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cian, has preserved one of the prayers, as it would seem, which he thus offered while walking up and down in his study. It is in the following terms, principally referring to the religious interests of his native country: "O Lord God, heavenly Father, I call upon thee in the name of thy most dearly beloved Son Jesus Christ, imploring that, according to thy promise, and for the glory of thy name, thou wouldest graciously hear the prayers which I offer up unto thee, beseeching thee that, as thou hast, of thy mercy and boundless goodness, discovered to me the great apostacy and blindness of the pope before the day of thy last advent, which is at hand, and is to succeed that diffusion of the light of the Gospel which now dawns upon the world; so thou wouldest graciously preserve the Church of my beloved country in the acknowledgment of the truth, and the unwavering confession of thy uncorrupted word, without failing, even to the end; that the whole world may know that thou hast sent me for this very purpose. Even so, O most blessed Lord God! Amen and amen!"
Before supper he had complained of a pain in the chest, to which he was subject: it was, however, relieved by warm applications. After supper it returned; but he would not have medical aid called in; but about nine o'clock lay down on a couch and fell asleep. He awoke as the clock struck ten, and desired that those about him would retire to rest. When led into his chamber, he said, "I go to rest with God;" and repeated the words of the Psalm, "Into thy hands I commend my spirit," &c.: and, stretching out his hands to bid all good night, he added, "Pray for the cause of God."
He then went to bed: but about one o'clock he awoke
Jonas and another who slept in the room with him, desired that a fire might be made in his study, and exclaimed, "Oh God! how ill I am! I suffer dreadful oppression in my chest: I shall certainly die at Eisleben!" He then removed into his study without requiring assistance, and again repeating, “Into thy hands I commend my spirit!" He walked backwards and forwards, and desired to have warm clothes brought him. In the mean time his physicians were sent for, as also Count Albert, who presently came with his countess. All Luther's friends and his sons were now collected about him: medicines were given him, and he seemed somewhat relieved: and having lain down on a couch, he fell into a perspiration. This gave encouragement to some present; but he said, "It is a
cold sweat, the forerunner of death; I shall yield up my spirit." He then began to pray, nearly in these
words: "O eternal and merciful God, my heavenly
Father, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and God of all consolation! I thank thee that thou hast revealed to me thy Son Jesus Christ; in whom I have believed, whom I have preached, whom I have confessed, whom I love and worship as my dear Saviour and Redeemer, whom the pope and the multitude of the ungodly do persecute, revile, and blaspheme. I beseech thee, my Lord Jesus Christ, receive my soul! O heavenly Father, though I be snatched out of this life, though I must now lay down this body, yet know I assuredly that I shall dwell with thee for ever, and that none can pluck me out of thy hands!" He then thrice again repeated the words, "Into thy hands I commend my
truth!" Also these words, "God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life:" and that verse of the sixty-eighth Psalm, "Our God is the God of whom cometh salvation: God is the Lord, by whom we escape death." He then became silent, and his powers began to fail him: but when several present addressed him, "Reverend father, you die in the constant confession of Christ and his doctrine, which you have preached?" he distinctly answered, "Yes," and spoke no more; but, about a quarter of an hour afterwards, between two and three o'clock in the morning, with his hands clapsed together, and without a finger or a feature being disturbed, gently breathed his last.
THE HEARING OF GOD BY THE HEARING
BY THE REV. EDWARD GIRDLESTONE, M.A.
"I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but
WHO amongst us has not heard of God by
came a man amongst men, a man, moreover,
of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and suffered the dreadful penalty of death upon the cross, in order that we might have our sins forgiven, and be reconciled to our Father which is in heaven. We are still further informed, that God is our Comforter, sent down from heaven to cheer, to strengthen, to sanctify us, to cleanse our hearts from impure desires, and make us meet for the inheritance of the saints above. And not only are we thus taught concerning God himself. We are taught, moreover, concerning his promises and his threatenings; that we must all die; spirit! Thou hast redeemed me, O Lord God of that after death follows judgment; and then,
to the believer heaven, but hell to the impenitent. I need not, however, enlarge. It is evident, that in this professedly Christian land, we may all hear, if we neglect not; or, rather, probably, more or less, we have all heard of God by the hearing of the ear. We have heard his word read and preached. The glad tidings of salvation, in the name of Jesus, have been made known to us. The outward means of grace have been offered to us. Thousands of opportunities of availing selves of them have been placed in our way. In not a few instances we have actually availed ourselves of them. We have heard, that is to say, of God, by the hearing of the ear.
them; notwithstanding he was more than moral in his life and conversation; notwithstanding, to use his own expressive language, he heard of God by the hearing of the ear; yet he confessed, that then, at that moment when the words of the text were uttered, at an advanced period of his life, his eye had, for the first time, seen him. Though he had long since been familiar with vague and indistinct notions respecting God and his attriour-butes, then, for the first time, his eye saw him as he really is, Almighty, All-wise, Allmerciful, All-holy; or, as Elihu had before described him, "excellent in power, and in judgment, and in plenty of justice" (Job, xxxvii. 23). Then, for the first time, he embraced in his mind's eye one vast and comprehensive view of the majesty, of the glory, of the goodness, of the purity of Jehovah. He gazed upon him, as it were, by faith, in the length and the breadth of his infinite perfection.
And so had Job. He had, I doubt not, been religiously brought up. The great truths of religion, as far as they had been at that early period made known, had been impressed upon his mind. The outward means of grace had not only been offered to him, but actually used by him. In the very first chapter of his history, we read of him, as a man perfect and upright; one that feareth God and escheweth evil" (Job, i. 8). And we further argue his sincerity and serious disposition, from the anxiety which he manifested in the care of his children, lest by any means they should do that which would be displeasing to the Almighty. "It was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt-offerings, according to the number of them all; for Job said, It may be, that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts" (Job, i. 5). And, again, at the end of the same chapter, there is abundant proof, that, notwithstanding the occasional fits of repining, to which, in the midst of his most excruciating afflictions, he occasionally yielded, Job nevertheless displayed an almost more than human measure of patience and resignation. Bowed down, as he was, by the loss of all which he held most dear to him, he had yet grace to exclaim, "the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord."
True it is, then, that Job had heard of God by the hearing of the ear. He had had vouchsafed to him all the ordinary information and means of grace. And more than this, it seems that he had by no means neglected to make use of them. He was, to say the least, extremely moral in his conversation. He was, indeed, more than this. For we read of him, as I have already said, that he "feared God." And yet, brethren, notwithstanding all this; notwithstanding he had had the outward means of grace abundantly vouchsafed to him, and, more than thousands amongst ourselves, had both used them and profited by
Brethren, from a consideration of this part of the subject, I wish to impress upon you, that it is not enough to have the means and opportunities of grace afforded to us, or even to make use of them. You and I have all of us these means of grace vouchsafed to us. Many of us, I doubt not, are even wont to make diligent use of them. Many of us lead moral and, comparatively speaking, inoffensive lives. Many of us hallow the Lord's Sabbaths, search into his word, address prayer to him, and strive to obey his commandments. And yet, not a few of us are, nevertheless, short of one thing, a full, and comprehensive, and Christian view of the nature and attributes of God. We do not conceive rightly of his power, his wisdom, his goodness, his holiness, his love. Our thoughts concerning him are too low, too worldly. We have heard of him by the hearing of the ear, but as yet our eyes see him not. As yet he has not been revealed to us in all his glory. We are still in the flesh. We have not as yet had passed upon us that change, without which no man shall see the Lord. not yet born of the Spirit. No wonder, therefore, that we have not entered into the kingdom of God. Still do we need to have wrought within our hearts that inward and surprising change, which, at the season to which the text refers, was wrought in the heart of holy Job. No matter how often we have heard of God by the hearing of the ear, there are still many, it is to be feared, amongst us, whose eyes have not as yet seen him.
And why do I say so? I say so, brethren, because, as your own consciences bear witness, that effect has not as yet been produced upon some of us, which was produced upon
Job by this near and intimate knowledge of the Almighty. Let us proceed, then, to consider this effect.
The first thing which Job did, as soon as his eye had seen God, was to abhor himself. He had hitherto, perhaps, looked upon himself, as many doubtless amongst us are wont to do, with complacency and satisfaction. He had, perhaps, thought thus within himself. I am not, after all, so very wicked. I have lived a moral life. I have brought up my children well. I have injured no one. I have kept the Lord's Sabbaths. I have prayed. I have offered the sacrifices required. I have made diligent use of all outward means of grace. I am, at least, not worse than others. I am even better, possibly, than many.' This, I say, probably, was the course of Job's thoughts, when he had only heard of God by the hearing of the ear. But, when his eye saw him, when his mind was open to the infinity of the Divine perfections, when he was led by the Spirit to look upon Jehovah as infinitely holy, just, and good; what then were his feelings? Wherefore," says he, "I abhor myself." His eye glanced from the purity of Jehovah into the secrets of his own heart. And what did he discover there? That which he now abhorred. Hitherto he had looked upon himself with complacency, but now with abhorrence. The holiness, the power, the wisdom, the goodness of the Lord, by a contrast which could not be resisted, convinced him of his own impurity, weakness, ignorance, and sin. He was at length aware of the foulness of the leprosy with which his whole heart was covered. The deep stain of his guilt was no longer concealed
from his view.
But, more than this. Having been thus convinced of sin, he betook himself immediately to repentance. "Wherefore I abhor myself (says he), and repent in dust and ashes." This was no common kind of repentance. The expressions made use of are very striking," Repent in dust and ashes." Here was no passing sorrow for sin- -the grief which to-day is, and to-morrow, by too many of us, is cast behind us. But it was an humble, an abasing, a sincere, a heartfelt sorrow, an actual abhorrence of sin, as before he had abhorred the sinner. It was that godly sorrow which worketh reformation, which leads those who feel it to cease from evil for
the future, not because they fear to do otherwise, but because they love to do well. It was such a sorrow as the apostle Paul approved of in writing to the Corinthians;"For behold this self-same thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea,, what indignation, yea, what fear,
yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge!" (2 Cor. vii. 11.)
You see then, brethren, that the effect produced upon Job by this spiritual change and inward revelation of the most high God, was an humiliating sense of his own unworthiness, a hearty sorrow for the commission of sin past, an abhorrence of himself as a sinner, and of sin as of that which God is of purer eyes than to behold. Have we this abhorrence of ourselves? Do we thus repent in dust and ashes? Have we this humiliating sense of our own impure and perishing condition? Have we this earnest desire to become holy as the Lord our God is holy? If not, brethren, then we are not spiritually changed. If not, we are not born of God. We are still in darkness, still in our sins. Oh ye, who even now indulge in high and haughty thoughts concerning your own selves, who think to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father-who look upon your own conduct with complacency, and cannot understand what the Gospel means, when it proclaims to you, that you are sinners; and ye, likewise, who repent without repentance, if I may use the expression, not in dust and ashes, but on beds of roses without the thorns,-ye indeed may have a name that ye live, but ye have not the witness of the Spirit within you. Ye have heard of God by the hearing of the ear, but your eye has not seen him.
Happy, brethren, those amongst you, as I trust there are many, whose abhorrence of their own selves, and earnest repentance for their sins, attest that their eyes have been permitted to see the Almighty in all his goodness and his glory. Yours it is to rejoice even here with joy, such as the world is stranger to, and hereafter with joy unspeakable. May God, who hath begun a good work in you, perform it until the day of Jesus Christ! But, O, the rest of you those, I mean, on whom this blessed change has not yet been wrought-O, pray, that, as your ears have been opened to hear of God, so your eyes may be permitted to see him! Pray that the Holy Spirit may straightway vouchsafe to reveal to you the Redeemer in all his glory. We know not how, or when, the change will take place. All we know is that ere we can enter the kingdom of God, it must take place; that, when it has taken place, it will shew itself by its effects, the abhorrence of ourselves and of our sins. "The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit." We know not the source or the destination of the wind. Neither can we control it in its
course, or set limits to its progress. All we can do is, to judge of its direction and of its force, by the effects which it produces, the sound of its mighty rushing, or the course in which bodies are impelled before it. So is every one that is born of the Spirit. The Spirit bloweth where he listeth. He influences one man; he passes by another. On some he descends in infancy; on others in youth, in manhood, or old age. Sometimes his appearance is sudden, violent, perceptible; at others, gradual, quiet, and unnoticed. rious, also, are the instruments of which he makes use, to change the heart. He does it just as he listeth. In the case of Job, his afflictions were sanctified to this purpose. In like manner, how often, in our own case, we have found it good for us to be afflicted, that we might learn God's statutes!
God forbid, then, Christian brethren, that you or I should, for a moment, presume to set any fanciful limits to the power, or control the operations of the Almighty, according to rules of our own weak and miserable invention! Rather be it mine to remind you, and yours to remember, that this change must come, before the eye can see Jesus, the Saviour of sinners. Other, even mere worldly motives of expediency, may avail to make us clothe ourselves in such an outward garb of morality as is sufficient to deceive our fellowmen. But the inward renewal of the heart in humility and holiness, in abhorrence of ourselves and of our sins, this, as it never will be the effect of any thing else, so will it be the invariable effect of seeing, with the eye of faith, Jehovah in all his manifold perfections. It remains, then, that ye examine your hearts and conduct by the book of God. If ye abhor yourselves, and repent in dust and ashes, then has the Spirit led you to an intimate knowledge of the Creator, the Redeemer, the Sanctifier of his people. If not, though you hear of him every day by the hearing of the ear, be assured, as yet, your eye seeth him not.
A FAREWELL ADDRESS
From the Minister of Southborough to his Congregation, January 8, 1836.
MY DEAR FRIENDS, As I am unable, by reason of ill health, to take leave of you, from the pulpit, by word of mouth, as I should wish to have done, upon my resigning the charge of the Church of Southborough, I adopt the only mode now left me, namely, that of addressing you a few parting words by letter.
And, first, I would say, that nothing but absolute necessity could induce me to relinquish a charge which the Lord, in his providence, had committed to me, and which was also to myself a most interesting and encouraging sphere of usefulness. But having struggled on, now almost three years, against a continuation of ill health and extreme bodily weakness;
and finding, like the poor woman in the Gospel, that was nothing better, but rather grew worse," and that I had no reasonable prospect of being able to carry on the ministrations of the place, I felt it right to resign the situation, and thus to make room for another more efficient than myself. And here, my dear friends, allow me to observe, from all I have heard of him that is to succeed me, that you have indeed reason to bless God in the choice the trustees of the Church have been led to make; and I do hope you will receive him "in the Lord, as becometh saints," not merely as a man, but as an ambassador of Christ, and a servant of the most high God; and I say this the more, lest, through a variety of ministers on account of my frequent illnesses, any of you should have acquired a disposition to hear rather the man than the message. O, let me warn you of this, as most dangerous to the soul! Remember our Lord's own words, Take heed how ye hear" (Luke, xviii. 18); and indeed the whole parable connected with this caution. And, again, his apostle James tells us, "Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own souls" (James, i, 22). Rather let me entreat you ever to go with the words of Cornelius in remembrance, and in his spirit, when he says to Peter, who came to declare to him, as we do to you, the glad tidings of salvation, Now, therefore, we are all here present before God, to hear all things which are commanded thee of God" (Acts, x. 33). Remember religious opportunities are a talent for which you will have to give an account: and a Gospel condemnation would be indeed an awful condemnation.
Again, in the worship of God in the prayers and singing, although I am thankful to say there is a reverence and attention beyond many congregations, yet we are not what we might be. How have I been pained sometimes during the service to observe some without books staring about them, or else sitting when they ought to be either standing or kneeling, or asleep during the sermon; and though I am aware that mere "bodily exercise of itself profiteth little," yet we ought to worship God with our bodies as well as our spirits: the best saints have ever done so. Abraham, the friend of God, fell on his face when God talked with him; and Moses, and David, and others, used this or like postures of reverence; the Levites stood up when they sang praises to God; and Peter and Paul, and even our blessed Lord himself, knelt down when they prayed. O, does it not become sinful dust and ashes to kneel before the Most High, and to bow themselves in the presence of the Almighty? Yea, is not God "very greatly to be feared, and to be had in reverence of all them that are round about him?" (Psalm lxxxix. 7.)
Besides, the true Christian, however much in some points he may differ from those of another denomination, on joining a congregation worshipping God, will ever remember the precept, "Be courteous," and conform in things indifferent, such as the outward form of worship ever must be. Consider, my brethren, were there no rule prescribed, what confusion there would be; hence the precept, "Let all things be done decently, and in order;" and, moreover, remember that the angels, and the Son of God himself, are beholders, and not indifferent ones, at every
assembly meeting in the name of Christ. (1 Cor. xi. 10; Rev. i. 13.)
And, now, my dear friends, allow me to say a few brief words with regard to my ministry among you. And, first, I would remark, that I have endeavoured, in external things-such as in carrying on the services, public and private-to walk in the steps of my predecessor, because I considered him a wiser and more experienced man than myself. And as to doctrines, I have also endeavoured to follow him, as I thought he followed Christ: I mean, I endeavoured to set before you the unchangeable holiness and inflexible justice of Jehovah and his law, making no abatement whatever for the inability of the creature, nor in anywise diminishing his responsibility-in other words, that, although we have lost both the will and the power to obey, yet God relinquishes not his claim to exact, and that most justly.
Secondly, the total ruin of man in the first Adam, and his complete recovery in the second Adam, the Lord from heaven.
Thirdly,―The means of appropriating that blessedness, namely, faith; and that all religious exercises, sacraments, and ordinances, are but as helps to the same. Such has been my endeavour; and I believe I may say, without an exception, that of my brethren who have assisted me. How far we have succeeded, I must leave to the day to declare: "For the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire, and the fire shall try every man's work what sort it is." (1 Cor. iii. 13.)
And now, my dear brethren, allow me to ask you, how have you profited by these ministrations? I say not they have been what they ought, either in zeal, or wisdom, or love: far from it. I feel myself debtor both to saint and sinner; yet I trust they have been such as to set before you, in some faint measure, the whole counsel of God, and to leave you without excuse, if you have not profited. O, my dear brethren, there is an infinite fulness treasured up in the Lord Jesus Christ, of all that we, as poor empty sinners, can ever want or need. Allow me, then, to ask you, in conclusion, these few questions.
First, Have you fled to Christ? and do you know that your sins are blotted out by the indwelling witness of his Spirit, and that you are accepted in the Beloved, so as "to rejoice, to pray without ceasing, and in every thing to give thanks? for this is the will of God concerning you" (1 Thess. v. 16-18); or, in other words, this is a true Gospel state, and I think we should be content with nothing short of it.
Secondly,―If you have not attained this, are you
the other hand, mere talkers, who profess that they know Christ," but in works deny him;" covetous, close grasping men, drunkards, fornicators, and swearers, what shall I say to you? Shall I say nothing, and leave you to go on in your soul-destroying way? No; I will address to you, one and all, two passages from the Bible; and remember they are God's words, and not mine: the one is, "We shall all stand before the judgment-seat of Christ" (Rom. xiv. 10): the other (and they are the words of that same Christ before whose judgment-seat we shall stand)-" Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. xviii. 3).
Farewell, my friends, for the present. I hope we may be permitted to meet together again even here; and though no longer your minister, yet my interest in your temporal and eternal welfare will, I trust, ever remain the same; for I have experienced much kindness and forbearance from most-I may say, from all, more or less.
Finally, let me entreat you, as a parting request, to pray for yourselves and your families-to study the word of God-to pray for one another, and for me, as I endeavour to do for you; and then, whether we meet here or not, we shall certainly meet with joy around a throne above: for those who come to a throne of grace perseveringly here, shall assuredly come to a throne of glory hereafter. "For the Lord never said to the seed of Jacob, Seek ye my face in vain."Truly,
"Do you want your fortune told, ma'am?" said one of this outcast tribe, as we met, a short time ago, on a broad heath. I shrunk instinctively from the bold, half-laughing stare of her brilliant eyes, and with a silent shake of the head, walked on. This was followed Heb. x. 24, 25; xi. 6)? for it is only in the diligent by a feeling of self-reproach, that I could not
pressing after it with all diligence (2 Pet. i. 10; Phil. iii. 13, 14), using the means diligently (Acts, ii. 46;
use of the means which God has put within our reach that we can expect a blessing from him.
And O, what shall I say to those who are, alas! both ignorant and indifferent, as, I fear, yea, I may say, I know, many are: Sabbath-breakers; neglectors of public and private worship; formalists, those who hold the form, but deny the power of religion inwardly: or, on
The Rev. John Tucker, secretary of the corresponding com. mittee of the Church Missionary Society at Madras, and author of two volumes of admirable sermons.
stifle the circumstances were such, that I could not have spoken to the unhappy ture; for a number of carriages, donkeys, and disorderly persons, were there clustered to gether, on the occasion of some neighbouring fair or races; and I had difficulty in conduct
* The Hon. and Rev. Musgrave Harris died lately, "in sure and certain hope" of a blessed resurrection. He was in the prime