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which was his chief imperfection, was not, there is reason to believe, entirely natural, but to be ascribed in a great measure to an injudicious mode of treatment in early life, and to some severe trials in the commencement of his career, which pressed with such force on his mind that it never entirely recovered its elasticity. He witnessed in his excellent father an excess of vehemence, a careless intrepidity of temper, that with the most upright intentions involved him in so much distress, that his anxiety to avoid that extreme betrayed him into a contrary one. The grand maxim which he seems to have adopted for the regulation of his life was a determination to shun every approach to what he had seen productive of so much inconvenience; forgetting, perhaps, too much, that the opposite to that which is wrong is not always right. Hence the fear of consequences predominated too much in his course of action, and he was more easily deterred by the apprehension of possible evil than incited to action by the prospect of good. In the words of an ingenious writer, employed on a different occasion, "there was nothing he needed to be cautioned against so much as caution itself."
I am aware there are those who have charged our excellent friend with a want of openness of character. As far as such an imputation has any colour of truth, it is but just to remark, that the deficiency complained of was in no degree tinctured with dissimulation or cunning. It was partly the effect of that timidity which he was acknowledged to possess, partly of that gentleness which shrunk with an instinctive recoil from contention, and which disposed him, however his feelings might be wounded, to breathe out his complaints in the ear of friendship rather than demand such an explanation or apology as might have restored confidence and prevented a repetition of the offence. He repressed his anger, but indulged his grief; and was accustomed on such occasions to conduct himself rather like a person wounded than offended. Thus the uneasy sensations with which his mind was fraught were allowed to accumulate, producing not malignity indeed or rancour, of which he was incapable, but permanent disgust. Be ye angry, saith the Scripture, and sin not. A violent suppression of the natural feelings is not the best expedient for obviating their injurious effects; and though nothing requires a more vigilant restraint than the emotions of anger, the uneasiness of which it is productive is, perhaps, best evaporated by its natural and temperate expression: not to say that it is a wise provision in the economy of nature for the repression of injury, and the preservation of the peace and decorum of society.
Such, and such only, as it appears to me, was the origin of that reserve which forms the most plausible objection to his character, and which, when closely investigated, will be considered more as an infelicity than a fault. That it contributed to render him less influential, less powerful, and totally disqualified him to be the head of a party will be readily admitted; but it may be doubted whether it rendered him much less amiable. The worst effect of it was, that it
* See Morris's "Life of Fuller," a work which contains a most able and accurate delineation of the character of that extraordinary man.
sometimes imparted to his conduct the semblance of disingenuous concealment, while he was in reality an example of artless simplicity." For the liberty I have assumed of alluding to the imperfections of our lamented friend, my only apology is, that unqualified praise is entitled to little credit, and that the failings which attach to the character of the best of men are often as instructive as their virtues.
It may be expected that something should be said of his literary character and attainments; a circumstance not to be neglected in speaking of the president of a theological institute. My knowledge, however, on this head is too limited to allow me to say more than that he was a scholar from his infancy, that his attainments in the Hebrew language were profound, that he had a general acquaintance with the principles of science, and that his reading was various and extensive. As he was extremely addicted to study and meditation, so his mental opulence was much greater than his modesty would permit him to reveal; his disposition to conceal his attainments being nearly as strong as that of some men to display them.
He had a passion for natural history, in the pursuit of which he was much assisted by the peculiar structure of his eyes, which were a kind of natural microscopes. The observations he made on various natural productions, without the aid of instruments, were really surprising; and though the peculiarity in his visual organs deprived him of the pleasure of contemplating the sublime and magnificent features of nature, it gave him a singular advantage for tracing her minuter operations.
But the science in which he most delighted, and to which he bent the full force of his mind, was theology: not that theology which is built on human speculation, and supported by scholastic subtleties, but that knowledge of God, and of the mysteries of his will, which shone in the face of Jesus Christ. By the incessant study of the Scriptures, your pastor became a scribe well instructed for the kingdom of God, and, like a wise householder, was enabled to bring forth out of his treasure things new and old. The system of divinity to which he adhered. was moderate Calvinism, as modelled and explained by that prodigy of metaphysical acumen, the celebrated Jonathan Edwards. For the writings of this great man, and those of his followers, he formed a warm predilection very early, which continued ever after to exert a powerful influence on his public ministry as well as his theological inquiries and pursuits. It inspired him with the most elevated conceptions of the moral character of the Deity, to the display of which it taught him to refer the whole economy of Providence and of grace, while he inculcated the indispensable duty of loving God, not merely for the benefits he bestows, but for what he is in himself, as essential to true religion. Hence he held in abhorrence those pretended religious affections which have their origin and termination in self. Whether he attached an undue importance to these speculations, and rendered them occasionally too prominent in his public ministrations, it is not for me to determine; it is certain that they effectually secured him from the slightest tendency to Antinomianism, and contributed not a
little to give purity and elevation to his religious views. The two extremes against which you are well aware he was most solicitous to guard the religious public were, Pelagian pride and Antinomian licentiousness; the first of which he detested as an insult on the grace of the gospel; the last, on the majesty and authority of the law.
By the removal of a minister of Christ so able, so disinterested, so devoted, you have sustained a loss, the magnitude of which it is difficult to appreciate, much more to repair. A successor you may easily procure, but where will you find one who will so naturally care for your state? who, instant in season and out of season, is willing to impart to you not only the gospel, but his own soul also, because ye are dear unto him? You may hear the same truths from other lips, supported by illustrations and arguments equally clear and cogent: the same duties inculcated by similar motives; but where will you find them enforced and recommended by an example equally elevated, an affection equally tender? Where will you look for another whose whole life is a luminous commentary on his doctrine, and who can invite you to no heights of piety but what you are conscious he has himself attained? When you add to this the effect of a residence among you of above thirty years, during which he became the confidential friend of your parents, the guide of your youth, and after witnessing the removal of one generation to a better world, was the honoured instrument of raising up another in their room; when you reflect on the continued emanations of wisdom and piety which proceeded for so long a space from this burning and shining light, you must be convinced that your loss is irreparable.*
The removal of such a pastor, of one whose labours you have so long enjoyed, is an epoch in the history of a church. It is an event which no living generation can witness more than once; and it surely calls upon you to consider what improvement you have made of such advantages, and what is the prospect that awaits you in the final day of account, when you and your pastor shall meet once more in the presence of the Judge; he to give an account of his ministry, you of its effect on your character. In relation to him the event is not doubtful. He has finished his course, he has kept the faith; henceforth there remains for him a crown of righteousness which Christ the righteous Judge will give him on that day. Would to God the issue were equally certain and equally happy on the part of those who so long enjoyed the benefit of such a ministry! That such will be the issue with respect to many who compose this auditory we cannot doubt; and with what inconceivable joy will he witness the felicity which awaits them, while he presents them before the throne, saying, Here am I, and the children which thou hast given me! With what delight will they renew the intercourse which death had interrupted, and retrace together the steps of their mysterious pilgrimage! while the gratitude they will experience towards him who was instrumental in conducting them
The church wisely sought for a successor to their excellent pastor in the author of this discourse, who removed from Leicester to Bristol in the spring of 1826; but whose admirable labours there were terminated by death within five years.--ED.
thither will be only inferior to that which they will feel towards God and the Lamb. How trivial will every other distinction then appear, compared to the honour of having turned many to righteousness! of having sown that seed which shall be reaped in life everlasting! A large portion of this felicity will, we cannot doubt, accrue to your pastor from those who are accustomed to assemble within these walls; but should it in any instance be otherwise, should the event be of a contrary nature, he will be a sweet-smelling savour to God, even in them that perish. His happiness will be unimpaired, his reward undiminished, and the feelings with which he was wont to contemplate such a catastrophe will give place to sentiments of a higher order. The tears which he here wept over souls in danger of perishing will be shed no more; all his agitation and anxiety on their account will be laid to rest; nor will they who refused to constitute his joy by their conversion be suffered to mar his felicity their destruction.
It is not the church and congregation only over which he presided with so much honour that feels itself interested in this event. The sensation which it has produced is widely extended, and has reached every part of this great and populous city; a city sufficiently enlightened to comprehend his worth and to mourn his loss. When a Reynolds, whose munificence flowed in a thousand channels, and whose example gave a new impulse to the public mind, quitted the scene which he had so long adorned with his presence, and enriched with his bounty, that a general sensation should be excited is no more than might be expected. But that the removal of a Christian minister, who possessed none of these advantages, should produce a regret so universal and so deep, is a pleasing homage to the majesty of religion; a practical demonstration of the power it exerts over the consciences of men. If blessings are bestowed and judgments averted in answer to prayer, as the Scripture every where teaches, and the efficacy of prayer is proportioned to the fervour of faith and the perfection of obedience, it is impossible to say how much the inhabitants of this place may be indebted to our excellent friend, by whose removal they have lost a powerful intercessor with God.
By an extensive circle of ministers and churches who shared his friendship and on various occasions enjoyed his labours, his loss will be deeply lamented, and not without reason; for though the faithful dispensers of evangelical instruction may now be reckoned by thousands, how few are left who can sustain a comparison with him in all the qualities which adorn the gospel, and give the possessor power with God.
That denomination of Christians of which he was so long a distinguished ornament will especially lay this providence to heart. Our hands are weakened this day; and if the glory is not departed from us, it is at least eclipsed and obscured. We have been visited with stroke upon stroke. Our brightest lights have been successively extinguished; and in vain do we look around for a Beddome, a Booth, a Fuller, or a Ryland; names which would have given lustre to any denomination, and were long the glory of ours. Your pastor was
endeared to us as one of the last links of the chain which connected the present generation with the founders of the Baptist Mission. From the very beginning he mingled his counsels and his prayers with that determined band who, in the absence of all human resources, resolved to send the gospel to the remotest quarter of the globe; nor did he cease to his last hour to watch over its progress with parental solicitude. The intimate friendship which subsisted between that lovely triumvirate, Fuller, Ryland, and Sutcliff, which never suffered a moment's interruption or abatement, was cemented by their common attachment to that object. Of congenial sentiments and taste, though of very different temperament and character, there was scarce a thought which they did not communicate to each other, while they united all their energies in supporting the same cause; nor is it easy to determine whether the success of our mission is most to be ascribed to the vigour of Fuller, the prudence of Sutcliff, or the piety of Ryland. Is it presumption to suppose they still turn their attention to that object? that they bend their eyes on the plains of Hindostan, and sympathize with the toils of Carey and of his associates, content to postpone the pleasure which awaits them on his arrival, while they behold the steady though gradual progress of light, and see at no great distance the idol temples fallen, the vedas and shasters consigned to oblivion, the cruel rites of a degrading superstition abhorred and abandoned, and the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of God and of his Christ?
But by none will the removal of our excellent friend be more deeply felt than by our missionaries in India, and especially by the venerable Carey, whom he was the means of introducing into the ministry; a circumstance which he sometimes mentioned with honest triumph, after witnessing the career of that extraordinary man, who, from the lowest poverty and obscurity, without assistance, rose by dint of unrelenting industry to the highest honours of literature, became one of the first of orientalists, the first of missionaries, and the instrument of diffusing more religious knowledge among his contemporaries than has fallen to the lot of any individual since the Reformation; a man who unites, with the most profound and varied attainments, the fervour of an evangelist, the piety of a saint, and the simplicity of a child. His chief consolation, on receiving the melancholy tidings, will undoubtedly arise from the prospect of soon meeting in a better world, where those who have been fellow-pilgrims in this vale of tears will be associated in the presence of the Saviour, never more to part.
If the mere conception of the reunion of good men, in a future state, infused a momentary rapture into the mind of Tully,—if an airy speculation, for there is reason to fear it had little hold on his convictions, could inspire him with such delight, what may we be expected to feel who are assured of such an event by the true sayings of God! How should we rejoice in the prospect, the certainty rather, of spending a blissful eternity with those whom we loved on earth, of seeing them emerge from the ruins of the tomb and the deeper ruins of the fall, not only uninjured, but refined and perfected, "with every tear wiped from