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spare himself was unavailing, till his strength was completely exhausted. I must study and speak for my Master, said he,
as long as I am able.' His last sermon, which was preached on Dec. 18, 1808, was from Heb. iii. 1. Consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus.' He had scarcely strength to ascend the pulpit; or, when there, to sustain hiin. self. His thoughts were luminously arranged ; and it was evident that he felt his subject; but his voice was feeble, and all present were persuaded that this was bis last public effort.
After the service, whilst the congregation were separating, he stood pene sively, leaning on the desk, for a few minutes, as though he were taking his solemn farewell of the place where he had delighted : to publish the salvation of Jesus.
After he had ceased from pulpit exercises, his mind was still intent on usefulness. Among other schemes of doing good, he wrote a little piece to be pasted at the beginning of Bibles, to be given to the Sunday School Children; exhibiting a comprehensive view of the plan of salvation : which was, probably, the last effort of his pen : but, owing to the rapid progress of his disorder, it proceeded no further, before his death, than a proofsheet, which he revised.
Towards the latter end of January, 1809, he grew considerably worse; and, for some days, cornpletely lost bis voice. This, he whispered to a friend, was peculiarly afflictive to him, as it prevented him from expressing how inestimably precious the Lord Jesus was to his soul; - adding, He is beiter in sick. ness than in health. On the 28th, one of his dear frienils called to see him. Entering the chamber, he found him laid on a sofa, just recovering from the fatigue of being lifted from his bed. Feeble as he was, peræiving his friend, he beckoned with his finger; desired him to sit beside him ; and, clasping his hand with the most affectionate tenderness, he had a long and raost interesting conversetion; in which he dwelt especially on the preciousness of Christ, on his firm reliance on the word of God, on the support which he derived from the well-ordered covenant of
grace, on his tredom from the tmrror of death. After thus enlarging on he state of his own min!, he enquired after one of his Christian friends; and exclaimed, with an expressive emphasis, • I do love the image of Jesus in his people !! His visitant, perceiving that he was much exhausted, expressed his fears that he would injure hiuself by too much exertion; to which he replici, I am, indeed, very weak; - I have, for some time, ministered to you ; you must now minister to me. He then desired prayers; in which he united with delightful fervour.
On the 29th, which was the Sabbath but one preceding his death, another of his friends peni is whole day with hi n. On entering the chamber, ab 'ut eight in the morning, Mr. P. gave him his hand, and whispered, (for he could only whisper) My XVI.
days are now fast concluding; but I know whom I have believed, and find him all-suficient: he is faithful. His friend reminding him of the strong desire which he had foraverly expressed, that he might be enable to glorify God in his denth, and of his desire being now fulfilled, -- he answered, "Yes! a Father afflicts, and a Father supports.' Speaking of the frame of his inind, he said, I feel no rapturous emotions, but I feel myself safe in the hands of Jesus; because he lives, I shall live also.” After a fainting fit, of which he had several in the course of the day, looking at his friends, he said, “I am returned to you again. I hopedl, - but let me not incluige an impatient desire : - my time is in thine hands, my God.'
Towards night, he seemed avere to conversation ; his countenance evinced much distress; and it was suspected that he was suffering some darkness of mind. After a long silence, his friend spoke to him of that faith which overcomes the world. Fixing his eyes upon him very earnestly, be replied, 'Ah! Brother, you can but judge according to appearances; - God only knows the deceitfulness of the heart.' He was too weak, and too much agitated to proceed; but desired prayer. Afterwards he said, that the enemy had been buffciting liim. During his residence at the Isle of Man, he had been dreadfully assaulted with doubts respecting futurity, - ibe immortality of the soul &c.
A recurrence to the sacred volume bac banished his suspicions, and enlivened his bope; but the very possibility of being harrassed again, in a similar manner, appeared to terriiy him. Recovering from this renewed attack of his spiritual adversary, light dawned again upon his scal; he rejoiced in God his Saviour; and was much encouraged and comforted by the thought suggested to him, “That where the head is, there the members must be; and that nothing can separate them from his love.'
On the Monday morning early, his friend left him quite composed and cheerful. To some others he mentionedd, in the course of the day, the severe temptations of Satan, which he had expegierced in the preceding night. "I had well nigh given up all for lost,' said he, 'bu: Jesus reanimatol me, and he is now more : precious than ever.' He added, Death and I have had a hard struggle. I am still on the field wüh him; but Jesus is there too.' Being reminded that Christ is the Captain of our salvation; and that, looking unto him, we are directed to take the shield of faiths, and the sword of the spirit,-he clasped his hands, and fixed his eyes, and, with inexpressible fervour, cried out, • Jesus! thon didst pray for Peter, that his faith might not faii! Oh! pray for one ten thousand times more unworthy than Peter, that, in my last conflict, niy faith fail not.' Recovering from a fainting fit, he exclaimeil, What! returned again! I thought I had been going. I hope I shall go this afternoon. Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly!' For some time after, he lay composed, and seemed to be engaged in prayer. At length, turning
to those about him, he said, “I have not seen Jesus as he is; but I have had a sweet interview with him: I have been holding sweet converse with my Saviour.' The same evening, apprehending that his departure was nearer than it proved to be, he anxiously enquired of a female friend, “Do you thiok that Jesus will take me to himself to night?' Being informed that she thought not, he replied, "Well, I would not be impatient;' and afterwards,
If he does not receive me into his presence, I bope he will admit me into his antichamber.' Taking leave of a young friend, he said, I trust we shall meet before the tbrone, and tune our barps together there. Beware of this deluding world.'
Contrary to his own expectation, and that of his friends, he lived eight or nine days after this, enjoying, with little interruption, the same happy frame of mind. On one occasion, he complained of great deadness of spiritual affections, and wondered at the possibility of being so near perfect felicity, without being absorbed in the amazing prospect : ' but,' said he, 'I am not yet set free from this sinful body.' His constant, darling theme, was the person,
the offices, the atonement, the intercession, of the Saviour. 'Oh! I wanted to see you,' said he to a friend who called on him ; ' I wanted to see you, that we might talk of Jesus; — He only can satisfy me, - all is shadow besides ! How strong his love!. How wonderful his grace !!
A medical gentleman, who had occasionally visited him, remarked to him, that he had never witnessed so much calm cola hectedness in a dying person. "Sir,' said he, ' 'tis entirely owing to my full confidence in the power and iove of Christ, and his finished work of salvation : there is no other ground of hope.'
A friend from a neighbouring village, who is strenuously active in maintaining the preaching of the gospel there, visited him about two days before his dissolution ; to whom he said, 'Brother, many may think you are doing too much; should not be lavish; - but when you are placed in my situation, you will think every thing you have done too little for Him who gave himself for you.'
He was very carnest inih those of his friends, who take an active part in the Sunday Schools, not to slacken their diligence. The welfare of the church and congregation lay very near his heart; and be often expressed his fervent concern that they inight be directed, in their choice of a successor, to a humble and pious, as well as a judicious and lively minister.
In the evening preceding bis death, he spent above half an hour in prayer, with a distinct and audible voice, so as he had not been able to speak for a long time before. His afflicted wife, child, friends, church, the cause of Christ in the villages which he had visited, the Sunday Schoo', the nurse, the servant, all successively en yaged bis atiention, and furnished matter of intercession the most copious and affcting. The next day, Wednesday, Feb. 8, from niac in the morning
i till one at noon, was occupied with the most painful struggles,
which terminated in his happy deliverance from the body of sin and of mortality.
Thus was this excellent young man cut off in the prime of youth,-in the acceptable discharge of his ministerial labours, and in the prospect of increasing usefulness ; leaving behind him one child, and a widow who was expecting almost immediate confinement. How mysterious are the ways of Providence! How loudly does the death of such young labourers in the vineyard call upon their surviving brethren, to work while it is called To-day, knowing that the night cometh, in which no man can work!
On the Sabbath after his death, the mortal remains of Mr. P. were interred by Mr. Hacking, of Darwen ; and, on the Sabbath
but one following, Mr. Roby, of Manchester, improved the - mournful providence, in a discourse from Heb. xiii. 7, 8, to a
very numerous and deeply affected audience.
Believe ye that I am able to do this? - Mat. ix. 28.
Man's redemption is precious, and could not have been accomplished but by One that is Almighty. An infinitely precious ransom is necessary for our redemption ; but who could give such a ransom for us? Nowhere can we find such a friend bat in God. The Lord our God hath discovered to us such a Saviour, by sending bis own Son to deliver us; and, tho' our guilt
and danger render such an infinitely glorious Saviour necessary ** for our deliverance, multitudes are found who take away the dignity of the Saviour's character, and, in order to free themselves from alarm and apprehension, lower the demands of the divine law; and lessen the extent of their criminality! - but, if our guilt be such as the Scripture represents (and, surely, God, who hath there described it, must perfectly know) our pallia. tions of the evil of transgression will not lessen our guilt; and a less dignified or powerful Deliverer would fail in the attempt of rescuing us. When we consider the weight of responsibility which is laid upon Him who undertakes our cause, we ought seriously to consider the import of the question he proposes to us, when applying to him for deliverance, he says, “Bilieve ye that I am able to do this!
Let us consider our necessities, which make it necessary for us to apply to a Saviour for deliverance. We have broken God's law, a law which is holy, just, and good, and which requires us to love the Lord our God with all our heart, and oar peigh
bour as ourselves. This law cannot be lowered in its demands, for it is perfect, and whatever it demands is highly proper. None can plead innocent, when all have sinned, and come short of the
glory of God ;' but every month must be stopped, and all the world become guilty before God.' The consider ation of the thoughts and inclinations of our hearts, the language of our lips, and the actions of our lives, will afford countless iastances of transgression against God. If we at all know ourselves, we must confess that we are guilty. If we were to justify our conduct, we should only demonstrate the more fully our guilt. If I justify myself, mine owo mouth shall condemn me; - if I I am perfect, it shall also prove me perverse* ' - If our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.' . They who are uneasy under the restraints of this law, or anxious to relax the strictness of its precepts, must be indulging in such a conduct, or resting on such hopes as the , law of God cannot adınit. ,
What then are we exposed to because of transgression ? We are exposed to the penalties of this law; and those are awful and solemn! Death is the threatened punishment; and this punishment cannot be mitigated :--the sinner must endure it in all its extent, or a Surety must suffer in his stead. No deliverance can be obtained, if this be not done for us ! If the sentence be exocuted upon us, we are irrecoverably undone! We shall go away into everlasting punishment ! If we obtain redemption, our guilt must be atoned for and forgiven; and the penalty must be endured for us, if the sentence be repeale 1. What shall we say then? These our necessities must be answered, or we perish; and he who will deliver us must be able to answer them, without being overwhelmed by them, or our hope is delusive, and the attempt must fail for ever.
Let us now enquire, What he must do for us who would save us ? As our guilt consists in the breach of infinite obligations to love and serve God, and is committed against one who is infinitely glorious, it is of infinite malignity. He who would save us must, therefore, be able to pay an infinitely precious ransom, and be able to endure an infinite penally, by sustaining the load of divine wrath, else our guilt cannot be forgiven, nor our sentence Be repealed. He must be able to endure all this, and to perfect the whole, without sinking under the loail, or we perish! -- but how could a created arm perform this? When we draw near to the Saviour, sceking deliverance from our guilt, by obtaining an interest in an atonement for transgression, he may ask whethe we are in carnest in our application, by proposing to us the enquiry, ‘Believe ye that I am able to do ihis:'-- and, if we view him as a mere man, as Socinians do, while au infinite atőnement is necessary for our rapsoin, he may reject our appli
* Job ix. 20.