Imágenes de páginas


what did he suffer for me! I am not left. The more thy glories strike mine eyes, He has said, I will never leave thee,

The humbler I shall lie; never forsake thee.' He is with me. I

Thus, while I sink, my joys shall rise,

Immeasurably high.'" know that my Redeemer liveth. Not my will but thine, O Lord, be done.

His sufferings were mercifully ter

minated on the 7th of September, 1850, Jesus can make a dying bed

when, there is every reason to hope, that Soft as downy pillows are.'"

as for him to live had been Christ, to These are but a few of the expres- die was gain,-to be absent from the sions by which, with a countenance body was to be present with the Lord. beaming with cheerfulness and grati- In addition to the above slight sketch tude, he testified his acquiescence in the of the Christian course of our departed Divine will, and his experience of Divine friend, some of the traits of his religious consolation; and when, after any length- character seem to require a passing noened exemption from severe suffering, tice. Though his physical constitution the prospect of his recovery was alluded was but feeble throughout life, his to, his answer uniformly was, “ If my natural affections were strong and lastLord has anything more for me to do, ing. His piety sanctified all these afI am in his hand.” And then, in refer- fections, and rendered them conducive ence to those whom he had been accus- to his own personal holiness. He was tomed to visit, he would sometimes say, deeply affected by the loss of his pa“O that I could have them all brought rents, and frequently referred with great here, that I might tell them how pre- solemnity of feeling to their removal, and cious Jesus is to me now; that I might to the time of his own departure. Thus urge them not to put off seeking him. in reference to his mother, he writes :Oh, how wretched my state if I had “I have been thinking much of my now to seek for hope. Tell them not dear mother, who has been dead four to delay.” But it was in reference to years today. Oh what wonders have that world, on the verge of which he presented themselves to her view in the seemed to be, as it were, detained in or- course of that period in the eternal der to prepare him more fully for its world; how sweetly has she been em. enjoyments, that his feelings seemed to ployed, 1 hope, in celebrating the praises be at times too strong for any other of her Redeemer! Methinks I see her utterance than tears. Sometimes he clothed in white, with a crown on her would observe, “ Indeed, it doth not ap- head, and a palm in her hand, standing pear what we shall be. For many long before the glorious throne of the Lamb, years have I been looking forward to and there uniting with the thousands this season, and these circumstances, and tens of thousands in ascribing salwhen I should be waiting to depart, and vation and honour unto him that sitteth to be with my dearest Lord; yet even upon the throne, and unto the Lamb, now I desire to say, “All the days of for ever. If this be her situation, what my appointed time will I wait till my glory beams in her face, and what lovechange come.' O blessed hour! I shall liness in her countenance ! for whilst see him as he is, not through a glass upon earth she displayed such a gentle darkly, but face to face; I shall be like disposition, that it might be truly said, him ; I shall be for ever with my Lord. that the spirit of the meek and lowly | shall be satisfied when I awake | Jesus dwelt in her.” with thy likeness." Often would he, And again, in reference to his brother when speaking on the glorious vision and sister, whose graves he frequently of the Redeemer in the unseen world, visited, and there mingled weeping with exclaim,

prayer, he thus writes :

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

“I have been this day thinking a , in spirit. I feel myself much fatigued great deal about my dear departed in body this evening, but to-morrow I brother and sister, who are often upon shall have a sweet day of rest from all my mind, and I feel as though I could worldly occupations; and should I be not give them up at present. Every permitted to enter upon an eternal Sabday I feel their loss more deeply. How bath, I shall see my dear Redeemer as much do I long for that happy day when he is, and in his presence find fullness we shall meet again to part no more. of joy, and at his right hand pleasures Whilst I am in this wilderness, I can- for evermore.” Thus it is seen, that not serve my Saviour as I would, for I the secret of his delight and benefit in find that sin is mixed with all I do. Oh the public ordinances of religion, arose that I were released from this body of from his private communion with his sin, for then I should be happy. If own soul and his Divine Lord. It was there should be no other happiness in this life of religion in his soul, thus heaven than the deliverance from all nourished and strengthened by contisin, this will be happiness indeed. We nual access to the only source of all spishall be in the presence of the Most ritual life, that enabled him to perHigh God.

severe also in endeavours to do good • There shall I see his face,

under difficulties and discouragements And never, never sin;

by which others would have been deThere, from the rivers of his grace, terred. This ennobled all his efforts, Drink endless pleasures in.' ”

which were put forth as unto the Lord, His views of Divine truth were clear, and not unto men. He considered no consistent, and evangelical, and their personal exertion by which he could influence eminently practical. He show kindness to others as beneath his placed a high estimate on the public attention. If he could promote his means of grace, and throughout life Saviour's praise, imitate his example, endeavoured to make all worldly ar- act so as to hope for his approval, lead rangements subservient to his securing some who were miserable and careless the benefits they conferred.

His en

to seek his mercy, he was satisfied. He gagements in business were of a kind did not refuse to sacrifice his own ease in early life to require his attention till and comfort, and at times to expose his a late hour on Saturday evenings, yet health, to disregard the opinion or even he looked forward with pleasing antici. | the misrepresentations of others, so that pation to the early prayer meeting on some poor family might obtain the Sabbath mornings, and expressed re- needed meal, some dreary widow's heart gret when illness kept him away. The be made cheerful, some desponding earnest and hallowed feeling with which sufferer listen to the words of comfort he was accustomed to look forward to and of hope. This was the business the Sabbath appears in the following of his life, and he followed it with the brief extract from his own diary, under activity and perseverance with which date April 8, 1820, and presents a strik. the miser seeks and hoards his gold. ing contrast to the conduct of many in It was his meat and drink, his pleasure similar circumstances.

and reward, and it was as catholic as closing another week, and looking for- pure. He would have felt it derogatory ward with pleasing anticipation to the to his Christian reputation, and dis. Sabbath. Oh! that it might be a Sab- honourable to his Lord, to have asked bath indeed to my soul. Let me begin the applicants for his benevolent regard, the Sabbath ere it arrives; let me strive which place of religious worship they to get near to God this night in the attended, or to what school they sent closet, and hold communion with him their children, before he attended to

“I am


their claims; and if he afterwards dis- | vant in the family of a pious clergycovered that they did not worship under man, when informed in a letter of his the same roof, or that their children death, sent back to her mother the folwere not taught in the same school as lowing lines, which she had written on that with which he was more immedi- the occasion :ately connected, the discovery made no

Heaven has received another saint, alteration in the interest he felt, or the Within its jasper walls, kindness he exercised. This caused his Another follower of the Lamb, death to be regarded as a general cala

Before the altar falls. mity by the poor. It was felt, that Jesus has called his servant home, though he might not be missed from To dwell with Him in heaven, the parties of conviviality and gaiety,

And now he wears a golden crown,

To him a harp is given. he would be missed in the cottage of the needy, in the lonely dwelling of the Not long ago he walked on earth, widow, in the chamber of the sick, or

A pilgrim travelling home,

And seeking always here to know at the bedside of the dying. The poor His Father's will alone. and the afflicted felt that they had lost a personal friend, and their grief was as

He taught the young to seek the Lord,

And many a poor one fed, sincere, as it was extensive. Multitudes

And with a sympathizing heart, followed with tears his mortal remains

Sought many a dying bed. to their last resting-place, over which a plain stone has since been erected,

His body lives no longer here,

Low in the grave it lies, bearing the following inscription : Until the resurrection morn, SACRED TO THE MEMORY OF

When it shall glorious rise.
SAMUEL BRADLEY BRIDGE, Esq. But though his mortal frame is dead,
Who departed this life on the 7th of Septem- His spirit free has flown,
ber, 1850, aged 52 years.

To sing the everlasting song, He was a dutiful son, a faithful brother, an Before the eternal throne. affectionate husband, a humble and devoted

Then weep not ye who mourn the loss servant of Christ, as well as a kind and con

Of such a tender friend, stant friend of the poor.

He's entered on the eternal day, His influence was exerted chiefly for the

That ne'er shall have an end. benefit of others, cheered and supported by the hope of the psalmist—"I shall be satis- He rests within his Saviour's arms, fied when I awake with thy likeness." Psalm In Canaan's happy land, xvii. ver. 15th.

And never more shall shed a tear,

He's with the happy band. A sermon was preached to a large assembly in the Independent Chapel on

He never more can feel a pain,

His sufferings all have ceased, the following Sabbath, from the 4th

He now has on a glorious robe, chapter of the 2nd of Corinthians, 17th Fit for the marriage feast. and 18th verses, which he had himself

Watch then, and pray that you may be suggested as suitable, should it be

Prepared when Death shall come, deemed desirable to make any public To meet his message with a smile, reference to his decease. The children

And feel you 're going home. in the schools mourned his removal; And then you 'll meet your friend in and one, the daughter of a poor widow,


And all with Christ shall be a young girl, formerly a Sunday scholar

Singing Hosannah to the Lamb, in one of the schools, but now a ser. Throughout eternity.

ON THE JUSTIFICATION OF A SINNER BEFORE GOD. JUSTIFICATION, in its literal import, Justification, in its scriptural import, signifies the declaring or pronouncing supposes guilt, and stands opposed to a person innocent who has been falsely condemnation. Thus, God is said to accused of crime. He who is accused justify the ungodly—and those whom of crime must stand condemned as he justifies are freed from condemnablameworthy, in the opinion of all who tion. Sin, as an offence against God, believe the accusation as true. If, how- and a breach of his law, deserves his ever, on examination it shall be found displeasure: sinners, therefore, deserve that the accusation was false, and with to be excluded from his favour. But out any foundation in truth, the accused God, in justifying those who believe in party will then be clear: he will then Christ, frees them from condemnation, be acquitted from the charge of blame and places them in the same 'relative worthiness, and will be freed from all position as if they were not guilty; or condemnation. He will, in fact, be as if they could be pronounced innojustified, and his justification will be on cent. He fully and freely forgives all the ground of his own innocence. their sins, accepts them as if they were

But it must be obvious that this is not perfectly righteous, and makes them the import of the term, as used in Scrip- heirs, according to the hope of eternal ture in reference to the justification of a life. Thus, justification is a change in sinner before God. For by no process the relative position of a sinner; & whatever can any of the human family be change from condemnation to acceptpronounced really innocent. The accusa- ance,—from being a child of wrath to the tion of crime, brought against mankind, privilege of being an heir of glory. is not a false one. Our guilt is real. Now the Scripture assures us that The accusation brought against us is this change is effected through the reclearly proved. Conscience testifies to demption that is in Christ Jesus. The the truth of Scripture," that all have work of Christ, then, is the ground of sinned and come short of the glory of justification, or that subject for the sake God.” Every mouth must be stopped, of which God justifies the ungodly. and the whole world pronounced guilty The reason of this method of justificabefore God. This, then, is the scrip- tion is worthy of consideration. If tural and acknowledged condition of the justice had been allowed to proceed in whole family of man.

its natural course, every sinner must Yet, as the term justification is used have reaped the reward of his own ini. in Scripture to denote the great and quity; the penalty due to his sins must important blessings obtained through have been inflicted on his own head. the work of Christ (for all that believe And thus the authority of the Great are said to be justified), we infer that Lawgiver might have been vindicated, there must be some resemblance be- and the stability of his laws maintained. tween the literal import of the term But God had designs of mercy to our and the scriptural one. This re- fallen race. His compassion was moved semblance, we maintain, is to be found towards mankind. Some expedient, in the consequences. God treats those therefore, must be devised whereby all whom he justifies as if they really were the ends of good government could be innocent; or as if they could be justi- answe

swered, in the forgiveness of the fied on the ground of innocence. He guilty; and all the claims of authority grants them those privileges which per. and law vindicated, in accepting those fect innocence could always secure.

who deserve to die,—such an expedient as shall leave the law of God in its full of the Divine testimony, but the belief or force, and maintain the authority of the persuasion that the death of Christ is lawgiver, as clearly and forcibly as if suitable and sufficient for salvation, and justice had its natural course in the that salvation through his death is free punishment of the guilty.

for all who desire to be saved thereby. Now this expedient we have in the The belief or persuasion of these subdeath of Christ for our sins. “God jects of the Divine testimony will be hath made him to be sin for us who accompanied with trust or confidence knew no sin, that we might be made in the promises of life in Christ; and the righteousness of God in him.” the surrender of the heart to the will of “ Him God hath set forth to be a pro- the Saviour. Those that believe may pitiation through faith in his blood, to not indeed see the reasons why God declare bis righteousness for (or in) the should have chosen such a method of remission of sins." Christ suffered, the saving sinners, but they are sufficiently just one for the unjust. This, then, is convinced of the suitability of the plan, the grand expedient by which all the and of its being appointed by God, to ends of good government can be main. make it the ground of their confidence tained, all the rights of the lawgiver and the medium of their access to God. can be vindicated, and all the claims of Thus exercising faith in God's method authority and law sustained, when the of saving sinners, and making it the violations of the law are freely and fully ground of their hope, they are accepted. forgiven. It is the method whereby God By thus believing in the testimony of can be just, and yet merciful; righteous, God concerning Christ, they become and yet show himself ready to pardon : connected with Christ, and have fellow. whereby he condemns sin, and freely ship with him in the merits of his death, forgives the penitent sinner. It is, and the perfection of his righteousness. then, the method of salvation, which With the exercise of this holy principle commends itself to our reason and judg- of faith, God is pleased to connect the ment as well as to the feelings of our forgiveness of sin and a title to eternal hearts.

life. Such are justified, and being justiFurther, the justification of a sinner fied have peace with God through our is to be by faith, for those that believe, Lord Jesus Christ. and those only, are said to be justified. Hence, then, we conclude that the The simple fact of Christ's having suf- first, the primary evidence of our being fered in our stead, does not, in itself, justified, must be derived from the inplace any sinner in a state of justifi- ward consciousness of our belief in the cation. Though his death is that sub- suitability, the sufficiency, and the freeject for the sake of which God justifies ness of the work of Christ for our rethe ungodly, yet justification is ob- demption; or from the inward contained only on believing-he that be- sciousness that we sincerely approve of lieveth is justified. The faith which God's method of saving sinners by the justifies, is the belief of the Divine death of his Son, and trust in it for our testimony concerning the person and own individual salvation. work of Christ. It is not, indeed, the

M. S., Falkenham. belief that Christ died for any one in July 15, 1851. particular; for this is not the subject

« AnteriorContinuar »