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though he trusts that he has not omitted any thing necessary to exhibit to the public a faithful portrait of his venerable friend. His opinions are recorded upon all subjects likely to be interesting or useful to the reader, and, when practicable, in his own language. Should there be the appearance of severe satire and cutting sarcasm in any
of the remarks contained in this Memoir, the reader must remember the times in which Mr. Hill was called to preach the Gospel, and the peculiar temperament of his mind. These considerations will explain, though they may not justify, any occasional departure from the beautiful rule,“ speaking the truth in love.”
The full force of Mr. Hill's observations cannot always be given in the written record. His manner, both in private and public, gave peculiar weight to his matter. It was his earnestness as a preacher, his full-toned and beautifully modulated voice, and the tear of compassion which floated in his eye, that fixed the conviction in his hearers, that he was sincerely anxious to promote their present and eternal happiness.
The Author's grateful acknowledgments are due to the ministers and friends who have
kindly furnished him with much valuable information, and with many original letters; particularly to Sir J. B. Williams, of Shrewsbury; the Rev. T. P. Bull, of Newport Pagnell ; and the Rev. James Parsons, of York. The Rev. James Sherman has also laid the Author under great obligations, by his careful examination and kind recommendation of this Memoir.
Happy, indeed, will the Author be, if this humble memorial of a departed pastor should be the means of diffusing his catholic' spirit in the church of Christ. At this eventful period, let the true disciples of our Divine Redeemer fervently pray, that the Lord would hasten the happy time when “ the envy of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah be cut off; wlien Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim.”
THE REV. JAMES SHERMAN.
The life of the Rev. ROWLAND HILL must ever be deeply interesting to the churches of Christ in Britain, as it embraces a portion of their history in which the most momentous events connected with their present prosperity have transpired. The mental darkness and opposition to the gospel which pervaded all ranks of society when he commenced his ministerial career, required men of more than ordinary courage, influence, zeal, and holiness, to hold forth the torch of divine truth amidst the surrounding moral glooin. It pleased God at this period to raise up a band of eminent champions for Christ, who, careless of the world's esteem, ardently loving their Saviour, highly valuing immortal souls, and believing the gospel to be the only remedy for guilty men, went forth preaching every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following..
MR. SHERMAN'S PREFACE.
The subject of this Memoir was one of these excellent men.
The honourable family from which he descended—the noble sacrifices he made to publish Christ to his countrymen—the energy with which he prosecuted his labours—the friendship he displayed towards all sections of the church of Christ-his liberality to institutions for the education of the
and the diffusion of divine truth—his arduous struggles for civil and religious liberty—his extensive usefulness in awaking multitudes from a death of sin to a life of righteousness—and his uniformly consistent character; must, to every reflecting mind, render him an object of veneration and love, as a minister eminently qualified by God for the times in which he appeared, and the important station in the church which he occupied.
Two Memoirs of Mr Hill have appeared. As they have been adverted to in this publication, it is unnecessary for me to notice them, except to express my regret, in common with
of Mr. Hill's friends, that they do not manifest more of that catholic spirit with which he was so eminently endowed.
This third Memoir, as far as I am capable of judging from fifteen years' acquaintance with its subject, contains a faithful and impartial portrait of his whole character; a description of his real sentiments, from his own published works; and an account of the history, discipline, and institutions of Surrey Chapel, not to be found in the works referred to. It is free from that narrow-minded spirit which would confine usefulness to immortal souls to one class of men, and to one way of accomplishing it.
I seize the present opportunity to express my fear that in some sections of the church of Christ, party spirit is evidently increasing, and that narrow-minded sentiinents in the memoirs of liberally-minded men,
contribute much to maintain and perpetuate it. Surely the walls of separation are lofty enough, and the distance between Christians of different denominationz already too great, without heightening the one and increasing the other. The Bible,which, happily, is now in almost every one's possession, shews such conduct to be inexcusable. If a man of God follow the mode of instruction which primitive ministers adopted, which Christ himself sanctioned, and which the Holy Ghost commended, why should it be considered necessary to apologize for him—to guard the public mind from the contagion of his example, and to lessen, much as possible, the influence of his labours ?
In the Memoir of that eminently devoted man, the Rev. Mr. Walker, of Truro, it is more than intimated that the revival of religion in this country, which followed the labours of Whitefield, Wesley, Hill, and others, has been erroneously attributed to them, instead of to those servants of Christ who confined their labours to a limited circle, and to regular and canonical services. Let nothing be detracted from the part which such excellent men took in the revival of religion; let them receive from the whole church the due acknowledgment of all the successes attending their regular labours, which all who love Christ must appreciate and commend; but let not party feeling dictate a sentiment which is as contrary to universal testimony as it is to the ordinary operations of Divine Providence. If these holy men, after considering the claims of immortal souls, the duties of their stations, and their accountability to their Master, could not see it right to expose themselves to ecclesiastical censure, by preaching beyond prescribed limits, let due credit be given them for acting up to their conscientious convictions of duty, and their persuasion that they could serve Christ better, and accomplish more good, by