Imágenes de páginas

of the Divine benevolence, and of man's duty. He occasionally supplied Mr. H.'s pulpit; but his temperament was not suited to that subserviency which was expected from the disciples of that strange dogmatist. Their intimacy was dissolved by his indignant refusal to obey Huntington's "command' to preach at Providence Chapel, when it was not convenient to leave his own people. On a previous occasion, Mr. Cooke had been favoured with a rather startling specimen of his friend's method of expounding scripture.

Mr. Cooke asked the dogmatical divine, his opinion of the tenth commandment; particularly he meant as to its extensive application to the indulgence of desires and wishes for various things which the Providence of God had denied us. He especially asked Mr. Huntington, whether he did not think that Christians frequently violated that commandment, by wishing for what they did not possess, or by being discontented with their lot? Mr. Huntington, who was by nature a master of sarcasm, at these words of the inquiring youth, drew himself up in his seat into that kind of stiff, erect position which the body assumes when it wishes to act disdain ; and turning his head aside, with a sneer, as unworthy of his pretensions to superior knowledge as it was of his ministerial character, he said, “You fool! you fool! You know nothing at all about it—that commandment, Sir,—why, that, Sir, is God the Father speaking to Christ the Son!”

* At this extraordinary discovery, Mr. C. could not refrain from expressing his astonishment, and begged to know, how this infallible dogmatist could make this sense plausible. The explanation he received was this—"I tell you, it is God the Father speaking to Christ the Sou:- thou shalt not covet '--that is, none of the reprobate-thou shalt be satisfied with the elect!” This was quite sufficient for Mr. Cooke. He found it hopeless to argue with such an opponent ; but as speedily as possible, he wished his oracle "good day.

pp. 52, 53.

A shrewd and impartial estimate of his equivocal character occurs at a subsequent page, under the title of Remarks on the death of William Huntington.'

The close of Mr. Cooke's life was of a kind that did not give opportunity for the triumphs of faith. Exposure, during a state of febrile affection, accompanied by inflammatory action, brought on determination to the brain, coma, and speedy dissolution. But a dying testimony was not wanted. He had been too long and too consistently a living witness, to require an additional attestation. He lived out a large allotment of man's appointed term, and at the age of sixty-seven, was taken to his eternal rest.

We regret that we cannot draw largely upon the rich collection of deeply interesting details which are given by Mr. Redford, under the head of Facts and Anecdotes, counected with Mr. Cooke's public Life.' This, however, would be impracticable, without making the present article a mere cento ; and we must be satisfied with taking one or two, not as the most interesting, but as the most convenient in point of quantity.

• Mr. G. was mayor of the town of Maidenhead, not many years after Mr. Cooke settled in it. One sabbath evening, he attended the meeting-house, and heard Mr. Cooke preach. The text was, Behold he cometh with clouds, and every eye shall behold him," &c. His attention was powerfully arrested ; an arrow of conviction entered his heart; he became speedily a changed man, and regularly attended the means of grace.

He had been a jovial companion, a good singer, and a most gay and cheerful member of the corporation. The change was soon perceived. His brethren, at one of their social parties, rallied him upon his Methodism. But he stood firm by his principles, and said, “ Gentlemen, if you will liste patiently, I will tell you why I go to meeting, and do not attend your card table. I went one Sunday evening to hear Mr. Cooke. He took for his text— Behold he cometh with clouds, and every eye shall see him.' YOUR EYE! shall see him.” In short, he gave them so faithful and powerful an epitome of the sermon, and applied it so closely to them individually, marking the words“ every eye shall see him,"-with such emphasis, and pointing to them said, “. your eye," and " your eye,”— that they were satisfied with his reasons for going to meeting, and never again durst speak to him upon the subject.

• This fact is intimately connected with another, to which, indeed, the conversion of the individual above referred to, soon after led. It may be entitled

"A MALICIOUS Enemy BROUGHT TO CONFESSION. • Mr. was a most violent and malicious enemy to Mr. Cooke, and all his dissenting neighbours. One sabbath afternoon, the

gentleman alluded to in the preceding anecdote, was going to meeting, and happened to come up with this person. He invited him to Mr. Cooke's chapel. At first the malicious enemy scorned the proposal, and resolutely refused. Mr. G., then an alderman of the town, said,

Why not? You really don't seem to know what to do with yourself, why not go ?” He was at length constrained. He heard-the word was blessed-he became a warm, affectionate, steady friend to Mr. C. and the cause of Christ, till his death.

' A few weeks after he had attended the chapel, he called to see Mr. Cooke-he said, he wished to see him alone. 'He commenced his address as follows :-"Sir, you have received from me some infamous anonymous letters. I cannot make reparation for the pain which they may have occasioned you, but I am come to confess that I was the writer, to beg your pardon, and to make the only restitution in my power, if you will tell me what the postage of them cost you. In my wicked madness of hatred to you, I had taken pains to put you to expense, by getting persons going to distant places, or by feeing coachmen, to put them into the post as far off as possible."

* This confession, so honourable at once to the individual, and to the word of God, which had wrought the change, greatly affected and delighted Mr. Cooke. He thus saw the Gospel frequently made, under his ministry, “ the power of God unto salvation.

pp. 116-118. The same difficulties lie before us, now that we have reached the - Select Remains. From these and from the Letters, we might easily extend our extracts, without exhausting a tithe of the valuable matter which they contain. We must, however, content ourselves with characterizing them generally, as the production of a strong-minded man and thorough-going Christian. Mr. C. admits of no compromise between the religious and the worldly. His letters of advice to students for the ministry, of expostulation with erring brethren, of consolation and monition to friends and correspondents, are fraught with matter of rare value, clothed in language of vigorous simplicity. Mr. Redford's comparison of Mr. Cooke and the Rev. Richard Cecil, is perfectly just, both in its parallel and in its qualifi. cations.

• Mr. Cooke resembled, both in the style of his preaching, and in his personal character, the admirable Cecil. In the emphatic, condensed, and impressive manner of his sentences, he constantly reminded one of Cecil. His observations on living characters, and his use of facts and anecdotes, were generally in the style of that truly great man.

Nor was he unlike him in his theological system, and in his clear and bold statement of the distinguishing doctrines of grace. Cecil, however, enjoyed one advantage which our friend lacked. His faculties had been well disciplined, and had received the polish and the vigour which classical and philosophical studies generally impart to minds of great native vigour. Had our friend enjoyed such advantages, there is reason to believe he would have sunk in no point of comparison with the distinguished individual to whom I have compared him. He is well known to have been on terms of friendship with that eminent minister of Christ. He usually heard him during his visits to London, and Mr. Cecil frequently attended at Maidenhead, when he could make his journeys on the day of Mr. Cooke's lecturing. On one of these occasions he said, after hearing Mr. Cooke, as he passed out of the chapel, “ I love a man of principle, whether in the Established Church or out of it. I don't like your trimmers.Cooke and Cecil were, indeed, men of like minds --they were kindred spirits -and, in many respects, were similar in their style and manner as preachers.' pp. 129, 130.

The analysis of Mr. Cooke's moral and intellectual character, from which we have extracted this passage, is excellently done; and the Remains', taken in the light of Pièces Justificatives, illustrate and confirm Mr. Redford's friendly but firm and impartial criticism. It is a peculiar feature in the present volume, tlrat 'the biography and the examples are so written and selected as to have a distinct and elucidatory connexion. They run parallel with each other; and, although they may not refer to the same events, nor touch on precisely similar points, it is impossible to mistake the identity of mind and hand. Of these papers, some-and those the most important-are of an extent unsuitable to our limits; and the most valuable among the smaller articles, are not quite adapted to our purpose. We make this observation, that we may not be supposed to have made our selection of the following specimen from any feeling of partiality.

• MEMORANDUM ON SIR Egerton Leigh.

[ocr errors]

Sir Egerton Leigh, Baronet.—Last evening, December 24, 1817, I was sent for to the Sun Inn, by Sir Egerton. I went and found him exceedingly ill, having been attended in London two months by two, and sometimes by three physicians a day. He appeared jaundiced and exhausted, with an intermitting pulse,-all but a corpse. I went for Mr.

-, my apothecary, who came and prescribed for him. I said, “ Sir Egerton, he is a friend to religion.” He lifted his languid eyes and feeble hands, and feebler voice_" O! what a mercy!". In the morning we again visited him. The milk put into his mouth he could not swallow. He took only four tea-spoons full of Madeira, and one of brandy. I sat by him with the butler and nurse. He appeared dying. The butler said, " Mr. Cooke is here.” He lifted his eyes, and held my hand. " Oh! my dear brotherpray-I cannot kneel, the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much-much !"

I prayed with him. He was much affected, very thankful. He paused, and then said, “ O! sin !"- After silent reflection, he said, # I am in the Lord's hands.” The thought of dying at an inn or in his carriage, appeared a mere circumstance: neither guilt, nor fear, nor death moved him. He said, “a better world was before him." Resolved to pursue his long and cold journey, he was placed in his chariot, and took an affectionate farewell. What a Christian supe. riority to the fear of death did he display! no terror, no anxiety, no confusion, no distrust of God! calm, 'scriptural fortitude reigned within. His flesh failed; but “ God was the strength of his heart." God of my hope! forbid that this visit should be lost on me. Gra. ciously qualify me to leave life without reluctance in the appointed hour. To enjoy a conscience relieved by mercy, through the atonement of Jesus, from guilt, perplexity, and doubt. To exercise “ a good hope through grace;" in the unclouded prospect of a better world. My God! my hope ! let me not witness such scenes in vain. Revive thy work in me. Bid my soul live, live eminently. Give divine principles full dominion over me. This is my heart's desire. Is not that desire from thy grace? Is not that grace an earnest of more? Forsake not-O! « forsake not the work of thine own hands !"pp. 369, 370.

The following extract from a letter to the admirable Fuller, shews that Mr. Cooke had long shaken off the trammels of Huntington.

· The letters which Mr. Summers conveyed to me, I have read with attention and profit. Your ideas on this interesting subject, I wish to see in the possession of the Christian world, as it is called. Mr. Booth's late publication on Divine Justice, endeavours to con. fute your letters. You will, I dare say, notice his arguments. I did not preserve silence on this subject at Wallingford, from unsocial reserve, but because you expressed my sentiments more clearly than I should have done. And whether your sentiments be right or wrong, your writing must be understood. God has given you the faculty of thinking and writing with perspicuity.

• Your “ Gospel Worthy,” &c.-and Reply to Opponents, I have_ read. Bless God for leading me in that path very early ; it has preserved me from the embarrassments of human systems-systems which are supported with a zeal which produces works fully corresponding to them. It is a mercy, as a minister, to be " the Lord's free man.” I have seen and lamented it, that in too many pulpits, changes are rung on the doctrines of election, finished salvation, and perseverance, when neither are explained. Like the text, they are detached from their relatives, and supported only by the assertions of the speaker. Election supersedes means ---men impute Christ's righteousness to themselves and each other, to justify them in their sins. Confidence in their own knowledge and security, is faith. Fi. nished salvation is enjoyed, where the good work is not begun. They glory in the doctrine of perseverance, without entering “ the narrow way," and, therefore, persevere in delusion, false peace, the spirit of the world, and contempt of all preaching as legal, which requires them to adorn the doctrines by a suitable temper and conduct. Often do they rest for salvation on unknown decrees, and expect to “ see the Lord” without holiness; except their orthodoxy be holiness. The blood of Christ cleanseth from all sin, whilst they trample it under foot, by a practical denial of its efficacy.' pp. 512, 513.

There is an excellent letter, on a similar subject, at page 515, but it is too long for citation,

We dismiss this volume with our strong and unrestricted recommendation, and with our cordial thanks to Mr. Redford for the gratification we have received from its perusal.

Art VII. Parriana: or Notices of the Rev. Samuel Parr, LL.D.

Collected from various Sources, printed and manuscript, and in part written by E. H. Barker, Esq. of Thetford, Norfolk. Vol. I.

8vo. pp. xxxii, and 664. Price 16s. London, 1828. IN spite of the lazy, injudicious, and inelegant manner in

which this volume has been got up, we have been not a litVol. XXX. N.S.

3 E

« AnteriorContinuar »