« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
In urging this appeal, the Trustees would remind their Christian friends at large, of the memorable era in the history of our Churches, when the Evangelical Magazine took its rise ;—of the holy and venerable men, now numbered with the spirits of the just, who introduced it to the confidence and support of evangelical Christians of every name ;-of the powerful influence which it has exerted in the formation and progress of all our great Religious Institutions ;—of its unwearied devotion to the sacred cause of the propagation of Christianity at home and abroad ;-- of its close and unbroken connexion with the noble enterprises of the London Missionary Society, from its very commencement;—of its unshaken adherence to the grand and peculiar doctrines of Christ's Gospel ;—of the catholic spirit which it has breathed towards all the disciples of our common Lord and Master ; and of the marked improvements in size, appearance, and internal arrangements, which have been made in it, during the last sixteen months, rendering it, by far, the cheapest monthly periodical now circulating in the British empire.
Placing all these considerations distinctly and affectionately before the minds of their brethren and Christian friends, both in town and country, the Trustees would confidently anticipate such an increase in the sale of the Magazine, as may, at no very distant day, enable them to realize a large addition to the charitable fund connected with the work; and thereby prepare them to make still further additions to the Annuities to the Widows.
FOR JANUARY, 1838.
A SHORT MEMORIAL
THE LATE REV. JOSEPH GREENWOOD,
PASTOR OF THE CONGREGATIONAL CHURCII, PETENSFIELD, ILAMPSHIRE.
** The wise and holy minister should never be forgotten,
His grave ought to preach."
Few ministers of the Gospel have been more highly valued and beloved by a large circle of Christian Friends, or have been rendered more useful to the Church of God, than the lamented subject of this short and unpretending biographical notice. In the sphere where, for so many years, he laboured with distinguished vigour and efficiency, his loss has been felt most sensibly; and, in the entire county, his esteemed ministerial brethren have lamented his early removal in the most unaffected and fervent manner. His character was peculiarly engaging and lovely, and his name was uniformly associated with every thing that is sterling in worth, exalted in principle, transparent and exemplary in conduet. Some period has elapsed since his departure to the kingdom of glory, but it is considered by his numerous friends, and by his surviving widow and family, not only desirable and proper, but requisite, that a succinct statement of his character and usefulness should be furnished to the readers of the Evangelical Magazine, in the pages of which the portraiture of so many able and devoted ininisters has been luminously and admirably drawn, and where their excel. lences will be embalmed till the latest posterity.
The Reverend Joseph Greenwood was born on the 8th of July, 1791. “ Born," says he, " of industrious and honest, though poor, parents, I was not warranted to expect great things : but I am convinced, that the privileges of my youth, of a spiritual nature, far outweigh all that rank or wealth can yield." From childhood he was regularly taken to hear the Gospel at the tabernacle, London, and taught by his parents to revere holy things. At the age of ten he was admitted into the Haberdashers' School, Hoxton, where he remained three years; and, during that period, heard the Gospel, as dispensed by the Rev. Watts Wilkinson, minister of the place. “It was at this school,” our lamented friend remarks, " that, by hearing the Gospel regularly, and reading through the Bible of my own accord, that I gained a pretty correct notion of the common doctrines of Christianity, which was exceedingly useful to me afterwards, and likewise became the subject of some serious impressions; which, though they did not last, God was pleased to revive again, in his own time and to his own glory, and, I trust, to my effectual conversion. I cannot, therefore, but regard the time I spent at school in Hoxton as the most important
and advantageous to me till it pleased God to reveal his Son in me.".
It was in October, 1811, that his heart appears to have been powerfully and savingly impressed with the transscendent importance of Divine realities. Mr. Greenwood's account of his emotions, and of the circumstances that awakened them, is so simply and touchingly narrated, that we must employ his own expressions. “Being invited with my brother and sister to spend the Sabbath in the way of social entertainment, at a friend's, a man of some information, he showed me, through a telescope, the planet Jupiter and his moons, and followed it with some discourse upon astronomy. From that time I began to feel ashamed of my ignorance and misspent life, and resolved to apply myself to reading and to a little science. I began to translate Beza's Latin Testament, and one morning, exercising myself during breakfast, Mark v. 3, ar rested my attention. I was struck with the Saviour's ill-treatment from the Pharisees, and still more so with his perseverance in his work of mercy of healing the withered hand notwithstanding. A variety of thoughts crowded upon my mind, and conviction for sin followed. This drove me to prayer immediately. I once in my youth had put forth my hand to the Gospel plough, but I did it in my own strength, and it was presently withered; but now the Lord seemed to say, 'Stretch forth thine hand!' I did so, and it was made whole. Now it was that I found the benefit of having sat so long under the Gospel in my youth, and of having read the Bible. A flood of light seemed to burst upon my mind, and I saw many of the principal doctrines clearly. Let pa. rents never neglect to instruct their children while young, and to bring them early under the Gospel." From this period our departed friend sought the Lord with decision and vigour. He enjoyed much happiness in secret prayer, and realised great delight in attending the ministry at the Tabernacle; “ together," as he expressively remarks, "with many a sharp pang of remorse for past sins, which, I trust, has issued in real repentance."
At the commencement of 1812, Mr. Greenwood expressed his desire to Mr. Wilks to enter the ministry. That judicious and sagacious man did not encourage the wish of his young friend then, but introduced him to a juvenile society,
composed of young men, who met weekly at the Tabernacle for mutual instruction, in expounding Scripture, and conferring on experience. After two or three years, had elapsed, he addressed a missionary meeting at the Tabernacle ; and, of his own accord, the Rev. Matthew Wilks made arrangements for his receiving a course of instruction, preliminary to his entering the ministry. How requisite it is for pastors to be careful in the introduction of young men to the solemn and responsible work of the Gospel ministry! There cannot be too much judgment, inquiry, and prayer. There ought to be a high standard of qualification. There should be a commanding development of genuine piety, and the concurrence of providential circumstances ought to be so palpable, as to compel the conclusion, *This candidate is directed to me by the Holy Spirit, as an individual destined to “feed the Church of God, which he has purchased with his own blood.'”
In September, 1817, Mr. Greenwood became an inmate of the Theological Institution, Hackney, where he sedulously, and with marked credit to himself, prosecuted his studies under the enlightened and able direction of his beloved tutor, the Rev. G. Collison.
Having completed his academic course, Mr. Greenwood visited Petersfield, in Hampshire, and Harting, Sussex, about four miles distant, with a view to a settlement among the people. The two causes were then united under the same minister. They have for several years been perfectly distinct, and at Harting there is a neat and commodious chapel, in which a numerous and growing congregation assembles, under the pastoral care of the Rev. James Morgan. The result of Mr. Greenwood's visit to Petersfield, in 1818 and 1819, was a unanimous and cordial invitation from the people to undertake the spiritual oversight of them in the Lord ; which invitation he deemed it his duty to accept, considering it as a call from God. It appears that the Lord was with him on his first visiting the people, for one individual was seriously impressed by his introductory sermon at Petersfield, who continues a consistent member of the church ; and, at Harting, during his probationary services, another young person was awakened by the Spirit of God. “ Thus," says he, “have I been well repaid, even should I labour for the rest of my life without any more