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"The grace and favour of Almighty God be with you and your godly congregation. Amen. My duty binding me to remember my dear friends, and our great dangers moving me to desire their help, enforce me at this present both to write unto you, and desire your most godly and effective prayers, dear brother and loving friend, Mr. Lever; for now I stand in the gap, whereas you have so earnestly talked with me. Now, therefore, help me with your prayers, and I shall think that you stand present at my back, or on my right hand. While I was in Germany, at liberty of body, having sufficient for it for the time, I was yet many times in great grief of mind and terrible torment of hell; and now here, being every moment of an hour in danger of taking, and fear of bodily death, I am in mind, the Lord be praised! most quiet and joyful, seeing the fervent zeal of so many, and such increase of our congregation, in the midst of this cruel and violent persecution. What should I say but à Domino factum est? There were seven men burned in Smithfield the 27th day of June, altogether; a fearful and cruel proclamation being made that, under pain of present death, no man should either approach nigh unto them, touch them, neither speak unto nor comfort them; yet were they so mightily spoken unto, so comfortably taken by the hands, and so godly comforted, notwithstanding that fearful proclamation and the present threatenings of the sheriff and sergeants, that the adversaries themselves were astonished. And since that time the Bishop of London, either for fear or
craft, carried seven more, or six at the least, forth of his Cole-house to Fulham, the 12th day of this month, and condemning them there the 13th day, at one of the clock at afternoon, caused them to be carried the same time to Branford, beside Sion, where they were burned in post haste the same night. This fact purchased him more hatred than any that he hath done of the common multitude. This I signify, that you, knowing our great dangers, may rather move your godly company to pray more earnestly for us."
We know but little more of Bentham. Foxe relates another instance of his singular escape from great peril, when he was compelled, while passing through St. Katherine's, to sit on a coroner's jury, upon a man found drowned. He refused to take the oath upon a papistical primer," denouncing the superstition that it contained; whereupon the coroner exclaimed, "What! I think we shall have here a heretic among us." Upon which he was committed to the custody of an officer for further exami nation. At this juncture the coroner of the Admiralty came, and disputing the jurisdiction of the other, disannulled the order calling the inquest, and through their disputation of rights Bentham escaped.
On Elizabeth's accession Bentham, as we learn from a letter of Jewel to Peter Martyr, was the only (Protestant) minister of the word in London; and in the second year of Elizabeth's reign, he was consecrated Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry. He died in 1578-one of the lesser lights of the Reformation, a bold and faithful witness for Christ.
MEMOIR OF THE REV. ROBERT PHILIP.
THE Rev. Robert Philip was born in the year 1791, at the village of Huntly, N. B. His father was an elder in the church of the Rev. G. Cowie, who was the founder and first promoter of Inde- |
pendency in the north of Scotland. The principles of this form of church government were, as a natural conse quence, early instilled into the mind of the subject of this memoir, and to these
he firmly adhered throughout the whole of his life. The careful religious education he received at the hands of his parents, and the holy example they set before him, combined with the earnestness of his own natural disposition, led to an early decision on his part to devote himself to the service of our Lord Jesus Christ; so that, although he was deprived of his father's care at the age of eleven years, the truths that had been impressed on his youthful heart continued to exert the strongest influence over him. Very shortly after the death of his father, the gifts and powers which characterised his later life began rapidly to develop themselves. In the course of a few years he left his native place for Aberdeen, where he had obtained a situation as clerk in the Grandholm works. While there, he was admitted into the church of the Rev. Dr. Philip, under whose guidance and counsel he was induced to devote himself to the work of the ministry of the gospel, and at the age of nineteen he was admitted a student of Hoxton Academy, in the year 1811. After four years' laborious and successful study in that institution, he commenced his ministerial life at Liverpool, where he was for eleven years pastor of the church over which the youthful but fervent Spencer had previously presided.
During his pastorate here, much of his time and energies were devoted to the spiritual improvement of the sailors frequenting the port of that town. A very large amount of success attended these efforts, and he gained an ascendancy over the minds and hearts of those to whose benefit they were directed, which has rarely been equalled, perhaps never surpassed. A small volume of sermons to seamen, which he published at this time, under the title of "Bethel Flag," evinces, to a striking degree, the remarkable power which he possessed of adapting his style, language, and illustration to the capacities, occupations, and habits of
While in this town his labours were
most arduous; he was accustomed to preach three times every Sabbath. His weekly engagements were numerous, and almost every moment of time that he could spare from his pastoral duties was spent in his study. Here he made himself intimately acquainted with the writings of the leading Puritan theologians, and laid the foundation of that success which, as an author, he afterwards enjoyed. On the 1st of January, 1826, he came up to London to take the pastorate of a church which had been formed under his superintendence at Maberly Chapel, Kingsland, and here the remainder of his life was spent. For the space of thirty-one years he carried on his labours here with unremitting vigour and constancy. He was seldom away from his own pulpit, rarely leaving it for any other purpose than to advocate the claims of the London Missionary Society. To this society he was always strongly attached, and energetically endeavoured to extend its operations, especially in China. The fearful results of the East Indian trade in opium with that country were a source of deep and bitter lamentation to him. He made himself master of all the arguments that could be brought to bear against this pernicious traffic, and in conjunction with his attached friend, Thos. Thompson, Esq., these arguments were made publie in a series of pamphlets and letters. He felt most keenly that England had not done her duty in China, and that her commercial relations with that country had lowered rather than raised its moral character. In reference to the introduction of opium into that country, he once, in conversation with a friend, made the deeply impressive remark, "We owed China the gospel, and we have given it instead this accursed drug."
Although while at Maberly he was indefatigable in the discharge of his pastoral duties, his pen was never idle. Among the numerous works which he then produced, a series of small volumes separately issued under the name of
Guides," obtained a very large circulation; another series, similar in plan, but addressed to a different class of readers, and published under the collective title of the "Young Man's Closet Library," was received with equal favour both in this country and in America, where both series were ably edited and prefaced with essays by the Rev. Albert Barnes, of Philadelphia. Of the manner and style of these writings little need be said, their wide circulation being sufficient proof of the high esteem in which they were held. His statements of truth were clear, terse, and vigorous; the arguments and appeals by which they were enforced were conclusive, convincing, and solemn; a spirit of deep earnestness and hightoned piety pervades them all. Many traces may be found in his writings of those peculiar features of his character which all who knew him were well acquainted with; viewed, however, apart from these occasional peculiarities, none can better stand the test of the severest criticism. On his biographical works, "The Life of Bunyan," "The Life and Times of Whitefield," "The Life of Dr. Milne of China," and others, want of space prevents any remark.
For nearly thirty years he continued sole pastor of Maberly church; but after this period his health, which had for some time been slowly giving way, began rapidly to decline, and it became necessary for him to seek some relief from the arduous duties which he was still discharging. With this end in view, the church selected a student of New College as his co-pastor, but the relief thus afforded him was insufficient to rally his fast-failing physical powers, and at the expiration of a year from that time, he mournfully but willingly resigned the remainder of his pastoral duties. His health, strength, and natural spirits now gave way before the encroachments of a premature old age, induced by the severe studies of his life, and the acute sufferings of its last years. He became familiar with sleepless nights and painful days; but he
was enabled to endure these with the fortitude and resignation that can only be displayed by him whose spirit is upborne by the hope of being speedily ushered into the presence of Christ. The last few months of his life offered a striking illustration of the strength of those consolations which they enjoy, who have fled for refuge to the hope set before them in Christ, and who are able with like faith to adopt the words of him who said, "I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day." About the middle of April in the present year, it became apparent to his beloved family and friends that the termination of his sufferings was near at hand. He was, however, able to get up, and, with some assistance, to reach his study, in which he most delighted to sit, till within fourteen days of his decease. After taking to his bed, his sufferings became so acute, and the difficulty of breathing under which he laboured, so great, that it was almost impossible for him to communicate his thoughts and feelings to those who were around him. Oftentimes his all but inarticulate utterances were intelligible only to her who had been the faithful, devoted, and loving partner of his life for nearly forty years. As his end approached, he gradually sunk into a state of unconsciousness; but ere the messenger of death— to him the messenger of life-summoned his spirit to the presence of his Lord and Master, there were given him a few moments of rest from pain, and of perfect consciousness; so that he departed hence in undisturbed peace, both of body and of mind, no sigh nor struggle marking the moment when his spirit took its flight to the mansions of his Father's house. He died early in the morning of the 1st of May, 1858, in the 67th year of his age.
And now he is gone from our midstgone from the service of preaching the Saviour to that of praising Himgone from the work and labour of earth
to the rest that remaineth for the the Lord, from henceforth; yea, saith people of God. the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours, and their works do follow them."
"Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright, for the end of that man is peace. The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth brighter and brighter unto the perfect day. I heard a voice from Heaven saying unto me: Write, blessed are the dead that die in
Who, then, will not join in the prayer, "Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his?"
IT is a mistake to suppose that deep convictions of personal unworthiness are incompatible with genuine happiness. On the contrary, he who feels that he deserves nothing but judgment is, on that very account, far more likely to appreciate mercy, than the man who fancies that he has some merit of his own, some unrecognised claim on the bounty of God. The Pharisaic impudence which places the Most High in the list of its debtors, exacting good from him, as it does homage from men, as something purchased and paid for beforehand, will not, cannot be filled with that sense of unbought benefit which invariably creates thankfulness in the soul. The beauty of "grace" is not seen until the eye is washed with tears of penitence. A man must be brought to himself before he arise and go to his father. Genuine humility is a prepared recipient of Divine benefaction. A sense of unworthiness tunes the heart to sing "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain." John tells us that no man could learn the new song but those that were redeemed from the earth, a fact as suggestive of the impossibility of making carnal minds love the gospel, as it is illustrative of the truth, that redemption by Christ issues in the joys of heaven. In a word, we must know what we are before we can desire to be what we should. It is a mistake, therefore, on the part of the world, to suppose and say, as it frequently does, that the contrite confession of utter un
worthiness is the same thing as an
All sin, sin in all its forms, must have come from "the father of lies," it so wantonly sports with truth, and makes men the victims of such disas trous delusions; and I know of none more successful in opposing the reign of Christ in human hearts than thisthat entire self-renunciation and entire
E. B. an Antinomian! Would that all the places of worship in the land were filled with such Antinomians! So far was he from being that monster caricature of common sense and Christianity, that he loathed and hated the thing as the very worst form in which the pride of self-righteousness manifests itself, which unquestionably it is. "The man who speaks of grace," he used to say, "should show in his life what grace is." And this E. B. did to a remarkable degree. Remarkably humble, he was also remarkably devout, in the true sense of that much-abused term. His gratitude to the Redeemer animated every religious service in which he engaged, led him to the sanctuary, to the Lord's table, to the prayer-meeting, to the closet, and controlled and influenced his every-day actions in his intercourse with his fellow-men. His conduct gave evidence that the fullhearted question, "What shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits toward me?" was ever present to his mind. Now this man, of whom the great fameloving, pleasure-hunting, money-getting world has never heard, and will never hear, and who has long since joined the most illustrious company in the universe, was at once humble, grateful, and happy. Joy beamed on his countenance, for it reigned in his heart; and it reigned there, because gratitude for what the God of all grace had done for him filled his soul. This is a short and comprehensive account of the matter, and it is a sufficient reply, and therefore ought to be considered a rebuke to the popular novelists of the day, who persist in copying this fault of their predecessors, if they have abandoned their grossness and profanity,—that they will make Christians the victims of perpetual melancholy, if they find it impossible to make them canting knaves or blundering simpletons.
submission to Him are synonymous with a life of bondage, whose only music is sighs, whose atmosphere is dull and cheerless, and whose passage to eternity is through the valley of the shadow of death. This imaginary life of piety is pictured in the most sombre colours by the literary artists who cater for the praise and pence of the multitude. It is described as ever panting after forbidden pleasures, and afraid to touch them, lest penal consequences follow. It is, therefore, held up to abhorrence, as something both grotesque and cruel, which the educated cannot adopt, and from which the refined and sensitive shrink back instinctively. But it is, nevertheless, a fact, ratified by the experience of a multitude that no man can number, that what the unrenewed consider gloomy bondage is joyous freedom, that what they think a restriction of liberty is its divine guarantee, and that what they deem a region of darkness is a land of evergrowing light, over which the redeemed traveller journeys to the place of which it is affirmed there shall be no night there. I could illustrate all this by many indisputable facts; but let one case stand for a thousand.
E. B. held in utter abhorrence every thing, word, or look, which seemed in the remotest degree to imply personal merit on the part of man before God. I never knew a man whose sense of the deep corruption and apostasy of human nature was greater than his. He felt daily that the salvation of a soul was from beginning to end, and in all its stages, a matter of pure unmixed grace; and so jealous was he of the honour of the Lord in relation thereto, that any utterance from the pulpit which seemed to him to overlook the absolute necessity of the constant operation of the Holy Spirit gave him intense pain. Grace, grace, grace! was his theme morning, noon, and night; and often have I heard him say, "I wonder how God ever thought of me! saving me! Oh, abounding grace!"
With the cultivation of gratitude in the heart every other grace would grow to its fair proportion in relation to the rest. Love, joy, peace would be the
An Antinomian ? suggests some one. tenants of the soul, putting forth their