« AnteriorContinuar »
their souls. Many of them have accompanied him to glory; and if, after his departure, the rest should so wander and degenerate, as to return to the world from whence they came out (a supposition not to be admitted) still the fact remains : under his ministry they were called out from that world: under the same they walked towards the world above; and there I also trust he will meet them as his crown of rejoicing in the day of the Lord Jesus.
Let us then no longer halt between two opinions! especially as they lead to two such opposite and important results. Soon will an eternal world open upon us, and the Kingdom of our Redeemer break forth with an unutterable splendour and irresistible conviction, to the honour and joy of his friends, and the eternal confusion of his enemies. He has warned us that the gate of it is strait, the way narrow, and that comparatively few are found walking therein: and if we perceive this, shall men in our predicament consult the taste of a blind, disordered, and perishing world about it?—or ask leave to declare it plainly ?Let us know men better, love them more, and fear them less, that we may both save ourselves and them that hear us.
But, whatever zeal we may attain for evangelical principles, let us be no less zealous to follow our Brother as he followed Christ, in a parental tenderness and forbearance towards those that
oppose themselves, if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth. If we would succeed as Mr. C. did, “ We must,”! to use his words, “shew these people a more excellent way :-we must overcome evil with good: —we must pray for them as Christ did, for they know not what they do.” We must, like him, shake hands with the man that would insult us; and, by a friendly approach to the house of an enemy, attempt to disarm his heart*. Benevolence of character is a sort of eloquence that is understood in every country, and which every one finds it very difficult to resist : Christian Love is a still higher principle, and has a look and a language even towards its enemies, which have often melted down the most obdurate. Fas est et ab hoste doceri, and from one of the worst we may learn that, " the good man alone knows the art of making others so.”
The work, indeed, is arduous, and man is weak; but, with the warrant and promise of our God, any thing may be done. His power precludes all despair, in making this grandest of attempts. Whatever has been related of our late Brother is but an exhibition of divine Grace, which wrought in him both to will and to do. He was a man of like passions and prejudices with us, and owed all that he was, and all that he did, to its sole
* See page 232.
efficacy: and to illustrate the power and tendency of that grace, is the grand design of these Memoirs, or the writer of them is but a fool in his folly.
Let us, therefore, work while it is day, and pray while we work : looking to Him who is able to build us also up, and give us an inheritance among them that are sanctified; that, when our work is done, we may, like our Brother, repose on our dying pillow with a well-grounded consolation that we have " settled every affair for both worlds."