Page images

under the blessing of God, a wonderful impression on his mind. He began to think for what important purpose he had thus far lived, and to what valuable object he had dedicated whatever talents he might be possessed of. The general result was, a decided resolution to redeem, as far as could be, the time past, by a thorough and absolute surrender of himself to God; and, when he should truly feel himself in some degree prepared for so solemn a purpose, by entering into holy orders. From this moment every secular consideration appeared to be giving way; and the whole tenor of his life and actions showed an habitual determination to know nothing in this world, but Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

"His endowment for preaching was of very rare excellence; and whatever may have been thought of any other, or all the other talents he possessed, I believe every one who heard him conceived this to be his most perfect gift. Nothing, however, could be more simple than his manner, nothing more easy than his style; and throughout the whole, it was obvious that he totally lost sight of himself in pursuing the great duty before him. It was hence impossible to hear him without being strikingly impressed, and almost impossible not to be permanently improved. The benefit he was accomplishing by his preaching, his charity, and his numerous visits among the poor, when it pleased God to call him from the routine of his labour to a sick bed, is almost incalculable. During the long time of the sickness, which was rather more than six months,


a sickness brought on, as to external causes, by his having caught cold by visiting and praying amongst the poor, on damp clay-floors,-he exhibited an example as worthy of copy, as when in the active labours of health. To transcribe all the striking and beautiful remarks that casually dropped from him would fill a volume, instead of a letter, and I cannot therefore attempt it: how far it may be attempted hereafter, I cannot at present say.

"With sincere esteem, I remain,
"Dear Sir,
Very faithfully Yours,


"J. M. GOOD."

His Bible, when perfectly at home, at the little church of Guestingthorpe, he took into the pulpit, and was more impressive than with further assistance. He once told me, he found great difficulty in writing for the pulpit; but was afraid of being careless in his preparations, and begged that I would tell him of any fault I saw; and watch, and get those who were fit judges, and our friends, to tell me; and assured me this was my duty. In his last sickness my husband observed, "I do not know what to think of my sermons: it was certainly little trouble to me to compose such as I did preach; but I am very much grieved with the fear, that I too much offered to God what cost me nought. Oh, I could preach now!"-But if I can, upon frequent recollection and mature deliberation, form any judgment, it was in family-exposition he espe

cially excelled. So thought several not incompetent judges. He fell at once into a style peculiarly his own, perfectly easy, without a particle of hesitation it was something between the becoming formality of a sermon, and colloquialism, if I may use such a word. His ordinary method was, to go through the Scriptures; but the chapter selected for the family he had, I believe, previously thought upon, at least for the most part. His habit was, to read a few verses, sometimes only one at a time, throwing in an observation or two, which contained much matter in few words: this was undoubtedly a peculiar gift, evident in all his instructions.

His public ministry was concluded by two sermons; one, upon the Christian's life, from Genesis v. 24, Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him:-the other, upon the Christian's death, from Philippians i. 21, To die is gain. Four days after this, he received the summons from his Divine Master, which called him aside, to prepare himself for that rest which remaineth for the people of God. Those who then heard him, say that his soul seemed to be quite borne away to that glorious world, of which he was so soon to be a blessed inhabitant.

Thus far his surviving friends are indebted to the hand best able (though it must have cost the heart many a severe pang) to describe his later years, and the closing days of his valuable life. The little that remains to be added, is from the


communications of one of his friends, and from the pen of his father-in-law. Mr. Grinfield has, with equal delicacy and correctness, portrayed him in the following terms :-" In person he was slender and consumptive; and, to allude to a very favourite passage of poetry with him, Southey's picture of young Carodoc in Madoc,

'Upon his cheek there was the sickliness

Which thought and feeling leave, wearing away
The hue of youth.'

His countenance was plain, but very expressive of deep thought and calm intelligence. His fine and eloquent eye presented an example of the triumph of the soul over ordinary features."

He was interred in Chiswick churchyard; and the following lines were written by his fatherin-law, as an" Epitaph on an unnamed Saint;" though (in conformity with his desire of avoiding ostentation) they were not inscribed upon his tomb. Allusion is made, in the eighth line, to an inscription still existing on the churchyard wall, stating that it had been built in 1623, "at ye charge of lord Francis Russelle."

"OH spot rever'd! though thou may'st hold,
Within thy consecrated mould,

Names more familiar to the great,

And wider fam'd for wealth or state;

Yet never, since the hallow'd hour

When RUSSELL rais'd thy wall t'embower,
Against the last trump's dread alarm,

The wardrobe of God's saints' from harm,—


No, never hast thou, holy earth,

Clasp'd in thy womb more gentle worth,

A form more dear to man or God,
Than now reclines beneath thy sod!
Let CAM's green banks, from cell to cell,
Still on the echoing plaudits dwell,
That rung when, in his year, he bore
All the joint wreaths of college-lore :-
Here, in this gloom, be told alone
The higher virtues, after shown,
When the pure altar and the hearth
Gave new and nobler feelings birth;
And fram'd a pattern none could see,
But love, and laud, and wish to be!

"Blest Saint! I dare not :-thou hast said, In life, and on the dying-bed,

Still meek and lowly; and but loss
Accounting all things, save the cross ;
There only glorying !-and the verse,
That should revere thy simple hearse ;
The lesson, that should be reveal'd,
The Muse must drop-her lips are seal'd."

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »