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enhance the mercy of the dispensation—the probable state of his mind at the time of his death, and the many distresses from which bis early removal saved him.
It is reasonable to think bis mind would be in a frame peculiarly favourable. He had resigned an important and respectable station at home, in which he was beloved and happy; he had devoted himself to the arduous work of the ministry among the heathen ; and he had just entered on the field of labour. At such a time, the graces of the spirit would be likely to be in lively exercise in his soul. He would be animated by zeal for the honour of Christ, self denial for his sake, and love for the souls of men. And just as these filled his heart, and his spirit was ripe for heaven, the messenger of death beckoned him away. It is true, there is a sense in which the frame of the mind does not constitute preparation for heaven. That consists in union with Christ. « There is no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus.” Being in Him, they are ever safe, whether asleep or awake, happy or unhappy. Yet there is an important sense, in which the frame of the mind is a necessary preparation for beaven. There must be, in general, a conformity between the soul and heaven, and the greater that conformity, the more ripe the soul is for heaven. therefore, commanded, “ let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning, and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their Lord.” We should not be satisfied merely with being in a state of grace, we should be careful to have the graces in lively exercise; and whatever presumption we have that it was 60 with our friend, so far ere evidence that his death was a dispensation of mercy toward himself.
To this consideration we must add his deliverance from many troubles. We are far from thinking the Missionary life'is an unhappy one. Its trials are many, but its promises are gracious. “ There is no man, that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the Gospel's, but he shall receive an hundred fold now in this time, and in the world to come eternal life.". At the same time, the promise, large and free as it is, does not exempt from trials. Our brother must have reckoned upon many: How many in his own person-prosecuting a laborious profession under an enervating climate; in his family-suffering the deprivation of many comforts they would have enjoyed at home; in bis church-the sins of ungodly members, the falls of hypocrites, and the inconsistencies of sincere professors; and in the Mission generally, its hindrances and difficulties, and failures. He could not but have anticipated a life of toil and trouble. But his heavenly Father cut it short. “ His sun went down while it was yet day.” The work was, indeed, in his heart, but he was not permitted to execute it, like David with the erection of the temple, in old time. He was saved the toil; but, inasmuch as it was in his heart, he should enjoy the reward. Surely, then, mysterious and painful as his death might be, we cannot but regard it, to the praise of the glory of the grace of God, as a dispensation of mercy toward himself.
II. It was a judgment upon others. What an affliction to his family! A young widow, with an infant child, left in a land of strangers, sickness, and death, bereaved of an affectionate husband and a tender father. What a loss to the Mission! Our friend was admirably calculated to promote its interests. He possessed a cultivated mind and a good understanding. There was in him nothing striking or startling; but his mind was well balanced, carefully formed, and under entire controul. A sound mind was his prominent characteristic, the very qualification most essential to the well-being of the Mission. And what a deprivation, in his death, to the society of the Island! A few such men would soon give it a new tone. They are the salt of the earth any where, but how much to be desired in such a society as that of Jamaica. Truly, while the Lord filled a cup of mercy for him, in his death, it was that of judgment to others.
And now are we permitted to inquire into the reasons of this judgment ? It is delicate ground, and we must tread with caution, uttering nothing in the spirit of dogmatism, yet asking, with Job, “ wherefore doth the Lord contend with us?" Among other reasons, we suggest the following: The death of our brother may be regarded as a judgment on the unfaithfulness of the church from which he went out. When the overwhelming intelligence was announced, this was the first thought that rushed into our mind. He was the first Mission. ary to the heathen from his native church. That church has been planted in the land upwards of two hundred years—is rich, large, and prosperous--yet had it never furnished one Missionary before. Now, the very design of erecting a church, next to the edification of its members, is to extend its principles, and carry the truth through the world. Yet here is the anomalous fact of a church, reckoning towards a million of people, and, in the space of two hundred years, never yielding a Missionary. How must its great King and head regard such a state of things ? At length one arose, who said, “ send me." He was sent, and even he not by his own church: he entered the field; but no sooner had he introduced bis sickle, than the Lord of the harvest called him away, to impress the church from which he went with a sense of its unfaithfulness and neglect. The child of David died, 'to make him feel his sin; and the church has been deprived of this honoured son, to teach it bow guilty it has been.
Another cause of this visitation may have been, the spirit of worldly exultation that is apt to arise, on the departure of a Missionary to the heathen. The church from which be goes is proud of it. He may be the humblest man, but others exult in his self denial. What a contrast between the feelings entertained toward a merchant and a Missionary, on their departure to a distant land. The merchant goes to prosecute his worldly interests ; it is understood that his prospects are good; the world count him a fortunate man, and many would rejoice to have the privilege of embarking with him, while none imagine that he submits to any hardship. But let the departure of a Missionary be announced, and all society is moved. The man is gazetted, and lauded, and flattered, until he is in danger of thinking bimself an object of adoration. What selfdenial ! is the cry all around. Oh! how bateful must such conduct be in the estimation of Jesus Christ. Shall merchandize have attractions so far beyond the salvation of souls? Will a man of the world submit to any thing, for the purpose of amassing wealth, while society must ring again with acclamations, if a minister of Christ proposes to set out as a Missionary in quest of the souls of men. What did an Apostle think of traversing the most inhospitable climes ? Shame on the heartless churches of the day. May a better spirit soon animate them. We do not, indeed, pronounce how far the spirit we condemn thay have prevailed upon the departure of our brother ; but we know it is common, and, so far as it existed,
may it be alleged as one reasou for the righteous judgment of God, in his removal.
Inau ji 9.001 Nor should we omit to notice, that it may have been caused by the want of prayer for him." It deserves to be res marked, how much the Apostle reckoned on the prayers of the churches for him. See 2 Cor. I. 8-ll, where he traces to this instrumentality his prosperous journies and preserved health, and spared life. But how little is this felt among us. True, when a Missionary is about to part, we assemble and pray with him, and dismiss him in the name of the Lord. Pera haps we remember him while he traverses the dangerous deep,
o the place of his destination; and, if we hear of his safe ar. rival, we may thank the Lord. But soon we forget him, and leave hiin to prosecute his heavy work, uncared for by us. We take not upon us to say how far it may have been thus, in the present instance ; but we know what is common. It is an interesting speculation, whether, if prayer had been made for our brother, as was done for Peter by the church, he would have died., : Our prayers, we allow, cannot alter the
of God; but God has joined the means and the end together, and none can say our friend would have died, whether unceasing prayer
had been offered for him or not. So far as that was restrained, let all who are conscious of being guilty, consider what was their own part in his death, while, by the neglect of prayer, they provoked the judgment of the Almighty.
At all events, since death itself is a judgment, this death, so peculiar in its circumstances, and important in its effects, must be allowed to be a judgment from the liand of the Lord, whether or not we have succeeded in assigning the reasons: of it.
III. The death of our friend may be viewed as a trial of faith to the church. Such an event is very discouraging. As soon as it is heard our hands hang down, we are tempted to say, the cause is hopeless, and to give it up in despair. There is a temptation to subscribers to think their money is lost, and to the managers of the cause to say, we bave spent our labour for nought; and it is even possible there may be some found in the world, who hear of such an event with a secret feeling of satisfaction. Did we not tell you, they say, that such enterprises were useless; what a fool to undertake such a perilous adventure ; will these religious people never be wise?
In all this there is a severe trial of faith ; and it is well it should be sout It is good for an individual to have his faith tried., We do not know what is in us, until we are tried. Trouble is easily borne at a distance; but it is when it is brought liome it brings our principles to the test. Ah! how will the mourning widow of our departed friend now learn whether she las faith in that blessed promise, “ I will be a husband to the widow, and a father to the fatherless." It is equally good for the church to have its faith tried. While all things go on prosperously, the members may greatly mistake their character and attainments. In a prosperous church, money may be subscribed, and labours endured, and works undertaken, and the impetus that is really derived from a secret spirit of vain-glory may be supposed to originate in the purest zeal. But let a reverse come upon that church, let difficulties and perplexities arise, and then say, is there the same appearance of zeal, is its interest prosecuted under discouragement and trial? Then, and thus, may many a professor learn the strength of his faith. Look at the disciples, while Christ was with them, and then under the cloud of his agony and death. Nor is it without important benefits to the world, to witness believers under a trial of their faith. Whether it be an individual or a church, the trial is instructive to the world. A bereaved widow, for example, is sustained under her deep distress she maintains a hallowed composure of spirit, and meekly bows to the will of God; then here is the exhibition of a principle that must recommend religion to the world. Or, a church is seen to cling to its profession, through countless difficulties ;-wbat a proof is here of a sound and genuine principle within. The Jews building the fallen wall of Jerusalem, under privations and difficulties, was a lesson to all the surrounding nations upon the reality of the religion which they professed. And it is with great propriety that the life of Paul is usually classed among the evidences of Christianity; for in no way can bis life of indefatigable perseverance and toil be consistently or reasonably accounted for, without allowing the truth of the principles which he maintained.
And it deserves to be noticed, how it has pleased God, at all times, to conduct his dispensations upon this principle, causing the faith of his servants to be severely tried, and thon crowning them with great success. Thus in the instance of Ab. raham, how he tried his faith by demanding the sacrifice of Isaac ; and his faith being proved by the trial, he immediately subjoined the most abundant promises, saying, "in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because thou hast obeyed my voice.” See Gen. xxii. 14-18. It was the same with David, when he sought the establishment of religion, by having the ark set up in its place. To this there were many obstructions; his faith was greatly tried; he could say, in reference to all he endured on that account, “ Lord, remember David, and all his afflictions ;'' but he did not endure in vain, the faith that sustained and animated him was, at length; suecessful, and he saw bis heart's desire... Ps. cxxxii. 148. On the same principle, God is pleased to exercise the young convert, commonly, with many trials, before she is established in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, as if he exercised his faith in order to confirm and establish it. And is it not in the very same way that the cause of Missions bas been conducted? Look