his entire confidence for remission of sin, and the future gran. deyr and felicity of his nature, was placed on the foundation which God's wisdom, and not man's arrogance, hath laid in Zion.
While at Dalkeith, he married the daughter * of the late șir Gilbert, and sister of sir Robert Grierson, bart.
Mr. Middleton, when he left Dalkeith, became curate, first, to the late rey. Mr. Romaine ; and after serving him several years, to the hon. and rev. Mr. Cadogan t, rector of St. Luke's, Chelsea ; with whom he continued till that excellent man's death. The religious views, and the temper of his successor, were found ill to accord with Mr. Middleton's. A separation was soon found to be indispensably necessary. This trial he bore with exemplary patience. Indeed, the suffering virtues shone ever bright in his character. Mild, sympathetic, gentle, forgiving, resigned, he followed in silence the footsteps of his divine Master. Beside the consolations of an approving, conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity he had conducted himself, it pleased God to afford to him, in a very unexpected manner, the relief which the sympathy of the good, and the liberality of the generous, eyer bring to the
weary and the dejected soul. The friends of the Gospel at Chelsea, as soon as his resignation was known, set on foot and promoted a subscription in his behalf. His Diocesan, the right rev. the bishop of London, hearing of what had happened, wrote to him a letter truly pastoral and episcopal ; in which he expressed his desire of giving him some mark of the regard' he had for his piety and attention to his duty, requested his name to be added to the subscription; and in a few days after, inclosed a draft on his banker for fifty pounds. It is proper to add, that afterwards, his lordship understanding that Mr. Middleton's health was on the decline, and that his native air had been recommended, sent him twenty pounds to clear the expence of his journey; and twenty pounds more soon after the death of Mrs. Middleton. Such considerate kindness reflects equal honour on the heart of the excele lent Prelate, and on the character of our friend. The impressions of piety and gratitude which the bishop's concern and generosity made on Mr. Middleton's mind
See the following article. # Whose life see above, vol. I. p. 452.
, as we learn from his answers to the letters of his lordship
, elucidate his true character, and place his virtues in the fairest light. Mr. Middleton was also chosen lecturer of St. Bennet's, Gracechurch Street, and St. Helens, Bishops. gate Street; and about 1783, he was appointed chaplain to the countess of Crauford and Lindsay. Mr. Middleton's next engagement was with the rev.John Davies, M. A. minister of St. Margaret's Chapel, Westminster, whose ardent love of evangelical truth and affectionate deportmient, formed a pleasing contrast to what he had lately experienced. With him he consented to labour in the Lord's vineyard till 1804 ; when the rectory of Turvey falling vacant by the death of the late incumbent, was presented to him by Miss Fuller. Her late father, whose former friendship to Mr. Middleton we mentioned before, having purchased that part of the manor to which the rectory was attached, had designed it for Mr. Middleton; and the will of her aged and venerable parent, his daughter not only fulfilled, but, after his example, conducted herself with much friendship and repeated acts of generosity to the good man so long as he lived. Mr. Middleton enjoyed the rectory but a short period. On Easter day, 1801, he commenced his pastoral work at Turvey; and on Easter day, the next year, he preached his last sermon. About five weeks before his death, he was deeply affected by a fit of apoplexy; at which time his life was despaired of
. His intellects however returning, and his health reviving with apparent rapidity, he was able in a few days to resume his beloved work; and again he read prayers in the church. On Tuesday, April 23, 1805, he was remarkably cheerful; and wrote to several of his friends in town, expressing his intention of paying them a visit on the following Friday, The next day, however, he was somewhat indisposed, yét able to walk in his garden. On the morning of the 26th, between four and
five o'clock, he complained of a pain between his shoulders; and in less than an hour, reclining his head on the pillow, without any visible emotion, he fell asleep in Jesus, to whose hands he had com. mitted his departing spirit. Mr. Middleton had not com
pleted his sixty-sixth year. The funeral sermon was preached at Turvey by the rev. Mr. Davies, on the Sunday week following, from these words, Mat. xxv. 21. “Well done, thou good and faithful servant : thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord!" His parishioners, with tears and expressions of the deepest sorrow, testified their love for him. God indeed had given to him several of their souls as seals of his ministry, and by an humble, modest, and affectionate carriage, he had greatly endeared himself to them all. His pulpit talents were not brilliant; but there was so much artless simpli, city, so much earnestness and unction in his manner, as drew the love, if they did not raise the admiration, of all good men. It may be truly said of him, that
“ Truth from his lips prevail'd with double sway;
And fools who came to scoff, remaip'd to pray Except a few single sermons, and papers in periodical works, Mr. Middleton's only work was“ The Biographia Evangelica," four volumes, 8vo; which was well received by the religious world, and will be esteemed while the sentiments and stubborn morality of the old school are held in deserved repute. To that work (which is now become very scarce) we confess ourselves considerably indebted.
MIDDLETON, MRS. was the second daughter of sir Gilbert Grierson, bart, of Rock Hall, in the county of Dumfries, North Britain ; and was born in 1739. Both her parents were of the Episcopalian persuasion, attended chapel statedly, and were highly distinguished by morality and kindness. Sir Gilbert, being a younger son of the ancient family of Lagg, settled in Dalkeith, near Edinburgh ; and worshipped, with his lady and children, in the English chapel there, which was for some years without a fixed clergyman. The rev. Erasmus Middleton, was called by the members of that church, and ordained as their minister. Among those who called him were, the ladies of Gordon, sir Robert Grierson (sir Gilbert having died not long before,) and his mother, lady Griera son. Mr. Middleton, who by a singular course of Provi. dence was brought to Dalkeith, found the people, high
and low, sitting in darkness, resting in a form of goi. ness, and destitute of its power. They were even ignorar of the way of salvation, according to the doctrinal articls of their own church. The Gospel was now preached to them in its purity, and the Lord gave testimony to the word of his grace. Among the first seals of Mr. Middle ton's ministry was Miss Margaret Grierson; and there was something in the Gospel which pleased Miss Grierson from the first time she heard it, though it was uot till some months afterwards that she felt the power of divine truth. Her conviction of sin was deep, and the fear of God's wrath drove her almost to despair ; but the Lord spoke pardon and peace to her troubled soul by the powerful application of these words, “ God so loved the world, thu he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life" (Jobn, iii. 16.); a passage dear to her heart from that day.
While the Gospel was the only ground of Miss Grierson's hope, she was led to a sight and sense of the plague of her own heart, and delighted in the law of God as the rule of holy obedience. The inward change was accompanied with a vixible alteration ;: vain amusements were re: linquished, and thoughtless gaiety gave place to spiritual and rational enjoyments. Niss Grierson now so truly feared and loved God, that, in the most decided manner, she gave up the world, and every person, and every thing, that stood in competition with in unreserved surrender of herself to the Father of mercies. Divine ordinances were her delight, and the saints, of whatever rank, her com panions. About the same time another daughter of the family was called by grace, and the two sisters set on foot a praying society, composed of females. The ladies, as may be supposed, met with no small opposition from some of their own family, who reckoned theni enthusiastic; but they bore it with so much Christian temper, and acted so prudently, that prejudice was softened, was even removed in some instances, and those who once jeered and frowned, glorified God also. The young ladies persevered in prayer for themselves and their relations; and several of their relations, and others, were seriously impressed, and, there is reason to think, savingly converted.
Mr. Middleton had frequent opportunities of conversing with the serious part of the family, was respected by
all of them for his consistent, gentlemanly deportment, and observing the piety and amiable qualities of Miss Grierson, a mutual attachment was formed, which led to their happy union. Family pride, which, though not confined to Scotland, operates there from local circumstances with peculiar force, made some of Miss Grierson's relations averse to the match ; but she never repented it, and had reason to be satisfied with her choice. “Mr. and Mrs. Middleton were united in affection, and by the strong cords of religious principles and tempers: opposition only cemented them the closer ; and they were removed from the scene of it by Mr. Middleton's being called to London, where he laboured with faithfulness for several years, , as curate to the late worthy Mr. Romaine*, as related in the preceding article. His being compelled to withdraw from Chelsea, after Mr. Cadogan's death, was one of the many trials which Mr. and Mrs. Middleton experienced in their course, and during all of them Mrs. Middleton manifested great patience, and was wonderfully supported by particular promises, which came with such power and sweetness, that often she rejoiced in tribulation. She searched the Scriptures diligently with profit and pleasure till the day of her death; evidently grew was made eminently useful to others. She retained a predilection for the church of England, being educated in that church, called by means of a valuable minister of it, and firmly believing its scriptural articles. Mrs. Middledleton nevertheless esteemed every minister of Jesus, and every Christian, without respect to names or distinctions. In her, the saint, the friend, and the gentlewoman, were united and blended. Dignity and humility, seriousness, and suavity, were conspicuous in her conversation and manpers. She shone brightly in the various relations of life, and there was a pleasant uniformity in her temper and conduct. In troubles great and manifold, here was the faith and patience of the saint.
About 1792, one of her daughters being dangerously ill, Mrs. Middleton mentioned to an intimate female friend. that she had received much comfort under the occasional ministrations of a Dissenting minister ; and to another gentlewoman, she then rehearsed, with great thankfulness and diffidence, ber trials, experience, and supports, in the
The life of Mr. Roinaine will be given in its proper place. Vol. III.-No, 66.