Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

expense, for the worship of God, piness, on several occasions, during and a school for the instruction of a former residence in that district, the young. Such engagements as to meet with those who well rethese soon became a virtual pledge member the active and efficient that he should do “greater things, services rendered more than half and enter on a more extended a century ago to the great cause of sphere of labour. On his return vital godliness by our esteemed to London, he became frequently friend. In several places chapels engaged as a preacher in the vil- now exist, and churches are formed, lages surrounding the metropolis, which owed much of their early and in several chapels of the me growth and stability to his fostering tropolis, with acceptance and suc care. The years Mr. Burder spent cess.

at Lancaster were among the most On commencing his public course, laborious and most useful years of he felt no small anxiety as to the his life. In some of them he sphere of ministration on which he preached two hundred and fifty should enter, and in what depart times, and travelled between two ment of the Christian church he and three thousand miles, to proshould consecrate his life to its claim the truth of the gospel, and duties. He had observed much of to extend amidst its villages and the power of religion among the hamlets the influence of pure reCalvinistic Methodists, and some ligion. of the evangelical clergymen; and, A wider sphere of labour, and had not difficulties which pressed one more adapted to the energies upon his conscience rendered it of his mind, was presented to him impossible, his views of the most in the populous city of Coventry. inviting spheres of usefulness might There he continued nearly twenty have induced him to have entered years, uniting a most exemplary the Established Church. Long af devotedness to pastoral duty with terwards, however, he recorded his an active and enlarged occupation entire satisfaction in the choice he of the wide field of village preachhad made of pursuing his ministry ing and itinerating labour, in the among the Congregational Dissent counties of Warwick, Stafford, and ers. But, notwithstanding these Nottingham. Here he was the convictions, he cherished a truly honoured instrument of promoting, catholic and affectionate spirit to- to a great extent, the revival of wards every section of the church religion, by his influence, his exof Christ, rejoicing to hold commu- ample, and his fervent devotion. nion with all the friends of evan. In all the great movements of the gelical truth, on the most expanded Christian church, nearly forty principles of Christian liberality.. years ago, when a new era of exer

In about a year after he began to tion and benevolence commenced, preach, he accepted an invitation to he took a prominent and distinthe pastoral oversight of a church at guished part. He was one of the Lancaster. There he continued six truly illustrious men by whom the years, faithfully devoted to his pasto London Missionary Society was ral duties, and assiduously employ formed in the year 1795, and his ed in extensive itinerating labours. subsequent removal to London was Far different was the state of the owing to the deep and ardent incounty at that period from its pre- terest he felt in its prosperity. Dusent condition, as it respects the ring this period he became the provision made for evangelical mi- “ projector” of the Religious Tract nistrations. It has been my hap- Society, and continued to cherish a

high regard for this important in: arduous duties of his pastoral and stitution to the latest period of his itinerating labours, he published life, contributing more largely than the first two volumes of his Village any other individual to its nume- Sermons, a work which was afterrous and interesting publications. wards extended to eight volumes. Amongst the latest publications of Many other works, before and after his pen were the Sermons to the this series, were published by our Aged, published by that Society, excellent friend, all of which are proving that, even amidst the fee- marked by his characteristic qualibleness and sufferings of declining ties - eminent simplicity, directnature, his mind retained its vi- ness of adaptation to their end, and gour, and that doing good was the that end obviously and continually habit and the element of his life. -USEFULNESS. The Village Ser“ Whatsoever his hand found to mons, however, are the publications do, he did it with all his might.” which will never be forgotten, and He "abounded in the work of the they deserve the immortality which Lord.”

. i they will assuredly obtain. EvanOn the decease of the Rev. John gelical in sentiment; pervaded by Eyre, of Homerton, in the year a tone of spiritual and practical 1803, Mr. Burder was solicited piety, pre-eminently lucid and and elected to be his successor, simple in their style, their method, both in the office of Gratuitous and their object; marked by a Secretary to the Missionary So- calm dignity, and an unaffected ciety, and Editor of the Evangelical plainness, as remote from vulgaMagazine. He received also a rity as it is from display; and free unanimous invitation to become the from every thing polemic and dipastor of this church (Fetter Lane). rectly controversial, yet always “ I ventured to accept these ap- maintaining the great truths of pointments,” said Mr. Burder, “I the common salvation, thiev have trust with a sincere desire to glorify attained an extent of circulation, God and edify his church, humbly and secured a degree of usefulness, lioping that the great Head of the altogether unparalleled in the hisChurch would supply my dear old tory of sermons. They have gone friends at Coventry with a faithful through numerous and large ediminister.” It cost him much, how- tions, have been widely circulated ever, to burst asunder the strong in America, and have been transand tender ties which had for lated into several of the continental nearly twenty years united him to languages; they have been read in that church, which had been built villages and schools in all parts of up by his assiduous, zealous, and the country; they have been the successful labours. The attach- means of introducing the gospel ment cherished and expressed by into districts, and even parish all classes of his hearers, and the churches, where before it was comunfeigned respect with which he paratively unknown; thousands and was regarded by the inhabitants of tens of thousands have been benethe city at large, were such as to fitted by them, where the name of render a separation unusually pain their author was unknown. Nuful. It was sustained, however, on merous and most encouraging have his part, by an undoubting convic- been the instances of conversion by tion of duty, which he never ceased their means; and some are now to feel.

preaching the gospel with zeal and During his residence in Coven- success, who, by the blessing of the try, and while engaged in the Divine Spirit on the reading of

them, have been « turned from darkness to light." Had Mr. Burder written only the Village Sermons, bis name would be for ever embalmed in the grateful remembrance of the church of God.

After being ten years actively and usefully occupied in his arduous engagements in London, he thus writes in one of his private papers. · "When a traveller gets near his journey's end, he notices every hour of time, and observes every mile-stone which he passes. So when a man reaches the age of sixiy-one, it is high time for him to consider what progress he has made, and how near he is to his home. I hope I am not insensible to these things. I have greatly to admire the goodness of God in continuing so great a degree of health as I now enjoy-greater than at almost any former period of my life. I am inclined to think the Lord thus favours me that I may more fully devote myself to his work, which, blessed be his name, is my delight; and I think myself highly favoured in being permitted not only to preach his gospel with acceptance and success, but also to engage daily in promoting his cause among the hea. then, by the Alissionary Society. To God be all the glory! As to myself, aware of my time of life, I wish to work while it is day, and to watch while I work, that I may be found ready for death and heaven whensoever the Lord sħall call.”

Fourteen years afterwards, in the year 1827, his age and consequent infirmities compelled him to resign his office as Foreign Secretary to the Missionary Society, having previously found it necessary to relinquish the editorial charge of the Evangelical Magazine.

On the 18th of June, 1826, he thus writes : i, sobre

"Itwas fifty years yesterday since I preached my first sermon; and this day I have preached to my people at letter-lane on the same text (Luke iv. 18). This is a day of humiliation : enter not into judgment with thy servant, o Lord ; but graciously accept my very imperlect atlempts to serve thy cause. Accept them through Jesus Christ, through whom alone I can hope for the acceptance either of "my person or my works."'--'This must also he a day of thanksgiving. Half a century have I been spared to serve the Lord in his sanotuary, whilst multitudes of younger ministers bave finished their course. I suppose I may have preached nearly ten thousand

sermons; and, blessed be God, some of the seed has been productive. To God be all the glory, for ever and ever. Amen."

By the great goodness of God he was enabled still to preach with ease and energy once every Lord's day. This, however, being the full extent of labour practicable at so advanced a period of life, it afforded him great satisfaction to receive the aid of the Rev. Caleb Morris, who was associated with him in the pastoral charge; towards whom he ever cherished the feelings of paternal affeciion, and from whom he uniformly received every demonstration of respectful and affectionate attachment. Long may the health and life of your surviving pastor be continued—your “ peace be as a river, and your righteousness as the waves of the sea !”

The following touching reflections are extracted from the last paper in his occasional writings. It was written on his birth-day, June 5, 1829 :

“ Seven years ago, when I concluded my seventieth year, I called my family together, prayed with them, gave them some advice, and read a paper which I committed to their care. Of the domestic circle which then surrounded me, no less than four are gone to the grave : my dear wife, my two dear daughters, and my dear daughter-in-law, the beloved wife of my son Henry-all gone; and I, who am older than any of them, still spared, and complete this day my seventy-seventh year. A few days ago, I visited the spot where the mortal remains of the above are deposited, and in which this frail body must soon be laid up. O that with them I may have a joyful resurrection to eternal life! The disorder in my face, of ten years' standing, continues gradually though slowly to increase, and with increasing pain, which I endeavour daily to bear with patience. My chief complaint is the weakness of my faith.”

His sight, which had been gradually failing, was at length entirely lost. · Yet even its total failure did not induce him to discontinue his beloved engagements in preaching the gospel of his Lord and Saviour. In this he was graciously enabled to persevere even till the first Sabbath of March last;

and t was not till about that time And thus departed our once sufthat any difficulty in the exercise fering, but now glorified friend! of memory materially interfered His course was the path of the just, with the tranquillity, or even the that slone with increasing splenenergy,of his pulpit exertions. The dour to its meridian of earthly last time of his officiating in this glory, and, amidst all the softened sanctuary will never be forgotten! radiance of its setting, gave the During the period of his blindness, sure pledge that it would rise in his preaching had often been emi. brighter array. His character nently marked by the power and was no ordinary exemplification rich unction which distinguished of the faith and hope of the gosit, and his characteristic assiduity pel. His excellencies were the and diligence had been evinced result of heartfelt evangelical prineven in his mental preparation for ciples. His virtues were Christian the pulpit. But on this final oc- virtues; they sprang up and floucasion there was a peculiar solem- rished-where alone true holiness nity and pathos in the discourse he can be found-at the foot of the delivered. The subject was—The cross. The grace of Christ was man of sorrows." His own per- the sustaining principle of his chasonal sufferings were not, and could racter. Piety, prudence, and pa. not be, forgotten, while he uttered tience, were associated in lovely the affecting words of the text; combination, and, as heavenly and if his afllictions abounded, his graces, presided over his spirit, consolation also abounded through and formed the habitual temper of Christ Jesus.

his mind. If one term might be For the last two months his considered as describing the prostrength continued rapidly to de- minent feature of his character, it cline. He was soon fatigued with was- SIMPLICITY. It was that the effort necessary to converse at simplicity of purpose andaim which any length with his friends, and proved at once the strength and even with his family. His mind the integrity of his mind. Its one was, however, preserved in the pos- object was usefulness; to this every session of peace and patience. He plan of action was steadily and unifrequently intimated that he was formly subordinated. There was favoured with peace ; although, no parade, no ostentation, no atunder the pressure of much pain tempt at display, no ambitious and many infirmities, he could effort; and he was therefore free scarcely say that he had joy. He from the anxieties and the perturwas continually “ looking for the bations of pride and vain glory. mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ This concentration of aim and mounto eternal life.”

tive gave unity, efficiency, and conThe closing scene was one of sistency to his character; imparted great debility and exhaustion, but a corresponding simplicity to his of perfect peace. Within a few manner, his style, and his arrangehours of his departure, he added ments; and pervaded the entire his feeling and emphatic Amen to system of his private intercourse a few petitions offered by one of and his public life. This was the his sons; and at length, surrounded secret spring of that calmness and by his attached and devoted family, repose which he usually maingently and serenely he yielded up tained. In patience he possessed liis spirit into the hands of him who his soul; his “ eye was single, had redeemed it by his blood, and and his whole body was full of entered into the joy of his Lord ! i light.” ,'

Yet, amidst all these excellen- impenitence and unbelief! That cies of character, no one had more voice you will hear no more ; to lowly thoughts of himself; he was those instructions and appeals you clothed with humility; and, towards will listen no more ; by those sothe close of life, seemed more than lemn warnings you will be entreatever conscious of his obligation to ed and admonished no more : and the sovereign grace of God, as the can they be forgotten? Many, I sole cause of his salvation. Every know, will remember them; with reference to his own character and the name and services of your deusefulness gave him pain; he dis- parted pastor, you will ever love to claimed all self-dependence ; he connect your highest happiness on felt that no righteousness but that earth, and your brightest hopes of of the Divine Redeemer could heaven; and, as his spirit ascended form the basis of his hope ; and to that world where with him you

thus he died as he lived looking are preparing to be associated, you "for the mercy of the Lord Jesuslooked up with tears, and ex- Christ.”

claimed—“My father-my father! My brethren, what responsibility the chariots of Israel and the horseis connected with the services and men thereof !” He first led you to the remembrances of such a man! the paths of peace; he first direct

It was no inconsiderable distinc- ed you to look to Jesus, and to ei tion to have had, nearly thirty seek mercy through him. May

years, a pastor whose fidelity and you be faithful unto death, and pe simplicity, and holiness of life, and meet him at last as the crown of

honourable consecration to the his rejoicing! Others now present glory of the Redeemer, so delight- have been, by his ministry, “ built

fully illustrated and adorned his up in their most holy faith ;” and 1 Christian profession. I ask you, this place has been to you the

individually, as in the presence of house of God and the gate of that Judge before whose tribunal heaven. Here you have been diyou must soon appear, what is the rected in your perplexities, fortified answer you are prepared to give at amidst your conflicts, and comforted

his tribunal, when you are to return in your sorrows. Your venerated P an account of your stewardship ? pastor

His character, his services, his "Allured to brighter worlds, and led the way." instruction, his admonitions, will all be remembered another day! There are some before me whom How often in this sanctuary have I ought to address on this affecting you heard that voice, now silent occasion, and I wish that with comin the grave, directing you to look posure and self-possession I could

to the mercy of the Lord Jesus ! give full utterance to the feelings porno How often have you been warned and sympathies of my heart. My

to flee from the wrath to come! beloved brethren, the honoured How feryently and affectionately sons of our venerated father, you has every class in this congrega- have recollections at this hallowed tion been directed by the appro hour peculiarly and exclusively priate warning, or the faithful your own! Others may forget even exhortation! How wisely and ju- the departed pastor of this church; diciously has every portion of the —and, alas ! how soon does the divine testimony been applied, with church as well as the world forget enlightened discrimination, to be- its benefactors !-but you cannot lievers in all the varieties of their forget! The tenderest and the experience, and to the careless most sacred associations are yours · amidst all the diversitios of their and what precious reminiscene

« EdellinenJatka »