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[The following interesting sketch of the life and character of Dr. Ryland, we have taken the liberty to extract from the Funeral Sermon preached by the Rev. Robert Hall, at Bristol. Persuaded that all our readers would expect in our pages something more than a passing notice of that amiable and excellent man, and seeing that the portrait was already executed by so able a hånd, we were both reluctant to attempt it ourselves, and unwilling that any other should be presented to the public in our pages. This must plead our apology to the eloquent author of the sermon, for the liberty we have taken. Of the sermon itself we have spoken in the Review department.]-
Eds. DOCTOR RYLAND born, Bristol Education Society, and A. D. 1753, January 29, at War- pastor of Broadmead. How he wick, where his venerable father conducted himself in the first scene exercised his ministry for some of his labours, many living wityears; from whence he removed
nesses can attest; suffice it to say, to Northampton.
that his ministry during that period The most remarkable parti- was eminently acceptable and cular recorded in his infancy, is useful. During his residence at his early progress in the Hebrew Northampton, he was “ in labours language, which was such, that he more abundant;" far from confining read a chapter of the Hebrew Bible his ministry to a single spot, he to the celebrated Hervey, before diffused its benefits over a wide he was five years old. About his 'circle, preaching much in the surthirteenth year, he became deeply rounding villages; and though, on impressed with religious concern; his removal to Bristol, his nuand without any thing very singular merous avocations rendered his in his experience, his convictions ministerial exertions less frequent, ripened into genuine conversion, he may justly be considered, on and he was baptized on a profession the whole, as one of the most laof his faith in his fourteenth year. borious of pastors. He preached, At the request of the church he during his whole career, not less began to exercise his ministerial than eight thousand six hundred gifts in his seventeenth year; and and ninety-one sermons, and at after continuing to assist his father two hundred and eighty-six distinct for some years, he was ordained places. co-pastor with him in the year If, as a preacher, he never at1781. In this situation he re- tained the highest surimit of pomained for some time; when, on pularity, he was always heard his father's removal from North- with attention. His ministry was ampton, he became sole pastor, replete with instruction, and not until the year 1793, when he re- unfrequently accompanied with an ceived an unanimous invitation to unction which rendered it irresisthe joint offices of president of the tible. As he possessed none of NEW SERIES, No. 12.
of elocution and man- : entered into his thoughts that reliner which secure superficial ap- gion was an enemy to the innocent plause, he was always most es- pleasures and social endearments teemed by those who heard him the of human lifè, of which he enteroftenest; and his stated hearers tained a high relish, and which his rarely if ever wished to exchange constant regard to the Deity renthe voice of their pastor for that dered subservient to piety, by the of a stranger. His address was gratitude which they inspired, and such as produced an instantaneous the conviction which they deepened conviction of his sincerity. It of the divine benignity. His love displayed, even to the most super- to the Great Supreme was equally ficial observer, a mind infinitely exempt from slavish timidity and above being actuated by the lust presumptuous familiarity: it was of applause ; a spirit deeply im- an awful love, such as the beatific bued with a sense of eternal rea- vision may be supposed to inspire
, lities, and ready to pour itself where the worshippers veil their forth as a libation on the sacrifice faces in that presence in which of the faith and obedience of his they rejoice with ecstatic joy. As converts. The effect of his dis- he cherished a firm persuasion that courses, excellent as they were the attributes of the Deity ensure in themselves, was prodigiously the production of the greatest posheightened by the veneration uni- sible sum of good, in comparison versally felt for his character, and of which, the quantity of natural the just and high estimation enter- and moral evil permitted to remain tained of his piety. Piety, indeed, vanishes and disappears, his views was his distinguished characteristic, of the divine administration were which he possessed to a degree a source of unmingled joy ; while that raised him inconceivably his profound sense of the essential above the level of ordinary Chris- holiness and justice of the Supreme tians. Devotion appeared to be Ruler, kept alive those sentiments the principal element of his being: of penitence and humility, to which it was next to impossible to con- too many optimists are strangers. verse with him without perceiving“ He feared the great and terrible how entirely it pervaded his mind, name of the Lord his God.” and imparted to his whole deport- Humility was, in fact, the iment an air of purity, innocence, most remarkable feature of his and sanctity, difficult for words to character. It was depicted on express. His piety did not display his countenance, his manners, his itself in a profusion of religious language; it pervaded almost discourse, nor in frequently allu- every thing he said or did. He ding to the interior exercises of might most truly be said, in the his mind on spiritual subjects. language of Scripture, to be He was seldom known to speak “ clothed” with it. The mode in of his religious joys or sorrows : which it operated was at the uthis devotional feelings were too most remove from the shallow exdeep or too sacred to suffer them- pedients adopted by those who selves to evaporate in ordinary vainly attempt to secure the praise conversation. His religion ap- of that quality, without possesspeared in its fruits; in gentleness, ing it. It neither prompted him humility, and benevolence; in a to depreciate his talents, nor to steady, conscientious performance disclaim his virtues; to speak in of every duty; and a careful ab- debasing terms of himself, nor to stinence from every appearance of exaggerate his imperfections and evil. As little did his character failings. It taught him the rarer partake of the ascetic. It never art of forgetting himself. His
readiness to take the lowest place, into kindness and benignity. His could only be exceeded by the sensibility was exquisite. There eagerness of all who knew him to were a numerous class of subjects assign him the highest; and this to which he could rarely advert was the only competition which without tears. The bare recurthe distinctions of life ever cost rence to his mind of the great obhim. His modesty was such, jects of religion, was sufficient to that the praises he was most soli- produce a gush of tenderness ; so citous to merit he blushed to re- entirely was his heart softened, ceive ; and never appeared so dis- that it might be truly styled concerted and embarrassed, heart of flesh.” Nor was his senwhen he was necessitated to hear sibility confined to religion. his own commendations. Hence pervaded the whole system of his it will be easily inferred, that he Iife, producing a quick and powerwas completely exempt from the ful sympathy; not only with his jealousy of superior talent or re- own species, but with the whole putation; that it gave him not a circle of animated nature, the promoment's uneasiness to find him- perties of which he took great deself eclipsed, and that he was the light in investigating, and in tracardent ad:nirer and panegyrist of ing the exquisite contrivance of its the mental endowments in which benevolent Author for its preservahe was most deficient. Though tion and enjoyment. he had neglected to cultivate the The opportunities of making great powers of his imagination, and sacrifices for the good of mankind, was little distinguished for the are of rare occurrence, and he who graces of style, no one was ever remains inactive till it is in his more disposed to admire them power to confer signal benefits, or wherever they were conspicuous. yield important services, is in imThe candour and benignity of his minent danger of incurring the mind prepared him to embrace doom of the slothful servant. It every kind of intellectual supe- is the preference of duty to inclinariority, to rejoice in every display tion in the ordinary course of life, of talent, devoted to the interest it is the practice of self-denial in a of religion; and to derive exqui- thousand little instances, which site gratification from the opera- forms the truest test of character, tion of those qualities and powers, and secures the honour and the to which he made the least preten- reward of those who “ live not to sions. His enjoyment of intel- themselves.” Viewed in this life, lectual repast, was not impaired by our lamented friend presented a the consciousness of not having con- pattern of Christian virtue, rarely tributed to furnish it; and his vir- if ever surpassed. His whole life tue was thus its own reward, by was a series of acts of self-denial; enabling him to reap the harvest, his conduct appeared invariably to where he neither sowed the seed, proceed from the impulse of benenor prepared the soil.
volence and the sense of duty, and If any man ever practised the though not exempt from the errors gentleness of Jesus Christ, it was and imperfections incident to the certainly our lamented friend. present state, his “ eye was always Possessed of a temper naturally single,” his intentions always upquick and irritable, he had, by the right. If the essence of Christian aid of reason and religion, so far perfection consists in a sole and subdued that propensity, that it supreme desire to do the will of was rarely suffered to appear; and God, he probably made as near an when it did, it was a momentary approach to it, as is attainable in agitation which quickly subsided the present state, though he not
only never pretended to it, but lovely triumvirate, Fuller, Ryland . held all such pretensions in abhor- and Sutcliff, which never suffered
a moment's interruption or abateThat denomination of Christians, ment, was cemented by their comof which he was so long a distin- mon attachment to that object. guished ornament, will especially Of congenial sentiments and taste
, lay this providence to heart. Our though of very different temperahands are weakened this day; and ment and character, there was if the glory is not departed from scarce a thought which they did us, it is at least eclipsed and ob- not communicate to each other, scured. We have been visited while they united all their energies with stroke
stroke. Our in supporting the same cause; nor brightest lights have been succes- is it easy to determine whether the sively extinguished; and in vain
success of our mission is most to do we look around for a Bed- be ascribed to the vigour of Fuller, dome, a Booth, a Fuller, or a the prudence of Sutcliff, or the Ryland; names which would have piety of Ryland. Is it presumpgiven lustre to any denomination, tion to suppose, they still turn their and were long the glory of ours. attention to that object; that they Your pastor was endeared to us, bend their eyes on the plains of as one of the last links of the chain Hindostan, and sympathize with which connected the present gene- the toils of a Carey and of his assoration with the founders of the ciates, content to postpone the Baptist Mission. From the very pleasure which awaits them on beginning, he mingled his counsels his arrival, while they behold the and his prayers with that deter- steady though gradual progress of mined band, who, in the absence light, and see, at no great
distance, of all human resources, resolved to the idol temples fallen, the vedas send the Gospel to the remotest and shasters consigned to oblivion, quarter of the globe ; nor did he the cruel rights of a degrading cease to his last hour to watch superstition abhorred and abanover its progress with parental, doned, and “the kingdoms of this solicitude. The intimate friend-' world become the kingdoms of God ship which subsisted between that and of his Christ.”
ORIGINAL ESSAYS, COMMUNICATIONS, &c.
THE WELSH COTTAGER. the trenches formed for them by
the Deists. They now speak out, FORMERLY we cottagers used to and correct the divine penmen consider the disputes between the themselves. They charge the great learned, of different parties among Apostle Paul with inconclusive Christians, as terminating eventual reasoning, and his Divine Master ly in the question, Who understood with misquoting Scripture. They the Bible best? 'And in this view pretend to be wiser than inspired of the subject we had numbers of men, and exalt themselves above learned men on our side,-a Pool, the Holy Spirit. an Ainsworth, a Patrick, an Owen, nothing, though delivered by a Goodwin, a Charnock, a Baxter, mouth of inspiration, but what they a Henry, a Watts, a Guise, and a can comprehend, and what agrees Doddridge. But now, the disci- with their preconceived opinions
. ples of Socinus intrench themselves There is no submitting of the one in new ground; or rather, occupy derstanding to God, or believing