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members of his class, and all with whom he was acquainted, who made a profession of religion, never to rest satisfied until their “sprinkled conscience knew” God's “sweet forgiving love."
Of my father's burning charity for the souls of men, and unwearied diligence in trying to do good, much might be said. He appeared to know something of “the importance of a soul immortal.” He was convinced that sinners were dying on every side; that unholy men were passing into eternity, and perishing under the most aggravating circumstances,-perishing in the midst of plenty, and with the bread of life in their very hands. He was thus led not only to cry aloud himself, but to exhort others to unite with him in sounding an alarm to sinners, and seeking if that by any means they might save some.
His earnest and solemn appeals in families where religion was not experienced, and to which he had access, will not soon be forgotten. Argument upon argument was advanced, to induce them to dedicate themselves unreservedly to God,-and to do it then. He was not, however, satisfied with merely visiting families at their habitations, but embraced every opportunity of repeating the cry of wisdom : in the market-place and public streets he very frequently administered warning and reproof.
Thus, while some are called upon to occupy high and honourable stations in the church, and either to leave the land of their fathers, that they may become ambassadors for Christ in foreign climes, or to be in their own land public messengers of peace and salvation ; he appeared exactly in his place when reasoning, in the most homely and affectionate manner, with his fellow-men. And it was because of the present reward he received, while so engaged, that he was induced to persuade others also to abound in the work of the Lord. He ever held this belief, that he who accomplishes the greatest possible amount of good, shall not only in this world have a larger share of peace and happiness, but also in the world to come “a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” It afforded him great pleasure to hear of the conversion of sinners. He would exclaim, with tears of joy running down his face, “ The Lord's name be praised, brands are still plucked from the burning!"
My father was truly a man of prayer. His prayers in public were not remarkable for any uncommon language; but, with all simplicity and earnestness, he poured out his soul before his Maker, in the name of the great Redeemer, for the present blessings of the common salvation. It was, however, especially in private, that he appeared to excel in prayer. He there offered up supplications, with strong crying and tears, unto Him that was able to save : there he groaned, agonized, and cried mightily to the God of Jacob. In visiting from house to house, one thing at which he principally aimed was, to persuade those with whom he conversed to become men and women of
If excuses were made for neglecting this duty, he endeavoured to obviate Vol. XXI. Third Series. JUNE, 1842.
them, and frequently wrote the following letters in some prominent place,-“TRY."
He was not only regular, but also punctual, in his attendance at the house of prayer. He observes, in one part of his diary, “ There are many things I have always endeavoured to guard against : one is, late attendance at the means of grace. I have long seen it to be a great evil, and one which must be very displeasing in the sight of the Almighty. In reading the Life of Mr. Bramwell, I find he considers late attendance at the house of God as an indubitable mark of a low state of grace in the soul. Another thing I have endeavoured to avoid has been, running from one place of worship to another: where I got my good, there I remained ; and thus, while many became weak and feeble, through the help of the Lord I grew stronger and stronger.” My father could not, however, be justly charged with bigotry; for when visiting the old and infirm, he exhorted them to attend the nearest place of worship, rather than neglect the public means of grace altogether.
He always hailed, with the greatest pleasure, the approach of the quarterly love-feast; and was never backward in declaring what God had done for his soul. He frequently said, on such occasions, “I have had a love-feast the whole of the past week ;” and would sometimes add, “ I see, if I had turned to God sooner, I might have been much more useful in the world : instead of shining like a glow-worm, I might have shone like the sun when he goeth forth in his strength.”
Having lived nearly seventy-seven years in the enjoyment of excellent health, and having adorned the doctrines which are according to godliness by so many years of activity in the cause of truth, it was appointed that he should now glorify God in the furnace of affliction. In the month of July, 1839, he was visited with a severe attack of illness. Medical aid was immediately called in; and the opinion given was, that he could not recover. Contrary, however, to the expectation of the Physician, he again rallied ; but it was only to become acquainted with more severe and acute pain. For about a month he was confined to his house ; and very great was the tribulation through which he had to pass. Having hitherto been almost altogether unacquainted with bodily pain, he seemed sometimes as though scarcely prepared for this strange thing which had happened unto him. He could not say, that, when his sufferings most increased, then his strongest joys were given. And thus, when labouring under great pain, from violent spasms, his language was that of prayer, rather than of praise. When partially free from pain, he both could, and did, rejoice and give thanks; exclaiming at one time, with the Psalmist, “O sing praises unto God, sing praises unto our King ; sing praises." At midnight he frequently cried out,
“My Father, my God, I long for thy love,” &c.
He recovered his strength, however, so far as to be able to visit his friends and acquaintances once or twice again ; and he was once more found in the sanctuary where, forty-one years previously, he had obtained a sense of pardoning mercy : but it was discovered by all, that his stay on earth would be short. In the month of October the outward man appeared to be perishing rapidly ; but the inner man was renewed day by day: for though his mind was occasionally beclouded, in general he was happy, and could“ rejoice in hope of the glory of God."
About ten days before his departure he said to me, “O I could weep, when I think of the great things which God has done for me.” A few days afterwards he said, “I would have you to grow in grace, in wisdom, and in understanding. You must try to get poor men and women to heaven. Let your heart and mind be intent upon doing good in God's service some way or other.” Thus, in the midst of health, and when sickness had laid its withering hand upon him, it was his constant desire that God's honour should be promoted in the earth, and that his fellow-men should be rescued from their evil ways.
On Sunday morning, Nov. 24th, he appeared to be drawing still nearer the end of his journey. About seven o'clock he feebly repeated the following words :
“ From all that dwell below the skies,
Let the Creator's praise arise ;” and, after a few minutes, he faintly breathed, “My ever-blessed Father!” These were his last words. He lingered a few hours longer, but did not speak again ; and, about twenty minutes past three in the afternoon, without a struggle, the immortal soul was delivered from the burden of the flesh.
My father had his infirmities; and though they were but few, yet he frankly acknowledged them. Of his excellencies more might have been said ; but it has not been my object to praise him. Neither in his character, nor in his condition, was there anything extraordinary. He had no peculiar duties to discharge, no peculiar trials to sustain. He passed through the world on what may be termed the ordinary path of life, meeting with no occurrence tending to attract any particular attention to himself. But, by the grace of God, his character was consistent with itself, and his conduct always agreed with his profession. He did not seek to be noticed, but to have a conscience void of offence. He was faithful in all the relations of life; he sought to walk closely with God; and, because he knew the value of religion, and tasted its sweetness, he endeavoured to convert sinners from the error of their ways, and so to save souls from death, and to hide a multitude of sins. What he was, he was by the grace of God; and by that same grace, through decision and prayer, the reader may be what God would have him to be.
THE SABBATH. (No. V.)
THE SPIRIT AND MANNER IN WHICH THE DAY OUGHT TO BE SANCTIFIED.
(Concluded from page 389.) (To the Editor of the Wesleyan-Methodist Magazine.) The subject of this paper properly the voice of God, he saw the visions belongs to our last communication, of God, he held converse with the and the want of room alone induced angels of God, and his soul was us to throw it into a separate article. rapt into an ecstasy of reverential Our design was, by way of conclu- awe, of humble love, and of divine sion, to give the serious reader a desire. He beheld his Lord, in his brief plan for keeping the Sabbath glorified humanity, standing“ in holy; and, without further preface, the midst of the golden candlesticks : we observe, the sanctification of the and he had in his right hand seven Sabbath implies,
stars : and out of his mouth went a 5. 'l bat we spend the whole day sharp two-edged sword : and his in the public and private exercises countenance was as the sun shineth of religion.
in his strength. And when I saw God enjoins, not simply that we him," says the Apostle, “I feil at rest, but that we keep a holy rest. his feet as dead. “And he laid his We are to cease from worldly things right hand upon me, saying unto to the intent we may devote our. me, Fear not; I am the first and selves to the contemplation and pur- the last : I am he that liveth, and suit of heavenly things. Were we was dead; and, behold, I am alive merely to rest from our own work, for evermore, Amen; and have the we should keep the Sabbath idly; keys of hell and of death.” Oglobut our duty is, by diligence in rious truths! O enrapturing sight! God's work, to keep it holy. Idle- How confirmatory of the Deity, the ness is a sin on any day, much more atonement, the resurrection, and on the Lord's day. Rest from toil the supreme headship of Christ in is the Sabbath of the brute; where his church! Happy Apostle ! who as rest in God, through the medium on the Lord's day saw the Lord of religious exercises, constitutes himself ; felt the strengthening enerthe Sabbath of the saint.
gy of his pierced hand; beheld, in “ I was in the Spirit on the Lord's prophetic vision, the final triumph day.” Memorable and instructive of his cause; and, by a thousand words! Though the beloved disci. tokens of love, was re-assured that ple was an exile and a prisoner, on he and his fellow-disciples fulfilled the convict-isle of Patmos, for the his sovereign pleasure, in keeping word of God, and for the testimony the first day of the week as the of Jesus Christ ; though he was Christian Sabbath. shut out from public ordinances, Such visions and revelations we from the fellowship of saints, and may not hope for. But there is a froin all the blessings of freedom ; sense in which we also may be " in he forgot not the day which com the Spirit” on this holy day; may memorated his Lord's victory over behold the glory of our Lord; may death and hell. Deprived of the hear his voice; may stand in his privilege of preaching, he had con. presence ; and may be strengthened secrated the day to meditation and with his right hand. “Again I say prayer ; and, while thus employed, unto you, That if two of you shall the Holy Spirit came upon him with agree on earth as touching anything plenary light and power. He heard that they shall ask, it shall be done
for them of my Father which is in virgin thoughts and morning songs heaven. For where two or three to the great Lord of the Sabbath, are gathered together in my name, to whom we owe our redemption, there am I in the midst of them." with whom is “the residue of the (Matt. xviii. 19, 20.) “ Whatsoever Spirit.” Let us, as we spurn the ye shall ask the Father in my name, bed of sloth, call to remembrance that will I do, that the Father may his precious death, his glorious re. be glorified in the Son." "I will surrection and ascension, the mapray the Father, and he shall give jesty in which he now reigns, the you another Comforter, that he may prevalent intercession he carries on abide with you for ever; even the before the throne, and his glorious Spirit of truth; whom the world appearing to judge the world. Let cannot receive, because it seeth him us praise the Trinity adored for the not, neither knoweth him : but ye mercies of the night, for the blessknow him; for he dwelleth with ings of a new day, for the institution you, and shall be in you. I will not of the Sabbath, and for the prospect leave you comfortless : I will come of assembling with the faithful in unto you.” (John xiv. 16-18.) the life-giving ordinances of the These promises are the portion of Gospel. Let us meditate on the all believers, and they belong to all perfections of the glorious Being we ages.
Never do we so specially are about to worship, on the holy meet in his name, as when, on his place in which we have to appear, day, we commemorate his resurrec and on the solemn responsibilities tion, rely on the merits of his death, which the possession of Sabbathacknowledge his kingly power, and privileges involves. As soon as we worship him in union with the are dressed, let us fall down on our Father and the Holy Ghost. To be knees, and pray that vain “ in the Spirit on the Lord's day,” thoughts may lodge within us, that ought to be our supreme concern ; “all carnal affections may die in and, as a means of securing this, we us, and that all things belonging to recommend
the Spirit may live and grow in Early rising. Each moment of us ;" that our past sins may be our probationary term is precious; blotted out, that our persons and but our Sabbath moments are the worship may be accepted in the most precious. As the week gene. Beloved, and that we may have rally takes its character, for good or grace to "receive with meekness evil, from the manner in which its
the engrafted word which is able to Sabbath has been spent ; 80 the save our souls ;” that a door of character of our Sabbaths greatly utterance may be given to the Midepends on the improvement or nisters of the Gospel, that they may non-improvement of their morning open their mouth boldly to make hours. This admits of an easy solu- known the mystery of the Gospel ; tion. As soon as we awake, we are 80 that, through them, the stout. called to make a new election be- hearted may be made to tremble, tween God and mammon, between the mourners may be comforted, and things divine and thoughts of earth, the righteous built up on their most between holy self-denial and Aeshly holy faith. indulgence; and our subsequent To the exercises of prayer, praise, spirituality and power depend, in a and devout meditation, should be bigh degree, on the promptitude added Scripture-reading. In this with which we choose the former, duty our chief concern should be, and reject the latter. Morning im- not how much we can read, but how pressions are often like those of well. Marginal readings should be youth,-indelible. As the rising marked, parallel passages compared, sun shoots his bright beams up- and prayer should be intermingled wards, tinging the clouds with pur- with the whole. If we are unenple, and gilding the mountain-tops cumbered with domestic and official with golden hues; so ought we, on duties, we shall find our reward in this hallowed morn, to send up our attending the morning prayer