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7. The narrative in Matt. xvii. 1-4., also favors it. If saints on earth know saints from heaven, why should saints in heaven not know each other?
8. The entire account of the judgment, contained in Matt. xxv. 31–46, seems to render belief in mutual recognition hereafter necessary.
There on a green and flowery mount,
Our weary souls shall sit;
B. H. C.
p. 330, 1. 10 for“ Father," read “fathers.”
MR. EDITOR.-In answer to “Elizabeth’s” enquiry, I would quote the homely but apposite reply of a poor woman to the question "Shall we know each other in heaven?" "To be sure we shall,” said she; "do you think we shall be greater fools there, than here?”
To this, I have only to add the more logical argument, on which my own belief in the affirmative is founded.
Heaven is a social state.
This knowledge is more likely to include friends than strangers. Ergo. We shall know our friends.
DEAR SIR,—The question of Elizabeth is one to which my mind has often been directed, and I will now lay before you the conclusion I have reached, with the reasons which led to it.
I have no doubt about our recognition in heaven. To suppose that we shall not know each other there, will be to suppose that we shall hereafter lose a faculty we here possess—that of Memory, while the fact that we shall have to give an account of ourselves to God, proves that memory will be increased rather than diminished.
Another reason for supposing we shall know one another in heaven, is found in the fact that Christianity supplies every
rational want of our nature, and brings consolation under all circumstances. Do we ever part with a friend without the hope and expectation of meeting again; and when death separates, is there not found, even in the unrenewed mind, an almost intuitive anticipation of eternal re-union: this desire is both natural and right in itself; and can God have implanted a principle in our nature, which he does not intend to gratify?
The language of Scripture seems rather to take all this for granted than to prove it. Was not this the truth which comforted David on the loss of his child, when he said "I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me?” Did not Jesus mean it to form an element of happiness, when he promised that we should hereafter sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of God? Yet how little should we enjoy the prospect did we not hope to know them.
And lastly, does not St. Paul most plainly refer to this truth in comforting the Thessalonian converts. He tells them not to sorrow as those without hope, “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.” O, how little would this comfort us for the loss of departed friends, did we not expect to recognise those we love among the radiant throng!
I am, Sir,
C. A. L.
13. Death as consequent on sin. DEAR SIR,—I have always been led to believe that before the sin of Adam, there was neither suffering nor death in the world. The curse then brought on all men, according to the creed of my early days, extended to every creature, irrational as well as rational; and it is only of late years that I ever thought of doubting this dogma, My first idea of doing so arose from conversing with a geological friend, who told me that he possessed evidence opposed to my former opinions; and certainly there seem to be good grounds for his assertion, that an extensive destruction of life prevailed in the earliest periods of the world's history, long before Adam was placed upon it. Can this be the case ?
MEMOIR OF R. H. SHEPHERD. We owe it to our readers to furnish some account of an old friend and correspondent, the Rev. R. H. Shepherd, late of Chelsea, whose earliest contributions to our Magazine are dated more than forty years since, and who within the last twelve months has favored us with his counsels and an occasional paper.
Richard Herne Shepherd was born of highly respectable parents, in the county of Oxford, on the 25th of August, 1775. He was the youngest of nine children ; and by his talent and industry was enabled to be a great comfort to his parents in their declining years. In his early life he became the subject of Divine grace, under the preaching of those distinguished men who at that time officiated at the Lock Chapel. And to the ministry of the Rev. Thomas Scott, the distinguished Commentator, which he began to attend in 1790,, be always expressed himself as under most weighty obligations, not only for the deep impressions of Divine things which he received under his powerful preaching, but also for the solid and enlightened views of Christian truth with which that man of God had imbued the novitiate of his Christian life.
As a young Christian, he became remarkable for his ardent zeal in the cause of Christ. He had felt the power and the sweetness of the gospel in his own heart, and he longed to impart his convictions and his feelings to others. While in fellowship and office in the church under the pastoral care of the Rev. E. A. Dunn, he developed, with two or three other individuals, powers for great usefulness, and especially in the work of preaching and expounding the Scriptures.
In process of time, he was regularly called to minister on the Lord'sa day for some of the most respectable ministers of Christ in and about the metropolis. At the late Mr. Townsend's, at Rotherhithe, and at Orange-street Chapel, he was more than acceptable,-he was even popular, and, what was far better, eminently useful. Previously to this, by the efforts of a devoted circle of godly ministers and private Christians, Old Ranelagh Gardens, which had been closed as a place of public amusement, had been rented as a preaching station, and there, very speedily, great interest was awakened by the faithful preaching of the word. Among the preachers who officiated in this new sphere, there was one who was listened to with special interest, and who was destined to become the future pastor of the rising church. This preacher was the Rev. Richard Herne Shepherd, who received the call of the little flock, and who drew around him a circle of pious and zealous friends, who established Sunday schools, sick
visiting societies, and otherwise demonstrated the existence of a living and active faith. From these small beginnings sprang the elegant and commodious place of worship, now known as Ranelagh Chapel. Here Mr. Shepherd put forth an energy in the undertaking which surprised the entire district, and which will prove a lasting monument of his Christian zeal and devotedness to the service of his Divine Lord and Master. There are many who can bear witness to the fact of the large assemblies which flocked to the New Sanctuary, and to the good which resulted from the faithful and energetic preaching of the word. In July, 1818, the chapel was opened for Divine worship, and for many years was one of the best attended chapels in the district. When his powers began to fail, Mr. Shepherd, with a judgment rarely to be found, wisely suffered this beautiful sanctuary to pass into other hands, and without a particle of jealousy or contracted feeling, rejoiced to see it consecrated to the interests of the English branch of the Free Church of Scotland.
Those who saw him resign his charge, and transfer his place of worship to his Presbyterian friends, cannot but admire and commend the state of mind which he displayed. It was calm, and holy, and thoughtful; and proved how humbly he listened to the voice of the Master, when, by the events of his providence, he called on him to give place to others. It was the holy humility that was content to say, “He must increase, but I must decrease.”
But he did not quit his favorite work, when he ceased to be the pastor of Ranelagh Chapel. His was a green old age, even to the last; and the Christian pulpit retained all its attractions for him, even to the hour of his mortal seizure.
Nor was it only in his public ministrations that he aimed at usefulness. As a writer he did great good ; and in the unostentatious character of his Christian walk and conversation, all took knowledge of him as a follower in deed and truth of his Divine Master. A young friend, who for many years enjoyed his acquaintance, furnishes the following beautiful sketch of his home-piety.
“He was a man of considerable talent, of eminent and distinguished piety, cheerful and amiable in his disposition, illustrating by his everyday life the happy-making character of the religion he professed. It was a spiritual luxury to be in his company. His conversation was always lively, and such as tended to edification. During the last ten years we were intimately acquainted, and I do not know that I can. call to remembrance a single interview, or a single conversation which to my mind was not in itself a demonstration of his inward spirituality.
"I shall never forget being with him at the bedside of a departed relative, as he read and commented upon Eph. ii. especially verses 4-8, God who is rich in mercy,' &c. He was always happy in his expositions, but then he seemed as it were to breathe the atmosphere of heaven, and to give a marvellous emphasis to the loving utterances of the God of all grace. His prayer on that occasion was peculiarly earnest and saintly; he seemed at home with God.
“ His public discourses were characterized by deep affection as well as by a persuasive eloquence. The love of Christ was his favorite theme. Although truly faithful in his ministrations, he was an alluring rather an alarming preacher. The exhibition of redeeming love, and the glories of the heavenly state, were subjects upon which he delighted to dwell. If for a moment he conducted his hearers to Sinai, it was only on the way to Calvary where he always loved to linger. His loss will long be deplored by a numerous circle, and his acts of private friendship long remembered by those who like myself shared the honor and privilege of his acquaintance."
Up to the time of his last illness he had been actively engaged in preaching twice, and, on some occasions, three times, on the Sabbath. In Ranelagh Chapel he preached for the last time on the 12th of Deceřber ; at Orange-street Chapel on the 24th of March, and in the evening of the same day, at Horseferry-road Chapel.
His first serious indication of failing strength was on the 28th of March, when he appeared to be very ill. But, on the 29th, such was his energy, he attended the funeral of an infant at the Brompton Cemetery, and performed the service ; and in the evening of the same day, being Good Friday, addressed a class of thirty young persons, at his own house, from 1 Peter ii. 21-25, in connexion with Isaiah liji. with unusual pathos and appropriateness. He pressed on the youthful circle, after speaking to them tenderly on the sufferings of Christ, the importance of cultivating the spirit of meekness, in their intercourse with their parents, brothers, sisters, and school-fellows. He reminded them also of the uncertainty of life, and the probability that some of them might be called away in youth. He entreated them to give their hearts to God; so that whether removed from earth in youth, or spared to maturer age, they might be safe for eternity. Touching on the subject of prayer, he pleaded with the young people, not to be discouraged for the want of words in their approaches to God, “though,” said he, “the words you utter may be so poor and mean that you would feel ashamed of them before your fellowcreatures, yet if they are prompted by earnest desire, they will be approved and accepted of God.” One who was present at this service