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I would now refer to " a Preacher of righteousness,”—" a good minister of Jesus Christ." His aim, pursued in prayers, and sermons, and friendly conferences, is, to bring into the fold of "the Chief Shepherd" the sheep that are still going astray, and to guard and nourish those that are collected there. The former impress awful solicitude, relieved by the hope of recovering souls from the bor. ders of perdition; the latter yield him an immediate, and a never-failing reward. His attachment to life grows with the labour which he expends on his important and beloved charge. Probably, this pastoral attachment was never kindled into ardour surpassing what flamed forth from the heart of the dignified, disinterested, and devoted Apostle, who, having been " caught up into the third heavens," had a foretaste of infinite felicity. Represent to yourselves the amazing expansion of his soul, when, though sure of returning to that heaven as soon as he should be emancipated from the prison of a frail and shattered body, he addressed to "all the saints in Christ Jesus, which" were at Philippi," these memorable words, "I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart and to be with Christ, which is far better. Nevertheless, to abide in the flesh is more needful for you. And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all, for your furtherance and joy of faith."



My brethren, the Christian Church is not without living specimens of this heroic generosity. Some heralds of salvation there surely are, in whom the Apostle, as it respects their predominant feeling, would recognise, if he were in the midst of them, what the primitive disciples found him to be. Like him, they "behave" themselves "holily, and justly, and unblamably" they covet "no man's silver, or gold, or apparel;" they serve "the Lord with all humility of mind;"" being allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel," they "speak, not as pleasing men, but God, who trieth our hearts;" they are constrained by the love of Christ;" and they labour, that, whether present or absent," they "may be accepted of Him." Would you know their principle and the manner of their life? Paul states them, when he says, "To me to live is Christ." Would you know their habitual expectation? The same speaker informs you, when he adds, "To die is gain." All who can truly adopt this language, are divinely prepared for an exchange of worlds; and, at the same time, are best qualified to labour for the honour of God, and the benefit of men, in the world which is still favoured with their presence and example. That world can ill spare them. Hence, they esteem it a blessing to sojourn there; and, when brought quite on the verge of heaven,' they have been willing to retire from the view of its robes, its palms, its diadems, its mansions, and its enraptured companies, that they might resume the "work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope," among friends, strangers, and adversaries. That they shall, one day, "enter within the veil," is a most cordial thought; and they adore the Saviour for having encouraged them to indulge it. But their chosen vocation, till He whose authority must not, for a moment, be contested, says, "Come up hither," is, to render those spiritual services to their fallen fellow

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creatures, which death will bring to a perpetual end. If spared, they
hope, comparing their future with their former selves, to exemplify
superior skill and excellence; to place some portions of scriptural
truth in a clearer light, and to urge attention to invisible realities in a
more impressive manner. Ashamed of their past deficiencies, they
resolve to make new efforts, and to pray " yet more earnestly." They
look on them that are ignorant and out of the way," with unwonted
compassion; and feel as if, in the prospect of restoring them, they
could, with a readiness never previously experienced, walk over
burning sands, and take up their abode in sickly climates, and brave
the infuriated ocean. I hear them say, Perhaps these voices may
yet speak effectual conviction" to them that are at ease in Zion," and
consolation equally effectual to those that mourn there. Perhaps
these hands may be stretched out in the presence of a people made
willing, by the blessing of God, to seek and serve him, after a long
season of carelessness, or even gross rebellion. Thus will captives
be set free, brands plucked out of the fire, and grovelling minds ele
vated to the " things above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of
God." Were we to reach the age of Methuselah, a life so spent,
whether among Jews or Gentiles, whether on a Christian, a Mahome
tan, or a Heathen shore, would not have been protracted too far."
pp. 26-80.


Mr. Dealtry's sermon opens with a brief but excellent exposition of the passage (Rev. xiv. 13.) He illustrates, 1. the persons described; 2. their happiness. It is very possible,' he remarks, for a man to die an undisturbed and easy death, and yet not to die in the Lord.'

Imagine, for instance, the case of a confirmed infidel: why should he be disturbed at the approaching termination of life? The event was not unexpected: and, according to his notions, there is nothing to apprehend beyond it. To betray symptoms of alarm, is virtually to abandon his principles; and, although he may tremble in his heart, the very pride of infidelity will counsel him to bear up with apparent resolution.

Tranquillity in death may arise from a variety of causes: from constitutional apathy, from weariness of the world, from gross igno rance of true religion, from a hard and unfeeling conscience; and, therefore, taken simply by itself, without any good evidence that it rests upon a right foundation, it can never be admitted as a proof, that the man who possesses it, is duly prepared for his change.

Neither can we repose with much confidence in this matter upon theological knowledge and an orthodox creed.

Their value we mean not to disparage; but they cannot stand in the place of true religion. So decisive on this subject is the great Apostle of the Gentiles, as to assure us, that although a man understood all mysteries and all knowledge, and could speak with the tongue of an angel, these distinctions alone would profit him nothing. It is indeed to be feared, that all knowledge on religious questions, which is purely speculative, instead of humbling and improving the mind of


him that possesses it, tends rather to puff it up; and with whatever confidence we may rest in a dying hour upon the correctness of our views, it is possible for us to be as far from the kingdom of God and his righteousness, as the most ignorant of our species.

• Neither can we lay much stress in this argument upon vehement and rapturous transports.

• In many cases, they may be traced to the notions and habits of the particular class of professing christians to which the individuals concerned had previously attached themselves; and in some other cases, they are connected with high-wrought feelings or constitutional warmth of character, both totally independent of the influence of religion. God forbid that we should be supposed to throw discredit upon that holy and heavenly joy, which has often cheered the heart of the Christian in the last moments of existence, as if he were already on the verge of heaven. We are careful only to guard against the delusion, which is satisfied with frames and feelings : these are not necessarily derived from the communion of the Holy Ghost; and if it were possible, under such an excitement, to give in the alleged cause of the Gospel our bodies to be burned, we might still perish for

• In various instances, from the diseased state of some parts of the bodily frame, so fearfully and wonderfully made, it becomes physically impossible for the most devoted christian to bear his testimony to the truth on the approach of death : the tongue, which had perhaps announced to others the glad tidings of the grace of God, may be silent: the eye may be dim : the intellect, apparently failing with the flesh and the heart, may have sunk into hopeless lethargy: and yet, with the evidence before us of his christian life, we are persuaded that such a man dies in the Lord.

• We should not hesitate to come to the same conclusion in many cases, where, while the senses are still comparatively perfect, and the mind is still capable of expressing its feelings, there is little manifestation of inward joy. It is doubtless refreshing to stand by the bed of a dying man, who can declare, “ I am at peace with all men, and God is at peace with me: and from this blessed assurance, I feel that inward joy, which the world can neither give nor take from me:" but who shall presume to dictate to the Spirit of God in what manner the faith of his servants shall be tried, or how they shall be made ready for their change? It is recorded of one of the most eminent divines of the last century, that, as the time of his departure drew nigh, whenever any questions were directly put to him.concerning bis prospects of eternity, his answer usually was, “I cannot say much.” “ I rely," he observed, “ on the promises for strength in time of need. There was a time when I should have been very unhappy to have had so little of sensible comfort ; but I have seen reason to believe, that one of the most acceptable exercises of true christian faith consists in patiently waiting God's time, and in relying confi. dently on the written word. For many years, I have been endeavouring to live from day to day, as a pensioner on God's bounty : I learn to trust him, and he sends the manna without fail." ' pp. 9-12.

These Sermons can stand in no need of any


recommendation, but we must indulge ourselves in a few words respecting the distinguished individual whose decease has occasioned them.

It is painful to have, by this stroke, the three-fold cord broken which so long bound the Secretaries of the Bible Society in a harmonious and well disposed union, which at once represented and secured the harmony so happily characteristic of the Society. Never was an individual more admirably fitted to the work assigned him by Divine Providence, than the late clerical Secretary. The public thought so, who were witnesses only of his ready and commanding eloquence; of his ardour, guided by an ever watchful discretion, his lively wit, never at war with a serious spirit, his fertile imagination, which seemed but the sparkling of a solid mind, his frankness and urbanity, which were evidently native to his character. But those who knew something-few could know all-of what he had to contend with personally and officially, in the cause of the Society, the constant trial which he bad to sustain of his prudence and of his principles, the harassing demands made upon his physical powers of exertion, and the occasions which called for the display of all his dexterity, conciliatory address, and sound practical wisdom,--they only can be aware of the value of his services and the strength of his character. In the words of his respected colleague, one of the most efficient agents which the • very first of human Institutions ever had the happiness to • employ, is gone.

of the sacrifice he made of his secular interests in becoming a gratuitous Secretary to the Bible Society, it is enough to say that he never repented of it. When he accepted of the office, it was under a strong conviction that the Society which, at its origination, he had contemplated with somewhat of jealousy, was the cause of God. It was not the result of calculation, but the impulse of devout zeal which decided him. It was impossible that he should foresee on the one hand the displeasure, reproach, and rancorous hostility, which his connexion with the Society would bring upon him, or, on the other hand, the overpayment of satisfaction and delight which he was to reap in the wonderful progress of that great Institution. In • the opinion of innumerable fellow-Christians,' says Mr. Hughes, he pursued the most auspicious course which could • be assigned to a man hungering and thirsting after the most • refined and dignified satisfaction. For, (passing over the « demonstrations of individual munificence,) he lived in as • much estimation as seemed compatible with the support of hu* mility.' Yet, not to speak of his private trials and of the VOL. XVIII. N.S.

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personal mortifications to which he was exposed, it appears that he felt with an almost morbid degree of acuteness, the malignant hostility of the Clergy against the Institution,-that he was 'habitually pierced with anguish by the calumnious and unrelenting virulence vented against a Society entitled to far other treatment.' He felt as a clergyman sincerely attached to the doctrines and discipline of the Episcopal Church,-felt grief of heart and mortification at finding the spirit of antiChrist still so strong within the Establishment, warring against the cause of God and the best interests of man. There are seasons when the loudest plaudits of the crowded hall, must pall upon the ear of the favourite orator,-when all that is personally gratifying in the applause and estimation even of the great and good, must fail to be a satisfying reward. A respect to no lower reward than that on which Mr. Owen has now entered, could have sustained his unflagging course under all the difficulties and vexations which he had to encounter. Nor have we any doubt that the principle which carried him on in his laborious career, through evil report and good report, till his frame was worn out and exhausted, was the divine principle of love to God, and love to man.'


As a preacher and as a writer, he was deservedly popular, and might have attained eminence, had he devoted his great abilities to the pursuit of distinction in either path. As the curate of Fulham, he would long have been remembered with affectionate esteem, had he never occupied a more prominent station. Possibly, those were some of his happiest years, which he passed there as a parochial minister, under the patronage, and enjoying the intimacy of the venerable Porteus. But the discomforts and disquietudes arising out of his connexion with the Bible Society, which pursued him almost to the grave, were unable to shake his attachment, or awaken his regret. A short record of his own, subjoined to some notes concerning the progress of the Institution, and written apparently but a short time before his last illness, affords a pleasing assurance of this fact.

'The sentence runs thus :-"How sweet to have toiled in this work! "And, if wasted with labours more abundant, he is compelled to with"draw I have done." The last words occurring at a short distance from the other: as if, after a pause for reflection, he had felt convinced that his strength was already worn out, and that in this great cause he should labour no more.'

It will greatly enhance, in the estimation of most persons, the merit of Mr. Owen's exertions, and of the sacrifices which he made, that they were, as far as regards the Society he served as secretary, gratuitous. We are not sure that this ought to

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