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"March 7. DAY OF JUDGMENT.-What crowds to see the chairing of the new member to-day, and what a small company at church to-night! There is only one day in which men will assemble in a larger multitude for religion than for the world; and that is, the day of judgment.
"March 8.-PRESUMPTION. Adam probably expected that Eve would have died immediately on taking the forbidden fruit, and was thus perhaps emboldened to commit the same sin.
"April 30.-HOLINESS.-I was much struck in chapel this morning with that part of the Te Deum, To Thee cherubim and seraphim continually do cry, Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Sabaoth.' Is this the burden of their song? Amidst all the other attributes of the Almighty, his power, wisdom, goodness, mercy, &c. &c. is holiness alone selected? How, then, should we labour to be holy as he is holy! As their song is continual, so should our pantings after holiness be. How seasonable will it be to remember this in times of temptation! Holiness becometh my house for ever.'
"May 8.-NEED OF THE INFLUENCE OF THE SPIRIT.-What need have we of the influences of the Spirit to give us even a taste for the Scriptures, as well as an insight into their truths. O Lord, take not thy holy Spirit from me.'
May 14.-HELP IN NEED.
The Apostles prayed for boldness to speak his word. When they had prayed, they were filled with the Holy Spirit to speak the word with all boldness. How true it is, As thy day is, so shall thy strength be.'
May 15. END OF SCRIPTURES.-An angel (Acts, v.) is sent from heaven to liberate the Apostles, and what is his message?
Go, speak unto the people all the words of this life.' Do, then, the words of Jesus and his disciples lead to life? O how careful should I be ever so to esteem them when reading, and so to be influenced in practising them!
"June 4.--NECESSITY OF FIRMNESS.-I seem to see somewhat more of the necessity of counting the cost. Sloth and evil desires are my besetting sins; and with these I must part. It is necessary to set my face like a flint against these. Like a man with his back to a tree, determined not to yield to his foes, so sometimes do I feel, praying at the same time mightily for help.
"I learnt this day, that by neglect of private prayer our foes are strengthened. When Moses held up his hands, Israel prevailed, &c. Lord, keep me always fervent in prayer!
July 13.-NEED OF SPIRITUALITY.-Without maintaining the spirit of religion continually in the mind, I find it impossible to resist sin and Satan. We must be armed with the Christian panoply, or else we shall inevitably be wounded in the conflict.
Sept. 7. WE STAND BY FAITH.-I can only be kept upright by the power of God, by applying continually to Christ; pleading what he has done, and laying hold of his strength. We are kept by the power of God through faith.' Sept. 10. WATCHFULNESS. -How powerful is our great adversary! Every moment are we exposed to his attacks. If foiled in one attempt, he tries another; if one sin allures not, another apparently less heinous is made use of to draw us from God; so that we need to be watchful in all things.
"This day W- died, after a long illness. H. and myself had visited him repeatedly. Hearing that he was very near his end yesterday, I called immediately after breakfast. His face presented a deathlike appearance; but he was very happy in his mind. They told me that he was now assured of his interest in Christ. The Bible being put into my hands, I asked him what part he would wish me to read; he replied, About the resurrection. I turned to the 15th of 1st Corinthians; but as he at times appeared likely to breathe his last, I only read a part, making now and then a remark suitable to the occasion. Great was his animation when I came to this, O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? He clapped his hands while I was reading this, and on his countenance was marked the greatest joy and triumph. He had before said two or three times, 'How came you to know all this?
I did not tell you' (for his memory seemed to have failed him). He had, indeed, told them of it before; but it was sufficiently marked in his countenance and behaviour, so as to be visible by all. When I was reading the above passage, he said, 'I am ready! I am ready!' -(and I think also,)- Come, Lord Jesus.' He requested me, if I did not think it too much, to go to prayer. I did so. He joined with energy and loudness in part of the Lord's Prayer; having before told his wife to be still, and not interrupt him with her lamentations. After prayer, I wished him good bye; and he said, he hoped we should meet shortly, or at least(meaning not to wish my life short)
but that at least we should meet again in heaven. He survived the day; and I was nearly on the point of going to inquire after him, when H. came up, and informed me that he had left this world about nine this morning.
"When I first called on him, about two months ago, from an expression which he made use of, that he did as well as he could,' I was somewhat afraid lest he might be trusting to himself, or to any thing he could do for salvation, and therefore guarded him against it; and endeavoured in my feeble way to point out the Saviour. During the time I have seen him, I have great reason to be assured that his trust was in Christ alone for salvation. He loved to read the word of God; had marked particular passages, and seemed always most unhappy when, through the force of his disorder, he had not been able to attend to divine things. He would say, with evident feelings of regret, I have not been able to think much to-day.' And though, when he got very little sleep in the night, he was very subject to dozing in the day, yet he used to strive against it, because it disqualified him for reading and meditation. Sometimes he would
say, he was more comfortable than before; from which it was evident, that he had felt his ruined state by nature, and was seeking deliverance. He seemed to have a full per suasion, that he should see things more clearly before he died. He was exhorted to seek earnestly for it; and I believe verily that he obtained it-that he was fully assured before his death of his interest in Christ.
"To the Lord be all the praise! May he enable me to be more active in his service!
Sept. 17.-CONFLICT, AND HOW TO GET THE VICTORY.-My song shall be of the mercies of the Lord, and I will now recount his loving kindness. About two months ago, I became sensible that I was deceiving myself. I had given way to my besetting sin, but I now saw that it must be conquered. I resolved not to indulge sinful thoughts any longer, but still Satan kept me as his captive. I tried the most likely means to overcome my sins, but all failed; Satan still kept me as his captive. I found all human means in vain; I committed the matter to the Lord. At first I was foiled, and I began to despair of ever gaining the victory. But I made my supplication to God, and find, that when I am weak, then am I strong.' (See Sept. 3, 4, 7.) I believe, that through his grace I shall be victorious. But it was a hard matter simply to exercise faith in Christ, much harder than to undergo any self-denial or even tor
have little hopes of succeeding in September on account of my eyes, which prevent my reading hard." And in another letter, written during the examination, he writes,
"I say continually, Thy will be done.' Agar's petition was a good one, Give me neither poverty nor riches, feed me with food convenient for me.' Prov. xxx. 8. Poor short-sighted creatures as we are, we know not what on the whole may be best for us; we should often choose what would be most injurious in this world and the next. Lot seems an awful instance of this; what a bitter choice his proved! When, in addition to this, I consider the uncertainty of all things here below, I rejoice to commit all my ways into the hands of an almighty Friend. My days on the earth may not be long. I am reminded of this continually, and especially by the loss of several men in one year. Blundell, you know, died last year; Stainforth has since followed. There are only four of us candidates; we are left a few of many.' The number of Fellowships vacant is eight, number of candidates twenty-three."
The following paragraph appears also in the book before referred to:
"TRUST IN GOD.-During this week we shall sit for Fellowships. I believe it will be all ordered for the best. I sometimes find a great load; but the question of my Lord comes to my mind; What do ye more than others?' of what avail is your trust in God, if it fail you in such a season as this?""
When the examination closed, and he was, as he clearly anticipated, disappointed of success, he writes,
"I have now sat for a Fellowship, and failed.
I am satisfied, as it is the Lord's will; having nothing wherewith to reproach myself on this head. My path, it seems, must lie through the valley of humiliation; no doubt it will be better for me.”
And under date Oct. 1, 1820, in a letter to a friend,
"It hath pleased the Author and Giver of all good to keep back from me the object of my pursuit. I feel submissive, and can truly say, Thy will be done.""
No sooner was this point settled, than, without a moment's delay, he devoted himself" to work in good earnest," as he expresses it, in the vineyard." In order to this, he waited upon the Rev. Dr. Seale, Rector of Stisted, near Braintree, whose curacy was at that time vacant. It was of great importance to Dr. S. that his curacy should be immediately supplied; that the person whom he nominated should be one who would most probably continue some time in the situation; and that, if possible, the curate should be a gentleman already in orders. On all these points there were difficulties. Mr. E. was not yet in orders; he must wait some weeks; and it was at that time very probable that he might succeed to a small living, in Yorkshire, in the gift of Trinity College, and to which his attention was called by one of the examiners for the fellowship, the Rev. Professor Monk, now Dean of Peterborough. The penetration of Dr. S. enabled him to discover, that Mr. E. was in every respect the person suited to his curacy; in consequence he waived every objection, gave him a title, treated him with the utmost kindness and attention, and mourned over his illness and removal with the affection of a father. In consequence of the kind intervention of the Rev. Dr. Wordsworth, the Master of Trinity College, and some other circumstances, Mr. E. was ordained Deacon, Oct. 15, on letters dimissory from the Archbishop of Canterbury, having travelled four hundred miles in the course of a few days, that he might enter a few weeks earlier on his delightful work.
"Oct. 15.-I was this day ordained Deacon by the Bishop of Norwich on letters dimissory from Canterbury. Fifteen deacons and fifteen priests ordained at the same time. May they all be useful in the Church of Christ! Lord, help me to be faithful-to feel the importance of the office more and more, and to approve myself to God as his ambassador, not regarding the opinions of men."
On his arrival at Stisted, Mr. E. immediately engaged with the utmost assiduity in the labours of the ministerial office. When the people first saw him, they literally inquired, "What can this young man say?" But they were soon constrained to acknowledge, that his word was with power: he was fervent, animated, solemn, and pathetic. One striking feature of his preaching was, persuading by the love of Christ. He would often say, "I am always afraid of driving them away from the Saviour; I would rather err on the side of drawing them." The following extract from his papers may illustrate his reasoning.
"Conversing with W. Won prayer, I said, 'The promise is, every one that asketh receiveth, every one,' &c. What can we wish for more? Christ would not have told us this if it had not been really so.' 'Ono,' said he, that he would not!"""
In June 1822, he had an opportunity of visiting his friends in Yorkshire, whom he had not seen for two years; but the time of confirmation drawing near, he felt he could not leave his young people, and therefore declined undertaking the journey. He employed much time in the school-room explaining the nature of the ordinance, and expounding suitable passages of Scripture previous to confirmation; and he afterwards addressed those who had been confirmed, from the passage, “Vow, and pay unto the Lord that thou vowest;" urging
upon them the duty of solemnly commemorating their Saviour's love by attending at the Lord's table; an exhortation with which some have since complied. He then said, "Now I will leave them;" implying that he should let the subject rest for a season. I feel very glad I did not go home; perhaps I may not be with them another confirmation."
Mr. E. diligently visited his people from house to house, especially those who were ill, never waiting to be sent for. He regufarly attended two who resided a mile and a half from him, twice a week, and sometimes oftener, for the space of twelve months. On one occasion, he was called up at two in the morning, to attend the dying pillow of one to whose conversion he had heen instrumental; and though he found him insensible, he continued offering up fervent prayers on his behalf, which the Lord graciously heard and answered. The violence of the pain was mercifully removed, and the individual spared, and permitted, in company with Miss Escreet and a pious neighbour, to partake of the Lord's supper. Some short time after, Mr. E, was again sent for; and while kneeling at the bedside praying, the poor man gently expired. One striking effect of the tendency of true religion was seen in this individual. Twelve months before he was ignorant of his letters, but previous to his removal he could quote any part of the New Testiment.
The poor people at Stisted established a small fund for the relief of sick persons, to which Mr. E. largely contributed, and which afforded him great delight, both as tending to increase his usefulness, and evincing the excellent spirit which prevailed among the people. In allusion to it in one of his letters, he says, "Is not this one of the fruits of the Spirit?" Mr. E.
exerted himself also very considerably in the instruction of young persons. He had indeed two regular pupils during the year, and received two others from Cambridge for the long vacation; but though he had numerous applications, he declined receiving more, saying, "If I comply I must neglect my parish, and this I will not do."
"In October 1822," says Miss E. "we went to town on our way to Yorkshire. The night before, we had the school as usual; the people took a most affectionate leave, saying, they should never see us more. The young people, as if with one consent, burst into tears. My dear brother alone was firm. Come,' said he to the children, go home, and do as you have heard; that will be better than staying and crying here.'" This was the more remarkable, as Mr. E had not at that time experienced any indisposition; and, except a slight degree of languor, had enjoyed uninterrupted health during his residence at Stisted.
On his arrival at Hull, Mr. E. preached at St. John's on the Sunday morning, from, "Come thou with us, and we will do thee good;" and in the evening at St. Mary's, from, "In my Father's house are many mansions." He preached the following Sunday at the same churches, terminating his public ministry at St. Mary's, the church of his affectionate tutor, with a discourse from Ps. xxiii. "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want." On the Tuesday afternoon he was seized, without any previous symptom of indisposition, with a spitting of blood. Recourse was immediately had to medical assistance, and he appeared recovering for about a fortnight, when he was seized with a relapse, was again bled, and reduced very low."While in this feeble state," says Miss E. "I had been sitting by him for some time, and we had scarcely spoken to each other, conversation