網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

applied to his spirit. He would, indeed, wash the feet of any devoted missionary ; but he would no more condescend to be his master, than he would succumb to a passionate, or humour a capricious man. Accordingly no man has ever raised his own character, either for wisdom or independence, by railing at Dr. Philip's sway, or by arraigning his policy. That sway saved the missions which Vanderkemp and Campbell planted, and that policy annihilated slavery in the colony ; results which would have been defeated, had not the philanthropist braved alike the frowns of power and the freaks of passion.'—pp. 513, 514.

There was nothing remarkable in the latter part of Mr. Campbell's life; it was devoted to the unostentatious and quiet discharge of his pastoral duties, and does not, therefore, furnish materials for, neither does it require at our hands, any extended notice. “The history of the last twenty years of his life,' Mr. Philip remarks, 'apart from his letters, would only be the pic'ture of any other minister in London, who combines pastoral 'duty with the claims of our public societies.' He declined the request of the directors of the London Mission to visit their stations in the South Seas, though he readily employed a considerable portion of his time in the advocacy of their institution in various parts of the country. He enjoyed remarkably good health until nearly seventy years of age, at which period a serious illness befeil him, which alarmed his friends. Rest and change of air happily restored him to the church for a season, but his days were evidently numbered, and were drawing towards their close. He resumed his ministerial labors, but it was with diminished strength, and with less confidence in his own physical capabilities. Still his vivacity was not impaired, ' and his spirituality was, if possible, improved. If there was

less energy in his sermons and prayers, there was more “unction, or rather, a new kind of unction. He had always been spiritually-minded, beyond most men; but now he was heavenlyminded. Heaven and Africa were, alternately, the dwelling place of his spirit.' For some months prior to his decease, which occurred April 4th, 1840, his health evidently declined, without however assuming any alarming appearance until within a very few weeks of that event. The following account of his last illness, from the pen of his colleague and successor, presents just such a view of the state of his mind as the tenor of his life would have led us to anticipate.

6

now

* On Thursday, March 12th, he felt very ill, and wrote for advice to his medical friend, Dr. Conquest, who kindly and promptly attended to his request. He rallied a little before Sunday, and, although much pressed to remain at home, he attended public worship in the morning, fearing, he said, “lest his flock should be alarmed about him. That service was the last at which he was present.

• The following week his debility again returned, and gradually increased ; and I believe he had then a kind of presentiment that he would not recover. I enjoyed many conversations with him during his illness, and noted down some of his expressions as he gave them utterance. They were indicative of extreme self-abasement, and humble reliance on the Saviour of sinners,

I told him his people prayed very earnestly and affectionately for him. The tears came into his eyes, and he said, “Oh, sir! I need it ; I need it! I'm a poor creature.' He said his mind was much harassed by Satan, who told him he had not done half what he ought for his Master ; and when I said, “ Depend upon it, sir, he would have been very glad if you had not done half what you have,' he replied, Ah! but I have not done what I could. Such were the low views he entertained of his labors in the service of Christ. This harassment, however, which in a great measure was attributable to his infirm state of body, speedily ceased.

On one occasion, speaking of the preciousness of the Saviour, he said, Oh! I love to be near the blood of sprinkling ;' and talked in an animated manner of the happiness drawn from the consideration of the unchangeableness of Christ. •All I want,' said he, after we had been speaking of the Saviour's atonement, “is to feel my arm round the

I told him I doubted not it was, and asked him if his heart was not there. He smiled, and said, 'Yes.' I told him then, that I believed his arm was too, although a little benumbed with grasping hard. He smiled again, and then spoke of the wonderful love of God in saving sinners by such a sacrifice as that of his Son.

On Wednesday, April 1st, he took to his bed ; and on my saying to him, when I visited him, that I hoped he was happy, he turned to me, and said, “The debt is all paid ; the sufferings of Christ have discharged it, and therefore I am free, and have peace with God. From this time not a cloud obscured his mind. He steadily declined towards the grave, but nothing hung around his setting sun, or cast a shadow upon his hopes for the future.'--pp. 585, 586.

cross.

So calm and peaceful was the close of this good man's life; and we could well dwell upon the scene had we not already exceeded our limits. The claims of other subjects compel us briefly to dismiss the present, which we do with an expression of our most sincere and unsectarian admiration of the many virtues which constituted the character of Mr. Campbell. We love to dwell on the records of such a man. They serve to remind us that we are not all selfish and earthly,--that there is yet a grace and loveliness attaching to our nature, when that nature is renewed and sanctified by the Divine Spirit. Mr. Campbell's character was a beautiful compound of the simplicity of childhood with the enlarged philanthropy and holy bearing of christian devotedness.

Of the manner in which Mr. Philip has performed his task we must speak in terms of high commendation. He has produced

a volume which has rarely been surpassed in the interest and value of its contents; one that must serve to enkindle zeal and to give it a wise and a useful direction. The materials furnished him have been happily arranged to exhibit a lucid view of the character and history of his friend, and the connecting observations by which he has worked up these materials, are distinguished for the most part by sound sense, healthy feeling, and a thoroughly evangelical spirit. There is a deficiency of chronological dates, which somewhat confuses the reader, and to which we crave Mr. Philip's attention in the event of a second edition of his book. There are also some cases of expression too familiar, and bordering somewhat on the vulgar, which he would do well to erase. We suppose it is in vain to counsel our author on the peculiarities of his style, as we have done so already on different occasions. He is apparently proof against all admonitions of this kind, which we regret on his own account, but still more so on account of the injurious influence it must have on his permanent usefulness. When an author combines so many excellencies, it is much to be deplored that the range

of his influence should be limited by a style so essentially vicious. We

We say this with all possible good will, and with a due acknowledgment of the important service which Mr. Philip has rendered to religious truth by his numerous publications.

Art. IX. 1. The Manchester Times, August 21st, 1841.
2. The Morning Chronicle, August 17th23rd, 1841.
3. The Patriot, August 19th and 23rd, 184).

THE 'HE sneers and taunts of interested adversaries are allowed

too much weight when they deter ministers of religion from seeming to be--what their Master was, and what he requires every servant of his to be—the friend of the poor. Not alone in words, but also in deeds, should they indicate their sympathy; and the time of need is the season when their friendship is most tried and valued. Christianity permits not its votaries to procrastinate in the discharge of any duty, and defers not till a future time the obligations of to-day. Promptitude and dispatch, as well as tears and professions, are enjoined by the highest and holiest authority: 'whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might.'

But conventional courtesies and time-honored usages have sometimes imposed restraints, and held back men from mixing in indiscriminate or unprofessional enterprises. The odium

secularium, as well as the odium theologicum, has had its cant and deceptive strategy; and drawn its lines and demarcations across paths of benevolence and obligation, in which an enlightened view of duty should compel ali Christians to walk. The bugbears which hypocrisy, indolence, and timidity have feigned or fancied, will only disappear before the light of truth and the importunities of mercy. The cloister and the grove are constrained to give up their tenants; the college hall and the monastic shade to resign their pretensions; ministerial etiquette and sacerdotal dignity to humble themselves, when the wailings of pestilence or the ravages of the plague, the lean and lank visage of famishing want, or the tumults and miseries of despair, threaten approaching desolations. It was thus that Aaron ran with his censer, to stand between the living and the dead, and that Moses fell before the Lord: and we regard it as an omen for good, that so many wise and benevolent men have, by their recent meeting at Manchester, shown themselves to be both inclined and able to discern the signs of the times. Mr. Baptist Noel has lent his sanction and assistance in this critical juncture, by the publication of his . Plea for the Poor. He has thus identified himself with the cause of the poor, and has contributed largely to the overthrow of those laws which operate so injuriously both on their social and moral interests.

Happily, this good man occupies no solitary position, and cherishes no singular opinions on the laws which affect the food and commerce of the people. This has been strikingly shown by the ministerial conference recently held in Manchester;—a conference so singular in its character, so unique and nobleminded in its object, as to have riveted the attention of the nation, and to have revived the hopes of thousands who were previously sunk into the wretchedness of despondency and want.

This CONFERENCE, convoked on the 17th of last month in Manchester, and continued till the evening of the 20th, is a movement eminently deserving the attention of senators and politicians. It has been a medium for the expression of public opinion, unusual but singularly appropriate for such a time. Six hundred and thirty-six ministers of religion have, by their presence, in answer to an appeal issued without any authority but the wail of woe, and promising no other reward but the blessing of charity, testified to their people and the world how their sympathies and affections are blended in unison with the suffering and heart-stricken poor. Nearly one hundred more were prevented from fulfilling the like duty, to which they had pledged themselves, by events which they could not control; and eight hundred others have declared their concurrence with the object of the meeting, though prevented by their limited pecuniary means from attending its sittings. Thus, more than fifteen

hundred ministers of religion, occupying distant fields of labor, have spoken out their determination to overturn the odious system under which poverty is diffused, commerce prostrated, and moral dignity and social justice are abused before the nations of the earth. The venerable and learned Dr. Pye Smith, in his address at the conference, spoke not alone in the name of the brethren then assembled. His statements and reasonings were not the empty declamations of a demagogue, but the calm, lucid, and immutable convictions of an honest mind, powerfully alive to the momentous interests which are involved in the subject under discussion. It would be well for all to give serious heed to his reasonings and expostulations, which breathed a spirit of the purest benevolence, whilst they bore with conclusive point on the eradication of an evil which finds its only semblance of justification in the pecuniary benefit it yields to the richer and privileged class. We should be glad to extract largely from the Doctor's admirable speech, but must restrict ourselves to the following:

"We do not flatter ourselves that our efforts can at once eradicate the prejudices and errors which are the growth of ages, or that we unaided can effect this desirable conviction in minds reluctant and inveterate. But these principles of morality are a part of the whole counsel of God,' which we are bound to teach, if we would be faithful ministers of Christ.' If we be supine and silent, we shall be partakers of the guilt of the evil that is so fearfully done ; and we shall be answerable at the tribunal of God for its consequences. Some of those con. sequences, long foreseen and forewarned, have burst upon us in a manner, as to rapidity and extent, which may fill the stoutest heart with grief and fear. Are we not then called upon, by our most solemn obligations, to oppose the evil which threatens to destroy us, and to promote the good which is so instrumental of temporal and spiritual benefit? The feelings which are now awakened, the attention which is widely excited, encourage our hopes. An opportunity is given for enforcing this branch of evangelical morals, with prospects of attention and success greater than we have before possessed." What we have taught and inculcated in our own small circles, we hope, by means of this meeting, to lay before our countrymen in a way that will draw their more serious attention, and more effectually recommend the truth to their understandings and their hearts. Some persons may object, that this and its allied subjects belong to the science of politics and political economy, and that it is not befitting to the ministers of religion to give opinions or advice upon them. Against the spirit of this objection I enter my determined protest. It can be advanced by only ignorance or unfairness. What are politics, but the knowledge and practice of the claims of right and the obligations of duty which belong to men as members of society? Is not this knowledge and practice an essential part of morality? And is there, can there be, any religion without morality? As teachers of religion, therefore, we are bound

HI

« 上一頁繼續 »