Page images
[ocr errors]

the word was sent with power to my soul;

then I was brought to know the way of salvation, which I was entirely ignorant of before." - She now walks humbly with God; and in a late severe affliction, appeared to be resigned to her Heavenly Father's will. — This instance of the Lord's goodness encourages me to

cast my

bread on the waters, hoping to find it after many days.”

Mr. Newell soon lived down prejudice, his labours were blessed, and he was much beloved by his parishioners. He preached often thrice on the Lord's Day; and in the week, visited and conversed with the poor of the flock who would receive him; and found his work his wages. This stipend was small, because he hated contention ; -and vicarial tythes are a wretched provision in general: to take then in kind, is as offensive as difficult; and the composition for them, where it is known that a quiet and good inan will enter with great reluctance into any claim that may be litigated, is too frequently below

His income for several years scarcely exceeded 801. till the same kind friend who gave bin Missenden, having procured for hiin the adjacent perpetual curacy of Lee, about 401. addition was made to it'; but hardly earned, by a ride or walk of six or eight iniles every Sunday, and the necessary parochial calls of duty ; - yet he felt his sphere of usefuinessenlarged; and his preaching, and that of his brethren who occasionally assisted him, was there blessed. The service, which had been irregular, and often not once a month, he performed every Lord's Day; and sometimes in the week there was a lecture preached. A numerous congregation assenbled, where hardly half a score had used to attend; and the gospel word ran and was glorifier, in the conversion and edification of several who had never known the truth as it is in Jesus.

As he had to read prayers and preach three times a day, and winter and suinmer to travel to Lee and back again, with other occasional services on the Lord's Day, and his weekly lecture and parochial duties, his health began to suffer. Being invited to preach before the London Missionary Society, at their annual ineering, he felt himself honoured by their choice; and highly approving the institution, he set himself to compose for the occasion with some anxiety, from his great modesty and diffidence, though he executed the task with high appróbation; and, as it is his only publication, it affords a pleasing specimen of his ministerial gifts and abilities. He came to town unwell, having been previously afflicted with a sore throat and fever: and his work and engagements among friends being attended with much fatigue, and difering from the uniform tenor of his usual life, tended to increase his indisposition, which rapidly advancing on his return to Missenden, he committed himself to the Great Shepherd and Bishop of Souls, who soon dismissed him froin the burdens of the flesh, to reAs Mr. Newell had no property but what arose from his living, he left a widow in a state of pregnancy, with three children, wholly unprovided for, - except that his patron, unknown to him, had, by insuring his life, secured a small an- nuity for Mrs. Newell. Soon after this painful event, 11r. Oldham also opened a subscription for the fainily; and the Lord opening the hearts of the Religious Public, a farther encouragement was given to rely on this promise," Letiny fatherless children trust in me." We understand, between 14 and 15001. was collected; and there is every reasonable ground 20 hope, that they will be provided for in future life. The religious public have, in many cases, nobly distinguished their liber. ality towards the evangelical laborious ministers, isho have left their orphan families with their great and gracious Master. They have not been forsaken, nor their children begging bread.

wir. Newell died in the prime of life, aged forty-seven. Uniforın in sentiment from the beginning of his ministry, and determined to know nothing but Jesus Christ, and him crucified, be, for twenty-three or twenty-four years, was not ashamed of that gospel he had proyed to be the power of God unto salva' tion. He entered into the ministry with clear views of evangelical truth, which he had carly imbibed, and confirmed at Trevecka. He preached the doctrine of the Church of England, according to the conscientious subscription he had made to them. He held them in their literal and grammatical sense, the sense commonly called Calvinistic; which, however, some dignified writers now affect to disclaim as heretical, and substitute an Arminian, or Pelagian, or any interpretation but the real. The Articles still stand unchanged, to contront and con fannd every wilful perversion of their sense and meaning: and the Great Shepherd and Bishop of Souls, who seeih and judgeth, will shortly give to every inan according to his works.

His labours and life adorned the doctrine of God our Saviour, which he preached; and confounded the futile and absurd charges of preaching faith without works. Look at the men and their conversation. Is there among the hundreds of ministers who hold the articles in the Calvinistic sense in the Church of England, an individual who is not as distinguished by the zeal and exemplariness of his conduct, as by the truth and purity of the word he preaches? When will men learn to weigh the characters of men in the balance of the sanctuary? How long refuse to admit the gkring evidence of that excel

lence before them, and imitate it themselves? Wil they for , ever turn, like Satan, from the sun, because they hate his beams?

In every relation of life, our brother was a pattern of good works, not only in doctrine, shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, — but as a husband, a father, a master, a friend, holding forth an example worthy of imitation. Ilis spirit was singularly gentle: he carefully avoided all grounds of dise? pute and controversy, chose rather to swler many wants than even clain the full rights of his vicarage; and, under many unkindnesses and opposition to his labours of love, in meekness and patience he bore with, and often overcame his adversaries,

Modest worth, like the flower which blows in the wilderness unnoticed and unknown, is in this world often lefi to labour in obscurity, and to find no biographer; but in the day of God, the noblest characters held forth for the admiration of men and angels, will not be the inen who have filled earth with their fame, or seized on the bigh places of honour and preferments: in that day, those only will be great whom the Eternal King is pleased to honour; and the enemies of Christ and his gospel will be cast down lower in shame and everlasting contempt than they have been exalted in power and walked in pride.- Child of God, minister of Christ, be thou a follower of those who, through faith and patience, inherit the promises. Our judginent is with the Lord, and our work with our God. To the righteous there is a sure reward. “ Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life." Amen,

[blocks in formation]

These words constitute the reply which Moses, the man of God, was commanded to mike to the children of Israel, under circumstances the most unpromising, and in a situation the most perilous. A formidable host pursued them, the fathomless deep was before them, and inevitable destruction, apparently, awaited them; yet, under all this accumulated distress, the special mandate of Jehovalı, by the mouth of his servant Moses, was to tell the children of Israel that they “Go forward."

As the history of the ancient Israelites, in their emancipation from Egyptian bondage, their travels through an inhospitable desert, their conficts with hostile foes, their miraculous supplies, and deliverances, - bear a striking analogy with the dispensation of God towards his church in all ages, I have taken the liberty to adopt the words of the text, as a motto for the new year * ; hoping it may tend to “strengthen the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees," of the household of faith, under the variety of necessary trials and temptations to which they are divinely appointed.

The principal ground of a believer’s encouragement to “ forward,” then, is, first, To recollect that the government of all


This paper came to hand for insertion in our Magazine for January,

things relative to his spiritual and temporal concerns, is on the shoulders of our adorable “ Immanuel;" and, in proportion as he cnables them to live in a continual dependence on his unerring wisdom, inmutable love, and omnipotent power, they have ever found, that he has managed for them infinitely better than they could for themselves. They can “call to reinembrance days that are past,” even seasons of tribulation and distress, when he appeared as a very“ prezent help in time of need." Therefore, they are warranted to conclude, with the apostle of old, that “He who has delivered, does deliver, and will yet deliver."

Secondly, “Go forward," O believers, in the strength of that promise, “ As thy day, so shall thy strength be.” Probably the Lord has appointed new trials, for the exercise of your faith in the course of this new year; respecting which it may be said, as Joshua to the Israelites, “ You have not passed this way before;" even then, you are not to despond, but daily to cast "all your care upon him, believing that he careth for you," trusting that he will both support you under them, and deliver you out of thein, in his own best time; therefore, dear Christians, “ Be careful (anxiously) for nothing; but by prayer and supplications, with thanksgiving, make your requests known unto God;" and you will find by happy experience, that “ No temptation befalls you but what is cominon to man; and he will, with the temptation, make a way for your escape.”

Lastly, Allow me to exhort you to“ go forward,” in the daily prospect of death and dissolution. No doubt many who set out this new year, will be arrested by this “last enemy" before the termination of it, and consigned to the silent tomh. Be it so: Believers, if living as such, are learning the holy art of “dying daily.” They are praying to be crucified to the world, and the world unto them, and to have their affections more set upon things that are above; and though inany may be “in bondage all their lifetime thro' the fear of death,” yet they have no just cause for fear; because their adorable Jesus, by dying, has“ destroyed him who has the power of death," and iendered it a safe passage to all that are, a found in him.” Therefore, O Cluistians! live more in constant dependence upon him, in humble prayer unto him, and in holy fellowship with nim; thus shall you be secure from all the storins of this tempestuous world, and whatever commotions take place in the nation, whatever revolutions in the state, whatever disturbances in the church, or bereavements in your families, you will, like Noahı in the ark, outride them all, and be safely conducted to the peaceful harbour of everlasting rest. Then will

Then will you experience what the poet so elegantly describes,

“ There shall I bathe my weary soul «In seas of heav'nly rest;

" And not a wave of trouble roll "Across my peaceful breast."

[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

We have all our respective trials in the world, without doubt, exactly suited to the case of each; for “ God teinpers the wind to the shorn lamb.”

That the present is a time of trial, all will readily admit. Many experience great relief at such a time,i in stating their case; by this means, giving vent to their feelings, often obtain unexpected advice and assistance; and, at the same time, are convinced that no. temptations befall them, but such as are common to man, by comparing notes with others, whose circumstances they had supposed to be very different froin their own. Waving farther preface, I am about, Sir, to describe my case, in hopes that, by your means, I may obtain assistance and advice. I will not trespass much on your valuable time or room.

In a situation to which, I am satisfied, the unerring hand of Providence has directed; surrounded with a multitude of mercies ; – having an amiable wife (like-minded with myself) with children, and servants, and food and raiinent, and friends ; to which, I hope I may add,“ All this, and Christ too. - It is my prevailing desire to enjoy all in God, and God in all; - to be thankful for comforts, - to be benefitted by crosses (which I would not be without); – to acknowledge all from a Father's hand, blessings in disguise, as well as gifts of his providence. I have no wish for alteration, but in submission to his will, and influenced by his Spirit.

In such a situation I have one difficulty, one trouble, peculiar to the place we live in, which often presses : - nothing less than London Air. - I would first premise, neither i, nor mine, have ever yet felt real inconvenience from it, to the best of my knowledge and belief; and if some kind friends we are honoured with, were content to enjoy its opposite, country air, without perpetually praising the latter at the expence of the former, might still have suffered nothing from it, or from the fear of it. I must observe, however, by the way, nobody values friendship more bighly than I do; and the few drawbacks attached to the possession, am willing to take along with it.

London Air! the improbability of its agreeing with my wife and children. This is the mighty mischief from which I suffer. You, perhaps, reside beyond the limits of the metropolis; and your friends are not afraid of its heavy atmosphere. You will hårdly feel for my complaint, But I proceed:

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »