Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

the living faith; the warm charity; the sweet submission ; the enrapturing hopes of this dear child under the protracted pressure of excruciating pain, and amidst the agonies of death; and then say, as he marked his upward flight, in what estimation would he bold the dying blessing of this young christian? Would be not think hiinself richly rewarded for whatever effort or self-denial he had encountered, in sustaining the interests of the sabbath school? And would be not resolve to do more to advance this holy cause, than he bad yet attempted ? Whoever he may be, we cannot hesitate to assure him, that he is justly entitled to the full weight of the encouragement which multiplied instances of usefulness in sabbath schools, more or less like that presented in the Memoirs of Nathan W. Dickerman, can afford.

From the sabbath school teacher, we turn to the christian parent. His attention we would call to the striking illustrations of the doctrine advanced in this article, which are to be found in such books as Durant's Memoir of an Only Son, and the Memoir of John M. Mead. He cannot fail to be interested in marking the feelings, with which these parents received their children to their bosom. “ It was no sooner announced to me,” writes Mr. Durant, “ that a man-child was born into the world, than I most solemnly dedicated him to his Maker.” The consecration of their child to God, in whose name he was baptized, formed the basis of the discipline, which they employed for bis benefit. They never seemed to have lost sight of their obligalions to train him up to serve and enjoy the Savior. As they could not throw off the responsibilities of parents, they resolved as far as possible, themselves to conduct ihe education of their children. “ They entrusted John," writes Mr. Mead, “very little to others.” From his parents he derived his first impressions, with them he early learned to sympathize, to them he dedicated tbe warm affections of bis heart, he received from them the richest lessons of instruction. They were thus enabled “to grapple their son to them as with hooks of steel ;" and to make bis affectionate regard for them greatly subservient to his religious interests.

We do not pretend that every parent can, to the same extent as Mr. D., conduct himself the education of his children. But may not every parent cherish the spirit of his example? May he not obtain just views of the proper object and best measures of intellectual and moral discipline? May he not keep his heart continually alive and his eyes continually open to the training, which his children are receiving? With ever watchful attention, may he not mark the operations of their minds and the movements of their hearts? May he not be every day contributing something

directly or indirectly, to their advancement in “ whatsoever are lovely and of good report?” May be not thus keep fast hold of them, and do much to form and perfect their character?

We dare not trust our pen with the delightful task of giving in detail the method pursued by their parents, in the education of William F. Durant and John M. Mead; nor with the equally de lightful task of describing at length the golden results, in which both parents and children rejoiced. Such a task would require more time and space, than could fairly be allowed us. The me moirs, in which ihe interesting details to which we allude, are em bodied, we cordially and earnestly recommend to the careful perusal of every conscientious parent. He will be delighted to find here a plan of education described and pursued, which he : cannot but pronounce happily conformed to the christian model. In the general outline and in the minor features, he will perceive that a constant and affectionate regard is had to the peculiarities of the gospel. The tendencies of such a discipline, he will see clearly illustrated and greatly honored by the practical results, which are preserved in the history of these cherished sons. The temper they breathed, and the course they pursued, living at dying, he will regard as a high encouragement to subject toi own children with equal solicitude and hope, to the same disa cipline.

As He places the helpless infant in the arms of the exulting parent, we seem to hear the Savior say; Take this little one and

train him up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” Esgage in the work of education, not only with solicitude and digence, but also with courage and hope. Remember, that I bare formed that infant with a constitution adapted to my service, and breathed into him desires, which the friendship of his Savior aks can satisfy. In the relations under which I have placed him, se the occasions, in which he cannot but exercise sentiments, o viously and strongly analogous to the elements of religion. W an eye open on the history of the church, weigh the golden results with which, under the dispensation of the spirit, christian discipl 2:1 has been crowned in the solid worth, extensive usefulness, and permanent happiness of those children, for whose benefit it bal been employed. Lay hold of these encouragements, so appea priate and weighty ; and cheerfully assume the responsibilities & the sacred trust, with which you are now honored.' What parer, as he presses bis infant to his bosom, will not welcome such goal cious words to his heart !

Art. IV.-MEMOIR OF Rev. SUTHERLAND Douglas.

SUTHERLAND Douglas, a servant of Christ, and a minister of the gospel, died two years ago in England. He had traveled for his health in several countries of the eastern continent, and was on the eve of returning to the United States, and to the ministry which engaged all his affections. His friends and family were expecting soon to welcome his restoration to them and to the church, when suddenly his departure from this world was announced. Before the day had arrived when they thought of him as embarked on the ocean, his entrance had been made, as they now feel assured, into the joys of his Lord. But he has left a precious legacy behind him,-his example, his labors, and the “memory of the just.”

of the present memoir the object is, not alone, nor chiefly, to indulge the wish which is prompted by the affection and grief of a circle of numerous friends, that of seeing their recollections of departed worth embodied in some enduring form. Tlie subject of this narrative was a follower of the Lamb; and our desire is that men may imitate his example in all things in which he imitaed Christ. He was also one in whom the most attractive qualities of natural character were beautifully blended with the graces of a christian. May they hold the same relation in this memoir which they did in real life, and affect the reader as they did the beholder !

Much of what we are about to present, rests on the authority of personal knowledge an intimate acquaintance co-extensive with the period which these meinoirs embrace. The history is enriched, besides, by the reminiscences of friends. But more interesting than all of them, will be found the extracts from his Journal; which, written at intervals sometimes of days, and sometimes of months, is a record of his own mind. We shall see a youth, in a revival of religion, yielding the supreme affections of his heart to Christ, and transferring his designs, hopes, and motives, from the scale of time to that of eternity. We shall see bim ever afterwards acting under an impression of the immeasurable capacities and worth of the soul; and fixing all the hopes of time on that ministry which calls back wanderers to their Shepherd and Bishop. Amidst the most interesting relations of life, through an education for the gospel ministry and short but faithful labors in it, in the failure of many hopes, in mingled griefs and rejoicings, and under the pressure of a resistless malady, we shall trace a “ sinner saved by grace" ripening for glory.

Sutherland Douglas was born at Troy, N. Y., in the year 1804. His parents, who were members of the Protestant Episcopal Church, bad trained him up with uncommon care; and at the early age of fourteen be was placed for the completion of his education at Yale College. Here he was noticed for a remarkably youbful air and size, a sweet expression of countenance, and mild and manly manners. Soon after he joined his class, young Douglas gave decisive indications of superior scholarship; though be seems to bave labored but little beyond the allotted hours of study. In the retrospections of his Journal, the two first years of his college lise, are looked back to as a period that was passed without any adequate conception of the preciousness of time, and the evening hours as spent in a manner worse than idle. lo fact his course thus far, was beset by dangers, such as hare impressed on many a young man's character lasting injury; since it brought bim into close contact with some unworthy fellowstudents, of whose frolics he was the amused spectator, though not a partner, that we know, in any thing disorderly-much less any thing corrupt. But, at the end of his second year all was changed; the thoughtless and worldly Sutherland was brought to " a sound mind," and to a resolution, that "the time past of his life should suffice to have wrought the will of the flesh.”

In the latter part of the summer of 1820, an unusual sensa. tion on religious subjects, was prevalent at New Haven, and shortly after, in the college. Numbers of persons, with no common intercourse or communication, were impressed about the same time, with a deep solemnity, and felt the reality of divine truth in a way unknown before. The true disciples of Jesus found a new impulse added to their christian desires and hopes. Unconverted sinners in great numbers, were intently occupied with the inquiry " what shall I do to be saved ?" By some these serious impressions were resisted, though ineffectually-by some resisted till they were gone; but, when not resisted to the end, in almost every case, peace sooner or later dawned upon the mind. Many date from this season their first knowledge of religion, as an active principle, their first satisfying hope, their first taste of solid happiness. This we need not say, was a REVIVAL OF RELIGIOS; known before and since, in places without number; but elsewhere unknown, and by numbers, in the very seat of them, exceedingly misunderstood. At this period are dated the first lines written in the Journal of young Douglas, which are interesting, as they show the gradations through which that dawn arose in a young christian's heart, which was destined to shine more and more to the light of perfect day'.

My attention was turned to the concerns of religion on Thursday evening, the 17th of August 1820, through the means of the Rev. Mr. N- , who preachi

ed, that evening, in the theological chamber. I thought of the subject more and more every day until Saturday evening the 20th, when I heard Prof. Gpreach in the same chamber." He also delivered an affectionate address to those students who were seriously inclined, on Sunday evening. On Tuesday morning I conversed with him in private; and I then entertained a hope that I had obtained an interest in my Redeemer. On Saturday afternoon, the 2d of Sept. Dr. B- delivered an address to some of the students, concerning the character of the true christian. This occasioned some doubt in my mind concerning muy situation. Monday I felt doubtful and unhappy; in the evening I attended a montbly concert of prayer, in the theological chamber. (Tuesday 25tl) Examination begins. There is in college too little seriousness. I retired to my room and spent the morning in seis-examination and prayer; I read Doddridge, 13th to 17th chapters, on the “Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul." I felt my own sinfulness and inability to do any thing of inyself: I then cast myself at the feet of Jesus, and offered up the following prayer.”

His confession of sins and helplessness; his thankful acceptance of salvation by Christ; his covenant to be the Lord's, wholly and forever ; his desire to be transformed into the image of God, are recorded and signed with his name. He prays that on his death-bed, he may remember the solemn transaction, and that God may remember it too; and that “ if any surviving friend should, when I am in the dust, meet with this memorial of my solemn transaction with thee, he may make the engagement his own, and partake in all the blessings of thy covenant, through Jesus Christ.”

One may reasonably suppose that this act of dedication was in his thoughts, when near his death in a lucid interval, he said, - This is not a time for a man to utter what is in the depths of his heart, I made the Savior my trust in more suitable and more savorable times.” A few passages that follow, exhibit his prevailing state of mind after conversion.

Sept. 11th.-Mr. F- , our tutor, delivered, this morning, a very affectionate farewell address to the division. Ile is very much beloved by all that know him, particularly by the members of his division. When I reflected that I had sometimes displeased my tutor, who had always endeavored to promoto my wclfare, thc tears trickled down my chceks.

Sunday, Nov. 5th.– This day I have enjoyed more than any other of this term. I hope to partake of the holy sacrament of our Lord's pupper at the next celebration. I am still by far too much attached to the world and its vanities, too much disturbed by envy, ambition, pride, vanity and self-righteousness; but I am comforted by the thought that the Lord is mercilul, and is not extreme to mark what is done amiss, that the truly penitent and believing will find forgiveness with him, and strength to overcome all the enemics of the soul.

Sunday, Dec. 31st.-On Christmas I first partook of the sacrament of the Lord's supper.--One half-hour, more and another year is gone forever. Solemn thought! a year fraught with events that will ever be remembered with pleasure; that have caused joy in heaven, and added to the number of those that sing the praises of the Lamb during the endless ages of eternity.-Heavenly Father! inay the time past of my life suflice to have wrought the will of the flesh; and may I hence. forth be cntirely devoted to thy service,-abound in love and all the christian graces,-ever rely on the merits of Jesus for forgiveness--the Spirit for strength and comfort,-be more and more weaned from the world, prepared for eternity, and finally, in thine owo appointed time, be received into thy heavenly kingdom for my Redeemer's sake. And to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, be ascribed all the glory forever. Amen. Vol. IV.

72

« EdellinenJatka »