« PoprzedniaDalej »
double distraction of time and temper would have been, perhaps, not easily endured by his nature. But it was in the parish, and in all the interior circles of Christian life, that his spirit seemed to take its chief delight. His discourses from the pulpit marked his gifts as being eminent in that great function of the ministerial office. His pursuits in the study, sanctified as they were in his later years, could not have failed to produce something worthy to be often read ; for knowledge was pleasant to his soul, and he had the faculty of making it pleasant to others. visitor of the sick, he manifested peculiar powers of sympathy united with a deep insight into the workings of the heart, and with much Christian experience. As the devoted teacher of the young, their friend by natural taste, and afterwards more truly such by Christian principle, he was calculated to fill with varied powers and attainments the office of tutor; and he even pleased himself once with the thought of possibly being some day thus engaged in the Church Missionary Institution at Islington, should an opening have presented itself. But from the pulpit, the study, the pastoral walk, and the youthful circle, he was, after no very long probation, summoned away; and set apart, as it were, to cultivate the passive graces of the sick-chamber, being both patient, and minister to himself. Here he had longer and more frequent seasons of discipline, than fall to the lot of many; and these, after a series of pains and languors, terminated in a death very agonizing to the outward man. Probably it was the design of his Heavenly Father to make this long-protracted scene of illness one chief occasion of benefit to those who witnessed, or should hear of it. Why so many high promises of other kinds of usefulness should be cut short in their performance, is a mystery which admits but of this answer :- My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are my ways your ways, saith the Lord. Yet if any great and leading truth of Scripture has been impressively illustrated by his life, or by his death—if one reader of these memorial Sketches and Remains should be startled from a state of guilt, raised from the gloom of despondency, or stimulated to seek, after his example, a large increase of faith, hope, and charity—it is enough! I am persuaded, however, that, through the supply of the Holy Spirit, not one only, but many, will be greatly edified by this Memoir; and I humbly desire to find a place for myself in that number, as, indeed, I ought to do. Here then I close
my remarks; ending them with praise to Him, to whom all the glory of salvation belongs. God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved ;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace, in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. (Eph. ii. 4—7.)
NOTE ON THE “ REMAINS."
To the preceding Memoir the Editor is happy in having it in his power to add some valuable compositions, selected from the papers of his friend. Of these it is necessary to premise a brief account.
The SERMONS, (which form the principal portion of these “ Remains,") were written for preaching, and they actually were preached, to country congregations. No liberty has been taken with the original manuscripts, further than to omit a few short passages, and occasionally to make a slight verbal alteration, not affecting the sense, In some parts of them, the writer, under the speed of composition, has left a point unfinished ; and nowhere has he retouched them with a critic's care. These simple Discourses, therefore, may be regarded as a genuine specimen of his most natural style of writing. In the spirit which they breathe, earnestness of purpose is everywhere conspicuous: the matter, carefully weighed and personally felt; the manner, sometimes negligent, as will happen to one who feels himself perfect master of all the resources of language ; but not unfrequently characterized by