« AnteriorContinuar »
tear silently trickle down his cheek, cially preached. I believe what you while he has been urging sinners to heard from his lips was, especially, repentance. This large amount of the fruit of prayer. He lived near feeling made his ministry very ex- to God, and spoke from his own expehausting to himself. He could not rience. And this was another secret of calmly and coldly go through the his success. We are sadly too prone to service of God. The warmth of his rest on our own endeavours, rather emotions was the secret of the great than to depend on an Almighty arm. success of his ministry. For he who The great power which he possessed speaks to his fellow-men, on eternal in introducing and in sustaining relibliss and eternal woe, ought to feel gious and edifying discourse in comand be moved. Cold exhortations on pany, was an evidence that he consubjects so momentous, are never stantly bore about with him his Lord likely to convince the judgment, or
and Master, and kept prominently in move the heart. Those of you who view the great end of existence. knew your late minister in private, “ It has long been my impression, knew also how very kind and tender that your late beloved pastor was, was his heart. The great day will probably, more honoured of God in alone reveal the many remarkable this respect, than any other of God's illustrations which could be given of ministering servants who yet remain this. Towards even strangers this behind in this great city. Blessed was a marked feature of his charac- privilege, which we may well envy! ter. I have known him even to take Having turned many to righteousoff his own hat, on leaving the ness, he now, doubtless, shines as the church, and give it to a poor man
He was a who was without one; although he minister made by God himself, rather had a long distance to go, uncovered, than by man. Like many other of before he reached his home. But to- the most useful ministers of Christ in wards his own flock, especially to- the present day, he was not at first wards the young, and more especially intended for so important a work by still, towards that large body of in- his parents; although, from a pecudividuals who were the fruits of his liarly early period of life he appears ministry, he felt as a father to- to have been himself the subject of wards his own children, and would strong religious impressions. He was spare no trouble, nor care for any sa- apprenticed to trade, and he never crifice, if he could aid them ; espe- possessed the advantage of university ally if he could hope thereby to fur- training. But he soon showed a love ther their greater usefulness in the for the ministry. It was so strong, Church. Nature, especially, feels at that it broke through all barriers. the loss of one so kind; for, although He preached his first sermon in Kent, this kindness may be often deficient among the dissenters, while yet only in that large amount of exact discre- an apprentice. But he desired to tion which cooler minds delight in, proceed in the work in a more regular it is yet that which especially gains manner; and although his early reto itself the affection of mankind at ligious impressions were much deeplarge. Nor was it only from the ened under the ministry of dissenters, heart that your late minister so espe- he throughout life loved dearly the
stars for ever and ever.
Church of England. ... It was at relinquishment of his previous spheres
Although, by God's could have withstood without being grace, he was always preserved borne away by the same, far more sound in doctrine, he yet considered than was the case, by the grace of that in matters of discipline he had God, with this His servant. Subse- been for some years more narrow and quent to this, Mr. Mortimer was ap- restricted than the Scriptures warrant, pointed the Incumbent of St. Mark's, or than is the real spirit of our own Clerkenwell, a large and important Church. This very circumstance, charge, which rendered necessary the however, made him the more anxious
at last to press on all the importance lative to this chapel, which have been, of steadfastness of work and word.” in their issue, most unfortunate, the
We entirely acquiesce in the ad- impulse from which he acted was a mirable judgment with which Mr. single-minded and self-forgetting deMortimer's successor, Mr. Garbett, in sire to advance the Lord's work. It the following passage, has gently, but was impossible for those who have faithfully, touched, what we always had transactions with him not to perfelt to be one of the most injudicious ceive that the wisdom of the man of periods of Mr. Mortimer's ministry. the world was absent from the zeal
“I desire to bear this testimony as of the man of God, but I am thoone who has succeeded to the anxie- roughly convinced that any other esties and responsibilities which preyed timate of his character than this is heavily upon him, and as knowing wholly erroneous.” the misapprehensions to which, during Mr. Mortimer is now safely gathe latter years of his life, he was thered into the garner of his Lord ;subjected, I desire, I say, to bear be it ours to follow with equal zeal, this testimony to the single-minded affection, and success, the steps of sincerity which prompted his actions. one "who through faith and patience It is my firm and deep conviction, now inherits the promises." that even in those arrangements re
THE LORD THE PORTION OF HIS PEOPLE.
The writer of the 119th Psalm was and affections were directed, and to evidently a man of real practical which he looked for true happiness. piety, not of mere religious and de- Now this should be precisely the vout habits, such as appear promi- practical religion of the Christian; nently even among some of the fol- he has still more full and effectual lowers of Mahomet, but of pious means of knowing God than the practical feeling, grounded upon, and most enlightened worshippers under arising out of, sound rational and the Mosaic system ; for the wondrous satisfying knowledge. He knew God. scheme of redeeming mercy which He knew the great Being whom he was then set forth in typical shadows, addressed. He had evidently very has been since developed in all the elevated views, and very correct views brightness of its perfection, and the of God's character, very sound notions way of approach to God is now made of His holiness and of His mercy; and plain and distinct, so that the enquirthe practical result of this knowledge ing mind may clearly ascertain the of God, which he obtained through grounds on which a fallen creature the Mosaic dispensation, was a sin- may draw near to God with conficere devotion of himself to God,- dence, and repose upon His goodness cordial, unreserved, and unhesitating and His assured love. When, therepreference and choice of God as his fore a Christian, that is, a sincere beportion, as his delight, and aim,—the liever in this revelation of God, and great object to which his attention this scheme of grace, addresses him, self to the worship of God, and still go, now, into the proof of a first more especially to that more distin- cause,- that there is but one God, guishing and characteristic act of the living and true God, who made worship, the partaking of the emble- heaven and earth; nor into the proof matic supper of his Lord, he should that He has spoken to us by the writbe prepared to cherish the same views ten revelation of His will. We must and feelings as the Psalmist, and, hasten to come nearer than this ; what looking up with intelligence, and with we wish is, to come to the fact that practical experience, to Him who sit- this one 'great God, who spoke to teth in the heavens, the infinite us in times past by the prophets, and Being who filleth all things, — he in these last times by His Son, is acshould be enabled to say, with de- tually known to us in the mode and liberate preference, “Thou art my in the degree in which He has been portion, O Lord.” He should be pleased to be known to His creature able to look round on the whole range man, on this earth. There are three of created good, on all that he has leading features of this knowledge : actually known, and on all that is 1. We know God's revealed characwithin the range of his imagination, ter as a holy and a merciful God in and to feel that all comes so lament- Christ Jesus. 2. We have the exably short of the portion that he has perience of intercourse and commuin God, that he cannot hesitate to nion with Him in the way of His make a decided and a declared appointment. 3. We have the exchoice, and openly and avowedly to perience of His providential governtake the Lord God as the main source ment and care. of his happiness both here and here- 1. We know God in His revealed after. Let us, then, endeavour to character in Christ, as a holy and a consider more fully this state of mind, merciful God, a just God, and a Sawhich ought to be our own on the viour. Most seriously,christian perpresent occasion.
If it is ours, the sons can look back to a time in their meditation upon the subject which it former life, when they had no pracpresents will enhance our religious tical and clear knowledge of God : enjoyment; and if it is not, it may, many are still in that state. But, if by the Divine blessing, be the means we are really Christian, we shall find of shewing us practically what we that, gradually, in the study of inneed.
spired Scripture, our views have The Christian has deliberately taken cleared on this point, and we have God as his portion; and to that it is been enabled to comprehend God's necessary in the first place, that he dispensation of mercy to our world should have a certain knowledge of in Christ Jesus, and to understand God. We know God;— we know on the union and accordance of His whom we have believed. It is a holiness and strict justice with His matter of actual and unquestionable pardoning and sparing mercy to His experience with us, that we have to sinful and perishing creatures. This do with a good and gracious Being, is especially made known in Christ. of whose existence, of whose activity It is exhibited in the cross of Christ, around us, of whose care for us, there and by the light which the inspired can be no question. We need not writings of the prophets of the Old
Testament, and the apostles of the of the whole dispensation. The holiNew Testament, have thrown upon ness and justice of God are indelibly that cross; and it is by contemplating written in the precious life-blood of in all this vouchsafed light, the cross His Son. But then, of course, it is of the blessed Jesus, that we get to in this same cross that we learn the know the moral attributes of our God, mercy and grace of God. The oband their harmony with each other. ject of Christ's suffering and death God hath set forth His Son crucified our acquittal, deliverance, and among us, to be a propitiation for sin, restoration. “God commendeth His through faith in His blood, to declare love towards us, in that, while we His righteousness for the remission of were yet sinners, Christ died for us." sins. The law of God shews to us When “we were dead in trespasses what God's will is to us for obedi- and sins,” He saved us according to It is the declaration of what His own purpose
and made He requires in us; and our own com- us accepted in His beloved Son, who mon sense shews us that the require hath made peace by the blood of His ment of the law is holy, and just, cross and reconciled us unto Himself. and good, consistent with equity in This Divine sufferer has come between God as our judge and maker, and us and the penalty of the broken law, adapted to our interest and real hap- and “was wounded for our transpiness. But then the cross of Christ gressions, he was bruised for our inishews especially the holiness of God, quities: the chastisement of for it developes the plan which His
peace was upon him; and with his wisdom devised and executed in order stripes we are healed.” It is, then, that the salvation of the transgressor in the bloodshedding of the sinless might be consistent with the general Christ as a substituted and propitiatory equity of His government, and His victim, that we see the mercy of God. truth harmonize with His mercy. This is the effectual and sure means The cross of Christ, thus illumi- of knowing God's mercy. To this nated by revelation, teaches us that fact, the divine record directs us, and God hates sin, that sin must be it is in faithfully looking at this great punished, that His law must be mag- event that we realize the knowledge nified and made honourable; that if of God as a sin-hating and a sin-parthe imputation of human guilt is laid doning God, how He can be just, and upon His incarnate Son, He must yet the justifier of the ungodly; and also die the death—an accursed death; the more fully, and thoroughly, and and that God did so expressly send habitually we dwell on the incarnate His Son by incarnation into our world mystery, the more the beauty and that He might die, the Just for the glory of God's character, as a just unjust, in order that God might be God, and yet a Saviour, shines out just as well as gracious in the sparing before us, and becomes the subject of of the sinner. There can be no satisfying meditation. question to a close and honest student 2. We know God by communion of Scripture, of the fact of the sub- with Him. God, the Maker of the stitution of Christ in the stead of the human mind, is everywhere present; sinner as a sin-offering. It is one of and having revealed Himself in His the leading and characteristic features inspired Word as a reconciled God to