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To the Memory of
MAGAZINE FOR 44 YEARS,
Tomb, at the Cemetry, at Kensall Green,
On Saturday, July 20, 1839.
Gospel Magazine. We have long been accustomed to stand side by side in those ranks which has been so ably marshalled by the wisdom of him whose loss we now mourn, and of whom we may truly say, that a“ great man and a prince is fallen;" one with whom the refulgent light which sprang up in the days of a Romaine and an Augustus Toplady, might be said to be almost extinguished.
Brethren, we now meet in all probability for the last time, not to murmur or repine at the hand of love which has withdrawn from us our father and our friend, but rather to express our largest and warmest of affection to his memory. The sigh we feel starting yet would we check it; the fountain issues forth its tears, but they aré unmixed with that sorrow which is without hope, for our friend sleepeth, and that in Jesus; nor can he be awoke by the Zephyrs of Friendship, or the Euroclydon of Malice: the gifts and grace, which were with him, are low withdrawn from the church militant. The former never more to be in existence, the latter to expand its boundlessness in God and the Lamb.
VOL. IV.-No. VIII.
To my fellow correspondents, the pleasure was denied, which by me was enjoyed, of beholding the mortal remains of our venerable father deposited in the perfumed chambers he had so long anticipated, where it shall rest until that period when it shall be found to be among the first who shall rise from the dead.
The bereaved family, with one or two spectators like myself, was all that congregated around the grave of this astonishing man! who courted not publicity in his life, nor did he receive it at his death. The passing stranger was surprised to hear an observation made upon the event, but passed on when informed the contemporary of Toplady was consigned to the grave : To me, it was a moment beyond the power of describing ; I felt all that could be felt upon such an occasion, and in taking a last view of the vigorous and unflinching Editor of the GosPEL MAGAZINE, I withdrew so far satisfied from the solemn scene, as to be convinced that all was right and well done by him, who had gathered the shock of corn fully ripe into his own garner : And I spontaneously exclaimed,
To the Readers of the Gospel Magazine. DEAR BRETHREN IN THE LORD, HUMBLE as I am, and unworthy also, I cannot restrain myself on the present melancholy, and to us, soul-depressing occasion, from offering a few remarks, as a poor and insignificant tribute to the sainted memory of one, who has been to us-a FATHER - a Guardian-a Faithful Centinel-and a bright and shining LIGHT; whose refulgent rays (by the grace of the Almighty Father, the love of the adorable Son, and the com- , forting of the Holy Spirit) dispelled the dark and mysterious gloom of doubts, fears, and misgivings-exposed and laid bare the machinations of the subtle agents of Satan, and
“Far round illuinin'd bell”and exhibited all the hosts of that fell power, in their malign: and direful forms; and as a Parent, (upheld by his Christ,) set us in the right way,--prayed and appealed so strongly-so fervently, that the Saviour in the overflowings of his love and affections, did hear and answer-did grant and graciously bestow; of which we are the living monuments here and shall : be the all-glorious and eternal trophies hereafter.
If, dear brethren, thirty years acquaintance with the Gospel Magazine, (of which this highly-talented, noble-principled, chastely-correct, scrupulously-disinterested and heavenly en. dowed individual was sole Editor and Director for FORTY-FOUR years ;-a circumstance unparalelled in the annals of the Literary world, in this or any other country. Jf, I say, an acquaint-' ance thus long standing with this Publication, and being an ardent admirer of the principles dispensed so faithfully and forcibly, and which I hope under favour of the influence of the Holy Spirit, I have profited unto life éternal, is not a sufficient escuse for thrusting myself upon you ; the death of our Benefactor and Friend, Mr. Walter Row, will, I hope, successfully plead foryours, in the holy bonds of Christ's love, Canonbury.
AMICUS. MR. Walter Row, though known by his writings to the ut-; most stretch of Earth's wide expanse, from Afric's burning sands to Hecla's frozen mount, from Niagara's foaming cataract, to India's tranquil Ganges, was comparatively a stranger to the world, personally known but to few; to me he was a Friend--and (with the exception of my parents and immediate kindred) the ONLY TRUE and DISINTERESTED FRIEND I ever; had ; and many are the sweet, the painfully sweet testimonies
of his sterling, unalloyed friendship, as advice, cautions, exama ples, and encouragements.
In alluding to this great and good man, and addressing the readers of the Gospel Magazine, it will be unnecessary to dwell upon his consistency of principle-his steady and fixed adherence to the motto he adopted when he commenced the Gospel Magazine, (1796,)“ In doctrine shewing uncorruptness.” Hear his own words, some of his first, in his preface to the first volume. “We have cause to regret, as much as any of our predecessors, the progress of infidelity and laxity of sentiment. We fear truths of great importance are too tamely sacrificed on the gilded altar of candour, and that much is written under the name of Christianity, that is foreign from the spirit of that holy religion. We would not abjure candour ; we will not illiberally abuse those who differ from us, even on articles whcih we consider of magnitude; but we mean to contend for the faith once delivered to the saints. We wish not to paint over, but to hew dow the altars of Baal. We would represent the gospel just as it is, and not bring it over to a compromise with any thing foreign to itself. Persuaded as we are that it at last must stand, and that every thing else must finally fall before it, like Dagon before the ark, we avow our firm intention to adhere as closely as possible to the title we have chosen, and to the manifestation of that “ True grace of God wherein alone we stand.”
How far these intentions have been fulfilled,—this close adherence been kept up-and this firmness of standing in the " true grace of God” been maintained; we point triumphantly to the FORTY-THREE volumes which have appeared since the above declaration.
To attempt to give any thing like the history of such a man, who has been a prominent feature before the public, (both naturally and spiritually) in the pages of a magazine, which of necessity must be limited, would be futile in the extreme; I must therefore content myself with one or two incidents, and proceed to his Obituary.
During a period when the Gospel Magazine was struggling in difficulty, an offer was made by a party or sect to join it, tendering a sum of money, and at the same time, insuring a large accession of subscribers, but stipulating that their views on a particular subject should be advocated; this not being in exact accordance with the motto, “ In necessariis onitas, in non necessariis LIBERTAS,” it was declined; thereby exhibiting a disinterestedness (and sincerity, which would be acceptable from, and do honour to many of the religious sects of the present day.
Another instance of conscience in temporalities in this invaluable servant of God is almost unparalelled in the world. A dispute arose about the right of ownership, between two parties, of the premises which he occupied, and a tedious litigation ensued; it was at length decided, after the lapse of many years, and the successful party called, took formal possession, and intimated that the rent would commence from that date ; but to the great surprise and satisfaction of the claimant a debtor and creditor account was exhibited to him, in which a very large balance appeared in his favor, of the accumulation of the whole of the rent at compound interest, subject to some deductions, was handed over to him. Was this trumpeted to the world? Was this lauded and eulogized in the various coteries? Did this send him forth puffed up with pride ? Did he as the proud Pharisee, exclaim to his fellow man, “ Stand by, I am holier than thou?" No; he sought the privacy of his own chamber, and poured out the thanksgiving of a heart overflowing with gratitude, to Him who had succoured and strengthened him, and cried out, “ Not unto me, not unto me, O Lord, but unto thee, be all the glory.”
He was remarkable for his single-heartedness, and candour, beneficence, and strong good sense were pre-eminent qualities in his character. His learning was considerable, bis taste just, his judgment sound. He was pious and orthodox without bigotry, liberal in his opinions, without laxity, philosophical and enlarged in his views, without scepticism. He was not only in his affections, but in his constant daily manners, the best and kindest of fathers and husbands. The kindness of his affections, and the manly good sense of his understanding gave him in domestic retirement, all that is most essentially pleasing in the most refined manners of high life. He was truly and unaffectedly pious; and he had that constant cheerfulness of mind, which only a perfect conviction of his eternal salvation, through the merits of his crucified Saviour and Redeemer could have maintained.
But bretrhen, Think you that our elder brother sailed down life's channel, smooth and unruffled ? Ah! no ; sin, Satan, the world beset him on every side : Trials, temptations, and persecutions encompassed him, but he had on the whole armour of God, and went forth to the contest with confidence. Oft has he heen assailed and sore pressed by the legions of the Prince of darkness, armed with the worldly weapons of malice, slander, and infidelity ; in this critical and dangerous moment, he cries aloud unto the Lord, his last resort- his only refuge Lord help me! Lord save me, or I perish! The red arm of God was bared, and the host was scattered in the whirlwind of