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in his Journal, “The last has been a most activity in his own county; and fresh painful week of discussion, temptation, literary works also bore witness to his and conflict, and yet a week with many unwearied zeal. We extract the folmercies. There seem real difficulties, lowing picture of his rural charge :either in retaining my situation as Secretary, or in retiring, both as it regards “ The village of Watton is five miles the Church Missionary Society, and from Hertford, and twenty-six miles myself. The will of the Lord be done ! from London, on one of the main north The probability is that I shall stay a roads through Stevenage, Biggleswade, little longer. I have been anxious to and Huntingdon. It lies in a valley, explain my situation fully to those who pleasantly wooded, and watered by a ought to decide, that I may see the small stream which joins the river Lea; leadings of my God. O Father! make but the church and rectory are on a my path clear, and may I ever live to rising ground, at a small distance on the Thee.'
western side. At the foot of the hill, “ This Sunday, Abel Smith, Esq., the .and at the southern end of the village, patron of the living of Watton, Herts, the roads from Ware and Hertford meet was one of his hearers at Wheler Chapel. each other. Between them, to the southHe had attended his ministry with profit east, is Woodhall, the seat of the patron, and delight, during the few weeks he Abel Smith, Esq., surrounded by a park spent in 1826 at Stapleford ; and Dr. several miles in circuit, and a private Dealtry, the incumbent of Watton, hav
walk of half a mile leads to it from the ing informed him of his wish to resign, village, through a small copse by the he desired, before making an offer of the
side of the stream. This walk, through living to Mr. Bickersteth, to hear him
Mr. Smith's kindness, was always open preach again among his own people. to Mr. Bickersteth and his family. It
“On March 19th, Mr. Bickersteth's was one of his favourite resorts, when Journal contains the following entry :
wearied with his incessant labours ; and *I am brought, encompassed with many
he used often, at mid-day or in the summercies, to the day of my birth, and mer evening, to enjoy this quiet retreat, though clouds are round about me, yet
and to take sweet counsel there with mercies also abound on every side. I many a dear friend who had come to see know not the way before me, but my
him, and to be refreshed by the commu. Father does, and I hope to keep close to
nion of Christian love." Him, and then I need fear no evil. Never
To which we may add the following did I seem more encompassed with straits reminiscences of a visit paid to Watand doubts, but all shall clear np.' “ The next Sunday, Mr. Smith was
ton by Dr. Tyng, of the United
States :again at the Chapel, and coming into the vestry after the service, offered to “ With what delight I met my revered him the living of Watton. His path and excellent friend, Mr. Biekersteth, seemed to be so plainly marked by God, you can readily conceive. Nor was I that, after a few days' consideration, he disappointed in him. The sweetness felt it his duty to accept it.”
and openness of his manners, and the
remarkable cheerfulness of his counteTowards the close of the year, Mr.
nance and conversation, would win the Bickersteth removed to his new scene heart of an entire stranger. To me they of labour, where, as on a quiet watch- were peculiarly enchanting: tower, he was able to take a wider
apparently in very feeble health, stooping view of the prospects, duties, and a little, perhaps from weakness, and ins dangers of the Church of Christ, than dicating, in all his aspect, that spiritual was possible during the heavy pres- character, and separation from this evil sure of his official engagements in world, which so distinguish him as a London. His interest in the Mis
minister of Christ, ... The influence of
Mr. Bickersteth is most extensive. There sionary Society was undiminished,
is such universal confidence in his reand other institutions still continued to receive his sympathy and support: integrity of purpose-such unfeigned re,
markable excellence of judyment and but the general works of benevolence spect for his real learning, and holy and in which he took an active part be- exemplary ministry—that there are very came more numerous and varied after few, if there are any, among the clergy, his removal to Watton.
who have at all an equal influence over moreover, the mainspring of religious the minds of others. He seems evshrined
in the affections of his brethren, and I meeting in the library, when, at the recould not but feel the worth of such a quest of Mr. Bickersteth, I spoke to character as his, when I heard himn them on a passage of the word of God. spoken of by them in private conversa- How quiet and soothing, how solemn tion, under the title of dear Bickersteth.' and impressive, was the influence of this
All that I saw of him continually in“- occasion ; and I trust the blessing of creased my love for him ; and cheerfully
God was with us. would I cross the Atlantic again, for the
“ The morning of the Sabbath opened simple privilege of one more visit to upon us with freshness and beauty. It Watton....
was the most lovely season of the year, “When we descended into the quiet in a beautiful part of the country; and, valley, in the bosom of which this little amidst the holy calmness of the day, village rests, every spot awakened my every object seemed to beain with pure increasing interest. It is a single street
loveliness. My window overlooked the of cottages, with no houses of à higher village, which lay sleeping in perfect character among them, in a narrow vale, repose at the the foot of the hill, and which is crossed and watered by a beau- seemed the resting-place of quiet and tiful stream. On an eminence on the contentment. .. After breakfast, I visited right, before you reach the village, is
the Sunday and Infant School, which are Woodhall Park, the seat of Abel Smith,
held in two neat buildings erected by Esq., a large, modern residence, looking Mr. Smith of Woodhall, who supports more like a public than a private edifice,
the schools with much liberality. I was encompassed with very extensive grounds, much pleased with a sinall Bible-class of in which are large numbers of deer. On adults, who were taught in the church, the hill opposite, before you reach the and appeared to listen with great interest village, are the church and parsonage.
and desire to learn. The former is about 500 years old, and
" Mr. Bickersteth preached a solemn built of parts erected apparently in dif- and impressive sermon, on the offices ferent ages : and, with its ancient tower
and work of the Holy Spirit. The conamong the trees, it is a striking object. gregation, except the Woodhall family, Just above it stands the residence of Mr.
seemed composed whylly of villagers, Bickersteth, a large and commodious and the neighbouring farmers, and their house, in the midst of a neat and well
labourers. It is a rural parish, having improved enclosure. The exterior, like
about eight hundred inhabitants, engaged all the country residences, is beautiful in agriculture; but they seemed a serious from the extreme neatness of the grounds.
and attentive people, and interested in I walked up through the lane and church- the evangelical instructions of their pasyard with peculiar interest. It was the
tor. I preached to them in the afterhorne of a man whom I have venerated noon, and delivered a familiar lecture in and loved for years, and to whose writ. the evening, at the school-house in the ings I have been indebted for much im- village. It was a peaceful, happy Sabportant instruction.
He was now to be
bath, and I could only look back upon seen by me in private life, and all the it, as passing too quickly for the pleasure feelings of regard, which I had cherished at a distance, were confirmed and deep- Turning to Mr. Bickersteth's more ened by nearer observation. His man- public labours, we find ourselves able ners are full of kindness and love ; and only to glance at a few of the details there is a spiritual character in his con- presented in the memoir. Mr. Bickversation, and a religious influence ersteth took part in nearly all the about all he says and does, which is very Church questions of the day, and impressive, and most delightful. He is also full of vivacity and life in his con
every year brought with it a silent
accession to the moral influence which versation, and exhibits that most interest
he exercised. In 1836 he published ing combination of gentleness, anima. tion, and seriousness, which gives a
a pamphlet on the Progress of Pocharın to all instruction, and an improve through six editions, and in which he
pery, which in a few weeks passed ing power even to recreation and amusement. How truly delightful is it to see
thus plainly exposed the tendencies him in the midst of a fainily, who under- of the semi-Popery of Oxford, and stand the value of their privilege, and the danger arising from the unconhang intently on every word he speaks ! cern of Protestants. We give the After dinner, on the day of my arrival, passages, with the comment of the which was Saturday, there was a prayer- editor:
"A highly respectable, learned, and put not your trust in the son of man, in devout class of men have risen up at one whom there is no help.' But if we think of our Universities, the tendency of our security rests on the word of God whose writings is departure from Protes- deposited with us, and his people retantism and a return to Papal doctrines. siding among us, let the history of Israel They publish • Tracts for the Times ;' speak volumes. When were there holier and while they oppose the more glaring men than when Jeremiah, Ezekiel, part of Popery, the infallibility of the Daniel lived ? Yet were the Jews carPope, the worship of images, transub- ried captive to Babylon. When had the stantiation, and the like; the very prin- Church a greater revival than on the ciples of Popery are brought forward by first spread of the gospel from Jerusalem? them ; undue deference to human autho- Yet was Jerusalem destroyed by the rity, especially that of the Fathers, over- Romans, because, in both cases, of the valuing the Christian ministry and sacra- abounding iniquity of the mass of the ments, and undervaluing (rejecting ?) people. justification by faith. With much learn- 6. Our difficulties from Papists will ing and study of the Fathers, with great most probably very greatly increase. As apparent, and doubtless in some cases, the Papists increase they will get more real devotion, and a devotedness ascetic political power, and they are very subtle and peculiar, they seem to the author, as to use it. Already they very extensively far as he has seen and known their
hamper and restrain the efforts of true course, to open another door to that land Protestants, and, where they can, injure of darkness and shadow of death, where and annoy them. How easily, if the the Man of Sin reigns.'
Lord permit, may this spirit of persecu. ". This opinion on the true character, tion rise and grow, and bring on all the and probable issue of the Oxford Tracts, sufferings through which the Church which Mr. Bickersteth thus expressed, may have to pass in these last days.' .. with equal gentleness and faithfulness,
A conflict more arduous than fifteen years ago, has been fully and the Church of Christ has yet passed painfully justified by later events. Seve
through, seems then to be rapidly hastenral of the writers of these Tracts, and a ing on. Our advantages may hasten large number of their enthusiastic disci
the last struggle. May we remember ples and admirers, have already reached,
that we conquer by suffering. Bad men's in their steady progress, that land of minds are too excited by evil principles darkness and the shadow of death,' to on every side, to rest; and God forbid which their steps, from the first, were that there should ever cease to be, among secretly tending, -the idolatrous com
good men, those who will, at the exmunion of Papal Rome.
tremest hazard, yea, at the loss of for“ The observations in the Tract, on tune, worldly reputation, ease, and life the foolish unconcern of Protestants, and itself, proclaim the only name of Jesus its probable consequences, have been not to dying men, and the vanity of every less tully verified :
other foundation.'' 66. Tle false security in which the Protestant Church has been resting, is a The Maynooth Bill of 1845 awoke most serious difficulty, to which we are in Mr. Bickersteth a deep and minby no means yet awake. The victories gled feeling of grief and indignation. over Popery at the Reformation and the
The following graphic touches are Revolution, the complete exposure of from a letter written by him to an its idolatry, and display of it as the Antichrist, at the Reformation, and of its
opponent of the measure in Parlia
ment: contradiction to Scripture and to all just reason, at the Revolution, and a century's “I venture to write to you again, after quiet since, have occasioned this secu- reading Peel's, Gladstone's, and Roerity. Our various legislative protections, buck's speeches. Peel's is worldly conone after another, have been removed, servatism, Gladstone's is superstitious and still we have not yet awakened. And Romanism, Roebuck's infidel liberalism, on whai does this fancied security rest ? -the three unclean spirits of this day, On the enlightened spirit of the age ? (Rev. xvi. 13,) all perfectly opposed to Surely we have not yet to learn that the the word of God, which abides for ever. world by wisdom knew not God. On “Gladstone denies that Protestantism the substantial good sense of the mass of is any thing more than a negative term, the nation ? Surely we have not for. as knowing and feeling nothing of its lifegotten the lesson Cease ye from man ; giving doctrines, common to all Refor
mers; and so defames that which God
heart-union should visibly unite, but it is accounts in His word (Rev. x.) an un- needful that enough should do it, to pro.. speakable blessing.
duce the effect of a brotherly recognition. “He insists that we should look upon “ It is with the Lord whether it prosper it in the way in which the Irish Papists or not. I feel that hitherto the design is must regard it, -that is, we must give up hopeful, though full of difficulties. I enour truth to adopt their error. His speech deavour to commit it all to the Lord; my is more revolting than even Sir R. Peel's. conscience being clear that His truth and He professes to look for principles, and His love are my main motives in what I has not one scriptural principle to stand have done. Be also fully assured of my upon,
entire conviction of your brotherly spirit “ Roebuck thinks it requires omnisci- and faithfulness to Christ.” ence to know what truth is. Was there ever such a Pilate-like state of mind ?
In another letter to a friend, dated “The real strength of the case seems February 2, 1846, he remarks, "There to me very simple. God says, “Thou is a much greater disunion between shalt not bow down to an image. The me and Dr. Pusey, or a mere worldly Papists bow down to images. The Queen clergyman, than between me and is made by the legislature to say, .This is Mr. James, or a spiritually-minded superstitious and idolatrous. The same Dissenter.” How true this remark authority now proposes to educate persons
was, was signally proved the very. who shall teach what the Queen then declared to be superstitious and idolatrous, following letter from the Rev. Angell
next month, when he received the at the expense of the country. monstrous infatuation, apart even from
James, one of his Dissenting brethren the testimony of Scripture against this in the Alliance. We must premise corruption of Christianity.
that the occasion of the letter was, “ It is more than ever the turn of Eng- Mr. Bickersteth's having been thrown land's future history. We are Christians, from his carriage, and laid-by by conbut we are patriots. We love our country sequent illness :and our families. Now is the special op
I cannot refrain any longer portunity to be faithful to God our Sa
from conveying to you the assurance of viour, and to our fellow men, and to save
my tender and prayerful interest in your ourselves, and those that hear us. . "I write in the fulness of my heart,
present situation, and future recovery.
With what deep concern I heard of your hoping that God may strengthen you to
accident, as we call it, He is witness who stand up for His truth where it is so little
alone knows how much I love you, and regarded.”
how much I glorify Christ in you; and About this time Mr. Bickersteth's with what gratitude I praised Him for the mind became much occupied with the preservation of your invaluable life, which subject of Christian Union, and, not. seemed in such imminent peril, my conwithstanding the discouragement he gregation can testify. Never was public received from many of his dearest prayer presented by them more fervently friends in the ministry of the Estab
for the restoration of any one, except in lishment, he gave his full support to
the case of their own pastor, when his life the formation of the Evangelical Al
seemed trembling in the balance. Thanks liance. Whilst doing so, however, he
to the God of all power and grace, dearly
beloved servant of our common Lord, that fully recognized the conscientiousness
in your case has been exemplified the of those christian friends who differed
truth of David's words in their true imfrom him in respect to the movement.
port: Precious in the sight of the Lord In a letter to a brother clergyman, he is the death of His saints;' which evithus concludes :
dently means, that God does not allow “How are we to overcome evil? There His servants to die, but watches over them is tremendous evil in this war of brethren, as a rare thing, which He values and proProtestant brethren, biting and devouring tects. So has it been in your case; and one another. It is the scoff of the Infidel so, I trust, it will be. With our Divine and the Papist. I believe that we shall Lord, the source of all life, all power, all best overcome it, by men of the beatitudes wisdom and grace, at the head His presenting another spirit, that shall com- Church, and the helm of the world, I dare mend itself to the minds and consciences not say of any human instrument, “We of all men, overcoming evil with good. cannot do without him ;' but as far as I It is not necessary that all who have a can with propriety say this, I say it, dear
sir, of you, in reference to our glorious to Christ and His Gospel to remain silent cause of Christian union. Oh what an with His truth in our possession, while so affliction is it to me, that we shall not see many millions are perishing for want of you in Birmingham! With this, however, that truth. The Irish Roman Catholics we may be content, now that you are likely must be considered as our neighbours, to be spared to us for future service, and our brothers, and sisters. Their misery spared with all the new treasures acquired springs from Popery. Popery enslaves in the purifying process of affliction. Yes, the intellect and brings men under an honoured and beloved brother, we shall intolerable yoke of bondage. Ignorance love you more, and see more in you to is made the mother of devotion, or learnlove than ever, even as we shall love Christing prostituted to oppress the soul. There more, not only for giving you, but now for is need of the royalty of true faith, in a sparing you to us. The Lord Jesus be Divine testimony of the liberty wherewith with your spirit.”
Christ makes free. Great trials, howWe must notice, also, Mr. Bicker
ever, are to be expected, and many resteth's intimate connexion with the proaches; but let us be strong and couSociety for Irish Church Missions,
rageous, and we are assured by God,
• Then thou shalt make thy way prosper, The greater part of the Special Fund
and shalt have good success.'
The urfor Ireland, raised in the year 1847,
gency of the work has brought me out of had been spent in aiding various ex- direct parochial duties, to seek to promote isting religious societies; but in the it. We must all make sacrifices to adfollowing year the committee, besides vance it; and oh how thankful shall we continuing their aid to other societies be, if we thus bless our Roman Catholic as before, devoted about £800 to di- brethren, bless Ireland, strengthen our rect missions in the county of Galway. Church, promote the welfare of our counThe success of this effort was most try, and honour that Divine Saviour who encouraging; and at the close of 1848
is our only Lord and Redeemer. Let the the committee determined to recon
work be carried on in the spirit of prayer, stitute themselves as a distinct society confer His blessing on the Society. With
and in the spirit of love, and God will for missions to the Irish Roman Ca
out prayer the hearts of Protestants will tholics. Next year, Mr. Bickersteth
not open to aid us, nor the hearts of Roand Mr. Dallas, who had been among man Catholics to hear us; and deep inthe earliest promoters of the Special tense love to their souls is the quickening Fund, visited Ireland for the purpose and powerful motive for doing them real of learning the feelings of the Irish and lasting good.” clergy; and, after hearing the state- The last London public meeting in ments of the Deputation, two hundred which Mr. Bickersteth took a part, clergymen signed an address, expres- was in connexion with the same sosive of their hope and gratitude, in ciety. It was held in November, 1849, reference to the new society. At the and formed a fit and worthy close of first public meeting of the society, those abundant labours in which he held in London on the 22nd May, had been occupied for more than 1849, Mr. Bickersteth moved the first thirty-five years in the cause of Christ. resolution. His address was simple, Mr. Dallas and Mr. Wilkinson had faithful, and impressive.
just returned from Ireland, and they “Our mission,” he said, “like our recounted the cheering triumphs of common Christianity, is aggressive, but the Gospel, which they had witnessed, aggression in real love to those whom it in districts once spiritually dark. assails. We wish not their destruction, Then Mr. Bickersteth rose, and gave but their salvation, and would use no me- an address,—which proved a parting thods but speaking the truth in love!
one,--full of glowing praise to God no bribery, no Roman anathemas, no
and loving exhortation to his fellowInquisition. The only remedy we desire
Protestants. to apply is God's own remedy,– the pro
Edward Bickersteth's active life clamation of the Gospel of Christ in love to their souls. . . It is a false charity for
was now drawing to its termination. Protestants to be indifferent to the con- Incessant occupation, without exversion of the Roman Catholics. It is a hausting, in other respects, his strong selfish cruelty, and places them in a false constitution, had worn out the organ and indefensible position. It is infidelity of thought, and brought on a fatal