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Gambier. It would be injustice to such a man to croud what we have to say respecting him into a few hasty lines; and we therefore for the present say nothing, hoping to furnish a copious notice respecting him in a future Number. Another venerable servant of God and friend of man, the Rev. Rowland Hill, has also been taken to his rest. Few persons have, for the space of half a century, occupied a more conspicuous place in the public eye than Mr. Hill. During the latter years of his life he had outlived, by the excellence of his character, the reproaches with which he was formerly assailed. His zealous piety, his extensive philanthropy, and his Christian deportment, had long silenced those who saw in him nothing but a mixture of fraud, folly, and fanaticism. Few men were formerly more "buffeted;" and few would have suffered the infliction with so little of impatience or irritation. The chief cause of the attacks upon him was one for which he had no reason to be ashamed, his zeal for the glory of God and the salvation of man; and had he been as exemplary as an angel, and as regular in his ecclesiastical habits as an
archbishop, he must have expected much of that reproach which, when he began life, assailed with double violence those within the pale of the Church of England who faithfully preached her doctrines ; more especially in the case of a young man of highly respectable birth and connexions, who broke caste by becoming, in the popular estimation, “righteous over much." But, besides this better cause of the obloquy which assailed him, it were unjust not to add that Mr. Hill provoked much of it by his excentricities, his misplaced sportiveness, and his inconsistency, to say the least, in not adhering to the regulations of the communion of which he professed himself a member and a minister. But we have no wish to advert to these matters at present; our only intention being to pay a passing token of veneration to a revered servant of God, who, whatever he might be as a member of the Church of England, was a man of considerable talents, and of eminent piety, devotion, and active and enlightened benevolence, and to whom, as a Christian philanthropist, the public owes an overwhelming debt of gratitude.
ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS.
CANTABRIGIENSIS; AN OLD SUBSCRIBER; J. E. G.; M. A. G.; H. C.; B. R.; ZENAS; EUTUXOS; A SUBSCRIBER; and H. I. B.; are under consideration.
We cannot insert the controversies of Correspondents with other Magazines, or their rejected papers.
We have no wish to retain a harsh word, in regard to the name of "the late Dr. Warton" prefixed to the Death-Bed Scenes; but the facts are as follow, and our correspondent G. may affix what epithet he pleases. The first edition appeared in 1827, with the distinct announcement on the title-page, "By the late John Warton, D.D., edited by his Sons;" to keep up the probability of which we have a preface by the author, and another by the editors, and the most solemn declarations that the manuscript would never see the light till the author was in another world. We must say, that we were deceived, and really thought it-till we were assured to the contrary-a posthumous work; and it is clear that the writer wished and intended it to be so believed; and every thing is a "falsehood" that is meant to deceive. The dropping of the name of the late Dr. Warton and his sons, on the title-page of the Christian-Knowledge Society's edition (though this is done only partially, as we have a copy of one of the tales now before us, issued by the Society, with Dr. Warton's name on the title-page), is a proof that the name was felt to be deceptive. But, to make the matter worse, the author's preface is retained, with all the solemn falsehood about, "Farewell! when this comes into thy hands I shall be beyond thy censures or thy praises;" and with a second preface by the pretended editors, expressing their gratification at the book's being placed on the list of the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge; a distinction, it is added, "not to be obtained by partiality or purchased by bribes, or ever granted without the most deliberate and scrupulous caution." Why all this absurd mystification? It is known to be the work of a living author, who has not put his name to it; and it is so unscriptural and dangerous a publication, that we hope it will be speedily expunged from the list of the Society.
SUPPLEMENT TO RELIGIOUS INTELLIGENCE.
BRITISH AND FOREIGN BIBLE SOCIETY.
OBSERVATIONS on the LORD'S-DAY BILL—(see “Public Affairs."
MEMOIRS OF AMERICAN DIVINES: REV. DR. E. PAYSON. (Concluded from p. 262.)
WE now arrive at the last and best days of this excellent man.
Dr. Payson's neighbourhood being visited with one of those remarkable extensions of religious concern and earnestness which are known by the name of Revivals, he thought it right, while he zealously encouraged every hopeful symptom, to guard against incidental dangers. The following he specifies as among the number :
"1. Christians, in times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord, are apt to be so much taken up in conversing and labouring with sinners, that, from concern for the souls of others, they neglect their own spiritual interests. This may do very well for a time, but in the end will be productive of much evil. I do not mean to dissuade you from labouring for the good of others, but to warn you to take care of your own souls.
"2. Christians are in danger, when a revival has continued for some time, of praying less for its continuance, and of being less thankful for it. They seem to take it for granted that it will go on, as a matter of course; their prayers grow less frequent and fervent, and their gratitude less lively; until, at length, a case of conversion, which would at first have electrified the whole church, produces scarcely any sensation at all. Now when this is the case, a revival will certainly cease; for God never continues to bestow spiritual favours where they are not felt to be such.
"3. Another reason why revivals do not continue longer is, that there is so much animal excitement mixed with them. It is a law of our nature, that the duration of merely animal feelings should be in inverse proportion to their strength. These are no part of spirituality and holiness: for the more holy we are, the less we shall have of them. Our Saviour had none of these feelings. Strive to repress animal feeling, and to be more purely spiritual.
"We read that Nadab and Abihu, on the day of their consecration to the priesthood, instead of taking holy fire, with which to burn incense, took strange, that is, common fire, and were punished by immediate death for their presumption. To us this may appear a slight offence. We may think one fire equally good with another. But our God is a jealous God; and we must make our offerings in the manner he has commanded, and with a right spirit, or they will be an offence in his sight, and he will not accept them."
Among the plans adopted by Dr. Payson for the spiritual welfare of his flock, not the least useful was the formation of what are called in America CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 378.
"Bible classes;" a plan which has also been adopted with much benefit by some clergymen in England. Catechumens and other persons, chiefly young persons-though there are no necessary restrictions as to age-are invited to meet their pastor at stated times, and to receive his instructions in a more familiar manner, and with more minute application, than is practicable from the pulpit; also, to propound any difficulties which may occur to them—generally, we believe, in writing and without their name— and in the same manner to give their ideas on passages of Scripture, to be subjected to the remarks and corrections of their spiritual instructor. There are two distinct classes for men and women: and in some instances, we believe, there is a further division, so as to include persons who are most likely, from their habits, education, and circumstances in life, to profit by being classed together; it being obvious, for example, that the course of instruction and exhortation which would be most adapted to the case of the younger members of highly educated families, would not be so well suited to that of servants and very poor persons; besides which, both parties would feel a degree of embarrassment, which might impede their edification. The Gospel of Christ is at utter war with pride and selfishness; but it enjoins a spirit of wisdom, and of proper adaptation to times and circumstances, and that all things should be done decently and in order. We are not exactly aware what arrangements in these matters Dr. Payson found most judicious; but from the specimens left upon record of his instructions to his classes, they appear to have been peculiarly striking, attractive, and edifying.
Another of his most acceptable methods of communicating instruction, and exciting religious interest, was by visits to the families of his parishioners. It was a custom, which he commenced almost simultaneously with his ministry, to give notice from the pulpit that the families in a particular district, or street, might expect him at a given time in the course of the following week; and to request, that, if consistent with their engagements, they would all be at home, as he wished to see the family together. Accordingly, when he entered a house he usually found all in readiness for his reception, and could proceed, without the loss of a moment, to deliver his message. The time he spent in a family did not usually exceed twenty or thirty minutes; but it was completely filled up with religious conversation and prayer. He could say much in a short time, and never failed to "divide a portion to every member" capable of receiving it. His "often infirmities" compelled him to relinquish this practice, and for some years before his death to limit his visits principally to houses of affliction. But these, in a parish comprising thousands of souls, were necessarily very numerous.
His company had an attractive charm, from his great condescension and affability, which entirely relieved those who addressed him of all embarrassment. However awkwardly or defectively they might express their difficulties or propose their queries, it was enough for him that he knew their meaning. . He took no advantage of their defects, to mortify them, and shew off his own superiority: he never asked them to repeat, and define precisely what they wanted; he took this labour upon himself. The most imperfect expressions were sufficient to indicate to him the exact wants and feelings of the speaker; for, besides watching the individual characters of his charge for years, he had so thoroughly studied the moral and spiritual nature of man, in connexion with the Scriptures, that he could distinguish the symptoms which indicate the state of the heart with as much readiness as a skilful physician those of bodily disease.
His knowledge was not limited chiefly to theology: he was familiar with the whole circle of the sciences: so much so, that eminent men of different
professions, who have incidentally met with him, without knowing who he was, have, for the first half-hour of their conversation, mistaken him for one of their own class. He never ceased to add to his stock of knowledge: he even knew something of every fictitious work which was introduced into his parish; but this knowledge, which he thought useful for the sake of his flock, it is intimated was gained with little loss of time, in a corner of a bookseller's shop kept by one of his parishioners.
The press was very little employed by Mr. Payson. He cherished a very low estimate of his own abilities as a writer, and could rarely be persuaded to submit a production for publication. To a request from an association for the copy of a sermon, he replied: "It would gratify me exceedingly to comply with the request. There is no honour, no favour, that God can bestow, which I should prize more highly than that of doing good by my pen; of leaving something behind me to speak for Christ, when I am silent in the dust. But this honour, He who distributes his gifts to every man as he will does not see fit to grant me. My sermons will not bear perusal. I must resign the privilege of doing good with the pen, to those who are more able." The very few productions, however, which he was prevailed upon to put to press-namely, two or three Sermons, and an Address to Seamen-had a large circulation; and his posthumous Discourses have been well received, both in the United States and in England.
Dr. Payson exhibited great disinterestedness in his whole conduct, even to seeking to have his stipend diminished, lest it should be too heavy a burden upon his flock. He repeatedly refused offers of more lucrative appointments; on one of which occasions he says, writing to his mother, "It is true that a removal to New York, were I fit for the place, would, on many accounts, have been very gratifying. I felt no small inclination to go. I should like exceedingly to be near you and my other relations. I should also like a milder climate than this, and I have little doubt that it would be beneficial to my health. But a removal would be death to my reputation in this part of the country-I mean my Christian reputationand, what is far worse, it would bring great reproach upon religion. At present, my worst enemies and the worst enemies of religion seem disposed to allow that I am sincere, upright, and uninfluenced by those motives which govern worldly-minded men. But had I gone to Boston, and much more should I now go to New-York, they would at once triumphantly exclaim, Ah! they are all alike, all governed by worldly motives; they preach against the love of money, and the love of applause, but they will gratify either of those passions when a fair opportunity offers.' Now I had much rather die than give them an occasion thus to speak reproachfully. It would be overthrowing all which I have been labouring to build up. Indeed, I can see no reason why God should suffer these repeated invitations to be sent to me, unless it be to give me an opportunity to shew the world that all ministers are not actuated by mercenary or ambitious views. I have already some reason to believe that my refusal to accept these two calls has done more to convince the enemies of religion that there is a reality in it, than a thousand sermons would have done. However this may be, I have done what I thought to be my duty. If I ever felt desirous to know the will of God, and willing to obey it, it has been in reference to these two cases."
Much is said of the excellence of Dr. Payson's private character; his affections and demeanour, as a husband, father, master, and friend; his gratitude, economy, generosity, and his temper of mind under injuries. His character bore the closest inspection; and the more intimately he was viewed, the greater veneration and respect were felt for him. Even
severe and long-continued pain, amounting to intense agony, never rendered him the less cheerful and endearing as a husband and father. He lightly esteemed such afflictions; they seemed to affect him almost as little as violence inflicted on a block or a stone. The following is a playful description of his sufferings. We quote it partly as an illustration of his happy temper of mind, but more for the sake of the concluding remarks attached to it.
"Since I wrote last I have been called to sing of mercy and judgment. My old friend, the sick head-ache, has favoured me with an unusual share of his company, and has seemed particularly fond of visiting me on the Sabbath. Then came cholera-morbus, and in a few hours reduced me so low that I could have died as easily as not. Rheumatism next arrived, eager to pay his respects, and embraced my right shoulder with such ardour of affection, that he had well nigh torn it from its socket. I had not thought much of this gentleman's powers before; but he has convinced me of them so thoroughly, that I shall think and speak of them with respect as long as I live. Not content with giving me his company all day for a fortnight together, he has insisted on sitting up with me every night; and, what is worse, made me sit up too. During this time, my poor shoulder, neck, and back seemed to be a place in which the various pains and aches had assembled to keep holiday; and the delectable sensations of stinging, pricking, cutting, lacerating, wrenching, burning, gnawing, &c. succeeded each other, or all mingled together in a confusion that was far from being pleasing. The cross old gentleman, though his zeal is somewhat abated by the fomentations, blisters, &c. with which we welcomed him, still stands at my back, threatening that he will not allow me to finish my letter. But enough of him and his companions. Let me leave them for a more pleasing theme.
"God has mercifully stayed his rough wind in the day of his east wind. No horrible hell-born temptations, no rheumatism of the mind, has been allowed to visit me in my sufferings; but such consolations, such heavenly visits, as turned agony into pleasure, and constrained me to sing aloud, whenever I could catch my breath long enough to utter a stanza. Indeed, I have been ready to doubt whether pain be really an evil; for though more pain was crowded into last week than any other week of my life, yet it was one of the happiest weeks I ever spent. And now I am ready to say, Come what will come-sickness, pain, agony, poverty, loss of friends— only let God come with them, and they shall be welcome. Praised, blessed for ever be his Name, for all my trials and afflictions. There has not been one too many; all were necessary, and good, and kind."
Dr. Payson was the father of eight children, two of whom he followed to the grave. His affectionate widow and children speak with the strongest emotion of his domestic character, and of the consolation they experienced amidst his severe sufferings by his heavenly art of extracting sweets from the bitterest cup. He enjoyed intense happiness in his family and with his flock. Speaking of the latter he says: If there ever were a minister blessed with a kind and faithful people, I am. If I were not so often sick, I should be too happy. When I come into my congregation, I feel as a father surrounded by his children. I do not feel as though there were an ill-disposed person among them. I can throw off my armour, without fearing that an enemy is there with a dagger ready to stab me.' Their affection was most fully reciprocated; for never did a minister more ardently love his charge, or enter with greater facility into all their interests and feelings.
This excellent man, however, found enemies, who were enemies for his works' sake; for it is stated, that he was such a terror to evil doers that