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sixteen for a penny, and books at ls. 6d. each. A few years since, a clergyman in Shropshire employed a hawker, who itinerated through his district. At first his sales were small, but he went forward, until he created a demand for religious works to a large extent. In three years his receipts amounted to £1,300. The small book led to inquiries for a larger one, till at length the most valuable commentaries were sold in considerable numbers. The Committee are satisfied that the issues of the Society might be doubled if proper measures were only adopted. The times call for energetic efforts. Let the Christians of our land be prepared to make them; if they neglect the duty, the press may be triumphant in the cause of error; but if they are “ zealous of good works,” the period may not be distant, when every family in our country shall possess a good supply of religious publications, and be led through them to embrace “ the truth as it is in Jesus.”
In looking to the future operations of the Society, and of kindred Institutions, the Committee feel that their hope of success must rest on the unchangeable purposes and promises of God, and not on the most powerful instrumentality. The great truth to be acknowledged by all our societies is, that it is
not by might, nor by power,” that the Gospel will succeed, “ but by the Spirit of the Lord.” At the same time, the Committee feel that the printing press, the great agency they have to employ, in connexion with the prayers, the labours, and the faith of the Church, will be one means by which the ascendancy of scriptural truth will be maintained. When, in the 12th century, Peter Waldo, of Lyons, had the Scriptures translated, the light soon went out, but there was no printing-press. Wickliff held up the lamp of life at Oxford, Huss raised the torch in Bohemia; but they were soon extinguished—there was then no printing-press. Soon after the art of printing was discovered the sound went out to all the earth-" Let there be
light." Luther appeared ; and, before he died, many millions of people, through the Divine blessing on his numerous tracts, professed the Protestant faith. The light continues to shine. The press is still free. Let us then go forward, humbly confiding in God, who alone can make us successful, and, in due time, “ Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain : and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together : for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.”
REV. CHARLES SIMEON, OF CAMBRIDGE.
INTRODUCTION TO THE AMERICAN RE-PRINT OF MR. CARUS'S MEMOIRS
OF MR. SIMEON'S LIFE, BY BISHOP M'ILVAINE. The strong affection and reverence which I entertained for Mr. Simeon, while he was spared to the Church on earth to afford us so eminent an example of the man who, according to the prayer of St. Paul, is "filled with the knowledge of God's will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and long suffering with joyfulness;" my admiration of what the grace of God made him in his office--a most single-minded, unwearied, undaunted, patient, wise, successful minister of the Gospel-induces me fondly to embrace this opportunity of rendering a heart-tribute to his memory. But in doing this, there is a strong auxiliary motive. It arises out of the humiliating controversy which, since the death of Mr. Simeon, has spread through the Church of England and the Episcopal Church in this country (not to speak of its appearance, under a somewhat different guise, among other Christian communions), unsettling the foundations of Gospel truth, bringing the great principles and the blessed fruits of the Protestant Reformation into contempt, till many have “turned away their ears from the truth, and are turned unto fables." In view of all the reproach which the active promoters of these poisonous issues are continually casting upon evangelical views and measures, I feel great pleasure in doing homage to the ministry of Mr. Simeon. In all his views, and feelings, and public work-in his whole constitution as a follower of Christ, as a theologian, as a preacher of the word, as a man labouring in every way to do good, and save the souls of men-he was a most consecrated example of that in a minister, which the genius of Tractarianism most reviles and most earnestly labours to exterminate. What was meant by Ultra-Protestant in the earlier developments of that now almost acknowledged Romanism, and what is now meant by Protestant in its latter more honest avowals, may be seen in full
manifestation, and may be accurately appreciated, in Mr. Simeon. For the monstrous thing intended to be held up to public reprobation under the name, at first, of Ultra-Protestant, was not, as many were willing to suppose, the man of violent extremes in divinity, so fond of a few isolated points of Protestant faith as to reduce all other matters of religion into nonentity beside them; running away with a few abstract questions of speculative importance, till the great matters of personal holiness were overlooked, and the Sacraments of Christ, and the ritual order of the Church, were treated with neglect. Such men, if found in the Established Church of England, were too few to constitute a class, and too inconsiderable to be the objects of such a zealous crusade. It was a much more influential description of ministers, and, I am happy to say, a much more numerous array, that excited an opposition so unsurpassed in the minds of Tractarians. It was the consistent follower of the Reformers; it was the man who most nearly walked in the steps, and enforced the doctrines
2 BISHOP MʻILVAINE'S INTRODUCTION TO MR. SIMEON'S LIFE. of those holy men, who, at the expense of their lives, were God's instruments in cleansing the religion of England from the corruptions of Popery; it was the consistent holder and teacher of the Articles of the Church of England, referring himself, according to those Articles, for authority in matters of faith, exclusively to the Scriptures, and utterly rejecting all claim to the right of determining his creed from the writings or traditions of men; it was the man whose preaching was continually holding forth Christ, and not the Church, as the sinner's refuge—the Spirit of Christ, and not the offices of His ministers, as the sinner's sanctification--the fruits of the Spirit in our habitual walk, and not the receiving of sacraments, as the only valid evidence of spiritual regeneration, and of all Christian character; it was the man who drew a broad line between experimental religion and the religion of ordinances merely, keeping outward things in an outward place, and aiming, above all things, at the promotion, in the sinner's heart, of a personal, direct living, by faith, upon Christ, for all hope and all holiness, suffering no human ministry, no sacraments or rites, to have any part in mediating between his soul and his Saviour; yea, it was the man in whom all this was exhibited so completely and so earnestly in the pulpit, at the fireside, in all his conversation, in all his writings, as in the fervent Simeon, that was the denounced Ultra-Protestant of the earlier Tractarian writings, and is now, under whatever name, the utter aversion of their disciples.
Thus do I obtain the additional satisfaction in introducing this Memoir of Mr. Simeon to the American reader. I take pleasure in the opportunity of reiterating my protest against what I abhor more and more, as the covert denial of the Gospel, and the very soul of the Romish Anti-Christ, by holding up such a character, such religious views, and such a ministry as his, for the imitation of all, who, in the private walk of true piety, or the great duties of the Gospel ministry, would glorify God, and advance the salvation of men.
It was not long before Mr. Simeon's death, that, in company with Mr. Carus, I had the pleasure of renewing an acquaintance with him, which had been formed during a previous visit to England. Deep was the impression made on my mind by that intercourse. I enjoyed his society alone, as well as in one of those parties of pious men at his rooms, in which so much of his usefulness had been accomplished. I heard him in his own pulpit. The account contained in this volume by the late eminent member of the Quakers' Society in England, Mr. Gurney, of a visit he made Mr. Simeon, expresses much that I would say, were I to attempt a description of him. I was exceedingly struck with the flow of devout joy in God, positive, heavenly happiness, which seemed to be all the while possessing his soul, making his mouth, out of the abundance of the heart, always full of the precious things of the Gospel, and communicating to all his manners, to his every look and action, the most engaging expression of Christian love.
The reader will allow me here to copy an extract from my Journal, written at that time, as the best evidence I can give of what
BISHOP MʻILVAINE'S INTRODUCTION TO MR. SIMEON'S LIFE. 3 I then thought, when I had no idea of ever publishing any thing concerning Mr. Simeon.
“ Cambridge, March —, 1835–Went, with Mr. Carus, to pay my respects to Mr. Simeon. The old man was yet alive, indeed, as vigorous and sprightly in spirit as when I saw him five years since. He seemed as young and fresh in mind, as if the joys of religion were new every day, and every step towards the grave were revealing to his eyes some new beauty of the heavenly inheritance. His greeting was most affectionate and cordial; his conversation full of the love of Christ and His word. He seemed constantly, and most happily to himself, to realize the presence, the loving, parental presence of God, and to have continually in sight the nearness, the blessedness, the assurance of heaven. A Christian so bright in grace, so simple in spirit, so abounding in love, so full of joy and peace in believing, I know not that I ever saw before. His presence was a sermon. I could not but feel humbled, exhorted, and animated in his society.”
I well remember the peculiar feelings I had during that visit. After a good deal of conversation, Mr. Carus having left us, Mr. Simeon went out of the room for something he wished to show me. While he was out, and I alone, I was sensible of an impression on my mind of a very unusual kind. It was one which I had never been conscious of before from the conversation of man. I asked myself what it was, and whence it came. It partook of the solemnity which one would feel in the presence of a spirit come down from heaven; though I know that such a description will, to many, seem extravagant. But so it was; and I could then explain it only as rising out of the sense I had, when conversing with that holy man, that in a very unusual degree he walked with God, and was very near God, and belonged a great deal more to the heavenly world than to this.
The Sunday-night Meetings, so often mentioned in this volume, at which Mr. Simeon was accustomed to receive at his rooms the young men of the University who were seriously disposed, and pray with them, hearing and answering questions on points of personal religion, were at that time, I forget for what reason, suspended. A meeting at the rooms of Mr. Carus, in Trinity College, seemed to be their substitute. It was my privilege, one Sunday evening, to attend that meeting, and expound the Scriptures to about one hundred young men, assembled simply for the word of God and prayer. A more simple-hearted, affectionate congregation, one that seemed to be more in the spirit of that which Peter found in the house of Cornelius, when they said, “Now are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God,” I never beheld. That meeting, still kept up in the same rooms (rooms, by the way, which Sir Isaac Newton lived in, and over which had remained, till recently, the observatory in which he was accustomed to work)-that meeting, cultivating a knowledge of the heavens, by means of the glory of God, in the face of Jesus Christ, seen through the glass of His own word, was one of the fruits of Mr. Simeon's labours in the University. A recent Letter from Mr. Carus, adverting to it as still very interesting, says, “We are more prospered of God than ever. Generally two hundred and fifty, or more, young men are at my rooms on Sunday evening."