Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

ed to the descriptions given in the and of the love and wisdom disBible and other books of the trying played in the gospel plan of salvatemptations and inward conflicts of tion through Christ, were such as believers in every age of the world; frequently to overwhelm his feeland he speedily found that they, ings, both while studying his serwhen tried and cast down, derived mons, and while endeavouring to all their consolations and support tell sinners of the dear Saviour he from the gracious promises of a had found, of the rich provisions of faithful, forgiving, and compas- sovereign mercy, and of the danger sionate Saviour ; that they, when of such as reject the offered pardon. heavy laden and perishing, found In May, 1797, an application to rest and help in him; and that the supporters of the North Wales they, though sinful and helpless, Academy was made on his behalf, triumphed in his strength and and in the September following, he through his blood. He at once entered upon his preparatory stuperceived that the Christian life dies at Wrexham, under the care is a continual warfare; that no of the late Rev. Jenkin Lewis. A victory can be expected where few of the reflections, resolutions, there is no conflict; that the rest and desires, recorded by him whilst remaineth for those that labour; a student, may assist the reader in and that the crown is laid up for forming an estimate of his characthem that conquer. This attention ter, and cannot prove uninteresting to the history and experience of to young Christians, especially to others led to a fuller contemplation such as are preparing for the work of the perfections of a divine Re- of the ministry. deemer, to a firmer reliance on his infinite atonement, to a stronger

REPLECTIONS.-"I find, from experience,

that the way of piety is also the way of attachment to his cause, to greater

knowledge, as well as the way of peace. devotedness in his service, to con The neglect of religion can be of no advanstant pantings after humility and tage to the cause of science. The acquisition holiness; and thus his perplexing

of knowledge can in no way be promoted by

forgetting the Lord. I never feel happy in fears were gradually dispelled, and

the pulpit unless prepared for its duties by peace and comfort followed.

previous meditation and prayer. A contrite About this time his friends at heart renders public duties both instructive Bala, in conjunction with the late

and delightful. I find it best to apply the

various parts of my discourses as proceeding, Rev. Dr. George Lewis-induced

while the remarks are fresh in the recollection by the decided tone of unaffected of the hearers; and think that young minispiety that evidently characterised ters should aim more at awakening the carehis whole deportment, together with

less, and winning the young, than at edifying

the aged. Previous to any remarkable success, his constant assiduity in acquiring

there must be a proportionable enlargement scriptural knowledge, and his use of soul ; and, previous to any such enlargefulness in the church-directed ment of soul, there must be deep humiliation, his thoughts to the work of the constant watchfulness, strict self-examina

tion, and fervent prayer. I never find it well ministry. With much anxiety, and

on common days when not so on Lord's after considerable hesitation, he days; never well abroad when not so at yielded to their solicitations, and home; never well at the domestic altar when preached his first sermon, Feb. 9,

not so in my private devotions. The more 11796, from John xiv. 6, and con

I pray, the better I study. Devotion leads

to' serenity of mind ; serenity of mind tinued through life to preach Christ sweetens meditation; and meditation, thus to perishing sinners as “ the way, sanctified by prayer, fits the mind for public the truth, and the life.”

duties. How awful if, after preaching Christ The affecting views which he then

to others, I have no personal interest in him;

if, after encouraging others, I be found at last had of the purity of the divine law, on the left hand, doomed to suffer everlasting

punishment. My own heart is more to be in favour of Holywell was influfeared than all the allied powers of earth and

enced as much by the advice of hell; for outward foes could never prevail were it not for vain desires and inbred

friends as by his own feelings. The corruptions. A good conscience I find to be ordinances of the sanctuary always the best medicine, and a contented mind the interested his mind, and proved at best companion. I have just witnessed the

this time peculiarly refreshing. happy death of an interesting child in his ninth year; and think we should speak

The services of a Sabbath spent at oftener to children about the love of Christ Denbigh, with the late excellent and the joys of heaven, I have also lately Dr. Edward Williams, a few days visited a dear afflicted relative, who wept after the death of the Rev. Daniel almost every day for the last twelve months because she had not consecrated her youthful

Lloyd ; the services of another days more entirely to the Lord. Oh, how spent at Bridgenorth with his amiimportant the advantages of early religion !" able friend the late Rev. William

RESOLUTIONS." Let me carefully study Evans, afterwards of Stockport; the history of Christ, sit at his feet, contemplate his sufferings, adore his love, and glory

the services of another spent at in his cross. Let me pray without ceasing,

Holywell with his beloved tutor and trust in the Lord even when he with the late Rev. Jenkin Lewis; and draweth the joys of his salvation. Let me of another spent at the same place never preach without endeavouring to feel the importance of my subject. Let me never

with the late revered and affectionencourage any trifling in going to or return ate John Whitridge, of Oswestry, ing from the service of the sanctuary. Let --were long remembered by him. me judge rashly of no one, and envy no one's He also refers to two ordination prosperity; but wish well to all, and speak well of all. Let me rise early, do all things

services, and to his last interviews in season, redeem time, avoid delays, and be with the students and other friends moderate at meals and in all recreations. Let when leaving Wrexham, as having me always have a subject prepared for useful

deeply impressed and greatly affectconversation when in company, and for devout contemplation when alone. Let me be

ed his mind. He left the academy continually disposed to do good and to receive

May 29, 1801, and the inscription goode Let my reading, conversation, and recorded on the Ebenezer then study, be subservient to practical religion raised by him is," I have this and ministerial usefulness. Let me never be scheming about future events, and indulging

day ten thousand reasons to bless in any discouraging forebodings, whilst I

the Lord--to bless him for the preought to be attending to present duties and cious advantages granted to one so watching against present temptations.”

unworthy, and for upholding one Desires." May I always feel grateful for the important advantages which a kind

so helpless and sinful. May I in providence has afforded me. May the reso

future be more humble, more holy, lutions I make be so impressed upon my and more devoted to his service and heart as never to be forgotten. May I be well glory.” acquainted with the Bible, and with my own heart. May I be made wise to win souls and

He commenced his stated la-. to comfort mourners. May I have much bours at Holywell on Sunday, religion, much devotedness, and much to de May 31, 1801, and preached in the with Christ.”

morning from Rom. xv. 30, “ Now In April, 1801, he received an I beseech you brethren, for the invitation from the church at Holy Lord Jesus Christ's sake, and for well to become their minister ; but, the love of the Spirit, that ye strive having received similar applications together with me in your prayers to from other quarters, his mind, for God for me; that I may come unto several weeks about this time, seems you with joy by the will of God, to have been subject to consider and may with you be refreshed.” able anxiety. His heart's desire In the afternoon and evening he was to follow the leadings of pro- preached from Jude 24, and Psalm vidence, and to be useful in his Xxxi. 21. Master's vineyard; and his decision On the 15th of July, 1802, he

$ %

was ordained. The Rev. Dr. G. and out of season were constant, Lewis, Llanuwchllyn, and the Rev. and his course knew no other vaMessrs. J. Lewis, Wrexham; B. riety than that of the shining light Jones, Pwllheli ; W. Brown, which shineth more and more unto Wrexham ; J. Wilson, Northwich; the perfect day.” D. Davies, Welshpool; and T. Though his constitution was Jones, Newmarket; assisted on weak, and his health often delicate, the occasion. Mr. Jones, New- he was equal to considerable labour market, is now the only survivor. both of mind and body. He has

In 1810, he published a collec. often, on a Sabbath-day, walked tion of hymns, which has passed thirty miles, and performed three through several editions, and is services; and, of late years, his now used by most of the congrega. mind seemed to be wholly weaned tional churches in the Principality; from the world, and his whole time he also, during the last ten years, was devoted to the cause of re. contributed largely to the Dysge- ligion. dydd Crefyddol.

As most of the congregational The prosperity of the Redeemer's churches in Wales have had to cause, both in his own neighbour- build or to enlarge their places of hood, and throughout the world, worship within the last few years, lay very near his heart; and he the heavy burdens thereby occahad the pleasing satisfaction of sioned have been a source of many establishing several new interests discouragements and of much painin his own immediate neighbour- ful anxiety--of anxiety the most hood. Four chapels were erected disheartening to many who have the by him: one at Bagillt, in 1803; interest of the Saviour's cause much one at Rhesycae, in 1804; one at heart-of anxiety that has interat Heolmostyn, in 1826 ; and rapted the usefulness, destroyed one at Penypyllau, in 1829. He the comforts, and broken the spirits, was one of the secretaries to the if not the hearts, of many devoted Flintshire Auxiliary Bible Society and faithful Christian ministers. for eighteen years; to the North This must have been keenly felt by Wales Auxiliary to the London a person of Mr. Jones's sensibility Missionary Society for nine years; as a public character. In the beand to the Congregational Union ginning of last year, the distressed for the counties of Flint and Den- case of the Welsh congregation in bigh for nine years. The commit- Gartside Street, Manchester, extees and other friends with whom cited much sympathy; and, after he acted in these several capacities several ministers had greatly exmost deeply feel the loss occasioned erted themselves to obtain assistby the sudden removal of one so ance for them in the Principality, indefatigably active, so uniformly Mr. Jones, and his friend; Mr. Roamiable, and so thoroughly disin- berts, of Denbigh, encouraged by terested. Seldom has the important the kind permission of the good cause of Christian missions lost a Manchester people, consented to more zealous advocate. No minis. visit that town for the same object; ter in Wales laboured more towards and this leads us abruptly to the cherishing a missionary spirit than closing scene of our friend's life. Mr. Jonès did. Indeed most of His death, though affecting to his the intelligence contained in the friends, was blissful to himself ; chronicle department of the Dys- and, though his Lord came at an gedydd was communicated by him. unexpected hour, he was found “ His efforts to do good in season active and vigilant. On Sunday,

the 21st of August - his last on the warehouse, he fell through a earth-he preached three times, trap-door ; and, though medical with unusual animation and effect. assistance was instantly procured, In the morning, under the influence he survived but little more than of feelings deeply impressed by the three hours. The event occasioned loss of the Rothsay Castle, from a very considerable sensation in the Job vii. 10, “He shall return no town, and much respect and Chrismore to his house ;” in the after- tian feeling were manifested. On noon, on brotherly love, being his Saturday the body was conveyed to concluding lecture on the fourth Holywell, and the impression prochapter of the Epistle to the Ephe- duced there by the suddenness of sians; and, in the evening, a very the shock-the sorrow of his friends, sweet discourse, from Deut. iv. 4, his relations, and his widow, who on the safety and happiness of those for twenty-five years had been a who, amid trials and temptations, most affectionate help meet for him “cleave unto the Lord.” At the cannot be described. The funeclose of the morning service, a ral, attended by thousands, took hymn “ On the Death of a Minis- place on 'the Tuesday following. ter” was selected by him to be sung From twenty to thirty ministers of by the congregation. On the fol- different denominations were prelowing Tuesday evening, in com- sent. Services suited to the affectpliance with his particular request, ing occasion were performed by the a much larger company than usual Rev. Messrs. Williams, of Wern, met at the prayer-meeting. When Roberts, of Denbigh, Breeze, of taking his leave of them, in a short Liverpool, and Waterfield,of Wrexbut moving address, he said, “ We ham ; and, on the following Sabmay never meet again. Some of bath, two very impressive funeral you may be taken before my return, sermons were addressed to the beor I may be taken; but, if we love reaved congregation ; that in the the Lord, sudden death in such a morning, in English, by the Rev. case would be sudden glory.” On J. Thorpe, of Chester, from Psalm Thursday morning, Aug. 25th, he xxxvi. 6; and that in the evening, and Mr. Roberts, of Denbigh, left in Welsh, by the Rev. W. Wilhome. They reached Liverpool that liams, of Wern, from Heb. xi. 4, evening; and, after agreeing when “He being dead yet speaketh.” and where to meet in the morning, Mr. Jones's last words were, “I they parted. Mr. Jones proceeded KNOW THAT I AM ACCEPTED.” to the house of his friend, Mr. March 6, 1832.

S. R. Gregson; but, in passing through

TO THE YOUNG CONVERT. Reader. In this short address, I am I am persuaded they will be received as taking it for granted that religion has appropriate to your present state of mind, been brought home to your thoughts; and and as the words of a friend who has at that meditation and prayer have been his heart a concern for your highest welmade effectual to convince you of your fare. need of it, to reveal to you its true value, I. Then, let me exhort you TO PRESENT and to dispose you to embrace it cordially A DISTINCT AND SPECIAL OFFERING OF as the “ one thing needful ” in this life, PRAISE TO GOD FOR THE MERCY WHICH and in the life to come. If I am correct HAS BEEN SHEWN you. All your blessin this conclusion, then, I need offer no ings demand grateful acknowledgment, apology for the following suggestions; for and their demand is in proportion to

their excellence. But your conversion is the greatest blessing you have ever received, and should be the source of the most abundant praise. The nature of the benefits personal, so real-makes praise indispensable. How would the blind man, of necessity, rejoice in the hand that gave him sight! How would the deaf man glorify the power that restored him to hearing! If then, in a superior sense, your eyes are opened that you may see-if your ears are unstopped that you may hear—if God, in the greatness of his mercy, has delivered “ your eyes from tears, your feet from falling, and your soul from the lowest hell,” what thanks do you not owe him! Think of the state from which you are redeemed-of the power shown in your redemption of the sacrifice made for that redemption—and let your whole heart become one offering of thankfulness to him who hath loved you, and washed you from your sins in his own blood!

II, REGARD YOUR CONVERSION AS THE BEGINNING OF A NEW LIFE UNTO A NEW OBEDIENCE. Great mistake has existed on this subject, and it has often had injurious consequences. Religion has commenced by many anxieties and deep convictions, and the prevailing concern has been to find rest from these in the evidence of a true conversion. Hope has sprung up in the mind; and, when the young convert has been led to think himself regenerated, he has also been tempted to trust in this state as safe, and to suppose that nothing more of importance was necessary to him. To put yourself on your guard against this error, remem. ber two things; first, that life is never given for its own sake, but for its uses. Your spiritual life is given to you that you may “ live unto God;" you are to walk in his ways, to hunger and thirst after his righteousness, and take a holy delight in his service. Then, secondly, remember, that your Christian life is in a rery feeble state. If indeed you are truly converted, you truly live; but your life at present is the life of infancy and child. hood. Your knowledge is small, your faith weak, and your charity limited. Consider, then, that you require to be “ rooted and grounded” in the truth; that you are “ to grow in knowledge and in grace;" and that you are to give “all diligence to add to your faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge, and to knowledge temperance, and to temperance patience,

and to patience godliness, and to godliness, charity.” Conversion is not the end, of your course, but its beginning. It is the strait gate, opening on the narrow way; and all that way you must tread if ever you arrive in heaven!

III. THAT YOU MAY HAPPILY “ GROW IN GRACE " GIVE AN EARNEST ATTENTION TO ALL THE MEANS OF GRACB. The several means appointed for your edification need not be here mentioned ; you know them, you have been accustomed to regard them. There is, however, some evil to which you are now exposed, and to which before you were not liable. You are in danger, not so much of neglecting the appointed means, as of sinking down into a cold and formal use of them. Our first acts in religion spring from present emotion ; but as these acts are repeated, they are formed into habits; and the danger is of doing from habit what was at first done from the heart. Excellent prayers are still offered, but the meaning is gone-praise is still expressed, but it dies on the tongue the word is still heard, but not with the eagerness of men who feel they must feed on it or die, Guard against this temptation. None has been more common--none more injurious. Be not satisfied that the action is good, ask from time to time whether the motive is good, whether the end is good also.

Especially as a direction on this subject, be not satisfied with the use of any religious means, which does not bring to you its proper benefit. The great design of all our means and privileges is to bring Us near to God. Whatever, therefore, may be your value of the word; of the ministry of that word; or of your seasons of retirement; rest not in them, but inquire whether they have this their proper end in you. If they do not increase your penitence for sin ; your abhorrence of evil; your hope in the Saviour; your nonconformity to the world; and the heasrenliness of your disposition ; however great their use to others, they are useless to you. And the means by which you do not receive a benefit you receive an injury !

IV. BE CAREFUL THAT YOU DO NOT CONFINE YOUR SENSE OF RELIGION TO THE USE OF RELIGIOUS MEANS. More are in this state of mind than we imagine; and you cannot escape it but by watchfulness. They seek to have an impression of religion when on their knees,

« VorigeDoorgaan »