Imágenes de página

his people. Afflictions, though for the present not joyous but grievous, are not among the least of his benefits and blessings, and will be found to be the most certain proofs of his love. I know that I have reason to bless God for mine; nor would I have been without them. I hope I have learned some lessons by them which I needed much to learn; I hope I shall still find it good to be afflicted, &c., and that this trial of faith is now working patience and every Christian grace, and that it shall be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ. In this view I feel perfectly satisfied in the will of God, whatever it may be, as to its continuance. I have great reason to hope that his goodness is preparing the way of recovery, at least to a moderate share of health and strength. His will, however, I feel must be best; and if it be attended with his grace to uphold this confidence to the end, and to sanctify it to my soul, if it continue it will be well, and if it be removed it will be well also. It may admit a doubt whether it require more grace to use afflictions well, or to use health and prosperity. But his grace is sufficient for both, and in the path in which he is pleased to lead us, whether health or affliction, we may expect the full supply of it. And now, my dear friend, what have we to do but to love him and trust him, and to endeavour by the purity and integrity of our conduct to aim in our several relations and engagements to promote his honour ? This only we shall do, if our general conduct be such as to give an impression to all around us that our profession is sincere, that it influences our tempers and dispositions, has a commanding power in our



hearts, and effectually directs our actions, in integrity and uprightness towards men, in holy love and sincere devotedness to God."

The last is addressed to his brother, February 12th, 1816, only about two months before his decease.

"It is my wish to lie, and I hope and trust I have and do lie, in the hand of the Lord." He has a right to send by whom he will send. It is our glory to be employed and made useful in his service; but if he chooses to send by others, and to lay us by for a time or altogether, what are we in his hands? It is as much the exercise of grace to submit to do nothing as to exert ourselves to the uttermost: and I find it needs more faith and patience. I am here miserably off on the Sabbath, and can only compare my state, and I trust my temper, to that of the Psalmist, lxxxiv. 2,3; though, blessed be God! I have found those very times the seasons of sweetest delight in communion with God in Christ Jesus. As to the general state of my mind, I have to thank God for great tranquillity, often for most reviving views and prospects, and an abiding satisfaction in the wisdom, goodness, and faithfulness of God in all his dispensations. I take hold of his covenant (Isa. lvi. 4), his covenant surety, atonement, righteousness, blessings, and promise, and will not let go my hold. This, as a poor helpless sinner, is my only hope. I feel a body of sin and death, but this cannot shake my hope in this salvation. I hope I love the Lord, esteem all his commandments to be right, &c. I love his

law, and aim feebly, imperfectly, and with much mixture, to do his will. But this cannot add to the ground of my hope or consolation. In this hope I would continue; and pray the Spirit of grace and promise thus to seal me with the image of my Redeemer, and become by his gracious influence the earnest of the inheritance. This I trust is Christian Experience. If not, I wish to be rectified in what is amiss, that I may be led more to that temper. Surely it is meet to be said unto God, I have borne chastisement, I will not offend any more: that which I see not teach thou me: if I have done iniquity, I will do no more 9. This has been my wish and prayer: I trust the Lord is answering it."

On this last extract nothing need be said. The eminent piety, humility, and holiness, which it breathes, speak the matured and consistent servant of Christ. Surely, though he has put off this his tabernacle, these his last accents will still be fixed on your memory and hearts!

This is indeed a principal duty of the solemn service in which we are now engaged. A brief ⚫ reflection or two on this duty shall close the present already too-extended discourse.

There may possibly be some before me wно HAVE LITTLE ATTENDED to the instructions of their late Minister. You have esteemed him as a man, but you have not received in truth the grace of God which he delighted to preach.

[ocr errors]

9 Job, xxxiv. 31, 32.

You lament over the death of a respectable clergyman, and sympathize with his family and friends; but you little think that a messenger from heaven has been recalled, to give account of the message he delivered, and of the attention which was paid to it. Allow me then to ask you what advantage you have derived from his instructions. Are you truly penitent for sin? Have you embraced by faith the righteousness of our God and Saviour? Are you separated from the love of this present world? Are you born of God and knowing God? Are you interested in the covenant of grace? Or, are you still dead in trespasses and sins? Are you yet impenitent and unbelieving? Are you relying on your own righteousness, and not submitting to the righteousness of God? Are you living to yourselves and the world and sin, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind? Permit me to call to your minds that the solemn instructions of your late Minister, which you might have heard and received, will rise up in judgment against you, if you are finally impenitent. Oh, let me now call on you, whilst meditating on his tomb, to have in remembrance the truths he uttered! Oh, let me remind you that your abode here is short and uncertain; that you also, little as you may think of it, must put off your earthly tabernacle. And what will be your state, if you have no habitation prepared

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

for you to enter in-no house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens ?-if, stripped of all that covers you now, you be unclothed and defenceless before the bar of God? Awake then to righteousness, and sin not. Awake, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee life.

There may possibly be others before me wно ARE IN DANGER OF ERRING FROM THE FAITH; who are more than usually exposed, from the seductions of Satan and the infirmity of our fallen nature, to the peril of being unstable, and of falling from their own stedfastness. Let such be affectionately warned by the solemnity of the death of their Minister and friend, and let them be admonished to return into the way of righteousness. Let them remember the things which their Pastor was not negligent to enforce upon them as long as he was in this tabernacle; and, oh, may they call them to mind now after his decease. Let them be diligent to make their calling and election sure. Let them labour to add to their faith every grace and virtue of the Christian profession. Let them well consider that there are two kinds of faith, a dead and a living one; that there are two kinds of religious profession, the one fruitful in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, the other barren and forgetful. Oh, let them not unhappily remain obstinate in the errors which they have rather, per

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »