ページの画像
PDF
ePub

of the confidence which he perhaps he was never so thankhad inspired, of his sickness ful to the Author of his being, and sufferings, of his death in as during his sickness.--He a distant land, and of the hopes was indeed removed at length which died with him, we could from the kind offices of his not but speak of his removal friends. But this event was as mysterious, dark, untimely fitted, and, may I not say, deMy own mind participated at signed, to strengthen his confirst in the general depression; nexion with God, and to prebut in proportion as I have re- pare him for the approaching flected on the circumstances dissolation of all earthly ties. of this event, I have seen in I now see him tossed on the them a kindness, which I 0- ocean; but his heart is fixed verlooked in the first moments on the rock of ages." He is of sorrow ; and though in ma- borne to another hemisphere ny respects inscrutable, this but every where he sees the dispensation now wears a more footsteps and feels the preconsoling aspect.

sence of God. New constelI now see in our friend a

lations roll over his head ; young man, uncommonly ripe but they guide his mind to the in understanding and virtue, same Heaven, which was his for whom God appointed an hope at home. I see him at early immortality. His lot on the extremity of Africa, adorearth was singularly happy ; ing God in the new creation Tor I have never known a min- which spread around him, and ister more deeply fixed in the thanking him with emotion for hearts of his people. But this the new strength, which that condition had its perils. With mild atmosphere communicaa paternal concern for his ted. I see him too in the trycharacter God sent adversity, ing scene which followed, and conducted him to the end when he withered and shrunk of his being by a rougher but like a frail plant under the esurer way, a way trodden and quinoctial sun, still building consecrated by the steps of the , piety on suffering, and growbest men before him. He was ing in submission, as hope desmitten by sudden sickness ; clined. He does not indeed but even here the hand of God look without an occasional was gentle upon him. His sinking of the heart, without sickness, whilst it wasted the some shudderings of nature, body, had no power over the to a foreign soil as his appointspirit. His understanding re- ed grave. But he remembers, lained its vigour; and his that from every region there heart, as I often observed, is a path to immortality, and gained new sensibility. His that the spirit, which religion sufferings, by calling forth an has refined, wherever freed almost unprecedented kind. from the body, will find its naness in his people, furnished tive country. He does not bim with new and constant oc- indeed think wtthout emotion casions of pious gratitude, and of homegma thought, how try

1

ing to a sick and dying man, would be injured by a strainin a land of strangers ! But ed and laboured eulogy. God, whom he adores as eve- The character of our friend py where present, secms to was distinguished by blandhim a bond of union to dis

ness, mildness, equableness tant friends, and he finds re- and harmony. All the elelief in committing them to his ments were tempered in him care and mercy.- At length I kindly and happily. He had see him expire ; but not until nothing of asperity. He passsuffering has done its work of ed through the storms, tudiscipline and purification. mults and collisions of human His end is tranquil, like his life, with a benignity akin to own mild spirit ; and I follow that, which marked our perhim-not to the tomb, for that fect Guide and Example, lifeless body is not he—but to This mild and bland temper the society of the just made spread itseif over the whole perfect. His pains are now man. His manners, his unpast. He has found a better derstanding, his piety, all rehome, than this place of his ceived a hue from it, just as a nativity and earthly residence. soft atmosphere communicates Without the tossings of anoth- its own tender and tranquil er voyage, he has entered a

character to every object and secure haven. The feve: no scene viewed through it. longer burns in his veins With this peculiar mildness The hollow and deep voice no he united firinness. His purlonger sends forth ominous poses, whilst maintained withsounds. Disease and death, out violence, were never surhaving accomplished their rendered but to conviction. purpose, have lost their pow. His opinions, though defender, and he remembers, with ed with singular candour, he gratitude, the kind severity would have sealed with his with which they conducted blood. He possessed the onhim to a nobler life, than that ly true dignity, that which rewhich they took away. Such sults from proposing habitualis the aspect which - this dis. ly a lofty standard of feeling pensation now wears ;-how and action ;

and accordingly different from that which it the love, which he called forth, first presented to sense and was always tempered with imagination!

respect. He was one of the Let me pay a short tribute last men to be approached to his memory. It is a duty, with a rude familiarity. which I perform with a mel. His piety was a deep sentiancholy pleasure. His chare ment. It had struck through. acter was one, which it is and entwined itself with his soothing to remember. It whole soul. In the freedom comes over the mind, like the of conversation I have seen tranquilizing breath of spring, how intimately God was preIt asks no embellishment. It sent to him. But his pietr

partook of the general tem. that is solemn and venerable ;
perament of his mind. It was and the general effect of his
warm, but not heated ; ear. prayers was to diffuse a devout
nest, but tranquil; à habit, calmness, a filial confidence,
not an impulse ; the air which over the minds of his pious
he breathed, not a tempestu- hearers.
ous wind, giving occasional His understanding was of a
violence to his emotions. A high order; active, vigorous
constant dew seemed to distil and patient ; capable of exer-
on him from heaven, giving ting itself with success on ey-
freshness to his devout sensi. ery subject ; collecting mate-
bilities; but it was a gentle rials and illustrations from ev.
influence, seen not in its falle ery scene; and stored with a
ing, but in its fruits. His pi- rich and various knowledge,
ety appeared chiefly in grati. which few have accumulated
tude and submission, senti- at so early an age.

His unments peculiarly suited to derstanding, however, was in such a mind as his. He felt harmony with his whole charstrongly, that God had crown- acter. It was not so much ed his life with peculiar good. distinguished by boldness, ness, and yet, when his bless. rapidity and ardour, as by comings were withdrawn, his ac- posed energy, judiciousness, quiescence was as deep and

as deep and and expansiveness. You have sincere as his thankfulness. an emblem of it in the full, His devotional exercises in transparent and equable stream public were particularly strik. spreading around it fruitfuling. He canie to the mercy ness and delight. His views seat, as one, who was not a were often original and often stranger There. He seemed profound, but were especially to inherit from his venerable marked by justness, clearness father the gift of prayer. His and compass of thought. I acts of adoration discovered a have never known a man, so mind penetrated by the majes. young, of riper judgment, of ty and purity of God; but his more deliberate investigation, sublime conceptions of these and of more comprehensive attributes were always tem- views of all the bearings and pered and softened by a sense connexions of a subject, on of the divine benignity. The which he was called to decide. fraternal character of God was He was singularly free from not only his belief, but had be. the error into which young come a part of his mind. He preachers most readily fall, of never forgot, that he 'worship- overstating arguments, and ped the Father.' His firm exaggerating and straining conviction of the strict and the particular topics which proper unity of the divine na.

they wish to enforce. But in iure taught him to unite and avoiding extravagance, he did concentrato in his conception not fall into tameness. There of the l'ather, all that is lovely was a force and freshness in and attractive, as well as all his conceptions; and

[ocr errors]

when he communicated the a peculiar grace to every subthoughts of others, he first ject susceptible of ornament. grafted them on his own mind, --His command over language so that they had the raciness was great. His style was vaof a native growth. His opin- rious, vigorous, unborrowed; ions were the results of much abounding in felicities of exinental action, of many com- pression; and singularly free parisons, of large and liberal from that triteness and that thinking, of looking at a sub- monotonous structure, which ject on every side, and they the habit of rapid composition were expressed with those lim.ron familiar subjects almost itations, which long experi. forces on the preacher, and ence suggests to others. He which so often enervate the read with pleasure the bold most powerful and heart-stirand brilliant speculations of ring truths.--His character as more adventurous minds; but a preacher needs no other teshe reserved his belief for evi- timony than the impression dence, for truth ; and if the left on his constant and most most valuable gift of the un- enlightened hearers. To his derstanding be an enlarged, people, who could best judge discriıninating judgment, then

of his intellectual resources his was a most highly gifted and of his devotion to his work, mind.

his public services were more From a mind so balanced, and more interesting. They and a taste so refined, we could tell us of the affluence of his hardly expect that fervid elo- thoughts, of the beauty of his quence, which electrifies an imagery, of the tenderness and assembly,and makes the speak- earnestness of his persuasions, er for a moment an absolute of the union of judgement and sovereign over the souls of sensibility in his discourses, men. His influence, like that and of the wisdom with which of the great powers in the nat- he displayed at the same moural world, was mild and noise- ment the sublimity and prac. less, but penetrating and en- ticableness of Christian virtue. during. That oratory, which They tell us, that the early overwhelins and bears us a. ripeness of his mind did not way like a torrent, almost al- check its growth; but that ways partakes of exaggeration every year enlarged his treasand extravagance, and ures and powers. Their teaks therefore incompatible with and countenances tell us, more the distinguishing properties movingly than words, their of his mind.His imagination deep sorrow, now that they was fruitful and creative ; but, shall hear his voice no more. in accordance with his whole Of his social character I character, it derived its illus- need not speak to you. No trations more frequently from one, who ever met him in a regions of beauty than of gran- friendly circle, can easily fordeur, and it imparted a colour. get the attraction of his maning, at once rich and soft, and pers and conyersation, Не Vol. VI, No. 5.

19

[ocr errors]

was

source.

carried into society a cheer- very depths of his heart. fulness, a sunshine of the soul, firmer and calmer submission derived partly from constitu- could hardly have been formtion, and partly from his bright, ed by a long life of suffering. confiding views of religion ; a His feelings towards his delicacy, which instinctively people seemed at times too shrunk from wounding the strong for the self-possession feelings of the humblest hu- and calmness by which he was man being ; a disposition to characterised. Their kindness sympathise with every inno- overpowered him. The only cent enjoyment ; and the pow. tears, which I saw start from er of communicating with ease his eyes, flowed from this and interest the riches of his

In
my

last interview mind. Without effort, he won with him, a day or two before the hearts of men to a singular his voyage, I said to him, ' I degree. Never was man more trust that you will return, but I universally beloved. Even in fear you cannot safely continue sickness and in foreign lands, your pastoral relation. We he continuid to attract have, however, another emfriends; and it is our conso- ployment for you, in which you lation to know, that his virtues may be useful and happy. He drew from strangers much of answered, if I get strength I that kindness which blessed shall use it for my people. I him at home.

am willing to hazard my life In his sickness I was par- for their sakes. I would preach ticularly struck with his sub

to them, although the effort mission to God, and his affec-' should shorten my days.' He tion for his people. His sube added Should I forsake my mission seemed entire. There people after the kindness I was no alioy of impatience or have received, the cause of distrust. His sickness was a religion and of the ministry severe trial ;, for his heart was might suffer; and to this cause bound up in his profession, and I ought and am willing to make if in any thing his ambition was

any sacrifices.' excessive, it was in his desire Such is a brief sketch of our to enrich his mind by laborious lamented friend, He was one study. He felt deeply his pri- of the most blameless men, of vations, and he looked forward the most devoted ministers, to an early death as a probable and of the fairest examples of event. But he bowed to Prov- the distinguishing virtues of idence without a murmur. He Christianity. He has gone, I spoke only of the divine good- doubt not to a better world.

"I am in God's hand, Let us hear him from his new and his will be done,' were ahode admonishing us of the familiar sentiments, not utter- frailty of life, and assuring us ed with common place and of the happiness of a Christian mechanical formality, but is. death. The removal of the exsuing, as his tones and coun: cellent ought to carry our tenance discovered, from the thoughts to Heaven. That

ness.

« 前へ次へ »