« EdellinenJatka »
his piety was held in the highest estimation, both by his excellent tutor, (Mr. Jarrom,) and his fellow-students. In nothing perhaps did his piety more appear than in the holy jealousy with which he was wont to watch and examine his motives. As the love of applause is natural to man, so nothing is perhaps more pleasing, or more stimulating. The mind that is dead to its influence gives little hope of distinction; yet here there is great danger; and especially will this apply to young men preparing for the ministry. Our esteemed friend knew and felt this. After preaching at Wisbech on Sabbath afternoon, previous to the ordinance, he thus records his feelings :-"O how dull! how cold! how lifeless! Surely I had been remiss. I fear I had not been so fervent in secret prayer for divine assistance as I ought. The fault must rest with myself: God is the same, ever ready to communicate his blessing. In his promises he remains the same, and he says, 'Ask, and ye shall receive;' but ask sincerely, and ask in faith. What was my motive? Where was my faith? Did I not desire to preach a good sermon, that I might gain applause, rather than that I might benefit my hearers? I fear this desire of applause prevails too much in my heart. If this be the case, the Divine Being may justly withhold his assistance. Lord destroy within me this detestable principle; fill my soul with love to thee, and desire for the salvation of sinners."
Having completed his term of study at Wisbech, Mr. T., in compliance with an invitation, supplied for a few months the Church at Wendover, Bucks. He arrived at W., Jan. 9th, 1834. He found the Church in a very unsettled state, occasioned by some misunderstanding between them and their late minister; but a change for the better was soon witnessed. At this time Mr. T. remarks, "All the circumstances connected with my
coming to this place being considered, I think the hand of God may be clearly seen in the affair. If so, the Lord has work for me to do here. May he qualify me for it, make me ready to every good word and work, to do his will."
The attendance on the first Lord'sday of his preaching at W. was very encouraging, and continued to increase during the period of his probation. On the 26th of March following, he received an invitation to continue amongst them, which, after much prayerful deliberation, he accepted. In doing so, he considered he was acting in accordance with the leadings of Divine Providence. So soon as April, the congregations had so much increased that "they could increase no more" without an enlargement of the chapel. The enlargement was soon after commenced, but not without opposition. In his diary he remarks, Bunyan has truly said,
'A christian man is never long at ease, When one fight's gone another doth him sieze.' God has wrought for us hitherto in a marvellous manner. His house of prayer is being enlarged, although many have opposed it. The attendance on the means is encouraging, although many have attempted to injure us in this. Lord, make thy dust grateful for what thou hast done; enable him to be zealous and persevering, and daily to commit his way unto God. I am now about to commence a preparation for my ordination. Lord, assist thy servant; give him a sound judgment; give him a clear and correct view of divine truth. The Lord has granted me to realize in part the request I made at my first coming to W., viz.; that the congregation might continue to increase, that the place might become too strait for us, and that we might be furnished with the means of enlargement. The enlargement is going forward. What reason have I to doubt his goodness in furnishing us with the means for
defraying the expense? He has the hearts of all in his hands. The gold and the silver are his. Lord prosper us in this respect. I also entreated that the Church might increase in numbers. This he has granted, and others are waiting. Lord, what am I, that I should be instrumental of the least good? To thy name be all the glory.
On the 9th of October Mr. T. was appointed to the pastoral office, just nine months after his coming to W. This was to him and the Church a day of great importance and solemnity. Brethren Ferneyhough, Wallis, Hobbs, and Jarrom, engaged in the services. Brother F. delivered the introductory discourse; brother W. proposed the questions, and preached to the Church in the evening, from 1 Cor. xv. 5—8; brother H. offered the ordination prayer; brother J. delivered the charge, founded on 2 Tim. ii. 1. In the evening of this day two members were ordained to the office of deacon. The re-opening of the chapel also took place on the same day. The congregations were large, and collections far exceeded expectation.
On October 13th Mr. T. entered into the matrimonial state with Miss Jefferey, a member of the Church at Wendover. Of this he says, "I trust God in his providence has provided a helpmeet for me. Oh that the blessing of the Almighty, which maketh rich and addeth no sorrow thereto, may rest upon us. May we ever be sharers of each others joys and sorrows, and hereafter meet in that blissful world where all fare well." This proved a happy union; and, during its comparatively short continuance, both enjoyed the highest degree of connubial felicity. In his diary, October 29th, 1840, he says, "Of the six years that I have been married, I have in gratitude to say they have been years of many blessings. God has given me a kind, sympathizing, and affectionate partner. He has given us both a con
siderable share of health, and richly supplied our temporal needs. He has given us spiritual enjoyments more than we deserved; but, had we lived nearer to him, we had enjoyed more. The Lord bless us both with humility and godly sorrow for all sin, and keep us to his heavenly kingdom. May the time I yet live in the flesh be spent more usefully. Help me, O Lord, to go forward, leaning on the beloved of my soul, who is my righteousness and strength." Little did our brother think, when he wrote this, that in about three years his time in the flesh would end, that his mourning widow would have to utter the language, "Lover and friend hast thou put far from me, and mine acquaintance into darkness." He left no issue.
During Mr. T.'s career at W. of nine years and eight months, there was not any thing unusually varied or memorable. Like many others, he had his encouragements and discouragements, his joys and sorrows, peculiar to the duties of the ministerial and pastoral office. These he often recorded with deep emotion.
Mr. T. was evidently of weak constitution; his most attached and sanguine friends could not predict a long career. For several years he exhibited symptoms of decline. In 1836 he Iwas laid aside from his labors for several weeks, and again in 1841. Of this latter attack he says, What a world of vicissitudes is this! Changes in society: some die, or are put down, and others take their places. Changes in situation: now prosperity, and now adversity; and God hath set the one over against the other for wise ends. Changes in experience; in the frame of the mind; in the health of the body. A while since I was well, and able to attend to my duties; now I am prevented through illness discharging the duties of the ministry. Well, it is the Lord; let me be still. My desire is, that the affliction may answer the end, that it may be for my good, and that it may be sanctified
to the Church; for surely, when a minister is afflicted, more than his personal profit is designed, though that is a great matter. I bless the name of the Lord, for the comfort afforded me in my affliction; but I want to feel more zealous, and more deeply concerned about Zion than I do. The Lord make his cause to lie ever near my heart."
In February, 1843, he says, "I have it in consideration to diminish the number of public services on week evenings, not having strength to sustain them all. May wisdom be given to make such alterations as shall be for the best." This is the last entry in his diary. We shall now mention a few of the circumstances attending the final scene of his life.
For several months previous to his death our excellent brother was unable to preach, and, though various means were used to restore his health, such as change of air, yet all was in vain On the Friday before his death, one of the worthy deacons informs me, he saw him, and found him in a calm, communicative, and heavenly frame, quite different from what I had ever witnessed before; for naturally, he was reserved and rather backward in conversation; but now he appeared altogether as free. I spoke to him on the state of his mind, saying I hoped he found Christ precious. He said, yes. I replied, I trusted he was resting on him as the sure foundation. He answered, he felt safe in the hands of the Lord, but could not keep his mind fixed as he wished, but hoped he should before long. From his manner I thought he was ripening for glory, which appeared hid from him; for he expressed an idea that the Lord would raise him up again. He then spoke to me about his worldly affairs. From that day he enjoyed continual calmness and serenity of mind, only interrupted by the occasional discharge of blood. On the following Monday I saw him again, still in the same calm and heavenly
frame; and on the following day he said he still thought he should be raised up again, for he had seen so much of the goodness and mercy of the Lord during the last five days that he never witnessed before. He was constitutionally afraid of death, though the Lord appeared in mercy to hide it from him almost to the last. On the Friday morning, the day of his death, I was called up to visit him at four o'clock, he having then thrown up a vast quantity of blood. He experienced a sharp conflict with death, exclaiming in agony, "It is not easy to die. Come Lord Jesus." I endeavoured to console him, saying, "My dear sir, I hope you will feel that solid ground that Christian's feet rested upon when he was passing through the Jordan. "The fear," he said, "which I expressed was not of any consequences after death, but of the passing through the article of death itself." When I arrived at his bed-side, his sharp conflict with death was over, and he was laid on his side, apparently gasping his last breath. He seemed not to notice any one. I left him, and returned about seven o'clock, with another christian friend. He had then rallied, was quite calm and happy, and heaven seemed to beam in his countenance. I said I hoped he enjoyed the presence of the Lord. He replied, "I am happy, I am happy; I am going home; we shall meet there. He is a faithful God." He then exhorted the Church to cleave steadfastly to the Lord, and cried out, Tell the young, tell the young, to persevere and follow after holiness." Then speaking in reference to a friend he much loved, and had long hoped to see give himself to the Lord, he said, Tell him not to give up the pursuit." Just then another brother and sister in Christ came in, whom he exhorted to steadfastness, and making an effort, with his hand pointing, said, "See the crown!" When the power of speech failed him, I put two questions to him of his hope of future
glory, to which he nodded, with a smile on his countenance, such as I never saw before; so that I beheld his face as the face of an angel. While his end was fast approaching, he made another effort to write to his friends, but only proceeded with little more
than two lines, and they almost unintelligible. All that could be made out was, "May a hand divine protect them, and they enjoy his smile; love them, guide them, and give them peace. Christ all.-C. T." He then fell asleep.
(To be continued.)
WHAT are our reasons, then, for re-
Ist. We utterly disapprove of its constitution, and its form of government. It is a National Establishment, and, as such, all the inhabitants of the land, if sprinkled in infancy, and afterwards "confirmed," are bonâ fide members of it, whether carnally or spiritually minded, whether experimentally acquainted with scriptural and saving godliness, or otherwise. They are received into the Church when a few days old perhaps; they may go to its communion after confirmation, through life, provided they be not "notorious evil-livers.' When buried, it is publicly declared, that "it hath pleased God of his great mercy to take their souls unto himself," and their bodies are committed to the grave "in sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life."
Then as to the government of the Church: the sovereign of these realms for the time being is its acknowledged head, whether a male or a female, a believer or an infidel, a pious person or a profligate. If a king is upon the throne, he may be a Henry VIII., or an Edward VI.; a George III, or a George IV. If a queen is upon the throne, she may be a popish and sanguinary being, like Mary, a masculine and tyrannical creature, like Elizabeth, or an amiable and praiseworthy lady, like Victoria. In short, without respect to mental capabilities
or moral attributes, without respect to theological attainments or spiritual condition, the hereditary and reigning sovereign is head of the Church, and has power (as facts of history sufficiently attest) to produce extensive and most objectionable changes; while no reforms, however desirable, and however loudly called for even by the clergy and the bishops, can ever be effected until the sovereign has been consulted, and has consented to the alteration. From a Church like this, so unscripturally constituted, and so strangely governed, we feel ourselves compelled to dissent.
2nd. We cannot conform to the Church of England because of certain doctrinal errors incorporated with it which appear to us of a very gross and dangerous description. Let me call your attention to the doctrine of baptismal regeneration. When a clergyman has baptized any infant, he addresses himself to those around in the following words :-" Seeing now, dearly beloved brethren, that this child is regenerate, and grafted into the body of Christ's Church, let us give thanks unto Almighty God for these benefits." Accordingly, they all kneel down, and the clergyman says, "We yield thee hearty thanks, Most Merciful Father, that it hath pleased thee to regenerate this infant with thy Holy Spirit, to receive him for thine own child by adoption, and to incorporate him into thy holy Church." Then, when that child is
able to repeat the catechism, he is required to say, (in reply to the question, Who gave you that name?") "My godfathers and godmothers, in my baptism, wherein I was made a member of Christ, a child of God, and an inheritor of the kingdom of heaven." In course of time that child is taken, with a number more, before the bishop of the diocess, who, addressing himself to the Divine Being, exclaims, Almighty and everlasting God, who hast vouchsafed to regenerate these thy servants by water and the Holy Ghost, and hast forgiven all their sins," &c. Now what, I would seriously ask, is the character, and what is the state of these children, after they have been baptized by the "priest," and at the very moment when the bishop is publicly thanking God for their regeneration? they not all, or nearly all, totally ignorant of spiritual and saving religion? Have they any clear and adequate conception of what religion is? Do they furnish the smallest evidence of repentance toward God, and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ ?" A few of them may. But I allude to the generality. Are they not manifestly going astray from the paths of wisdom, and "seeking death in the error of their ways ?" Yet every one of them is instructed to consider himself as "born again," and as entitled to the peculiar blessedness of the man "whose transgressions are forgiven, and whose sins are covered!!" How utterly unscriptural, and how excessively dangerous, is a doctrine like this! Suppose a pious clergyman to be preaching at any time before a number of such individuals, from the solemn asseveration of our Lord, "Ye must be born again;" or from the hortatory language of the apostle Peter, "Repent ye, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out,"-would they be at all likely to profit by his sermon? could they be reasonably expected to listen to it as in any way applicable to themselves? And if assured that it
really was intended for their instruction and salvation, might they not very justly answer, We have been born again already; we have been pardoned and converted already; we are acknowledged as children of God, and inheritors of the kingdom of heaven, by all the clergy, yea, and by all the bishops in the country?" Thus they might live and die, with "a lie in their right hand." We are aware that some of the clergy do not believe in baptismal regeneration any more than we do, but strenuously endeavour to disabuse the minds of their parishioners on this important matter. far, however, they act inconsistently with their professions, and with the requirements of the Church to which they belong. So far, in fact, they renounce their own system, and act upon ours; they forsake their own party, and identify themselves with us.
Such errors as the above, then, appearing to us extremely gross and dangerous, we dare not so much as seem to sanction them; we are constrained by our love of evangelical and saving truth to protest against them: consequently, we cannot belong to that Church with which they are so closely and so essentially incorporated.
3rd. We refuse to conform to the Church of England because so many of its offices and its officers derive no countenance whatever from the Christian Scriptures, but are popish in their origin, and mischievous in their tendency. By carefully examining the New Testament writings, you will find that Churches of Jesus Christ are "congregations of faithful men, in which the pure Word of God is preached, and the sacraments duly administered," &c. You will further discover, that for such societies two kinds of officers are provided, viz.; bishops and deacons. By bishops, you will easily perceive, is not meant lordly and pompous prelates, rolling in wealth and luxury, but simply pastors, or overseers; pious, judicious, devoted men, whose business it is to