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frequently repeated, and, after some months, terminated fatally*. A letter, which our young friend wrote at this period, indicates the pleasing state of his mind.
•The anxiety of friends on such occasions,' says be, though highly soothing and endearing, is often painful to the sufferer, insomuch as he sees himself the cause of their sorrow, whose pleasures and cares are blended with his own. For my sake, therefore, as well as your own, be not oversolicitous, my dear sister, about what concerns me. God knows what is best for us; and in causing me to drink of the cup of affliction, has wise purposes to answer. May the fruit be to alienate from sin, wean from inordinate attacbment to the world, to render the Saviour more precious, and Heaven more desirable.'
As his disorder increased, a medical gentleman, with a paternal kindness, took him under his own roof, for the sake of giving bim that particular attention which he needed at this critical period. His views and feelings at this time are thus expressed, ic a letter to his father :
Here then let me pause for a moment, and reflect on the mercios which have accompanied this afflietive dispensation. Far renoved from those kind relations, whose tender sympathy and unwearied attention have heretofore beeu experienced, in the midst of strangers, and put even my friend at hand (Mr. - was in the country) my situation appeared really forlorn. Yet have these circunstances heightened the claim of gratitude to that Being, who has excited an interest in the bosom almost of strangers in my bebali. Nothing can exceed the kindness I have experienced from Mr. and Mrs. In the former, parental attention is united with such a degrec of professional skill, as sets my mind, and should set yours, at pera fect ease on that subject. In the latter, I see all the sensibilities of a mother (the character in which, she says, she wishes me to consider her) displayed. Excluded as I am from all society, my situation would be somewhat dull, were not cvery means, consistent with safety, used to remove the tedium of solitude. In short, nothing could render one more comfortable under the absence of my relations; while the circumstance of being under the sarge roof with my doctor, whose assistance in any emergency can be so Teadily obtained, is particularly favourable. Thus the cup I am called to drink, though bitter, is sweetened with many a pleasant ingredient. Whe. ther the plans I had formed, the accopplishment of which appeared within yny reach, will be entirely frustrated, or only interrupted, is best known to the Supreme Disposer of events. I desire to acquiesce in his will, what. ever that may be. Certainly my prospects were fair ; -- the cloud that in., tercepted my view was dispersed ; - iny most sanguine expectations were exceeded, and recent circu instances had increased them; -- but, perhaps, I had made this too much an idol. My heart was too much set on it; and, without doubt, lofinite Wisdom has seeu fit to withdraw it from me, that I may be led to trust more entirely on him. Happy will it be that I have been visited with this affliction, it this end be answered by it! You will be solicitous to know what were my views in anticipation of that event, which certainly, at one period, I considered as not far distant. Sensible of the treachery of the heart, and the danger of self: deceptioa, it was my prayer to God to give me a right judgment in so important a matter. I trust, my dear Sir, all is well; that I am prepared for any eveal; that, having cast anchor within the veil, I have a hold which the terrors of
· * It is surely a'subject of the deepest regret, that so many have failea the untimely victims of an unrestrained ardour in literary pursuits. Let others take warning by their lamented examples !
death cannot shake! Rejoice with me in this hope, and pray that it may be well founded !
The pleasing state of his mind, expressed in this letter, is also mentioned by the worthy lady with whom he resided.,
Our dear friend,' says she, 'has often reminded mo of this consoling idea of Cowper's, That those who are best fitted to live in this world, åre best prepared for the happiness of another. His mind was calm and composed in the most trying period of his illness; and, though he was prohibited from speaking, I could not refuse to listen while he was expressing a sweet testimony to che reality of religion. He said, that his hopes rested. on the truths of the gospel, and that he felt their support, and the most perfect resignation to the divine will, as to the event of his illness. I lament that the low tone in which he spoke, and the interest and agitation of the moment, have prevented me from recalling inany of the ideas which be uttered, and which I have no doubt but he intended that I should trea. sure up for the consolation of his friends; but it is enough to know, That, at that solemo period when the human heart would not be teinted to disguise its real sentiments, death had no terrors for your beloved relative.'. : The gentleman to whom he alluded in one of his letters, as the friend that he met with soon after bis arrival in London, gives the same account of his resignation during this period of his illness; while, at the same time, he pays a tribute to the worth and amiableness of his general character.
The first half hour,' says he, addressing his father, that I spent with your son, after his arrival in town, excited my desire to cultivate his friend. ship; for I thought that I perceived great intelligence, united with goodness and sweetness of disposition; and what I anticipated I found, an affectionate friend, and an excellent companion. We were seldom long separated from each other when business did not prevent our meeting. His ardour in his profession was great. He had marked out the road; and the principal obstacles appeared to have been removed, by his superior talents and perseverance, when he was arrested in his course by the hand of Omnipotence. At this time he exhibited the power of the religion he professed. Not a murmur escaped him. He often mentioned it as a striking proof of the vanity and uncertainty of terrestrial things; but with a spirit of Christian fortitude, and a desire of cheerful resignation to the will of his heavenly Father.'
Who can read, without emotion, these testimonies of his submission to the disposal of infinite wisdom, especially when it is considered what high-raised hopes were blasted by his premature illness !
The remaining part of this Memoir will relate to his views and dispositions after he returned into the country. About three monthis before his death, he grew considerably worse; but he enjoyed, during this period, with only a short interruption, a most desirable serenity of mind; and, as he drew near to an eternal world, he was favoured with more lively anticipations of glory.
Soon after his return, a meeting of prayer being proposed on his account, he wrote the following letter to his worthy minister, the Rev. John Saltren, of Bridport:
"I know not, my dear Sir, whether, in this exercise, the call for prayer er thanksgiving be greater. When I think on my late providential, aud,
*it seeks to me, almost miraculous escape * from a catastrophe which, had it happened in my debilitated slate, would, according to human prom babilities, have proved directly, at least ultimately, fatal, I carnot but see cause for gratitude to that God who, in such extremity, appeared for any help. This, and the favourable state of my health at present, which evidently improves under the use of the ineans, encourage me to hope that there is mercy yet in store, and that the time may not be far distant when I shall again be permitted to acknowledge his goodness, even the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. It is this hope which will furniske matter of supplication to a throne of grace. Life can only be desired., as it affords opportunity of usefulness here, or of preparation for happiness hereafter, and if, in a protracled existence, I have to anticipate a life burdensome to myself and my friends, my prayer would be, Lord, finish thy work, and cut it short in righteousness! Fit me for thy kingdons, and then take me to it!' Hence appears the propriety of subinission to the divine will, even in our prayers, lest their fulfilment prove a curse instcad of a blessing. One thing we cannot ask amiss, That the affliction may be sanctified; and I feel its importance too much, not to remind you, my dear Sir, of it. May the spirit of wisdom descend upon and influence those who may be engaged !- and may the angel of ihe covenaat mingle his inoenge with theirs, that their prayers may be accepled before the throne of God!"
During this meeting of his friends, or on a similar occasion, he wrote the following memorandum, which was found after his decease.
I cannot close the duties of this evening, when my friends have a meeting for prayer on my account, without expressius, in a manner more disa tinctly than I have yet donc, the state of my religious feelings, under the affliction which has so long tried me.
. It has often been a subject of regrot that I had noi done this sooner, at least only by those cominunications which I have sometimes made to my friends. Alter the attack, 1 bad for a considerable time no convenient opportunity for this ; and since I came down to the country the desiga has been delayed, from a wish to take a more circumstantial view of the subject, in the different stages of my disorder, than my health in general would prudently admit of; though, with shame I speak it, there have been sea. sons when at most I should have rún no greater risk from the jovestigation. than the fatigue of other studies or engagements occasioned. Should life be spared, I hope to devote the earliest opportunity to make this scrutiny. In the meantime, the following Paper is intended as a memento for the use of myself, and for the satisfaction, in some degree, of my friends who may survive me:r
• The period when Death stares us in the face, though a season oftrial to the faith, is by no means favourable to an enquiry as to the foundation of our bopes; which can best be effected when the mind is calm and uninfluenced by bodily disease. Hence I have repeatedly sought to ascertain the reality of that comfort which I seemed to feel at this awful period. Not content with my own examination, I have endeavoured to compare my seligious affections with those laid down in an inestimable work of President Edwards on the subject, as evidences of a state of salvation. The result is, That though I have greatly to deplore the want of clearer testimony on this head, particularly as lo ihe way in which the Lord first brought me to himself, i dare entertain a hope, that I have been led by the teachings of his Spirit to see my danger and my remedy, - to choose the Lord for my portion, and to give myself up to him to be cntirely at his disposal! I have at times felt a pleasure I cannot describe, in making this surrender to him,
in pouring out my soul, as it were, in prayer before him, and in telling · * Alluding to some alarming symptoms, which induced a full expeco tation of an inmediate returo of the hemorrbage.
bim my desire to be wholly his. Too transient, alas ! have been the bliss ful visions; and too often succeeded byia degéee of supineness and lan-guor hardly reconcileable with a Christian life! My temper, under this affliction, has been much too little regulated by the spirit of the ineek and lowly Jesus. This has been the cause of much grief to me, and, I trust, of un feigned humiliation before God; for though there may not be wanting some plausible excuses on this head, drawn from the influence of a complaint so completely nervous, yet I am too sensible of pride at the bottom ima sm, I believe, from my own experience, the most difficult of all to root out of the heart! Lord, assist me by ihy Spirit, subdue the evil propensities of my nature, form and increase within me those graces which evidence and adorn the Christian profession,--and may my present trial be eminently blessed to the promotion of su desirable an end!
• I have once more, this evening, solemniy examined myself on those points which can never be too fully or satisfactorily wade out. In the presepce of Almighty God, I have seriously asked, Is it my supreme desire to be the Lord's? Can I submit inyself to hiin in all things ?-content to suffor the loss of earthly comforts and prospecls if he please, --yea, in cvery event to acquiesce in his will without murmuring or repining? My faith feebly answers, I trust I can,' Tbanks be to God for this hope! It assures me, that I ain prepared for whatever may befal me. All is yours, whether lise or death, things present or things to come; all is yours, and ye are Christ's, and Christ is God's.' I have, in the best manner may feeble frame would enable me, and I humbly hope, confiding in superior aid, devoted myself afresh to the Lord; desiring that he would accept me as his child, adopt me into his covenant, and so teach me, by his Spirit, that I may in future see all things in God, and God if every Thing : that I may love him more, serve him inore faithfully, and be enabled, by faith, to look forward, with unshaken confidence, to the inoment that finishes my earthly career, as the period when my bliss is consummated and secured for eternity! Surely, if such be the issuc of iny troubles, I need vot repine at the continuance of the stroke. "God in hiniself is bliss enough, take what be will away ;' for these light afflictions, which are but for a moment, shall work out for you a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory!
"If sin be pardon'd, I'in secure,
Death hath no sting beside;
But Christ, my ransom, died ! I could wish to enlarge on so pleasing, so animating a topic ; but, for the present, I must forbear. My spirits, too great for niy strength, begin to siok under the infirmities of the body. O that I may be enabled to cultivate with care the Christiau growih, till full perfection crown hy hopes in everlasting bliss !
Such was his close and serions enquiry in the view of eternity; and who can doubt of the sincerity of his design, or the happy result of his examination !
[Tu bo concluded in our next. ]
- OBSERVATIONS ON THE JUSTICE OF GOD, IN ELECTING SINNERS TO EVERLASTING LIFE.
IN A LETTER TO A FRIEND. My dear Friend,
Vou observe, and I believe justly, that what is chiefly urged by Arminians against the doctrine of Election is, That it is inconsistent with the juskice of God. I shall, therefore, in this letter,
ce of Goctrine of "Ey that what
according to your request, make some brief observations on the justice of God, in electing sinners to eternal life. You will ob. serve,
1. If it can be proved that the doctrine of Election is taught in Scripture, it no more concerns the Calvinists than it concerns the Arminians, to shew that it is consistent with the justice of God. We are sure God is infinitely just in all his ways. He is the Rock: his work is perfect ; for all his ways are judgment, -a God of truth, and without iniquity, just and right is he. All the actions of God, from everlasting to everlasting, must be consistert with his justice; and if the Scriptures represent it as a fact, that God has, in sovereign grace, elected a certain number of the seed of Adam to everlasting glory, we may be fully satisfied that he is infinitely just herein, though we should be unable to shey how he is just. Let it, be your great concern to believe whatever God has been pleased to reveal in his word, and feel the humbling, comforting, and transforming influence of every divine truth on your mind : then you may look forward with the greatest composure and joy, unto the great and glorious day when Christ himself shall descend from Heaven, and summon all intelligent creatures to stand in his presence! Then he will abundantly manifest, to the satisfaction of all, that the judgments of God are'according to truth!
II. This objection has been very satisfactorily answered already by the apostle Paul. It is very observable, that the same objection was brought against the doctrine of Election, as stated by Paul in his days, as is now brought against the doctrine of Election, as stated by the Calvinists; and this is a presumptive proof that the Calvinists understand and state this doctrine in the same way as the apostle did. In the 9th of the Romans, Paul, having proved, by many Scriptures and examples recorded in the Old Testament, That God, in making choice of the vessels of mercy, acts entirely as a Sovereign (verse 14), supposes an oba jector as saying, 'Is there not unrighteousness with God ?' and, verse 19, as saying, 'Why does he yet find fault? Wim hath resisted his will ?' Now, I desire you will take notice how the apostle answers this objection. "Iday, but who art thon, O man i who repliest against God ? Shall the thing formed, say unto him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lamp to make one vessel to honour and anotber to dishonour? What if God, will. ing to shew his wrath, and make his power known, endured, with much long-suffering, the vessels of wrath, fitted to destruction, and, that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had before prepared unto glory, even us, whom he hath called, not only of the Jews, but also of the Gentiles ?" In Paul's reply to this objection, you will observe two things :