Immagini della pagina
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

« world;" not only a GODLY TRADITION of what

others have enjoyed, but the EXPERIMENTAL ENJOYment and knowledge thereof, by the operation

of the DIVINE POWER in their own hearts, which "makes up the inward Jew, and accomplished Chrif

tian, whose praise is not of men but of God: such

are Chriftians of Christ's making, that can say < with the apostle, “ It is not we that live, but CHRIST " that liveth in us,' dying daily to self, and rising

up, through faith in the Son of God, to newness of « life. Here formality bows to REALITY, memory to

FEELING, letter to spirit, and form to POWER; " which brings to the regeneration, without which no

man can inherit the kingdom of God; and by " which he is enabled, in every estate, to cry, Abba, ( Father.

- Thou wilt see a great deal of this in the following author's writings; and that he rightly began with a just distinction between true wisdom and the fame of wisdom; what was of God, and taught of God, and of man, and taught by man; which, at • best, is a fandy foundation for religion to be built

upon; or rather, the faith and hope of man, in re« ference to religion, and salvation by it. And, oh!

that none, who make profession of the dispensation • of the Spirit, may build beside the work of Jesus « CHRist in their own souls, in reference to his

prophetical, priestly, and kingly office! In which re

gard, God, his Father, gave him as a tried stone, <elect and precious, to build by and upon : concernring which great and glorious truth, we do most

humbly beseech the Almighty, who is God of the

spirits of all flesh, the Father of light and spirits, " to ground and establish all his visited and convinced

ones, that they may grow up an holy house and building to the Lord : fo shall purity, peace and charity abound in the house and sanctuary that he hath pitched, and not man.

« Now,

[ocr errors]


• Now as to this worthy man, the author of the following treatises, I hope I may without offence

say, his memorial is blessed, having known him • above forty-four years, an heavenly minister of ex

perimental religion, of a sound judgment and pious practice, valiant for the truth upon the earth, and

ready to serve all in the love and peace of the gofpel. He was amongst the first in Cumberland that received the glad tidings of it, and then readily gave

up, with other brethren, to declare to others what (the Lord had done for their souls.

Thus I first met him, and as I received his testimony through the favour of life, so I was kindly accepted and encouraged by him in the belief of the blessed testimony of the light, spirit, grace and truth of Christ in the inward parts, reproving, in

structing, reforming and redeeming those souls from " the evil of the world that were obedient thereunto:

here he was a strength to my soul, in the early days of my convincement; together with his dear and

faithful friend, brother, and fellow-traveller, John ? Wilkinson of Cumberland, formerly a very zealous " and able independent minister.

And as I hope this piece of labour of our ancient « friend and brother will find acceptance every

where among God's people; so I hope it will be more efpecially acceptable in the north, where he began and had his early services; and in the west, where they were witnesses of his care to preserve good order in the church.

Now, reader, before I take my leave of thee, let i me advise thee to hold thy religion in the SPIRIT, ' whether thou prayeft, praiseft, or minifterest to

others; go forth in the ability God giveth thee; presume not to awaken thy Beloved before his time; be not thy own in thy performances, but the Lord's; and thou shalt not hold the truth in unrighteousness, as too many do, but according to the oracle of God, that will never leave nor forsake them who will take counsel at it: which that all God's people


may do, is, and hath long been, the earnest desire 6 and fervent supplication of

• Theirs and thy faithful friend in the Lord

Jesus Christ,

• London, 23d of the 12th

• month, 1711.'

(W, Penn.'

In the year 1712, he was seized at distant times with three several fits, supposed to be apoplectick; by the last of which, though beyond all probability of expectation he survived it, his understanding and memory were so impaired, as to render him incapable of publick action for the future: nevertheless we shall continue our annals to the close of his days, from the accounts an intimate friend hath left of his condition at the visits he yearly made him.

In the third month 1713, the aforesaid friend being at his house some days, found him to appearance pretty well in health, and cheerful of disposition, but defective in memory; so that though he could relate many past transactions, yet could he not readily recollect the names of absent persons; nor could he deliver his words so readily as heretofore; yet many sensible and savoury expressions came from him, rendering his company even yet acceptable, and manifesting the religious settlement and stability of his mind.

At a second visit made him in the spring, 1714, he was very little altered from what he had been the last year. The friend accompanied him in his chariot to Reading meeting, where he spoke several sensible sentences, but was not able to say much. At parting he took leave of his friends with much tenderness and affection.

In the year 1715, his memory became yet more deficient; but his love to, and his sense of, religious enjoyments, apparently continued; for he still often went in his chariot to the meeting at Reading, and there sometimes uttered short, but very found and favoury

expresexpressions. One morning, while the friend was at his house, being about to go to the meeting, he expressed his desires to the Lord, that they might receive some good from him. This year he went to the Bath, but the waters there proved of no benefit to his longcontinued distemper.

In the year 1716, the said friend and another went to visit him, at whose coming he seemed glad; and though he could not then remember their names, yet, by his answers, it appeared he knew their persons. He was now much weaker than last year, but still expressed himself sensibly at times, and particularly took his leave of them at their going away in these words,

My love is with you: the Lord preserve you, and remember me in the everlasting covenant !' In the fifth month 1717, being the last visit the said friend made him, he found his understanding so much weakened, as that he scarce knew his old acquaintance, and his bodily strength so much decayed, that he could not well walk without leading; nor scarce express himself intelligibly.

After a continued and gradual declension for about six years, his body drew near to its dissolution; and on the thirtieth day of the fifth month, 1718, in the seventy-fourth year of his age, his soul, prepared for a more glorious habitation, forsook the decayed tabernacle: which was committed to the earth on the fifth of the sixth month following, at Jordans in Buckinghamshire, where his former wife, and several of his family, had been before interred.

As he had led in this life a course of patient continuance in well-doing, and, through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, had been enabled to overcome the world, the Aesh and the devil, the grand enemies of man's salvation; he is, we doubt not, admitted to that everlasting inheritance, which God hath prepared for his people, and made partaker of the promise of Christ, Rev. iii. 21. “ To him that overcometh will I grant to “ fit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, " and am set down with my Father in his throne.”



« IndietroContinua »