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In the third place, no Periodical extant has done so much as the Evangelical Magazine to cheer the widows and orphans of faithful ministers. To our beloved brethren in the ministry, therefore, we make our confident appeal. Nor do we merely request that they will continue their wonted aid. We even look to them for an increased effort, and venture, with affection, to say that it is their duty to recommend it to the attention of their friends, both in private and public. Never, up to the present moment, have the Trustees refused to relieve a single case that came within the rules of distribution; but widows have so much multiplied of late years, from the vast increase of faithful labourers, that, unless our clerical brethren, in town and country, do their duty, in the way of pressing the peculiar and tender claims of the work upon the attention of their several congregations, the Trustees cannot hope to be any longer able to state that they have never refused one authentic and suitable case.
In urging what they venture to call the conscientious grounds of continued attachment to this Magazine, the Trustees have no wish whatever to depreciate the merits of any other periodical extant; nor have they any sympathy with those who would check that eager spirit of religious inquiry which distinguishes the present age. Their sole aim is to show, by solid arguments, that, whatever other periodicals their friends may place on their tables, they ought not, in a single instance, to discontinue the Evangelical Magazine.
In closing these remarks, the Trustees cannot but call to remembrance the solemn fact, that the year which has just closed has been one of intense interest to all the nations of the civilized world. A mysterious disease, which has hitherto baffled all medical skill, after having swept its desolating career over the fairest portions of Asia and Europe, at last reached our own shores, and filled all hearts with terror and dismay. The people have been roused to thoughtfulness; churches and chapels have been crowded with attentive worshippers ; united prayers have been presented to heaven; and God has been pleased to listen to the cry of his servants, and to say to the devouring pestilence, “ Thus far shalt thou come, and no farther.” May this instance of divine judgment humble us for our sin, and may God's answer to the prayer of his servants stimulate them to call upon his holy name as long as they live!
The Trustees of this Magazine would not forget that the venerable man by whom it was superintended for more than the space
of twenty years has recently been called to his eternal reward.* But they are persuaded, from what they knew of his views and feelings in reference to this work, that he would very cordially have united in most of the remarks contained in this address. May his holy and devout walk be imitated by those who have entered into his labours ! And may it be found, in the day of the Lord, that, amidst the agencies which it has pleased Almighty God to employ, for the extension of divine knowledge, this Periodical has held an important and undisputed rank !
* The Rev. George Burder.
FOR JANUARY, 1832.
MEMOIR OF THE LATE REV. THOMAS LAIRD,
OP PUDSEY, YORKSHIRE.
In the walks of biography it is on which it was ultimately delino unusual thing to meet with ex- vered-contains, perhaps, the clearhibitions of character on which est description of his early life that flattery has been employed with can be furnished. an unsparing hand. The writer of this article has no intention of form- “ In infancy I had remarkable concern of ing a panegyric; besides his disin- mind arising from affecting thoughts of the clination to appear in such a light, day of judgment, eternity, and the soul's the humility which so visibly dis
immortality, which were occasioned, as I
think, by the instructions given me by a tinguished the subject of the me- tender parent. Also, when young, I was moir which he has in contempla
assaulted with and laboured under uncomtion would prevent him from making
mon temptations, which rendered my life very the attempt. Could the voice of
uncomfortable during the time they lasted.
Satan was permitted to go a great length in our deceased brother be heard, he distressing my mind with horrible and strong would
say, Spare your enco- suggestions, but as their effect proved them miums; I have been an unprofit
not to be evangelical I forbear to insert able servant. Not unto us, O
them. I had a strong propensity to mischief
and play; in the practice of the former I Lord, not unto us, but unto thy scarcely had an equal, and counted it one of name give glory, for thy mercy my chief delights. I pursued vanities with and thy truth's sake.”
greedioess, even with increasing intenseness, Thomas Laird was born at Bolton
until they seemed to lose their sweetness on
account of the remorse that followed them; le-Moors, on the 28th of February, and my delights began to decline because 1701. His parents belonged to the
conscience testified and remonstrated against middle classes of society. The fol
them, so that I could not be easy. 1
thought lowing account, left among his
my case singular, and envied my associates,
thinking them more happy than myself. I papers—which has been transcribed
went to places of worship just as inclination by another hand, but which has re- or company led, all being alike estimable in ceived his own corrections (pro
my case. However, there seemed to be bably at his entrance into the aca
something different in the preaching of Mr.
Wraith (the Dissenting minister), although demy), adapting it to the occasion I could not account for it. Still I was not
happy, nor know what could make me so. only delight is in the glorious gospol. I am I changed my recreation several times; but concerned for the world lying in sin and all was ineffectual to produce tranquillity of wickedness; and can truly pity the poor mind and peace of soul. I loved to hear abandoned wretch who is an utter stranger Mr. Wraith preach, and have gone with my to the blessings which I enjoy. I have companions to the church door, then leit heard the joyful sound constantly for about them and returned to hear him. I was four years and a half, and that with increasbrought to give attention to the word with a ing delight; for the comfort I have had the degree of pleasure; and my knowledge there. two last years exceeds all that I have enjoyed of increasing, I saw that to be quite wrong before; but never had I more of the doctrine in which I before thought there was little or contained in Romans, from the seventh
chapter to the end of the epistle, than in the “ In consequence of that I left off break- twelve preceding months. ing the Sabbath, to the wonder of my compa- “ With respect to the ministry, ever since nions, who often told me on Monday even- I felt the power and tasted the sweetness of ing the pleasure they enjoyed on that prece- the gospel, I have had a prevailing inclinading. I became more intent upon hearing tion to it; but judging the thought vain and the gospel, giving more attention to it, and presumptuous I long attempted to quench embracing more opportunities for hearing it. the increasing flame, seeing no probability When I was in company with my compa- of having my desire for it granted, but being nions I was not as usual; instead of com- assured that the Lord is a powerful and sovplying with them in their sinful ways, I ex- ereign God, I committed the affair to him horted them to a reformation of life and prac- by prayer--not doubting but that if he in. tice. My conversation was disagreeable to
tends me for the work he will open a way in them, and a total separation took place. providence and bring me forth. About three “ The salvation of my soul was my great- quarters of a year ago a person who preaches
I saw the vanity of my former the gospel told me that serious young men, course of life, and bewailed the loss of so who inclined to engage in studies with a much precious time; and in the use of ap- view to the ministry, were much wanted, and pointed means of grace I received comfort asked my thoughts upon it. Conscious of and hope. Grace excited me to be diligent my insufficiency I concealed them at the in waiting upon God, and made me to de- time, but told him afterwards that I had a light in all his statutes and ordinances. I strong and increasing inclination.” found new dispositions wrought in me ;-I saw an ungodly life to be odious and perni
He was admitted into the acacious, and the contrary to be delightful and demy at Northowram, under the reasonable, attended with happy and lasting tuition of the Rev. S. Walker, in consequences. It was the joy of my soul to think, read, or talk about the Saviour. I
the month of October, 1782, where was enabled to turn my back on the world,
he spent four years.
His educaand to resolve to live and (if called) to suffer tion, in the first years of life, had with the people of God. I now became a
been neglected, and his academic wonder to our family and neighbourhood, having formerly been injurious to both. I
advantages did not much tend to took delight in hearing divine things spoken supply the deficiency. of; hence it was that for many months I He had been accustomed to keep heard four or five sermons on the Sabbath,
a diary for about two years when and several on the week.days. I both heard and read the Calvinistic and Arminian doc.
at home, and at the academy he trines, and it was some time before I coin- pursued the same practice, which cided with the former. My doubts occa- was continued after he had left sioned a diligent and close inspection into myself, for I was more afraid of falling away
Northowram, till he settled at than any thing else. It was constantly mat
Pudsey, in 1792. In the year ter of prayer that I might do honour to Christ's 1787 he supplied Skipton, then cause and continue firm to the end ; and I vacant, and, in 1788, he received found my motives were good, for I sought an invitation to settle at Keighley, not the praise of men nor worldly gain, nor was I actuated by fear of hell and punish
which he accepted; and, on Sept. ment, but by a real concern for the glory of 4th, in that year, he was ordained God and the good of his church; and my pastor of the Independent church views being quite altered, and my affections
in that place. In assigning his placed on quite different objects, and my delight in quite different things, hence my
reason for undertaking the work of joy remains and continues to increase to the
the ministry, he expresses himself present day. My greatest and, indeed, my thus,