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life peculiarly active in his service, was not permitted to say much for him at death. You and I, friend Williams," said he, "may probably be mute at that season. It is usually the mourning Christian, whose mouth is opened at that period, in order to evidence his own sincerity and the faithfulness of God." Mr. Whitefield's death, it is well known, was sudden; and Mr. Williams lay for some time before his departure in a lethargic state. The grand test of character is, a man's spirit and conduct amidst the various scenes of life. It is, however, pleasant and profitable to witness the death-bed scene of a believer; and to watch his motions just before the Heavens receive him out of our sight.
For two or three years previous to his dissolution, Mr. Watson was subject to a palpitation of the heart. In one of these fits, he expected that the moment of his departure was just at hand; but he spake of that event with the dignified composure of an established and assured Christian. "Knowing in whom he had believed," he beheld the universal conqueror's approach without alarm. His last illness was long and painful; but his meekness and patience were, through divine grace, eminently conspicuous. Entire resignation to the will of God and a holy tranquillity, rather than the ecstacies of a triumphant faith, distinguished his latter end. Soon after his confinement to his room and bed, on recovering from a fainting fit, he said, " Let me alone, I shall do presently, if the Lord will; and if not, his will be done!" On another occasion, he said, "I hope, I am willing to die!" The stability of the covenant of grace, the finished work of Christ, and the promises of the everlasting gospel, were the foundation on which his soul rested for eternity. A few days before his decease, a friend, having mentioned to him some of the divine promises, adding, I hope, Sir, you feel these promises supporting your mind in the prospect of death and eternity?' he replied, with considerable earnestness, " Yes, I do; and have felt them throughout life, and that in many signal instances." At another time, after he had taken some refreshment, one of his children said, I hope now, my father will fall asleep.' He replied, "I hope, child, I shall fall asleep in Jesus!" In this calm and waiting frame he continued till Mortality was swallowed up of Life. "Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright; for the end of that man is peace!" "The righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance."- His funeral-sermon was preached by his pastor, the Rev. A. Steil, from 2 Tim. iv. 7, 8, 9.
Mr. Watson was eminently distinguished by the qualities both of the head and of the heart: the soundness of his understanding, the coolness of his temper, and his extensive knowledge of men and things, fitted him, in a high degree, to give advice in cases of a difficult nature; and few men were
more frequently consulted in such cases than be. If he had a failing in conversation, perhaps it was this, That, in the discus sion of subjects, in which he had singular address and dexterity, he has been thought sometimes to bear a little too hard upon his opponent a failing which men of great mental vigour are very apt to discover.
His integrity nothing could shake, when truth and duty were concerned; he feared the face of no man. Though too wise to despise Reputation (one of the rewards of virtue, and an important means of doing good) yet he regarded Principle and Conscience much more. In him, the sublime maxim of Seneca was strikingly illustrated: "No man," says that celebrated Pagan, "seems to estimate virtue more, no man is more devoted to it, than he who will hazard even his reputation as a good man, rather than wound his conscience."
In the various domestic relations into which he was called, he was an example of prudence, affection, and piety: his children can testify with what solemnity and tenderness he has recommended the things of God to their serious consideration; and his servants will bear witness that he sought their spiritual as well as their temporal interests.
Mr. Watson was also a public spirited man. Institutions, which had for their object the alleviation of human misery, and the happiness of mankind, especially their eternal advantage, he was ever ready to encourage.
The constitution of his country, as fixed at the glorious era of the Revolution, was the subject of his admiration and delight: he loved Liberty, but abhorred Licentiousness: he bowed to the prerogatives of Royalty, but rejoiced in the limitations which the wisdom of Britons has fixed to them.
In his religious principles he was a Protestant Dissenter; and well understood the grounds of his dissent: but he loved good men of every denomination, who maintained the truth and holiness of the gospel with a pure heart fervently. He was well acquainted with doctrinal, experimental, and practical divinity; and was ever ready to give, to every one that asked him, a reason of the hope that was in him: he considered the Calvinistic system as the best representation of revealed truth; but always spoke on points of a controversial nature with great caution and wisdom. The doctrines of the gospel were seated not only in his understanding, but in his heart he relished no kind of preaching which was not expe rimental and practical.
To conclude, he was a zealous as well as an upright and intelligent Christian: he laboured nuch to promote religion in the church to which he belonged; and rejoiced in every attempt for the propagation of the gospel abroad. May such bright examples of Christian piety be universally imitated!
ON TAKING STOCK.
My dear Friend,
A LETTER TO A FRIEND.
YOURS I received, and thank you for it. I find been very busy in taking of stock, which lay in two different places a thing very needful to be done by all tradesmen, that they may be properly informed of what their true circumstances are; and see whether they gain or lose in their business. It occurred to my mind on reading it, that it would be profitable for me and you to take account of our stock also, both in hand and in hope; which is in two distant places, viz. Earth and Heaven: but I feel myself quite unequal to the task; for I find it would not only require a deal of time to estimate its value, but, even to all eternity, I could never estimate its full amount; and figures fail to numerate the sum total. This you will easily perceive, when I only just enumerate some of the items; but before I begin, I would just observe, that looking over the debtor side of my ledger, though my debts were to an enormous amount, I find them all cancelled; and, according to the former way of book-keeping, all blotted out. An Almighty Friend has fully discharged them all; and paid the legal demand, full Os. to the pound; so that I am delivered from any just fear of bailiff, writ, or prison. I own I was myself utterly insolvent; and am not ashamed to own, it is by an act of grace and justice, both combined, that I am thus set at so happy a liberty and freedom. It was certainly grace as to me, and strict justice as to my creditors, for they were paid, by my dearest Friend, every mite of their demand; and besides all this, I am put into possession of writings legally stamped, signed, and sealed, by which so large an estate is made over to me, and of such incalculable value, that it would puzzle all the lawyers in the several Inns of Court to describe its worth. Part of it lies on this side Jordan; but the' far greater part on the other. On this side I have merely travelling expences, sufficient to defray my charges on the road home; and you know it is not a little required for that: but, however, I have to be thankful for a liberal supply; and tho' I do not keep the purse in my own hands, yet I can say, "Faithful is he that has promised." Hitherto, I have wanted no good thing; but when I look back on my entrance into the world, and the different circumstances I now an in, I am amazed: then, my dear friend, I acknowledge, with humility and shame, I first came into the world a poor polluted creature, defiled in every part; when Divine Compassion moved the Almighty Jesus to wash me thoroughly from my sins and my blood; so that from being loathsome, he made me lovely; also was naked and destitute, but he arrayed me in a glorious
robe; I was ignorant, but he undertook to communicate light to my understanding, and teach me spiritual and heavenly knowledge. Both the Universities, and all the Bench of Bishops, could not thus instruct me: I was a poor, weak, ricketty creature; but he strengthened me, and made me stand upright-I was exposed to many enemies, lions, bears, tigers, wolves, and numerous beasts of prey; but he became my sure defence; yea, what can I say, but that he supplied all my wants? And, as to temporal things, I had not a shirt to my back, nor a penny in my pocket, when I entered upon this howling waste; but now I am clothed and fed in a comfortable manner, and so have been for more than fifty years; and have not only pence, but pounds. Surely, you will say, I am under great obligations to such a bounteous benefactor: I acknowledge I am; and my chief concern is, that I cannot love him as he deserves to be loved, nor serve him as I gladly would. Besides all this, I was going to tell you of the stock I have been endeavouring to examine in this and the heavenly coun try; but I can only specify a little:
Item. The eternal God for my portion.
The righteousness, atoueinent, and unsearchable riches of Christ.
Do. The renewings, comfortings, sanctifyings, and sealings of the Holy Spirit.
A freehold mansion in Heaven, that never waxeth old,
A starry crown and golden harp.
A throne of glory.
On this side Jordan,
a precious throne of grace.
A precious Bible, the charter of all blessings.
Sweet Sabbaths, profitable divine ordinances.
A sweet variety of graces, faith, hope, love, &c.
In general, all things that ever I meet with, working
Now, you may plainly perceive, that I cannot tell you half; and as for the value, tho' it be set, not Peru's nor Mexico's mines, nor the riches of the earth in an aggregate, can bear the least proportion thereunto. As to the threatened invasion, I am more afraid of Satan's invading my heart, and robbing me of some of my spending money, than I am of Bonaparte. It is not as he will, but as my Lord will; and, I trust, their wills are very opposite indeed. However, I commit the ner to him; and, in the midst of war, feel peace!
EARLY IN THE MORNING OF FEB. 11, 1804, 1
Lift upon me the light of thy Countenance, O Lord!
THE day begins to break, the wind blows hollow from the south. How different, this day, will be the sensations of men destitute of, and men possessing, vital Christianity! Both are in expectation of an eclipse of the sun, both hoping to be gratified with the sight, and both fearing a disappointment; but the Christian is the happier man. It is true, O my soul, that there is a light more precious than the sun! If I enjoy communion with my God, I shall be pleased with a cloudy or a clear day. The light of his countenance enlightens my understanding and renews my heart. All the Lord's children are translated out of darkness into light; and as they journey heaven-ward, their path brightens, shining more and more until the perfect day; and ere they step upon the threshold of glory, possess the full assurance of the understanding. In perusing the Scriptures, O Lord, they behold wonderful things out of thy law, whilst their meditations are sweetened with delight when thy good Spirit takes up his residence in their hearts.
Communion with God strengthens my faith. Although divine revelation has sufficient evidences to prove from whence it originated, yet it requires the aid of the Holy Spirit to enable us to rely on its promises, when we most need its consolations. It must be the light of thy countenance, O Lord, which alone can gladden the soul in affliction, and enable it to say, with Job, "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him!" Memorable instance of the assurance of faith, and the assist→ ance afforded by a present, though unseen God, who gave such energy to his mind! A lively faith is, by the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, called, "Seeing him who is invisible; but if, by withdrawing the influence of his Spirit, he bideth his face, who then can behold him? Then faith languishes; but we are kept by his mighty power, through faith unto salvation, being strengthened by his Spirit in the inward man.
The light of thy countenance, O Lord, animates my hope! We must know the truth to believe it; and believe it to hope for its blessings. The assurance of the understanding is a conviction of the divine authority of revelation, with a knowledge of the truths competent for the purposes of salvation. The assurance of faith is a conviction of the truth, accompanied by obedience to its precepts and reliance on its promises, that