Imágenes de páginas

“No, I am not; my hope is fixed on his parents heard him knocking for his Christ; there I am safe. I have no fear sister; they hurried into his room, about death. I wish to live to preach and found him struggling in the arms of Christ, and be instrumental in convert- death. It was evident a blood vessel ing sinners; but if not, it is all right. I was ruptured. He begged to be raised not afraid to die."

up, and to be supported by pillows. To a young person who called to see Panting for breath and nearly suffocated, him he said, “ I am better. I hope in he yet saw his mother weeping, and had the month of May I shall be able to only power to say, “Don't, my dear return to my people at Taunton, and mother, weep for me," and lifting up again preach Christ to them.” The his dying hands, added, “ I am going to friend, who saw the progress of disease heaven.” He spoke no more ; he upon his constitution, replied, “ I think scarcely sighed again. At once the you will sing the praises of Christ in redeemed spirit took its joyful flight heaven before that time.” He looked from the body to be for ever with the Lord. with cheerfulness, and said, if that was Thus, while he thought himself rethe Lord's will he was willing to go; turning to health, and anticipated with but he wished to live to bring sinners no small pleasure the period when, in to Christ, that was his only wish. He his own pulpit and among his beloved went on to say how greatly he was congregation, he should again tell of the indebted to the Lord, and how much he love and salvation of Christ, his spirit had manifested himself in this affliction; was translated to the skies, and he that he had been very near to heaven at exchanged the weapons of the earthly different times, had not the least fear of warfare for the palm of eternal victory. death, and was willing immediately to On Friday the 26th of February, the die, if the Lord called him. In parting, funeral took place, and the body of our the friend said to him, “If we meet not departed brother was deposited in the again on earth, I hope we shall in cemetery at Bideford. Large numbers heaven.” He answered, Keep close assembled around the grave of the to Christ, and we shall meet there no young prophet. The sorrowful countemore to part.”

nance and the weeping eye gave proof On the sabbath preceding his decease how much he was esteemed. Six of the some symptoms of hemoptæ appeared, members of the church at Taunton and greatly alarmed his relatives. After came for the express purpose of bearing some little time the symptoms disap- the body of their lamented pastor to its peared, and the next day he was well last resting place; and as the representaas usual, and continued better till tives of the church, their grief and tearg within a few minutes of his removal, told how much he was beloved, and how which took place on Thursday the 18th. great the loss custained. The writer On that evening he sat up till 10 or 11 delivered a suitable address on the o'clock. His sister read the sixty-sixth occasion, and on the following sabbath chapter of Isaiah, and he made a few evening preached a funeral sermon to a expository remarks, after which he went large congregation from Ephesians iii

. to bed, saying he thought he should 15, “Of whom the whole family in have a good night, for he felt stronger heaven and earth is named.” Mysterious and better. But “ at midnight the cry are the ways of God. What he does as was made, Beliold, the Bridegroom to the reason we know not now; we cometh, go ye out to meet him.” In shall know hereafter. Our brother, less than an hour after he was in bed almost as he entered upon his work,

finished it; put on the harness to fight | lamented, as if character had failed or the battles of the Lord, then laid it aside usefulness blighted; but he has fallen to receive the crown of life. His Divine just as piety was maturing and exhibitMaster appreciated the motive,--saw ing its holy fruit; just as he was girdthat it was well,—it was in his heart to ing himself with the armour of truth to be employed in building his house, – go into the field of battle; just as he but thought it best to take him to the entered upon active duty, resolved that house not made with hands, eternal in all he had and was should be devoted to the heavens. His piety, and talent, and Christ and to his cause; just when attainments, and labours were of great opening prospects of usefulness presented promise to the church, and particularly themselves to his prayers, his hopes, to the church at Taunton; but He who and his exertions; just when his heart is wisdom itself has placed him in an was rising into the spirit of his great early grave to teach us his sovereignty, work, and that work his increasing deand that it is his prerogative to do as he light, be sickened and fell; his Master pleases ; also to teach us to place the called him home. The church wept, greater dependence upon himself; nor and prayed, and wished, and hoped, and less to teach us that those whom he has said, Spare him a little longer; let our most fitted for labour may be first taken eyes again see our teacher among us ; from the field, that those who apparently | let us again hear the voice of our pastor can least be spared are soonest removed. explaining the doctrine of the cross. In this way, and by this method, the He who holds the keys in his hand conviction is deeper and deeper in- replied, He is my servant; his work is vrought, that the cause of truth is the done, his course is finished; his motives cause of Christ, and he will take care of are approved. It was in his heart to it. “Because I live ye shall live also.” serve me; from me he shall receive The eternity of Christ confers an im- his reward. “Well done, good and mortality on his cause. Members of faithful servant. What I do you know churches the most holy and devoted not now; you shall know hereafter.” die. Pastors the most qualified to per- Standing at the grave of our young form the work of the Lord die. Mission- ministering brother, let us hear the aries in their full sphere of labour, and voice calling upon us to work while it is in the midst of their usefulness, die. day, for the night cometh when no But the cause can never die; there has man can work. What our hands find and shall be a succession of members, to do, let us resolve to do it with all our of pastors, and missionaries, to fill up might; then, whether in the vigour of the vacancies, to be baptized for the youth our strength is weakened by the dead. Christ ever lives,--the same way and the Saviour says, Come up yesterday and for ever.

bither, or after a series of years of Our brother has fallen into the grave, labours in his service we drop into the not as the veteran worn out with the tomb and are gathered with the fathers, toil of fifty or sixty years, this would the question of paramount importance have been his delight; fallen, not laden is fidelity, fidelity in the closet, fidelity with the infirmities of age, nor sighing in the pulpit, fidelity in the motive, for release because the grasshopper was fidelity in the end; not for the success, a burden ; fallen, not with his spirits but for the fidelity of our ministrations broken by disappointed hopes, or his shall we give account at the judgment heart wounded by forsaking friends ; seat of Christ. fallen, not unmissed, unpitied, and un Bideford, April 1, 1847.



“ Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." The poor in spirit are pronounced whom all his strength lies. The more happy; not only is there an inconceiv- urgent his sense of poverty, the more ably glorious inheritance promised to highly does he prize the unsearchable them hereafter, but they are pronounced riches of Christ. The more deeply he happy even now: “Blessed,” or happy, feels his guilt, the more anxious is he “are the poor in spirit.” Deep and to be found in Christ, “not having distressing as is the consciousness of his own righteousness which is of the guilt and unworthiness, afflictive as is law, but that which is through the faith the sense of inward poverty, of spiritual of Christ, the righteousness which is of destitution, which the humble Christian God by faith.” The more sensible he is frequently feels, his state of mind is not of his defilement, the more constantly only more just, it is also more happy, does he betake himself to "the fountain than that of him who is elated with opened for sin and for uncleanness," and pride, self-righteousness, and self-suffi- the more does he rejoice in the assurciency. As the Christian contemplates ance that “the blood of Jesus Christ his the infinite perfections of the divine Son cleanseth us from all sin.” Thus he nature, he is struck with his own in- finds that when he is weak then is he significance and unworthiness ; behold- strong, “ strong in the grace which is in ing the splendour of the divine purity, Christ Jesus.” The very sense of his he sees more clearly the depth of his poverty drives him to the true riches. own depravity and defilement; the more “What was his gain, therefore, he truly he rises to the conception of the counts his loss for Christ; yea, he infinite fulness and sufficiency of God, counts all things but loss for the exthe more sensible he is of his own cellency of the knowledge of Christ emptiness and nothingness : he is pros- Jesus his Lord.” Flying to him for trate in the dust of self-abasement; refuge, he finds strong consolation. he feels that he is nothing-less than Believing in him, he is “ filled with joy nothing. But strange as it may appear, and peace;" “ with joy unspeakable, and according to the depth of his prostration full of glory.” But those who are not is the purity and the intensity of his conscious of their spiritual poverty will enjoyment. As his conceptions of the never seek the true riches. Those who, divine character are enlarged, the sense however destitute may be their condiof his unworthiness, the depth of his tion, yet know not that they are poor, self-abasement, is increased; but, at the and miserable, and wretched, and blind, same time, his joys, in the same propor- and naked, will never buy of Christ gold tion, become more pure and more intense. tried in the fire that they may be rich, " The more thy glories strike mine eyes, and white raiment that they may be The humbler I shall lie;.

clothed. “The whole need not a physiBut as I sink my jogs shall rise Immeasurably high."

cian, but they that are sick ;” and none And this not all. The deeper his con- will seek the aid of the spiritual sciousness of destitution, the more Physician but those who are aware of earnestly does the Christian repair to their moral malady, and apprehensive Him in whom are “hid all the treasures of their imminent danger. “Blessed,” of wisdom and of knowledge.” The therefore, “ are the poor in spirit;" commore sensible he is of his weakness, the pared with that of the self-complacent more closely does he cleave to Him in and self-sufficient, their state of mind

is in itself a happy, a very happy one; is the portion of the poor in spirit. For and it induces them to betake them- them it has been prepared to them it is selves to that infinite fulness whence all freely given, by them alone can it be their wants may be supplied and their received and enjoyed. Poverty of spirit best desires realized. In the history of is the indispensable condition of the men who rise to eminence in the world possession of the kingdom of heaven. there is generally a moment of vital in This dispensation is with propriety terest;—it is that when they become con- called a kingdom. It has all the essential scious of their inward strength, and learn elements of a kingdom. It is a comto rely on themselves. In the history of munity ; it has its ruler ; its laws; its the Christian, too, there is a moment of immunities and privileges. Every one vital importance; but it is that in which who is born into this kingdom becomes he becomes truly conscious of his inward from that moment a member of a large weakness, of his utter spiritual destitu- and happy community. He is no longer tion; when he goes out of himself and an isolated being, but a member of the looks for his salvation in Christ alone. living body of which Christ is the head. Hence poverty of spirit is placed by our The members of this community, though Lord at the head of the beatitudes ; it now in a great measure unknown to is the commencement of the Christian and separated from each other, are life. Humility is the foundation of the nevertheless really one ; and ultimately Christian's character, nor less of his con- their union will be as complete as it is solation; and the superstructure will be indissoluble. strong and durable as the foundation is This kingdom is essentially spiritual broad and deep.

in its character. It is the reign of God But, further, while the poor in spirit in the soul of man; it is the re-establishare pronounced happy now, there is an ment of the divine authority over the unspeakably great and precious promise human heart and conscience. Its also given to them : “ Theirs is the sovereign is Jesus, and his empire is kingdom of heaven.” This is a phrase an empire over mind. Its subjects are of frequent occurrence in the New spiritual persons, who are born again of Testament. It is occasionally somewhat the Spirit of God. Its laws are spiritual, varied. Thus we frequently read of the extending, not simply to the external kingdom of heaven; at other times of conduct, but to the control of the affecthe kingdom of God; and sometimes of tions and the regulation of the will. Its the kingdom of Christ. The meaning of arms are spiritual; the weapons by this phrase is not precisely the same in which it is maintained and extended every passage, though one grand idea are not carnal. The “complete armour” prevails throughout all its various of the soldiers of Christ is the “armour significations. By “the kingdom of of righteousness,"

“the armour of heaven,” in the passage before us, we light.” The shield which they use is the understand the dispensation or reign of shield of faith ; their helmet is the hope grace and truth, which Jesus Christ of salvation; the sword which they wield came into the world, not only to pro- is the sword of the Spirit, which is the claim, but also to introduce and to word of God; the arrows with which establish; and the meaning of the they fill their quiver are the arrows of promise is, that the gospel dispensation, conviction ; the force which they emwith its grace and peace, with its right- ploy is the force of truth; the only power eousness and truth, with all its present which they recognize is the power of privileges and with all its future glories, persuasion. None of the weapons of

2 y


their warfare are carnal; and because Before we close these remarks we not carnal they are mighty, through may advert for a moment to the richGod, to the pulling down of strong ness, as well as the wondrous adaptation, holds. Hence this kingdom is at once of this promise to the characters dedesigned and adapted for universal pre- scribed. To the poor is promised a valence, and is distinguished by per- kingdom; to the poor in spirit, the petuity and celestial glory.

kingdom of heaven. What adaptation, This kingdom is found on earth in and, at the same time, what munificence its commencement; it is found in is here! It had been much if Jesus had heaven in its consummation. It is called said, “ Blessed are the poor, for all their emphatically the kingdom of heaven, wants shall be supplied :” but he goes not only because it is found in its per- far beyond this ; he gives them a kingfect state only in the heavenly world, dom! He raises them from the deepest but also because it is the re-establish- distress and places them amongst princes. ment on earth of the principles which And this rich inheritance is suited to have ever prevailed in heaven. More their character. Their poverty is not over, the subjects of this kingdom are outward, but inward ; and their inheritall tending thither. Heaven is per- ance is not an earthly kingdom, but the petually attracting to itself all kindred kingdom of heaven,-a spiritual, glorious elements. There all the subjects of this kingdom, which will never pass away. kingdom shall meet at last, and there Reader, is this kingdom yours ?-now they shall dwell for ever. This is the yours ?-for ever yours ? It is proffered kingdom of heaven which is promised to all to whom the gospel comes; but it to the poor in spirit, and which none can be enjoyed only by the poor in else can inherit.

spirit; and to them it is freely given.

SPANISH MIRACLES. In 1835, the liberal government of | altars, which had so long been the Spain, at the head of which was queen objects of blind adoration. Christina, since the death of Ferdinand There was there an image of the VII. in 1833, was unable any longer to Virgin Mary, which had the miraculous withstand the insurgents, and ordered property of weeping. Many a time have that all the monastic communities I seen it, with the big tears trickling should be dispersed, and their convents down its cheeks, and I, as all others, destroyed, which was done in many believed it to be unquestionably a mira, places. The 6th of July was the day cle. When the insurgents penetrated appointed for the formal suppression of into the chapel, as I have above stated, our convent. The Justicia, or civil they tore the image down from its niche

, officers, presented themselves, and, in and discovered behind its head small tubes the name of the queen, declared the conducting from a basin in which water community to be dissolved, and de- was poured ; and thus the image wept, livered to each monk a passport to Another similar discovery return to his native place. But before in our vicinity. In the town of Baguet we had time to leave the convent, the there was a church which was celebrated leaders of the insurgents of Olot rushed far and wide for containing a figure of in, and began their work of destruction, the Saviour, called the “Santa Majestad,” The crowd soon hastened to the chapel, or Sacred Majesty. It had the appear and toro down the pictures and the ance of keing covered with a

was made


« AnteriorContinuar »