Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

66

a view of inducing him to settle there, this be correct, and there is no reason which also failed ; and the building to doubt it, the venerated subject of was afterward appropriated to the wor- this memoir, venerated most by those ship of the Kirk. From these parts

who knew him best, was the first who he made a tour southward, preaching had the honour-(of course the writer by invitation, in almost every place views the subject as a Congregationwhither he came ; and on his return alist)—of attempting to reduce the princalled at Annan. The curiosity of the ciples of Independency to practice in landlady led her to open

a small North Britain. bundle, which Mr. C. had laid on one It was but a short time ere a comside, and finding a Bible, was certain modious Meeting-house” was loudly from that circumstance, in connexion called for. To this call the energetic with his appearance, that her guest and devoted pastor cheerfully rewas a minister. She frankly told him sponded ; and at an immense expense what she had done ; asked if she was of time, bodily fatigue, and mental correct in her conjecture, and in the anxiety, accomplished the object. As name of a few religious friends, re- there could be little hope of securing quested him to preach on the follow- funds adequate to the demands of such ing day—it being the Sabbath. This an undertaking in the neighbourhood was readily acceded to ; and such was of Annan, or in any other part of Scotthe reception which his ministry met land, Mr. Carnson determined upon a with, that testimonials from Ireland were visit to London. This visit he paid, applied for, touching his life, character, and collected 1801. 8s. 7d.; no mean and ministry, which being abundantly sum for a stranger to collect for so supplied, he was urged by the people distant an object in those days. From to take the oversight of them in the a paper now before the writer and Lord. Among the testimonials fur- which is one of a file recently transnished was one from the Rev. Francis mitted to him by an esteemed relation, Grey, minister of Bovavey, and another on whom the responsibility of this mefrom the Rev. Robert Steel, minister of moir according to seniority and literary Dungiven; men of considerable note and attainments, should have rested, the influence in those parts. To this invitation Rev. T. D. Carnson, of Preston, Lanhe returned a favourable answer, and cashire ;-it appears that the pastor at was soon after set apart as their pastor. Annan was scrupulously exact in all In the Evangelical Magazine, for June, his dealings, as well with bodies of 1794, is a highly interesting account of men as with individuals. that day, and of the circumstances lead- referred to is the examination, by coming to the transactions thereof. Among petent men, of the begging accounts, those engaged, we find that the Rev. regularly signed and counter-signed, Mr. Waring, then of Durham, gave the and showing that not a penny had charge, from 1 Tim. iv. 16; and the been wasted on the one hand, nor on Rev. Mr. Tissier, then of Newcastle, the other diverted from the specified addressed the people, from 1 Thess. v. and legitimate object. After a length 25. Referring to Mr. C.'s second day's of time Mr. Carnson was rendered so labours in Annan, the account saith :- uncomfortable by an individual, who, “ On that day the audience had con- so far as the account can be undersiderably increased, and were so cap- stood, wished not only to secure the tivated with his sermon, that they deeds of the chapel into his own hands, urged him to make a further stay, and but to direct and control the proceedat length to take up his abode among ings of the place, that he accepted an them, and become their pastor.” Then unanimous call to the pastorate of is added, “ We are further informed, Park-head, near Carlisle, where, while that this is the only church in Scot- on a visit to a friend, he had often land organized upon the Independent preached. Here he remained, with principles of church government.” If much comfort, for nearly ten years,

In the paper

In

preaching statedly, not only in the And we the said church do promise for chapel, but in all the regions round the present, to give you 35l. per ann., about. Previously to his settlement in with 101. to be paid by

As witthis place, he discovered, that for some ness our hands," &c. As this was all time the Socinian heresy had prevailed that the church offered him, and that in the pulpit at least. This led him to only “for the present,” he will be acdraw up in very clear and compre- quitted of the charge of seeking a great hensive terms, his confession of faith, things for himself.” That his removal which contained every thing essential was not occasioned by any alienation to a sinner's salvation through a cru- of the affections of his oharge, the next cified Redeemer, and every thing con- extract from another paper will show. ducive unto, and promotive of, a holy It is dated November 23, 1805 : “ We life, and close walking with God. The the undersigned, do certify and depeople received this document with clare, that the Rev. Andrew Carnson unmingled satisfaction, and from that has been our pastor upwards of nine time neither the sophistry nor the ice years, during all which time he has of Socinianism has cursed that rural laboured faithfully among us in word district.

and doctrine. We also declare, that The influence and tendency of his his leaving us at this time, is his own life and ministry were most apparent free choice, and that our original harhere, not only during his residence mony and affection are still unbroken ; among the people, but many years and that in parting with him we feel after his removal to another field of the deepest regret.

Signed,” &c. labour : and not a great length of time addition to this, we may select the folago, when the writer was making a lowing honourable testimonial from the temporary stay in Westmoreland and Rev. G. Bennet, of Carlisle, afterwards of Cumberland, he was frequently grati. Strathmiglo, whose piety and learning fied by the simple and touching allu- secured him the friendship and patronsions of many aged Christians to the age of many eminent men of the day, days of other years, when Mr. Carn- dated Carlisle, November 19, 1805 :son's preaching visits were as welcome " I do hereby certify, that I have as they were found to be refreshing. known the Rev. Andrew Carnson, some After continuing in this place nearly time settled in Park-head, Cumberland, ten years, he accepted of an invitation and from my observation can declare, to supply the united churches of Bar- that his walk and conversation have nard Castle and Cotherstone ; and been such as becometh the gospel of subsequently to remain with them for Christ : and now, being loosed from his the space of two years; why he did late charge, is every way deserving of this it would be difficult to divine. Cer- encouragement in his views as a ministainly it was not for the love of filthy ter of Christ. George Bennet,” &c. lucre ; nor was it because of the least Having, to the entire satisfaction of dissatisfaction among the people of the two congregations, fulfilled the terms Park-head. The following copies of of the primary engagement, he received documents, taken from the originals, an invitation from them to become their will testify to the truth of the above permanent pastor. This was dated Feb. assertions. The first is dated Barnard 14, 1808, and thus begins :-“We, the Castle, December 20, 1805, and is as members of the dissenting churches of follows :—“ We the undersigned, com- Cotherstone and Barnard Castle, being posing the church of Calvinistic Dis- satisfied with the life and doctrine of senters, being satisfied with the charac- you, the Rev. Andrew Carnson, colter and gifts of you, the Rev. A. Carn- league and successor to the Rev. L. son, do invite you to undertake the Prattman, do unanimously invite you charge of teaching and governing us, to continue among us, and take the the said church, according to the gos- oversight of us in the Lord,” &c. From pel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

this time Mr. Carnson laboured inces

santly in the discharge of his double any neglect of ministerial duty; of any, duties, until the Rev. W. L. Prattman even the least approach to inconsistresigned his charge in Farnham, and ency of moral conduct ; or of any one became a resident in Barnard Castle. circumstance in the whole of his public What the immediate effect of this life that need have caused himself, or change was, or what the precise na- can cause his surviving friends a moture of the arrangements made betwixt mentary blush. A great number of his the two ministers, the writer has no cor- friends now flocked more closely round rect knowledge, being then too young him, including several of the evangelito interfere with, or care about such cal clergy and laity of the episcopal matters. Suffice it to say, there was, church ; some of the most eminent of for a length of time, the appearance,

the Society of Friends, and many in his and we trust, the existence of strict own denomination, and proved the and unfeigned amity among all parties ; estimation in which he was held, by “ And walking in the fear of the Lord, contributing in a way the most delicate, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, yet efficient, to the comforts of his old they were edified.” But this state of age, and the relief of his increasing things was not permitted to continue. infirmities. Notwithstanding this unA certain party became dissatisfied ; expected trial as cruel

as it was and, as dissatisfaction without sufficient unexpected-he continued to labour reasons shows great weakness or some- with patience and diligence for several thing worse, it was incumbent that rea- years ; yet not in many respects, as he sons should first be found and then had been wont to do. In spirituality of assigned. In the finding of them there feeling, and blandness of manners, he would, of course, be little difficulty ; in greatly improved ; but it was evident stating them, no reluctance. Conse- that he was a man of broken spirits, quently, a document was drawn up, and that wounds had been inflicted containing divers grave charges, and which no power on earth ould entirely forwarded to the trustees of the York heal. That such should have been the Fund, with a view of alienating from influence of a document so concocted, Mr. C. the yearly exhibition which he and so employed, on one of keen senhad solely enjoyed since the death of sibility and high moral feeling, and on his predecessor and colleague, Mr. one too, whose ingenuousness invited, Prattman, sen. Whether the gentle- and whose integrity dared the strictest men of that trusteeship had too little scrutiny, cannot be a matter of surpiety for a due appreciation of the prise : for, certainly, it is one of the charges, or too great piety and discern- most extraordinary papers ever drawn ment to be misled by them, the writer up for, or presented to, a committee of is not competent to judge ; be that is intelligent, impartial, or practical men ; it might, they caused a copy of the and signed by individuals, who, whatwhole to be carefully taken, and sent ever their claims might be as gentleto Mr. C., together with the regular men or officers of a Christian church, remittance ; a delicate, but substantial which claims we feel no disposition to method of saying, “ There's nothing deny, even if it were mannerly to do here to shake our confidence in your so, could prefer no reasonable grounds character.” That copy we have at this of complaint, if we doubted their ability, moment before us; and, although some- at that period at least, to examine eviwhat mutilated, it is sufficiently legible, dence ; or their disposition to do unto even to the names of the parties whence others as they would have had others it emanated ; and we are laid under a do unto them. He came out of this deep moral and religious obligation to trial not only unscathed, but purified, declare, that after a most careful and and continued his labours, for some impartial induction of the facts or ra- years, when sensible decay led him to ther statements, contained therein, there resign all ministerial engagements and is no proof, no, nor shadow of proof, of responsibility. In the Rev. Mr. Harri

comma

summons.

sur

son, co-pastor with the Rev. Mr. Pratt- exclusively. During the first years of man, of Barnard Castle, he found a his ministry, the crowds that followed faithful successor.

To him he com- him, frequently rendered accommodamitted, under the Great Shepherd, and tion within doors utterly hopeless. Conwith their own consent, the flock over gregations of five, six, and even seven which he had presided during twenty- thousand have often stood around him, our years; and with him he held a and from good authority we know the delightful and endearing fellowship to effect was in many cases very powerful. the day of his death.

Our earliest recollections of him reprePersecution having now exhausted sent but the ruins of what had once all its energies, sanctified friendship hav- been stately and imposing ; yet those ing opened unexpected resources, and recollections are associated with much ministerial duties no longer devolving that was animated, benevolent, and upon him, the subject of this memoir manding. Had his education corhad nothing to do but “set his house responded with his talents, his knowin order," and wait the long expected ledge of mankind with his knowledge

To his friends it was de- of the Scriptures ; or his means of lightful to witness his growing meetness improvement with his capacity for for heaven. His reading, his conver- improvement, few would have sation, his prayers, the addresses which passed him.

In this, however, we he delivered with great feebleness from would not glory. The recollection is his chair, in the absence of the young sweet to us, that he was “a holy man pastor, testified that his conversation of God,” as is the conviction, “ that he was in heaven, and that he was tending now inheriteth the promises.” He died thither. To give an account of his without a struggle, on Tuesday, July dying experience, would be to give an 21, 1840, surrounded by many friends. account of many of his last months, A vast concourse attended his funeral. nay years. In a very important sense Previously to the removal of the body he died daily. His attachment to the to its final resting place, an eloquent great doctrines of salvation, as revealed funeral oration was delivered by the in the Scriptures, and as propounded in Rev. W. L. Prattman, of Barnard the “ Assembly's Catechism," became Castle ; and on the Sunday following stronger and stronger ; his faith in the the event was improved in an excelLord Jesus Christ more simple, conse- lent sermon, from Hebrews xiii. 5, last quently more energetic; and his re- clause, to a crowded congregation, by liance upon the character and offices the Rev. Mr. Harrison, of the same of the blessed Spirit more habitual and place. “ Our fathers, where are they ? influential. Never did man glory more and the prophets, do they live for in the cross of Christ ; and never did ever?" man, according to the measure of his Chelsea. ability, preach it more constantly or

A NEW YEAR'S THOUGHT,

SUBMITTED TO THE READERS OF THE EVANGELICAL MAGAZINE.

“ Lord, what wilt thou have me to do ?" Acts ix, 6.

The opening year, while it speaks loudly of past mercies, and calls on every servant of God to erect his “

stone of remembrance,” suggests, at the same time, many salutary considerations in reference to the future. No Christian can absolutely have lived in vain ;

his relation to Christ, the truth which dwells in him, the love which constrains him, and the Spirit by whom he is pervaded and sanctified, forbid the possibility of such a case. But, is it not true, that many a child of God, from ignorance of his obligations, from de

ness.

fective views of his responsibility, from ask, if he has agonised in spirit, for the the want of definite plans, from some salvation of his house ? if he has convague floating notion that he has no versed and prayed with his children ininfluence that can be brought to bear dividually and apart, as well as in the usefully upon the condition of others, family circle ? if he has estimated, at sits down in comparative indolence, and their proper value, the souls of his doallows himself to forget that his one mestics ? if he has been uniformly talent is as sacred a trust as if ten had careful of the eternal interests of all been committed to him ? If no Chris- those dependent upon him for support tian man can either live or die to him- and counsel ? Such inquiries as these self, it follows as a consequence that, will quicken the energies of conscience, living or dying, he must be the Lord's ; will stimulate the dormant feelings of and, if the Lord's, then he must be su- piety, and will lead to the adoption of premely anxious, while he lives, to know somne new methods of practical usefulwhat is the will of the Lord concerning him. He must, with the Bible in his Is the reader a member of a Christian hand, make himself acquainted with church? All true Christians ought to the Master's will,-what is agreeable to be such. It is their Lord's will conit, what is required by it; and then he cerning them, that they should confess must strive to ascertain, by deliberate him before men, that they should come and prayerful reflection, what means" out from the world and be separate, and opportunities are committed to him that they should remember his dying for the accomplishment of any part of love. But how many members of that will. He must ask himself, in the churches stand idle all the day, as if presence of Him who died for him, the Master had given them no work to have I neglected the proper use of any do ! They look to the fellowship of talent intrusted to me ? have I pre- the church as a medium of receiving ferred my own ease and comfort to the good ; but they forget that their memDivine glory? have I felt as I ought bership imposes upon them the solemn to have felt for the honour of that Sa- obligation of seeking the good of Jeruviour, who bore my sins“ in his own salem. Let every church-member ask body on the tree ?” have I looked with himself, have I been a helper of my sufficient compassion on the souls of pastor in his anxious and arduous work? men perishing around me ? have I ex- have I contributed my mite of influence erted a uniformly holy and Christian to the prosperity of the cause ? has my influence in the circle in which I move? spirit been that of love, while my efforts have I omitted no favourable occasion have been those of an active and defor doing good to the souls and bodies voted member of the mystical body of of men? In one word, have I done Christ? have I allowed no grace to what I could ? An investigation of lie dormant, and hid no talent in the this close and faithful character cannot earth ? Is the church the better or fail to discover many a neglected path the worse by reason of my accession to of duty, and to suggest new walks of it ? What does conscience testify ? usefulness in the Christian life.

What are the reasonable conclusions of Is the reader a head of a family? my pastor and brethren respecting me ? Let him ask himself whether he has Is the reader engaged in any of those done all in his power to advance the works of usefulness, which characterise spiritual interests of those committed the present age, and distinguish it from to his immediate care ? Can nothing those periods of lethargic indifference more be accomplished in the way of to the cause of Christ which have preinstruction, of earnest persuasion, of ceded it ? Let him ask, in what manwise government, of strict religious ner he has acquitted himself in the example, of conciliatory conduct and performance of the duties which his spirit, and of well-digested plans of do- zeal and piety have led him voluntarily mestic piety and worship? Let him to undertake ? Has he been earnest

« VorigeDoorgaan »