Графични страници
PDF файл

His reply was,

Little is known of Robert's earlier years. After he is said, some indecencies fell out; and after that they had finished his education in this country, he prose- had received the sacrament kneeling, in all points cuted his studies for some years on the Continent; they were ordained according to the office and form and having returned, was ordained minister of New- there. After the consecration, the bishops and peers botile, in the county of Mid-Lothian, after the pres- were feasted at Westminster, and then went again to byterian form. Here he remained for some time; but church to hear sermon. Being thus empowered, early having resigned the charge, he was at length ap- next year they come down, and lay on their episcopal pointed principal of the college of Edinburgh by the hands upon their brethren in Scotland, named by the magistrates of that city. Both as a parish minister, court for their different sees." and as head of the college, his conduct was marked Bishop Leighton, on his return to Scotland, fully by Christian moderation. He appears to have felt, testified that his acceptance of a bishopric did not that in the endless disputations between prelacy and proceed from the desire of worldly grandeur, or of presbytery the essence of religion was lost sight of; | personal aggrandisement, but to be useful as an overand it was his anxiety to promote the spiritual and seer in the Church of God. “He chose,” says his eternal welfare of all, rather than the temporal as- biographer, Dr. Jerment, “the most obscure and least cendency of either party. This moderation, rare in lucrative see, the diocese of Dunblane ; disapproved those days, has led some to represent him as void of feasting at the time of cousecration, and testified of any religious principle. While at Newbottle, the plainly against it : objected to the title of lord; reaccusation was brought against him at a presbyterial fused to accompany the other Scotch bishops in visitation, that “he did not preach to the times.” their pompous entry into Edinburgh, hastening pri

" that if all his brethren preached vately to Dunblane. He did not accept of the invito the times, surely one poor brother might preach 'tation to parliament: almost the only time he took on eternity." The lectures which he delivered his seat there being for the purpose of urging lenity to the students, while principal of Edinburgh col- towards the Presbyterians. 'He detested all violent lege, both in Latin and English, testify that he was measures. He persecuted no man, upbraided no man : in all respects well qualified to fill that important held little correspondence with his brethren, and insituation.

curred their deep resentment by his reserve and strictDr. Leighton sometimes visited London during the ness. In the end, he acknowledged that Providence vacations, but was peculiarly disgusted with the con- frowned both on the scheme and the instruments, and duct of the dominant party. He likewise, on several confined himself to his diocese." occasions, went Flanders, that he might witness It had been well, perhaps, considering the peculiar the actual state of popery; and he carried on a cor- circumstances of the times, had the other bishops respondence with some of his relations at the college followed Leighton's example. There was unquestionof Douay. This latter part of his conduct appears to ably too much pomp and parade in the restoration of have given offence, and to have excited suspicion ; episcopacy in Scotland, which had a tendency to disfor an historian of those times thus expresses him- | gust the prejudices of its opponents, and to bring that self

. “ By many he (Leighton) was judged void of any mode of ecclesiastical discipline into still greater disdoctrinal principle; and his close correspondence repute: There can be no question, that of those who with some of his relations at Douay in popish orders, had been consecrated, Bishop Leighton was by far made him suspected as very much indifferent as to all the most enlightened Christian, and spiritually-minded professions which bear the name of Christian. He was man; and had his brethren of the episcopate been of much taken with some of the popish mystic writers, the same spirit, much blood spilt on the field of battle and indeed a latitudinarian, and of an over-extensive had been spared, and many a deed of ruthless cruelty charity."*

had not stained the annals of the Scottish Church. It In 1661, the government resolved to re-establish has been urged, indeed, that he was not a sound Episepiscopacy in Scotland; and as none remained of the copalian, because he did not join in the worldly pomp bishops ejected by the act of Assembly in 1638, ex- of his brethren ; but surely he might be, and there cept Thomas Sydserf, who had been bishop of Gal- can be no question he was, a true member of the Episloway, and was afterwards appointed to the see of copal Church, though he disapproved of the worldly conOrkney, it became necessary to renew the Scottish formity of those who occupied its high places. Many episcopal succession by consecrations in England. persons form the idea that the office of a bishop necesA commission was accordingly issued to the Bishops sarily implies an office of worldly grandeur. They conof London and Winchester, who, assisted by other ceive, that what in this country are only adjuncts, are of prelates, consecrated James Sharp archbishop of St. the very essence of episcopacy itself. Let them look at Andrews, and primate, Andrew Fairfowl archbishop Scotland at the present moment--at the United States of Glasgow, James Hamilton bishop of Galloway, and of America. There they will perceive an episcopacy Robert Leighton bishop of Dunblane, by whom the quite as pure as that of the United Church of England other nine (Sydserf, as stated before, had been bishop and Ireland. The temporal circumstances of the of Galloway) were consecrated. The account of the bishops are indeed different; and it is necessary that, consecration of the four at Westminster is thus given where the episcopal form of Church government is that by Wodrox, and fully warrants the remark that has established by law, those who occupy a high place in been made, that it is not easy to arrive at the truth the Church should have the means of supporting its respecting these times; for the account is evidently dignity; but as to all spiritual authority in the Church given in a sarcastic spirit : " In December (1661) of God, there is not the shadow of a difference bethese four, with a great parade at Westminster, before tween the prelate who occupies the largest and a great confluence of Scots and English nobility, were wealthiest of our English and Irish sees, and the illdubbed, first preaching deacons, then presbyters, and requited and iniserably supported bishop who exerthen consecrated bishops in one day, by Doctor cises his episcopal functions over the scattered rem Sheldon, and a few others. The ceremony was per- nants of a Highland or Transatlantic diocese, and formed in all the modes of the English Church, with whose income, perhaps, scarcely exceeds that of a vilvestments and all their cringes and bows; at which, it lage curate. This fact is not sufficiently born in restoration," says Wodrow, " (he) turned so courtly, and that the coneessions now made did not arise from as to embrace the meanest of the bishoprics." The any tenderness we had for them, but from artifice to conduct of his brethren grieved him very much. He preserve Episcopacy; so that they were made believe felt it therefore his duty to have as little intercourse that their agreeing to them was really a strengthening with them as possible. In an address to his clergy of that government which was otherwise ready to fall in 1665, he expressed his purpose of resigning the with its own weight."'* bishopric, assigning as a reason that he was quite The effect of these repeated disappointments was worn out with the perpetual contentions, from which, to induce the archbishop to resign, and for this purhowever, he endeavoured to keep himself as free as pose he went to London in the summer of 1673. The possible.

mind. Wodrow, i, 238. The History of the Sufferings of the Church of Scotland from the Restoration to the Revolution. By the Bishop Leighton, in choosing the see of Dunblane, Rev. Robert Wodrow, Minister of the Gospel at Eastwood. With --for it would appear that he might have been apan original Memoir, &c. by the Rev. Robert Burns, D.D. pointed to one more lucrative, - shewed the disinMinister of St. George's, Paisley. 4 vols. Blackie and Co. Glas

terestedness of his character, though his accepting gow, 1829. It is to this edition that the references in this biography are made.

this small diocese is urged against him. " After the

king, although he would not accept of the resignation, Before he tendered his resignation, however, he re- gave a sullen promise, that if after another year the solved to attempt to bring the affairs of Scotland to a archbishop found the state of religion still not conmore tranquil state ; and for this purpose he went to genial to his wishes, he should be at liberty to vacate London, where he was most graciously received by his see. The time having expired, and no amendment Charles. He did not scruple to enter into a full de- taken place, his resignation was accepted. He now tail of the cruelties practised in the north, requesting retired to Broadhurst in Sussex, where hiesister, Mrs. permission to resign his bishopric, as he could not Lightmaker, a widow, resided, and where he lived in a conscientiously retain an office, which, from the con- very humble way, sometimes preaching, and incessant duct of others who held it, had come into disgrace. in labours of love. The king in 1679 wrote to him a The king promised that the persecutions should cease letter with his own hand, requesting him to return to forthwith; and thus Leighton was contented to hold Scotland, and endeavour to conciliate all parties; but his situation. The king having failed to perform his this he begged to decline. He never again visited promise, he made a second attempt in 1667.

Scotland. He remained in his retirement for nearly The Archbishop of Glasgow (Alexander Burnet) ten years. In 1684 he had occasion to go to London. having been deposed in 1670, Bishop Leighton was He was there taken ill, and died after a confinement promoted to the archiepiscopal see. His acceptance of only three days, on the 1st of February, in the 71st of this preferment has been repeatedly urged for the year of his age, being attended by various friends, purpose of shewing that he was an inconsistent and among whom was Bishop Burnet. It had long been ambitious man, and that, had he been really dissa- his wish to die at an inn, that he might not be distisfied with the proceedings of the episcopal party, he tracted by the presence of sorrowing relatives; and the ought at once to have retired into private life. It request was granted, for he breathed his last at the would appear, however, that his sole motive in ac- Bell Inn, in Warwick Lane. By his own express decepting the archbishopric was, that if possible he sire he was buried in the church of Broadhurst, where might, by his extended influence, bring the contend- a monument is erected to his memory. ing parties to a better mind. Through his influence The character and attainments of Archbishop Leighan attempt was made to accomplish this desirable ton are thus drawn by Bishop Burnet. Something, per: object. À meeting was held at Paisley on the 14th haps, must be allowed for the feelings of private friend. of December of that year, and was attended by the ship; still, comparing it with what might be expected archbishop, by Mr. Gilbert Burnet, professor of divi- from his writings, and from the testimony of history, nity in the University of Glasgow (afterwards bishop even his enemies being judges," it may be regarded of Sarum), Mr. James Ramsay, dean of Glasgow, and as faithfully portrayed. “ He had the greatest comabout twenty-six presbyterian ministers. But the mand of the purest Latin that I ever knew in any man. conference was attended with no good result ;* and He was a master both of Greek and Hebrew, and of the archbishop had the mortification of finding that the whole compass of theological learning, chiefly in every pacific attempt on his part to bring matters to the study of the Scriptures; but that which excelled a state of conciliation utterly failed.

all the rest was, he was possessed of the highest and " It is admitted by a writer on their own side" (Dr. noblest sense of divine things that ever I saw in any Cook), says Dr. Russell, “ that had they (the presby- man. He had no regard of his person, unless it was terian ministers) accepted the offers which were made to mortify it by a constant low diet, that was like a to them, they would have been almost universally re- perpetual fast. He had a contempt of wealth and reinstated in their parishes; the spiritual instruction of putation. He seemed to have the lowest thoughts of the community would have been to a considerable de- himself possible, and to desire that all other persons gree entrusted to them; and with the command which should think as meanly of him as he did himself. He they had of the people, they could perhaps have given bore all sorts of ill-usage and reproach like a man such a direction to their minds as would have rendered that took pleasure in it. He had so subdued the it unwise in government again to attempt changes to natural heat of his temper, that in a great variety of which the Presbyterians were decidedly hostile. At accidents, and in a course of twenty-two years' intimate this distance of time it would be difficult even to con- conversation with him, I never observed the least sign jecture the motives by which the leading preachers of passion but upon one occasion. He brought hiniwere influenced; but Burnet suggests a circumstance self into so composed a gravity, that I never saw him which probably had more weight in their minds than laugh, and but seldom smile; and he kept himself in they were willing to acknowledge: 'A report was such a constant recollection, that I do not remember spread among them, which they believed, and had its that I ever heard him say one idle word. There * full effect upon them. It was said that the king was a visible tendency in all he said to raise his own mind alienated from the Church of England, and weary of and those he conversed with to serious reflection. He supporting Episcopacy in Scotland, and so it was re- seemed to be in a perpetual meditation ; and though solved not to clog his government any longer with it; the whole course of his life was strict and ascetical

, ner he could. His thoughts were lively, oft out of the pursued into allegory; yet very natural. Upon the way and surprising, yet just and genuine ; and he had whole, they are such as none but a very ingenious, laid together in his memory the greatest treasure of learned, religious man could write ...... Pew'unthe best and wisest of all the ancient sayings of the inspired writers have a greater tendency to mend the heathens as well as Christians, that I have ever known world. The disappointment which the learned and any man master of; and he used them in the aptest polite complained of when these posthumous works manner possible. He had been bred up with the were published, is chiefly to be charged upon their greatest aversion imaginable to the whole frame of the ignorance of the true beauties and use of theological Church of England. From Scotland his father sent writings.” him to travel. He spent some years in France, and In the preface of Dr. Doddridge to the archbishop's spoke that language like one born there. He came works, morcover, occurs the following passage, sufiiafterwards and settled in Scotland, and had presby- ciently demonstrative of the value of these works, and terian ordination ; but he quickly broke through the of the character of the author :prejudices of his education. His preaching had a “The preparing of these volumes for the press hath sublimity both of thought and expression in it

yet he had nothing of the sourness of temper that * “ The meeting was begun with prayer by Mr. Matthew generally possesses men of that sort. He was the Ramsay, eldest minister of the town. The bishop opened their conversation with an eloquent and elaborate discourse of near

freest from superstition, of censuring others, or of inan hour's length. He harangued upon the peace of the Church, posing his own methods on them possible, so that he evils of division, and his own condescension to his brethren, did not so much as recommend them to others. He with commendation of episcopacy, and plain enough invectives said there was a diversity of tempers, and every man against presbytery. He added some persuasives to fall in with his proposal, and insinuated pretty open threats, if it were not

was to watch his own, and to turn it in the best mangone into." --- Wodrow, ii. 180. For a full acquittal of the archbishop from the calumnies recorded concerning him, the reader • See History of the Church in Scotland, by the Rer, Michael may consult his Life, by the Rev. J. N. Pearson, M.A.

Russell, LL.D.

. The generally taken up a little of my time, in the intergrace and gravity of his pronunciation were such, that vals of other business, daily, for several months; but few heard him without a sensible emotion-I am sure I am far from repenting the labour I have bestowed I never did. His style was rather too fine; but there upon it. The delight and edification which I have was a majesty and beauty in it, that left so deep an found in the writings of this wonderful man, for such impression, that I cannot yet forget the sermons I I must deliberately call him, would have been a full heard him preach thirty years ago ; and yet with this equivalent for my pains, separate from all prospect of he seemed to look on himself as so ordinary a preacher, that effect which they might have upon others; for truly that while he had a cure he was ready to employ all I know not that I have ever spent a quarter of an hour others; and when he was a bishop, he chose to preach in reviewing any of them, but, even amidst that interto small auditories, and would never give notice be- ruption which a critical examination of the copy would forehand. He had indeed a very low voice, and so naturally give, I have felt some impressions which I could not he heard by a great crowd. I bear still the could wish always to retain. I can hardly forbear greatest veneration for the memory of that man that I saying, as a considerable philosopher and eminent do for any person, and reckon my early knowledge of divine said to me long ago,-“There is a spirit in him, and my long and intimate conversation with him, Archbishop Leighton I never met with in any other that continued to his death, for twenty-three-years, human writings, nor can I read many lines in them anong the greatest blessings of my life, and for which without being moved.? I know I must give an account to God in the great Indeed, it would be difficult for me to say where, day in a most particular manner."

but in the sacred oracles, I have ever found such In the conclusion of his Pastoral Care, Bishop Burnet heart-affecting lessons of simplicity and humility, cantakes another opportunity of dwelling upon the cha- dour and benevolence, exalted piety, without the least racter of this inestimable man: "I have now laid tincture of enthusiasm, and an entire mortification of together,” says he," with great simplicity, what has every earthly interest, without any mixture of splenetic been the chief subject of my thoughts for above thirty resentment. Nor can I ever sufficiently admire that years. I was formed to them by a bishop that had the artless manner in which he lays open, as it were, his greatest elevation of soul, the largest compass of whole breast to tlie reader, and shews, without seemknowledge, the most mortified and heavenly disposi- ing to be at all conscious of it himself, all the various tion, that I ever yet saw in mortal; that had the graces that can adorn and ennoble the Christian, rungreatest parts, as well as virtue, with the perfectest ning like so many veins of precious ore in the rich humility, that I ever saw in man, and had a sublime mine where they grew. And hence, if I mistake not, strain in preaching, with so grave a gesture, and such is that wonderful energy of his discourses, obvious as a majesty both of thought, of language, and of pronun- | they seem, unadorned as they really are, which I have ciation, that I never once saw a wandering eye where observed to be owned by persons of eminent piety in he preached, and have seen whole assemblies melt in the most different ranks, and amidst all the variety of tears before him; and of whom I can say, with great education and capacity that can be imagined. As truth, that in a free and frequent conversation with every eye is struck by consummate beauty, though in him for above two-and-twenty years, I never knew the plainest dress, and the sight of such an object him say a word that had not a direct tendency to impresses much more than any laboured description of edification ; and I never once saw him in any other complexion, features, or air, or any harangue on the temper than that which I wish to be in in the last nicest rules of proportion, which could come into conmoments of my life.”

sideration ; so, in the works of this great adept in true His writings are thus noticed by Dr. Doddridge ; | Christianity, we do not so much hear of goodness as valuable testimony from a man who differed from him see it in its most genuine traces-see him a living on the subject of ecclesiastical polity, but who had image of his divine Master, for such indeed his drank with him at the same well-springs of the water writings shew, I had almost said, demonstrate him to of life ; and the faithfulness of the character of these have been, by such internal characters as surely a bad writings will be fully allowed by all who have perused man could not counterfeit, and no good man could so them in simplicity of heart :-

much as suspect. “ Archbishop Leighton is one of the most eminently The Episcopal Church of Scotland, as has been devout and pious writers his age has produced. His more than once stated in the pages of this work, must sermons, indeed, are not accurately digested, and be an object of deep interest to all those who are consometimes contain only hints not fully opened ; which scientiously attached to the doctrine and discipline of is the more excusable, as none of them were intended the United Church of England and Ireland. " It lias for the press by the author. His works ought to be pleased God that she should suffer many privations, reckoned amongst the greatest treasures of the English and that temporal poverty should be her lot. We can tongue. They continually overflow with love to God, wish her no better boon than this, that from the puland breathe a heart entirely transformed by the Gos- pits of her places of worship may be heard preached, pel, above the views of every thing but pleasing God. in all their soul-saving energy and life-giving power, There is a vast deal of spirit and charming imagina- those doctrines of grace and mercy on which Robert tion; multitudes of the most beautiful figures; and Leighton delighted to expatiate. May her bishops, Scriptures applied with happiest allusions. Meta- priests, and deacons, be imbued with his heavenly pliors, especially those in the text, are sometimes I spirit, and boldly proclaim, as he did, the Gospel of the grace of God; and soon shall her rising towers be text, and which fills up the whole of our seen, and her people be as the sand of the sea for mul- prospect concerning him, is a very approtitude-her desert places shall rejoice, and her desolate places shout aloud for joy.

T. M.

priate subject of meditation at this season, when we are preparing to celebrate his mani

festation in the flesh. THE MEETING OF THE SAINTS IN The coming of Christ, that only coming of HEAVEN:

the Son of Man to which we can now look An Advent Sermon,

forward, must surely present a most import

ant, most interesting subject of thought and BY THE Rev. Thomas GRINFIELD, M.A.

devotion to the Christian believer at any Minister of St. Mary-le-Port, Bristol.

time, and perhaps at the present season more 1 Thess. ii. 19.

than at any other, - if, indeed, times and “For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing ?

seasons can be supposed entitled to make are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus

any difference in our impressions of such a Christ at his coming ?"

subject,-a subject how powerfully qualified It is interesting and striking to reflect on the to awaken the careless, and alarm the rebeldifferent manner in which men of faith under lious sinner on the one side, to stimulate the Old Testament looked forward to the the loitering, and gladden the persevering coming of our Saviour, as compared with the believer, on the other side! In both these manner in which believers under the blessed aspects is the coming of our Lord repeatedly dispensation of the Gospel look forward to adverted to by himself and his apostles. that Saviour's coming. They waited for his The text, however, bids me on this occasion first, we wait for his second advent. In the regard it chiefly in its happy and lovely case of both, the great vital principle of faith aspect; as attended, not with despair, but is exercised, and is essentially the same, hope ; "not with distress, but joy; not “ the substance of things hoped for, the evi- with a weight of confusion, but a "crown of dence of things not seen.” But in the case rejoicing, or glorying.” In this view the of Abraham, Jacob, or Moses, of David, second advent of the Lord Jesus is a theme Isaiah, and the other saints of old, their faith of equal delight and edification to every most naturally and justly fixed itself upon devoted follower of his : and as such it is the grand event which was then still to be peculiarly introduced in many passages

of realised, the event we hope to commemorate the epistles. While we can never forget, if with sacred joy on the approaching festival, we love the Saviour, nor

ever remember the first appearance of the promised Seed of without grateful joy, that first arrival of his the woman; his coming in the fulness of on earth, on which our whole salvation rests time, and in great humility, to "put away sin and centres; while we delight to commemoby the sacrifice of himself.” It was in this rate that "now once in the end of the world exercise of faith that the aged Simeon and he hath appeared," to " bear the sins of Anna were found on his arrival "waiting": many;" so we shall be found among those "waiting for the consolation of Israel.” The who are described as “loving his appearing difference of their situation from ours gave -as looking for him, when he shall appear to their faith a difference of manner from the second time, without sin, unto salvaours, while the object in view remains the tion.” We have solemn reason, brethren, to same to both. Their prospect has become, suspect and examine our state before the by the fulfilment of prophecy, our retrospect. Lord, if our conscience testifies that we are They looked forward to that, on which we look not yet among those who are described as backward: we commemorate what was their loving his appearing; looking for that expectation ; while we have another prospect blessed hope, even the glorious appearing of to engage our deep attention, substituted in our Saviour; looking for and hasting unto the place of theirs—we look forward to an- the coming of the day of God; waiting for other advent of the same promised Redeemer. the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ," ---for “Ye turned from idols to serve the living such are the apostolic expressions by which God, and to wait for his Son from heaven.' all true Christians are designated, and by The middle distance of the prospect chiefly which therefore we must ascertain our own engaged their attention: we have left that character and state of preparation. If we behind; and, though we are often looking sincerely rejoice in his first appearing, as the back to it, nothing remains for our onward good Shepherd, who came to seek and to view but the great horizon of eternity, save those that were lost, we shall certainly marked out by the glorious appearance of feel a deep interest in the contemplation of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” that Shepherd as coming again, to gather all

This second advent of our Lord Jesus his recovered sheep together in the eternal Christ, to which the apostle adverts in the fold,—his sheep, led on as it were by those

“ For

under-shepherds, who had feebly laboured to those words of grateful triumph, “behold gather them in on earth, and who will then, me, and the children whom thou hast given in their humble degree, rejoice with the chief me!" With what exultation must we imaShepherd in his infinitely more exalted and gine-if, indeed, we could imagine—those glorious joy. This last sentiment reminds who have been united here in the tenderest me of the text, of which it is time to enter on bonds, made far more tender by that unity the consideration, and in which the holy of the Spirit which is the true cement of apostle expresses, as with a divine rapture of every human union, whether the bonds be anticipation, the satisfaction with which he those of nature, friendship, or marriage, reshould meet, in the presence of his Lord, joining each other in that land where the those among his hearers to whom he had been word “farewell” is a word proscribed and the highly honoured, though all unworthy, unknown, where the assurance of perfect instrument of imparting spiritual and eternal security and endless duration heightens and benefits : " for what,” he exclaims, “is our completes the experience of present beatitude! hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing ?--are not And, oh! what a motive is here to sanctify even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus our friendships ; to season well all our affecChrist at his coming ?" May the Lord grant tions of this kind with religion and immorhis blessing to our consideration of these tality; at once to purify and perpetuate our heavenly words !

love to others with that love of God, that 1. As the first thing, I mention, it is im- | love of Christ, which is the soul of heaven! plied in these words, that there will be a What a motive to be select and circumspect meeting and a mutual recognising of each in the social attachments and intimacies we other in the heavenly world among those form, and, in their enjoyment, to keep up a who have known each other here, and who, constant habit of reference to that world, in at the same time, have been prepared and which, if founded on Christian principles, qualified by grace to perpetuate their know they will be renewed in glorified and endless ledge of each other in glory. The apostle perfection! Let the friends we choose, in speaks to his Thessalonian converts in lan- à word, be those who have chosen Christ, guage evidently implying his assured expec- our Friend, for theirs ; let us love those tation of meeting and recognising them in with a peculiar love, as indeed our brethren, that holy, happy state to which their hearts whom we may hope to love evermore. were ever aspiring. And what he expected what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rein this instance, is what may be expected joicing," in regard to any of our valued friendby all real Christians in relation to their ships? Is it not that we may meet, recognise, pious and congenial friends. What friends and be blessedly reunited with our friends, that are not friends to Christian piety, can “ in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at le congenial to any real Christian ?- What his coming ?" friends, without the love of God and Christ, Let it suffice thus far to have touched on bis Father and their Father, his Saviour and a subject very interesting to our natural and their Saviour, without a spiritual mind and social affections, and implied, though not heavenly affections ;-what friends, however expressed, in the text. so called in the light, customary language of II. In the second place, then, from what is the world, could be his friends in heaven, his implied, we come to what is expressed ; from friends for a blessed, because a hallowed, the general and joyful recognition of pious eternity? But every one of his congenial relatives or friends in the society of heaven, friends the departed follower of God shall to the peculiar and peculiarly joyful recognimeet and know again and for ever. Oh! tion which will take place in that society what delightful interviews will take place, between those who acted on earth as faithful among those who depart to be with Christ ministers of the Gospel, and those to whom in paradise, between those who knew, es- their ministry was attended with a blessing teemed, and loved each other on earth, and from the Lord. A vast multitude and variety whose mutual acquaintance, esteem, and love, of interesting and delightful recognitions will were at once sanctified and immortalised by take place, of the kind to which we have been the love of God; seasoned with grace, as adverting under the former head; but, perhaps, with the sacred salt that can alone preserve of them all, none will be deemed more deeply our friendships from speedy corruption ! interesting, none more gloriously delightful, What ecstasy to the pious parent, to wel- than that of the humble pastor, and the sheep, come, on their arrival, the children whom though few, that he was privileged to lead he had trained by instruction to fear and and to feed, to recall from their fatal wanderlove the Lord, and live for a better country ; | ings, and to help forward on their return to while that parent leads them to the throne the Shepherd of souls! Let us fix our attenof their common Father and Redeemer, with tion awhile, and indeed from time to time, on

« ПредишнаНапред »