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have the Christian to be always waiting for the upper world, but when the cross comes it presseth upon him more vehemently, and will speak after this manner to him : What, hast thou waited for the great reward in heaven in duties and ordinances, and wilt thou not wait for it in sufferings too? Heaven is the same still, and sufferings are not worthy to be compared with it: do but suffer a little, and thou shalt be there. When the martyr Ananias, in the Persian persecution, seemed to tremble at the approaching cross, Pusices spake thus to him : “ Paulisper, O senex, oculos claude ; nam statim lumen Dei videbis ;” “ Shut thine eyes a little, old man, and immediately thou shalt see the light of God." Excellent is that of the apostle : “Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen : for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal" (2 Cor. iv. 17, 18). Here, it is observable, affliction is light and momentary, but glory is a "weight," and "eternal;" there is no proportion between them. If by hope we look at the invisible and eternal things, this will support our hearts, that it is but a little short suffering, and we shall be in heavenly bliss

Let us therefore labour after a waiting hope, that we may patiently bear the cross,

for ever.

NONCONFORMISTS.

CHARLES II. was an easy-minded monarch. On his position le were as Head of the Church he set little value, and his own religious convictions were too feeble to render the creed or opinions

not "Hea a But on his accession to the throne, he found himself in the hands of counsellors who did not share his indifference. His brother, the Duke of York, had the sombre sincerity of a Papist; Sheldon, Bishop of London, and afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury, had the arrogance of an ecclesiastical autocrat, unchecked by conscientious scruples, and softened by few of the more gentle virtues ; and the King's most able and active adviser, Hyde, afterwards Earl of Clarendon, brought back from his long exile the vindictive recollections, as well as the prejudices, of twenty years ago. At the instance of these statesmen, a bill was introduced in Parliament, and carried by a narrow majority of five in the House of Commons, which excluded from their benefices all clergymen who, before the 24th of August 1662, failed to comply with certain conditions. Not only must they renounce the Solemn League and Covenant, and abjure the taking of arms on any pretence whatsoever against the monarch ; but, if not already episcopally ordained, they must receive ordination anew from a bishop; they must declare their unfeigned assent to everything contained in the Book of Common Prayer; and they must take the oath of canonical obedience to their ordinary. The measure was so framed as to leave little chance of remaining in the Church of England to any members of the obnoxious party of the Puritans. It was not content with exacting a strict compliance hereafter with the ceremonies of

VOL. II.

T

the National Church, which many might have cheerfully promised; but by asking men of principle to acknowledge that their public actings hitherto had been a treason-by asking ministers of Christ to acknowledge that their ordination was a figment, and their commission to dispense the sacraments a forgery—it hardly left a loop-hole to self-respect, however humble, or to conscience, however free from punctilious scrupulosity Men of honour, as well as men of faith, foresaw that it was impossible for the divines of the Commonwealth to comply with such conditions : it was only Churchmen of Sheldon's type, who betrayed at once their own animus, and their idea of clerical integrity, by saying, “We are afraid they will."

Bartholomew-day arrived, and upwards of two thousand pulpits were instantly vacant. By the Act of Uniformity, the Puritans, who for a hundred years had been the lights of the Church of England and the salt of the land, were cast forth from the national establishment, and were henceforth to be known as NONCONFORMISTS.

The more truly that we love the Church of England, the more deeply must we deplore a measure which, by organising a powerful dissent, impaired its nationality, and which, by expelling its most earnest ministers, had well-nigh extinguished its piety. For although, like Reynolds, a few men of spirituality and fervour conformed, and although some divines of distinguished learning and genius, such as Barrow, and Jeremy Taylor, and Patrick, and Fuller, continued to minister in the pulpits and at the altars of the Establishment, there can be no doubt that, if zeal for the gospel is the glory of a church, in the secession of Baxter and Owen, Charnock and Howe, and their twenty-one hundred like-minded brethren, the glory of the Church of England departed for a season.

Of some of these “masters in Israel,” we have already given a specimen; and, as their collective writings extend

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to some thousands of volumes, it would require a separate work to do justice to that golden age of our English theology.

However, it is impossible to pass away from it without trying to convey some idea of its characteristics ; and therefore, in the present section, we propose to introduce, in alphabetical order, a few of its worthies, exemplifying, as well as we can, their various modes of teaching. Accordingly, we begin with

JOSEPH ALLEINE. *

With his excellent constitution and amazing activity-with his clear and comprehensive views of the gospel, and with an address remarkably tender, endearing, subduing --with a love to the Saviour which often kindled to rapture, and with a longing after the souls of his people which was offended by no rebuffs, and which renewed its endeavours after

every

refusalit was a wonderful change which the seven years of this young evangelist's labours effected on Taunton. And it is a wonderful amount of good which has been accomplished since his death, by the solemn and pathetic appeals contained in his “ Alarm to the Unconverted.” As one example, it may be mentioned that, towards the close of last century, a minister, more eminent for scholarship than fervour, repeated the substance of its successive chapters to his Highland congregation, as he was engaged in translating the work for some society, and the result was a wide-spread awakening, which long prevailed in the district of Nether Lorn.

To the pen of Mr Alleine’s widow we are indebted for a simple and affectionate sketch of his character and labours, which we believe will be welcome to our readers.

His flanner of Life. We lived together with Mr Newton near two years, where we were most courteously entertained; and then, hoping to be more useful in our station, we took a house, and I having been always bred to work, undertook to teach a school, and had many tablers * and scholars, our family being seldom less than twenty, and many times thirty ; my school usually fifty or sixty of the town and other places. And the Lord was pleased to bless us exceedingly in our endeavours : so that many were converted in a few years, that were before strangers to God. All our scholars called him “ Father :" and indeed he had far more care of them than most of their natural parents, and was most tenderly affectionate to them, but especially to their souls.

* Born at Devizes, 1633; died at Bath, 1668.

His course in his family was prayer and reading the Scriptures, and singing twice a-day, except when he catechised, which was constantly once, if not twice a-week. Of every chapter that was read he expected an account, and of every sermon, either to himself or me. He dealt with them and his servants frequently, together and apart, about their spiritual states; pressing them to all their duties, both of first and second table, and calling them strictly to account, Whether they did not omit them. He also gave them books suitable to their capacities and condition, which they gave a weekly account of to him or me; but too often by public work was he diverted, as I am apt to think, who knew not so well what was to be preferred.

His Lord's-day's work was great, for though he preached but once in his own place, yet he was either desired by some of his brethren to supply theirs on any exigency, or would go where was no minister; and so was forced often to leave his family to me, to my great grief and loss. In his repetitions in public, as well as catechising, his own family came all in their turns to answer in the congregation, both scholars and servants.

When I have pleaded with him for more of his time with myself and family, he would answer me, “His ministerial work

Tablers; i.c., boarders.

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