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within the last few months of his life he took it up, and read it with great interest. Many parts of that poem seem to have raised his views and hopes beyond their ordinary pitch ; and they formed the subject of animated remark, on the Monday preceding his death, as he was accompanying his sister on a visit to his mother. He called on a friend during the following Wednesday, and, in conversation with him, adverted to the pleasure and profit which he had derived from a sermon preached a week or two before that time. The ground of a sinner's acceptance with God, had been forcibly dwelt upon in the sermon to which he referred. He remarked, that he had never before had so clear an apprehension of that subject; and that it had never been out of his mind since. He seems at this season to have acquired, in a more than usual degree, a lively sense of the all-prevailing sufficiency of the name and work of our Lord Jesus Christ: he was fully persuaded, that it is on Him alone that the eye of God rests with complacency; and that, when the Father beholds a broken-hearted, penitent sinner, who looks to the merits of his Son, as the only and most sufficient ground of his hope,—and not, even in the remotest way, to his own tears, or prayers, or outward reformation, -He, for the sake of that Saviour, who “ hath loved us, and hath given himself for us," accepts, pardons, adopts him. These are truths, indeed, with which Mr. Sargent had long been experimentally acquainted. But they are always new. They shed a lustre on every part of the Christian's path; and they are most dearly prized by those who have made the greatest progress in the Christian life.
On Friday evening, February 7th, 1840, Mr. Sargent appeared to be as well as usual: he was also in excellent spirits. At the commencement of family devotion Mrs. Sargent read the 129th hymn in the Wesleyan Collection. When she had repeated the last verse,
“Open mine eves the Lamb to know,
Who bears the general sin away ;
The glories of eternal day,”
his mind seemed to be carried above all earthly things, and absorbed in the contemplation of the truths to which he had just listened. Forgetting himself for the moment, he knelt down to prayer, without the customary lesson from the word of God. He instantly observed the omission, rose from his knees, and read Psalms cxxi., cxxii. Shortly afterwards he retired to rest. But he had not long composed himself for sleep, before he complained of severe pain in the head. Assistance was speedily procured. The last messenger had, however, arrived. He soon became insensible to all around him ; and, within the space of an hour, quietly passed into his rest with God. To his family and friends, the sudden departure of one so dearly beloved was painfully overwhelming ; but to himself it was doubtless glorious. Opportunity
was not allowed him to utter a testimony for God in his last mortal conflict; nor was it necessary. His life had been a testimony; and a testimony, too, which will not easily be forgotten.
Friday, February 14th, was the day of his funeral. He was interred in one of the vaults of the chapel in Queen-street, Huddersfield. Between one and two hundred gentlemen of the town and neighbourhood, of all ranks and denominations, testified their respect and affection by accompanying the funeral procession to the chapel, where a numerous congregation was assembled. Each one seemed to mourn the loss of a personal friend. A sermon was preached, on occasion of his death, by the Rev. Robert Wood, on Sunday, March 1st.
“To know Mr. Sargent," says one who had an intimate acquaintance with him, was to love him. In the formation of his character there was a rare combination of excellencies. How sober and correct, for example, was his judgment! He seemed, on most subjects, to think aright almost intuitively: and hence his value as a counsellor and guide. How attractive, again, were his wit and humour ! so quiet, and yet so lively and playful ; so acute and sensible, and yet so innocent and good-natured : and hence the charm thrown around him as a companion. He was the delight and ornament of social life. But, above all, how warm and expansive was his charity! A kinder heart than his never beat, surely, in a human bosom. For that section of the Christian church to which he belonged, he always evinced an attachment, alike honourable to him as one of its members, and as the son of one of its Ministers. But he was a “ lover of good men,' of every sect and name. His professional engagements made it his duty to cultivate an enlarged acquaintance with persons of different denominations; and his own generous and catholic spirit rendered that duty a pleasure. And, in return, to a greater extent than most men, he commanded the respect, and lived in the affections, of all classes of the community."
One observation which the reader can scarcely fail to have made, in the perusal of the preceding pages, is, that, from the commencement of his Christian course, Mr. Sargent's “ delight was in the law of the Lord.” He seems to have adopted that text as his motto: “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.” Scripture was not the theme of his commendation only. He did not praise its excellency, its sufficiency, its sole authority as the record of God's inspired truth ; and then neglect the study of its lessons : but he gave evidence of the supreme regard which he paid to it, by making it his daily companion, by searching into its infallible instructions, and by striving to have his own heart imbued with a larger portion of its spirit. By this means he was led to cherish an habitual reverence for divine things, and to walk through life by faith. To look unto Jesus was his constant aim; and he was thus, and thus only, enabled to “ run with patience the race that” was
set before ” him. Special “ times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord” he greatly valued and sought; but his wish was to apply them, not merely to the purposes of temporary comfort and encouragement, but to the abiding augmentation of the spiritual life, and to a closer intercourse with God. It was his prayer, that the Lord would guide him with his counsel ; and his prayer was answered. He found the path of life;" and he is now, without doubt, permitted, through his Saviour's most undeserved grace, to “dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in a sure dwelling, and in a quiet resting-place ;” for “the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance for ever.”
THE DUTIES OF THE MINISTRY :
Messrs. Le Bus, Hocart, and Rostan, Wesleyan Missionaries in
BY THE REV. CHARLES COOK, WESLEYAN MISSIONARY.
TRANSLATED FROM THE ORIGINAL FRENCH.
“That good thing which was committed unto thee keep, by the Holy Ghost which
dwelleth in us.”—2 Tim. i. 14. BELOVED BRETHREN IN JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD,—It is by no means one of the least important duties of the Ministers of the Gospel, to commit those things which they have learned to faithful persons, who will be able in their turn to teach them to others. We are come hither this day for the solemn discharge of this duty; and you are come to unite with us, not as idle or careless spectators, but as witnesses of a public act, which to you is interesting in the highest degree; as brethren, whose approbation is dear to us; and as believers, whose prayers will ascend with ours before God. We pray that these young men, who probably will be the spiritual guides of many of
you, and of your children, through life, and at the hour of death, may now receive the fulness of that unction from on high, that seal of the Holy Spirit, without which, talents the most splendid, erudition the most varied and profound, and ceremonies the most scriptural and edifying, are totally insufficient to make a true Minister of the Saviour, a genuine Pastor of souls.
“Lay hands suddenly on no man," said the Apostle to his wellbeloved son in the faith. The evils which result from disregarding or
forgetting this apostolical injunction are so evident and so serious, that we would endeavour to avoid them. Accordingly, these young brethren have had to undergo a long course of trial, as members of the Wesleyan society, as Local Preachers, and as candidates for the holy ministry. In this last capacity they have preached the Gospel for four years, under your inspection and that of their brethren; and, in our District-Meetings, they have every year been subjected to the most strict examination as to their piety, their calling, their knowledge, and their fitness for the ministry.
The result of these trials has been satisfactory. The rules by which we judge are very simple. If he who thinks himself called to preach the Gospel is himself a true Christian, happy in the love of God, and devoted to his service; if he has received the gifts necessary for the holy ministry,—understanding, a sound judgment in divine things, so that he can speak with accuracy, ease, and clearness; and if he has fruit of his labours,-if souls are truly convinced of sin, and converted to God by his preaching ; so long as these three marks concur in any one, we believe that he is chosen by God, appointed by the Master himself, to work in his harvest. These marks we have found in the brethren here present; and for this we give thanks to God, who alone can call men, who alone can qualify them for this ministry.
Does not this inestimable blessing justly demand thanksgivings, when we see the saving light of the Gospel shining among us in a faithful ministry? Is there any curse more awful than that with which the Lord threatens a rebellious and hardened people, to give them Prophets such as they deserve, and such as they desire, when he says, “ If a man walking in the spirit and falsehood do lie, saying, I will prophesy unto thee of wine and of strong drink ; he shall be the Prophet of this people ?" (Micah i. 11.) And, on the other hand, however little the profane value an evangelical ministry, it is not one of the least delightful among the precious promises of God, that faithful Pastors shall always be granted to us. This favour can alleviate the severest trials, and shed light over the darkest night. Thus the Lord himself judges, and his children will think so too. “Though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers : and thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way; walk ye in it.” (Isaiah xxx. 20, 21.) Let us give thanks to God, that these promises have been fulfilled hitherto; let us pray to him that they always may be fulfilled, and that the work of God may always be carried on among us, not by human might or power, but by the Spirit of the Lord of hosts.*
• Thus far the discourse was addressed to the congregation, on presenting to them the young candidates : the remainder was addressed to the brethren, after they had received the imposition of hands.
“ That good thing which was committed unto thee keep, by the IIoly Ghost which dwelleth in us.”
To you, beloved fellow-labourers, and to myself, this exhortation is specially addressed. An important charge is conferred upon us ; great interests are intrusted to us ; rich treasures are placed at our disposal : these things constitute the good deposit. We cannot fulfil the duties of this charge, we cannot take care of these interests, we cannot dispense these treasures faithfully, unless the Holy Spirit dwell in us. We repeat these two truths in two propositions, on which we purpose successively to meditate.
I. A good deposit is intrusted to the Ministers of the Gospel.
II. This deposit cannot be kept, unless “ by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us."
May God our Saviour be pleased to bless our meditations, so that they may remind us of our privileges and our responsibility! May He strengthen and perfect our confidence in his promises, our renunciation of ourselves, and our zeal for his glory! May his Priests be clothed with salvation, and may his beloved rejoice for the goodness that he has showed them! “Behold, O God, our shield! and look upon the face of thine anointed !” Remember the loving-kindness which thou hast shown to thy beloved !
I. A good deposit is intrusted to the Ministers of the Gospel.
1. The ministry itself is often thus represented. Hence the titles by which the Holy Spirit designates this office, and points out its obligations and its duties. What, in effect, is the Minister, but a Prophet, an ambassador, a sentinel, a Pastor, a steward? Is not the Prophet charged with a message from God to the people? Is not the Ambassador charged with the bonour and the interests of his King ? To the sentinel is confided the safety of the people over whom he watches ; and to the Pastor, the safety of his flock. And what is a steward, but one who has to administer the goods of another ; in the holy ministry, the mysteries of God, and the manifold grace God ?
2. The salvation of souls is intrusted to us.
The salvation of souls—the instruction, the awakening, the conversion of sinners—is the immediate end of our ministry. “Go ye into all the world,” (such is our primitive commission,) “and preach the Gospel to every creature.” “Go and teach” (or, make disciples of) “all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” To these words we give all their natural extent of meaning. We do not restrict the sense of the comm as though we could obey it by taking care of this or that flock, by promoting the interests of a party, or of a religious society. We understand our commission just as the Apostle understood his, when he said, “I am debtor both to the Greeks and to the barbarians, both to the wise and to the unwise ;”-and as Wesley did, when he replied