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THE LATE MR. ELIAS WHITBY, OF YEOVIL. In our September number we spoke of the decease of the above venerable servant of God, and promised (if possible to give some particulars of his removal. We have since been furnished with the annexed account, which was listened to with deep interest by our own loved congregation at St. Luke's, Bedminster. The remembrance of this now sainted veteran in the faith is most dear to our heart, as intimated in previous numbers. We shall never forget the sweet seasons of communion and fellowship we had with him; and (as stated in the September number) we never hear or think of that verse of the immortal Watts, without its recalling to the mind the sacred energy with which dear Mr. WHITBY repeated it:
"There shall I see His face,
- AND NEVER, NEVER SIN;
Drink endless pleasures in." From the very pathos with which he repeated that second line, it was clear that sin was his burden, and that he sympathized with the sentiment of dear DAVID DENHAM, as expressed in his memorable hymn, “THE SAINTS' SWEET HOME:"
“I long from this body of sin to be free,
And feel in the presence of Jesus at home.” Dear servants of the most high God! Ye have your desires now fully and eternally gratified.
Happy songsters! when shall we
Your blissful chorus join ?”
SEPTEMBER 19, 1869. Our beloved and venerable friend died at the advanced age of eighty-six years. He was baptized and joined this church, June 30th, 1805, sixtyfour years ago.
He was chosen deacon three years afterwards, January 24th, 1808. This is a proof of the high estimation in which he was held at this period of his life, and we can now say respecting him, that he has filled this office with unblemished reputation for the long space of sixtyone years, till the hour of his death.
In 1816, fifty-three years ago, he was set apart by the church to the work of the ministry, for which he was well qualified, and preached with great acceptance and usefulness in this place and in other churches in the neighbourhood. It was chiefly through his instrumentality and one or two others, that the Baptist cause at Crewkerne was established, and in this church he always felt a kind of paternal interest.
He also took an active part in the erection of the different chapels on this spot, and others which were built at Halstock, Crewkerne, and Montacute, and we all know how deeply interested he was in our recent alterations, and how he exerted himself to obtain the requisite funds, and how
fervently he desired to see the debt entirely cleared before his death - a wish which was expressed only a few days before his departure. It will be seen from these facts that our beloved friend was an earnest worker for his Saviour from the beginning to the end of his Christian course. It will be admitted by all who knew him that he was enriched with various and most important gifts. His gift in prayer was very remarkable; richness of thought, unction of spirit, and variety of matter generally marked his addresses at the throne of grace.
He had an excellent gift in speaking, and could express himself with ease, clearance, and propriety of language.
He was thoroughly evangelical in his religious sentiments, holding the great doctrines with a firm and unswerving faith; and these great principles supported him in life and death. He was distinguished by a sound practical judgment, which made him invaluable as a deacon, a guide to the Church, and a help to his pastor. He was always deeply interested in the cause of Christ in this place, and was never absent, except through unavoidable circumstances, from the means of grace.
His mind was rich in the recollections of the past, and he would often dwell with peculiar pleasure on his meetings with the fathers and brethren who have long since passed away to their eternal rest. Though firm in his attachment to Nonconformist principles, and especially to those which distinguished the denomination to which he belonged, he was Catholic in his feelings, wishing prosperity to every section of the Christian Church. His last illness was short, but he was ready to go. He felt that the time of his departure had arrived, and the Saviour whom he had so long and faithfully served supported him in the prospect of death.
He repeated to a friend, who called upon him the day before his death, the whole of the beautiful hymn beginning,
“A debtor to mercy alone,
Of covenant mercy I'll sing,
My person and offerings to bring.
With me can have nothing to do;
Hide all my transgressions from view." A few hours before his death he seemed to make one final effort to pray, and in the most remarkable and affecting manner prayed for his family, the Church, his pastor, his brother deacons, the superintendent and teachers of the Sabbath-schools, and for the Sabbath-schools throughout the town by name, and finished by repeating the benediction as far as “ The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ." Here his voice and breath both failed. A beautiful and affecting close to so long and useful a life!
Seldom has a Church lost so valuable a member, officer, and friend. His influence in this place during the sixty-four years cannot be described, The day of the Lord will alone reveal it. But his prayers and tears, and labours and offerings, are all held in remembrance before God, and great will be his reward at the resurrection of the just.
Let none think, however, that in presenting this sketch of the life and character of our beloved and departed friend, we would speak of him as faultless; he would have been one of the first to have repudiated such a
thought. His humble confession often proved how profoundly he felt the need of the Saviour's merits to atone for his sins. His hope of acceptance was built on what Christ had done for him, and not on what he had done for Christ. Often has he quoted to me with deep emotion the following lines,
“A guilty, weak, and helpless worm,
On Thy kind arms I fall;
My Jesus and my all.” Let us thank God, my friends, for such a precious gift to the Church, let us thank God for having spared him to us so long, and making him 80 useful in his works. Let us magnify the grace of God which was in him, and
that others may be raised up in his stead, and live for Christ as he did. May all his prayers and best wishes for his family, the Church, and the congregation, be answered and fulfilled, and may his heavenly joy be increased by our meeting him before the throne of God and the Lamb.
" When the Lord for us shall send,
Whom thou now hast left behind,
And abundant entrance find.
To be there, a glorious guest,
And the weary are at rest."
To the Editor of the Gospel Magazine. DEAR SIR, I have no wish to enter into any controversy, but perhaps a word in reply may be necessary to the Christian brother who noticed my few remarks respecting “Paul's vow.” Now while I would not for moment consent to the least paring down of the distinctive doctrines of God's word, yet I sometimes think that we high Calvinists, as it is termed (for I claim to be one), are apt to be a little too uncharitable towards those who differ from us in non-essential points, forgetting that it is not the belief in election and predestination that can save a man, glorious as those doctrines are; but “the blood of Jesus Christ, God's Son, which cleanseth from all sin."
This, together with many other truths in the word of God, is common ground on which all the Lord's people can agree; may we not then sometimes meet on this ground and unite in heart and hand in endeavouring to put down the errors which are so rife in our day? This would be true catholicity of spirit, and would not, I think, be in the least detrimental to our own peculiar views, or our soul's enjoyment of them.
Thanking the dear brother most heartily for the additional light he has been enabled to throw upon
the passage, I remain, dear Sir, yours in our precious Christ, W.
Bebiews and Notices of Books.
The Advance of Popery in this Country, viewed both in its religious and
political aspect. By J. C. PHILPOT, M.A., formerly Fellow of Worcester College, Oxford. London: J. Gadsby, George Yard, Bouverie Street.
: In our previous notice of this important work we intimated that its talented author, being a seceder from the Establishment, would naturally be considered as entitled to a more patient hearing than the testimony of one labouring within her pale might secure, by those who, with himself, differ from her in point of Church government. Hence we would earnestly crave the devout attention of Nonconformists to the following statement:
“But now take a view of the subject on public grounds. Would it be a small thing for every political measure to be more or less dictated by Catholic influence in Parliament, and for the whole current of legislature "to flow in a channel marked out for it by a party which owns allegiance to a foreign Head, and to each individual of which to be a Catholic is the first point of consideration, and to be an Englishman only the second ? We have already seen the effect of this Catholic influence, sometimes in promoting Bills which were favourable, at others in defeating Bills which were unfavourable to its pretensions; but we little know the secret influences even now at work in high places through wives and daughters of Cabinet Ministers or Protestant Members of Parliament, who are tutored and urged on by a wily priesthood in possession of their consciences. Public opinion is at present so hostile to all priestly and especially Romish priestly power, that these secret springs of action are as much as possible kept out of sight; but as Popery gains strength, they will come more and more openly into play, and will influence or divide the Cabinet, as they even now influence or divide Parliament itself. As this point, however, will come more fully under our notice at another stage of our argument, we shall content ourselves with this passing allusion to it.
“But see also the noxious effect which would be produced upon society generally by a large infusion into it of so disturbing an element as Catholic intrusion. In our Protestant community, those who are truly religious, and as such desire to live and walk in the fear of God, abstain as much as possible from all mixed society from motives of conscience, as they find they cannot otherwise maintain their peace with God; but no such scruples trouble the most devout Catholic. He may freely mix with general society, and may indeed be counselled to do so by his confessor for the good of the Church, if it do not interfere with fast days and similar observances. But he is all the while no less a stern and rigid Catholic, and carries with him Catholic eyes and Catholic ears, and both at the service of his priest as the keeper of his conscience, and who, having the key as well as the keys—the key of confession to unlock his heart and lips, and the keys of absolution to bind or loose his sins, can extract what secrets he pleases from his kneeling penitent. It is but little known, for it is to their interest to conceal as much as possible such a circumstance, but it is an undoubted fact that many Catholics amongst us, and especially foreign Catholics, are Jesuits in disguise, who, not being priests, but simply members of the order, wear no distinctive dress, and not being confined to one class of society, fill every rank and station, from the lowest servant to the highest master. Many foreign waiters at clubs and hotels, French and German servants in high families, tutors and governesses, music masters, public singers, and teachers of languages, who, from their peculiar occupation, have ready and continual access to the wealthy classes of society, clerks and attachés in diplomatic embassies, &c., are Jesuits in disguise ; that is, they are affiliated to the order by vows of obedience, pursuing all the while their ordinary employments, but secretly conveying information of all that comes under their notice, which may affect" Catholic interests, to head-quarters, where they are carefully registered. With the advance of Popery this secret element of strength would, of course, advance also, and spread itself more and more through our mixed society; and, as the Jesuits have been banished from Spain, and are looked upon with great suspicion in France, we may expect to find them concentrating their operations more and more in this country.” Mr. Philpot proceeds to say: "Shall we, then, in this free isle, také
“ upon our neck the yoke which these nations could no longer bear? Shall we, without a struggle, tamely allow such a foe to freedom, civil and religious, to entrench herself in our midst, and quietly wait whilst she advances every day in power and influence ?!!
Farther, the author says: “Who that compares the present with the past, and calls to mind the storm of almost universal indignation which burst forth when, nearly twenty years ago, the Pope parcelled out England into dioceses, can but contrast the present general apathy with the staté of public feeling manifested at that period ? But perhaps it may be thought that this apathy arises because Popery then received such a check that it has since made little or no progress, and that, having won the victory, we are now resting at ease. On the contrary, it has advanced since then with more rapid strides than ever. Oath after oath, and barrier after barrier, devised to check or prevent its progress, have been removed ; offices in the State then closed against Catholics have been thrown open to them; and now has come the crowning step in the disestablishment and disendowment of the Irish Church, which has always, whether rightly or wrongly, been viewed as the great bulwark against Popery in the sister island. The Ritualists have also vastly increased, both in numbers and boldness, and assimilated their worship more and more closely to the Romish pattern; and we seem to have both a Ministry and a Parliament more and more favourable to measures which, if they cannot be strictly called Catholic, yet recognize more fully the claims of that body to be a leading, influential party in the State. Meanwhile, a deep sleep seem to have fallen upon us; so that, if we except a small party who are trying to awake the nation to a sense of danger, little opposition is made either in or out of Parliament to the
supremacy would seriously endanger, if not entirely overthrow, our liberties, both civil and religious. But, if we have slept, Rome has not. If we have been divided in our opinions, or hesitating in our movements, she has not changed her views or relaxed her energies. Nor does she conceal her intentions. The time for that is almost gone by. She has long fixed her eyes on this country, the grand seat and centre of the commerce of the world; the great leader of civilization and progress, the land of liberty of speech and action, whose thoughts and words, by means of her free press, spread themselves over every country of the globe where men think and act; the teeming mother of populous and wealthy colonies ; the mistress of the seas, and the native home of a language spoken and read by millions of