Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

subordination and submission. Sometimes, when speaking of his continual need of unabating administration, and the consequent demands upon my health and spirits, he would say, looking at me with tender affection, “ I earnestly wish that I could reward your labours by leaving you an independency”—but would add, with a firm faith on divine providence“ I doubt not but that you and your children will be provided for after my decease. -I can only look to that God who has so graciously taken care of, and provided for me, who entered upon the world without any possessions.”

His evangelical views became more and more vivid latterly. He read such authors only, as treated these views most simply. Archbishop Leighton's Sermons afforded him a continual source of satisfaction. He read them perpetually; and particularly his Sermon on 1 Cor. i. 30—that on Cant. i. 3-and two on Rom. viii. 33, 34. He said to me and others, that he earnestly wished all his own writings had been of this description; and that his Address added to the Life of Mr. Newton,

of his atonement and grace; and I cast myself entirely on him, and wait at his footstool. I am aware that my diseased and broken mind makes me incapable of receiving consolation; but I submit myself wholly to the merciful and wise dispensations of God.'

“ One or two other interesting testimonies, of the spiritual and devoted state of his heart may be here mentioned. A short time before his decease, he requested one of his family to write down for him in a book the following sentence: None but Christ, none but Christ, said Lambert dying at a stake: the same, in dying circumstances, with his whole heart, saith Richard Cecil.' The name was signed by himself, with his left hand, in a manner hardly legible through infirmity.”

could be exchanged for an abridgment of the Sermon on 1 Cor. i. 30, as infinitely more interesting

It cannot be supposed that I mention this, as though any thing in that Address were defective, (for whoever can read THAT Address without emotion or without a tear, has a proof in his own breast, that he has little experience or a hard heart) but, rather to shew his humility; and, also, how he esteemed every thing as dross, compared with that one object which led him so often to repeat, with the martyr Lambert, “ None but Christ!-None but Christ!”_While his fatal malady had much impaired his natural powers, and contracted his former grasp of thought, he retained, like the blessed Apostle John, one faculty in perfection, that of an adherence of heart to the bosom of his Saviour, with that true contrition of spirit described in that Address, and which the High and Lofty One regards with delight in his children.

Mr. Cecil's disease tended to produce frequent irritation: the impulse was sudden, and irresistible; but these irritations were so insignificant in their consequences, that the chief pain produced by them arose from observing his own poignant feelings on such occasions. He would recur, in a moment, to his principles: and would express, in the strongest terms, his detestation and selfabasement; intreating forgiveness, forbearance, and patience. Indeed, it excited exquisite pain, and

often surprise, in the minds of those around, to remark, that the slightest instances of these irritations never failed to produce the strongest expressions of humiliation: he continually brought to my recollection the words of the Prophet, Thou hast laid thy body as the ground; and as the street, to them that went over.

One evening after reading his Bible for some hours, he said to me “ I derive my whole consolation from meditating on the Godhead and character of Jesus, in whom I place all my hope! Him, hath God exalted with his right-hand, to be a Prince and a Saviour ; for to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins."

His habit of reading remained with him to his last hours. He was wholly engaged in reading the choicest parts of such authors as Leighton, Trail, Boston, and Gurnall. This last he was reading at the moment when the apoplectic seizure took place. Blessed is that servant, whom his Lord, when he cometh shall find so doing! Luke xii. 43.--He read Gurnall's “ Christian Armour” without intermission, during the last four days of his life; and expressed his having been much helped and benefited by that writer.

Notwithstanding the deep inroad which disease had made on his intellectual powers, whereby his enjoyment was eclipsed and his comfort overshadowed, yet I had the satisfaction of observing (as had some of those friends who had access to

him) that, through all impediments, his real ripening for glory was manifest, as he travelled nearer and nearer to the grave-in his childlike simplicity-his humility, self-abasement, and increasing estimation of his adorable Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Though, as I have before remarked, his mind was often bowed down by the fatal paralysis which put an end to his labours, yet he retained to the last something of his ministerial spirit; and, in a lucid moment, often spoke of preaching again, saying, “ Should it please God ever to raise me up to preach again, Christ would be my only subject!" On this Rock of Ages he had, by divine help, built for eternity-a building, which the winds of adversity could not shake. His place of defence, and his treasure was on high; and where his treasure was, there was his heart also; and, though called to wade through a dark dispensation, yet his long and gracious habit, (which never left him) of turning to his Heavenly Father, remained as the evening time light, till he was admitted to a mansion where there is night no more.

In conversation with a friend and minister, he said, “ In your preaching hold up Christ. This should be your great object and aim in your Ser

Some have objected, that I have preached too much on Faith; but, were I to preach again, they would hear much more of it.”

But he had finished his public course, and was

mons.

no more able to resume his ministry. He had another, and a very different lesson to learn in the school of Christ. After having exhibited the Saviour with fervour and faithfulness in public, he was taken aside into a sick chamber-- there to be more emphatically taught, what he had declared to others, that none but Christ could meet the wants of a dying sinner. From this chamber and this dispensation, he did indeed preach again, and aloud, to THE HEART, on that important warning of our Lord — BE YE ALSO READY. Nor did his faith fail him here, but remained firm, while every thing else was shaken: nor did I ever, at any time, hear him declare his faith with more stedfastness, than in the days of his affliction. It was a ground of much comfort to me to observe, that at no period during this visitation—even when disease made the deepest inroad on his health and faculties, and Satan's temptations harassed his enfeebled mind-- DID HIS OBJECT VARY, but remained one and the same with that in the days of his health “ Christ crucified, for the chief of sinners!"—the only point worthy the contemplation of a mortal hastening into the eternal world!

The total loss of the use of his right-hand prevented his putting on paper many things interesting and highly instructive: this he often lamented; while the agitation of his nerves rendered it impracticable to be done by others. I have, with mournful pleasure, discovered passages in his Bible,

« AnteriorContinuar »