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REFLECTIONS ON MATTHEW XXVI. 75.
And he went out and wept bitterly. The falls of great and good men are highly instructive when rightly considered. Infidels may mock, the sons of Levity may ridicule, and the fastidious may affect to reason; but after all, there are certain lessons of instruction to be gathered from these falls, that can hardly be gathered from any other part of the sacred writ.
Herein we see the impartiality of the Scriptures; they do not flatter any one; they do not conceal the failings of the best ; they tell us the particular and aggravated faults of David, Solomon, Peter, and others. Now, when we consider the general character and holy conduct of these excellent men, how disingenuous and degenerate must be the heart of that man, who will venture to make a handle of those errors in life, against the persons of such worthy men, or the noble cause they maintained! But prejudice ' is a jaundiced medium; it discolours every object, and blackens even the best intentions.'
Peter was 100 self-confident. He had declared, in the ardour of his affection, I will in nowise deny thee. This must be brought to the test. Christ was apprehended, the heavens were suddenly overcast, and troubles came on. Now Peter cooled, and began to follow afar off?. Into the palace he entered, but trembled and became pale; - and when charged with being an associate with Jesus, his courage failed him,
the fear of man prevailed,- he took refuge in falsehood, - he ventured to be prophane! Here we see a falling star, and hear a loud admonition to watch and pray! But Peter was recovered, - vas again elevated, and shone with peculiar lustre in the church of God. "With God nothing shall be im-, possible. The cock crew: how penetrating the sound! Jesus looked on Peter; the look wounded his heart. He could not support this ! he went out.' Hypocrisy affects the sun, sincerity the shade. He went out and wept bitterly. Mark the language of those tears! I have sinned against light and love! Who (of all my Master's servants) has ever been so vile? I have sinned against honours conferred; how odious is my ingratitude! I have sinned against the church of God: --what a bad example have I set to others! I have aided the vile cause of infidelity! wicked men will make a handle of my conduct! "He wept bitterly! Let us learn never to boast of our present feelings, or confide in the ardour of the moment, but trust in the Lord aione. Let us mark the inelticacy of warnings unheeded, - the propriety of watching unió prayer,--the utility and benefit of mutual and kind forbearauce,--our daily need of the Lord Jesus Christ as our Prophet Priest, and King. He is all and in all’ To him be glory and dominion for ever. Amen.
THE LATE REV. EBENEZER WHITE,
Every attempt to develope the principles and illustrate the tendency of Christian truth, accords with the great design for which the ministerial office was instituted. In that insti. tution we discover a wise and benevolent adaptation to the condition of mankind; and its duties, when rightly discharged, like the Scriptures theinselves, are profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness.' Such also are the purposes which should be invariably regarded in the details of Christian biography. Its important ends are not answered by a mere recital of facts and dates. Character must be unfolded; its diversifying causes ascertained; the influence of religion, in its formation, accurately traced; and the immense advantages of that influence so exhibited, as to convince the judgment and impress the heart. Every believer who ' walks worthy of his high vocation,' is a living witness to the truth of the gospel: his life and death are practical confirmations of its divine authority and heavenly origin. Hence the value of those memorials which record the virtues of departed saints, and attest the excellency of that religion which gave them“ a good hope and everlasting consolation.' 'It is with sentiments peculiarly affecting to himself, that the writer of this account has undertaken the mournful task of transmite ting a brief Memoir of one who was once his faithful friend and pastor. He looks back on the days that are gone, with mingled emotions of gratitude and sorrow; - gratitude for the blessings of social intercourse and Christian fellowship; and sorrow, that those blessings were so imperfectly improved, and that they are now no longer to be enjoyed! But, thanks be to God, we sorrow not as those without hope; we are come to the spirits of just men made perfect;' and even here, are happily associated with the glorified above! :
The late Rev. Ebenezer White was the sun of Stephen and Ann White*. He was born in London, March 9, 1771; and
* It is preserved as a traditional record in the family, that sòme of the ancestors of Mr. White were amongst the first sufferers for Puritanisia
was baptized in the same month, by that eininent servant of God, the late Rev. Edward Hitchen, then pastor of the church assembling at White Row, Spital-fields. His parents, one of whom survives him, were pio's and respectable; and imparted to him and to a numerous fainily, the invaluable advantages of reli, vious education. His mother' (says an affectionate and near relative of the deceased +) in pious and grateful remembrance of the Lord's helping hand in some difficulties, desired that he might be naned Ebenezer; and his failer, who has now been dead about nine years, mentioned that, from the birth of une child, he had a strong desire and presentiment, that he would be devoted to the service of the Lord in the sanctuary.
It may be truly said of him, that, like Obadiah, he feared the Lord from bis youthFrom his earliest years, he was of a grave, serious, and studious turn of mind; manitesting great tenderness of conscience and attention to divine twings. At a very early age be used to take his younger sister into a retired apartment, and pray with her, and urge ber to pray for herself. When he was only ten years of age, his father being often detained out late at night by business, he used to read a chapter with bis mother and the other children, and on one of these occasions, when his mother proposed to bim to read a prayer, he answered, with great simp, city,“ Oh, mother, I don't pray with a book!" tith a liitle persuasion, he was induced to engage in prayer; and frou that time generally officiated as the chaplain of the little circle in his father's absence. Shortly after this, he formed a society of youths, about his own age, who used to weet on Sabbath evenings, in his father's house, for social prayer; and a refreshing season'it often proved to many older and more experienced Christians, who occasionally entered ile room, or lisiened at the door.'
Evidcut and pleasing as were these inumations of early piety, it appears that he had di!) uccided intention of entering on the work of the ministry ul a incre advanced period of his life. ' He was apprentticed at the usual age, to Mr. R. Butler, a respectable hosier, in Gracechurch Street. In this situation be pret with a kind friend in the late Rev. Jolin Olding, of Deptford, who enand Nei conformily; and that one of these kaving had an information laid against him, when the oiliers came to search is house, took refuge in an üven, over the mouth of which a spider almost immediately wove a large sels.
'I his circunstance induced the vincers to omit searcbing the oven, as they concluded that nobody could have been there for noontlis. By this singular event, the good man creared. i similar story is related in some pari of Llavel's writings; and it is probable, refers to the same person. How just the observation of Dr. Paley, that in the *wths and ways of God, zient and titite are icrms of no meaning !
+ 'The passages marked by inserted cominas are selected froin an inforestals letter, which the writer receiviu from his bruiber, Mr. Waller White, ce Loudon.
cotiraged his serious and studious inclination, and supplied him with many suitable books. - During his apprenticeship he was uniformly steady and consistent.' His youth was never stained by the pollution of those vicious habits, so fataily prevalent at that period ivhen the passions predominate, and reason, conscience, and religion, are too generally disregarded. - From one of his letters, written about three years ago, to his brother, it appears that at this time he was in some measure inclined to a system of Hyper-Calvinism, bordering, at least, on Antinomianism, and which was obtained popularity under the mistaken notion of its tendency to glorify the divine grace, 'though it gives a dishonourable view of the divine character; and the spirit of which is even worse than its principles, tending to subvert all that characterizes the Christian temper. Mr. White had peculiar reason to be thankful that he was delivered from the paw of a lion and a bear,' much more dreadful than ever David encountered. Alluding to his juvenile feelings and opinions, he says, in the letter referrerl to, _'I wish our poor father had not permitted our absence from the meetings of that church where we were naturally and providentially connected, and where we received our baptisın. Many a time, when a dupe of a boy, have I ran sweating to Hs, to be amused, or surprized, when my conscience might have been more effectiially searched, and my mind edified at White Row.'
But the sphere of business was not that in which Mr. White was qualified to shine. At the expiration of his apprenticeship, his thoughts reverted to a subject which often awakened, Lefore and afterwards, his most anxious feelings. Distressing bimself, he consulted his pious and judicious friends; and at length, by the special recommendation of the late Rev. John Reynolds, of Camomile Street, he offered himself as a probationer for the ininistry, to the Directors of Hoxton Academy, To that respectable seininary he was admitted in the year 1796. Here, his diligent application to the various branches of study was highly exemplary, and his personal piety babitually conspicuous. After spending three years at lioxton, he coinmenced his regular labours at Potter's Pury, in Northamptonshire; but not finding the situation congenial with his wishes, le removed to Hertford, where he was ordained in April 1801. The Rev. Messrs. S. Burder, Reynolds, Greatheed, and Claycon senior, engaged in the principal services on that occasion. For reasons which to the mind of Mr. White fully justified his determination, he leit Hertford in a year or two after his orditation; and under the direction of Mr. T. Wilson, visited Lancashire, where he preached with considerable acceptance and success, for several months at Rochdale, Bamiord, and the neighbouring places. The church assembling in Queca Street Chapel, Chester, had beon without a settled pastor