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binding parents by promises of any sort at the baptism of their children, nothing of this kind ought to be done. But such authority, it has been shown, there is not: and therefore the practice is unwarrantable."
(To be Continued.)
THE judgment of Mr. Scott was scund, and his perceptions were clear. He bestowed much care on his compositions for the pulpit; so that they might be plain, methodical, intelligible, pertinent, scriptural, and impressive: nor did he fail of accomplishing his purpose. As became a wise and faithful teacher, he availed himself of seasons, and of circumstances, and of special occasions, for the selection of fit topics of address; nor overlooked, in this or in any respect, the wants and the improvement of his various hearers. His devotional services were uniformly simple in style, and unaffected in manner; and in the sentiments which they conveyed, characteristically reverential, adoring, grateful, contrite, submissive, and benevolent.
He was distinguished by considerable regularity in the arrangement of his time, nor least of his hours of study. A part of every day was reserved by him for the perusal of the Scriptures in the original languages, and for the devotional, practical, ecclesiastical, and biographical reading, so congenial to his taste. On subjects of theological controversy, he thought for himself, and frankly laid before his audiences the result of his inquiries; making his appeal to the Sacred Writings, as the only authoritative standard of divine truth, and calling upon others to use the same guide and test. I have scarcely ever known a man of such genuine candour: assuredly, I have met with none more candid. His pure mind soared above the mists of selfishness, to a more serene and exalted region. When good could be done, by any instrumentality, to the bodies and the souls of men, he was among the first to welcome and encourage the attempt.
Supplement to a Letter to Foley, &c. p. 41.
+ Richard Baxter "said to a friend, I can as willingly be a martyr for love, as for any article of the creed:”” this, too, was uniformly the language of Mr. Scott's character and deportment.
The excellence of his private character was most auspicious to his public usefulness. He was, in an uncommon degree, holy, harmless, undefiled-speaking evil of no man, reluctant to believe evil of any man, and extremely studious of giving no occasion of offence. "In his intercourse with the world, he kept himself in a peculiar manner free from the follies and sins with which it so much abounds: conciliating all, of every rank, and of every religious communion, by the kindness of his manners, and engaging the best affections of those who sought his friendship, by the advice and assistance which he was ever ready to afford, by the interest which he took in their welfare, by the pleasure which their success afforded him, by the valuable encouragement which he would give to their virtuous efforts.”*
Not only at Stourbridge, and at Cradley, did Mr. Scott labour, in the Christian ministry, with great acceptance and success as well as zeal. To other and humbler spots— to one spot in particular-he as duly resorted with not less willing feet. More than thirty-five years have fled away, since he began to preach the Gospel to the poor, in a hamlet where the name of religion was almost unknown— or known only to be the theme of profane jests and vulgar ridicule. Though at that time a young man," he was "good," devout, conciliating, judicious, and persevering; and, having subdued much difficulty and opposition, he became God's favoured instrument in producing what I may call a moral creation. Many individuals-not a few, who through his instructions, have departed hence in faith, and peace, and hope, and others who survive and adorn their doctrine-were the witnesses and the subjects of this happy change; so that he was blessed and venerated by those who once thought lightly of his office, and even in
* Address at the Interment, &c. Dec. 26, 1827, by Alexander Paterson, M. A.
In language which correctly describes a late eminent and amiable minister, it may be said of Mr. Scott, that "the efficacy of his ministry was never obstructed nor impaired by the personal prejudices of his hearers, who regarded him not only with the deference due to a zealous and enlightened teacher, but with the affection of a friend. He was an ardent lover of peace. On no occasion did he offend by haughtiness negligence, the indulgence of a capricious humour, or the sallies of intemperate anger."-Memoir of the Rev. T. N. Toller, by Robert Hall, M. A. p. 61.
The words marked with inverted commas, are those of Dr. Priestley. Appeal to the Public, &c. Part II. p. 203, Appendix No. XIX. The date of that volume (1792) should be carefully recollected.
sulted his person. Nor can the populous and important neighbourhood in which he lived, forget that he was the first who brought Christian light to those abodes of darkness-the first whose wise, disinterested, pious efforts carried thither the means of civilization, by carrying to them the religion which teaches us, "that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live righteously, soberly, and devoutly, in this present world, looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the Great God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ."*
In addition to his numerous and important labours of love, whether by his advice, by his bounty, or by his influence, whether in the management of trusts on the behalf of the families of his deceased friends, or in his attentions to the widow, the fatherless, the sick, the penitent, the dying, the aged, and the young, or by writing or editing many a useful or pious manual,† he undertook the office
*The principal scene of these well directed labours, was The Lye Waste, in the extensive parish of Old Swinford. This spot, which, probably, received its name from its wild uncultivated state, and its contiguity to a sylvan pasture, adjoins closely to the hamlet of the Lye, and, according to some representations, had, even in 1650, a few scattered cottages on its surface. Considering it, perhaps, in the light of common and waste ground, numerous vagrants took possession of it; nor was it then intersected by any road, or in the vicinity of well-peopled districts of the parish. At present, it consists of many tenements, occupied chiefly by nailers, and stands on the high road from Birmingham to Stourbridge.
It is probable, that, from various causes, the inhabitants of the Lye Waste had a still worse reputation than they deserved. Yet they were miserably uncivilized, and really, as well as to a proverb, rude and lawless; being thus unhappily distinguished from the neighbouring villages. For more than thirty years past, (such is the change!) the Waste has not been, in the least degree, remarkable for producing riotous assemblages, even in times of local commotion.
On this neglected spot, there was no accommodation for public worship previously to 1790; and the parish church is distant, and quite inadequate to the population. Amidst many difficulties, Mr. James Scott, from 1790 and 1792, conducted divine service in licensed dwelling-houses: in the year 1806 (Month. Repos. &c. Vol. I. p. 52), he opened a small chapel; advancing, towards the erection of it, the sum of £200, which his late aunt, Mrs. Ann Scott (Month. Rep. Vol. VIII. p. 129), liberally reimbursed to him; and the remaining sum of £63: 8, was raised by himself and his friends. Here, on Lord's day evenings, and at other times, he continued preaching the Gospel to the poor, until the end of his life. In addition, he defrayed the purchase of further land, and the expenses of repairing the Chapel, and bequeathed £200 for its future support. Nor has he been unmindful, in his Will, of the Episcopal and the Dissenting Congregations severally, and far more recently, formed in the immediate neighbourhood.
+ I subjoin as correct a list as I can obtain, of the publications of the late Rev. James Scott: his occasional contributions to periodical publications, are not here noticed:
of Secretary to the Stourbridge Auxiliary Bible Society, from the period when it was founded: this engaged much of his time and thoughts. It was an Institution, the object and the plan of which were dear to his heart: it admirably suited his catholic and benevolent spirit, and he was very active, judicious, and successful in advancing its interests. Here, again, who will be to his vicinity what he has been?
Who, let me add, will supply his place to those of his brethren that were most intimately connected with him in the ministry of the Gospel? Who, like him, will gladden, by his presence, their stated meetings, and teach them, by his engaging example, what they should do, and what they should avoid? But I must hasten to a conclusion. It is chiefly Time which can set limits to the review and the delineation of such a character. Let the rest be told by the grief which is too deep for utterance; by mourning kindred; by fraternal, warm, invariable affection; by the tears of a colleague endeared to his soul, who served with him as a son, and honoured him as a father; by the lamentations of bereaved congregations, who can feel the extent and the nature of their loss; by those of domestics cordially attached to one of the most generous and considerate of masters; by the sighs of numbers whom he relieved and blessed; by the sympathies echoed from our churches in other and remote provinces of the kingdom; nor
Supplement to Carpenter's Letter to Foley-1792.
Address to the Members of a Christian Church, on the Lord's
Sermon on Intemperance-on Wakes-1807.
On the death of the Rev. Benjamin Carpenter, with the Address at the Interment-1816.
Sermon at Oldbury Lecture-1817.
Sermon at Lye Waste: a memorial of the Divine Goodness-1824.
Resolutions and Reports of Stourbridge Auxiliary Bible Societynearly from 1812 and 1813 to 1827, inclusively.
He edited the following Tracts:
Memoir of Mr. Thomas Bissett-Address to Parents-1823. These
* The successive Reports of the Stourbridge Bible Society, were generally framed by Mr. James Scott, and, for the most part, contain a large portion of interesting and valuable information, in respect of the diffusion, &c. of the Holy Scriptures, and are not limited to local intelligence.
least, by the sensations which the sad tidings of his illness and death produced throughout the district where this incomparable man had so long resided, to which he was so pre-eminently a benefactor, and where, without distinction of party of any sort, he was universally admired, esteemed, and loved, for his character, and for his works' sake.*
Sketch of the Controversy between the Rev. J. R. Beard, and the Rev. Robert Taylor,
Mr. B.-Before proceeding to controvert your chief positions, I deem it desirable my readers should ascertain the manner in which you conduct this controversy respecting the truth of Christianity.-(L. iii. p. 62.)
Mr. T.-We calmly and impartially examine the evidences of Christianity.
Mr. B.-A few extracts from your Oration, will show with what calmness and impartiality you conduct your discussions:-"The sincere milk of God's Word can only be sucked through the toothless gums of imbecility." "You will find no creature, bearing human face and front, so savage, so deceitful, so wicked, as a Christian." "We accuse them (Christians) of villany and crime." "This farce of religion, this masquerade of Christianity." "Every saint that ever breathed, hath been, or is, in understanding a fool, or in heart a villain.”—But enough of such specimens of "calmness and impartiality;" and there are others too horrible and shocking to quote.-(L. iii. p. 62, 63.)
Mr. T.-"It will be hard to determine (says Archbishop Tillotson) how many degrees of innocence and good nature, or of coldness and indifference in religion, are necessary to overbalance the fury of blind zeal; since several zealots had been excellent men, if their religion had not hindered them, if the doctrines and principles of their church had not spoiled their natural disposition." A just compliment to the moral influence of divine faith. The perfect believer becomes a perfect fiend.
Mr. B.-Now notice, readers, the inference of Mr. Taylor. Faith, Christian faith, converts, according to the compliment" of Tillotson, the perfect believer into the
Taken, in substance, from the Funeral Sermon for Mr. Scott.