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CHRIST CRUCIFIED. Enough, enough! thy babbling verse
No more, vain Muse, prolong; Henceforth with harp and lute rehearse A nobler, holier song;
To Heav'n let loud Hosannas ring,
And, wrapt in Heav'n's mysterious laws,
Mercy of mercies! Son by Sire
And death by death discomfited!
These would I sing but groan and shriek Of vengeance and of pain,
On Calvary's mount a story speak,
The slayer and the slain: Above the hill, look, high in air, — Hang there not three in torment there? And one the midst (nor anger He Alone, nor terror shows), Outstretch'd upon th' accursed tree, His forehead meekly bows; His bleeding hands and ankles view, With nails of iron broken through. Vain, wretched man! behold, and wake!. With shame repentance blend; Thy cheek and breast, for sorrow's sake, Thy hair and garment rend;
Beat thy hard heart, and learn the bliss
He drench'd in blood for thee.
BIGOTRY OVERRULED TO CIRCULATE THE BIBLE AT AN ENEMY'S EXPENSE.
In the year 1527, when good Mr. Tindal was an exile in Germany for his religion, God put it into his heart to translate the five books of Moses, and the whole of the New Testament, into English. But having lost his papers by a shipwreck, in his passage to Hamburgh, he had his work to begin again after he had written a considerable part. However, by patient perseverance in well-doing, he surmounted every difficulty, and accomplished his great design. To some of the books transated, he added prefaces, and notes to particular chapters and verses. This publication was sent over to England, and the bishops of that day were filled with consternation and alarm, at the appearance of the word of God in the language of the people, and were determined if possible to suppress it. The Bishop of London was remarkably active in this affair. He consulted a merchant in the city of the name of Packing
ton, respecting the best means of defeating Tindal's object, and preventing the Scriptures being spread abroad and read. Packington, who is supposed to have been friendly to the Reformers, told the prelate, he thought the most likely method of securing his own design, would be to send over a sufficient sum of money to purchase the whole impression of Tindal. He did so; but the good man took care, as soon as possible, to procure another copy, one previously sold, for himself; and, with the bishop's money, he was supported, and enabled to proceed with the translation of the Bible, until he had prepared a perfect English copy of the sacred Scriptures. Hence they came over in great abundance. Sir Thomas More was then (A. D. 1532) Lord Chancellor, and having several persons before him accused of heresy, and ready for execution, he offered to compound with one of them for his life, on condition he would discover the people who maintained Tindal abroad, and enabled him to send the Bible into this country. George Constantine was the individual to whom the proposal was thus made, and when the poor man had got security for his life, he said, it was the Bishop of London: the Chancellor siniled, and observed, he believed it was so.
"AN Address to the People of Great Britain, in consequence of the Alarming Fatality of Cholera, by B. Z." (price three pence), has been sent to us, and we feel grateful to the unknown and pious author for such a publication. We trust it will be extensively read, and be a great blessing, as it is well adapted to produce edification in its readers.
Perhaps the most admirable illustration of solicitude to improve the awful visitation of our nation, is, that of some worthy Christian philanthropist sending to the Home Missionary Society, 100l. to build a small chapel at Easing Lane, Durham, for the accommodation of the poor neglected people of that neighbourhood. See the Home Missionary Magazine for April 1832.
WE have great pleasure in acknowledging with thanks, the kindness of our numerous correspondents. We are both gratiñed and encouraged by their generous and high commendations of our labours. However, we regret that our limits will not allow us to reply to each individually, nor yet to use every one of their communications. They must leave it to our discretion to insert those which appear best adapted to promote the instruction, the entertainment, and the Christian edification of our increasing readers.
To our esteemed friends we beg to reply that it is our intention to have an Index, Table of Contents, and Title to the CHRISTIAN'S PENNY MAGAZINE, to bind up in a volume at the end of the year.
We have received copies of the following works:Christian Philosopher, by William Martin.
The Messiah, by Montgomery.
The Pillar of Divine Truth, by the Editor of the Comprehen
Poems, chiefly Devotional, by Jacques.
Cultivation of the Infant Mind, by J. R. Brown.
London: Printed and Published by C. WOOD AND SON, Poppin's Court, Fleet Street; to whom all Communications for the Editor (post paid). should be addressed.
Hawkers and Dealers supplied on Wholesale Terms, in London, by Sreill, Paternoster Row, and BERGER, Holywell Street, Strand; in Bristol, by WESTLEY and Co.; in Manchester, by ELLERBY; in Macclesfield, by WRIGHT; in Nottingham, by WRIGHT; and by all Booksellers and Newsmen in the United Kingdom; of whom may be had any of the previons Parts or Numbers.
THE REV. GEORGE WHITFIELD, M. A. "WHITFIELD'S TABERNACLE," of which we give a representation, leads us to give a short biography of its devoted founder. Whitfield was certainly one of the most extraordinary men of the eighteenth century; and his name, with that of his distinguished friend, the Rev. John Wesley, will be handed down to the latest generations, as one of the worthiest and most eminent benefactors of mankind.
Mr. Whitfield's father was a wine merchant, at Bristol, and afterwards an innkeeper in the city of Gloucester, where George, his youngest of six sons, was born in 1714. At two years of age his father died, and his education was somewhat neglected: but between the age of twelve and fifteen he made considerable proficiency in the Latin classics at the public grammar school. His mother's circumstances not being affluent, George assisted her in the business, for about two years; but the prevailing bent of his genius beginning to develop itself, in unusual devotional studies and the composition of sermons, one of which he dedicated to his eldest brother at Bristol, measures were taken for his education for the church.
At the age of eighteen, Whitfield entered Pembroke College, Oxford, where he distinguished himself by his VOL. I.
excessive austerities and habits of devotion, and found in Mr. Charles Wesley a most kind and sympathizing friend. Two years after, in 1734, he joined the little band of pious men (Mr. Charles Wesley, Mr. James Hervey, Mr. Morgan, and Mr. Kirkham), who associated with Mr. John Wesley for the study of the Greek Testament, and the mutual advancement of their personal religion; and thus originated the Methodists in England.
Deeply affected with the prevailing ignorance and impiety, they began their career in the city of Oxford, seeking all opportunities for diffusing religious knowledge among the poor, and the wretched inmates of the prisons.
His father dying in 1735, Mr. John Wesley was induced to accompany General Oglethorpe to the new colony of Georgia, in North America, as chaplain, and in the hope of preaching the Gospel to the Indians. Whitfield returned to his native city, Gloucester, where he was successful in the conversion of several young men, who united with him in pious exercises. He made frequent visits to the county goal, in which he read and prayed every day with the prisoners. His fame for piety and zeal reached the ears of Dr. Benson, Bishop of Gloucester, who sent for the young Methodist, declaring, that he should think it his duty to ordain him, when he chose to make the request, though he
was only twenty-one years of age and after having examined the articles of the church of England, and studied with prayer the Epistles to Timothy, he made application to the bishop, and was ordained deacon, June 30, 1736. The following Sunday he preached his first sermon, "On the Necessity and Benefits of Religious Society," in the church of Gloucester, in which he had been baptized.
"Curiosity," says Whitfield, "drew a large congregation together. The sight, at first, a little awed me. But I was comforted with a heart-sense of the Divine presence, and soon found the advantage of public speaking when a boy at school, and of exhorting and teaching the prisoners, and the poor people at their private houses, whilst at the university. By these means I was kept from being daunted. As I proceeded, I perceived the fire kindled, till at last, though so young, and amidat a crowd of those who knew me in my childish days, I trust I was enabled to speak with some degree of authority. Some few mocked, but most for the present seemed struck; and I have since heard, that a complaint was inade to the bishop, that I drove fifteen mad the first sermon. The worthy prelate wished the madness might not be forgotten before the next Sunday."
Bishop Benson offered him a curacy: but he preferred returning to Oxford that he might prosecute his studies. Soon after he accepted an invitation to officiate at the chapel in the Tower of London, and preached his first sermon in the metropolis in August 1736, at Bishopsgate church, to a deeply affected congregation. He continued two months at the Tower, where he took great pains with the soldiers, and several young men who attended his sermons.
Letters, at this time, from the Wesleys, made him desirous of visiting America, and Mr. C. Wesley coming to England, to procure more labourers, Whitfield agreed to go; for which he waited on General Oglethorpe, who had returned to London. He did not embark till December 1737; but in the twelve months intervening, he preached in Bristol, Bath, Gloucester, and London, being invited by the committees of various charities, on account of his popularity. The subjects of his discourses were the essential doctrines of vital Christianity; and such were his natural powers of oratory, sanctified by a pious earnestness of manner, that multitudes were drawn to hear him The churches were crowded to excess, and thousands were unable to gain admittance. He generally preached nine times every week; and, early on Sunday mornings, the people were seen to be flocking to the churches, with lanterns in their hands, and conversing on the blessings of eternal salvation.
Mr. John Wesley returned to England, where he was informed that Whitfield had set sail for Georgia: he was well received by the magistrates, officers, and people; but he found the new colony in the most miserable condition. Besides religious visiting, he generally preached twice a day, and four times on the Lord's day; and, for the benefit of the Georgians, he projected, and ultimately completed, an Orphan Asylum, similar to that surprising monument of the charity of Professor Frank, in Germany. 1 was really happy," says he, "in my little foreign cure, and could have cheerfully remained among them, had I not been obliged to return to England to receive priest's orders, and to make a beginning towards laying a foundation to the Orphan House."
Whitfield arrived in London, December 8, 1738, where he again enjoyed the society of his friend Mr. Wesley, and they began to form religious societies in different parts of London; the principal place of meeting being in a large room which they had hired in Fetter Lane.
In January, 1739, he received priest's orders from his good friend, Bishop Benson. He complied with invitations to preach in London, Oxford, and Bristol; by which thousands were awakened to a sense of religion: but the churches were not sufficient to contain the crowds that followed him.
On account of his preaching the necessity of spiritual regeneration, the pulpits, in many places, were refused to him by the clergy; and at Bristol he determined, after much reflection and prayer, to commence preaching in the open air. This practice he began among the rude and ignorant colliers at Kingswood, near Bristol, of whom he writes, "Having no righteousness of their own to renounce, they were glad to hear of a Jesus who was a friend of publicans and sinners, and came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance! The first discovery of their being affected was, to see the white gutters made by their tears, which plentifully fell down their black cheeks, as they came out of their coal pits. The change was visible to all, though numbers chose to impute it to any thing rather than the finger of God."
Besides the colliers, and thousands from the neigh. bouring villages, persons of all ranks flocked daily to hear him, out of Bristol; and he was soon invited to preach by some of the more respectable, in a large bowling-green, in the city itself. Such success attending his labours in field-preaching, he wrote to Mr. Wesley, who had never been at Bristol; and as he, as well as Mr. Whitfield, had been refused the use of churches, he followed the practice of his younger friend, having the sauction of our Saviour's example, in calling sinners to repentance both in highways and in the fields.
Whitfield left Mr. Wesley full of labours at Bristol, and visited many of the principal towns in the kingdom, collecting for his Orphan House in Georgia. In Wales, he encouraged the zealous Howel Harris, under whose ministry the power of religion was reviving. Being unable to obtain the use of churches in London, he ventured, on Sunday, to preach in Moorfields. Though threatened by the mob, a Divine blessing evidently attended these labours; and the same evening he preached on Kennington Common, to a multitude. For several months, Moorfields, Kennington Common, and Blackheath, were the chief scenes of his powerful ministry, and his auditors often consisted of twenty thousand persons. It is said their singing could be heard two iniles off, and the voice of the preacher at the distance of a mile.
The building of a school having been commenced at Bristol, Mr. Whitfield visited that city, and put Mr. Wesley in full possession of the property; then introduced him at Gloucester as a field preacher, and embarked a second time for America, in August, 1739. In that country he was received with a cordial welcome by many of the ministers, and by thousands of the people, who expressed their delight to see Puritanism revived by a minister of the church of England; and Mr. Whitfield found himself at home among these descendants of the persecuted English Puritans, to whom his ministry was blessed in an extraordinary manner. Two years after he returned to England, for the purpose of making further collections for his great work in Georgia: "but," says he, "what a trying scene appeared here! During my journey through America, I had written two well-meant, though injudicious, letters against England's two great favourites, "The Whole Duty of Man,' and 'Archbishop Tillotson,' who, I said, knew no more of religion than Mohammed. Mr. John Wesley had been prevailed on to preach and print in favour of perfection and universal redemption, and very strongly against election, a doctrine which I thought, and do now believe, was taught me of God,
therefore could not possibly recede from. I had written an answer, which, though revised and much approved by some judicious divines, I think had some too strong expressions about absolute reprobation, which the apostle leaves rather to be inferred than expressed."
Mr. John Wesley had become opposed to the doctrine of election, as taught in the seventeenth article of the church; and the use made of the writings of Mr. Whitfield was to inflame the societies against him, as one who had dreadfully fallen. He says, "Ten thousand times would I rather have died than part with my old friends. It would have melted any heart to have seen Mr. Charles Wesley and me weeping after prayer, that, if possible, the breach might be prevented. Once I preached in the Foundery (a place which Mr. John Wesley had procured in my absence) on Gal. iii, but no more." Preaching in Moorfields, he writes, "I had the mortification of seeing numbers of my spiritual children, who, but a twelvemonth ago, would have plucked out their eyes for me, running by me whilst preaching, disdaining so much as to look at me, and some of them putting their fingers in their ears, that they might not hear one word I said. The like scene opened at Bristol, where I was denied preaching in the house I had founded: busy-bodies, on both sides, blew up the coals. A breach ensued; but as both differed in judgment, and not in affection, and aimed at the glory of our common Lord, though we hearkened too much to tale-bearers on both sides, we were kept from anathematizing each other, and went on in our several ways, being agreed in one point, endeavouring to convert souls to the blessed Redeemer." Thus these two distinguished men separated in their operations, and became the leaders of the two branches of the methodist body the Calvinist, and Arminian.
They both held the grand and essential peculiarities of the Gospel, by which a sinner is pardoned, sanctified, and saved; each embracing the all-sufficient atonement of the incarnate Son of God, and the regenerating, purifying influence of the Holy Spirit; but Mr. Wesley rejected the doctrine of Predestination and Election, as stated in Article xvII of the church of England; while Mr. Whitfield became more fully confirmed in its truth. The question of general and particular redemption thus occasioned a difference of sentiment, and for a short time a shyness between them: but they kept up an epistolary correspondence, and lived and died united in heart. This will appear partly by a clause in Mr. Whitfield's will, in which he says, "I leave a mourning ring to my honoured and dear friends, and disinterested fellow-labourers, the Rev. John and Charles Wesley, in token of my indissoluble union with them in heart and affection, notwithstanding our difference in judgment about some particular points of doctrine."
Mr. Whitfield, having been excluded from Mr. Wesley's connection, and generally from the pulpits of the established church, was necessitated to seek other places, in which to prosecute his zealous labours. Mr. Cennick, with others of the first Methodists, being of Mr. Whitfield's sentiments, joined with him at Bristol, and assisted him to build another preaching house at Kingswood, among the numerous colliers. Here, and at several other places, they preached to very large congregations. Being ordered to attend the House of Commons, to give information concerning the state of Georgia, the Speaker received him courteously, and assured him that there would be no persecution in the reign of George the Second. Thus encouraged, he pursued his plans with ardent zeal; and his friends procuring a piece of ground in Moorfields, London, a
large shed was erected as a temporary shelter from the weather, and called "The Tabernacle." Mr. Whitfield, at first, disliked the site of his new temple, on account of its vicinity to the Foundery, the preaching house of Mr. Wesley (where the " City Road Chapel" now stands), which gave it the appearance of opposition. But upon this occasion he remarks, All was wonderfully overruled for good, and for the furtherance of the Gospel. A fresh awakening immediately began. Congregations grew exceedingly large; and, at the people's desire, 1 sent (necessity reconciling me more and more to lay-preaching) for Messrs. Cennick, Harris, Seagrove, Humphries, and several others, to assist." New scenes of usefulness opened to him daily; and numerous invitations being sent to him from different places, he was enabled to visit them, leaving his lay assistants to preach among his settled congregations. He continued his practice of field preaching, not only through all parts of England, but in Wales, Scotland, and Ireland; and his ministry was crowned with extraordinary success.
In the year 1748, Mr. Whitfield was introduced to the acquaintance of the Countess of Huntingdon, in whom he found an intelligent, pious, faithful, and generous coadjutor, and he became one of her ladyship's chaplains. In 1753 he opened his new TABERNACLE in Moorfields, London, represented in our engraving, a building capable of holding about four thousand persons: and in the same year he opened the Tabernacle at Bristol; two years after, another at Norwich; and in 1756, his new chapel in Tottenham Court Road, still larger than that in Moorfields.
But to follow this apostolic servant of Jesus Christ through all his extensive travels, and to describe his wonderful successes, in turning sinners to God, would require volumes. In the course of his ministry, which included thirty-four years and a quarter, Mr. Whitfield crossed the Atlantic Ocean thirteen times, and preached EIGHTEEN THOUSAND SERMONS, which was something more than five hundred a year! His usefulness in the conversion of sinners to God corresponded with his indefatigable labours. Mr. Whitfield died in America, September 30, 1770, at Newbury Port, near Boston.
The death of Whitfield was lamented as a great public calamity, both in England and in America; and many funeral sermons were preached and published, to improve the sorrowful event, both by the ministers of the established church and of Dissenters: among the former may be mentioned, Mr. Romaine, Mr. Venn, Mr. Newton, Mr. Madan, and Mr. Toplady; and among the latter, Dr. Trotter, Dr. Gibbons, Mr. Brewer, and others. We shall give a few extracts in our next,
ECCLESIASTICAL BIOGRAPHY. PERHAPS no subject will be thought more suitable for the " CHRISTIAN'S PENNY MAGAZINE," than a series of Ecclesiastical Biography. In this we shall be called to contemplate the most inviting illustrations of our most holy faith; and while we behold" so great a cloud of witnesses" for the truth as it is in Jesus, we shall be animated in our progress, following them who through faith and patience persevered and now inherit the promises. Every one will perceive the propriety of commencing with some brief notices of the inspired founders of the Christian church, many particulars of whom are to be found in the Holy Scriptures.
APOSTLES OF CHRIST.
1. PETER is mentioned first. Roman Catholics are accustomed to style him Saint Peter; but this is an address not agreeable to the Scripture, which gives ne
such titles to individual men, however holy. Unsanetioned by the word of God, it is to be regretted that such a style should have been adopted from the popish communion.
Very little is known of Peter the apostle, besides what is contained in the New Testament: the Roman Catholics, however, contend that he was Bishop of Rome, during twenty-five years: but we have no satisfactory evidence that Peter the apostle ever was at Rome, much less that he was bishop of that city. Probable tradition reports, that he came to Rome during the persecution raised against the Christians by Nero, and that he was apprehended and crucified. It is also said, that, remembering his shameful denial of his blessed Lord, he suffered, at his own request, with his head downwards, being unworthy to die in the manner of his Divine Master, A. D. 66. Peter wrote two inspired epistles, which we possess, bearing his name.
2. ANDREW, the apostle, brother of Peter, is said to have prosecuted his evangelical missionary labours among the Scythians, Sogdians, and Ethiopians; that he made many converts to Christ in Greece and Epirus; that he organized a Christian church at Constantinople; ordained Stachys; and that, at Petræ, a city in Achaia, Egeas the proconsul, crucified him; being provoked that Stratocles, his brother, and Maximilla, his wife, had embraced Christianity. It is said, that Maximilla ordered that his body should be embalmed, and that it was afterwards buried in the church at Constantinople, by Constantine the Great. There is to be seen at this day, in the church of St. Peter, Marseilles, a cross in the form of the letter X, enclosed in a silver shrine, pretended to be the cross on which Andrew suffered inartyrdom.
3. JAMES, the apostle, the son of Zebedee, was beheaded by Herod Agrippa, the son of Aristobulus, and grandson of Herod the Great. Acts xii. It is said, that the officer who brought James to the tribunal, observing his pious cheerfulness after his condemnation, asked forgiveness of the apostle, confessed himself a Christian, and was beheaded with him. Herod, the unprincipled tyrant, was smitten with worms by the hand of God, and he died in the most grievous torments.
4. JOHN, the apostle, was brother to James: and both of them, for their powerful eloquence, were named by their blessed Master "Boanerges,"— - Sons of Thunder. John was pre-eminently beloved by our Lord, and to his care he committed his mother. Leaving Judea before the destruction of Jerusalem, he laboured chiefly in Asia Minor, particularly at Ephesus. Churches are said to have been gathered by him in Smyrna, Pergamus, Sardis, Thyatira, Philadelphia, and Laodicea. It is related, that when at Rome, A.D. 95, he was put by order of Domitian, the emperor, into a caldron of boiling oil, in which he stood for several hours unhurt. Being taken out, he was banished to the isle of Patmos, where he wrote the Book of Revelation. Rev. i, 9. From this island he returned the next year, and resided chiefly at Ephesus, until A. D. 100; when, beloved by all, and at the advanced age of nearly a hundred years, he died in peace. Several characte ristic anecdotes are recorded concerning this venerable apostle, which we cannot omit to notice. On one of his visits to a neighbouring church, he saw a youth, whom he committed to the minister for religious education but during the apostle's banishment he absconded. On his return, the minister informed him, "He is dead: that is, he is dead to God; for he is a robber on the mountains." The aged apostle obtained a horse, engaged a guide, pursued, and found the
bandit; tenderly invited his confidence, and directed him to the fountain of mercy in Christ. The young apostate was reclaimed; and lived and died an honour to his Christian profession. He was accustomed, in his extreme age and feebleness, to be led to the church, giving them only, as an address, this short exhortation -"Love one another: little children, love one another." The inspired writings of John are those bearing his name, the Gospel, three Epistles, and the Book of the Revelation.
5. PHILIP, the apostle, we are informed, prosecuted his evangelical labours with much success, in Upper Asia, part of Scythia, and Colchis. In the latter part of his ministry he came to Hierapolis in Phrygia, a city particularly addicted to idolatry, and in which they worshipped a serpent of extraordinary magnitude. Philip, by his prayers, procured the death of this monster, and convinced many of its worshippers of the absurdity of paying divine honours to such odious reptiles; but the magistrates, votaries of Jupiter Ammon, enraged at the success of Philip, imprisoned him, ordered him to be severely scourged, and then put to death; which, some say was by hanging, others by crucifixion, A. D. 52.
6. BARTHOLOMEW, the apostle, supposed to be Nathanael, who was called by our Lord, "an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile," is said to have been apprehended with Philip. But an earthquake happening while Bartholomew was bound to the cross, he was released. He laboured in Judea, Ethiopia, Arabia, and India. For the use of his converts, it is said, he wrote out the Gospel by Matthew, which he left in India, whence he returned to the more northern and western parts of Asia. He preached the faith of Christ at last in Albania, a city upon the Caspian Sea, where his endeavours to reclaim the people from idolatry were crowned with martyrdom: he being flayed alive, and afterwards crucified by order of the governor. He endured this dreadful series of sufferings with cheerfulness and triumph, comforting his sorrowing friends, and confirming the Gentile converts to the last moment of his life, which terminated A. D. 72.
7. THOMAS, the apostle, surnamed Didymus, or the Twin, prosecuted his mission among the Persians, Medes, Hyrcanians, and Bactrians. Chrysostom says, "Thomas, who at first was the most weak and the most incredulous of all the apostles, became through the condescension of Jesus Christ to satisfy his scruples, the most fervent, powerful, and invincible of them all; and went through almost all parts of the world, and lived without fear in the midst of the most barbarous nations, performing his duty without any regard to his life. And being encouraged by a divine vision, he travelled into the Indies, to Malabar, and the country of the Brahmins, who, fearing the downfal of their rites and religion, resolved upon his death; and accordingly, when he was intent at prayer, they stoned him, wounded him with darts, and at length, one coming near, thrust him through with a lance," A.D. 73. Some say, A. D. 66.
8. MATTHEW. Of this apostle we know but little except that of his labours as an evangelist in writing the Gospel which bears his name. Yet it is related that he prosecuted his mission among the Ethiopians, the Persians, and the Parthians; and at length suffered martyrdom at Nadabbar, in Asiatic Ethiopia, being slain with a halbert, A. D. 60. He alone, of all the New Testament writers, wrote his Gospel in the Hebrew language: but lived to translate it, or to see it translated into Greek..