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ment is designed for man.” “But that lady, Mr. Jones, may be doing what is necessary: it may be that she takes exercise for her health.” “ If so,” added he, “it is all right. She is usefully employed too, if she is seeking health, that she may perform her duty in her station. I am not for confounding different orders in society. Every one has a duty in his station: and were the great of our land to do their proper work, there is employment enough for them. I am sure that God never designed that their dogs and horses should engross their attention, or that they should spend their time in idleness and luxury. There is work enough for them. They might contrive and provide employment for the unemployed, instruct and overlook their tenants, and suggest plans of improvement to them. A great deal, if not the whole, of the misery that prevails might be removed, if the great people were to do the duty of their station. There would not be then anything like the vice and ignorance which now exist.”
“But how can we expect them, Mr. Jones, to put a stop to vice, when it often prevails most among themselves?”
“Very true,” he said, “it is so; and great is their guilt. They are often the greatest sinners in the land. Their sins are enormous, both of omission and commission. They awfully neglect the duties of their station, and seem to live to no other purpose than to gratify their pride and sinful passions. There are no sinners like them. They have an enormous load of guilt to account for. Man was designed by God for work. In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread.' They live either idly, or to no good purpose; and they are, for the most part, filled with amazing pride, thinking that the respect
paid to them is paid to themselves; when the fact is, it is paid to their equipage; and this swells them enormously. Let them put off their pomp and grandeur, and appear without their imposing appendages, and they will be no more noticed than the multitude. It is to the equipage that the honour is paid. I remember that Bishop Hopkins mentions a tale from the east, respecting the heathens carrying their idols on an ass, and falling down on the road and worshipping it. The ass, seeing this, grew amazingly proud, thinking that he was worshipped, when in fact it was the idol. This is exactly the case with our great people.”
But more particulars I shall not now add ; and the things which have been stated, have not been adduced for the purpose of exalting the man, but the grace of God in him, and of setting forth the blessing of God, which accompanied his labours. No one ever acknowledged more readily and more fully than he did, that he was what he was through grace only — yea, through free, sovereign, and unmerited grace. But when God honours an instrument, we ought also to honour him ; but still only as his instrument, made fit for his work, and blessed by him. There is nothing but sin that is to be ascribed to man: all good, natural and spiritual, is alone from God, and to him all the glory and praise are due.
Perfection we claim not for our departed friend, nor for any saint that ever lived on earth, not excepting those of holy writ. Perfection is not the condition of man in this world : he must leave the earth before he attains it. But we ascribe perfection to his spirit now. Emancipated from the flesh, freed from the clogs of mortality, he is now, we doubt not, wholly perfect, without spot or wrinkle, and altogether in the image of his God, singing the song of Moses and the Lamb, ascribing glory to Him who hath redeemed him by his blood, and given him a crown of righteousness. Of this happy change we have no doubt; for he evidently bore, while on earth, the lineaments of the divine image, though they were, while he was here, imperfect: but those who had spiritual eyes could distinctly see them, though the world could not. He had also the lineaments of human imperfection and weakness, which all the saints, while upon earth have ever had, which Prophets and Apostles had : and these the world could see ; and on account of these the world often imputes hypocrisy to Christians. These the godly also see, but they know how to account for them : and because they see also the divine lineaments, which appear bright and glorious, though shaded and obscured by the body of sin, they lose sight in a great measure of those of imperfection, and think much higher of their fellow Christians than what the world can by any means understand or comprehend. Hence is the great discrepancy between the estimate formed of the true Christian by the natural and the spiritual man.
There is also this—the world can see and appreciate what is kind, amiable, benevolent, charitable, and in a measure, what is moral; but what is spiritual and divine, the world is so far from rightly seeing and appreciating, that what it does see it dislikes and hates, and what is of the greatest value it regards as wholly worthless. On the contrary, the godly, though they do not undervalue kindness, benevolence, and morality, but regard them as necessary and important, do yet attach a value and importance,
immeasurably greater, to what is spiritual and heavenly. When they see a Christian, a faithful servant of God, they regard him, not only as one possessing human kindness, benevolence, and integrity, but as one bearing the high relation of a son to God, and as one who is an heir to the inheritance of the saints in light, yea, though he were, in this world, the humblest and lowest of human beings. But if he should be a minister of the Gospel, through whom they had derived spiritual good, either the first impressions, or subsequent improvements, they usually regard him with peculiar interest and esteem, and even with veneration. And this was much the case with our departed brother. He had been, through God's blessing, to many a father in Christ, and to many more he had long been a sympathising friend, a kind adviser, an animating guide, and an instructive and comforting teacher. And hence the high respect, affection, and love with which he was regarded; which to the world appeared strange and unaccountable.
It will no doubt be gratifying to many to know how our departed brother bore the labour and sorrow of old age. Activity tends much to enjoyment in this world. When the body fails, the mind is thrown more on itself; and discontent and impatience commonly attend old age; but the case was the reverse with him. His content, patience, gratitude, and resignation, increased with his increasing years. There was a mellowness in his spirit which sometimes appeared very delightful, and a longing desire for the bliss of another world. We may see the state of his mind by the following extracts made from his letters. Writing to an afflicted friend, August 25, 1835, he says:
“Though absent from you, I am
often with you, and take no small “That kind family (Ramsden's) pleasure in the thought, that we have, with much pains, prevailed are both travelling in the way of on me at last to promise to visit eternal life, and enjoy the blessed Carlton this year, if life and health hope of being for ever where no be spared. A man of my years evil of sin or of suffering can ever (85) cannot expect to dwell much come, and where holiness and joy longer on the earth. The hope of shall for ever abound. The ear- being for ever with the Lord in nest of such an inheritance yields glory, is now of far greater value at intervals no small enjoyment; than to possess and enjoy every what height of happiness and ful. earthly comfort to the full extent ness of joy and triumphs will the of my wishes. All things here possession of the inheritance itself below are but shadows, that appear afford to the pure and perfect soul! but for a little while, and then We see yet but through a glass vanish away : but on God's right darkly; but the time will surely hand are rivers of pleasures for evercome, and that soon, when we more. Were God to deny us all shall see Jesus in his kingdom; earthly gratifications, to inherit the then we shall be altogether like kingdom above will soon make him, when we shall see him as he amends for our momentary privais. Every believing view of him tions. If God gives us a heart to now in this dim world, transforms say, “Thy will be done,' he deals the soul more or less into his like bountifully with us, and makes us ness. The delightful employ of rich indeed. Nature will have her the spiritual mind is to behold the tears when the flesh is crucified. Lamb of God, in whom all fulness This will be but for a few days; dwells, and all for us, and all freely, and the clouds will vanish when without money and without price. the Sun of righteousness breaks Now I turn to the little things of forth in its strength.” this dead earth, on which we dwell The next extracts exhibit the during the days of our pilgrimage, same strain. They are from a lettill we go to be the inhabitants of ter written May 11, 1837: the new heaven and the new earth, “You know the cause of delay wherein dwelleth righteousness, in writing. I can liardly say that joy, and peace.”
I have been afflicted; for I had no And, writing to the same from pain in body or mind. My strength Carnarvon, July 19, 1836, he for a time was gone, but is now makes these striking remarks: greatly renewed. I have experi
“ Time-time is nothing. Sal- enced nothing but kindness from vation in and with God is all in God and man. I never enjoyed a all. I have had some sweet inter- more perfect peace of mind, than course with a few of my fellow when I was expecting I had finishpilgrims in this journey. It is ed my course. This tranquillity very blessed when the soul soars was of God, which I desire to keep aloft and peeps into the palace always in thankful remembrance. above the skies, where we hope to The peace of God is precious! go and remain always.”
Our friends at C- , happily How much like the language of enjoy this heavenly treasure, and a true pilgrim, and of a happy one are filled with joy at the thought too, is the language of the follow. that their departed friend (Mrs. Ř.) ing portion of a letter, written Feb. now inherits glory. Their joy swal23, 1837:
lows up their sorrow. This is faith. “And faith can speak in a very “I can truly say, that I never powerful manner at times. There feel half so happy, as when I feel are some sentences in the English myself a pilgrim and a stranger, language, which none but faith can without a house or inheritance on utter distinctly; such as these- the earth. I would say to you, • It is the Lord; let him do what while a prisoner of hope under seemeth him good. Not my God's protecting care, 'In pawill, but thine, be done.' "The tience possess your soul. All Lord gave, and the Lord hath clouds and shadows will soon flee taken away; blessed be the name away; and the Lamb of God will of the Lord.' •I have learned, in be our sun for an eternal day.-I whatever state I am, therewith to was highly favoured, in every way, be content. 'All is well.' on my journey here. On the third “Though he slay me, yet will I day I arrived at Aberystwyth; I trust in him. Faith alone can supped, slept, and breakfasted at the speak this language distinctly. B-, and the good Mrs. E— was And even faith itself is at times a unwilling to take any of my money. little hoarse, and cannot articulate I meet with nothing but kindness plainly. On these occasions, a everywhere, at home and abroad. dose of bitters is given to faith to This is of God, and not accident. clear her voice; and if this fails, But where is gratitude? Bright she looks towards the Cross on and dark clouds quickly pass over Calvary, and the view of what has us, but a voice from the throne is been done there sets faith's tongue now crying, “My salvation shall quite at liberty to speak plain. be for ever.'” Now she mounts to the skies, and The date of the letter from which sings like a lark; but not very long the following extracts are made, is at a time, for she soon descends to Christmas day, 1838: the earth, and becomes as dull as “I must attempt a few lines, a clod. Such is a believer's life though but few, just to tell you on the earth-constant changes, whereabout I am, and to enquire light and darkness, joys and sor- how you go on. We have a wise, rows, the triumph of faith, or the kind, and able guide to teach us groans of nature. While we look the way, and to carry us on in the on the things which are seen, all is way everlasting. It manifestly sadness and sorrow; but when we appears that we have nothing to look on thethings which are not seen do, but to set the Lord always and eternal, our dark clouds van before us, to hear his voice, ish, and our darkness is swallowed to believe his testimony, to lean by light. Our warfare may be on his arm, and to follow his steps. severe, but it must be short. We “There is nothing in Scripture sow in tears, but shall reap in joy. so much insisted upon, as to 'trust The days of sufferings and weep- in the Lord.' Nothing is so neings are few, but the days of hea- cessary, and nothing of such beven shall never see an end. In nefit. One would think that nothe hope of glory sing on your bed thing is more easy than to trust in of pain.”
God, who is so gracious, so loving, To the same effect isthe language and so faithful; yet through unbeof the following portion of a letter, lief we often find it difficult to say, sent from Aberystwyth, July 20, “All is well.' However, I find no 1837:
such relief by anything, as by com
mitting myself into the hands of trials and temptations, and also to the blessed and all-sufficient Savi. his hopes and comforts. The spiour, and as by believing that he ritual struggle he still felt, and at has taken the charge of me, and times severely. Though the body that he will take care of me, and was weak, and feeble, and decaying, carry me safe through to the bless he yet had to contend with the sin ed rest that remaineth above." of his nature, not indeed in its
A short portion of one more carnal excitements, but in its deadletter shall be given: its date is ening and harassing influence on May 8, 1839:
the spirit. He was not without “My days for writing and tra- his occasional seasons of depresvelling are gone by, never to return. sion, nor wholly free, at all times, So hath God ordained; and it is from fears and doubts, owing, as he well. Submission to his sovereign thought, in a great measure, to his will is far better for us than the debilitated state, solitary life, and highest earthly enjoyment that can the loss of his sight, which deprived ever be: and what flesh dislikes him of the advantages he derived most is generally fullest of benefits from reading. Though he had to the soul. Yes, the quiet sub- some to read to him, yet this was mission of faith in the furnace, is no adequate supply. The loss of a higher token of God's love and his sight was a great trial to him. good will, than deliverance from all His eyes had been gradually fail. pain and sufferings. You practise ing him for the last two or three what I try to describe. I know a years; but he did not lose his sight little about affliction, but you more. wholly, till within the last twelve God takes the right way with us months. both; and it will be but a little There were two things which while, till the Lord shall deliver us he particularly specified, as evil out of all our trouble. When suggestions, by which he was at that happy time arrives, what loud times tried and disturbed. The songs of praise shall we render to first was—That he might alter all our great Deliverer!”
be deceiving himself, inasmnch as The last interview I had with it is said, that “ the heart is deceithim, about a month before he died, ful above all things.” His relief was unusually interesting. He from this temptation was, that he conversed freely on various sub- was made to know the deceitful. jects, and with as much order and ness of his heart, and that if he coherence as ever. He spoke of had not been made to know this, the religious aspect of things in the self-deception must have inevitably present day with no small measure been the case. The other sugof discrimination, alluded to the gestion was—That his religion was attempt, made in our Church, of all selfish, arising from dread and reviving the doctrines and practices fear of punishment, and from a of Popery, and reprobated it in the desire for his own happiness, and strongest terms, as being highly that there was no love of God in injurious to the interests of the it, nor any real concern for his Church, and dishonest and traitor- glory. This point was discussed ous on the part of its advocates. at length. It was admitted that a He also stated what his own ex- regard for one's own happiness was perience was in his increasing a legitimate "principle, sanctioned bodily infirmities, referred to his by the word of God, and that the AUGUST—1845.