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TO develop the character of any person, is necessary to determine what was his governing principle. If this can be clearly ascertained, we shall easily account for the tenor of his conduct.

The governing principle in Mr. Pearce, beyond all doubt, was HOLY LOVE.

To mention this, is sufficient to prove it to all who knew him. His friends have often compared him to that disciple whom Jesus loved. His eligion was that of the heart. Almost every thing he saw, or heard, or read, or studied, was converted to the feeding of this divine flame. Every subject that passed through his hands, seemed to have been cast into this mould. Things, that to a merely speculative mind would have furnished matter only for curiosity, to him afforded materials for devotion. His sermons were generally the effusions of his heart, and invariably aimed at the hearts of his hearers.

For the justness of the above remarks, I might appeal not only to the letters which he addressed to his friends, but to those which his friends addressed to him. It is worthy of notice how much we are influenced in our correspondence by the turn of mind of the person we address. If we write to a humorous character, we shall generally find that what we write, perhaps without being conscious of it, will be interspersed with pleasantries or if to one of a very serious cast, our letters will be more serious than usual. On this principle, it has been thought, we may form some judgment of our own spirit by the spirit in which our friends address us. These remarks will apply with singular propriety to the corres

pondence of Mr. Pearce. In looking over the first volume of Periodical Accounts of the Baptist Mission, the reader will easily perceive the most affectionate letters from the missionaries are those which are addressed to him.

It is not enough to say of this affectionate spirit that it formed a prominent feature in his character it was rather the life-blood that animated the whole system. He seemed, as one of his friends observed, to be baptized in it. It was holy love that gave the tone of his general deportment as a son, a subject, a neighbour, a Christian, a minister, a pastor, a friend, a husband, and a father, he was manifestly governed by this principle; and this it was that produced in him that lovely uniformity of character, which constitutes the true beauty of holiness.

By the grace of God he was what he was; and to the honour of grace, and not for the glory of a sinful worm, be it recorded. Like all other men, he was the subject of a depraved nature. He felt it, and lamented it, and longed to depart, that he might be freed from it: but certainly we have seldom seen a character, taking him altogether, "whose excellencies were so many, and so uniform, and whose imperfections were so few." We have seen men rise high in contemplation, who have abounded but little in actionWe have seen zeal mingled with bitterness, and candour degenerate into indifference; experimental religion mixed with a large portion of enthusiasm, and what is called rational religion void of every thing that interests the heart of manWe have seen splendid talents tarnished with insufferable pride, seriousness with melancholy, cheerfuiness with levity, and great attainments in religion with uncharitable censoriousness to wards men of low degree :-but we have not seen these things in our brother Pearce.

There have been few men in whom has bee united a greater portion of the contemplative and the active; holy zeal, and genuine candour; spirituality, and rationality; talents, that attracted almost universal applause, and the most unaffected modesty, faithfulness in bearing testimony against evil, with the tenderest compassion to the soul of the evil doer; fortitude that would encounter any difficulty in the way of duty, without any thing boisterous, noisy, or over-bearing; deep seriousness, with habitual cheerfulness; and a constant aim to promote the highest degrees of piety in himself and others, with a readiness to hope the best of the lowest; not breaking the bruised reed, nor quenching the smoking flax.

He loved the divine character as revealed in the Scriptures. To adore God, to contemplate his glorious perfections, to enjoy his favour, and to submit to his disposal, were his highest delight. "I felt," says he, when contemplating the hardships of a missionary life, "that were the universe destroyed, and I the only being in it besides God, HE is fully adequate to my complete happiness; and had I been in an African wood, surrounded with venomous serpents, devouring beasts, and savage men; in such a frame, I should be the subject of perfect peace, and exalted joy. Yes, O my God! thou hast taught me that THOU ALONE art worthy of my confidence; and, with this sentiment fixed in my heart, I am freed from all solicitude about my temporal concerns. If thy presence be enjoyed, poverty shall be riches, darkness light, affliction prosperity, reproach my honour, and fatigue my


which our frigospel -The truths which he bewill apply with understanding. The reader dweit richly in him, in all wis

will recollect how he went over the great principles of Christianity, examining the grounds on which he rested, in the first of those days which he devoted to solemn fasting and prayer in reference to his becoming a missionary ;* and with what ardent affection he set his seal anew to every part of divine truth as he went along.

If salvation had been of works, few men, according to our way of estimating characters, had a fairer claim: but, as he himself has related, he could not meet the king of terrors in this armour. † So far was he from placing any dependence on his own works, that the more he did for God, the less he thought of it in such a way. " All the satisfaction I wish for here," says he, "is to be doing my heavenly Father's will. I hope I have found it my meat and drink to do his work; and can set to my seal, that the purest pleasures of human life spring from the humble obedience of faith. It is a good saying, "We cannot do too much for God, nor trust in what we do too little.” I find a growing conviction of the necessity of a free salvation. The more I do for God the less I think of it; and am progressively ashamed that I do no more."

Christ crucified was his darling theme, from first to last. This was the subject on which he dwelt on the outset of his ministry among the Coldford colliers, when, "He could scarcely speak for weeping, nor they hear for interrupting sighs and sobs;" this was the burden of the song, when addressing the more polished and crouded audiences at Birmingham, London, and Dubin; this was the grand motive exhibited in sermons for the promotion of public charities; and this was the rock on which he rested all his

hopes, in the prospect of death. It is true, as we have seen, he was shaken for a time by the

*See Chap. II. p. 46.

Chap. I. p. 18,


writings of a Whitby, and of a Priestly: but this transient hesitation, by the over ruling grace of God, tended only to establish him more firmly in the end. Blessed be his dear name," says he under his last affliction, "who shed his blood for me. He helps me to rejoice at times Now I see the value of It is a religion for a dymost guilty, and the Yes, I taste its sweet

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with joy unspeakable. the religion of the cross. ing sinner. It is all the 'most wretched can desire. ness, and enjoy its fulness, with all the gloom of a dying bed before me; and far rather would I be the poor emaciated and emaciating creature that I am, than be an emperor with every earthly good about him, but without a God."

Notwithstanding this, however, there were those in Birmingham, and other places, whe would not allow that he preached the gospel. And if by the gospel were meant the doctrine taught by Mr. Huntington, Mr. Bradford, and others who follow hard after them, it must be granted he did not. If the fall and depravity of man operate to destroy his accountableness to his Creator; if his inability to obey the law, or comply with the gospel, be of such a nature as to excuse him in the neglect of either; or if not, yet if Christ's coming under the law, frees believers from all obligation to obey its precepts; if gospel invitations are addressed only to the regenerate; if the illuminating influences of the Holy Spirit consist in revealing to us the secret purposes of God concerning us, or impressing us with the idea that we are the favourites of Heaven; if believing such impressions be Christian faith, and doubting of their validity unbelief; if there be no such thing as progressive sanctification nor any sanctification inhe rent, except that of the illumination before described; if wicked men are not obliged to do an7 thing beyond what they can find in their hearts to

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