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love to assist them, and generally add a trifle to the collection, when I have been preaching in behalf of a church which has an aged minister.”
5. He was much tried by the envy of some little minds. Mr. S.' said to him, “You was very late, I hear, at Walworth. Yes, Sir, and there you may see your own error; you
you say I am 1oo eager for the pulpit, now you see your mistake.' At another time, Spencer,' said a person whose name shall be secret, Popularity is a dangerous thing.' It is.' No one is popular long. Very true.' 6 You are popular now, but you will not be so long.' That I certainly shall not, Sir, if your wishes are accomplished; but I fully believe, that my popularity hurts you more than it does me.' The bell soon after summoned him to read (in his turn) a sermon for general criticism. The first person called upon said, that its merits were such, that he had nothing to say of its defects. That sentiment was universal. • And,' said he to me afterwards, • when I considered what had passed, I felt that that was a moment of gratification.”
6 A lady, who liad misunderstood an idea in his sermon, wrote me a hasty letter, charging him with antinomianism, and me with gross impropriety in hearing him. It was Saturday night, and he was to preach in the same pulpit the next day. I went to inform him of the circumstance, that he might take an unperceived opportunity of explaining himself. He held out his hand to give his usual affectionate squeeze, when I drew backI don't kuow
how to shake hauds with an antinomian.' • An an. tinomian! What is the matter?? • Read this proof of it. He read it; his pleasantry subsided ; and with a countenance which spoke the feeling of his noble soul, -0,' said he, “this letter does me good. --The attention of that congregation would have led me to suppose that they were pleased, and perhaps profited by what they heard ; and yet you see, that there were those present who not only misunderstood me, but supposed that I was a preacher of antinomianism. This letter does me good; for sometimes Satan claps me on the back, here in my study, and
• That sermon will do very well, and especially from one so young as you'—and then I begin to mount, and fancy that I am somebody ; but such a letter as this clips my wings—and then,' said he, (with undescribable expression) 1 drop into my place, the dust. Do bring me all the intelligence of this kind that you can.
“ How I wish they would begin the service with Watts’ 1520 hymn, 2d book.* That hymn always
* SINAI AND SION.-HEB. xii. 18, &c.
“ NOT to the terrors of the Lord,
The tempest, fire and smoke ;
Which God on Sinai spoke ;
But we are come to Sion's hill,
The city of our God,
sooths my mind in the opening of worship. My whole soul enters into it, especially the last two verses.' Why do you not request that it may be given out? 6 Because it does not become one of my age to dictate.' "'Tis no dictation, but a gratification of your friends ; it secures congeniality through the service when you mention the hymns you wish. And can we have it to Staughton ?' • No, to Prospect." No, no, Staughton; that is my tune for a common metre, and Shirland for short metre. The 5th verse he frequently quoted.”
“One day, mentioning to him an interesting text of Mr. Cecil's, preached on the last night of the year, said he, " That will just do for me to preach at Brighton, to conclude the services of the present year. But don't shew me Mr. Cecil's 'till I have composed mine. I would not borrow a single idea,
Behold th' innumerable host
Of angels, cloth'd in light !
Whose faith is tur'd to sight !
Whose names are writ in heav'n ;
Their vilest sins forgiv'n.
But one communion make;
And of his grace partake.
In such society as this
My weary soul would rest :
Must be forever blest."
Preaching one morning at Iloxton, after he had prayed as usual at his entrance into the pulpit, I missed him; he bent forward for a considerable time so low, that I could scarcely perceive him from the gallery. When I afterwards asked him if any thing ailed him, said he, · When I went into the pulpit, and saw that crowded audience, recollecting that they were all looking to me for instruction, and remembering my own youth and inexperience, I was overwhelmed, and leaning forward, implored more earnestly the divine assistance."
6. While preaching at Jewin-street, he one afternoon took the two lower steps at once, in ascending the pulpit stairs. When we afterwards met, I asked, “Did you notice the manner of your going into the pulpit ?' I did, and thought that you would also-it was inadvertent; but it was wrong. It did not become the solemnity of the place.--I never remember such a circumstance before, and will be more guarded in future.' As a proof of the necessity of his watchfulness over the minutiæ of his actions, I mention that an aged Christian said to me some time afterwards, “I loved Spencer's sermons, but there was a lightness about him.' -A lightness! when, and where did he discover it?' At our meeting, in jumping up the pulpit stairs.'
• Did you see it more than once ?" "No." • Then I can tell you, that that once he felt and lamented it as deeply as you could ; and I am sure that he never repeated it. Is not that satisfactory? It is."
“Spencer followed Cecil; he united deep humility with true ministerial dignity: nor do I conceive it possible for a youth to be less affected by popularity than he was; and as to flattery, if his flatterers had known the light in which he viewed them, they would have been silent. Coming from a vestry, where adulation had been offered · Don't fear for me,' said he, son account of what has passed; it was too weak to hurt: my danger is when those, on whose judgment I depend, speak unguardedly! At another time, after a young man had been very lavish in his praises, (who had several times been guilty of the same impropriety) I told him I thought the next time he addressed himself to me, I should give him a hint of it. 0 po,' said he, 'treat it with the same contempt that I do. To mention it, would give too much importance to his judgment. I would not have him think that his judgment could do any harm."
“ Spencer was particularly happy in his choice of texts for particular occasions ; . I feel great difficulty,' said he, in preaching at Hertford, where I have to address many who walked with God before I was born. To-morrow will be the first Sabbath that I have regularly supplied there. I have ehosen for my subject, Romans xvi. 7. In which he shewed what it was to be in Christ; and the duties which aged Christians owe to younger ones-faithful reproof and exhortation-prayer for them, &c. For his sermon on regeneration, he chose James i. 18, which, as he said, comprised the whole subject ;the efficient cause The will of God ;' the grand