« PoprzedniaDalej »
upon him, he felt that he had done wrong in judging against that charity which“ hopeth all things.”
In the close of the year 1763, he addresses himself, December 28th, “Press on in the name and strength of God to an assured victory.”
The entry he made on his birthday, February 25th, 1764, is admonitory to all. Aged sixtythree. I have made experiment what life is. The retrospect is very mortifying, and I should neither be able to bear up against it, nor endure the little time that is to come, without Je sus."
February 15th, 1765, he puts to himself this question : “Is there, is there, O my soul, a call this day to God, to his obedience, to purity of heart, to love, to an humble hope of being owned by him, and living with him for ever?—There is.”
In the same year he testifies the faithfulness of God, in meeting with him, while engaged in devout contemplation.
August 13th, 1765—“I had for many hours a strong, lightsome, and overpowering sense of joy, without any preceding cause of reading, thought, meditation, or action of any kind, to be the ground of it; but found myself on a sudden drawn to God, laid at the Redeemer's feet, in faith, adoration, and thankfulness ; desiring to be led by the Spirit, and making professions of love and obedience. I know such comforts are not to be lived upon, nor are they proofs of a high state of spirituality. Supposing them to be real influxes of the Spirit, they are to be considered calls to greater sincerity, circumspection, and faithfulness, if not forerunners of trial and sufferings."
These reflections were written in a peculiar cipher, or short-hand, which was known only to a few of his friends. And the Christians who have been edified by them, are deeply indebted to the Rev. George Burnet, minister of Elland, in the parish of Halifax, for deciphering these papers, after the death of Mr. Adam. . They are therefore, strictly speaking, the private thoughts of Mr. Adam.
The year following we meet with him in his retirement, still in pursuit of holiness, and pressing “ toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Jesus Christ."
“ October 26th, 1766.--Come, my heart, draw nigh to God for remission and renovation, with fulness of desire for a full work; come, now, this moment, as also to Jesus for his cleansing, for washing in his blood, for love, for fidelity. Deliver thyself into his hands, and beg of him to purge his floor in thee, and make thee pure wheat, fit for his garner. And, O Spirit of holiness, do thou bring me, in repentance and faith, to the blood of sprinkling ; sanctify my spirit, soul, and body ; and baptize me with thy fire into obedience and love of the truth.”
The variety which characterizes these mental exercises, shows his habits of self-observation, and the distinctiveness with which he marked the thoughts which arose in his mind.
On the first day of December, 1766, he writes, “ It was suggested to my heart and conscience, as by a heavenly voice, that God's command is for an absolute, immediate renunciation of sin, and a perpetual, full obedience, and that everything short of
such a purpose is prevarication, rebellion, misery, and death."
Mr. Adam was not a mere chamber counsellor : he was an efficient parish-minister, and an able preacher, and expounder of the word of God. parent success was not so great as that which has crowned the labours of many ministers who were far inferior to him in ability, zeal, and fervent piety. He had, however, many proofs that God was with him.
In the year 1828 the editor communicated to the Christian Observer two papers on the ministry of Mr. Adam, and from them he begs to transcribe what he had heard from Mrs. Westoby and others, respecting this subject. “Some years before Mr. Adam died, he witnessed a very striking change in one of his parishioners, a person of influence in the parish, and one of his church wardens. This person had been intemperate ; but he was somewhat suddenly brought, by the grace of God, to reflect with deep contrition, not only on his sinful conduct in that particular, but to feel in general his fallen and perishing condition as a sinner. By means of a discourse of Mr. Adam's on Zech. ix. 12, he was afterwards led to behold in Jesus Christ a willing and all-sufficient Saviour; and having found peace with God through faith in the blood of the atonement, he repaired to Mr. Adam to inform him of what had passed in his mind, and concluded by asking him if, after this goodness of God to him, he could lose his soul? Mr. Adam was silent, and little more passed on the occasion; but, about a year after, having occasion to speak to him upon parochial
matters, be introduced the subject of religion and said, “I wish all my parishioners were like you."
The incumbent of South Ferraby, about five miles from Wintringham, was taken ill, and even tually died. Mr. Adam gratuitously performed the duty of the parish some time. His ministry was much blessed to the inhabitants of that and the surrounding villages. Many were awakened. These persons did not remain attached to the new incumbent: some joined the Methodist Society. This was a circumstance which gave Mr. Adam some pain ; for he was conscientiously attached to the discipline of the Church of England, as well as to her doctrines. A lady, living at Barton, whom the editor saw in July last, and who attended the ministry of Mr. Adam at South Ferraby, professed that she owed much to his preaching.
Mr. Adam on one occasion, if not more, exercised the discipline of the church. One of his parishioners, a female, was compelled to do penance. The person was reformed, and it may be hoped was truly converted, after this discipline. Mr. Adam possessed great influence, partly from his connexion with the noble family, the head of which was Lord Scarborough, and also from his close intimacy with Archdeacon Basset. His general character was mercy, and if he was under the necessity of exercising severity, he probably felt more in ivflicting punishment, than the guilty 'in suffering it. His known and long-tried integrity, wisdom, justice, and moderation, gave weight to all his measures.
The following anecdote the editor has heard from persons of credit. The man servant at the rectory
had occasion, late one night, to go down into the cellar. He stumbled over four men who had concealed themselves there for the purpose of robbing the house. They seized him, and exacted from him a promise that he should not alarm the family that night, nor ever reveal their names. He told his master the next day upon what conditions his life had been spared. Mr. Adam was content to remain ignorant. Several years after, one of these men confessed that he was one of the persons who in- . tended to rob the house. The man lived some years a sincere penitent, and attended the sacrament. - Such were some of
ye are washed,
ye are sanctified, ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”
We meet with Mr. Adam in his closet, writing as follows : “1767, January 16th, 17th.-My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.' So I said for one whole night and a day, and thought I should never lose the experience; but at the same time, the
of Moses for deliverance at the Red Sea was presented to my mind : ‘In three days they came to Marah :' in one day it was Marah with me; all was gone."
“ February 23rd, 1767. A call was given me from the Spirit to see sin in its guilt, malignity, and curse; truly to abhor it; to have my very soul bent from it, and to dread it more than death.”
In January, 1768, Mr. Adam records one of those trials to which most Christians, at one time or other, are subjected : 7
“ In a state of greater danger and terror from self than if I was in a town on fire at midnight, with