« AnteriorContinuar »
repeat the affectionate things he benefactions. He well remem. says, in a letter written me from a bered what the benevolent Jesus remote part of the world, re was used to say when on earth, specting the satisfaction and “ It is more blessed to give than pleasure he had felt in the relig- to receive.” Few, who sought ious exercises of this place. I his assistance, were refused, and shall however be excused, if I many obtained it without seek just observe, that his bours of ing it. The advancement of the religious retirement, whether on interests of truth and religion, land or at sea, were employed in was an object in his view most reviewing the notes he had taken important. To the erecting of of sermons delivered here. And many a place of worship did he “chese, adds he, are my songs in liberally contribute. And with the house of my pilgrimage. Oh, what cheerfulness he assisted in Sir, how many Sabbaths have I building this house you need ardently longed to spend in Wild- not be told. “ He accounied it Street! God in Christ is my an honour, he said, to join his Rock, the portion of my soul !”
name with yours," His candour, as might natu Good men of every denomirally be expected in a man of nation he affectionately loved. his exemplary piety, was great. And while with a manly firmAs he steadily adhered to his ness he asserted and maintained religious principles, so he abhor- his own religious sentiments, red bigotry. Having met with agreeably to the sense he felt of difficulties in his inquiries after their importance ; he was a good truun, he knew how to make al- deal hurt at every approach, in lowance for those who met with his apprehension, towards a litthe same.
tle, narrow, contracted spirit in His acts of charity to the poor matters of religion. Yet he was were numerous. For though a Dissenter from the established he was not ostentatious, yet ma- church on principle. Nor was ny of them could not be conceal- he ashamed to have it known ed. Providence blessed him to all the world that this was his with affluence; but all who profession. He well understood knew him, know that nothing the grounds of his dissent, nor was more opposite to his dispo- could he on any consideration sition than heaping up wealth. think it his duty to take the saHis treasure was laid up in hea- cramental test as a qualification, ven. His neighbourhood in either for enjoying any place of Bedfordshire will bear witness honour and emolument, or servto his generosity ; and many a ing any burdensome office in the poor family there will, I doubt state. Called upon, however, to not, feel deeply for the loss of the latter, he did not avail him. so kind a friend. Nor were his self of this just excuse for decharities confined to the circle clining the service; but resoof his own mansion. “He went lutely undertook it, at the hazard about,” like his divine Master, of incurring enormous pains and “ doing good.” Compassion ex- penalties, from which nothing citedl, prudence guided, and but a bill of indemnity could seobligingness accompanied his cure him.
Such was the character of this might have happened also in excellent man. “ He went about other counties. He therefore doing good.” The life of Christ resolved to visit the prisons of was the original, his the copy. neighbouring shires. . This he How nearly the latter resembled did ; and his fears being realized the former, you will judge from by the miserable scenes his eyes what has been said. "Nor am I beheld, he extended his progress afraid you will charge the ac- further, and visited the whole count given of him with exagge- kingdom. The information thus ration. His character was a obtained, and which was comvery extraordinary one. It was, miited accurately to writing, he however, not without its imper- immediately applied to the obsections : nor should I do him ject he had in view. justice were I to omit adding In the year 1774, he was ex. that he was iiimself deeply sen- amined upon this subject before sible of those imperfections,
the House of Commons, when he It remains that I mention a had the honour of their thanks. few historical facts, which will And soon aiter a bill was brought serve 10 throw a further light in" for the relief of prisoners, who upon the character we have shall be acquitted, respecting drawn, and confirm the truth of their fees ;” and another bill “for what hath been said,
preserving the health of prisonIn the year 1773, he was call- ers, and preventing the gaol dised upon to serve the office of temper." These two acts, which sheriff for the county of Bed. passed that session, he had printjord. The prisons, of course, ed in a different character, and falling under his inspection, and sent them to the keeper of every management, le became ac county-gaol in England. By quainted with such disorders and Those acts, as he observes, the abuses, as failed not to excite his tear was wiped from many an eye ; compassionate concern. He and the legislature had for them considered that prisons, houses “the blessings of many that were of correction excepted, were not ready to perish.” Thus had a meant for punishment but con
Howard the honour of pouring finement. No man is in the eye consolation into the afflicted of the law guilty, till legally tri- breast; and through him it ed and convicted. He therefore might be said, “God looked rightly concluded that to subject down from the height of his a person in this state to any in sanctuary, to hear the groaning convenience, more than the ne of the prisoner, to loose those cessary one of confinement, is that were appointed to death.". unjust ; and to suffer him, when His views, upon this success, acquitted, to be loaded with ex were quickly enlarged. He reorbitant fees, is cruel oppression. solved to visit the prisons in
The utmost pains, therefore, foreign countries, not only to he immediately took to effect a obtain relief for the oppressed, reform in the gaols under his and a mitigation of miseries to own custody: This naturally the distressed wherever he found led to the idea, that what had happened in his own county,
* Ps. cii, 18, 19.
them ; but to procure such new he exposed himself in thus goinformation, as might be neces. ing aboui to do good: and on this sary to forward the reforms he subject I meant further to enhad in contemplation at home. large, but must deny mysell this His visits were repeated, and satisfaction lest I should trespass scarce a kingdom was there in on your patience. Europe, which he did not traverse. The attention which was paid
He then extended his views to him by the principal personstill further, and resolved to col ages in Europe, and which he lect the rules, orders, and drafts was so far from courting, that, in of the principal Lazarettos in some instances, he absolutely Europe, with the medical treat- declined it; I say, this extraor: ment of patients in the plague; dinary attention of theirs, with in hopes by these means to set the peculiar circumstances that on foot such regulations, and accompanied it, shews in what bring forward such measures aś, high estimation his character with the blessing of God, might stood with the public. Indeed, prevent the future return of that his modesty must not be passed calamity to this country. So he over without particular notice. travelled into Turkey, and visit- His reply to one of the principal ed himselt one, if not more, who officers of state in a great king. was actually in that dreadful dis- dom, upon being told that, howorder, the distant apprehension ever he would not suffer a statue of which has made many a coun- to be erected to him in his own tenance turn pale.
country, a statue would be erected To give you ooly a general ac- in the prisons of that; I say his re. count of his well laid plans, for ply was memorable, and marksthe alleviating the miseries of the character of the man. « I have poor, for stopping the progress no objection, said he, to its being of vice, for promoting industry erected where it shall be invisi. and virtue, and for preventing ble." And in a letter he sent me the importation and spread of from Turkey, speaking of this infectious diseases, would carry hasty measure, as he calls it, and me too far. I must therefore his wish that it might be stopped, only add, that success has alrea. he adds, “ Alas ! our best per. dy, in a degree, attended his en- formances have such a mixture of deavours. And it is to be hoped, folly and sin, that praise is vanity that such a superstructure will, and presumption, and pain 10 a in time, be raised on the founda- thinking mind." tion he has laid, as will be of the He set out on his last journey greatest utility to this country ; the beginning of July, 1789. It and which, should he have ac was to have been of great extent, cess to the knowledge of it in and to have taken up the com. the world above, would, I am pass of about three years. I ex. persuaded, add to the joy his postulated largely with bim at benevolent heart there feels. parting, on the mistake of suffer.
We have hinted before at the ing himself, through an earnest painful fatigues he endured, the desire of doing good, to be pregreat expense he incurred, and cipitated beyond the clear line of the imminent dangers to which duty, which might possibly be
sometimes the case. He seem a variety of subjects. He knew ed to apprehend he should not, however, till his last visit to scarce see this country again; Edinburgh, his happy experi. and when last in tuis place, said ence of the influence of evangelto a friend near him, “ W'ell! ical doctrines, falsely charged We shall not perhaps meet one with a licentious tendency, in another again till we meet in exciting to abound in works of beaven.”
righteousness and beneficence. What we feared, Providence At that time, Mr. Howard haphas permitted. HOWARD is no pened to hear a sermon, in which more! He died at Cherson,* justification through the blood January the 20th,t of a malignant and merits of Jesus, and the confever, which he caugiit by hu- nexion of the belief of that docmanely visiting a person in that trine with holiness of heart and disorder; to whom he adminis. life, were occasionally illustrated. tered the usual medicine, but The next day he acquainted the without effect. The same med- publisher, how congenial the icine he took himself, which short reflections on that subject proving too powerful for his con were to his sentiments and feelstitution, the fever carried him ings. A deep and humble sense off in ten days. He had the as- of the defects and blemishes of sistance of several physicians ; his best duties, convinced him and great attention was paid him that he needed a better rightby Prince Potemkin, who not eousness than his own for aconly sent him his own physician, ceptance with God. Free justibut visited him himself.
fication by grace through the reThus fell this great and good demption which is in Christ Jeman a sacrifice to humanity. sus, was the great source of his
The publishert became ace comfort, and motive of his genequainted with this wonderful rous and toilsome efforts for sofman when first in Scotland, and tening sorrow. In one of the bad many agrecable and instruc- Greek Islands, he was surprised tive conversations with him, on to see exposed to sale, two ser
mons by Mr. William Bridges on A settlement of the Empress of the sinfulness of sin and the fulRussia, toward the northern extremi. ty of the Euxine or Black Sea, not farness of Christ, which he immefrom Oczakow.
diately purchased and read with † 1790.
pleasure and edification. The Ś A few days after the publication publisher has been credibly inof the sermon, from which this ac. count is taken, the person who at
formed, that he was ambitious, tended Mr. Howard on his journey, that his only son, who had the and in whose arms he expired, arrive prospect of inheriting a handed from Cherson. From him, among some fortune, should study diother particulars, I learn that he met vinity, and, as a dissenting clerdeath with submission, composure, and fortitude ; and that he retained gyman, publish to men the goshis senses to the last, expressing the pel of Christ. But Providence pleasing satisfaction he felt in the denied the gratification of his prospect of "going home to his Fa- wishes, for reasons which he ther and his God."
! The late Rev. Dr. Erskine of now sees to be wise and just Edinburgh.
THE LIFE OF REV. JOHN SER
ble to the disciples of Jesus, who take an interest in the exertions,
which are now made for extendBroor APHICAL sketches of ing the blessings of the gospel virtuous and good men must al- among the heathen.
This was ways be useful. By being con
the object, which was dear to his versant with the excellent of the
heart, and to the promotion of earth, we shal) catch somewhat of it he devoted his life. their spirit. The patience with The materials for the followwhich they sustained the most ing memoirs are principally de weighty afflictions, will teach us rived from a *pamphlet publishnot to sink under the troubles of ed many years since, which is life. The resolution with which
now in the hands of but few ; they encountered the difficulties
and the words of the author will that were thrown in the way of occasionally be adopted. uprightness, will excite in us an Mr.John SERGEANT was born elevation of mind ; the zeal, at Newark, in New-Jersey, in which they manifested in the
the year 1710. A wound in his cause of truth, must impel us to hand deprived him of the power exertion, and while we view them of labour in early life, and indistinguished for qualities, which duced him to seek the improvewe do not possess, and yet hum- ment of his mind. As great an ble and pepitent for sin, and re evil, as it might have seemed, nouncing all pretensions to mer. it was the means of opening to it, we inust be impressed with him the sources of human learnthe folly of nourishing any proud ing, and of introducing him into conception of our own worth.
the ministry of the gospel. He If we measure the excellence
wag educated at Yale College, and of character by the ardour of be
soon after receiving the degree nevolent feeling, and by the of Bachelor of Arts, in 1729 cheerful sacrifice of earthly bles
was elected tutor, in which of. sings in attempting to promote fice he continued four years with the glory of God in the salvation honour to himself and advantage of sinners, those holy men, who
to those, who were committed have renounced the pleasures of to his instruction. Being detercivilized society for the disgust- mined to devote himself to the ing intercourse of savages, who work of the ministry, and poshave exchanged the cultivated sessing those endowments and field for the dreary wilderness, acquirements, that penetration that they might cause the desert and learning, that sweetness of to rejoice in the knowledge of temper, cheerfulness of mind, God, must surely occupy a high
" Historical Memoirs relating to place in our estimation. But
the Ilousatunnuk Indians, or an account while Eliot, the Mayhews, and
of the methods used and pains taken Brainerd are held in deserved for the propagation of the gospel aremenibrance, the name of Sermong that heathenish tribe, and the grant is not so generally known. success thereof under the ministry of Some notice therefore of his
the late Rev. JOHN SERGEANT. By
Samuel Hopkins, A.M. Pastor of a character and labours, it is church in Springfield. Boston. S. thought, will not be unaccepta- Kneeland. 1753. pp. 182.