Page images

“Such superscription does

To Jesus' coin belong ;
And every penny shows

His likeness, faint or strong :
A likeness stamped in His own mint,
Where Christ is viewed in human print.
“Now, friend, thy penny.

show With Jesus' Image fair ; For sure no coin will go,

Unless His stamp appear ;
Some Judas thou, or Demas, art,
Unless the stamp is on thy heart.
“O Lord, do Thou impress

Thine Image fair on me,
My penny then will pass,

And sterling coin will be !
My coin will spread Thy fame abroad,
And show that I am born of God."

stances—to occupy his mind, and beguile the tedious confinement of a severe illness. They were first published in 1785, eight years only before his decease, and consist of 340 hymns, each on some passage of Scripture, the only arrangement being the peculiar one according to the various metres classed together. He informs his readers, in the preface, that “Many years ago these hymns were composed in a six months' illness, and have since lain neglected by me, often threatened with the fire, but have escaped that martyrdom ! Fatherly mercy prevented that literary death, for authors can seldom prove cruel to their offspring, however deformed.

His volume was entitled, “Zion's Songs ; or, Hymns composed for the use of them that love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity.” This was somewhat a misnomer, since so many were ill adapted for singing, being experimental reflections, yet especially valuable for private reading ; in which capacity it has been a dear companion near our elbow for years, with increased regard as the solace and joy of many a lonely hour. Its pure Gospel sound has often cheered the spirit to praise redeeming mercy and sovereign grace.

The unusual quaintness in some of these compositions has been offensive to some, and furnished a ground of complaint against the writer, as if his cheerful tone degenerated into unbecoming jocularity and irreverence on sacred topics. It would be impossible for an honest man, as he was, freely ex. pressing his feelings, to divest himself of a native humour which was part of his nature and joined to a most serious regard to the eternal interests of his fellow sinners. It will only be just to offer a few specimens of this said quaintness, which are so original and expressive of truth that they may not be found so objectionable as has been supposed, allowing that many are more of poems than hymns strictly considered. On our Saviour's words, “Show me penny," these are his thoughts ; using it as a figure of the saint bearing the image of Christ in his life :

On the words, “Give us this day our daily bread," he thus speaks of God's providential care :“If hungry ravens, when they croak,

And ravenous lions, when they roar, Do find their food by Thee bespoke,

And are replenished from Thy store, He who for birds and beasts will carve, Can never let His children starve."

In allusion to those who joined David in the cave of Adullam, as a type of the Church, is this, among other quaint descriptions : “ What a base and motley crew,

In this royal band I view ;
Yet the Son of David takes
Scoundrels such, and such-like rakes."

Then, in contrasting ostentation with grace, and works to be seen of men, or before God


“ A trumpet oft we hear

Proclaiming charities,
To dry the widow's tears,

And hush the orphans' cries ;
But let my tongue a timbrel be
To sing His love who died for me!”

In Berridge, as may well be supposed, was seen more of the Christian than the Churchman; he was, therefore, willing to preach the Gospel as a ser

vant of Christ free from ecclesiastical bonds. Thus he laboured, following the apostolic example of Whitefield, to thousands in the open air, with wonderful proof of the Divine power and blessing. Once every year, while able, he visited London, and preached, with great acceptance, at the Tabernacles to vast numbers ; also at Surrey Chapel and other places. He was no great author, his chief work being "The Christian World Unmasked." The Countess of Huntingdon, and others of the nobility, were among his intimate friends and correspondents to the last ; his letters are very amusing in their cheerful humour and faithful admoni

tions, as he feared none, nor courted men's favour. In this feature there could be no successful imitator. Latterly, his faculties of sight and hearing much failed, but he was highly favoured with the Lord's presence and support. On 22nd January, 1793, at the age of seventy-seven, he peacefully entered into the realisation of the bliss described in his own hymn, found in most of the Selections: “O happy saints that dwell in light;" which is the “favourite hymn" with Zion's songsters, of an author justly entitled to higher honour and esteem than has been accorded him by hymn-book compilers in general.


[ocr errors]

In OR emoriam.

THREE FOLDED LAMBS. child, loving God's Word, His house,

and His people. On one occasion she THE readers of the GOSPEL HERALD said to me, when speaking of prayer, have seen how it pleased God to re- “I cannot pray, Pollie ; I can only move from us one whom we hoped ask.” She was taken ill in April, 1882, would have filled a useful place in the and never rallied, but gradually became Church on earth, but such was not God's weaker. On April 7th, 1882, some of us will. Since the death of our young

from Stoke went to Rishangles Baptist friend Thomas Cracknell, three others Chapel, Katie among the number, have been called to leave us in the although her health was then very inmorning of life, each with a pleasing different. There she was encouraged testimony that they are gone to be (but not enabled to fully realise her with Jesus. The same disease that laid interest in Jesus) by a sermon preached the former low-consumption-silently by Mr. Kern, of Ipswich, from Heb. ix. but surely did its work on these three, 28 : “So Christ was once offered," &c. day by day, till, at last, they also sank In his discourse Mr. Kern spoke very into the arms of death.

lovingly and encouragingly to the The first that died, KATE FULCHER,

lambs of Jesu's fold. While we were was one of our best Sunday scholars. there, Katie put a little note into my From very early days she attended our hand, in which, among other things, Sabbath-school, and was always a very

she said, “I have not long loved to quiet, good child, never unruly or hear God's Word, but I do feel it is causing trouble. It pleased God, in better than anything else. I do not His own time, to give her to see she know what the Lord is going to do for was a sinner and needed a Saviour ;

I feel I must either pray or then we saw manifested in her life perish ; I would rather pray than the effects of the Spirit's work within. perish." At last she became too ill to She became a praying, self-denying 1 attend chapel, which was a great trial



child. Her last earthly journey was to chapel. She was at the time suffering from indifferent health, but having a very strong desire to go, her friends permitted her to do so. After this she lingered three months, the last of which she was confined to her bed. When drawing near the end, she said, “She did not wish to get well again, but was very happy, and was going to heaven." Thus, at the age fifteen, she peacefully passed away ; leaving her father, her mother, her sisters and brothers to mourn her loss, some of whom, we are glad to know, are treading in the good, old way, rejoicing in the fact that


"A few more rising suns at most

Will land them on fair Canaan's coast."

[ocr errors]

to her. When the Sabbath-day came round she would say how she wished she could go to chapel, and would eagerly inquire where the text was, what hymns were sung, &c., when her father came home. She lived to reach her fifteenth birthday, which was on January 25th. She said she thought she should have been baptized and a member at Stoke when she was fifteen ; but, instead of being permitted to join the Church militant, she was soon to be taken to the Church triumphant. It was the writer's privilege to visit her three times after she became too ill to attend chapel. The last time

on Lord’s-day, January 28th. I asked her then, had she given up seeking Jesus? She replied, “No ; but I seem to seek and get no further. Sometimes I fear I do not seek in the right way." I repeated the verse“Just as I am, without one plea,

But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bid'st me come to Thee;

O Lamb of God, I come.” On asking her if that expressed her feelings, she said, “ Yes.” A little more conversation passed, then, after having prayed with her, I bade the dear child farewell. Directly afterwards she was taken worse, and called her mother and for her father and brother, and expressed a desire to see her only sister, who was living at a distance. She held out her hand to say good-bye to her brother. “Father,” she said, “I have not sung lately, but I shall again. Mother,” she said, “I am dying." Her mother replied, “Never mind, my dear, if you re going to heaven.Dear Katie answered, “I should like to know a little more that I am," after which she added, “Now I know." Before the clock struck six on that peaceful Sabbath eve, her ransomed spirit winged its way to the many-mansioned home.

On Wednesday, February 28th, 1883, ELLEN KNIGHTS entered her eternal rest. From very early days she attended our chapel ; her father and mother have long been inembers there; at the present time her father holds the office of deacon. Poor Ellen was always a quiet, delicate

JANE FOULGER, at the age of nine. teen years, was called upon to change time for eternity. She was formerly one of our Sunday scholars. A very strong, robust girl, her appearance seemed to say a long life was before her, but it was not so to be. Poor Jane was taken ill early in 1882, and from that time to the end of her life, gradually declined. At one time she cared little for the things that belong to everlasting life, but the Good Shepherd, having bought her with His blood, sought her out, and brought her to Himself. As a sinner, she was led to His feet, crying for mercy.

She found no rest till Monday, February 19th, 1883, when it pleased the Lord to apply with sweetness and power the words, “I have loved thee with an everlasting love, therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn thee." From that time to the end of her earthly career, she was enabled to rejoice and triumph in redeeming grace and dying love. On her deathbed she said, “Her hope was built on nothing less, than Jesus' blood and righteousness." She had no desire to get well again, but longed for the hour of her departure. The night before she died, she sang

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors]

Thus, rejoicing in Jesus, she breathed her last on Sunday morning, March 4th.

Thus it hath pleased God to take our buds of promise froin us. Although we mourn their loss, yet, even in the midst of sorrow, we rejoice, believing they are now among the blood-bought, whiterobed number who chant the Saviour's praises round the throne. All the abovementioned departed loved ones were interred in the burying-ground belonging to our chapel. Our dear pastor officiated at each service ; after which, on Lord's-day morning, March 11th, he preached froin the words, “My beloved is gone down into His garden to gather lilies.”

P. B.


[ocr errors]

MR. WILLIAM HOUSE. On the 29th of April last it pleased the Lord to call from this, the field of labour and suffering, to His eternal rest and home, another of His dear servants. On the same day as Mr. John Bunyan McCure passed into glory, my dear father, Mr. William House, at the good age of nearly seventy-five years, calmly fell asleep in Jesus, with a very sweet assurance of everlasting life.

For months he suffered much, but was wonderfully sustained, and seemed to enjoy much of his Lord's presence and fellowship through it all. Although almost helpless for some months, he did not keep to his bed for more than a few weeks ; and was enabled, by grace, to leave behind him for our comfort, some sweet evidence of his now ever blessed state, beyond the reach of death or sin. On one occasion, when asked by one of his sons, Mr. Thomas House—if he was happy, although only able to speak in a whisper, he replied, "Happy, happy I am going home, and wish I could take you all with me.” Another time, in answer to the question- put by the same son—"Is Jesus precious ?” he said : “Yes, O yes ; but we do not believe what our Father says when He tells us to come up higher.”

Speaking of his sufferings, he wondered how it was that the Lord per

mitted him to suffer so much, and then said : “But we know that what He does, He does in love; for He hath loved us with an everlasting love, and will love us to the end."

Again, when conscious for a short time, he repeated the 23rd Psalm, in which occurs that beautiful expression of faith in the prospect of death, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for Thou art with me, Thy rod, and Thy staff they comfort me," &c., and then engaged in prayer for each member of his family. The last time he spoke to me, he said : “Good-bye, my dear boy, I am going home ; yes, going home; God bless you. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever," and then sank again into unconsciousness, in which state (as far as we can tell) he passed away.

The Lord was pleased to commence the work of grace in his heart very early in life, for he was only abont nine years of age when he first had these words brought home with power to his soul : “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and thy neighbour as thyself;' so that he cried out, 'Lord, I never have," and was led to seek and find salvation through the precious finished work of Christ. He was baptized by his father at the age of twelve, and began preaching, the Gospel of salvation by grace alone, when about nineteen, and continued so doing, more or less, till within a few years of his decease; when, through the weakness of the flesh, he was obliged, much against his wish, to give up the work in which he so much gloried, and in which he was greatly owned and blessed to the bringing in of many of the chosen race.

He was, at one time, pastor at Enon Chapel, St. Clement's Lane, Strand, where he succeeded his father; and afterwards at Islington, Banner Street, St. Luke's, Saxmundham, Maldon, Hadlow (succeeding the late Mr. John Bunyan McCure), and at other places.

His mortal remains were placed in Tottenham Cemetery, on Saturday, May 5th. Mr. Robert Wallace—who

[ocr errors]

was to him a very dear and faithful But such was not to be the case. friend during the time of need and of Teaching us, once more, that God's waiting for glory-performing the ser- thoughts are not our thoughts, neither vices, and speaking with marked tokens are His ways our ways. About seven of sympathy with, and encouragement weeks prior to his death, the Lord laid to, the sorrowing widow who for His hand on His servant, and he was nearly fifty-five years was the loving brought low. During those weeks his and beloved partner of his life, and to sufferings were very severe ; but the the large gathering of the family and Lord graciously sustained him, and befriends.

fore several witnesses he was repeatedly “ Precious in the sight of the Lord is enabled to make a good confession. the death of His saints.":

The writer only had one opportunity Tottenham.

T. HOUSE. of seeing him, just before his death ; he

was strong in faith, giving glory to God. He devoutly and fervently thanked God for the goodness and mercy which had followed him all the days of his life

. In Loving Remembrance of

Upon my saying, “What a mercy to be JOHN AUSTIN,

able to bear such a testimony !” he

replied, “Justice to God demands that For Sixty Years Minister of the Gos- I should do so." pel of the Grace of God, a great part The blessed truths he preached in of which he was Pastor of Pentside life supported him in the immediate Baptist Chapel, Dover.

prospect of death. He solemnly proFell asleep 1st June, 1883.

tested against the absurd extravagancies

of so-called religionists, declaring that Aged 83 Years.

the day is fast approaching when God

the righteous Judge will deny and dis“Help, Lord, for the godly man ceaseth, own both the claim and the persons of for the faithful fail from among the child- those who now make His Gospel a burren of men.”

lesque. The deacons of the church at So we said when we heard from Dover Pentside paid their aged pastor loving that John Austin, the pastor of Pentside, attention during his illness, alternately had fallen asleep, aged eighty-three

staying with him the whole of the night,

and it was in the presence of one of years. His labours in the Gospel began in

the brethren and Mrs. Austin he calmly 1824, so that for nearly sixty years at

breathed his last. Zoar London, Ipswich, Deptford, Deal, The body was buried, in sure and Tunbridge Wells, Tring, and finally at certain hope of resurrection to eternal Dover, he preached among the people life, in St. James Cemetery, Copt Hill, the unsearchable riches of Christ ; quite

Dover, on Tuesday, June 5th. Mr. recently he retired from the pastorate

Edwin Langford, of London, officiated at Pentside, having, through Divine

both in the chapel and at the grave. grace, honourably and usefully filled There were many persons present from the sacred office twenty-seven years.

Deal, Folkestone, Eythorne, &c., besides When he resigned, it was not his in- a number of town's-people who knew tention to cease preaching; he there

the departed and very much respected fore continued to minister to the

him. The funeral service was solemnly spiritual wants of the flock, at the same

impressive, and many expressions of time advising the church to immediately

loving regard for the memory of the seek direction from God respecting the

aged pastor and servant of Christ were choice of a successor, saying, “That so

uttered, especially by the members of soon as God heard their prayers, and

the church, to whom the Lord had made sent them another shepherd, he would

E. L. cheerfully give place to him."

him of such service.

« PreviousContinue »