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Christ, but the Holy Spirit of the living God can alone enable the sinner to accept the invitation. I do not like the word reprobation--præterition is as far as I can go. Why God passes by some and accepts others I cannot tell. We must wait till we see as we are seen, and know as we are known. We know nothing. Can any man tell me why grass is green ?—Then let us leave all explanations, and believe what God has revealed.” If this spirit were more cherished, the bitterness of controversy would cease. The fear of appearing inconsistent has led many to ignore either the doctrine of election or that of free agency. The truest consistency is to hold the whole of divine revelation, and not to attempt to reconcile the seeming differences between the universality of the gospel call and the limitation of its application. Election and free grace will appear to us as two parallel straight lines, but if our eyes were clearer, we should see that they have an inclination towards each other, and meet in a point at the throne of God. Wesley and Fletcher, at the end of one line, preached salvation by grace, and contemplated man as a free agent. Hill and Toplady, at the end of the other, preached salvation by grace, and regarded the author as sovereign. Had they looked above the clouds of controversy they would have seen that the converging lines met, where the dissentients would meet ere long, in the Father's home above.

In February, 1782, when Rowland Hill was in his thirty-eighth year, a meeting was held to promote the erection of a chapel in St. George's Fields, to be called from the name of the county, Surrey Chapel. In June of the same year he laid the foundation-stone of the new building, and in the following summer it was opened for public worship. During the progress of the work he was a frequent visitor, and embraced the opportunity of addressing the workmen, and also the children who chose the spot as a convenient playground. His first and last sermons during the building of the chapel were from the text, "We preach Christ crucified.” His opening sermon was published, after revision by the author, as embodying the substance of the gospel, and in refatation of the false doctrines which had been imputed to him. It is still issued by the Religious Tract Society. During six months of every year he occupied the pulpit at Surrey Chapel--the remainder he devoted to his chapel at Wotton-under-Edge, in Gloucestershire, and to preaching in country places remote from London. During his absence from town his pulpit was supplied by such men as Bull, of Newport Pagnall ; Angell James, of Birmingham; Elliot, of Devizes ; Sibree, of Frome; and Parsons, of York. From the proceeds of Surrey Chapel he received £300 a year, out of which he paid the expenses of his supplies. On hearing that it had been remarked he was making a good sum annually from his chapels and his preaching engagements, he replied, “ Well, let anyone pay my travelling expenses for one year, and he shall have all my gains, I promise him.”

Having mentioned the salient points in the career of Rowland Hill, we now proceed to enumerate his most prominent traits of character.

We demur to the truth of the observation, which has been frequently urged, that Rowland Hill would not have succeeded in the present day. He would have been successful in any age. Thomas Carlyle, in one of his essays on heroes, remarks: "The hero can be poet, prophet,

king, priest, or what you will, according to the world he finds himself born into. I confess I have no notion of a truly great man that could not be all sorts of men; " and then he adds, “Given your hero, is he to become conqueror, king, philosopher, poet?” There is no doubt that Rowland Hill possessed the attributes of greatness, and that his greatness was modified by the circumstances of the sphere in which his lot was cast and the nature of the commission he was called to execute. It is difficult to estimate the possibilities of humanity, or to predicate success or failure of an individual in any given sphere or age.

Rowland Hill was called to be a preacher in an age when evangelical truth was but little preached by the ordained ministers of the National Church, and he concentrated all his energies of body and mind to make his “calling and election sure.” A man of simple faith and unaffected piety, he despised cant on the one hand, and was not betrayed into that questionable pietism on the other, which shrinks from revealing itself by a frank confession. Flis testimony to divine truth and the Lord's dealings with his soul, was not restricted to the official discourse: he had always a word for his Master, and spoke freely of his own experiences in the divine life. Not that he obtruded his piety by Pharisaic boasting. Living men must speak, earnestness cannot be dumb. Were all Christians equally resolved to be witnesses for Christ and to escape the thraldom of a guilty reticence, how much good might be accomplished to the souls of men ! If all the Lord's servants were prophets what results might follow! No doubt the charge of fanaticism would be preferred by Jax professors and godless worldlings, but it would fall harmless upon the ears of ont-and-out Christians. Few men were more traduced than Rowland Hill, but his reply, tempered bị that charity which beareth all things, found apt expression in the language of the Apostle, “ None of these things move me.

His views of truth were eminently evangelical and decidedly Calvinistic. He was intolerant of that rationalistic spirit, which has developed 80 rapidly of late years, and by which the simplicity of the gospel iz obscured and the truth of God made of none effect. The narrowness the New Testament was sufficiently broad for the compass of his creed, and he preferred the simplest utterance of inspired revelation to the profoundest speculations of an unsanctified philosophy. He held the truths of the gospel in their integrity, or rather, was held by them as the ship is secured by her moorings in a tempest-wrought sea. The substance of his preaching was expressed by him in the Alliterative Trinity-Ruin by the fall, Redemption by the cross of Christ, and Regeneration by the Holy Ghost ; consequently, his ministry was fraitful of results, for the Lord ever sets the seal of success to the faithful preaching of the gospel. The history of the church proves that all other preaching is futile. Men may be beguiled into the profession of religion by the subtle sophistries of a rationalistic theology or the fascinating enchantments of an ornate ritual, but the proprieties of their outward decorum are not of necessity the exponents of an inner life.

The sincerity of his convictions, the simplicity of his faith, and the reality of the divine life within his soul, were amply proved by his

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assideous cultiration of the spirit and the practice of prayer. lle maintained the rigour of his Christian manhood by habitual prayer, and consecrated all his labours at the throne of grace.

On one occasion, he said: “I like ejaculatory prayers ; they reach heaven hefore the devil can get a shot at them.” Praver was one of the secrets of his great success, as it is the secret of all true success in connection with the word of God in all ages of the world. God's heroes who have revolutionized society were mighty through the inspiration of prayer. They would have gone down to their graves unhonoured and unknown, and the record of their life-work would have been written in sand, if they had been guilty of restraining prayer before God. Martin Tupper says, “ Prayer is the slender nerve which moveth the muscles of omnipotence": and many have proved the truth of the assertion hy a blessed experience. The Poet-Laureate sings, –

More things are wrought by prayer
Than this world dreams of. Wherefore let thy voice
Rise like a fountain through the night and day :
For so the whole round world is every way

Bound by gold chains about the feet of God.” Sustained by prayer, Rowland Hill was whole-hearted in his consecration to Christ, and untiring in his labours for the good of his fellow men. Surrey Chapel was the centre of his parish, but the boundaries were the coast lines of the United Kingdom. He facetiously described himself as “Rector of Surrey Chapel, Vicar of Wotton-under-Edge, and curate of all the fields and commons throughout England and Wales.”

On one occasion he said, “ I always conceived that in preaching through England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, I stuck close to my parish.” In a letter to the Countess of Huntingdon, Mr. Berridge thus writes of Rowland Hill when quite a young man: “I hear you have got honest Rowland IIill down to Bath. He is a pretty young spaniel, fit for land or water, and has a wonderful yelp. He forsakes father and mother and brethren, and gives up all for Jesus." In another letter Mr. Berridge described him as "a comet whose path was cocentric and unconfined." Charged with a divine commission he did not apologise for his existence, or plead for toleration. He “went everywhere preaching the gospel,” knowing whose he was and whom he served. His boldness often provoked the hostility of the rabble, and he was pelted with rotten eggs, larnpooned, and burnt in effigy; but this only provoked his zeal and nerved him to the resolation to stand his ground in defence of the gospel. This is the true martyr spirit, and the mark of a divinely-inspired hero.

With a soul fired with poetry and a mind attempered to appreciate wit, he was destined to be popular as a preacher. He could not fail to command the attention of any andience, and was more than a match for the soporific effects of a vitiated atmosphere. We suspect the American Puritan clergyman was deficient of these qnalities, one of whose flock slept under a sermon, for which crime he suffered ten days' imprisonment. The paper which records this strange freak of justice, remarks, with some degree of indignation, “ Nothing was done to the clergyman


who sent him to sleep.Mr. Hill was not a merry-Andrew in the pulpit, nor did he indulge in coarse and random jokes ;

“ He was serious in a serious cause,” and simply supported his heavy artillery with the light musketry of his wit. He preached with an unction and a pathos which moved the hearts of the people. In the pulpit his sway was imperial. The most hardened trembled under his preaching when he dealt with the stern realities of the world to come; and penitents were wooed by his tender appeals to the embrace of a gracious Saviour.

Nor did preaching exhaust his energies or satisfy his heart. He originated the first Sunday Schools in London, and called into existence a number of useful societies to employ his members and reach the outlying masses. He took a prominent part in the formation of the principal religious and philanthropic societies,—the British and Foreign Bible Society, the Religious Tract Society, the London Missionary Society, and the British and Foreign School Society. The catholicity which characterises them, was due very much to his influence. Bigotry in every shape he abhorred, and in the embrace of his charity he included the whole brotherhood of man. The constitution of the church at Surrey Chapel embodies the liturgy of the Episcopal Church and the free prayer of the Methodist, the congregationalism of Independency and the legislative executive of Presbyterianism. Its polity, therefore, is quite unique. The church has cultivated fraternal relations with all, without being absorbed by any of the sects. Freedom from restraint and liberty of action have fostered purity of doctrine and encouraged a laudable devotion to the cause of Christ and the common weal. Liberty is the normal condition of the Christian Church, for “ Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” A solemn dedication service is held on the first Sunday in every year, the covenant to which the members of the church subscribe having been drawn up by Rowland Hill. It is a confession of filial trust and confidence, and a resolution, in the name and strength of the Lord, to walk before him unto all well-pleasing. Some would take exception to such a service, but to our mind it is quite consistent with Christian liberty, and is of the utmost importance in the maintenance of a Christian character and the performance of Christian service. We transcribe it for our readers to whom it may not be familiar.

“ THE CHRISTIAN'S SOLEMN COVENANT AND Bond or UNION.-On this first Sabbath of the new year, and assembled round the table of our Lord, we do hereby, before God and one another, renew our solemn Covenant.

“We confess that we are guilty, ruined sinners, deserving the righteous punishment of God. But we declare our confidence in his mercy, as revealed by Jesus Christ, who is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. We trust in that atonement; we plead the merits of the Redeemer. By Him, the only way to the Father, we draw near, with penitent yet confiding hearts, saying—God be merciful to me a sinner.' And we desire anew to yield up ourselves entirely to our Tri-une Jehovah. We would look up with filial love, and say— Our Father who art in heavenhallowed be thy name !' We would live as his adopted children, trusting: obeying, rejoicing in him. We yield ourselves to the Son of God. We would be taught by him as our Prophet: we rely on his sacrifice as our Priest; we


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would obey his commands as our King. For this we seek the aid of the Holy Spirit, the giver and preserver of the life of godliness in the soul; and we declare our sincere purpose to give heed to his counsels-not wilfully to grieve him --but daily, through the year, to cherish his presence in our hearts.

* We declare that we are not our own, but bought with a price. We desire to present ourselves-spirit, soul, and body-time, property, influence-a living sacrifice unto God. We will endeavour in all things to prove that we love him, by obeying his commandments. We will endeavour in private and public, in our households, in our business, in daily life, in all places, in all companies, to act as becometh the Gospel-to promote true religion in the hearts of others, to help the needy, comfort the sorrowful, and to diminish vice ungodliness, and misery in the world, looking for that blessed hope, the glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ.' And knowing, from numerous past failures, how unable we are of ourselves to do anything that is good, we do earnestly implore the help of him, without whom we can do nothing—but who has said, “My grace is suflicient for you.'

* In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, to this our solemn Covenant we do now severally and unitedly assent—with a solemn and a hearty-Amen."

For fifty years Rowland Hill was pastor of Surrey Chapel, during which time he was a successful soul-winner and a faithful watchman on the tower of Sion. His term exceeded the years reserved to most, but he continued to preach till within a few days of his death, which happened in his 89th year, April 11, 1833. Mr. George Clayton describes the last occasion of his preaching at Walworth :-“ He retired to the Festry after service, under feelings of great and manifest exhaustion. There he remained, till every individual, save the pew-openers, his servant, and myself, had left the place. At length he seemed with some reluctance to have summoned energy enough to take his departure. Charles went before him to open the carriage door, the pew-openers remained in the vestry. I offered my arm, which he declined, and then followed him as he passed down the aisle of the chapel. The lights were nearly extinguished, the silence was profound, nothing indeed was heard but the slow majestic tread of his own footsteps, when in an undertone he thus soliloquised :

* And when I'm to die,

* Receive me,' I'll cry,
For Jesus hath loved me, I cannot tell why.

But this I can find,

We two are so joined,

He'll not be in glory and leave me behind.' To my heart this was a scene of unequalled solemnity, nor can I ever recur to it without a revival of that hallowed, sacred, shuddering sympathy which it originally awakened.” When on his dying bed, he exclaimed, “ I have no rapturous joys, but peace—a good hope through grace-all through grace.” The one regret he expressed, was, " That he had not preached the gospel with more of the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven.” As he had lived so he passed away, in that peace which is a loving Saviour's gracious gift to a righteous man. Verily, he rests from his labours and his works do follow him!

Note. We have used the authentic anecdotes, which we have gleaned, very sparingly, as we purpose in a future paper to devote a few puges

to them.



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