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MEMOIR OF THE REV. THOMAS MORTIMER.
tear silently trickle down his cheek, while he has been urging sinners to repentance. This large amount of feeling made his ministry very exhausting to himself. He could not calmly and coldly go through the service of God. The warmth of his emotions was the secret of the great success of his ministry. For he who speaks to his fellow-men, on eternal bliss and eternal woe, ought to feel and be moved. Cold exhortations on subjects so momentous, are never likely to convince the judgment, or move the heart. Those of you who knew your late minister in private, knew also how very kind and tender was his heart. The great day will alone reveal the many remarkable illustrations which could be given of this. Towards even strangers this was a marked feature of his character. I have known him even to take off his own hat, on leaving the church, and give it to a poor man who was without one; although he had a long distance to go, uncovered, before he reached his home. But towards his own flock, especially towards the young, and more especially still, towards that large body of individuals who were the fruits of his ministry, he felt as a father towards his own children, and would spare no trouble, nor care for any sacrifice, if he could aid them; espeally if he could hope thereby to further their greater usefulness in the Church. Nature, especially, feels at the loss of one so kind; for, although this kindness may be often deficient in that large amount of exact discretion which cooler minds delight in, it is yet that which especially gains to itself the affection of mankind at large. Nor was it only from the heart that your late minister so espe
cially preached. I believe what you heard from his lips was, especially, the fruit of prayer. He lived near to God, and spoke from his own experience. And this was another secret of his success. We are sadly too prone to rest on our own endeavours, rather than to depend on an Almighty arm. The great power which he possessed in introducing and in sustaining religious and edifying discourse in company, was an evidence that he constantly bore about with him his Lord and Master, and kept prominently in view the great end of existence.
"It has long been my impression, that your late beloved pastor was, probably, more honoured of God in this respect, than any other of God's ministering servants who yet remain behind in this great city. Blessed privilege, which we may well envy! Having turned many to righteousness, he now, doubtless, shines as the stars for ever and ever. He was a minister made by God himself, rather than by man. Like many other of the most useful ministers of Christ in the present day, he was not at first intended for so important a work by his parents; although, from a peculiarly early period of life he appears to have been himself the subject of strong religious impressions. He was apprenticed to trade, and he never possessed the advantage of university training. But he soon showed a love for the ministry. It was so strong, that it broke through all barriers. He preached his first sermon in Kent, among the dissenters, while yet only an apprentice. But he desired to proceed in the work in a more regular manner ; and although his early religious impressions were much deepened under the ministry of dissenters, he throughout life loved dearly the
relinquishment of his previous spheres of preaching, except Shoreditch. This he retained with St. Mark's for some period, during which, he preached regularly four times each week, often more frequently, besides appearing by no means unfrequently on the platform to advocate the cause of all religious societies.
Church of England. ... It was at Shoreditch Church and Wheler Chapel that I was most familiar with his ministry, having in my early years had the privilege of attending them, as a hearer, for a considerable period of time; while, subsequently, I was called on, in the providence of God, to succeed him as minister at the latter of these places. I was thus made acquainted with the large number of persons to whom his ministry was blessed at both these churches, and I suspect most of all at Shoreditch, into which church it was often with difficulty that admission could be obtained, through the immense throngs which were assembled. can I omit to state, on an occasion like the present, that my own heart was first impressed under the ministry of him whom I may therefore call my dear father, at that church. He subsequently urged on me an trance into the ministry, and was most painstaking in his attention to me in facilitating that object. Several others to whom his ministry was blessed, have, like myself, in the providence of God, been since called to labour spiritually on behalf of others, and fill situations of usefulness. The immense crowds which ran after him, and the extensive usefulness which attended his preaching beyond that of his brethren, so very soon after he began his ministry, and that without the salutary check of any university course, were what, I fear, few of us could have withstood without being borne away by the same, far more than was the case, by the grace of God, with this His servant. Subsequent to this, Mr. Mortimer was appointed the Incumbent of St. Mark's, Clerkenwell, a large and important charge, which rendered necessary the
"Suffer me, also, especially to guard you against the dangers of a least approach to that Popery which in a more or less disguised form, has been so prevalent of late. I know not anything that would have more grieved your late minister than that any of you should be thus led away. His own attachment to the Church of England was, at one period of his public ministry, so great, that it led him very often, in his sermons, to speak painfully bitter things against dissenters, to become very exclusive in his mode of action, and to lay much stress upon the ceremonials of religion. But the outbreaking of Tractarianism showed him the error into which he had fallen, and he ever after bitterly bewailed the circumstance that he should have thus acted, and henceforth loved to co-operate with all Christ's true people in furthering His cause. In referring for a moment to this, I speak that which he in his last years was desirous of stating publicly on all fit occasions, and which, I am persuaded, he would have wished should be stated now. Although, by God's grace, he was always preserved sound in doctrine, he yet considered that in matters of discipline he had been for some years more narrow and restricted than the Scriptures warrant, or than is the real spirit of our own Church. This very circumstance, however, made him the more anxious
THE LORD THE PORTION OF HIS PEOPLE.
at last to press on all the importance of steadfastness of work and word."
We entirely acquiesce in the admirable judgment with which Mr. Mortimer's successor, Mr. Garbett, in the following passage, has gently, but faithfully, touched, what we always felt to be one of the most injudicious periods of Mr. Mortimer's ministry.
"I desire to bear this testimony as one who has succeeded to the anxieties and responsibilities which preyed heavily upon him, and as knowing the misapprehensions to which, during the latter years of his life, he was subjected, I desire, I say, to bear this testimony to the single-minded sincerity which prompted his actions. It is my firm and deep conviction, that even in those arrangements re
lative to this chapel, which have been, in their issue, most unfortunate, the impulse from which he acted was a single-minded and self-forgetting desire to advance the Lord's work. It was impossible for those who have had transactions with him not to perceive that the wisdom of the man of the world was absent from the zeal of the man of God, but I am thoroughly convinced that any other estimate of his character than this is wholly erroneous."
Mr. Mortimer is now safely gathered into the garner of his Lord;be it ours to follow with equal zeal, affection, and success, the steps of one "who through faith and patience now inherits the promises."
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THE writer of the 119th Psalm was evidently a man of real practical piety, not of mere religious and devout habits, such as appear prominently even among some of the followers of Mahomet, but of pious practical feeling, grounded upon, and arising out of, sound rational and satisfying knowledge. He knew God. He knew the great Being whom he addressed. He had evidently very elevated views, and very correct views of God's character, very sound notions of His holiness and of His mercy; and the practical result of this knowledge of God, which he obtained through the Mosaic dispensation, was a sincere devotion of himself to God,—a cordial, unreserved, and unhesitating preference and choice of God as his portion, as his delight, and aim,-the great object to which his attention
and affections were directed, and to which he looked for true happiness.
Now this should be precisely the practical religion of the Christian; he has still more full and effectual means of knowing God than the most enlightened worshippers under the Mosaic system; for the wondrous scheme of redeeming mercy which was then set forth in typical shadows, has been since developed in all the brightness of its perfection, and the way of approach to God is now made plain and distinct, so that the enquiring mind may clearly ascertain the grounds on which a fallen creature may draw near to God with confidence, and repose upon His goodness and His assured love. When, therefore a Christian, that is, a sincere believer in this revelation of God, and this scheme of grace, addresses him→
self to the worship of God, and still more especially to that more distinguishing and characteristic act of worship, the partaking of the emblematic supper of his Lord, he should be prepared to cherish the same views and feelings as the Psalmist, and, looking up with intelligence, and with practical experience, to Him who sit teth in the heavens, the infinite Being who filleth all things, he should be enabled to say, with deliberate preference, "Thou art my portion, O Lord.' He should be able to look round on the whole range of created good, on all that he has actually known, and on all that is within the range of his imagination, and to feel that all comes so lamentably short of the portion that he has in God, that he cannot hesitate to make a decided and a declared choice, and openly and avowedly to take the Lord God as the main source of his happiness both here and hereafter. Let us, then, endeavour to consider more fully this state of mind, which ought to be our own on the present occasion. If it is ours, the meditation upon the subject which it presents will enhance our religious enjoyment; and if it is not, it may, by the Divine blessing, be the means of shewing us practically what we need.
The Christian has deliberately taken God as his portion; and to that it is necessary in the first place, that he should have a certain knowledge of God. We know God;- we know on whom we have believed. It is a matter of actual and unquestionable experience with us, that we have to do with a good and gracious Being, of whose existence, of whose activity around us, of whose care for us, there can be no question. We need not
go, now, into the proof of a first cause, that there is but one God, the living and true God, who made heaven and earth; nor into the proof that He has spoken to us by the written revelation of His will. We must hasten to come nearer than this; what we wish is, to come to the fact that this one 'great God, who spoke to us in times past by the prophets, and in these last times by His Son, is actually known to us in the mode and in the degree in which He has been pleased to be known to His creature man, on this earth. There are three leading features of this knowledge: 1. We know God's revealed character as a holy and a merciful God in Christ Jesus. 2. We have the experience of intercourse and communion with Him in the way of His appointment. 3. We have the experience of His providential government and care.
1. We know God in His revealed character in Christ, as a holy and a merciful God, a just God, and a Saviour. Most seriously christian persons can look back to a time in their former life, when they had no practical and clear knowledge of God: many are still in that state. But, if we are really Christian, we shall find that, gradually, in the study of inspired Scripture, our views have cleared on this point, and we have been enabled to comprehend God's dispensation of mercy to our world in Christ Jesus, and to understand the union and accordance of His holiness and strict justice with His pardoning and sparing mercy to His sinful and perishing creatures. This is especially made known in Christ. It is exhibited in the cross of Christ, and by the light which the inspired writings of the prophets of the Old
THE LORD THE PORTION OF HIS PEOPLE.
Testament, and the apostles of the
of the whole dispensation. The holiness and justice of God are indelibly written in the precious life-blood of His Son. But then, of course, it is in this same cross that we learn the mercy and grace of God. The object of Christ's suffering and death was our acquittal, deliverance, and restoration. "God commendeth His love towards us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." When " we were dead in trespasses and sins," He saved us according to His own purpose and grace, and made us accepted in His beloved Son, who hath made peace by the blood of His cross and reconciled us unto Himself. This Divine sufferer has come between us and the penalty of the broken law, and “was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed." It is, then, in the bloodshedding of the sinless Christ as a substituted and propitiatory victim, that we see the mercy of God. This is the effectual and sure means of knowing God's mercy. To this fact, the divine record directs us, and it is in faithfully looking at this great event that we realize the knowledge of God as a sin-hating and a sin-pardoning God, how He can be just, and yet the justifier of the ungodly; and the more fully, and thoroughly, and habitually we dwell on the incarnate mystery, the more the beauty and glory of God's character, as a just God, and yet a Saviour, shines out before us, and becomes the subject of satisfying meditation.
2. We know God by communion with Him. God, the Maker of the human mind, is everywhere present; and having revealed Himself in His inspired Word as a reconciled God to