« הקודםהמשך »
SOME ACCOUNT OF THE REV. W. WATTS WILKINSON, B.A., AFTERNOON LECTURER OF ST. MARY ALDERMARY, CHEAPSIDE, AND TUESDAY MORNING LECTURER OF ST. BARTHOLOMEW, BY THE ROYAL EXCHANGE, LONDON.
The portrait with which we present our readers this month is that of that venerable servant of God and minister of the Gospel, the Rev. W.W. Wilkinson, B.A., Afternoon Lecturer of St. Mary Aldermary, Bow Lane, Cheapside, and Tuesday Morning Lecturer of St. Bartholomew's by the Royal Exchange. We cannot give a particular or minute account of the youth or early incidents of the life of this man of God, inasmuch as, notwithstanding he is one of the most popular preachers in London, yet he has lived all his life in the strictest privacy, from his youth dwelling in the bosom of a happy family in the midst of children, and not seeking for any enjoyment in the mixed company of the world, or hunting after preferment or applause from the great ones of the earth, although his ministry has been attended by some of the most illustrious of our Christian nobility. He has pursued his public ministry at one, or both, of the above-mentioned churches in London for upwards of half a century ; during which period he has been enabled to maintain the most correct line of Christian conduct and conversation, neither mixing himself up with, nor approving of, any of the novelties that have of late years shewn themselves; but, on the contrary, he has continued to teach and preach the doctrines of the cross in opposition to the Pelagianism which so fearfully abounds in our day. It is said of him, that from a conscientious attachment to the Church of England, he entered himself a student of Worcester College, in the University of Oxford, and, having graduated, he was ordained deacon aud priest, fully prepared to promulgate the doctrines which he had deliberately subscribed, as contained in the Articles, Homilies, and Formularies of our Apostolical Church. His Tuesday morning lecture, preached at St. Bartholomew's, by the Bank of England, near to the now-destroyed Royal Exchange, which, although it be deli
No. 11. Vol. 1. -New Series.
vered in the very heart of this great city, and in the midst of the noisy and laborious hours of business, is, nevertheless, regularly attended by a very considerable congregation, the aisles as well as the pews being literally full, and that by Christians froni all parts of the metropolis and its suburbs. Mr. Wilkinson preaches entirely without notes, or, as commonly denominated, extempore; but he has no excentricities, either in his doctrine or his manner of preaching; yet the former is always scriptural, and the latter plain and simple, but never mean or low; always practical yet strictly doctrinal ; ever animated, but without affecting novelty or the art of secular eloquence; and of that striking and impressive character which, with his venerable and patriarchal appearance, always claim attention. We cannot learn that he has ever embarked in the ocean of literature by any publication of his own sending forth, yet have many of his pulpit discourses been printed in those weekly magazines, called “ The Pulpit;" some quotations from which will conclude this brief notice, as specimens of his style. We cannot exactly state his precise age, but we believe him to be about eighty-four or eighty-five years old his next birth-day. The quotations we purpose to give are the following; the first was preached July 28, 1835, and the second March, 1829.
THE SOVEREIGNTY OF CHRIST.
1 Tim. vi. 15. “ • The blessed and only Potentate : the King of kings, and the Lord of lords.'
“ You who are doubting, consider the representation given of this blessed Being by the apostle in his epistle to the Romans; he says, “the same Lord over all, is rich unto all; the connexion evidently implies, rich in mercy.' Is not this an encouraging word to those who know and feel that if they be the subjects of Christ, they are but rebellious subjects, and unprofitable servants ? But he is Lord over all, “King of kings, Lord of Iords, the blessed and only Potentate, rich in mercy. If you look from the creation of the world down to the present time, you will see clear proof that his mercy has been in all his dealings with the children of men. · But then, observe particularly how the apostle goes on—he points out those to whom in an especial manner, he is rich in mercy. “The same Lord over all, is rich unto all that call upon him.' To call upon him in this sense implies a conviction that he is able to succour his people, and that they put their trust in him; for this is connected with that kind of faith which is styled 'the faith of God's elect, and which is said to be of “ (the
operation of the Spirit of God’ to the salvation of the soul, and which consists in trusting and relying simply and entirely, to the exclusion of everything else, upon Christ's finished work. At times you may be almost ashamed and afraid to go to him, but you may call upon him, and you shall find him
If you are enabled thus, and under such circumstances, to call upon him, you will manifest that faith which is to the saving of the soul. Under the deepest conviction of your unworthiness, ingratitude, and rebellion, that you can possibly have (and the Lord shows you this, in mercy, in order to endear himself to you), you may go to him as the publican went; you may go to him as the leper went; you may go to him with the determination of Jacob, I will not let thee go except thou: bless me;' -and he will give you the very desire of your heart.
“ Let us thank him for his mercy. If you are inclined thus to go to him, it is a demonstration that he has loved you with an everlasting love; and, there
rich in mercy.
SOME ACCOUNT OF THE REV. W. W. WILKINSON, B.A. 5) fore, he has mercifully wrought upon your hearts to call upon himself. Ti he had bad no prior love to you, if he had not made a covenant with you, f he had not called you, and justified, and redeemed you, he never wo: ld have poured out his Holy Spirit on your hearts to convince you of sin, and to shew you his excellency. If you know anything of Scripture, your hearts will be lifted up towards Him, you will raise your Ebenezer, and acknowledge that he has begun and carried on the work to this moment; that his hands laid the foundation, and will raise up the top-stone. The foundation was laid amidst the shoutings of heaven; there was not an angel in heaven that did not exalt the grace of God when the foundation was laid, and we know that the top-stone shall be laid with shoutings of
grace, grace unto it.' Oh, that you and I may be found among that number !
THE VALLEY OF DECISION.
Joel iji. 14. “• Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision ; for the day of the Lord is
near in the valley of decision.' “ Multitudes,' indeed! hundreds upon hundreds, thousands upon thousands, millions upon millions, myriads upon myriads, yea, the whole family of Adam must appear in one company before Him who bled on Calvary ! And yet each individual will appear by himself wholly and alone. O that each of us thought of this aright!
“ ' In the valley of decision.' Then the Judge will decide, and pass a rigbteous sentence. In this world, the characters of men are so mixed that it is very difficult to say who belongs to Christ, and who belong to the Prince of Darkness. But the Judge will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats :' he will set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on his left:' and in that day we shall
discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that feareth God, and him that feareth him not.'
“ This decision' will be final. It will admit of no appeal. The sen. tence which this Judge shall pass will remain in force, and that to all eternity.
“ It will be attended with much solemnity. The whole creation will be affected by it. The sun and the moon,' says the context, “shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining. The heavens,' says the Apostle, shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat; the earth also, and the works that are therein, shall be burnt up.'
“ . In that day,' continues the prophet, the LORD will be the hope of his people. What an awful day will it be to the ungodly, for all that died unacquainted with the Saviour, for all that despised the great salvation! The sound of the awful trumpet which announces his approach will reach them; and though they may call on the rocks to hide them from his presence, they must appear before Him. They will be constrained to fix their eyes upon Him while they will find his eye constantly fixed upon them. Behold, be cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him.' It will be in vain for them to wish to turn away their eyes; they will be constrained to fix them on the Judge, and they will find, moreover, that he is the same Jesus who appeared upon earth; and to them he will wear a fearful frown, and they will perceive indignation kindling in his eye. • The Lord also,' says the prophet, “shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem, and the heavens and the earth shall shake.' The Lamb of God is in one place represented as the lion of the tribe of Judah ;' and he shall 'roar' against the wicked, while He is surrounded by his saints and those who trusted in Him, and shall pronounce that awful sentence, Take them, and bind them hand and foot, and cast them into outer darkness;'