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called me." From this time his wife gave up her opposition, and about four weeks afterwards, a vacancy occurring on the District in which he lived, his Presiding Elder, Rev. H. STEAD, placed him on Schenectady Circuit. This was in August of 1809, and just fifteen years before he was called to his reward.
The next spring, at the Conference held in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, May 20, 1810, he was received on trial in the New-York Conference; and was appointed to New-Windsor Circuit. In 1811 he travelled Suffolk Circuit, Long Island ; 1812 he was ordained Deacon, and re-appointed to Suffolk. Here our acquaintance commenced, and I was soon convinced as were others of my brethren in the ministry, that his mind was far superior to what it was esteemed to be, by those who judged from first appearances.
In 1813 he travelled Jamaica Circuit: 1814 he was ordained Elder and appointed to Courtlandt: 1815 to New-Rochelle: 1816 and 1817, he travelled Redding in Connecticut: 1818 Stratford: 1819 and 1820 New-Rochelle again: 1821 and 1822 Croton. In both these last circuits I was personally acquainted with his labours, and knew that the longer he continued, the more he rose in the estimation of the people, because he proved himself to be an able, and faithful minister of Jesus Christ. In 1823 he was appointed to the city of New York, where he was enabled to labour through the year, with some interruptions, through bodily afflictions, and at the Conference of the present year, he was re-appointed to this city
During the sitting of the Conference he was attacked by his last illness; in consequence of which, he was absent from the Conference after the second day of its session. For some time it was hoped that his disease would not prove fatal; but it continued to prey upon him, gradually prostrating both his body and mind, until at length all hope of his recovery was given up. From the nature of his disease, it could not be expected that he would say much, concerning himself or his future prospects; but be was patient and resigned to the will of God; and as much as the feeble state of his body and mind would admit, he conversed with his family, entreating them not to grieve for him, and exhorting them to be faithful to God.
During his illness, I visited him often, but at first I had no expectation of his death. I sometimes found him indisposed, through his affliction, to enter into conversation with me; but I generally inquired concerning the state of his mind; and except when he was unable through affliction to determine, he always professed to be at peace with God, and free from all fear respecting his future state, On Monday morning, August 23, I found him struggling with death. I then asked him, whether his confidence in God remained unshaken? he answered in the affirmative, by nodding
his head, and, in the same manner, he professed to have peace within. On the evening of the same day, I found him in the same state of mind, though death had made still greater ravages in his body. On Tuesday 24, I found him exerting the remaining energies of his nature, in the struggle with the fell devourer. His strength appeared much greater than before. When I spoke to him, he requested me to pray. After I left him he spoke of his death, and assured those who were with him, that he would soon be gone. He spoke and acted, like one who knew in whom he had believed, and that death was disarmed of its terrors. Finally his strength being exhausted he silently fell asleep, as we have every reason to believe, in the arms of his Redeemer, on Tuesday evening, August 24, 1824, a little before 8 o'clock. He has left a widow and six children to lament their loss.
In giving a sketch of his character, I shall confine myself to what I believe to be strictly true; though after all, I may be blamed by some for saying too much; and by others for saying too little.
To these last, it may be sufficient to say, I do not pretend to draw his character at full length, but merely to sketch out its general outlines; and to the first, I have no fears of being charged with exaggeration, by those who were intimately acquainted with him.
1. As a man he possessed a good understanding. It cannot indeed be said that he had a sprightly genius, or lively imagination; his mind was cool and deliberate; and he was capable of investigating subjects by a slow and sure progress, in such manner as proved that his intellectual powers only needed time to exert themselves in order to shew their strength; nor was he merely capable of such investigations as lie open to the view of every
His mind was deep as well as solid. Thoughtful and contemplative, he generally reflected and examined before he spoke: and when he uttered himself, though his voice was feeble, and his speech slow, his words were with wisdom, and evinced that he was acquainted with his subject. He was of a uniform temperament, not easily elated; and though naturally inclined to depression of spirits, he was not easily discouraged, or prevented from pursuing a course in which he had engaged; but in several instances, he persevered under such unpropitious circumstances, as would have discouraged many who are thought to possess much greater courage and resolution. He was a strict economist, making the best use of what he had, and thereby was enabled to support a large family decently and respectably, whilst engaged in the work of the minisiry, on those circuits which, in some instances, afforded a very slender support. In close connection with this, we may mention his family government. It said, that he was never in an ill humour; but in his own family, as well as among strangers, his meekness always characterized him. Hence he
governed with an even hand. Though strict, he was not severe. The morals of his children were strictly guarded, and the fear of the Lord.was carefully impressed upon them. They were kept from the contaminating influence of wicked companions; and required to pay a regular attention to the duties of divine worship, whether in his own family or in public. To suin up all in one sentence, he was a good husband, and a good father.
2. As a christian, his faith was founded on the word of God. He entertained a high respect and veneration for the holy scriptures, and acknowledged that he owed all the good that was in him, to the grace of God in Christ Jesus. He sought to have his nature conformed to the divine nature, by the continued operations of the Holy Spirit. He respected all the ordinances of God, and was constant in an observance of them,-he was strictly watchful over his own life; his tempers, words and actions, were submitted to the strictest scrutiny; hence his conscience was tender, and allowed him in no deviations from the strict rules of Christianity, even in what are called little things. His sense of moral obligation was very acute; in consequence of which, he was considered by some to be too rigid in enforcing the claims of conscience, and the rules of morality in the affairs of common life; but admitting that this is partly true, it goes to prove his high sense of moral obligation and his tenderness of conscience.
3. In the last place we shall consider him as a minister of the gospel. His talents as a preacher may be gathered from what we have already said. He was not an eloquent orator, but he was a sound divine. He had studied the doctrines of Christianity, felt their importance, and taught accordingly. The doctrine of the Trinity—the impartial benevolence of God--the depravity of human nature-the atonement by Jesus Christ-His divinityjustification by faith-holiness of heart and life--the importance of a strict attenton to the duties of religion-of self-denial-of strict justice between man and man-of the observance of the Christian Sabbath-of purity of intention in all things—of humility -a general judgment--the resurrection of the dead, and future rewards and punishments; these were the topics on which he dwelt in the pulpit, as well as in his more private instructions.
He watched over the souls committed to his care, as one who must give an account. He was ever ready to tell them what he discovered wrong in them; he particularly endeavoured to guard them against evil speaking, by checking it whenever he heard it, even in company at the time it was uttered. He was very strict, though mild and regular, in the exercise of the discipline of the church : in this he did much good on those circuits where he was placed in charge. This I can confidently assert from my own knowledge of his administration on New-Rochelle and Croton circuits, where he was very useful, and not only raised
the character of his circuits, by his strict and judicious administration, but also, his own character as a Christian Minister. Much of that great and lasting revival of the work of God, which has taken place on New-Rochelle circuit, is to be traced to his instrumentality, as those who were acquainted with his labours on that circuit can bear witness.
But he is gone to his reward. May we emulate his virtues," and prepare to meet him, where the wicked cease from troubling and the weary are at rest.
P. P. SANDFORD. New-York, Oct. 1, 1824.
Extracted from one of the Sermons of the Rev. John Newton.
REMARKS ON MATT. XI. 25. "At that time, Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast bid these things from the wise and prudent, and revealed them unto babes.” Matt. xi. 25.
“ There is something observable in this passage, which will be of continual_use and application, so long as the Gospel shall be preached. For as it was then, so is it now; the things that are hid from the wise and prudent, are revealed unto babes.
By the things which it pleased God should be hid from the wise, and revealed to babes, we may understand,
6 1. In general, the things pertaining to salvation. That most men are ignorant of them, and careless about them, is too plain ; they act as though they were to give no account; they live as though they were to live for ever. The way of truth is hid from their
eyes, and the fear of God has no place in their hearts. " 2. More particularly, those doctrines which are, in an especial sense, peculiar to the Gospel
, seem here to be intended; such as, The Divinity of Christ--Divine * Grace-the New-Birth, the Nature of the Life of Faith. These things are hid from the wise and prudent. This leads me further to inquire,
“ In what sense are they hid ?
“ 1. They are not hid as if it were on purpose that those who sincerely seek them should be disappointed in their search.
“ Far be it from us to think so hardly of the Lord. We have express promises to the contrary, that all who earnestly seek shall
* Mr. Newton says, distinguishing grace, an expression which we think unscriptural, and very liable to be misunderstood. The apostle says, " The grace of God which bringeth salvation, a xapes to 888, nowinpos, literally, The grace of God, the saving grace, hath appeared, ETTEQarn hath been manifested to all men, teaching us, &c. Tit. ij. 11, 12.
find. Fear not, you that sincerely desire an experimental and practical knowledge of the truths of God, and are willing to be taught in his appointed way. Though many things appear difficult to you at present, the Lord will gradually increase your light and crown your endeavours with success.
“ 2. But from some persons they are hid, even from the wise and prudent.-Suffer me to offer a familiar illustration of the Lord's wisdom and justice in this procedure.
" Let me suppose a person to have a curious cabinet, which is opened at his pleasure, and not exposed to common view: he invites all to come to see it, and offers to show it to any one who asks him. It is hid, because he keeps the key ; but none can complain, because he is ready to open it whenever he is desired. Some, perhaps, disdain the offer, and say, Why is it locked at all ? Some think it not worth seeing, or amuse themselves with guessing at its contents. But those who are simply desirous for themselves, leave others disputing, go according to appointment, and are gratified. These have reason to be thankful for the favour, and the others have no just cause to find fault.
Thus the riches of divine grace may be compared to a richly furnished cabinet; to which Christ is the door. The word of God likewise is a cabinet generally locked up, but the key of prayer will open it. The Lord invites all, but he keeps the dispensation in his own hand.
They cannot see these things except he shows them, but then he refuses none that sincerely ask him. The wise men of the world can go no farther than the outside of this cabinet; they may amuse themselves, and surprise others, with their ingenious guesses at what is within, but a babe that has seen it opened, can give us more satisfaction without studying or guessing at all.
If men will presume to aim at the knowledge of God, without the knowledge of Christ who is the way, and the door; if they have such a high opinion of their own wisdom and penetration, as to suppose they can understand the Scriptures without the assistance of his Spirit ; or if their worldly wisdom teaches them, that these things are not worth their inquiry; what wonder is it that they should continue to be hid from their eyes?
They will one day be stript of all their false pleas, and condemned out of their own mouths.
3. The expression, Thou hast hid, may, perhaps, farther imply, that those who seek occasion to cavil, shall meet with something to confirm their prejudices. When people examine the doctrines or profession of the Gospel, not with a candid desire to learn, imitate, and praetise, but in order to find some plausible ground for misrepresentation, they frequently have their wish. The wisdom of God has appointed, that difficulties, offences, objections, and stumbling-blocks should attend to exercise and manifest the spirits