תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

places, the Tracts were received with the utmost joy and gratitude.

The Contributions which several of the Auxiliary Societies have afforded to the Funds of the Parent Institution during the last year, entitle them to the cordial gratitude of the friends of the Institution; and it is extremely desirable that individuals resident in populous districts, who are frequent in their applications for gratuitous supplies, should in each district form an Auxiliary Society; which, if properly conducted, would greatly strengthen the Parent Institution, and, instead of draining its funds, would replenish them by an annual and increasing contribution, while at the same time it would procure a more extensive circulation of the Tracts.

Thus have your Committee laid before their Constituents the principal occurrences of the Nineteenth Year of the Religious

Tract Society ;-and while “ day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge,” so year unto year, revolving in rapid succession, and presenting wide fields for renewed exertion," white already to harvest,” proclaims, with an instructive and admonitory voice, “ There is yet much land to be possessed-work while it is called to-day—the night cometh when no man can work.

Unimpeded by the obstruction which a state of warfare necessarily opposes to the prosecution of the Foreign object in which this society is engaged, your Committee, while they congratulate their Constituents on the continuance of the blessings of peace, unite with them in gratitude to God, who bestows them ; and earnestly hope and pray that increasing means of support may keep pace with the gradual improvement of Commerce, in order that the facilities which a state of peace mercifully presents to us, may, under the guidance and blessing of God, be strenuously, wisely, and perseveringly improved for the more extensive diffusion of the knowledge of the Prince of Peace, whom to know is life eternal, until “ the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of our God and of his Christ.'

Abstract of the Cash Account, for the year ending March 31st, 1818. Total Net Receipts

£ 6132 0 10 Total Net Payments

6007 0 1

FOR THE CHRISTIAN HERALD.

OBITUARY.

The last illness of the late Rev. P. Lowe, Pastor of the Congregations belonging to the Dutch Reformed Church, in Flatbush and

Flatlands, Long-Island, in the State of New-York.

Mr. Lowe had laboured, for the two winters preceding his decease, under a severe cold. From the effects of this he never entirely recover

.

ed. The disease, however, which terminated in his death, had been preying for some time on his constitution, and finally settled in his under

lip. When any of his friends spake to him of this appearance he commonly waved the subject; but not with a view of removing fear from his own mind with regard to the issue ; for, it was his fixed opinion that it would be the cause of his removal from this world. From the first stages of the complaint he never intimated a hope of final recovery. Notwithstanding, he did not refuse to make use of means. Accordingly he consulted with members of his congregations, and others, respecting the choice of a gentleman of medical skill, and especially one who had been much employed in affections of a cancerous nature. His conduct in this situation displayed that prudence and caution which were prominent features of his character.

In the judgment of man, had it been the will of God to have restored Mr. Lowe to health, his deep experience in the mysteries of godliness would have afforded matter of valuable instruction to his beloved flock. The trials and temptations through which he passed would have been a rich source of comfort to the tried and tempted. He would have fed the lambs and sheep according to his masters command to the Apostle Peter. The clear and impressive views given to him would have enabled him to build up in their most holy faith the church committed to his care.

These gifts, however, were not wholly lost; this light was not put under a bushel.

During his illness he preached the word, he reproved, rebuked, exhorted. He could say, I have fought a good fight, I have finish

I ed my course, I have kept the faith : henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day."

About a year before his departure he was called to pass through a fiery trial

.. He had a clear view of himself in the law of God. Sin appeared exceedingly sinful. He was made to cry out with the great Apostle, “O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death!” The conflict was trying and distressing. He, who had comforted many, needed the comforts and promises of the gospel to be presented to his own mind by others. He, who had poured out his ardent prayers in behalf of the souls of the tried, now intreated the prayers of christian friends for himself. Finally, he was enabled to say, thanks be to God for the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

After this his heart was opened in prayer; the clouds were dissipated; the promises of God were no longer forbidden meat; grace was given him to embrace anew the Saviour as he is offered in the Gospel, and to bless God for the gift of his Son. Sorrow and sighing fled away; joy and gladness and the song of salvation took their place. He was raised to the mount from which he was never afterwards called into the valley.

For seven months before he died he enjoyed the high eminence of faith and consolation in the covenant of grace. The word of God appeared to contain truths that had been concealed from him before. He, in very deed, day and night read and meditated on the doctrines of revelation. When refreshed by a tranquil sleep through the night, with his renewed strength he pursued his pleasing search in the Scriptures.

The prosperity of Zion, in any part of the world, or among any denomination, was to him like cooling waters to a thirsty soul.

The Bible and commentaries on it, were the only books seen in his hands. Laying his hand on the Bible and addressing himself to a friend, " I have been thinking,” said he, of that passage, Exodus iii. 3. where Moses says, I will turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush is not burned. Of this miracle of divine power and goodness, as it regards the church in general and individuals in particular, he spoke at some length. This subject has many charms to draw the mind into a train of pleasing and profitable thought.

A friend of his youth, whose temples are now covered with silver locks, in prayer for him, suggested ideas connected with the passage of the Children of Israel through Jordan whilst the priests stood in the midst with the ark of the covenant. This type of the Christian's safe passage through death was a pleasing and cheering thought to him during his illness.

Two younger brethren in the Gospel ministry having called to see him, a conversation commenced and continued for a considerable time on some of the doctrines of vital christianity. He had been reading Dr. A. Clarke on the Bible. “I would like to hear the Dr. pray,” said lie " that I might know whether he would pray as a perfect man or as a sinner."

In this agreeable interchange of sentiment and christian sympathy, one of those Gentlemen said to him, what do you think, in your present illness which is likely to be unto death, of those doctrines of the cross which humble the sinner and exalt the Redeemer.

“ 'Thev are precious doctrines to me,” was his reply. Being asked how he felt with regard to the Sovereignty of God. “My views, said he, “ are the same as they have been.” He spoke at some length on these doctrines, acknowledging his own impotency as a sinner, and praising the free grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. He exhorted these bretliren to be faithful unto death. He never omitted this whenever he was visited by a preacher of the Gospel.

When he was confined to his bed, Mrs. Lowe sitting by him, he said to her, " you commit me into the hands of the blessed Jesus." “I do," was her answer. “ And yourself and yours,”_he added. She replied, “ I cannot suppress natural feelings,"_“You must, said he.

Some evenings after, he said, “ my exercises are not so lively, but I cling to that rock that is higher than l. I can do nothing of myself.” He wished the 11th Hyman 2d part, in the collection of the Reformed Dutch Church, to be sung. The mercies of God were constantly on his lips. His sufferings were lost in contemplations on the goodness of God, which he discovered in all his dealings with him.

After repeating part of the 16th Hymn, There is a land of pure delight, &c. he said to an old friend, “ There is not a cloud hanging over my mind.”

Taking some medicine one evening, he made the observation, They gave vinegar and gall to our blessed Jesus. After prayer for him, in which God had been addressed by the tender name of Father, he dwelt on that kind relation in which God stands to his people. “This is the spirit of adoption by which the believer cries, Abba, Father.” He requested the 46th Hymn to be read to him; then with earnest desire he repeated these words.

Come, sacred Spirit, seal the name

On my expanding heart. "O had I strength, how would I delight to speak of the Kingdom of our blessed Saviour, and of his glorious attributes !” After a pause

“ But I know that nature could not support me. I who used to tremble at a leaf, for I had the weakest nerves of mortals, have enjoyed a steady and composed frame of body and mind in

my ness.'

It being remarked to him that his hearing was not so good, “ Blessed be God,” said he “my sight is good, and the eyes of my understanding are clear.” “ I have learned more in this year's illness than I did in many years when in, health.” He mentioned this to many at different times. The 1st Chapter of the Epistle to the Philippians he wished to be read some evenings afterwards. When he apprehended himself about to enter into rest, he requested the 15th Chapter of 1st Corinthians to be read to him.

His mind continued calm and composed, though he could speak but little. A friend saying to him, “I know in whom I have believed;" “Fear not, I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am thy God;" he added "Faithful is he who hath promised. A few more struggles, and the conflict will be over; I shall shout the victory through him who hath loved me and given himself for me."

The perfect blessedness of the saints after the resurrection was mentioned. “Glorious things are spoken of thee, thou city of the living God,” were words which proceeded from his labouring breast. Some days after this, when he had received relief, a brother in the Gospel ministry intimating to him that the symptoms of his disease were more favourable, his reply was, “How hard, when just about to enter the port, to be obliged to put to sea again.” When he had become worse, I hope, said a friend, you enjoy the peace which the world cannot give. He laid his hand on his breast, and directed his eyes toward heaven. At this time he could not speak without great exertion.

On Saturday evening the Sabbath being spoken of, with elevation of soul he exclaimed, “How amiable are thy courts, O Lord of hosts. There remaineth a rest for the people of God. O! how I long to see Him whom my soul loveth ; why tarry thy chariot wheels, O Lord, my Saviour !-But patience-by and by." Having recovered strength; he proceeded. “Doctor. W. said

" to me this afternoon that I was preaching the Gospel from a sick bed. This ought to silence all murmuring. O how good it is to suffer the righteous will of my heavenly Father! He inquired who was to preach in his church. Being informed, he said, that my dear flock may be fed! This evening he appeared desirous that the discourse should turn wholly upon Heaven.

Sabbath, May 24th. This day he was, remarkably strengthened; so that he spoke distinctly, and was heard in every part of the room. He preached almost incessantly to many christian friends who came to see him. His words appeared to proceed from the lips of one raised from the dead. For he had been extremely low and weak, and could not speak so as to be easily understood for five or six days before. Admiration was excited in all who beard him. A valuable opportunity to many of hearing and seeing the Gospel of Jesus Christ demonstrated in a way that is calculated to bring conviction home to the heart, and exemplify in a most striking manner the hopes and consolations afforded to the christian in death, through the faith that is in Christ Jesus. He repeated the 38th Hymn,

This dying christian conversed with his beloved partner in life concerning their separation for awhile; of their rejoining each other in a better country : he fortified ber mind by the promises of the Gospel ; mentioned the weighty charge now devolving upon her of bringing up their little ones in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, quoting promises of God's grace for her support. He wished to see his dear children. They approached his bed one after another. He adapted his parting blessings and instructions to their respective ages, capacities, and situations in life. To his youngest, a child about three years old, he said, “ Love your Father who is in heaven.”

To many of his children in Christ Jesus he this day gave his dying blessing. What expressions of kindness and paternal love flowed from his lips! His friends and many of his congregation will not easily forget this sabbath. He preached for the last time to them, from his death bed, the unsearchable riches of Christ Jesus, the only hope of a sinner. He rested the hopes of his own salvation on the very same doctrine of the atonement which he had recommended to others. His soul and body were strong with vigour, that he might bear testimony to the grace of God through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. In the evening he blessed God for his mercy in giving bim rest on the Sabbath ; adding to his friends around his bed, “this is another of the Sabbath day's blessings I have experienced.” "Often when I have been dull and heavy through the week, I have been revived, strengthened, and directed on the Sabbath." He ex

2d part.

[ocr errors]
« הקודםהמשך »