Page images
PDF
EPUB

all my fears-proclaim, proclaim Jesus. Tell me, shall I be with him this night?” On being answered, yes, there is no doubt of it, he cried out, “ he that I have served for nearly fifty years will not forsake me now: Glory be to God and the Lamb for ever and ever; amen, amen, amen. Soon after this his voice failing, he spoke very little audibly; but, by the motion of his lips, appeared engaged in silent ejaculations, till seeming to fall into a sweet slumber, he silently, and, almost imperceptibly, breathed his soul into the arms of his loved and adored Redeemer, about four o'clock in the afternoon.

And now, my brethren, is not this most animating? Methinks had we been present at such a close, of such a life, by such a man, we should have felt a little of the ardour described in the lines immediately following those above quoted.

How our hearts burnt within us at the scene!
Whence, this brave bound o'er limits fixt to man!
His God sustains him in his final hour!
His fipal hour brings glory to his God!
Man's glory beav'n vouchsafes to call her own.
We gaze; we weep mixt tears of grief and joy!
Amazement strikes! Devotion bursts to flaine!
Christians adore, and ivfidels believe."

Thus lived, and thus died, Alexander Mather. Than whom, perhaps, no person has been more universally respected among us, as an intelligent and judicious man, a pious and exemplary Christian, a sympathizing and steady friend; and a faithful diligent labourer in' the Lord's vineyard. What was said of Demetrius, by St. John, (as some of you heard from Mr. Bradburn, this morning) was, indeed, very applicable to him.-" He had a good report of all men, and of the truth itself.” May we, whether preachers or people, follow him as he followed Christ! Considering the end of his conversation, and how the Lord supported him in his last moments; may we imitate his faith and patience, and persevere, in our endeavours, to aid the good cause which he so long laboured to support, and help forward in the earth; the cause which the Apostles, the Evangelists, the Saints, and the Martyrs of former ages, had so much at heart; which the Son of God himself cạme from heaven to promote, and for which he did not think it too much to give his life. We ourselves, also, let us remember, are ready to be offered, and the time of our departure is likewise at hand. Let' us, like our departed friend, make it our chief care to fight the

good fight, to finish our course, and keep the faith ;' that for us, also, through the same Redeemer, and in consequence of redemption in him, there may be laid up “a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, may give us in that day; and not to Ú6 'only, but to all that love his appearing." Amen! Amen!

1

SERMON XV.

PREACHED ON THE OCCASION OF THE DEATH OF THE

REV. PEARD DICKINSON;

ON SUNDAY, MAY 30, 1802, AT THE NEW CHAPEL,

CITY-ROAD.

The hope of Israel, and the Saviour thereof in time of trouble.

Jeremiah xiv. 8.

1. IT is at the request of our departed friend, on the occasion of whose decease I am now to address you, that I call your attention to this striking and consolatory character of Jehovah, the only living and true God. It was our brother's wish that the Saviour of fallen and wretched man should be exalted, when his Funeral Discourse was delivered, and not the " poor worm,”

as his expression was to me the last time I saw him, “ who was about to be committed to the dust." He therefore made choice of a portion of holy writ to be discoursed from on that occasion, the subject of which is the virtues of the Redeemer rather than the endowments of the redeemed ; and he particularly requested me, whom he wished to perform this last office for him, to occupy your attention by the former rather than the latter of these subjects. And I shall make it my care so far to comply with his desire, as to dwell chiefly on those virtues of our Redeeming God, and to refer what I shall advance concerning the endowments of his servant, to the glory of his grace, whose free gifts these endowments were.

2. In desiring that God, or rather that God in Christ, should be exhibited to the view of your faith, as the hope of Israel, and the Saviour thereof in time of trouble, our' deceased friend was influenced by his own experience, as well as by a regard to your spiritual profit. He had for many years made Jehovah his hope, and in the midst of great and long-continued trouble, arising from most severe and complicated affliction, had proved him to be his Saviour. And it was his sincere and fervent desire that the Redeemer of lost mankind might be to you what he had been to him. Well did he know that man is a fallen creature, that he is “born to trouble as the sparks fly upward,” that trials and afflictions await all the posterity of Adam, that “ we have here no continuing city ;” that while in the present world, we are only "saved by hope,” that is, that our complete and final salvation is only expected, and not fully enjoyed, and that there is no solid ground of hope for any of the human race, as to another life, nor any firm support under the troubles of this, but the power and love of this Redeemer and Saviour ; the refuge and strength and very present help of his Israel in trouble. He regretted, therefore, that this “hope of Israel, and Saviour thereof in trouble," should, as the next words express it, be so much “a stranger in our land,” and, to so many, even of the serious professors of Christianity, as “a way. faring man, that turneth aside to tarry for a night," and, he greatly desired that all ministers of the gospel would endeavour to publish and make him known, more and more, to the bewildered, lost, and miserable children of men, especially in these characters in which they so much want him. Permit me, therefore, in obedience to his last request, to engage your meditations on these subjects, while I inquire,

I. Who are the true Israel of God, and,"

II. In what sense, and in what way, Jehovah is their hope, and their Saviour in time of trouble. I shall also make some application of the doctrines advanced, and show you how they were verified in the experience and character of our departed brother, of whose life and death I shall give you a short account.

And, 1st. we are to inquire who are the true Israel of God ?

1. 1. The word Israel, as is well known, means a prince of, or a prince with God, and is the title which was given by God himself to the patriarch Jacob, in honour and commendation of his humiliation, his faith, and his importunity and perseverance in prayer, when, in a season of sore trouble, he wrestled with the Angel of the divine presence, that is, with the Son of God, and

« PreviousContinue »