Imágenes de página



"As some tall tow'r, or lofty mountain's brow,
Detains the sun, illustrious from it height,
While rising vapours, and descending shades,
With damps and darkness, drown the spacious vale.
Undampt by doubt, undarken'd by despair,

The Christian, thus augustly rears his head,
At that black hour, which gen'ral horror sheds
On the low level of th' inglorious throng:
Sweet peace, and heav'nly hope, and humble joy,
Divinely beam on his exalted soul:

-and crown him for the skies,
With incommunicable lustre, bright."


THE Rev. T. Scott, was born in Braytoft, in Lincolnshire, in the year 1747. He received when young, a good education, and was designed for the medical profession, but giving a decided preference to the Christian ministry, he ultimately obtained ordination from the Bishop of Lincoln, in 1772. On his first entrance into the ministry, and for several years afterwards, he resolutely opposed, and often ridiculed, the essential doc

trines of Christianity; but being gradually lead, under the immediate guidance of the Holy Spirit, to discover his error, he cordially embraced them, and became one of the most able advocates and defenders of Evangelical truth, the Church of England ever contained. He was a good Preacher, an able writer, and a devout Christian; and though, he never attained a state of perfection in any departments of his labours, or modifications of his character, yet ages may elapse before his equal appears amongst

us. *

I will now mention some particulars of his departure to a heavenly state.

[ocr errors]

During several years preceding the event itself, his bodily infirmities had been gradually increasing. His strength and natural spirits at times sensibly failed. His own impression was that his departure was approaching, and he contemplated it with great calmness and tranquillity. He preached more than once from the words of St. Peter, with an evident reference to his own case, Knowing that I must shortly put off this my

* As a very interesting life of this extraordinary man is published by his son, the Rev. Mr. John Scott, the writer does not think it necessary to enter on any detail of particulars beyond that of exhibiting the closing scene, which is taken from a funeral sermon preached and published by the Rev. D. Wilson.


[ocr errors]

tabernacle." He said to a friend, about two years since, "I feel nature giving way; I am weary of my journey, and wish to be at home, if it be God's will;" meaning that he "desired to depart and to be with Christ."+ The nearer he came to the time of his dismissal, he became the more earnest in prayer, that God would uphold him during the scenes of suffering and trial which might await him before his last hour, expressing at the same time the deepest conviction of his own weakness and unworthiness, and his constant need of divine mercy. He had been particularly anxious during the entire period of his ministry to be preserved from dishonouring his holy profession; and now, as life wore away, he became more and more fervent in prayer for grace, that he might not say or do any thing that should lessen the weight of what he had previously taught and written.

Increasing deafness precluded him almost entirely from conversation. His spirits also failed him more and more, and he would sometimes burst into tears, whilst he assured his affectionate family that he had no assignable cause of distress whatever. But his judgment and habits of close thought seemed to remain unimpaired still. His

• 2 Pet. i. 14.

+ Phil. i. 63.

last discourse was delivered on Sunday, March 4th, from the words of the apostle Paul, "He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?"* In the evening of the same day he expounded as usual to several of his parishioners assembled in his rectory, from the parable of the Pharisee and the Publican.† He entered with much animation into both these subjects; and in the evening he applied to himself, in a very affecting manner the prayer of the penitent publican, "God be merciful to me a sinner." In this striking manner did he close his public testimony to "the faith" which he had kept" during his whole preceding ministry.

[ocr errors]

On Saturday, March 10th, he was seized with inflammatory fever, a disease which had frequently endangered his life before, and which now, being aggravated by some internal malady, terminated his long and useful course after an illness of five weeks. The paroxyms of fever were so violent that his bodily sufferings were most severe, and his mind at times sympathized with the frail tenement in which it was detained. Faith and "patience" however had their "per

[blocks in formation]

fect work," and no period of his life exhibited more striking exercises of the holy principles and habits by which he had so long been governed, than these last days of conflict and


Before I proceed to give some particulars of his most instructive and affecting departure, I must observe that I lay no stress on them as to the evidence of his state before God. It is the tenor of the life, not that of the few morbid and suffering scenes which precede dissolution, that fixes the character.

But, though no importance is to be attached to these hours of fainting mortality with reference to the acceptance and final triumph of the dying Christian, yet where it pleases God to afford one of his departing servants, as in the instance before us, such a measure of faith and self-possession as to close a holy and most consistent life with a testimony which sealed, amidst the pains of acute disease, and in the most impressive manner, all his doctrines and instructions during forty-five preceding years, we are called on, I think, to record with gratitude the divine benefit, and to use it with humility for the confirmation of our own faith and joy.

It must be recollected, then, that under the

* James i. 4.

« AnteriorContinuar »