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the serious apprehensions of those around him; and we find them communicating to such members of his family as were at a distance, almost daily intelligence of his state. The nature of his complaint assisted in bringing on at intervals considerable depression of spirits: but still his prevailing desire was to depart, in the confidence that he should be with Christ, On account of his deafness, he had contracted the habit of expressing audibly whatever passed in his mind, almost without being aware of it: and the train of his thoughts, it appears, was of a striking and most edifying kind. "Oh what a comfort it is," observed one of his servants, "that my master thinks aloud!" With occasional depression of spirits for where there is great faith, it will often be severely tried-there was such a view of the emptiness of all earthly things, such a longing for the things of heaven, such a submission to the will of God, such self-abasement, humility, and heavenly-mindedness, as must have refreshed and delighted every Christian heart. At times he expressed considerable apprehension of the pang of death itself: but such was the merciful appointment of Providence, that the concluding scene was calm and peaceful; not a groan, not a sigh escaped him; the " weary wheels of life at last stood still," and the separation of the immortal spirit from its earthly tabernacle was perceived only by his gently and quietly ceasing to breathe.
Thus, observes one of his family,
"All that he has taught and done is now sealed by his dying testimony,and his dying example. No blot can now come upon it from him; which was so long and so much the object of his prayers. Blessed be God! more heavenly dispositions, surely, could not be exhibit ed than prevailed in him throughout his illness-even when he walked in darkness. Not one of all his fears has been realized: indeed, they all vanished away one by one. The last which he expressed was, on Friday, of the agony of
death: but where was the agony to him? Peace, peace, perfect peace! All our hopes have been exceeded. The close has been a cordial to us all; and
how substantial the comfort! The constant prevalence of such tempers, under the most trying of circumstances,-how much superior an evidence is this, to any degree of confidence unsupported by even a like measure of meetness for the inheritance of the saints in light!.. He was pouring out his blessings and prayers for the dear children to a very late period; particularly on Saturday night (though so very ill), when reminded that it was Jane's birth-day.'” p. 526.
We cannot prevail upon ourselves to omit the following striking testimonies of the love and veneration in which be was held by those that had the best opportunities of appreciating bis worth.
"It is not easy to describe the deep grief of his people, when the mournful event was made known in the village and neighbourhood. Our friend is gone!?
mentations of the poor on every side. Even the most stupid and thoughtless of his parishioners were roused to feeling on this occasion. Numbers of the parish and neighbourhood came to take a last look, and stood by the corpse overwhelmed with grief,-many of whom had paid little attention to his instruc tions while living." pp. 529, 530.
'We have lost our friend!' were the la
day following, April 23. It was our in"The funeral took place on the Montention to act strictly according to his own directions, by making it as plain and private as possible. But, as the hour approached, numbers of those who had enjoyed his acquaintance, with many others who esteemed him highly in love for his work's sake,'-some of distance,-began to collect around the them coming from a very considerable church and the parsonage-house. On the procession leaving the garden-gate, it was attended by sixteen clergymen ; while thirty or forty respectable females, in full monruing, stood ready, in double line, to join it as it passed towards the church. That little building was more crowded, probably, than on any former occasion; and a large number of persons collected round the windows, unable to enter for want of room. In the absence of the Rev. J. H. Barber (the present rector), who had been disap
pointed of arriving in time, the funeral service was read by the Rev. S. B. Mathews, curate of Stone. The Rev. John Hill, vice-principal of St. Edmund's Hall, Oxford, addressed the congregation, previously to the interment, from the words of dying Jacob, I have waited for thy salvation, O Lord!' and the very appropriate hymn was sung, beginning,
'In vain my fancy strives to paint
The moment after death,' &c. "Mr. Wilson's funeral sermon was preached on the Friday following. It was our intention, and very much our wish, that it should have been delivered from the same pulpit, whence the venerated servant of Christ who gave occasion to it had, for eighteen years, declared the whole counsel of God but it was foreseen that the little church of Aston would be utterly inadequate to receive the numbers who would desire to be present. The neighbouring church of Haddenham therefore, which had been kindly offered, was thankfully, though, at the same time, somewhat reluctantly, accepted for the service. The event shewed the necessity of making the exchange, for even that large
building was not sufficient to accommo. date the crowds who assembled. The appearance of the congregation, in which a large proportion of all ranks had provided themselves with mourning, evinced how highly my dear father was esteemed in the neighbourhood, though his infirmities and engagements had conspired for a long time past to
confine him within the limits of his own village." pp. 531, 532.
The concise account which we have here given of the last hours of this excellent man, will appear, to those who are acquainted with the work under review, meagre and unsatisfactory. We must however be contented, in these pages, with a general statement: it is impossible without great injustice to the subject, and to the editor of these memoirs, to attempt any thing further. The particular and very interesting details which occupy the following forty pages, would lose a great part of their effect, if compressed within the limits which we could afford to them. We must therefore decline the task; and CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 251.
shall feel it as an additional motive, if we can hope in this way to prevail upon our readers to have rewill then see, not only that we have course to the work itself. They stood clear of exaggeration, but that it is impossible, by a brief and general view of the case, to afford an adequate impression of its most interesting realities.
In the two concluding chapters, we are furnished with a view of Mr. Scott's character, habits, &c., and an account of his various writings. These chapters are drawn up in a very able manner, aud add in no small degree to the value of the publication. The funeral sermons by Mr. Wilson are too well known to render it necessary for us to make any large extracts from them in this place. To those who are unacquainted with these discourses, we would strongly recommend the perusal of them. The reader will there find a very just description both of the public character of this good man, and of his private excellencies: his determination of mind in serving God, his extraordinary diligence, his exemplary behaviour in domestic life, his devotional spirit, his faith and patience under afflictions, and, finally, the test of his Christian sincerity, in the gradual but regular advances which he made in every branch of real godliness, and especially in overcoming his constitutional failings. These several points are elucidated with Mr. Wilson's usual ability, and we will not weaken the force of his statement by abridging them. ·
It is natural that we should regard the observations upon this subject by the biographer himself with certain allowances for the feelings and partialities of a son to his father. But truth requires us to state, that we rise from the perusal with a complete conviction of the exemplary fairness with which he has executed this difficult task, Who that has read the narrative of Mr. Scott's life, can doubt either of the general powers of his uns 5 B
derstanding, or of the Christian temper of his heart? Who can doubt of his practical disregard of worldly emoluments; of the trust which, with reference to temporal as well as spiritual things, he reposed in the promises of God; of the jealousy with which he watched against the influence of a worldly disposition; of his liberality and largeness of heart; and of his catholic spirit towards men of real piety, wherever he found them? The illustrations which are here furnished, on these and other similar points, are highly pleasing, and they are amply borne out by the history with which we were previously acquainted.
The only question in our minds is, whether Mr. Scott did not seem to carry his notions on some of these matters to an extreme. We allow that, if he erred, he erred on the safe side but when we find him asserting, that although
are to live at the altar, yet a living, a bare decent maintenance, without any avaricious or ambitious views of advancing ourselves or our families, or hankering after indulgences, should content us," we conceive the statement to be put in terms not sufficiently qualified. That no avaricious or ambitious views should ever influence the mind of a Christian minister, or any Christian at all, is a proposition which will not be controverted but it does not follow that a clergyman should be confined to a bare, decent maintenance. What is to be the amount of this bare maintenance? The late Mr. Fletcher, it has been said, carried the principle so far as to be perfectly astonished when some person hinted a doubt whether himself and his house-keeper could live upon two shillings a week: And we have heard it said, on respectable authority, that during the late distress in Ireland, one of the Southern Committees restricted the allowance to each individual of the crowds whom they supported, to
three farthings a day; lest, on the removal of the scarcity, they should have been too much pampered to return contentedly to their ancient fare. Mr. Scott argues however, it will be observed, for a bare decent maintenance; that is, probably, for such a maintenance as becomes a clergyman's situation in society, but nothing beyond it. For a person like "the old bachelor Swartz," this may be all very proper; but in a vast variety of cases, what is to become of the families of clergymen if this rule strictly to be followed? By not providing reasonably and moderately for his own household, is not a minister rather tempting Providence than trusting it? His children are to have the benefit of a good education: is it only, that, in the event of his removal before they arrive at years of maturity, they may be plunged into helpless poverty? Would Mr. Scott have condemned the prudence which induces a clergyman to lay by a little for his widow and children, by some annual payment, if he can afford it, to an insurance office? We think not: it is the mode which Providence seems itself to point out for securing the comfort of his family: and to leave in distress those who are dependant upon him, on the principle, that whatever can be spared should be given in charity; to be, in fact, uncharitable towards those who have the strongest possible claim, under the pretext of being charitable to others, is surely not to be ranked among the obligations of a Christian*.
* The Bishop of Gloucester, in speaking concerning the lawful pursuits of business in a clerical life, observes
"Of such pursuits, personal attention to the sources of our pecuniary sup port, and especially the superintendance of our assigned portion of land, stand obviously the first. That degree of regard to our temporal concerns, which will prevent waste, and enable us to owe no man any thing, which will maintain our families in decent comfort, educate our children, and provide, if
We make these remarks, not to condemn the principle on which Mr. Scott acted through life, but to guard against a perversion of his principles: he expresses himself strongly; but, if we mistake not, he would wish to be understood with a reasonable latitude of interpretation. His views are thus illustrated by his son.
"Subsequently we have heard him declare, that if a man have faith strong enough, and urgent occasions call for it, he may perhaps do as well for his family if he expends what he has to spare in judicious charities, as if he lays it by;' and again, that, in some cases, he should think it right to make a point of disposing in charity of at least as much as was laid by;-and this,' he adds, "I call seed-corn. Yet it should be observed, that he had a great objection, where it could be avoided, to public collections being made for a clergyman's family after his decease. The necessity for this, he thought, should be guarded against by all fair means. Nor should it be supposed, that he in any way reflected upon clergymen who were born to wealth, or on whom Providence otherwise conferred it, if only they made a proper use of it. Aspiring after it was what he condemned.
"Agreeably to these sentiments, we have seen him expressing a strong disapprobation of ministers encumbering themselves with lucrative academies, and losing perhaps the sacred character in that of tutors. He had, if possible, a still stronger aversion to their aiming at rich marriages. A marriage with a rich wife is, I believe, what none of his sons would have ventured to pro. pose to him. Few things would have alarmed him more for their safety; or
possible, some moderate inheritance for those whom we leave behind, cannot, in the present circumstances of the church, be blamed. It is not incompatible with Christian duty, or with the standard of ministerial spirituality. It is even needful, to prevent many scandals and offences, which neglect and consequent distress would produce. But all beyond this the devotion of any considerable time to these objects, the indulgence of anxious solicitude, the aim at much goods laid up in store-directly oversteps the boundary, and plunge us into sin." Charge, 1822, p. 12.
more grieved him, as a dereliction of
at the same object, though we have our different ways of attaining it!' Hence, when many years ago two young ladies of large fortune were placed under his care, it was one of his counsels to them, that neither of them should marry a clergyman: 'for,' said he,' if he is not a good one, he is not worthy of you; and, if he is a good one, you will spoil him.'
"And all that we have been now re
lating was held, it should be observed, and persisted in by one who had felt more than most men the inconveniences
arising from the want of money, even as an obstruction to his great and good designs." pp. 591-593
The testimony borne to Mr. Scott's character by many competent witnesses, and among these by Mr. H. Thornton *, Mr. Pearson †, and Mr. Wilberforce †, would naturally suggest the inquiry, What were his faults? Was he so perfectly free from the ordinary infirmities of human nature, as to be above the reach of animadversion? Was there nothing in his disposition or character, which a Christian would wish to be otherwise? Far different, certainly, was his own impression, when, in closing his ministerial labours, he applied to himself that pathetic exclamation, God be merciful to me a sinner! And although it does not become a son to dwell upon the faults of a parent, yet it is evidently no part of his design to hide any defects of character, or to represent him in any other view than truth and justice demand.
See an interesting letter from Mr. Thornton, in p. 430, dated 1813 or 1814. + Page 605, + Page 606,
"His failings," as we are informed by Mr. Wilson, "lay on the side of roughness of temper, pride of intellect, and confidence in his own powers;" and doubtless, in the conflict which he so long maintained with the corruptions of his own heart, the natural dispositions would sometimes break forth.
"But," we are told upon the same authority," from the time when he first obeyed with his whole heart the truth of the Gospel, he set himself to struggle against these and all other evil tendencies, to study self-control, to aim at those graces which are most difficult to nature, and to employ all the motives of the Gospel to assist him in the cou test; and he gradually so increased in habitual mildness, humility, and tenderness for others, as to become no less
exemplary for these virtues, than he had long been for the opposite qualities of religious courage, firmness, and determination. He used to observe, that it was no excuse for a man to allege, that this or that holy temper was not his turn; for every grace ought to be, and must be, the turn of every sincere Christian. I can most truly say, that during an acquaintance of about twenty five years, which gradually matured, on my part, into a filial affection, I scarcely ever saw an instance of more evident growth in real obedience, real love to God and man, real victory over natural infirmities; in a word, real Christian holiness. In the concluding years of his life, he was, as it appeared to me, obviously ripening for heaven. He had fought a good fight, he had finished his course, he had kept the faith; so that at last his genuine humility before God, his joy in Christ Jesus, his holy zeal for the diffusion of the Gospel, his tender affection to his family and all around him, his resignation to the will of his heavenly Father, and his exclusive trust in the merits and grace of his Saviour, seemed to leave little more to be done, but for the stroke of death to bring him to his grave in a full age, like as a shock of corn cometh in its season!" pp.
Toward the close of this chapter, we have a short account of Mr. Scott's sentiments on the important subject of education. In his own family he appears to have been
remarkably successful; and Christian parents may naturally wish to be informed of the method which he pursued. The hints which the filial piety of his biographer bas preserved on this subject, are worthy of great attention: and although it will sometimes happen that no care bestowed upon the young can keep them from the vices and follies of the age, yet the blessings of early religious instruc tion, when seconded by a judicious example, are seldom entirely lost. In the statement given on this subject, in the volume before us, Mr. Scott himself is made the principal speaker; and it is in the midst of his own family circle, and for the benefit of them and their child
ren, that he complied with their desire of communicating such remarks on this head, as his experience had suggested to him. The paper is too long for insertion in this place: it may suffice therefore to observe, that he considered his own success as consisting in this; that he always sought for his children, as well as for himself, IN THE FIRST PLACE, the kingdom of God and his righteousness. To this grand principle every other was kept subordinate: and his entire conduct, in relation to his children, was such as to accord with that grand Christian motive. In going more into detail, he recommended, "Whatever else you teach not to teach them subjection; and or omit to teach your children, fail that to the mother as well as to the father." He enforced, as of great importance, forming habits of application. He guarded his sons against allowing their children to mix familiarly with those of persons of higher pretensions; a caution peculiarly necessary to ministers, who usually occupy a station in society much beyond that which their fortune would command. He was friendly to early religious instruction by catechisms, prayers, &c. He dwelt upon the importance of gaining the affec