Gambar halaman

“ Tlell. is nothing but a man's conscience," he felt a wounded con: science to be such a Hell as no one can bear. His worklly companions blamed him for going among the Methodists; and the Formalist in religion spoke of him as going mad; while he him self knew what he felt came through hearing them, but knew not yet how to obtain effectual relief. At one time he thonght of going no more to the chapel; at another, was drảwn to try the pleasure of a day's recreation ; but, like the unsatisfying shorts lived pleasures of sin, the day passed without his tasting one drop of real joy, - it was succeeded by the real anguish attende ing increased remorse. Thus exposed to " cruel mockings,” to persecution, to present sorrows, and the forebodings of fear, he thought himself hated by man, and even by God: he was also assailed by this temptation, that as the ways of religion are pleasant, and he had sorrow instead of peace, he must be therefore a stranger to those ways. This wrought him up to temporary desperation ; his inexpressible grief poured itself forth in groans : " that I had never sinned against God! I have a Hell here upon Earth, and there is a Hell for me in eternity!" One Lori's Diy, very early in the morning, he was awoke by a tempest of thunder and lightning ; and imagining it to be the end of the worll, his agony was great, supposing the great day of divine wrath was come, and he unprepared ; but happy to find it not so. Rising early that morning, and having heard that Mr: Whitfield was to preach, he went and heard him, from Hosea x. 12,“ Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy,”' &c. Under this discourse he had a reviving gleam of hope ; but this was transient. A young man lent him Baxter's Work on the New Birth ; in reading which he felt the importance of the subject, and examined himself by the evidences of regeneration it contains. In this exercise he felt much of the power of unbelief; ' he saw all necessary for salvation to be in Christ, and that a sinner is justified by believing on him only ; but he felt it beyond his own power to believe : his prayers became more ardent, he spread his guilt, his wants, and his misery before the throne of God; lie sought for saving mercy as one perishing; and when he had nothing to pay,” he freely received the forgiveness of his sins, and the enjoyment of heavenly peace. Thus was he brought, and even constrained to acknowledge, “ I am saved by grace, thru' faith; and that not of myself, but Jesus gave it me! . “O to grace how great a debtor

Daily I'm constrain’d to be!" The consolations he now enjoyed were connected with a holy deportment and a circumspect walk. This was the nam tural effect of the divine gratitude he felt, and the desire "to maintain good works,” that the cause of religion might not be slandered, nor the enemies of God have occasion to blasphieme. Having frequenily reviewed the Lord's dealings with him, and the obligations he was under to recovering grace (this appears to have been about two years from his first religious con. cern) he thought himself called upon to proclaim the glad tidings of the gospel to others : he considered that the Lord had shewn him such great mercy, to the end that he might call others to come to Jesus Christ for life and salvation. Many things aro:e to check these sentiments: now he feared they originated in pride ; then he thought of the advantage he might obtain in following his secular calling ; and also the increased persecution the ministry would expose him to in the world, and greater opposition from Satan. On the other hand, he saw himself engaged in a sinful conference with flesh and blood, - saw himself set forth and condemned in the parable, where the unprofitable servant concealed his talent, --- saw himself as wanting in that benevolent concern for his fellow-creatures which seeks their salvation, and the promotion of their best and eternal interests. At length be opened ihe state of his mind to a Christian friend, who, very wisely and faithfully represented the necessity o! his obtaining some literary qualification ; and informed him of the college at Trevecca, belonging to the late Countess of Huntingdon. This information, doubtless, contributed to form luis determination to apply to the Rev. G. Whitfield; which he did ly a long letter, giving an account of himself, his conversion, and his motives in offering himself a candidate for admission to the college. Mr. Whitfield answered this letter; and soon after, Mr. Mead went to Trevecca. This was about the year 1767. He is thought to have been one in the second set of students after the establislıment of that religious seminary. Mr. Mcad did not preich long in that comexion, for he had taken orders in the Church of England some time prior to his marriage, which was in die beginning of May, 1776. The object of bis choice was a Miss Cooper, of ihe neighbourhood of Henley, Oxon. ; to whom he was introduced at the Ilot Wells. This lady brought him good property ; and lie enjoyed much happiness in his connubial relation with her till Death separated them, about ten years ago. Upon his going to reside in London, Mr. Mead frequently preached in behalf of charitable institutions. On one of those occasions, his sermon being in a strain different from what, and longer than the Rector of the church expected, he treated Mr. Mead very uncourteously on his return to the vestry. However, a few months after, going to dine with a fiiend, he was warmly embraced by one of the party, who owed his conversion to hearing that sermon ; when Mr. Mead observed, he was now at no loss to account for the lion's roaring so roughly at the time.

The remaining part of this Memoir, coinciding in general with ihe account alreudy given in our Magazine for February, me forbeur to insert it.]



[Concluded from our last.]

Mr. KingdoN did not continue the account of his life, which some of his friends had solicited bim to draw up; but he left behind him a private Diary, filling fifty-two small volumes : by which it appears, that he watched strictly over his own heart, and was enabled to walk with God humbly and circumspectly. Many profitable extracts might be made from them; but it would render this Memoir too large for the Magazine.

He was tried at times, for many years, with the gravel, tho'. in general favoured with good health. The two last years of los life were the most afflicted, both as to mind and boily. Some unkind treatment which he experienced, often broke his rest, and took away his appetite for food, from which a failure of strength followed. He was often apprehensive that his troubles would bring on a stroke of the palsy, or the apoplexy. He however continued in his work till Lord's Day, Sept. 28, when he preached twice; but was so ill, and seemed so feeble, as to excite an apprehension in many, 'that he would dic in the place. For some weeks before, bis medical attendant had expressed an appreliension that his constitution was breaking up. However, le continued his kind attention, using means suited to restore his appetite and strength, but in vain. He continued gradually sinking down till about three o'clock on Tuesday morning, Nov. 18, when he entered into rest.

He drank tea at his son's, Oct. 3; but from that time he was confined to his house, and from Nov. Il to his room ; and for the most part to bed: but during the whole of bis coniinement le was favoured with much case of body, and peculiar happiness of mind. He was visited by the various ministers of the town, aud by some from other places, as well as by many of his people, to whom he frequently and feelingly expressed his grateful sense of the Lord's goodness towards him; desiring them to praise as well as pray on his behalf. Ilis nights were very comtortable ; being, as he often expressed it, nearly as tree from pain as if nothing ailed him; and during his waking moments, his mind was liighly favourel with a sense of his personal interest in the divine favour. To the enquiries of his friends, in the inorning, how he was, he generally answerel, “ I have been easy as to my body, and happy as to my mind, uirough the Loril's goodness.” Rom. v. 8, affordel, night after night, great delight to his mind ; and those great promises, as be terined them, “ My grace is sufficient for ther," and, “I will never lcave thee nor forsake thice,” were sweetly applied ; and lie was enabled to say,

the most pard with mucked by the varis well as bressed

with great earnestness, " The Lord is faithful, who hath promised ; and I can trust him." Addressing his son, he said to him, with much affection, " The Lord be with you,—and that to do you good, my beloved son!”

Till Wednesday night, Nov. 12, he declined having any one to sit up with him, giving as a reason, That in the absence of his fellow-creatures, he could more uninterruptedly hold communion with his God. But as his dissolution was evidently approaching, his friends more earnestly requested that he should not be left. On which he consented that a bed should be made up in the same room for his son, who staid with bim, without needing any other assistance, on Wednesday and Thursday nights; but on Friday night, after the servant and another attendant were gone to bed, he said to his son, who had offered to sit up by his bed-side, “I think you had better do so; and I wish you to call the servant to be with you, for I feel my body getting very cold ; and I expect before the morning I shall make an exchange of worlds'; and then, as Mrs. Rowe said, “ All will be eternity, vast eternity; and as long as God exists, I shall be happy!”. He wished Mr. Frowd, his apothecary, to be sent for; to whom, on his coming in, he extended his hand, saying, he believed he was dying. Mr. F. feeling his pulse, said, he did not think he was; and hoped he should see him again in the morning. After he had left hirn, he said to his son and the servant, “ As Mr. F. does not think me dying, I wish you to endeavour to get some rest. I am in the Lord's hands, and I am safe!” He afterwards mentioned, that Lie had often desired persons in dying circumstances to put up Stephen's prayer; and now he found it very important; and with much earnestness said," Lord Jesus receive my spirit! Thou dilst come into the world to redcem me from all iniquity, and to bring me unto God.” He tlien added, " Into the hands of the eternal and blessed God, I commend you my son, your dear fimily, my dear brothers and sisters, the church, and all my connexions and friends. I forgive all my friends and all my enemies!"

In the course of the evening and night, he several times repeated that verse of Dr. Watts, ! " Jesus, to thy dear faithful hand

My naked goud I trust," &c. On Saturday morning, he said, “I have had an easy night, and comfortable meditations on Rom. v. 5. ;' adding emphatically, “lle hath shed abroad his love in my heart; and the blessed Son came into the world to save me from sin, and take me to himself'; and the blessed Spirit has taken of the things of God, and shewed them unto me; and, I trust, has made me meet to be partaker of the blessings prepared for them that love God.” After thanking his son for his attention, he said, " The

my friends, and our dear the returing SatuniRylanised, as he is the Spirit , me, the severe

Lord bless you, and all my connexions and friends! and may we meet again in Heaven!” Having been helped out of bed, he said on his return to it, “ I have had an easy situation in bed for some time, and I feel the good of it; and, I hope, I shall ever feel the good of the divine Father's good-will to me, the Son's good work for me, and the meetness the Spirit has wrought in me!” He again expressed, as he had repeatedly before, his desire that Dr. Ryland should preach. his funeral sermon. During Saturday he continued free from much pain, having refreshing sleep repeatedly in the day, but taking very little sustenance. Indeed, for near a month before his death, he had a great aversion to food ; but, amidst all his weakness, he would say, “ The Lord hath done all things well. My afflictions do not make me love him the less.” On Saturday night his sight began at times to fail, so that he could not distinguish persons ; but he slept well, and seemed to be revived when he awoke in the morning. Soon after awaking, he repeated these lines, ', , ' “ No more, my God, I boast no more

Of all the duties I have done,” &c.. And on reading the whole hymn to him and two oihers, he expressed much pleasure; as well as at hearing, and in part re, peating those lines of Doddridge :

“ And dying, clasp thee in my arms,

The antidote of Death ;' often repeating the word antidote ; 66 Antidote, that which expels every thing painful.” He was repeatedly putting up Stephen's prayer; and said, “God is faithful who hath promised ; and I can trust hiin!” More than once, addressing those around him, he said, “ Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners, and that tlie chief. I cannot be worse than the chief; and therefore I hope in his mercy!" That text being mentioned to hiin,“ Other foundation can no man lay than that which is laid, Jesus Christ the righteous," he replied, “ I want no other.”

When a person, who had sat up with him during the night, was about to leave him, recollecting that he attended Mr. Sibree's ministry, he said to him, “ Remember me to Mr. Sibrce ; and may the Lord strengthen him for his work this day!” He seves ral times expressed bis gratitude, that he had been preserved through the night from pain of body ; that his mind was still comfortable, and that the Lord had kept the enemy of souls at such a happy distance from him in his affliction. One of his members, who had called to see him, being about to leave him, to go to the morning-service, he said to him, " My love to my friends, my forgiveness to my enemies, and may the Lord be with themi and bless tliem together!”

During a considerable part of the Lord's Day he slept with composure. Oace, after waking, he was askal,! Are you free froin

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »