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and he was encompassed with infirmity, to prepare him for giving strength to his brethren. He was tried even as we, and he remembers the trial. Out of his temptation no sin grew, yet could he thereby, as a man, learn how infirmity leads us to sin. None of the saved have ever been placed in circumstances presenting such continual and powerful temptations to sin, such perplexed entanglements and accumulated difficulties, as was the Saviour. Who, then, would be without a burden, if He carried one so heavy, and if by bearing one according to ability, we may help and encourage the burdened ? He that is acquainted with grief and temptation, may help others to do what is difficult for them, even by showing that what he has done, though possible, was difficult for him. It will assist us much to right thoughts and feelings, if we consider and remember that he who does not know something of the forms and degrees of excellence in other men, will not be humble; he who does not know something of the forms and degrees of defect, will not be thankful; he who does not know how variously defect and excellence are combined, will not be charitable; and he who does not know the strength and encouragement there are for man in Christ Jesus, will not be hopeful.
SICKNESS AND THE SICK. A man's sickness may be, both to himself and others, as awakening and a discipline of conscience and of love. His weakness may teach him how entire and yet how safe is his dependence upon others; and it may teach others how keen is grief for neglected duty, and how elastic and disinterested are human affections. Kind, pains-taking regard for the sick is the dictate of natural love, but is a duty also peculiarly Christian. The sick are helpless, and in pain; this is their twofold claim A claim, full of Christian force, for Christianity, like Christ, ' takes our sicknesses and bears our infirmities, giving help and relief to the feeble and the suffering. But Christian thoughts not only give depth to human love and tenderness, but infuse into them new elements of anxiety and solemnity. We regard the sick with spiritual concern. A time of sickness is, perhaps, however, more likely to prove one of religious revival than of religious conversion. Yet is it in both views most important. We are surrounded with multitudes who may be called infidel believers—men who know the truth yet feel not its powerwho acknowledge Christ, but do not follow him. When they are in health, they are as if dead to the truth, or the truth dead to them, for if in them, it is as a hard, unopening seed, which seems not alive though it is so.
Sickness, if moderate, allows us to move and soften the ground of character, to implant new seeds of religious knowledge, or to cherish and develop the life of those already there. When a man is sick, if he is not disposed to that which is good, he is at least withdrawn from many evil enticements. The devil may still be upon him,' but the flesh and the world are for the time, perhaps, almost powerless. The thorns which choked the word, die down; and now, perhaps, it may arise and flourish, root itself firmly, and expand its growth.
We need, however, great caution in our efforts for the religious
welfare of sick persons, lest we fall ourselves, or cause others to fall, into ruinous mistakes concerning piety. Mere belief is not a magic that can juggle a man into heaven. There may be true repentance even when the twelfth hour is fast closing, and the spirit is about to enter into the ‘lonely, solemn darkness.' But the lip-service of the death-bed is of all lip-service the most suspicious and affrighting. With regard to individual men, it is natural and fitting that our religious concern for them when well should be increased when sick. But, with regard to men generally, our business is with the healthy.
It is better to convert a healthy man than a sick one, and certainly a greater triumph for the truth to save one whom the powers of the world fully influence, than one from whom they are withdrawn. Good, indeed, is it to stand by the dying, and commit them (as it were) hopefully into the charge of angels. But far better is it to keep thé teacher's spiritual watch by the cradle than the death-bed. If it may be, save man in his cradle, for this life as well as for the life to come. This is our fit and encouraging work, a work most honouring to God, whose glory we must regard; our work is not simply to save souls, but to do this in the way that shall best honour him. If it may be, let piety bud forth in infancy, and bear fruit in life ; let sickness and sorrow, as the rains and darkness, minister to its health and perfection; and let death come as the winter-time, finding preparation already made for the growth, large, fresh, and beautiful, of that new life that the spring shall awaken. If the worship of earth went up to heaven, just from sick rooms, beds, and hospitals - shrieks and prayers, groans and praises, sighs and petitions, intermingling-it would be unworthy of acceptance, not as the offering of suffering individuals, for if sincere it must needs be from them acceptable, and peculiarly so, but as an offering from the world. It is giving the blind and lame for sacrifice. Let us ever remember that God's reign is to be re-established on earth-that men are as brands that are on fire now, and that for earth as well as heaven they may be rescued. If we associate religion rather with sickness than with health, and so rather with eternity only, than with time also as truly a part of eternity, we may come to think lightly both of the glory that piety in the present life may bring to God, and of the happiness it may bring to
To the Christian, a time of sickness may be a time of trial to the soul, sad and dark, full even of spiritual danger, though fitted and designed for spiritual profit. To realize the good that may accrue from sickness, we depend oftentimes much upon our brethren. Happy the Christian who knows how to make his brother's sickness a blessing to him, a means of revival! The man so benefited will be enabled to give gifts' in full return for what he has received: his grateful penitence in time of his suffering retirement, his spiritual freshness and zeal in time of his recovery; these, to which we have helped him, will yield us blessings that reward our effort. Health is a good, and sickness a discipline for good; he who has wisely learnt by the discipline, though it still press severely upon him, will delight that others possess a blessing of which he knows but little, and will labour for them, so far as may be, to secure or to restore it.
T, T. L.
Reminiscenres of a Gand Man's Life,
JOSEPH JOHN GURNEY.
About two miles from the ancient city of Norwich stands the old family mansion of the Bacon family, which in older times than those of the Bacons is supposed to have been the residence of some noble Saxon earl, whence its name of Earl's Holm, or Earlham.
Earlham is not architecturally beautiful by any means, neither is its situation particularly romantic or interesting. The surrounding country is flat; and although there is a pleasant glittering little stream, scarce a river, that flows through the park, and some fine venerable trees and shady plantations adorn the otherwise tame landscape, one would scarcely fix on Earlham as a beau ideal of a family mansion or a gentleman's country seat. Charms it has, however, which are richer far than those of mere local interest or beauty. It has the charms of association with the good and great, whose names will be dear to many an English child even when the Earl's Holm is crumbling with the dust.
Do not mistake me when I use that word great. It is a misused and much-abused word. Many a great man has had little of this world's goods, has come neither of noble birth nor aristocratic parentage, has lived and struggled manfully in the battle-field of life, and been laid in the lowly and unmarked grave amongst the rude forefathers of the hamlet, whom the world has never marked, but whose record on high will endure when the marble monument and storied urn shall have mouldered away.
Joseph John Gurney had great influence, great wealth, great talent and acquirements, but not one of these adventitious circumstances, no, nor all combined, would have made him a great man in the right sense of the word, but for the devotion of all these his gifts to the cause of religion and philanthropy. "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, and good will to man,' was the burden of this Christian's song, as he went on his earthly pilgrimage. I am, perhaps, presuming however that you know more of Joseph John Gurney than is really the case. Let me then provide for that ignorance, and before we visit the old hall, and see the interior of his household, I will tell you, after the true biographer fashion, of the birth and parentage of the subject of these reminiscences.
Joseph John Gurney was the third son of John and Catherine Gumey, the sister of the well-known Priscilla Wakefield, and was born at Earlham Hall, on the 2nd of August, 1788. It is rather a singular fact that a person of the same name, one of his ancestors, and a member of the Society of Friends, appears from a record of the Sufferings of the People called Quakers' to have been a prisoner in Norwich gaol in 1683 for refusing to take an oath, and that Waller Bacon of Earlham, who committed him, was at that time a resident in the very hall which
the descendants of the prisoner have since occupied. The father of Joseph John Gurney was at one time an extensive dealer in hand-spun yarn, but subsequently became a partner in the now celebrated banking establishment which bears his name. He was a benevolent, hospitable man, and Earlham was the scene of almost unexampled hospitality. His wife was a woman of superior intellect and cultivation ; she was greatly beloved by her children, and her conscientious training of them appears to have been greatly blessed to the elder portions of her large family. In 1792 she died, leaving her son Joseph, whilst yet very young, and ten other children, deprived of that great guide of childhood, a mother's careful eye. The three elder daughters, however, supplied, as far as possible, a mother's place, and there is little doubt that the influence of Joseph John Gurney's third sister, Mrs. Fry, his frequent companion in after life, did much towards inspiring his mind with the principles of active benevolence, which afterwards so remarkably characterised him.
In the early years of the family at Earlham, religion had not obtained a permanent influence over the young hearts of the Gurneys. The world's spirit found its way into that old hall; and how little probability did there seem in the day when Mrs. Fry wore a scarlet ridinghabit
, or entertained the Duke of Gloucester in their gay drawing-room, that in years to come she and her young brother, Joseph, in the simple garb of the • Friends,' would go from prison to prison, cheering, comforting, and exhorting, or would stand up to declare in the public assemblies of that society the 'unsearchable riches of Christ.'
About twelve miles from Earlham is a little village called Hingham. Here the education of Joseph John Gurney was carried on under the care of the Rev. J. H. Browne, a clergyman, but was subsequently completed at Oxford, where his tutor, the Rev. John Rogers, appears to have given great attention to his mental cultivation; and without becoming a member of the university, or subscribing to the Thirty-nine Articles, he had the privilege of attending the lectures of the professors, and enjoying many other advantages of a college education.
Early in life he became impressed with the importance of religion, and came to a settled preference for the religious principles of the Society of Friends. A portion of his youthful life was spent in efforts to instruct a class of young persons in scriptural religion; and there are some who can recall the instructions of that • First-day school' with pleasure and gratitude. Education was always a deeply-interesting subject with that good man, and many an educational establishment in his native county, as well as others, can bear witness to his liberality and kindness.
He became a minister in the society in the year 1818, when about thirty years of age, and he often accompanied his sister, Mrs. Fry, on her missions of religion and philanthropy. One of his earliest journeys as a minister was taken to the North of England and Scotland, and was partly devoted to the investigation of the state of prisons in those parts. The results were given to the public in a valuable little volume of facts, accompanied by some wise suggestions for the improvement of prison discipline. In 1827, both Mrs. Fry and her brother visited the prisons
in Ireland, besides many lunatic asylums, infirmaries, and workhouses; and there is little doubt that the sensible and judicious exposure of certain abuses in these institutions had a beneficial effect on the public mind. He was the friend of the slave, the avowed advocate of peace, and the foe of all oppression. Of his public life much might be said ; and it is to be hoped that ere long some able hand will undertake to trace its useful and important acts; but for the present, let us turn for a few moments to the life of this Christian, scholar, and gentleman, at home. These will be for the most part the remembrances of a child ; but it has often struck me that the observations of children are tolerably correct in matters which involve consistency of conduct. Example is a powerful agent; and as the young are far more impressed with that which they see than with that which they merely hear, so it often happens that the practical lessons of early life have an influence beyond what we can conceive on their unformed minds.
To see a man at home is to see his mind, as it were, reflected in a glass. Not every public man's household will bear the close inspection that the well-ordered family at Earlham bore, in the time of Joseph John Gurney. Alas, how many a private life is a dark and melancholy contrast to a brilliant public career. There is the goodness of the platform, the eloquence and benevolence of the public man-nay, there may be the goodness of the pulpit—without private excellence or worth. Ask not how a man writes or speaks; but see how he livesfollow him home.
I can scarcely remember the time when I did not know the subject of this little sketch. As soon as I had left the nursery, and had taken my place at the family dining table, I can recall his weekly visit. He would occasionally come into luncheon on other days, but he seldom failed on Saturdays, the busiest day of the country banks, to dine with my father. His own residence being at some distance from his place of business, and his usual dinner hour a later one than ours, this became a constant custom, and we looked for Joseph John Gurney as regularly as for the seventh day of the week. The children were never forgotten by our visitor. There was always some kind word, some loving precept, some short Bible lesson on these occasions. He would ask about our lessons, our employments, and our schools, and on more than one occasion has he lingered to give the little ones some simple lecture, suited to their comprehension, on matters of interest and importance. The wonderful structure of the house I live in,' or the use and adaptation of its separate parts, was a favourite topic, all with the same Christian spirit, all with the same heavenward tendency, all with the one view of his life, the glory of God, and the good of others. Now and then we had to recite (as is much the custom in the Society of Friends) a passage of scripture, or a hymn of his own selection.
Rather awful occasions these, and always accompanied with great heart-beatings and trepidation, for our love to Joseph John Gurney was not unmixed with awe. Mild and affable as he was, he was somewhat king-like, and I am not sure that either in chi od or youth any of us felt perfectly at ease in his presence. Perhaps the fault was our own; perhaps the organ of veneration was more cultivated in