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ment in the knowledge and in the love of God? Do we constantly frequent his courts? Do we attend the table of the Lord ? Do we read and hear his word, with an earnest desire to be made acquainted with his will ? Are we habitually watchful over our hearts and lives, and assiduous in the work of selfexamination ? And to all these means of improvement, do we add unceasing and fervent prayer to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, that he would pardon our sins for the sake of his Son ; that he would sanctify us wholly; and through the blood of the everlasting covenant, would make us perfect in every good work to do his will ? These are the more decisive marks, by which our true churchmanship is to be ascertained. May every one who reads them, have a testimony in his own conscience, that they are fairly descriptive of his character.”
His admonitions to those engaged in controversy are thus impressively delivered.
* What will it avail them in the great day of account, when the contentions which now agitate their minds, shall sink into absolute insignificance, shall be as if they had never been ?what will it then avail them to have vanquished their adversaries by the superiority of their polemical skill, if, unhappily imbibing the baneful spirit of controversy, they shall be found to have violated that brotherly love, which forms a distinguishing badge of the real followers of Jesus Christ? • Certainly,' as the pious Bishop Hall has observed, 'God abides none but charitable dissentions; those that are well grounded, and well governed : grounded upon just causes, and governed with Christian charity and wise moderation ; those whose beginning is equity, and whose end is
peace. If we must differ, let these be the conditións : let every one of God's ministers be ambitious of that praise, which Gregory Nazianzen gives to Athanasius; to be an adamant to them that strike him, and a load-stone to them that dissent from him : the one not to be moved with wrong the other to draw those hearts which disagree. So the fruit of righteousness shall be own in peace of them that make peace. So the God of peace shall have glory, the church of God rest, and our souls unspeakable consolation and joy, in the day of the appearing of our Lord Jesus." "*
* See Hall's Peacemaker, ad finem,
His removal from the Isle of Wight-Temporary connexion with
the Lock Hospital, in London; and final settlement at Turvey.
A CHANGE of destination in the life of a minister is at all times a subject for grave deliberation. He can take no step, in the consequences of which others are not deeply involved as well as himself. In no instance does he stand alone : his principles, habits, and conduct, wheresoever he goes, exercise their powerful effects on all around him ; and he is the star, by whose genial or unfriendly influence, their present, as well as future destiny, is in a great measure to be determined. It is this truth which constitutes the moral responsibility attendant on the acceptance of a new appointment. If the glory of God, and conversion of immortal souls, is the grand object of which, as a minister, he is never to lose sight; nothing less than a deliberate and well-founded conviction that this is likely to be promoted by the step contemplated, ought to determine his removal, more especially from a scene where his labours have been owned and blest.
So long, however, as we are assured that “the Lord ordereth a good man's goings,” and “ appointeth the bounds of his habitation;" the indications of his will, and the openings of his providence, rightly interpreted, will ever form the best guide and ground for his determination. It was under the fullest conviction that he was pursuing the path of duty, that Mr. Richmond was induced to listen to the proposition of assisting the Rev. Mr. Fry, in his laborious services as Chaplain to the Lock Hospital in London.. The prospect of a more extended sphere of usefulness, and the inadequacy of his income to meet the demands of an increasing family, rendered such an offer highly eligible ; and we shall see, by the result, in what manner his acceptance of this appointment, short as was its duration, providentially led the way to all the subsequent events of his life. He proceeded, therefore, to London, to confer on the subject of this new arrangement, and preached his first sermon from the following text : “But of him ye are in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctifcation, and redemption."-I Cor. i. 30.
Some extracts from letters written to his wife at this time, previously to the removal of his family from Brading, will throw light on a few of the circumstances connected with this change of his residence and ministry.
“ London, February 5, 1805. “ I think I may say, I am determined to try this situation. The Lord seems to give me such tokens of affection, friendship, and acceptableness, amongst the congregation of the Lock, and points out so many spiritual advantages, though mingled with great trials and temptations, that I believe I am right in coming to this decision. On Wednesday evening, I preached for Mr. Fry. Several gentlemen spoke to each of us, expressing a hope that I should undertake the charge ; and one of them suggested, that if it were an object to me, he did not doubt that very many would gladly contribute towards the expenses of the removal, and some increase of salary. "The hint was kind, whatever might be the result. Yesterday morning, Mr. Fry and I conversed for a considerable time together. I told him all my history and circumstances. He seems resolved to omit nothing which may contribute to the hopefulness and comfort of my arrangement; and I really think that it is God's will that I would repose a temporal as well as a spiritual confidence in him. I called yesterday on Mr. Wilberforce, who put five pounds into my hand to go about from poor to poor and distribute. Blessed commission ! I am to dine there to-day, and to take leave of the Dean of Carlisle, who goes to Cambridge to-morrow. No two men ever harmonized more sweetly in opinion, views, taste, judgment, &c., than Mr. Fry and myself. Our friendship is forming and confirming, on the best grounds, I trust. You will judge how little able I am to see many friends, or to do any thing but labour in my vocation, when I tell you that I am to preach twice on Good Friday, twice on Easter Sunday, once on Easter Tuesday, and, perhaps, Easter Monday, and even next Wednesday. You cannot write too often; the sight of your letters cheers and delights me. I wish I could play on the ground for half an hour with the children."
London, Sunday, April 15, 1805. " I begin a few lines to you, my dearly-beloved wife, in the interval between my two services; and I can hardly give any other reason, than that my mind is worked up to a high state of agitation, by meditating and preparing to preach to-night, from
John v. 28, 29, and it wants a few minutes' relief. The subject is truly solemn : and the manner in which I propose to treat it, will be very trying and awful both to me and my hearers. I preached to an overflowing congregation, this morning, from Philip iii. 10 ;-it cost me great thought and pains ;-) administered the sacrament to near two hundred persons. I have been meditating two hours, on death, judgment, heaven and hell. I feel, that in the pulpit I shall either deliver myself with very little, or very great feeling and effect. Oh! for a heart to feel more for myself and others :—what a poor, cold, miserable creature I feel myself to be ; I am sometimes constrained to cry out—and can such a worthless being be saved ? yet there is worth in Jesus for the most worthless. God make me to experience fully the power of his resurrection, lest when I have preached to others, I myself should become a cast-away. Adieu for the present-perhaps I may add a few lines before I
go to bed.
“Sunday night, ten o'clock.--My sermon proved very solemn, and brought forth very copious tears from many eyes. I trembled inwardly, whilst I painted the resurrection and punishment of condemned souls; and the effect was very striking on a most numerous and attentive congregation. I am sitting up to think about a sermon for to-morrow morning.
Monday morning, five o'clock.— Yesterday, at the sacrament, I observed kneeling at the rails, close to Mr. Wilberforce, a negro. I was much struck, and many interesting associations filled
mind. I find also that it was quite accidental, and that Mr. W. knows nothing of him. Last night I dwelt on the meeting of husbands, wives, parents and children at the resurrection, and thought deeply of you and your babes;-in fact, I wept: I saw the tears of others responding to ruy own.”
While he was thus engaged in the duties and arrangements of his intended destination, the following letter will prove that in dispensing spiritual instruction to others, he was not nnmindful of what he owed to one, whose happiness and welfare was so nearly connected with his own.
“ London, April 20, 1805. “My dear Wife,- I really feel it as an answer to very many prayers which I have for years past offered up for you, that you are now seriously thinking on the all-important subject of religion. I trust you will henceforth become my spiritual monitor and counsellor, my helpmate in every good word and work, and my wife indeed, united in grace as well as in providence. With respect to the inward conflicts and doubts which you entertain in your mind, you must seek spiritual armour to fight the battle. Remember, that if you truly desire to overcome all the evil tempers, affections, desires and principles of your natural heart, you have an evidence within that God must have wrought it, and that he will not suffer you to be tempted above what you are able to bear; but will, with the temptation, make a way to escape. With respect to prayer, I recommend you to consider the precept of 'pray always and without ceasing. This evidently refers to that perpetual disposition of the heart to lift itself up in sudden, short, ejaculatory prayer, which is one of the most necessary means and proofs of grace. It is this alone which can render the appointed and regular devotions of the church, the family, and the closet, lively, strong, and efficacious. Satan will lose much of his strong-hold. if you thus laboriously strive to obtain a prayerful frame of heart, an habitual meditation upon Christ and eternity, a frequency of conversing on sacred things, and above all, experimental contemplation and conversation. The world is a deadly enemy to spiritual attainment; you cannot too soon see the high importance of being less conformed to it, in all its vanities, vices, follies, and unprofitable waste of time, gifts, and talents. The Christian will appear, even in the simplicity of every personal ornament. The dress, the countenance, the tone of voice, the address, will lose its former levity; and in the minutest trifles of common life, you will see the hand of God leading to important events, and his finger pointing to the life that is to come. I have just been praying most earnestly, that God may carry on such a work in your heart. The grand work of all is to believe. This is the root and fountain of all other graces. That believing look at the Saviour, which sees an interest in him, or which at least leads to full conviction, both of his sufficiency and efficiency to save our own souls, is the master work of God. May you be fully led to see this, and in God's own time to rejoice in it. Accustom yourself to talk constantly with Nugent and Mary on the substantial parts of Christianity, and appeal to those little instances of experience which even a child may comprehend. I wrote to you yesterday, and hope you have got my letter. I have this instant received yours of Tuesday. I hope to be able to leave London by the time you mention. The three things which I have to settle, if possible, are—the house, the furniture, and a successor ; and I do hope another week will arrange the two former. I only fear for the latter, and this makes me uneasy; however, as I shall retain the curacy till Christmas, there is still