Page images
PDF
EPUB

better of his good sense and sound judgment.

The great Head of the Church greatly blessed the disinterested and laborious efforts of his servant, so that in a few years the number of his hearers and also of the church members had greatly increased. From 30 at Mitcheldean, and 50 at Ruardean, they had increased to about 150 at each place; and the number of members added to the two churches from the period of his settlement to the year 1840 was 132. He was also the honoured instrument of building a new, respectable, and commodious chapel at the former place, and of greatly enlarging and improving the one at the latter. For these objects he personally raised the handsome sum of £600. Although, after a period, the affiliated churches raised considerably more than the sum referred to towards the support of their devoted pastor, his salary was always exceedingly small, so that the writer of this memoir more than once heard him express his astonishment, as well as fervent gratitude to God, that, with a stipend so small, he should have been enabled to support a numerous family; indeed, without other aids it could not have been effected.

He found the truth of that which had been previously declared by the excellent Matthew Henry, “The blessing of the Lord will make a little go a great way." He appears to have used all practicable means of “providing things honest in the sight of all men;" and therefore for some years he undertook the instruction of youth in addition

to his numerous ministerial and pastoral engagements.

For nearly half-a-century did this devoted man of God preach three times every Lord's day, besides walking several miles, and extensively itinerating in the villages around him, the Lord blessing his zealous efforts. When, by reason of the infirmities of advancing age, he was unable to supply both churches, they mutually agreed to separate, and he lived to see them well supplied with pastors. In the year 1850 the Rev. Joseph Lander undertook the charge at Mitcheldean; and in 1858 the Rev. Timothy Marfell (his son-in-law) was called to the pastorate of Fuardean.

Mr. Horlick was held in high esteem, not only by the members of his own church and congregation, but also by his brethren in the ministry around, together with their respective congregations, and also by not a few belonging to other religious communities. A striking proof of this was afforded in the year 1850, when he had attained the fiftieth year of his pastorate; a deeply-interesting jubilee service was, on the 17th of September of that year, held in the chapel at Ruardean, which was filled in every part, and numbers were unable to obtain admittance. The Rev. T. Gillman, of Newport, presided on the occasion. After prayer had been offered by the Rev. T. Young, Mr. Graham, of Ragland, an old and esteemed friend of Mr. Horlick, handed to the chairman two purses of gold, containing the sum of £65 (afterwards increased), which he presented to Mr. Horlick, with

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

some appropriate remarks; the Rev. Messrs. Hyatt, Buck, Lander, Thomas, Pinn, Jenkyn, and Davies, delivering addresses on the occasion; and the venerable man to whom this token of esteem was presented acknowledging it, together with the congratulations of his friends, with deep and almost overwhelming feelings.

The public labours of this faithful servant of Christ were now rapidly drawing to a close. In the month of December, 1851, he was seized with paralysis, which so affected his speech that he never preached afterwards. He occasionally administered the Lord's supper, but this could not be done without great difficulty. The writer saw him more than once during his protracted affliction, and was peculiarly struck by his subrnission to the Divine will, combined at times with holy cheerfulness, He could not but feel at being laid aside from the work that he fervently loved, but he bowed with resignation to the stroke; and the faithfulness and goodness of his heavenly Father were themes on which he delighted to dwell.

During the period of his last illness he said many precious things, and quoted many select passages of Scripture and favourite hymns. One of the former of these was, “ We have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;" and another, which he requested to be mentioned in his funeral sermon, was the language of the Psalmist, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in

the house of the Lord for ever." The hymn, one verse of which commences with the words :“Oh, that the happy hour were come

To change my faith to sight," afforded him much enjoyment. He was watched over with the most assiduous and affectionate attention by his aged wife, and also by his daughters, his other children frequently visiting him. To one of these, for whom he felt the deepest solicitude, he said, a little before his departure, “This is death; I am going to the kingdom; I shall receive a crown." To his successor at Mitcheldean he said, with strong emphasis, “It is all right; Christ is precious.”

In a paper written by him some years before his death, he says, “ Sometimes I am troubled at the thought of death, but I know that God can make my passage easy and safe.” And so he found it, for that which he believed God effected on his behalf, granting to him a peaceful and painless dismission from the body, and doubtless an admission to his own presence above. “He rests from his labours, and his works do follow him." His death took place on February 22, 1858, in the eighty-first year of his age. His mortal remains were deposited in the burialground connected with the chapel at Ruardean, and on the following Lord's day, the Rev. Joseph Lander improved his death both at that place and at Mitcheldean to overflowing and deeply-affected auditories.

Mr. Horlick was twice married. His first wife was soon taken from him by death, leaving one son, who

[ocr errors]

still survives. After between three and four years he again entered into the marriage relation with one who was brought to a knowledge of the truth by his ministry, and who zealously co-operated with him in his labours of love. By her he had a numerous family, most of whom, together with their mother, still survive, and some of them he had the privilege of receiving into the church over which he presided.

That the departed had his infirmities, over which he himself deeply lamented, there is no doubt, but that he was, notwithstanding these, a man of much spirituality and of exemplary piety, is unquestionable. To the testimony borne concerning him in the funeral sermon which was preached to improve his decease, the writer coincides :“Of him it might be said, as of Stephen, ‘he was full of faith and of the Holy Ghost.' No man more fully depended on the Spirit's influence than he did. Under the Spirit's teaching he moulded his life, and formed correct views of Jesus and his word.” He was an ardent lover of the old Puritan school of theology, having no sym

pathy with the latitudinarian theories of some of the present day. But while he held with uncompromising firmness the great doctrines of grace, he ever connected with these the indispensable necessity of good works.

He was distinguished by much spirituality of mind, being eminently a man of prayer. This was to him more than an occasional exercise; it appeared to be a constant settled habit; and he greatly loved to converse on the things of God on all suitable occasions. Hence, as might be expected, he was an eminently happy Christian, as well as a useful minister of Jesus Christ. Not unfrequently was his countenance lighted up with a benignant smile, when, out of the abundance of his heart, he spake of the Saviour whom he loved, and the great themes of the Christian revelation.

May his children and grandchildren tread in his footsteps, and may we all be followers of those who, through faith and patience, are now inheriting the promises, having fought the good fight of faith, and laid hold of eternal life!

Ross, July 7, 1858. W.T.B.

Theology for the People. THEOLOGY signifies the Word of God. The study of Theology, therefore, is simply the study of the Scriptures. These are the source of religious truth, and the standard of true orthodoxy. Concerning all teaching, the only question we have to solve is, “What is written ? How readest thou ?” That once ascertained, the path is plain. Whatever is thus attested is matter of faith ; it is to be believed, and according to its nature will be its effect on the heart. It will produce corresponding feelings. Such

[ocr errors]

feelings are called Christian Experience, signifying what is found or felt in the soul. Nothing is to be deemed experience which is not the effect of the belief of some portion of truth. This experience, comprising love, confidence, gratitude, reverence, zeal, and such like, always prompts to obedience in keeping the commandments. This is Christian morality. Doctrine, then, signifies truth; experience, feeling ; and morality, action. The first subject we shall select is one which lies at the foundation of the gospel scheme, and it must be settled by an appeal to inspiration.

THE INCARNATION OF CHRIST. Is it taught in Scripture that Christ, Of whom was Christ born ?-Of the Son of God, became man ?-It the Virgin Mary: “Behold, a viris: "Forasmuch as the children gin shall be with child, and bring are partakers of flesh and blood, he forth a son,” Matt. i. 23. also himself likewise took part of Was Christ, then, the seed of the same,” Heb. ii. 14.

the woman ?-He was: for he was Was it requisite that he should “made of a woman,” Gal. iv. 4. become man ?-It was : for “in all Was the Scripture therein fulthings it behoved him to be made filled ?-It was : for “the seed of like unto his brethren,” Heb. ii. 17. the woman must bruise the serHas Christ the fulness of the

pent's head,” Gen. iii. 15. Godhead dwelling in him ?-Yes : Was he the Son of Abraham ? for "in him dwells all the fulness He was : for “he took on him the of the Godhead bodily,” Col. ii. 9. seed of Abraham," Heb. ii. 16.

Has the Son of God the tender- Was the Scripture therein fulness of a man?-He has : for he filled ?-Yes : for it was said to

was touched with the feeling of Abraham, “In thy seed shall all our infirmities,” Heb. iv, 15.

the nations of the earth be blessed,” Did Christ take unto himself a Gen. ii. 18. true body ?-He did: “A body hast Was he the Son of David ?-He thou prepared me," Heb. x. 5. was: “Hosanna to the Son of Da

Was it a body like unto ours ?-It vid,” Matt. xxi. 9. was: for he was in the likeness of Was the Scripture therein fulsinful flesh," Rom. viii. 3.

filled ?-Yès: “He hath raised up Did he take to himself a human a horn of salvation for us, in the soul?-He did : for he said, “My house of his servant David, as he soul is exceeding sorrowful,” Matt. spake by the mouth of all his holy xxvi. 38.

prophets,” Luke i. 69, 70. How was he conceived ?-By the Where was Christ born ?-In power of the Holy Ghost: “The Bethlehem: “To you is born this Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, day, in the city of David, a Saviour," and the power of the Highest shall Luke ii. 11. overshadow thee,” Luke i. 35.

Did he come when the Messiah

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

was expected ?-He did: they then "looked for redemption in ” Jerusalem, Luke ii. 38.

Did he come when the sceptre was departed from Judah ?-He did: for there then “ went out a decree that all the world should be taxed,” Luke ii. 1.

Did the angels attend him at his birth ?—They did : “there was a multitude of the heavenly host praising God,” Luke ii. 13.

Was the Redeemer born in sin, as we are ?-By no means : he was " without sin,” Heb. iv. 15.

Was he perfectly pure and holy? - In all things : “ That holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God,” Luke i. 35.

Was he pure and holy in his whole life ?-He was: “He did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth," 1 Pet. ii. 22.

Was it requisite he should be so ?It was: “Such a high-priest became us, who was holy, harmless, and undefiled,” Heb. vii. 26.

Could he have satisfied for our sin if he had had any sin of his own ?Hecould not: for he must, “through the Eternal Spirit, offer himself without spot,” Heb. ix. 14 ; vii. 27.

Was he subject to the sinless infirmities of our nature ?-Yes : “He was in all points tempted like as we are,” Heb. iv. 15.

Was he hungry?-Yes: “When he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterwards an hungered,” Matt. iv. 2.

Was he weary ?—Yes: “Being weary with his journey, he sat on the well,” John iv. 6.

Did he sleep ?-Yes: “When the ship was covered with waves, he was asleep,” Matt. viii. 24.

Did he pass through the ages of human life?-Yes: for “ Jesus increased in wisdom and stature,” Luke ii. 52.

Was the Redeemer willing to be incarnate for us ?--Yes: for when he cometh into the world, he saith, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God," Heb. x. 5, 7.

Is it well for us that he was so?Yes: for “by this will we are sanctified,” Heb. x, 10.

Was Christ's incarnation great condescension in him ?-It was: for hereby he was “made a little lower than the angels," Heb. ii. 9.

Was it a great honour to our nature?-Yes: “ What is man, that thou art mindful of him ?” Heb. ii. 6, 7, 8.

Is it good news to mankind ?Yes: “ This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners," 1 Tim. i. 15.

We thus see that Christ's incarnation, or taking upon him of human nature, was indispensable to the fulfilment of this large number of prophecies. This alone suffices to prove the divinity of his mission. Only a wisdom more than human could have foretold the appearance of such a character ; such a man could only have appeared as the result of a divine arrangement. The man and the predictions resemble a lock, complex and intricate,

« PreviousContinue »