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" But through the good blessing of my God, I am yet in possession of my senses, my tithes, and my liberty; and he who has hitherto delivered, I trust will get deliver me from the mouths of ecclesiastical fires and the paw of worldly bears. I have suffered from nothing except from lapidations and pillory treats, which yet bare proved more frightful than hurtful. If you are invited to go out, and feel yourself inclined to do so, take a lover's leap, neck or nothing, and commit yourself to Jesus. Ask no man's leave to preach Christ ; that is unevangelical and shameful. Seek not much advice about it ; that is dangerous. Such advice I found generally comes the wrong way-heels uppermost.
“ Most preachers love a snug church and a whole skin ; and what they love they will prescribe. If you are determined to be evangelically regular, i.e. secularly irregular; then expect, wherever you go, a storm will follow you, which may fright you, but will bring no real harm. Make tbe Lord your whole trust, and all will be well."*
The man who could write thus to a brother clergyman, was likely to be greatly interested in the intrepid spirit of young Rowland Hill, who was engaged in itinerant labours in the west, and had preached for the first time in the market-place of Wotton-under-edge, Gloucestershire, in June, 1771. Intelligence of his proceedings having been communicated to his venerable friend, he addressed him the following letter :
“Everton, Oct. 20, 1771. “ MY DEAR RowLY,-Your letter refreshed me much. Go on, and fear nothing but your own heart. You are in the high road to everlasting honour, pursuing the very track of your Master, and highly favoured by him. Your ship is now in full sail, and of course will require much ballast to keep her steady and upright. This ballast will be thrown into your ship providentially, just as it is wanted, by ill-judging, lukewarm professors and a crazy world. When Jesus sees your heart elevated, though secretly unknown to yourself, he will throw in a fresh skip of ballast to sink your bark a litile lower. When you need but a little depression, the world may give it—when you want more, professors may bring it—when more still, your — may give a blow, They are all your friends when they use you ill; and you ought to be as thankful tə the heavenly Physician for thus paring off the proud flesh from your heart, as to a earthly surgeon for paring off the proud flesh from your limbs. Did not the world scourge your Master, spit in his face, crown him with thorns, and crucify him? Ded not chief priests and pharisees insult him, mock him, tempt him, and defame him? Did not his kinsfolk come and lay hold of him to stop his ministry when he first set out, thinking him beside himself? Mark iii. 21. Well, you know, the servant must be as his Master ; yet fear none of these things. Jesus will make you more than coqueror-needful support and comfort will be given you here, and everlasting glory crown thy head hereafter. If your old college friends drop their correspondence, herd it not, only seek a closer communication with Jesus; our cisterns must dry up before we can lie wholly at the fountain. Through mercy I have been so kept on my legs this summer, as to preach twice every Sabbath-and intend setting up a weekly lecture again. Keep on praying and preaching. Let nothing stop you. The Lord be with your spirit and mine.
" JOHN BERRIDGE."
Unsparing as were his own labours for the salvation of men, yet he
* Vide Sir J. B. Williams' Life of the Rev. David Simpson, pp. 24, 25.
was solicitous that his young brother should not injure himself both in body and soul, by his continued public efforts.
“ February 27, 1772. “ My Dear Rowly.- The Lord's advice to the twelve seems applicable to you ; "come into a desert place and rest awhile.' Rest, and look into yourself—rest, and look with stillness to Jesus. But your retreat must have its trials too, and kindly they are provided lest you should love a retreat too well, and tarry too long. A messenger of the Lord must have no paradise on earth-no peace but in Jesus. Every good meal he finds must be eaten with bitter herbs. Every where, and at all times, trials will attend you from within or without. You need not doubt of your being in God's way because he owns your word abundantly, and gives you much favour with the people. And indeed, my dear Rowly, these are the best days you will ever meet with, and the richest harvest you may ever reap. Learn to prize them, and adore the mercy of God, both in calling you to the work, and in making you faithful. The Lord has put a treasure into your hands, and given you an heart to use it ; and by a blessed traffic you are storing up for yourself abundant honor, glory, and immortality. And why this favour bestowed on you? Grace ! Grace! The Lord loves you-be humble and thankful. The Lord delights to honour you-may your heart delight in the Lord and in his service. Oh, what is grace? I see and taste a little of it, but want a daily better sight, and sweeter taste. Well might our apostle say, 'Oh, the depth !' In this depth I want to plunge, and lose myself, that I may find and know Jesus. But his love is unfathomable. Eternity will scarce unravel it. So much the better! then it is just what it should be to make me happy,-infinite and endless. Hallelujah ! Make the best of your time ; and whilst the master affords travelling health and strong lungs, blow your horn soundly. I do not invite you to Everton when you come to Cambridge, because a man who has got possession of my heart, may enter my house without a call,
“Grace be with you, and with yours,
“ JOHN BERRIDGE." The interval that elapsed between the date of this and the succeeding letter, was marked by two important events in Mr. Hill's personal history—his ordination and his marriage.
Dr. Willis, Bishop of Bath and Wells, ordained him as a deacon on Trinity Sunday, 1773, having been furnished with his title to orders by Mr. Brown, the rector of the little parish of Kingston, near Taunton, Somersetshire, where he officiated as curate for about a year. The difficulty he found in obtaining deacon's orders, on the ground of his irregularities, did not deter him from similar labours, the offence of which was such that he never received priest's orders, and about which he cared so little as facetiously to remark, that he was obliged to pass through life “ wearing only one ecclesiastical boot.”
His marriage to Miss Tudway, of Wells, sister to the gentleman who sat in parliament for that city, was another circumstance that might have interfered with his usefulness. But in his first letter to that lady, he plainly intimated to her what his purpose through life was, and inquires, “ Can you be contented to see me a despised pilgrim for my once despised Master, rejected for my labours, and reproached for my God?” Happily she was of one mind with him on that subject, and N. S. VOL. V.
thus Mr. Berridge refers to both these affairs with satisfaction in the following letter :
“ September 3, 1774. "DEAR SIR, I mean, my DEAR Rowly.--Your kind letter was long in coming, but, it brought good tidings, and refreshed my heart. The motto of your seal rejoiced me much, it gave me a peep into your bosom, and a taste of your letter before I read it. Indeed, I was somewhat afraid lest orders and a petticoat would cure you of rambling --but my fears were groundless, and all is well.
"The lampoon published against you, is a blessed omen for good, that God intends to honour you. Luther used to say, when the Lord had fresh work for him, a strong trial was always sent beforehand, to prepare him for it by humiliation. Fear not, ge forward ! and the more reproach you meet with for Christ's sake, the more he will honour you. Study not to be a fine preacher. Jerichos are blown down with ram's horns. Look simply unto Jesus for preaching food, and what is wanted will be given --and what is given, will be blest, whether it be a barley or a wheaten loaf, a crust, or crumb. When your heart is right meek and simple, Jesus will make an orator of you ; when you grow lofty, and are pleased with your prattle, Jesus will make a fool of you. Your mouth will be a flowing stream, or a fountain sealed, according as your heart is. Avoid all controversy in preaching, talking, or writing ; preach nothing down, but the Devil; and nothing up, but Jesus Christ.
“I saw your other half once in London, and liked her largely. She wept prettily, and I hope her tears are not yet dried up. Give my kind love to her, and a hat-full of kind respects to — , &c. and take a heart-full of affection for yourself. “Grace and peace be with you both, and with yours,
"John BERRIDGE." Rowland Hill was intimately acquainted with Mr. Whitefield, and imbibed much of his spirit, and after his decease delighted to preach on the spots where that good man had laboured.
As Blackheath had often echoed with his trumpet-voice, so Mr. Hill followed his example, and preached on a hillock there that is still called Whitefield's Mount. To these services Mr. Berridge refers in the following letter :
Everton, June 7th, 1776. “MY DEAR ROWLY,--I need not say that I love you, because all who are acquainted with the old and young ass, know it well, and I would have them know it, and the more scandalous you grow, I mean evangelically scandalous, the more I must love you. A newspaper tells me where you are, and what you are doing, viz. turned out on Blackheath, and engaged in your old trade of devil hunting, which is neither a profitable nor an honourable business as the world goes, yet a more suitable employ. ment for Gospel ministers, than fox-hunting, or card-hunting. Success attend you, a firm seat upon the wooden horse, a clear shrill horn, to animate the chase, and the hasty flight of many a devil, black or white. But when the master is chasing the fiends of infidelity and profaneness from others, take heed yourself of the devil of pride, lest he creep into your own hive, and eat up all the honey. He is a very subtle, and a very handsome devil, I assure you ; and coming always with a simper ing look, a painted cheek, a dimpled chin, a nightingale's tongue, and a kissing lipyou would really take him for Gabriel, unless you spy his cloven foot, which he will hide if possible, under a cassock, as well as under a petticoat. This handsome devil, who talks as fine as any Frenchman, has often beguiled my heart, and brought me to many a whipping-postand unless you are made of better clay, or better pottered than myself, he will surely, by his glozing speeches, conduct you to an house of cor.
rection. Yet be not discouraged--Bridewell is the coinmon luck of Gospel ministers
-the best need bitter herbs, instead of mint sauce, to eat with their lamb. And if the master brushes your back soundly with birch, he will make all well again with a kiss. Nothing better for a Christian than the master's birch-wine: I am drinking it now, to sharpen my appetite, and relieve a palsy of a spiritual kind. My last long visit to London has almost overset the old Gospel pedlar, and my Everton friends tell me, I must go no more to Tabernacle, unless I mean to lay my bones there. Well, if Jesus receiveth my spirit, no matter where my bones are laid ; and I suppose the worms at Tottenham have no sharper teeth than those at Everton, or if they have, it would not trouble me. I have only two weekly journeys of preaching since I came down. The third laid me up without preaching, and sent me home in a carriage ; since then I only preach on the Lord's day, but keep eating every day of the week-30 I have fourteen meals for one sermon. A poor business truly for a Methodist parson, yet I give thanks, that I am not exalted to the privilege of a bishop, which is, to eat every day, and preach no day.
"My dear Rowly, giveup yourself wholly to Jesus, and freely employ body, and soul, and sustenance, in his service. Work while the day lasteth, for life, health, are uncertain, and what your hand findeth to do, do it with all your might.
“ If Esau complains of stiff-hack, or sore-breast, and cries out for some ease, and a lobster, give him a pulpit sweat and beef-tea; this will quiet him, for the less he is humored the stiller he grows. Present my hearty respects to your Mary, and tell her I wish her much joy in the Lord. Grace, abundant grace, be with you both, and with your affectionate servant,
“ John BERRIDGE."
IMITATION OF ARCHBISHOP LEIGHTON, on ISAIAH LX. I.
" Arise, shine, for thy light is come," &c.
ARISE, the hours of Evangelic day “Ye sleep-ye cannot watch with me
and moil. All are too much engross'd with these; Arise, behold by faith the Son of God, arise,
And, as you travel in the path he trod, Immortal spirit, seek thy kindred skies, Feast on his distant beauties, till your The Canaan of repose; 'neath Egypt's eye sway,
Shall nearer glories and full bliss enjoy, A slave no longer weary with thick clay. And ye who ken no visions of delight Address thyself to more exalted cares, In him all lovely in the church's sight, The Saviour harkens to the bondman's Arise and gaze upon his matchless grace, prayers,
Which by its brightness you may clearly And ransoms from ignoble, vile employ, trace, To deeds of holiness and hallow'd joy. Till things you now through ignorance Strange! Christian, you forget your admire lofty source,
Wax dim, as stars unseen in solar fire. The mark, the prize, the ending of your Stand up from death, and he shall give course;
you light; And the high price the Göel had to pay; Rise and prevent the bast'ning shades of And thus you aim so low and trifle life night.
away! Why hear you not the mandate from Thrice happy youths, who in the morn above,
of age, "Arise, my fair one, come away, my With dew-like freshness read the holy love ?"
page, Tho' saints, through grace, shall sleep And find it rich with wisdom's sacred lore, not unto death,
A chart to guide their vessel to the shore, Their life, alas! is but a drowsy breath; Where rocks, and sands, and winds are And oft too when activity is needed, known no more. Their souls are most with heaviness impeded.
Weep ye who love mankind, that few
e'er think How keen our Lord's reproof! when, on Why they exist, till near their journey's the ground,
brink : The gory drops fell awful all around Weep ye, that others wake not nor arise, His agonizing frame, disciples slept Till, startled by the sound of miser's cries, While their pain'd Master prayed, and They see stern Justice with up-lifted rod! groan'd, and wept
Arise, O sleeper, call upon thy GOD. “What! are ye so enslav'd by night's dull power,