Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

of God's Holy Spirit, in order to know the Word of God aright.

Mr. Adam had a good natural understanding; he was also very studious, and fully bent on acquiring. a competent knowledge of divinity. These qualifications were not, however, sufficient, to enable him to understand the great doctrines of the New Testament. He found commentators useful to a certain extent, in assisting him to gain a clearer insight into the literal, and historical meaning, of the Bible; but after all, he found the necessity of having the Holy Ghost to guide him in attaining the knowledge of the doctrines therein contained.

“ Let every one, who truly loves his soul, and desires to know the way of salvation, as it is revealed in the Holy Scriptures, pray to the Holy Ghost to become his instructor. Difficulties, which are insurmountable to men who merely possess human learning, will vanish before those whose minds are irradiated by Him.

3rdly. I would remark, that the greatest endeavour to keep God's law, will not give peace to a sinner who is truly awakened to see his danger, or discover to him the saving knowledge of God. :::“ The plan upon which those act, who seek peace in this way, is that they can keep the law of God. They are still working for life, under the covenant of works, which says, “ This do, and thou shalt live. They cannot find pardon through faith in the blood of Christ; and to them, while they continue in this state, Christ is dead in vain.'

Hence, in proportion as they discover the purity of the law of God, they are brought into grievous bondage,

An escape

through fear of punishment, instead of enjoying, with the true believer, the liberty of the children of God.

“4thly. I would call the attention of the clerical reader, to the rest and solid peace, which the knowledge of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, brings to the soul.

“The awakened soul wants a refuge from the storm of divine wrath, which it discovers to be hanging over it, on account of its sins. from this is sought, in many other ways than that pointed out by the gospel ; but all fail, when there is a true work begun in the soul by the Holy Spirit.

“No lasting peace is obtained, till the awakened person is brought by the Holy Ghost to see this gracious way through Jesus Christ, in which God freely bestows mercy and forgiveness, to the penitent and believing soul. Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God, through Jesus Christ our Lord.'

5thly. Let the honest clergyman know that the doctrine of justification by faith in Jesus Christ, is not destructive of good works.

Mr. Adam affords one proof, out of many, of the contrary tendency of the doctrine. He justly observes, None can prevent abuses of the very best things, nor can we suppose that the profession of faith in Christ will be entirely free from aspersion, through the sins of those who embrace it; but this faith does not make any less attentive to good works; and in them who truly receive it, and duly cultivate it, it works by love and purifies the heart.

“ Could any accuse Mr. Adam in this respect ? He carried the rules of morality to such an extent, that he thought they imposed upon him the necessity of distributing his time, and strength, and wealth, and talents, and influence, to the best ad. vantage. Hence, he took no credit to himself, for anything which he did, either for the glory of God or for the good of man. He could not boast of anything which he did, but was ready to adopt the language of St. Paul; God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.'

“ I can only add my hearty and unfeigned prayer, that every reader of these remarks, and of Mr. Adam's Memoir, may experience the same faith, which Mr. Adam found to his great joy ; that faith which bore him up above the fear of man,' the fear of pain, and even of death itself ; for by it he was enabled to say,— I have a desire to depart, and to be with Christ, which is far better.'”

The Christian reader is chiefly indebted to the Rev. Mr. Stillingfleet, for the remarks upon Mr. Adam in the above address. The editor has the pleasure of adding a short account of this excellent elergyman from the pen of his son.

“ The Rev. James Stillingfleet was second son of the Rev. Edward Stillingfleet, rector of Hartlebury, and prebendary of Worcester; and great-grandson of the learned Dr. Edward Stillingfleet, Bishop of

He was master of arts, and was educated at Queen's College, Oxford ; where he was known during his undergraduateship for scholarlike attainments, and regular conduct. Previously to his ordination, it pleased God to impress his mind

that see.

with a very deep sense of the responsibility of the sacred office; of the strict requirements of a religious life; and of the vast importance of the vital doctrines of Christianity. This impression remained through the course of a long life; his aim was to preach Christ crucified, and to turn the wicked from the error of their ways; and his ministry proved a blessing, in the different situations where the providence of God called it into exercise. This was more particularly seen at Bierly, a donative in the West Riding of Yorkshire, which Mr. Stillingfleet held before he was presented, at the close of the year 1799, to the rectory of Hotham, in the East Riding of that county, through the kind interest of the Earl of Dartmouth with the Lord Chief Baron Smyth, at that time one of the commissioners of the

great seal.

“Mr. Adam was then a burning and shining light in his sphere of usefulness, ---the retired village of Wintringham. Mr. S. had not long resided at Hotham, before he became acquainted with Mr. Adam. To him he delighted to look up,

with the warm esteem which could not fail to be inspired by talents devoted to his ministry, by deep piety, by primitive simplicity, and by exemplary holiness and charity. To this feeling was added the cordial respect due to advanced years and mature christian experience.

“From Mr. Adam's society he always derived profit, encouragement, and satisfaction. They agreed in their views as to the mode of discharging the christian ministry, and in the great outline of those christian doctrines, which, to use Mr. Adam's favourite turn of expression, are best calculated to exalt the Saviour, to humble the sinner, and to promote holiness in heart and life. On these subjects they delighted to converse, both in private, and in the society of christian friends.

“ Their views always coincided on questions of church-order; which was not always the case among the more seriously disposed clergymen of their times.

“ The acute Hannah More did not fail to observe this trait in the character of Mr. Adam's friend at a later date. In the year 1791 she writes to Mr. Newton, 'I was indeed much pleased with your friend Mr. Stillingfleet; a very solid, judicious, serious man ; with a great deal of piety, regulated by a great deal of prudence." **

The following is a list of the works of Mr. Adam:

Practical Lectures on the Church Catechism, J2mo. 1753.

Paraphrase on the Epistle to the Romans, 8vo. 1771.

Evangelical Sermons, 8vo. 1781.

Posthumous Works: 1785: containing Life—His Private Thoughts--Lectures on St. Matthew-Sermons,-in three volumes.

Notes, in manuscript, on St. Mark, St. Luke, and St. John, about to be published.

* Robert's Memoirs of Hannah More.

« PoprzedniaDalej »