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EVE CHARLES SIMEON MA. bante Aallow pe college kambridge,

Published by L & G Seeley. 169. Fleet Street Jou"7839.

CHRISTIAN GUARDIAN

AND

Church of England Magazine.

JANUARY 1839.

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MEMOIR OF THE REV. CHARLES SIMEON. The late Rev. Charles Simeon attending. As this however could was born at Reading, September not be allowed, he seriously ap24, 1759, being the younger son plied his mind to consider the of a gentleman residing in that nature of the ordinance, and the neighbourhood. His family were due preparation for a right recepof foreign extraction, though tion of it. These enquiries were some time settled in this country. attended with great anxiety and Mr. Simeon was early admitted much alarm, he felt deeply opamong the foundation boys at pressed with his sinfulness and Eton, and after proceeding regu- unworthiness, but was at length larly through the school, became gradually led to perceive that our a resident of King's College, Cam- sins were laid upon the Saviour, bridge, January 29, 1779.

and that we are accepted, not While at Eton, Mr. Simeon ap- for

worthiness, but pears to have applied diligently to through the merit of our great his studies, and to have conducted

Redeemer. himself with great propriety. He Mr. Simeon's gradual attainwas indeed ardently attached to meut of light and peace is more fashionable amusements, distin- largely stated in a sermon preached guished by great personal neatness the day after his funeral, by the and attention to dress, and fore- Rev. T. Webster, and inserted in most in games, sports, and manly our number for January, 1837, and recreations. He thus lived accor

which renders it the less necessary ding to the course of this world, to enlarge on the same topics here. drinking deeply into its spirit, but Mr. Simeon had at that time, no not enslaved by its grosser corrup

man like-minded with him, with tions.

whom he could confer. The soIn this state of mind Mr. Simeon ciety of King's College is necesproceeded to Cambridge, and be- sarily of a peculiar character : the fore he had been long there, was students commencing their resiinformed that he would be required dence in the first instance at deto attend at the Lord's Table at tached and uncertain periods, and one of those periods when the not as at other colleges, coming up Sacrament is uniformly adminis- together at one stated period, and tered in the College Chapels. This being exempted from the usual important subject had never before examinations, its members are very occupied bis attention- he felt much detached from the rest of the himself unprepared, and would university. Nor should it be forgladly have been excused from gotten, that religion was at that

JANUARY, 1839.

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My

time at a very low ebb. Mr. instances attended with a saving
Simeon has himself stated, that he effect.
was not aware, at the time he was On Trinity Sunday (says Mr.
an under-graduate, of one gowns- Venn) was ordained, Mr. Simeon,
man who entertained the same Fellow of King's College. Before
views. He was however at length that day he never was in company
favoured with an interview with with an earnest Christian. Soon
the Rev. Mr. Atkinson, then the after, he was visited by Mr. H.
Minister of St. Edward's, in Cam-Jowett and my son, and two or three
bridge, from whose advice and more. In less than seventeen Sun-
instruction he derived considerable days, by preaching for Mr. Atkin-
benefit.

son, in a church at Cambridge, he There were indeed at that time filled it with hearers, a thing unfar more pious and devoted men in known there for near a century. He Cambridge, than was generally has been over to see me six times supposed. “Think what a sight, ' within the last three months. He says Mr. Venn in a letter dated is calculated for great usefulness, Jan. 1779, “I enjoyed at Cam- and is full of faith and love. bridge the week before Christmas. soul is always the better for his Eleven

young men sat with great visits. O to fame, as he does, attention to hear me converse with with zeal, and yet be beautified them about the things of God. I with meekness ! The day he was like them much, because they go a substitute for Mr. Atkinson, he on slowly, and most of them study began to visit the parishioners from very hard. Religion was never house to house. 'Full of philandesigned to be a cloke for idleness throphy was his address. I am and ignorance.' How would Mr. come to inquire after your welVenn rejoice to witness the numer- fare: are you happy ?' His evious attendance on the public ordi- dent regard for their good, disnances and the private assemblies armed them of their bitterness, and which now abound in the Univer- it is amazing what success he has sity !

met with.' In this solitary and retired path, But a still more important field Mr. Simeon was gradually form- was immediately after opened by ing for extensive usefulness. The his being presented to the church scholars of King's College succeed of the Holy Trinity in Cambridge, in due course to their Fellowships, in Nov. 1782, where he first and soon after his degree, Mr. preached on Jan. 4, 1783, and Simeon was ordained deacon at continued his ministrations till Ely, May 26, 1782.

Sept. 1836. From the first moMr. Simeon was no sooner or- ment of his entrance on the minisdained than be entered heartily on try, he determined to know nothing the work of the ministry, and took but Jesus Christ and him crucified. charge of the Church of St. Ed- • In adopting this resolution, ward's, for the long vacation. This says Dr. Dealtry in his funeral serchurch which had before been very mon,' it may be said, I believe with scantily attended, was immediately the strictest regard to truth, that thronged, to the no small annoy- he stood unsupported and alone. ance of the clerk and the leading Others have generally some kind parishioners. A considerable im- religious friend to whom they can pression appears to have been repair in their perplexities : some at once produced on the minds Christian minister, who will take of some of the hearers, and there them by the hand and suggest, as is every reason to conclude that

occasion may require, consolation, Mr. S.'s early labours were in many and encouragement, and hope ; who

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will shew the vanity of what is to this respect, or to apply to him be renounced, the value of what is literally the words of St. Paul, I to be gained, the wisdom of not would ask those who are best achalting between two opinions; and quainted with the facts, whether the force and attractiveness of such he might not in a qualified sense counsel and such sympathy, who have, with much propriety, adoptcan appreciate too highly? But ed that touching language, “ No these advantages he possessed not ; man stood by me: all men forsook and it was with surprise and de- me?And if in a country village light that be found at a later it is not always easy to bear up period a few young men whose against reproach, what must have views and characters thus far cor- been the fortitude which could responded with his own, that they enable him to set bis“ face like a had determined to serve the Lord. Aint;” and to determine, if necesIt scarcely needs to be added that sary for the faithful discharge of

they spake often one to ano- bis high office, to stand in the ther:"that henceforth “ they took name of bis Divine Master, persweet counsel together, and walked haps upon the world's bighest to the house of God as friends." stage, and there to abide the con

• In fulfilling these high duties, sequences ?' he was at all times most desirous : Were I called upon' says to assign to every subject the exact Archdeacon Hodson, 'to express place and prominence which it in a few words my own view of occupied in the inspired writings : the spirit which animated your and hence, instead of indulging late excellent minister, I should that attachment to system, which answer in the words of St. Paul to has sometimes induced even emi- Timothy, God gave not unto nent and good men to avoid preach- him the spirit of fear, but of power, ing on certain passages of Scrip- and of love, and of a sound mind.' ture, or at any rate to press them (1) He was singularly exempt into accordance with their views, from a spirit of fear-I mean, of it was his rule to follow out in course, " that fear which hath each case, so far as he was able, torment; or, as St. Paul exthe mind of the Spirit.'

presses it elsewhere," a spirit of The larger part of my hearers bondage unto fear.” His views of can form but little idea of the the freeness and fulness of Divine difficulties which he had to sur- grace, as manifested in the Gospel mount in the earlier days of his of Christ, filled his soul with an ministry. Would it be believed, unusual measure of filial confidence for instance, if we had not living in God. The light of God's counwitnesses to the fact, that young tenance seemed to shine upon him students who felt the value of his with scarcely the shadow of an ministrations,

sometimes intervening cloud. Indeed he has known to congregate in a body, often been heard to say, that from lest if coming alone to this place, the time he learned the true ground they should meet with insult by of acceptance and justification, he the way? Would it be believed, bad not a doubt of bis own salvathat within these sacred walls, dis- tion; and this humble assurance orders more than once occurred, continued, without, I believe, any which it required the greatest sensible interruption to the end of vigour and most determined resolu- his life. I say emphatically this tion to repress? The fashion, and humble assurance; for no man was feelings, and manners of the times ever farther from a presumptuous were against him; and without confidence, or entertained deeper meaning to exaggerate his trials in views of his own personal unwor

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thiness. Indeed I should

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ture in his character. An instance that one of the most remarkable of this, and of the effect produced peculiarities in his religious charac- by it, recalled a few hours ago to ter, was the union of deep and my recollection, I cannot but here habitual self-abasement with abid- mention. Several years ago, when, ing “ joy and peace in believing." I am sorry to say, it was

too com(2.) • It may, I think, with mon to treat him with public distruth be said that his was a power- respect, a young student insulted ful ministry ; powerful, not from him by making a disturbance in originality of thought, or grasp of

the church. Mr. Simeon sent for intellect, or depth of reasoning, him the next day, and insisted on or variety of illustration, or copi- his making reparation as public as ousness and strength of diction, - his offence had been ; telling him, in these, as in some other particu- that if he refused, expulsion from lars, he may have had many the University must be the altersuperiors;- but from his awaken- native. The young man, after ing appeals to the conscience, his some hesitation, complied, and the clear and convincing elucidations following Sunday read an apology, of Divine truth, his method of dictated by Mr. Simeon, in the illustrating one part of the word presence of the congregation. This of God by other parts, and of being done, Mr. Simeon took him bringing every part of Scripture into his vestry, and in the kindest in its turn to bear upon the varying manner expostulated with him, character, circumstances, and con- wept over him, prayed for him. ditions of men.

His sermons, like The youth was overcome by his bis religious conversations in pri- affectionate earnestness,—his hard vate, were remarkably full of heart melted on rejoining his Scripture. His great aim was to gay companions, who were assempresent the mind of the Spirit bled outside the church deterclearly and fully before the view mined to avenge their 'associate's of his hearers : and hence, I think, injury on the minister, he declared it was that his discourses were so that he should consider josult offorcible. The sword of the Spirit fered bim as done to himself ; in his hand came home powerfully broke off his wicked connections to the heart; not so much from and pursuits, and afterwards bethe strength of the arm which came, as I am told, an exemplary wielded it, as from its being ex- and devoted clergyman. I have hibited in its own native strength

heard at different times, many

similar instances of his tender com(3.) • That his whole soul was passion towards transgressors. possessed with the spirit of love, (4.). • But may 1, with equal who needs to be reminded that truth, assert that his was the ever saw his face radiant with be- spirit of a sound mind ?

His nignity, or bathed in tears, or public course as a minister, and his hed his voice melting in tender- private conduct as a man, were ness, as he warned, exhorted, ex- remarkably free from enthusiasm, postulated, comforted; beseeching properly so called. Even when he sinners to be reconciled to God, commenced his ministerial labours, calling back wanderers to the fold he shewed a self-denying consideof Christ, cheering the drooping ration for the prejudices of his penitent, and urging the irresolute, hearers, and an anxiety to avoid timid Christian, by the mercies of unnecessary offence, which might God, to present himself a living have been little expected from one sacrifice to the Lord.--Tenderness of his age and temperament. I of spirit was a distinguishing fea- have been told, that for some time

and energy

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