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was exemplary in his conduct, eminently devoted to God, and likely to become "a burning and a shining light." He had begun to exercise his talents as an exhorter, and a local preacher; and great hopes were entertained of his future usefulness. But, alas ! like a flower of the field, he was- to our finite apprehensionsprematurely cut down, just as the blossom was about to ripen into fruitfulness. Mr. Burgess visited his dying friend, and found him rejoicing in the full assurance of faith, and leaving the most satisfactory evidence that he was about to be received into the man. sions of eternal bliss.
During the Midsummer vacation of 1808, Mr. Pocock paid his annual visit to Hungerford, again taking Mr. Burgess and some of their pupils with him. On this occasion he visited several of the adjacent villages ; among others, Burbage, a populous place in Wiltshire, where a scene occurred to which he was witness. After a sermon preached by Mr. Pocock, on Thursday evening, notice was given that there would be preaching again on the green on the next Sunday evening. The rumour being circulated, a vestrymeeting was held in the church on Sunday morning, when the minister, churchwardens, and others, consulted what should be done to oppose the Methodists, who were about to intrude into the parish. A proposal was at length made, which, although objected to by a few present, was approved by the majority : this was, to hire a number of the labourers at the canal, termed “navigators," who were to be furnished with strong liquor, and then instigated to raise an uproar, and prevent Divine worship. According to appointment, Mr. Pocock and his party-of which Mr. Burgess felt it an honour to be one-came to the place, and commenced the service by singing and prayer. The reverend curate, with the church wardens and his other colleagues, were also there, in due time, with the poor dupes whom they had hired for their base purposes.
Strong beer being supplied in abundance, the “navigators" were soon intoxicated, and in this state began to be very vociferous in expressing their displeasure against the “Methodists," and their determination to support “ Church and King." As the noise grew, multitudes of people were attracted to the spot, and in a short time the assembly increased to some hundreds. Mr. Pocock announced his text, and spoke for a few minutes, but such a scene of confusion ensued, that he was obliged to desist. There was a general tumult. While many were exclaiming against the preacher and his party, some of the more sober and sensible began to take their part, and endeavoured to restrain the rioters. Mr. Pocock's eldest son, a boy not quite ten years of age, by his father's
direction, mounted their travelling car, and in clear and touching tones gave out the hymn in our collection,
"Woe to the men on earth who dwell,
Nor dread the Almighty's frown;
And shower His judgments down !” etc.
This produced a powerful effect; many were dissolved in tears. The curate and his associates, however, so far gained the day that the Methodists left the field of action, while the “Church and King" supporters remained victorious.
But in the course of the next week matters took a remarkable turn. The Company under whom the "navigators” were employed expressed their strong disapprobation of these proceedings, and dismissed those who had been foremost in promoting the riot. The curate, also, and his party were covered with shame; the min. ister's conduct being so strongly censured by his ecclesiastical superiors, that he was in danger of losing his gown. On the next Sunday evening the Methodists again occupied the contested ground, but now, indeed, the scene was quite altered ; not a hand was raised, nor a mouth opened against them. A large company assembled, and heard the service with deep attention : regular preaching was established in the village, the violent opposition at first manifested was overruled, and eventually conduced to the extension of the Redeemer's kingdom.
A part of the Christmas vacation of 1809 was spent by Mr. Burgess very pleasantly with his kind friend Mr. Edwards, at Wilton. While here he so far conquered his constitutional shyness as to take the lead in the usual public service held in Mr. Edwards's house, and read a sermon to the congregation one Sunday evening. This, it is believed, was the first ocoasion on which an attempt of this kind was made by him.
The term of five years, which he had agreed to spend with Mr. Pocock, having now expired, the latter made liberal proposals in reference to a re-engagement. Mr. Burgess, however, found the confinement so excessive, and his occupations so numerous, that he not only had not sufficient leisure to pursue his private studies, but his health was in danger of being seriously injured. With the full approbation of his parents, he declined Mr. Pocock's overtures, and finally left Bristol in June, 1811. About a fortnight after his return home to Truro, where his father was then stationed, his path was unexpectedly opened into the family of the late William Tweedy, Esq., banker, who engaged him as private tutor to his children. The purchase of the Woodhouse-Grove estate having been recently made, with the view of establishing an additional academy for the education of the sons of our ministers, the Conference of this year, 1811, expressed a strong desire that Mr. Burgess should become the classical master there. Having, however, made an agreement with Mr. Tweedy, he considered it right to abide by it, and never had cause to regret that decision. His situation was now very comfortable ; his duties were by no means burdensome; and he had sufficient time left at his own disposal, which he employed in a regular course of study.
While thus ardently and successfully pursuing various branches of useful learning, he was not neglectful of his spiritual and eternal interests. Recording the experience of his inner and higher life at this period, he writes: “On this ground particularly I shall ever remember the time of my residence at Truro with unfeigned gratitude to God, since I am certain I learned far more of Divine things during the three years I spent there than in all the preceding part of my life. Our class-meetings were very edifying; the members were, in general, much alive to God, and some of them were eminently pious. Mr. Joseph Carne, our worthy classleader, was a man of deep and sound experience, well qualified to instruct and build us up in our most holy faith. We were all united together in the bonds of Christian affection, and were truly one in Jesus. We used to long for the approach of our classnight, and were always more reluctant to separate than to assemble. One very important lesson which I learned while connected with this class was the necessity of simplicity, especially in approach. ing the throne of grace. Some of my brethren and sisters were making rapid advances, and used to testify their enjoyment of gracious visitations, to which I had, as yet, been a stranger. Often did I listen, with pleasing wonder, to their simple yet deep testimonies, and was led seriously to inquire, Why do I not enjoy as much as any of them ? By the light of the Divine Spirit, the grand hindrance was disclosed, and I earnestly laboured and prayed for its removal. I saw I must become as simple as the most ignorant and unpolished of those around me; that my own wisdom must be renounced, and I must be content to become a fool for Christ. To this I resolved to submit, and no sooner had I got into the habit of making the required sacrifice, than I began to enter into their experience and enjoyments. Our meetings now were more precious than ever, and all language would fail to describe adequately the glorious visitations which I, in common with others, used frequently to enjoy. The room where we assembled was often filled with the Divine glory; we sat together in heavenly places in Christ' Jesus, and drank largely from the inexhaustible fountains of Divine love."
This extract furnishes decisive evidence that, by yielding to the teachings and drawings of the Holy Spirit, he had, through faith in the Atonement, passed from spiritual death to spiritual life; being born of the Spirit, old things had passed away, and he had received the Spirit of adoption. This is further confirmed by the admission which we find him subsequently making: “Though I was naturally, I suppose, of a cold, phlegmatic disposition, and of comparatively dull feelings, I was frequently overwhelmed in the abyss of Divine love, and lost in praise and wonder.” The grand object at which he now aimed was a “ full salvation.” This blessing he appears to have sought sincerely and earnestly; yet, through not clearly apprehending the way of simple faith, he remained without the explicit enjoyment of it. But he was conscious of “a growth in grace," and of acquiring more Divine knowledge, and more of the " mind of Jesus."
(To be concluded.)
THE CHRISTIAN SALVATION, AND THE COMPREHENSIVE CONSTITUTION OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH:
THOUGHTS ON THE SECOND CHAPTER OF THE EPISTLK TO THE
No. II.-- VERSES 11-22. AGAiN the Apostle recalls to the minds of the believers whom he was addressing their former state of spiritual destitution, when, as Gentiles, they were afar off from God and from His visible Church; and places this state in vivid contrast with their present condition of holy privilege and abundant blessing :“ Wherefore remember that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; that at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.”
The language employed throughout this passage is eminently forcible and suggestive. The persons addressed were “Gentiles in the flesh,"-persons who had not received the distinguishing rite of the ancient covenant; and, before they were brought near to God and to His people, under the evangelical constitution, by the blood of Jesus, they stood outside the Church of God, and were destitute of the privileges and hopes of those who are truly His. They were, further, looked down upon by many of the race of Israel; they were “called," contemptuously, the Uncircumcision; and yet, the Apostle intimates, they who called them so were themselves only “called" the Circumcision. In the case of too many of God's ancient people, circumcision was a mere external rite, instead of being combined with that inward purity, and that consecration to the Divine service, of which it was intended to be a symbol. The higher import of this rite was too often lost sight of by those who vaunted themselves on its possession. True religion, under every dispensation, is essentially spiritual, to whatever extent the observance of outward forms may have been enjoined. The cherished sentiment of St. Paul on this subject-a sentiment which moulded the phraseology of the passage before us -is that affirmed by him in his Epistle to the Romans :-"He is not a Jew which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision which is outward in the flesh: but he is a Jew which is one inwardly, and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God."
But, passing from the disdain with which these Gentiles were treated by many of the race of Israel, the Apostle goes on to depict the spiritual destitution in which they were involved.
They were “ without Christ," --separated from Him who is the one Source of life, the one Medium of salvation to man. Many of them, perhaps, had never heard of the intimations of a coming Deliverer, the Anointed of Jehovah, given to the ancient people of God; while others, to whom these intimations had been made known, had turned away from them to the vanities of the world and the follies and vices of idolatry. Even after the Saviour had appeared, and had accomplished the work of atonement, several years elapsed before the message of His grace was proclaimed to them, during which the darkness of their heathen state remained almost unbroken ; and after that message was brought to them, some of them, for a while, treated it with cold neglect. They were “ without Christ.” They did not repose their trust on Him whom the Father has set forth as the Hope of men. They had no saving interest in His death, and resurrection, and priestly intercession. Polluted in spirit, and lying under the condemnation of accumulated sin, they stood at a distance from Him through whom only that condemnation could be reversed, and that pollution removed.
They were “aliens from the commonwealth of Israel.” In the earliest ages the hope of salvation, and the promise of the great Restorer, were given to universal man; while the few and simple rites of the patriarchal economy were common to all. But as idolatry became diffused among the nations, and men turned away from God to follow their own imaginations and to gratify their own lusts, the Most High separated the descendants of Abraham, in