« VorigeDoorgaan »
was chiefly divided between Tottenham Court Chapel and the Lock Chapel (more frequently the latter) till he became con- , nected with Orange Street Chapel. · But the place of his attendance is altogether unimportant, compared with the great question of how he lived and how he died. We know, by the evidence of incontrovertible facts, , that there may be a long and a regular attendance upon the soundest and most impressive evangelical ministry, connected with great knowledge, ardent zeal, shining gifts, and una bounded liberality, where the life and power of religion, and the personal exemplification of its purity, may all be wanting. He was not a professor of this description; he was a genuine Christian. He had a sound judgment as to what was truth; . he felt the power of that truth upon his heart and conscience, and incessantly aimed to adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour, by abounding in all the fruits of holiness. He walked in his family as one that feared God, -- as one that loved the souls of those who were round about hiin, as one who was determined to show piety at home *' :
Such was the influence of religion upon his mind, that he was humble without the affectation of humility, -- he was firm without being obstinate, he was cheerful without levity, - he was serious without being either melancholy or morose ; and, in his attention to the cause of God and the poor, he was liberal without being either ostentations or imprudent. What is peculiarly worthy of notice is, that his liberality was of the most extensive and diffusive kind: it was free from all that partiality and narrow-mindedness which discover theme. selves in too many wealthy Christians. The free-will offerings of his pious benevolence were not made to names, to forms, or to party: his soul was as free from bigotry as it was from deceit and hypocrisy. It was to the cause of God, and the ins terests of religion in general, that he consecrated his beneficence. He listened to the calls of Humanity and Religion whenever their voice was to be heard; the streams of his kindness flowed into every department of the Christian sanctuary. He did not stand disputing with himself whether he should assist the church, the chapel, or the meeting;.- as far as he could do it with a good conscience, he assisted them all; and embraced as brethren all who belonged to them, provided they were sound in the faitk, and lived in holiness. If the pure gospel of Jesus might be more'extensively spread, if the intercsts of genuine religion could be advanced, it buman min scry were to be alleviated, you might reckon upon his aid. He was deeply impressed with a sense of his obligation to God: he did not esteem the gold or the silver his own, he, considered himself as a steward, and his heart was expanded
1 Tim. Pa 4.
and warmed in the best of causes. He knew well that real misery and vital godliness belonged not exclusively to any party; and therefore, wherever he found these, he recognized them, and seemed desirous of imbibing the spirit and imitating the example of the good Samaritay. He observed the aspect of the times in which he lived ; and rejoiced to see Christians of different classes foregoing their prejudices, and uniting with heart and hand to do good to the souls of their fellow-men. He was not satisfied with looking on, or expressing a cold and reluctant approbation of their good intentions ; but, knowing that God works by means, he assisted to provide them, and thereby stimulate to yet wider and more energetic operations.
There are but few, if any, institutions intimately connected with the diffusion of religious truth and the salvation of souls, to which he was not a cheerful contributor. It is now well known that, in the most private manner, he presented 1000 1. to the Missionary Society only a few days before his death; nor was the name of the donor divulged till he was beyond the reach of human blame or praise. It is surinized by his friends, that if he had lived but a few days longer, some other useful and important institutions would have received proofs of his liberality. Few men ever felt or enjoyed the luxury of doing good more than he did *.
* Before I close, I feel it a duty I owe to the deceased, to this congregation, and to the ministers who officiate here, to notice the connexion he had with this place of worship. lam the more induced to this, on account of a scandalous report which has been published, and which'impeaches the character of all who have any concern with it. Whilst this libellous charge was a mere newspaper tale, it was scarcely worthy of any notice ; but since the author of it has thought proper to place it in a book, which may pos. sibly outlive newspaper scandal, he onght to be told that his information is altogether unfounded ; and, of course, that if he has a spark of honour and honesty, he will contradict the calumny he has so wantoniy propagated. Whatever blame or praise attaches to the proprietors and managers of Oraege Street Chapel, Mr, Hawkes must have his share, as he put only occupied both these stations, but had actually made the place his own by purchase, and that from the most honourable and disinteresied motives : but the writer alluded to tells the world, That the great object of the managers is worldly interest; and that it is indeed one of the most i profitable concerns in the metropolis. Eo far is the representation from being true, the state of things is precisely the reverse. The sum of £ 1850, first advanced to purchase ihe lease and repair the place, still remains unpaid ; nor have the persons who advanced it received any interest for 19 years. Of the £ 600 expended for the last repairs, more than £ 100 is yet unpaid; and our departed friend, to whom the piace belonged, had not received any rent for two years past. The fact therefore is, that the place does not pay its own expences; and if the proprietors were so intent upon inaking money of it, would they have been satisfied with having only one collection-day in the year ? - a thing almost unprecedented. XVIII.
• P ,
But I must close with a word or two concerning our friend's dismission from the body. Having, from an early period of life, known the Saviour, experienced the power of his grace, and walked in the way of his commandments, he was enabled for many years to contemplate the approach of death without anxiety, though the subject of complicated and long-continued disease, and often apparently within a step of the grave. That religion, which had been the solace and support of his mind during this trying season, did not fail him in his last hours: it produced a settled tranquillity of mind, a cheerful resignation to the will of his heavenly Father. The night preceding his departure, he experienced great difficulty of respiration; but there were no symptoms which indicated speedy dissolution. He appeared to enjoy great inward peace, expressed an entire confidence in God; and said to the person . attending upon him, that he hoped the Lord would preserve him from all murmuring and impatience. He had a very indifferent night; but rose on the Lord's Day morning much as usual, and came down to family-worship; which was conducted by his friend Dr. Hawker, who was spending a few days with him. After making some arrangements concerning the different parts of the family going to worship, he retired to his own room while breakfast was preparing. A noise (something like a person falling) was almost iminediately heard in the chamber which was over the room where the family were just sitting down. A servant at the same instant went up stairs, and ealled Mr. Hawkes; but no answer being returned, and the door.being fastened, she came down again, and mentioned it. This exciting alarm, Mr. Walker and Dr. Hawker both went up stairs. Mr. W. forced open the door; and, to their great astonishment and distress, they found him lifeless at the bed-side! The position in which he was found, plainly indicated that he had expired either in the act of kneeling down to private prayer, or while actually engaged in it.. When raised up by his afflicted friend and relative, his countenance appeared entirely undisturbed ; and presented an unusually pleasant smile, rather than any symptom of pain. Thus, instead of coming on that Lord's Day morning to this house of.. prayer, and approaching the table of the Lord with his Christian friends, he was suddenly taken to a heavenly banquet above, and began a Sabbath which shall never end. His departure from this to a better world was at once so sudden and imperceptible, that it resembled being translated more than dying. Tle could hardly be said to pass through the dark valley of the shadow of Death, he rather stepped over it. Sudden death was to him, doubtlesss, sudden glory:
• His pra per scarce ended ere his praise begun!
We conclude this sketch of Mr.Hawkes's Character with the following List of his Charity-Legacies, which will long remain a noble monument of his catholicism and his benevolence:
Poor Pious Clergy in the Country, 1000 1. ditto.
Ditto in the North, 1500 l. 3 per cent. reduced.
4 per cents,
Wordsley, computed at about 850 1.
ON CHRISTIAN TENDERNESS,
NorwITHSTANDING there are persons of a kind disposition who are not serious, yet, as a change of heart is implied in Christian Tenderness, it is very superior to natural sensibility, sympathy, or compassion. This will be evident, if we first explain its nature, then shew how it particularly discovers itself, and conclude with some appropriate remarks.
This kind of tenderness is the opposite to selfishness, or an
feeling disposition; and consists in being easily impressed with a deep sense of our duty to God and man. There may indeed be something peculiar in the formation of the bodies and the state of the minds of those who have tender feelings : however, in such as are serious, grace and experience have a great influence on them; but we may discern more of the
true nature of [this disposition by the ways in which it is mag nifested, the principal of which are the four following:
1. In a peculiar fear of displeasing God. Every true Chris. tian hates all sin, and consequently does not willingly displease the Lord; but the tender-hearted believer is herein more particular than others. Mr. Hervey observes, that' as the puncture of a needle gives more pain to some than others, so the least deviation from a holy conduct makes a tender conscience, uneasy' Besides avoiding all şin, such a one laments the imperfections of his best duties, and is sensibly affected with the reinains of sin within him. He is afraid of displeasing God by the least abuse of his mercies, or by not following the leadings of Providence; and his heart smites him in various other respects, which those of less sensibility never experience.
2. It-is displayed in suitable behaviour under trying circum. stances. In this respect, the conduct of King Josiah is re· corded for our imitation; for as he was truly humbled when he
read the prophetical threatenings, the Lord said to him, ' Because thine heart was tender, and thou didst humble thyseif, thine eyes shall not see the evil I will bring on this place *.? Inlike manner, although afflicted believers, having similar feelings with this good king, must have keener sensations than others, — yet at such times they are more remarkable for fervency in devotion. The histories of Job, David, Jeremiah, Nehemiah, and Paul, aford examples of this; and their writings have been made so very useful to tender-hearted Christians in trying circunstances, that they can read their experience, confess tie ir sins, and breathe their sorrows in the words of these /inspired writers.
3. It is discovered in a great concern for the glory of God. No doubt, every gracious person desires to see God glorified ; but one of a tender disposition in a greater degree, as he is more easily grieved with any thing that dishonours his holy nime. A Christian with fine feelings, is so much concerned for the honour of the attributes of God, and the divinity of the Son and the Holy Ghost, that it hurts him exceedingly to, her either of them degraded; and he has such a veneration for the operations of the Spirit, that he is fearful of doing any thing that may cause those influences to be withdrawn for a moment from his soul.“ He is also more actively engaged for the divine honour than others; for his feelings continually stimulate him to action; so that his property, his time, and his talents, are more fully.einployed for the glory of God than those of others are...
4. It is remarkably visible in erertions for the good of others, A believer of this disposition is doubly amiable and useful as
* 2 Chron. xxxiv. 27,