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And whilst thus exalting himself, he was very censorious against ministers, and their hearers. Those who flattered his vanity were busily employed in collecting reports of the errors of ministers, and their censures of him. He was credulous enough to believe all and imagine more. Most of his hearers imbibed his spirit; the worst part of his character: they could not hear other ministers; and even persons whose natural temper was amiable, became bitter and censorious, deciding on the state of others, and exalting his writings above the scriptures: this separated chief friends. I always thought if the charge of Antinomianism could be supported against him and his hearers, it was chiefly in reference to his spirit and temper. Rough as his temper was, he could go great lengths in flattery. I will not magnify either extreme; admit both were infirmities.
He certainly sowed discord among brethren; and generally left a church divided after his first visit. This is commended by his friends, as the division of " the precious from the vile;" but he often confounded characters.
Mr. H. was an absolute monarch in the church; members were received and expelled by him; the church had little or no power. I was assured by his best friends, that whilst he was absent at Bristol, the members were examined, and one hundred and twenty judged to be destitute of Christian experience. If any one extolled his ministry and censured others as legal, he became a favourite.
Collections and sacrament-money he received; this was not "of good report," and occasioned many censures.
He was equally censurable in making places of worship, built by public money, his own private property, instead of investing them in public trusts for the churches. He borrowed much money, without interest, for Providence Chapel, and kept the place as private property.
He had his excellences too. His natural powers were good, and he improved them by a diligent application to books, but never acknowledged his obligations to an author. His principal study was the book of God, of which his memory retained more than most men living. This part of his character was a public reproof to ministers, and gave him a superiority over them. To this he chiefly owed his popularity. In this he had no rival, because he had no equal. No subject occurred but he brought it to this test; and this qualified him to converse with tried souls. If opposing scripture to an opponent, he had no mercy, but quoted threaten
ings against him. But when he had no imagined enemy to oppose, "his lips dropped fatness." I have often been edified, delighted, and astonished, by his copious illustrations of scripture and experience. "His ear was awakened morning after morning" to search "the word of wisdom;" and "he knew how to speak a word in season to him that was weary." He could confute error, and "stop the mouth of a gainsayer.' "He was mighty in the scriptures."
ANECDOTES OF ANTINOMIANS.
The false hope of an Antinomian is supported by prosperity. Healthy in body, prosperous in business; caressed, because prosperous, and liberal,-because caressed, he flatters himself that he is the favourite of God and man. He puts his name down in the books of ministers, collecting to build new chapels. In different charities he is ostentatious: he lets his works SHINE BEFORE MEN, that they may honour him, instead of God. Flatter his pride, and you are sure of his money: but if he gives towards a collection at the door, he is sparing, because not distinguished from others. He is anxious to stand first in plans of liberality-to receive the honour of them, and exhibit the influence of his example.
Comparing himself with others who are spiritually-minded, but incapable of equalling him in liberality, he degrades them, as penurious, and proclaims his own pre-eminence. Palliating the sins of others like himself, as infirmities, he is severely censorious against the infirmities of those who are zealous for holiness.
As a zealous partisan, he will accommodate his sentiments, and his conduct, to the prevailing taste of the wealthy and the immoral. Now he is a Dissenter on principle. Then he is a Churchman, because he can escape the reach of discipline. But if his reputation can be promoted by becoming moderate, he is neither Churchman nor Dissenter, but votes for the Church prayers, and a succession of ministers, that he may be known as a man of power in the committee, and unknown in his real character. With him, indifference to personal holiness is peace; and he edeavours to keep a unity of spirit in the bond of orthodoxy, the bond of indifference, or the bond
of iniquity. Free from doubts and fears, he believes in himself, not in Christ; and believing in his own safety, against evidence to the contrary, is esteemed an heroic act of faith.
One of these characters, who never bridled his tongue, "but deceived his own heart," observed to me, that he had not been troubled with a doubt of the safety of his state for fifteen years. Yet this man was in the habit of lying, charging his bills twice, and putting articles into them which his customers had never received. He was daily at the public-house, railing against the best characters in the Church-" crucifying Christ afresh, and putting him to open shame." He delighted in railing against practical religion, to which his conduct and conversation proved him a stranger.
A second, who was intoxicated three or four times a week, was cruel to his wife, and neglected his children; was continually complaining that I did not preach experimentally ; that is, I did not preach his experience, as consistent with the character of a christian.
A third left my ministry, as himself informed me, because he found no encouragement to hope for mercy. He lived in adultery with his wife's sister; and had read the Bible twice, from Genesis to Revelations, in search of some passage to countenance his conduct. His last words to me were, "The meeting is too hot for me, I cannot stand it."
A fourth left me, because when I preached against extortionate charges the indulgence of pride, passion, lying, and misrepresentation, swearing and scandal-He said, I was personal in preaching.
A fifth complained that I was personal, because I remarked, that drinking to excess was worse in a woman than in a man;-charged me with personality, and added, "I am sure you meant me."
A sixth was offended when I preached against covetousness, and illustrated its fatal effects in the conduct of Judas: he was sure I aimed at him.
Private admonitions have been equally offensive to Antinomian professors.
It is painful to observe the artful methods adopted by such persons, to support the appearance of a religious chaHowever mean, selfish, and grinding their conduct to their tradesmen and dependents, they will purchase a name by occasional acts of liberality, by writing their names to a sum of money, in the books of strange ministers, to be circulated from one congregation to another.
But to church discipline they are averse. This they call a trammel. "We have been held in trammels long enough," said one, who had been convicted of dishonesty and unchaste conduct. They cannot endure reproof, however gentle; nor restraint, however scriptural. They are advocates for managing the church by committees, if they be members of it; rather than for the power of the whole church, expressed by the votes of its members. Every exercise of power, in which they are not principals, they deem arbitrary, partial, and oppressive. They warmly recommend forgiveness of injuries against God and the church; but are the first to vote censures on better characters than their own; and the last to forgive an offence against themselves. If they are guilty, you must, like God, exercise mercy bowels of mercy; but you must not like God, require repentance. When a poor member falls into sin, they unite with one consent to censure, or to expel him; but if a man of property offends, they are on the defensive; and cover his sin by excuses. They are often advocates for order, of which their pride and passions are the rule; but "the order of the Gospel," is too pure, too strict, and too humbling for their principles, temper, and conduct. You must accommodate their lusts, to ensure their friendship.
DEATH OF A POOR MAN.
On the 27th of July, I was sent for to visit Master Sdangerously ill, at Bray Mill.
On this only visit I ever paid him-never before knowing where he lived,-I first mark—the kindness of his master, Mr. Lewis, who asked him, what he could do for him? "Send for my minister," said he. He did so; and I am thankful I went the same morning. It was now or never! for on Monday following he was no more in this world.
Secondly. Under a diseased liver, which defied medicine, left him faint, trembling, with little breath, he said,-" Your presence always did me good, before I heard you on the Lord's-day. It does me good now. I have entered into rest. I am willing to die-I long to go. God has blessed your ministry to prepare me for this season. I have heard you with profit and pleasure, always. If not whilst hearing, the
truths have arisen in ny memory and my heart, after wards, and strengthened and comforted me. God bless you, and thank you."
Thirdly. I think of myself. With such scenes-with such fruits of my ministry, ought I not to take the lead in all that is holy, spiritual, heavenly? Can I exceed-can I equal this attainment,-" I have entered into rest?"
Fourthly. Why do I wonder at this in a poor, labouring, unlearned man? Has not Jesus said, "The poor are evangelised? Come to me and I will give you REST?" And has not his inspired apostle said, "They who have BELIEVED,— do enter into rest?"
Fifthly. How admirable the sympathy of the Saviour! He anticipated the departing hour, and made him "ready." He knew, what was not apparent in his disease, that "his hour was come;" and, " as his day, so was his strength."
Sixthly. How powerful is the fellowship of the saints! The death of William Armstrong had fired his zeal, enlivened his joy in Christ, brightened his prospects. He mentioned him to me, and glorified God in his triumph of faith.
Seventhly. In the light of ETERNITY, he pitied the worldly man in his health, diligence, and prosperity; looking to the "things which are seen and temporal;" and not to the "things which are unseen and eternal!" But most of all, the cold, trifling, formal professor of religion, who rested short-of faith in Christ, and so "failed of," that is, "came short of the grace of God." I promised to visit him again on Monday, had ordered the chaise-but heard-that "while thy servant was busy here and there-he was gone!"
ANECDOTE OF THE MAYOR AND ALDERMEN OF MAIDENHEAD.
Mr. G. was mayor of the town of Maidenhead, not many years after Mr. Cooke settled in it. One sabbath evening, he attended the meeting-house, and heard Mr. Cooke preach. The text was, "Behold he cometh with clouds, and every eye shall behold him," &c. His attention was powerfully arrested; an arrow of conviction entered his heart; he became