« PreviousContinue »
THE CHRISTIAN GUARDIAN,
CHURCH OF ENGLAND MAGAZINE.
MEMOIR OF THE LATE REV. S. CROWTHER:
FROM A SERMON PREACHED BY THE REV. 8. BURDER.
THE Rev. Samuel Crowther was age of Christchurch, Newgateborn Jan. 9, 1769, in New Bos- street, and Rectory of St. Leonard, well Court, in the parish of St. Foster Lane, January 30, 1800, by Clement Danes, London. His fa- the Governors of St. Bartholomew's ther, the late Richard Crowther, Hospital. Esq., was many years surgeon to The circumstances in which Mr. the Hospitals of Bridewell and Crowther entered upon his paroBethlehem. His mother was the chial duties, were not very encoudaughter of Samuel Richardson, a raging. He found the congregacelebrated writer. He received tion at church very small, and as his early education at the Free- he had been warmly opposed in school of Croydon, Surrey; but the election, had to encounter conafterwards became a scholar at siderable prejudice and opposition. Winchester College, under Dr. This was, however, but temporary. Joseph Warton, from whence, in It soon gave way to brighter pros1788, he succeeded to a fellowship pects. The number of hearers at New College, Oxford, where he rapidly increased, and gradually passed through the regular course accumulated, till at last this large of an university education.
church was completely filled. The He was ordained deacon, June result proved, also, that this was 3, 1792; and priest, June 26, not the effect of novelty, or, indeed, 1793. He entered upon the cura- of any factitious causes, but was cy of East Bergholt, Suffolk, March produced by the unfeigned piety 25, 1793, and removed to Barking and indefatigable labours of the in Essex, Oct. 4, 1795. In this pastor. In 1801, he commenced extensive country parish, he exer- an evening lecture in his church. cised his ministry with great dili- This was attended with the same gence, until elected to the living success that crowned his other of the United Parishes of the Vicar- exertions.
In almost every instance, some their confinement. May these vajudgment may be formed of the luable institutions be perpetuated, efficiency and influence of the min- notwithstanding they have been istry, by the number of persons deprived of the personal superinwho frequent the communion of tendence and influence of their the church. If it be small, it is founder. but natural to infer that indifference But Mr. Crowther's attention prevails amongst the people; but was not restricted to objects which if, on the contrary, many persons
existed only in the sphere of his regularly and devoutly attend the own immediate care.
He was ascelebration of the holy sacrament, siduous in promoting the welfare it evinces the existence of increas- of the City of London National ing piety and seriousness. Apply- Schools. He cheerfully contribuing this observation to the commu- ted his assistance, in every instance, nions of this church, it must cer- and on all occasions, where it was tainly be concluded that a spirit of required; but an eventful crisis devotion of no ordinary tone and arrived, which put a final period to degree, prevailed amongst the peo- his public labours, and for ever deple, as the number who generally prived his benevolent associates of on these occasions approached the his individual exertions, and active altar, was seldom equalled, and co-operation. could not well be exceeded, in During the whole of the precedother churches.
ing twenty-four years, he suffered On Jan. 9, 1801, Mr.. Crowther severely from repeated attacks of was elected by the parishioners to the stone, which, though they rarethe joint Lectureship of St. Botolph, ly prevented him from discharging Bishopsgate. This duty he con. his public duties, there can be little tinued to discharge with great doubt secretly preyed on the vitals regularity every alternate Sunday of his constitution, and perhaps afternoon, till the period in which predisposed it for that disastrous he was laid by from his public stroke which finally terminated his work by affliction.
public labours. This melancholy It has fallen to the lot of few event occurred on Sunday, March clergymen to be so frequently soli. 27, 1825. On this occasion he cited to preach sermons for the was reading the morning service in various charitable institutions of church, when, having advanced as the metropolis, as to that of Mr. far as the litany, he was suddenly Crowther. On these occasions he seized with a violent stroke of apowas always well received, and be- plexy, and taken from the desk, came a successful advocate for the apparently in a senseless state. poor and the young. He set, in- This was followed by a severe paradeed, an example in his own pasish lytic affection, which for a considof his solicitude to promote those erable time rendered his life eximportant objects by the establish- ceedingly precarious. Time, howment of a Sunday School, which ever, and medical assistance, under has hitherto been conducted upon the divine blessing partially restored an extensive plan; and by the for- his faculties and strength, though mation of a benevolent society, for he never recovered them so far as visiting and relieving the sick poor to be able to resume his official at their own habitations; and for duties. supplying lying-in women with In addition to this personal linen and other necessaries during affliction, his domestic happiness
was greatly interrupted by another is not only itself always calm and gloomy dispensation of Providence
serene, as being inaccessible to the blindness of his eldest son. every breath of injury and turbuThis occurring when he was only lent impression, but it also contifour years old, has rendered him nually sheds down its benign ever since the object of much pa- influences, without distinction, on rental solicitude and attention. all below it." He possessed that
Mr. Crowther served the office wisdom that is from above; and of President of Sion College in its celestial qualities unfolded them1819, and on the expiration of his selves in his mind and conduct, for year of office, preached, as is cus- he was "pure, peaceable, gentle, tomary at the annual meeting of easy to be entreated, full of mercy the London Clergy, a Latin sermon, and good fruits, without partiality in the parish church of St. Alphage, and without hypocrisy." Jas, iii. 17. London-wall. His publications As circumstances required, he mahave been few, being confined to nifested decision and firmness ; libsix sermons, preached on public erality and candour; sympathy and occasions.
benevolence; activity and stedfastThere are cases in which eulogy
In his domestic and social may be overstrained and misapplied; relations, his spiritual graces and but it would be difficult in the pre- virtues were uniformly brought into sent instance to commit such an exercise, and he sustained them so error. Those who were best ac- as to diffuse happiness amongst quainted with Mr. Crowther well those with whom he was connected. know, and will readily admit, that But it is his ministerial and pub. he stood eminently high in the lic character which now requires scale of moral and religious worth. our more particular observation. To speak of him as his character He was indeed a labourer in the demands, would lead us to employ vineyard of his Divine Master ; a no ordinary language; it would workman that needed not to be allow expressions of strong and ashamed; rightly dividing the word emphatic commendation. In what- of truth. There was nothing equiever light we contemplate his spirit vocal or dubious in his sentiments. and deportment, whether personal, They were strictly comformable to domestic, or ministerial, we are the Holy Scriptures, and the accrefully justified in asserting that he dited formularies of the Church of was a “burning and a shining England. He had embraced the light.” (John v. 35.) Thankful truth; he felt its power; and his that its beams so long directed and endeavour was to bring those who instructed us, the more sincerely heard him under its sanctifying may we mourn that it has so soon influence. The subjects of his been extinguished.
preaching were not disputed points His personal character was dis- of controversy, or curious speculatinguished by sincere and unaffected tive enquiries, or mere moral dis. piety. His religion was experi- cussions; but the grand, peculiar mental, and displayed its benign doctrines of Christianity. These influence in his truly Christian he represented in a clear, plain, disposition and temper. The lan- faithful, and practical manner. guage of Archbishop Leighton may Such a spirit and tone pervaded be properly applied in this case. his public services, as convinced “ A sublime and heavenly mind, others that he had experienced like the upper region of the world, what he had recommended; and
that the consolations he wished to when all the faithful servants of instil into the minds of his hearers, God will receive their final comhad possession of his own heart, mendation and reward. But we For regularity and constancy in his are assured that his ministry was public work, he could not well be owned of God, for the benefit of exceeded. Practically, at least, he many who went before him to was not of the opinion, so incon- glory, and of many who yet remain siderately, I think, avowed by some in this probationary state. His persons, that preaching is the least work is now done, and he is gone part of the work of a minister. to rest. When Elijah was transNo one, I am sure, will venture to lated to heaven, Elijah took the assert, that he either neglected, or mantle that fell from him, and superficially discharged any other smote the waters, and said, Where branch of his duty, but whilst he is the Lord God of Elijah ? 2 Kings sedulously regarded other obliga- i. 14. In like manner, may those tions, as to the ministry of the who survive, and with whom the word, he was, as St. Paul exhorted spiritual care of this people will Timothy, “ In season, out of sea- remain, cultivate the temper, imbibe son ; reproving, rebuking, exhort- the zeal, and emulate the diligence ing, with all long-suffering and of our departed brother. And doctrine.” 2 Tim. iv. 2. On many may he, with whom is the residue occasions, when acute pain, and of the spirit, richly anoint them bodily infirmity, might have ex- with gifts and graces suited to the cused him from his accustomed important stations which they reexertions, he could not be pre- spectively occupy. And, above vailed on to relinquish them. To all, may that benediction, without the last, he continued indefatigable, which Paul may plant and Apollos and received that stroke by which may water in vain,
all he was disabled from farther acti- their endeavours : and then, those vity in the immediate service of who sow, and those who reap, may his Divine Master. Of the extent rejoice together, not only in the of his usefulness we cannot accu- Church on earth, but in the realms rately judge. It will not be known of bliss for ever. till it is disclosed in that great day,
TRUTH; ITS POWER AND IMPORTANCE.
WHEN Pilate asked our blessed sublime and simple laws which Lord “ What is truth ?” he re- Newton and his followers have ceived no answer. Jesus left the gradually discovered ; and truth in question to be answered by the the moral world is in the volume developement of that system of of inspired Scripture.
The prindoctrine which he sent forth to the ciples of science are as strict in the world, solemnly attested by the one case as the other.
The same seal of his blood. And if the Omnipotent infinitely accurate and question were again asked in these definite mind rules equally in days, the answer is this :~Truth physical and metaphysical laws; in the natural world is in those in the government of bodies, whether worlds or atoms; and in the rity in the moral world; what government of spirits, whether must be the issue, if there is angels or men. * The principles brought into action, upon the souls are certain. The laws are fixed. of God's rational creatures, prinThe influences, the effects, the ciples and motives contrary to those results, are definite and traceable. by which he would regulate their The agency of certain principles doings! The mischief must be as upon a soul are as certain as the certain in the one case as in the power of gravity upon a body other, and as manifest.
. We have The difficulty lies only in the ca- an awful instance of this fact on pacity of observation.
record-a mighty perturbationIn the natural world agitations, which viewed in connexion with and alterations, and seeming irre- its results, we may now, progularities, were found to manifest bably, regard as an irregularity themselves in the motion of the provided for, balanced and comheavenly bodies, as the result of pensated in the system. It is the close observation; closer observa- introduction into man's heart, under tion showed that they were all the tree of knowledge, by diabolic portions, and necessary conse- agency, of the principle of mistrust. quents and accompaniments of the It at once smote the natural world one harmonious working of the per- with barrenness and the moral with manent equilibrium, or balancing curse; and a mighty cycle of puriof the complicated and moving rifying agency must go its round system. Nay, further, it has been ere millenial loveliness shall return seen, or thought to have been seen, to either. that in the whole created system of But our application of the of the universe, a law of irregulari- thought must be limited to a lower ty exists, which must move on the range; we must watch the operawhole system of present moveable tion of this principle on a somewhat orbs to a certain point in time and smaller field of action, but one to a certain position in space;
where the principle in question is when the breaking up and annihi- and must be precisely the same; lation, or reorganization of the and where every part of the ensystem, must take place ; when the quiry ought to be most deeply spinning of all these mighty orbs interesting to ourselves :--the preshall approach with aggravated sent existence of a disturbing moral centripetal force, and consequently force for evil amongst us, and the destructive energy, towards their bearing of revealed truth on it as own central ruin. But apart from a remedy this greater and more abstract idea, Pilate's inquiry evidently had imagine the introduction into the reference to what was truth in the physical world of one element of matter of Christianity--in the matinfluence contrary to and inconsis- ter of the facts before him—the tent with the appointed law, so as pretensions of the mysterious Masto vary and render irregular and ter and Sufferer at his bar: in fact, disobedient the course of any one
in reference to that religious system orb of this complicated harmony of which this wondrous sufferer was motion and mutual influence; what then introducing to the world. confusion, what desolation, what And the answer is, the fixed and destruction must inevitably follow ! definite laws by which a holy and This will present to us with some merciful God has willed to govern force a parallel notion of irregula- a fallen world, and to bring about