Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

shall be an inheritor of such riches as neither the co. vetous shall withdraw from you, nor the thief shall steal, nor yet the moths corrupt.'

“Sir Christopiler flatton, a celebrated states. man, a little before his death, advised his relations to be serious in searching after the will of God in his Holy Word; "for,' said he, it is deservedly accounted a piece of excellent knowledge to understand the law of the land, and the customs of a man's country; how much more to know the statutes of Heaven, and the laws of eternity, those eternal and immutable laws of justice and righteousness ;-to know the will and pleasure of the Great Monarch and universal King. I have seen an end of all perfection, but the commandments of God are exceeding broad.'

“ The famous Sir Philip SYDNEY, taking leave of his brother Robert, when he died of the wound he had received in the field of battle, said, Love my memory; cherish my friends ; but, above all, govern your will and affections by the will and word of your Creator; in me beholding the end of this world, with all her vanities.'

“ The learned JoshuA BARNARD is said to have read a small pocket Bible, which he usually carried about him, a hundred and twenty times over at leisure hours.

“ Lord CROMWELL, Earl of Essex, in a journey to and from Rome, learned the whole of the New Testament by heart.

“Sir Henry Wotton, after his customary public devotions, used to retire to his study, and there to spend some hours in reading the Bible and authors in divinity, closing up his meditations with private prayer.

“LADY FRANCIS HOBART read the Psalms over twelve times every year, the New Testament thrice, and the other parts of the Old Testament once.

“ SUSANNAH, Countess of Suffolk, for the last seven years of her life, read the whole Bible over three times annually:

666 I would desire,' says ERASMUS, that all women

MEMOIR OF JOHN PHILLIPS.

347

should read the Gospel and the Epistles of St. Paul; I would to God, the ploughman would sing a text of Scripture at his plough; and that the weaver, at his loom, with this should drive away the tediousness of time. I would the wayfaring man with this pastime should expel the weariness of his journey; and in short, I would that all the communications of the Christian should be of the Scripture."

These various testimonies to the value and excellency of the Holy Scriptures have been selected from “ SIMPSON's Plea for Religion and the Sacred Writings ;” and to these testimonies we may subjoin his own words. 66 Were I therefore," says Mr. SIMPSON, “permitted to give my last dying advice to the dearest friend I have in the world, it would be the same which Dr. Johnson gave to his friend Sir Joshua REYNOLDS, Read your Bible :' I should only add, Read it daily upon your nees, with fervent prayer for divine illumination; and rest not, till you have imbibed the spirit of it into the very frame and constitution of your soul, and transcribed the precepts and examples of Jesus into every part of your daily deportment.” Durlington.

A. D. M.

MEMOIR OF JOHN PHILLIPS,

OF LEWES, IN SUSSEX. Joun PHILLIPS was for several years a scholar in the Methodist Sunday-School, at Lewes, in which institution, and under the ministry of God's Word at the Methodist chapel, he received that spiritual good which terminated in his conversion. When about eighteen years of age, he became a member of the Methodist Society; being, at that period, deeply convinced of the depravity of his nature, and of his need of the mercy and regenerating grace of God. Amidst. many discouraging fears, he sought the salvation of his soul with great earnestness; and while he was one day employed in meditating on the love of Christ to perishing sinners, the LORD was pleased to assure

him of his interest in the Saviour's atoning blood. His conduct, from that time, was consistent with his. religious profession ; and evinced, in a striking manner, the sincerity and genuineness of his piety. That he had well counted the cost, was evident in his steady perseverance amidst the most trying oppositions and persecutions. A recital of the sufferings which he experienced from the little less than diabolical proceedings of his fellow-apprentices, and of his conduct under them, would afford, on the one hand, an awful proof of the natural wickedness of the human heart, and, on the other, the brightest evidences of his christian character. May they seriously reflect on their profane and shameful conduct towards this youthful servant of God; and may the earnest prayers which he offered on his death-bed, in their behalf, be answered in their repentance and salvation! He loved the people and the house of God. He was regular in his attendance on all the means of grace, and conscientious in his observance of the sabbath.

The affliction which brought him to his grave was a rapid consumption. From its first attack, he was perfectly resigned to the will of God, as to its issue, but sometimes expressed " a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.” When his pain was most severe, the language of submission, and even of joy, invariably proceeded from his lips. At one time, when in great agony, he said to his mother, “My pain is great, but it is nothing to what my SAVIOUR suffered for me." On another occasion, his mother, on entering the room, found him in tears, and said,

Why do you weep?” “O mother," he replied, “ I weep for joy: I am so happy in God.” When a friend asked him the state of his mind, with a smile on his countenance he answered, “Bless the Lord, Jesus is precious.” A friend who often saw him, observes, that his mouth was filled with prayer and praise ; and that, when through weakness or other circumstances he could not give utterance to his feelings, his hands and eyes were always turned towards heaven. On one

MEMOIR OF JOHN PHILLIPS.

349

occasion, after offering a short prayer, he said, address. ing himself still to the ALMIGHTY, “If thou art about to take me, I know that I shall soon be with thousands and tens of thousands of happy spirits, praising God, and the LAMB who has washed me from my sins in his own blood. O glory! O what glory! O happy, happy day! when I shall see the Lord in glory!" While in health, he had manifested a deep concern for the salvation of others. He used various means to bring ungodly young persons under that ministry of the Gospel, which had proved so useful to himself; and in order to secure their attendance, he has been known, in some instances, out of his scanty earnings, to give them money. He was a diligent teacher in the SundaySchool ; greatly beloved by his scholars, and highly esteemed by the other teachers. He was a liberal subscriber to the Missionary cause; and since the formation of the Tract Society, he was one of the most laborious of the distributors. But as he approached the eternal world, and increasingly felt the importance of his own salvation, his desire for that of others was greatly augmented. For the members of his own family he was more particularly concerned. He repeatedly admonished his two sisters, and charged them in the most solemn and affectionate manner to meet him in heaven. A few days before his death, with those emotions which ardent filial piety produces, he addressed his father on the concerns of his soul, telling him, that he could not meet him in heaven, except he forsook all sin ; and concluded by begging him to remember the words of his dying son. His exhortations were not without effect. That sacred joy which he experienced at the commencement of his illness, increased in proportion as the glories of heaven were disclosed to the eye of his mind; and before he left the world, it was ripened into holy triumph. On the Sunday before his death, after a night of excruciating pain, he sung with a sweetness which dis. solved the hearts of all present,

“ Praise God, from whom all blessings fow,”. &e. Vol. VI.

2 H

He continued in the same happy frame all that day. On the following Tuesday, seeing his mother in tears, he said, “Do not grieve; do give me up; we must some time part, and why not now? Can you give me up?" " I give you up to the LORD,” was her reply. With great pleasure and affection he said, " The LORD bless you! I have done with the world now. I shall be in glory before to-morrow.” In the evening, recovering from a fainting fit, he said to his mother, “I am dying ;” and to a friend, “ Ready now! Happy now! Happy! Happy! O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? No pain now. Happy! happy!” In this triumphant state of mind, he entered into the joy of his LORD, March 5th, 1822, aged twenty years. O that all young Christians may as faithfully improve their talents and opportunities, as John Phillips did ! Brighton.

W. L.

BRIEF ACCOUNT OF THE FALL OF THE

RHINE. (Extracted from Letters during a Tour to France and Switzerland,

by the Rev. J. OWEN, M. A.”) 66 After leaving Professor MULLER, I stole away, under the conduct of Professor MAURER, to obtain a view of that mighty phenomenon in the immediate neighbourhood of Schaffhausen, the Fall of the Rhine. I was so intent upon prosecuting my journey, when I thought my business at Schaffhausen completed, that I had almost determined not to allow even this temptation to detain me. When, however, I reflected on the peculiar nature of the phenomenon, (for, I had seen it twice before, and have never seen any thing which I could class with it,) I seemed to think, that it would be little short of impiety, not to turn aside and see this great sight, and worship God for what he has done in his works, as well as in his word. It was, indeed, a great sight, and testified, to my inmost soul, the majesty of Him who is wonderful in working. The sky was unusually clear; the sun

« AnteriorContinuar »