תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

within him of divine truths. From this union of zeal with his knowledge, he was excellently qualified to convince and convert souls. The sound of words only strike the ear; but the mind reasons with the mind, and the heart speaks to the heart. He was no fomenter of faction, but studious of the public tranquillity.

He knew what a blessing peace is, and wisely foresaw the pernicious consequences that attend divisions. By peace, the bond of harmony, the weakest things are preserved and prosper ; but where discord reigns, the strongest are near to ruin. The heavenly consent in the primitive church, was a principal cause of its miraculous increase and flourishing; but after dissensions prevailed among Christians, that was destroyed in a short time, which was built by the divine union and heroic patience of the primitive Christians. And the glorious beginnings, that promised the reformation of all Europe, were more obstructed by the dissensions of some employed in that blessed work, than by all the power and subtilty, the arms and artifice of Rome itself. May that Saviour, who did by his precious blood reconcile heaven and earth, send down his Spirit to inspire that wisdom which is pure and peaceable, that those who agree in the same principles of faith, in the same substantial parts of worship, in asserting the same indispensible necessity of holiness, may receive one another in love!

If we consider him as a Christian, his life was answerable to his doctrine. His resolute contempt of the world secured him from being wrought upon by those low motives, which tempt sordid spirits from their duty. He would not rashly throw himself into troubles, nor spretá conscientiá (at the expence of his conscience) avoid them. His charity was eminent in procuring supplies for others, when in mean circumstances himself. But he had great experience of God's fatherly provision, to which his filial confidence was correspondent. His conversation in his family was holy and exemplary, every day instructing them from the Scriptures in their duty. His humility was great. He was deeply affected with the sense of his frailties and unworthiness. He considered the infinite purity of God, the perfection of his law the rule of our duty, and by that humbling light discovered his manifold defects. He expressed his thoughts to an intimate friend a little before his death, to the following effect : “ If the holy prophets were under strong impressions of fear, upon the extraordinary discovery of the di

vine presence, how shall we poor creatures appear before the holy and dread Majesty ? Isaiah, after his glorious vision of God, reflecting upon himself as not retired and purified from the commerce and corruption of the world, breaks forth, Woe is me, for I am undone ! because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips ; for

mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of Hosts. It is infinitely terrible to appear before God, the Judge of all, without the protection of the blocd of sprinkling, that speaks better things than the blood of Abel, and without the spotless robe of the Lamb of God for our justification before the throne !” This alore relieved him, and supported his hopes. Though his labours were abundant, yet he knew that the work of God, passing through our hands, is so blemished, that, without an appeal to pardoning mercy and grace, in and through Christ Jesus, we cannot stand in judgment. This was the subject of his last public sermon.

The attestation of a fellow-labourer in the Lord's vineyard, is expressed in the following terms : “ He languished many months, but presuming he should be too strong for his infirmity, neglected it, till at last it became insuperable and mortal. Many pathetical aggravations heighten our great and sensible loss, that such a faithful minister of Christ should be taken away, whose preaching was so powerful to repair the woful ruins of true godliness and vital Christianity in a degenerate age; whose prudent pacific spirit rendered him so useful in these divided times, when, alas! professors of the same religion are alienated from one another, as if they had been baptized with the waters of strife : That before our tears were dried

up

for the loss of other worthy ministers, the fountain of sorrow should be opened again by this afflicting stroke. But it becomes us to receive the dispensations of Providence with humble and quiet submission : to reflect, sins with an holy, grief, that provoke Gop to remove such an excellent instrument of his glory from us. Let us pray to the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth more labourers into it. He was of a middle stature as to his person, and of a fair and fresh complexion, with a mixture of majesty and sweetness in his countenance. In his younger years, he was very slender, but grew corpulent in his advanced age; not by idleness or excess, for he was remarkably temperate, and unweariedly diligent. He had naturally a little appetite, and generally declined all manner of feasts ; but a sedentary life, and the long con

finement

upon our

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][merged small][subsumed][merged small]

finement of the five-mile act, which he used to complain of, first broke his constitution. Perhaps few men of the age in which he lived, had more virtues, and fewer failings, or were more remarkable for general knowledge, fearless integrity, great candour and wisdom, sound judg

ment, and natural eloquence; copious invention, and in· credible industry, zeal for the glory of God, and good

will to men, for acceptance and usefulness in the world, and a clear unspotted reputation, through a course of many years, among all parties of men.'

His Works. “ İ. A practical Exposition on Isaiah liji, II. On the Epistle of James. III. On the Epistle of Jude. IV. Smectymnuus Redivivus ; an Answer to an humble Remonstrance. V. The Saint's Triumph over Death ; a Funeral Sermon for Mr. Christopher Love. VI. Four Sermons in the Morning Exercise against Popery. VII. Several before Parliament on public Occasions.” After his Death. “ VIII. Twenty Sermons on the Psalms, Acts, &c. IX. Eighteen on 2 Thess. ii..on the Growth and Fall of Antichrist. X. A practical Exposition on the Lord's Prayer, 8vo. XI. Several Discourses tending to promote Holiness, 8vo. XII. Five Volumes of Sermons, in folio, viz. Vol. I. on the whole cxixth Psalm. Vol. II. Twenty-seven Sermons on Matth. v. Forty-five on John xvii. Í'wenty-four on Rom. vi. Forty-five on Rom. viii. and Forty on 2 Cor. v. Vol. III. Sixty-six Sermons on Heb. xi. A Treatise on the Life of Faith. A Treatise on Self-denial. Several Sermons on the Lord's Supper. Vols. IV. and V. Select Sermons on several texts."

MATTHEW POOLE. MATTHEW POOLE, an eminent nonconformist minister, was son of Francis Poole, Esq. of York, by his wife, daughter of Alderman Toppin, in that city, where he was born in 1624. Having laid a competent foundation of grammar learning, he was sent to Emanuel college in Cambridge, and put under the tuition of Dr. John Worthington. He afterwards took the degree of master of arts there ; and falling in with the presbyterian opinions, concerning ecclesiasticaļ polity, which then prevailed, he entered into the ministry, and about the year 1648, became rector of St. Michael le Querne in London. In 1654,

he

« הקודםהמשך »