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benevolence, for his anxiety for the souls of men, and his freedom from the trammels of party-spirit, that when newer societies arose to share their labours, and to enclose for religious culture some few fragments further of the world's wide waste of sin and ignorance and wretchedness, which a hundred such societies could not adequately watch over, he joined them, he promoted them, and he defended them: his purse, his exertions, and his pulpit were ever at their service; and provided they were either in connexion with the establishment, as the Church Missionary Society, or fairly neutral, as the Bible Society, he wanted nothing but their intrinsic value to recommend them to his patronage. To religious institutions out of the pale of his own communion he was friendly in his spirit; but he thought it right to confine his own efforts by the rule just mentioned for no man can do every thing or join every thing; and he considered that it was no violation of Christian charity, and that it tended in the end to the extension of the common objects of piety and mercy, for each person to exert his benevolent influence in his own sphere, and in the way which appeared to him likely to achieve the most good with the least evil. But in this he exhibited nothing narrow or bigotted: he was an avowed, a determined, and a consistent churchman; yet no man was more loved or honoured by his Dissenting brethren; not a few of whom, by letter, and several in the pulpit, have given the strongest posthumous testimony to his
The springing up of these new institutions at the commencement of the present century, caused a new era in Mr. Woodd's life. He assisted at the formation, and assiduously watched over the infancy, of many of them; and for a large portion of his life continued to attend several committee-meetings every week, as a regular part of his allotted occupations. At a time when the Bible Society was much assailed, and by some of his own personal friends, he defended it at the risk of being considered in some quarters, what to him was certainly abhorrent, a somewhat lax churchman; and to his printed discourse for the Aylesbury District Society for promoting Christian Knowledge, as if to prevent any misconception of his views, he appended a note descriptive of "the powerful claims" of the younger, but sister institution. He was one of the founders and constant friends of the Prayer-book and Homily Society; which, he maintained, was not a superfluity in the list of charitable institutions, first, because many persons, especially members of the Bible Society, might wish to distribute Prayer-books, who could not procure them from the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge, either as not being eligible to membership, or not
wishing to obtain it from their disapproving of some of the Society's tracts; and, secondly, because the Society did not at that period distribute the Homilies as tracts, a measure which Mr. Woodd considered highly important, and which has since been adopted; and to which of late years he added a third reason, that the Prayer-book and Homily Society was of great importance for the translation of the Liturgy of the Church of England into foreign languages, and thus to follow in the train of Bible and Missionary Institutions.
The Church Missionary Society was peculiarly dear to him: he for many years took a very assiduous part in its proceedings; and had collected large sums of money in its behalf, when scarcely any of his brethren had begun to feel its value. His affectionate sermon before its members in 1807 is one of the best and most characteristic of his published discourses; and was of great service at the time in promoting its objects. In a ten weeks' journey, which he took with Mr. Pratt, he delivered fifty addresses in its behalf; brought home 1000l. for its funds, and assisted in forming auxiliaries, which contributed 8001. a year to its objects. He lived to see twelve hundred of his clerical brethren enrolled among its members, and to read the entry in the last Report of 5143. collected for it at his own chapel; a very large sum, when it is recollected how many other charities he pleaded for, how many schools depended almost solely upon his individual efforts, and that for many years more charity sermons were preached at his chapel, among a congregation by no means wealthy, than perhaps at any other church in Christendom. The very first time he pleaded for the Society at Bentinck chapel, soon after its formation, he collected more than 2001. ; and some time after, at Colchester, the unprecedented sum of nearly 7007. after a single sermon. He grounded his attachment to this Society on the palpable basis of duty and necessity. Its title, he said, was not invidious, as at the time of its institution there was no Church-ofEngland Missionary Society in existence; the Christian-Knowledge Society not viewing missions as its particular province of labour, and the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, being confined by its charter to our own colonies, and in no sense a Missionary Society for Pagan lands. But had there been twenty such institutions, he would add, there was work enough for them all, and he trusted he had a heart large enough to embrace them all. He would indeed speak of the sins and desolations of the heathen in a spirit which shewed how much he had imbibed of that supreme love for the souls of men which characterized his Divine Master; and he ever accounted it one of his highest sources of gratification that he
had been the means of inciting some of the members of his own flock, and young persons from his own schools, to devote themselves to the perils and reproach of the missionary office.
He was equally a friend to the Naval and Military Bible Society; and once, when it was greatly in debt, and on the verge of dissolution, he rescued it by suggesting to his brethren to preach a sermon on its behalf on a fast day, by which means large sums were collected.
But the Jews' Society was perhaps his favourite institution; and he continued for many years its gratuitous secretary, and greatly promoted its welfare, having been one of the chief agents in rescuing it from insolvency, and placing it upon a new and solid basis in connexion with the Established Church. Having yearned over it in the hour of trial, at a period when its affairs were so deranged, and ap parently hopeless, that the committee in their perplexity would sometimes bow the knee before God several times at a single meeting, for wisdom and direction, he greatly rejoiced in its subsequent prosperity; and the only regret which he expressed in his last illness in anticipating that he should not be present at the anniversary solemnities at Exeter Hall, after having been a constant assistant at them for so many years in other places, was, that he should not be able to introduce to the meeting his beloved Jewish children, and tell them of a Saviour's mercy, and hear their infant Hosannas to the Son of David.
His own schools at Bentinck chapel were a constant object of his paternal attention. He began instituting them as early as the year 1798; at which period not a single school for the poor existed in all Paddington, and only one in Mary-lebone, the largest parish in the world. He lived to see his example followed by his brethren, till he rejoiced to be able to enumerate several thousand children receiving religious education in those two parishes. But, early as he was, compared with most of his contemporaries, he ever feelingly lamented that he had lost so much time before he systematically turned his mind to this great engine, not less of civil and temporal, than of moral and spiritual utility. It was a noble sight to behold assembled in his chapel, the Bentinck Schools, containing fifty boys and fifty girls, educated, and partly clothed; school of industry for orphans, or very poor children, wholly maintained and educated; two large Sunday-schools for boys and girls; and the Philological School, which was instituted for the education of the sons of merchants, officers, and professional men reduced to narrow circumstances. This interesting establishment, from mismanagement and want of support, had become ruined and bankrupt, when Mr. Woodd took it upon himself, rescued
it from its embarrassments, and supported it for many years by the assistance of his friends and congregation. It is now patronised by his Majesty and many persons of distinction, and has become a most valuable and prosperous institution. Added to these schools, the girls of the Clergy Orphan School were for many years gratuitously accommodated at his chapel, till the removal of the establishment to St. John's Wood, when this zealous and affectionate friend to the institution received the warmest thanks of its episcopal and other supporters, for his long and liberal efforts for its welfare. Nearly four thousand children have passed through his schools; and great numbers of them, he was accustomed to say, had proved in future life, and many on their death-bed, the inestimable blessings of a religious education.
There were other religious and charitable institutions in operation in his chapel: such as a fund for the sick poor; several associations connected with the large societies; and a maternal charity, esta blished in 1799, which has relieved two thousand five hundred and eight married women in their confinement. He also extended his solicitudes to institutions of more recent date, The very year before his death he assisted in forming, and became Secretary to, a Society for promoting the due Observance of the Lord's-day in the parish of Mary-le-bone, in which he took a zealous interest, and drew up one or more papers on the Divine sanction and duties of the Christian Sabbath, for wide circulation in the neighbourhod. He had been one of the earliest clerical opposers of the Slave Trade; he was a life. member of the African Institution: (How could that man be otherwise than zealous in this cause, of whom Mr. Wilberforce says, "I loved and honoured him from childhood, and esteemed him among my personal friends"?) and he rejoiced at the institution of the Anti-Slavery Society, to follow up and crown the great work of the abolition of that inhuman traffic, His instincts were right from the first in this matter; but it was somewhat slowly that he comprehended the full extent of the evil; for he was deceived by incorrect statements, and he could not well credit that it was in human nature to perpetrate such atrocities as are inseparably connected with West-Indian slavery. But when he had once convinced himself of the real facts of the case, no man could be more anxious to exterminate this unchristian system: and the last public Board he ever attended was that of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, which he repaired to, in a state of great suffering and debility, that he might assist in urging the Society to far more effectual measures than they had yet projected, in reference to the slaves on the Codrington, Estates and though he felt grateful that
something was effected, he more than once afterwards expressed his extreme regret that the society had not been induced to adopt a plan of entire and speedy emancipation, making their slaves free labourers, and paying them for their work. He signed the Mary-le-bone Petitions to Parliament for the prompt and entire Abolition of Slavery throughout the British Dominions; and one of the last entries in his banker's book is a donation to the Anti-Slavery Society from "Basil Woodd and Friends." He more than once said that he could not sleep in his bed when he thought of what was passing in the West Indies; and that not only was he horrified with the authenticated instances of cruelty which so frequently occur, but that he considered as unjust, unchristian, and inhuman the whole of a system which makes man the slave of his fellow-man.
Such were his charitable exertions: in concluding the notice of which, it needs only to be added, that he practised what he taught; that his own purse was ever open, as well as his exhortations to others earnest; and that for many years, and as long as his circumstances and claims would allow, he regularly put a two-pound note every Monday morning into a box, to be expended during the week in purposes of Christian mercy. He thought this regular appropriation of a given portion of his income the most agreeable to the Apostolic direction (1 Cor. xvi. 12).
Of our respected friend's publications little needs be said, as they were chiefly connected with his other labours. His schools led him to feel the need of catechisms, and hence he published several, which have gone through numerous editions: one, for example, his " Brief Explanation of the Church Catechism," having numbered not fewer than forty-six impressions. He published also a tractate on Confirmation, which has reached the thirty-sixth edition. He was an industrious distributor of religious tracts, and added several useful and popular ones to the list; such as his Account of Bowyer Smith; Elizabeth Pottle; the New-Zealander, Mowhee; and, above all, his excellent tractate entitled "The Day of Adversity," which is in the fortieth edition. He never left home without a store of tracts every beggar, every child, every workman, every waterman or coachman, who happened to have a moment's interview with him, retired enriched with some useful manual for his private reading and reflection. The above popular little works, with a few sermons, and an original metrical Version of the Psalms of David, comprise his chief publications. To judge of them merely as literary performances, would be unjust to his memory; but, measured by the standard of usefulness and public acceptance, they abundantly speak their own praise. His Day of
Adversity, and his " Faith and Duty of a
And future leave to thee;
In meek simplicity!
In mysteries for this state too high
But on thy word incline!
Here and hereafter Thine."
We arrive now at his last days: not, indeed, that it is of much real importance how such a man died, after we so well know how he had lived. Whether his expiring moments were clouded by disease or brightened by the radiance of forthcoming glory, the result would equally be well: to live would be Christ, and to die, gain: but it is consoling to know, that it pleased God to support and comfort his aged servant, and that, like Simeon, he departed in peace, after having long seen and preached His salvation.
It had ever been our friend's often-expressed wish, to be permitted to continue to the verge of his declining hours in full activity at his post of duty-to wear out, as he expressed it, rather than rust out ;— and his desire was granted; for though for
two or three years past he had appeared somewhat enfeebled, and particularly since the second Sunday in last November, when he sustained a sudden seizure of illness as he was officiating at his chapelhe was enabled to continue his exertions, in the pulpit and elsewhere, till within a few weeks of his decease. On Sunday, the 6th of February, he appeared unwell, and permitted a clerical friend who assisted him to read the prayers in his stead-no wonted concession-intending to preach as usual. Just as the Litany was commencing, he was seen to drop down insensible in his pew; but, being taken into the vestry, he so far recovered as to express his determination to attempt to make an effort to preach: to prevent which, as it was likely to be a painful and hazardous experiment, his medical attendant requested the clergyman who was reading the Communion Service to put on his gown at the altar, and at once ascend the pulpit; for which Mr. Woodd afterwards expressed his affectionate thanks. The second Lesson for the day, which happened to be the sixth chapter of St. Mark, furnished occasion for a discourse, unpremeditated indeed, but in unison with the occasion. The disciples, it was remarked, as stated in that chapter, would have sent the multitude away, because they had no supply of food for them; but the Saviour commanded that they should remain; and he multiplied the five loaves and the two fishes, so that they all did eat and were filled. It was he that blessed that brake—that gave to the disciples, who were only his agents for communication, to set what he had provided before the multitude; and, while they were partaking of the bread that perisheth, he was doubtless walking up and down in the midst of them, from company to company, feeding their souls with the bread of life. And who can say how many an aching heart he that day bound up; how many a broken spirit he cheered; how many a profligate he reclaimed; how many a sinner, till then unacquainted with a Saviour, was drawn to him, and pardoned through his blood? And what miraculously he did that day, he did, it was added, by his Holy Spirit every day in his church: the ministers of Christ were ever to look to him in an exigence such as had just occurred it was not for them to send away the assembled multitude because the spiritual sustenance intended for them had been providentially withheld; he could, he would, direct them to suitable meditations: that very chapter abounded in them: and it was but for the minister to take, as it were, this bread of life immediately at the hands of Christ, and to deliver it to the people; and ever to act as did the Apostles in this narrative, when they gathered themselves together unto Jesus, and told him all things, both what they had done and what they had taught; that
is, their life and doctrine-the two great points to which the minister of Christ is to take heed. The subject, thus opened, naturally led to a notice of the scriptural doctrines and holy life of that revered instructor who had, a few minutes before, been sitting among them; their advantages and responsibilities as a congregation; with prayer to God, that if it were his will their beloved pastor might be still spared to distribute that bread of life which the Saviour had, for nearly half a century, multiplied in his hands for the support of his people.
Mr. Woodd revived so far during the sermon as to be able to assist, though in great weakness, for the last time, in the commemoration of the body broken and the blood shed for a sinful world; and this with a holy fervour, tempered with awful solemnity, as though he enjoyed somewhat of the antepast of heaven, and felt that he should no more drink of that cup till, spiritually and eternally, he drank it new in the kingdom of God. On returning home, he remarked to the clergyman who had assisted him, that, on first recovering from his fainting or stupor, he had been reflecting what, if he had been taken away suddenly, would have been his eternal condition? The solemn question, he said, was the more impressed upon his mind, because he had, the very day before, taken leave of his beloved flock at Drayton Beauchamp, in a letter to his son, to whom he had just transferred the benefice. He felt, he said, deeply abased in the sight of God: all his ministrations had been most imperfect and full of sin, but still God had honoured him by making him an instrument of spiritual good to others: he had many seals to his ministry; and this was to him an omen for good that God had not forsaken him. He could not feel all that some Christians did of strong emotion-he reproached himself for it either as regarded the terrors of God's law, or the infinite love of Christ; but he enjoyed a peaceful hope, and he believed that hope was scriptural; but he did not think that the doc trine of assurance without evidence was scriptural: he trusted wholly in the cross of his Redeemer; but he thought it wise and safe and necessary to practise selfexamination,-to inquire into the state of his heart and affections, to ask himself, Am I in reality a new creature?—adding, with considerable energy, and adverting to the name of Dr. Malan, that assurance, unfounded upon evidence and self-examination, "would not do to die by."
The succeeding Sunday, Feb. 13th, he preached once; but it was his last appearance in the house of God, and it was with extreme suffering to himself, and distress to his affectionate friends, that he made the effort. But his bodily weakness, his tremulous agitation, only gave deeper pathos to his farewell exhortations :-not,
indeed, that he himself imagined them to be such; for he cherished, almost to the last week of his life, an expectation of recovery; but all who regarded him observantly felt that his work was done. And more characteristically, more blessedly concluded, it could not be; for the subject of his discourse was Col. i. 27, "Christ in you the hope of glory;" and the affecting tenderness and solemnity with which he delivered it will not be easily forgotten by any who were present. He had composed it during the week before his attack, intending to preach it that morning, with especial reference to the sudden death of a Christian friend, whom he had long known and loved. The manuscript outline of the discourse is endorsed with the words " Very ill." The following is the substance. The incarnation of the Son of God is the grand mystery of our religion: but the world at large regard it not; other things are greater in their estimation. But true believers regard it, yea, all heaven regards it, with wonder and astonishment; and if we who are called Christians, do not feel its importance, it shews that Divine truth has not duly engaged our hearts. The world is full of the glory of God: Creation displays it, Providence displays it; and both these are subjects of interesting and delightful study: but the grand display of the Divine character is the glory of God in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. "This is life eternal: to know the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom he has sent:" and this knowledge practically includes the image of Christ, the love of Christ, and the service of Christ: that image is holiness, implanted by the Spirit of Christ; that love is the felicity of Christ; and that service is perfect freedom. Thence follows the experimental knowledge of the sublime truth in the text, "Christ in you." There is a general sense in which Christ is present in his church; and a more particular and individual sense, in which he is present in the hearts of believers. is present generally, as in the Church of Colosse, a brotherhood of servants of Christ, gathered from an idolatrous city of Phrygia. Christ was set forth preached among them as eminently he is in our own land, where we have the Scriptures circulated; the Gospel preached; a pure and Apostolical church established; with all the blessings of civil and religious liberty;-all rendering it our bounden duty and privilege to walk in the light; and, enjoying it ourselves, to send it out in all its glory to the heathen, who are sitting in darkness and the shadow of death. But there is a more close, a personal and individual application of the text. Not only is Christ preached in his church, but there is a holy union with him established in all his true disciples. Christ dwells in them by his word and his Spirit. Beautifully does our Church Ser
vice say, "We dwell in Him, and He in us." Christ dwells in the Christian, first, as the meritorious ground of his hope; for he died for his sins, and infinite merit attaches to his sacrifice: secondly, as the vital source of sanctification; that distinguishing privilege of the Christian upon earth, and his meetness for glory in heaven: thirdly, as the spirit of hope, for in him the Christian has consolation, protection, and perfect confidence, so that through the mysteries which overspread the field of nature and providence, and the clouds and darkness of a sinful and sorrowful world, a vista is opened to the prospect of eternal blessedness; and, fourthly, Christ dwells in the Christian as the hope of glory. Religion tenders no earthly benefits; it promises not riches or temporal aggrandisement; rather, it says, "through much tribulation;" but it promises a sweet and holy peace in the present world, and blessings beyond anticipation in the world to come. The distinguishing feature of that glory is Christ, the King of glory. Let then this be our hope, our pursuit, our rest. hope of glory must be built on Christ as our rock, and the testimony of our conscience, with self-examination into our state, in reference to our faith, our love, our charity. Like Moses, we should ascend the mount of Pisgah, and behold the fields of Canaan. The whole of the above heads are interwoven with appropriate references to Scripture and brief notices, to be filled up at the moment; and the whole furnishes a striking illustration of his habitual topics and manner of preaching. The concluding inferences from the whole subject shall be given in his own words; the last words he ever wrote for the pulpit, and on which he dilated with remarkable solemnity, though little thinking at that moment, how soon he himself, and how soon his beloved flock, would need the consolation they afford. They are these:
Take full consolation in the prospect of all the trials of life.”
"Take full consolation in death, and the certainty of our own dissolution " (Phil. i. 21).
"Take full consolation as to our departed friends who are now in the full glory of this hope. This hope was their support in the valley of tribulation; now faith is lost in sight, and hope in enjoyment (1 Thess. iv. 13–18).
The passage last referred to, is St. Paul's exhortation to the Thessalonians, not to sorrow as those which have no hope; but to comfort one another with the blessed assurance that as Jesus died and rose again, even so them that sleep in Jesus will God bring with him; a consolation with which the Holy Ghost, the Comforter, has supported the hearts of his departing servants, and the bereaved survivors in every age, and not least the