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To this last mentioned place he retired from a scene endeared to him by his paternal roof, and his father's sepulchre, and accepted the invitation of a litle lock to preach to them the glad tidings of a Saviour's love. His acceptance and success left him no reason to regret bis iemoval. In a communication to a friend, he thus mentioned the effect which followed bis labors :
“ The Spirit of God is usefully moving upon the hearts of men here. Through my preaching, several are awakened and setting their faces towards Zion. Some very vicious and debauched characters are reformed; the young men show great seriousness, and I have great hopes f several of them; and what makes all this the more remarkable, is, that there was a strange lukewarmness an ong professors themselves when I came hither. The church seemed to have a name that it lived, but was dead."
His biographer adds : " The prosperity which attended Mr. Darracott's ministry at Penzance was greatly promoted by private means, which are of far greater importance than many seem to imagine. That pastoral visits and social meetings for private devotions ought not to preclude opportunities for study, nor induce a habit of desullory preaching, is readily adoilled; for this would be sacrificing the primary means of usefulness to the secundary. But after employing in the study as much time as is consistent with the preservation of health, and essential to the mental improvement which good preaching requires, sufficient leisure will still be left for abundant pastoral attentions, without which the fluck will never prosper."
- While laboring among his people with ardor and success, Mr. Darracott was, in the year 1738, seized with an alarming disease, which he represented to a friend as afflicting him less by ihreatening bis life, ihan by disappointing the hopes he had indulged of greater efforts and success in bis ministry. He removed to Barnstaple for bis health, where he passed several of the first months of 1739, and employed himself in such means of usefulness as were wiibin his reach and ability. As he recovered his health, he was advised that the air of Penzance was unsafe for him, and he renounced the design of returning to that place. “ The Presbyterian congregation at Wellington, in Somerseishire, being destitute of a pasior, and having beard of bis situation and character, were, bappily sor them, induced to give bim an invitation, which led to bis permanent settlement,” in another portion of his Master's vineyard.
" With pleasure" (says the compiler of these Memoirs) “we see that no inferior motives, but that the hand of God removed him from a ficld of labor which promised so abundant a harvest :-For the consideration which some urged, that Penzance was at a great c'istance from his relations and estate, was unworthy of a minister of Christ. Every genuine ininister of Christ enters upon the work voluntarily ; but when he has put his hand to the plough, he is forbidden to look back upon his friends, and estates, and pleasant residences, upon pain of being pronounced unfit for the kingdom of God. Wo to the minister, who is not guided by his Master's interest, as his polar star! The inost paradisaical spot is blosted by the Saviour's frown and the loveliest circle of friendship may suon be converted into the haunt of discord and the furies."
Mr. Darracott went to reside at Wellington early in the year 1741. He had before occasionally preached there for some time. The town contained but a few thousand inhabitants, and the congregation with which he was immediately connected, formed but a small part of the population. There were but twenty eight members of the church. He, however, did not linger on the verge of the field, contenting himself with looking about and speculating upon modes of future usefulness. He instantly began to work, and the effects were immediately perceptible. He accepted the call of the ch:rch, (not of the congregation merely) to became their pastor, and was ordained November 11th. 1741. On the evening of this day, and also of the first sabbath on which he administered the Lord's Supper, he recorded some very appropriate and solemn reflections, which are copied in the book before us—and they certainly were auspicious omens. If God has; promised to full the desires of them that fear him, it could not be doubted that such aspirations after usefulness would be. indulged with a merciful answer. Many are ambitious to shine before men in public services, who little regard their appearance before God in the closet. But what hope can be entertained of that man's success, who regards his ordination as a ceremonious. exhibition only—a closing of a bargain with his parishioners for service as their “teacher of piety, religion and morality,” and who enters upon his work without depositing one intense and humble: prayer at the foot of the cross ?
Soon after he was settled in his pastoral charge, he married a descendant of a puritan confessor, whose fine person was inspired with such a mind and heart as he deserved. As he had no mercenary nor ambitious views in forming this connexion, it was bighly blessed of God. “She found in bim all the generous tenderness implied in the sacred name of husband ; and his heart, alike unfita ted for the solitude of celibacy and the contentions of inauspicious marriage, found in her repose from the fatigues of his ministry, and solace under the afflictions of life.”
Many of our readers, we doubt not, have been forcibly struck with the remarks of Scoti, (editor of the family Bible) on the subject of ministers' marriages, as given in the interesting “ Lise": written and published by his son. The Rev. Dr. Miller of New Jersey, in his invaluable “ Letters on Clerical Manners and Habits," has also borne an equally decided testimony against the venial and degrading matches, by which some of the professed ministers of Him who had not where to lay bis head, have brought reproach upon the cause of religion. “The spirit of the commercial world,” says Scott, “ having long corroded the professors. of the Gospel, is now making bavoc among ministers. The plan. of marrying rich wives would have made St. Paul dolefully cry out, All seek their own, not the things of Jesus Christ.”
VOL. III. NO. II.
If it is hard for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven, it is surely not to be expecied that a minister who seeks after earth and makes haste to be rich, will manifest a very deep solicitude to assist the entry of others. As actions speak louder than words, and example is more powersul than precept, his exhortations to labor not for the meat which perisheih, and to trust not in uncertain riches, will produce little effect. We have not seen, in this country, the extent of the mischief which Dr. Scott deplored in England; and we pray that we never may.
After Mr. Darracott's ordination and marriage, “ He pureued his labors with new zeal, and the Redeemer crowned them with augmented blessings. His hearers increased to such an amount as constantly to overflow the place of worship, which however served to display the purity of his motives and his freedom from vanity; for in all his correspondence he mentions only that which is the grand end of hearing-the conversion of souls to God, and the increased dominion of religion over the hearts of professed Christians. Those evidences of his usefulness were continually inspiring him with fresh delights, so that the eight and lwenty members of the church, soon saw themselves surrounded at the Lord's Table by accessions far beyond their own number."
“ To the ordinary addresses from the pulpit, he added letters written to those whom his sermons had failed to impress, or whose impressions were but recent. Sometimes, instead of sending, he would read them to those for whom they were intended. Thus he gave a more solemn address than ordinary conversation allows, while yet he avoided the appearance of formal preaching."
In six years from bis ordination, there were added to his church one hundred and twelve souls, “ a list of names,” said he, “which I would not part with for the joys of the whole earth.” His church and congregation continued to increase ; their house of worship was enlarged, in order to receive those who flocked to attend his preaching; and bis heart was also enlarged, and panted for the salvation of all men. He took a lively interest in the triumph of religion, wherever it was enjoyed, and by whatever instrument it was produced. He became acquainted with the most eminent preachers of his day. In 1750, he received a visit from Whitefield, as he was on his way to embark for this country. In a letter to Lady Huntingdon (whose religious character is well known, at least to our elder readers) Whitefield observed, that Mr. Darracott was “a flaming, successful preacher of the gospel, and I think may justly be styled THE STAR IN THE WEST.”
Mr. Whitefield, wbile on this visit, preached several times at Wellington, and with great effect. Mr. Darracott had none of that narrow, envious spirit which is sometimes too clearly exbibited. He did not nibble at Whitefield's fame, and feel as if his own reputation was in danger of an eclipse. He sat at the feet of the stranger whom he had invited to preach to his flock, hoping that where himself had failed, another might succeed in rousing the attention of the careless, and consoling the heart of the desponding. Every minister, who is meanly jealous of his own consequence with his people, would do well to reflect, If I take care of Christ's honor, he will take care of mine.'
In the autumn of 1751, Dr. Doddridge, being advised to take a voyage to Lisbon for his health, visited bis pupil, as he passed through Wellington towards his place of embarkation. Mr. Darracott was the last friend he visited in bis native country, and it may easily be conceived that the sight of such a disciple, in the zenith of his usesulness, afforded exquisite delight to him who bad trained him up for the ministry.
« The friendship between these two devoted servants of Christ was highly honorable to both: Darracott paid a willing homage to the literary eminence of his tutor, who felt hiroself honored and blessed in the superior usefulness of his pupil. Very lovely and pleasant were they in their lives, and in death they were not long divided. For though Doddridge consoled himself, in the prospect of death, with the hope that one whom he had trained for the ministry would long survive him to carry on the work now dropping from his tremulous hands, it seemed good to Him who forms polished instruments, but can do without them, to call away Darracott, soon to rejoin his honored friend in the mansions of immortal bliss.”
During the eight short years of Mr. Darracott's surviving his tutor, he was laboriously and successfully engaged in bis Master's business. His growing family was, however, but slenderly provided for at Wellington—and his reputation attracted invitations from other churches. He was embarrassed as to the course of duty ; but communicating with his friends and disclosing his condition, he received pecuniary assistance, and resolved not to leave a scene of so much usefulness as that in which he had so long been an actor. His labors continued to be blessed with visible success; and success increased, and cheered, and lightened his labors. Every month, he received some into his church, and proposed others to its communion. At one time the whole congregation were under serious impressions. This is what perhaps few ministers in England had ihen been able to say, ihough such scenes had not been rare in this country.
In 1755, he published bis “ Scripture marks of salvation," which were originally preached as sermons, and were requested by his hearers in a more permanent form, that the closel might revive the impressions made in the church. This pamphlet, wbich we have never seen, is said by Mr. Bennett to have been warm with the devotions of the writer's heart, and adapted to turn the attention exclusively to an examination of the heart and conscience of the reader. It was extensively circulated in England and Şcoiland-though the distribution of tracts was not then much attended to. In 1757, he exerted himself, with great zeal and success, in behalf of the poor ; and prepared to form a society for the Reformation of Manners. This proposal encountered scarcely any opposition. A society was formed, and the laws for the observance of the sabbath were enforced in the most judicious manner, and with the happiest effects.
At the close of this year, (1757) the number of the communicants in his church was increased to nearly three hundred. He extended his sphere of labor by visiting the adjacent towns and villages to bring wanderers into the fold of Christ. He exerted himself among the soldiers that were quartered or stopped near him, in their reinovals from one part of the kingdom to the other; and we have reason to believe, that he was the instrument of turning many of their hearts in a new and heavenly direction.
The time now drew near that this faithful servant should return to account with Him that sent him; and those who had been taught by him how to live, were now to learn of him how to die. The first onset of the disease which removed him from the world, was not fatal. He recovered partially, from several attacks, and was enabled again to preach. His biographer states that the first confident expectation of death, which Mr. D. expressed, was when a month elapsed without any addition to his church. “ Now," said he, “ I believe I am near my end; my work is done, and I am going home to my rest." With this impression of approaching death (to him no gloomy one) be administered the Lord's Supper, for the last time, December 3d. 1758. On the evening of that day he composed a meditation, a farewell to the world, which was published p. 629 of our last volume.
His last illness (which continued about three months) gave him much excruciating pain ; but he was sustained by faith and hope, and enjoyed not only the peace wbich the Saviour has promised to his disciples, but the transport wbicb be sometimes vouchsafes. We do not regard the raptures of a dying bed as conclusive proof of a holy heart. Nor are we certain that the publication of the last words of ecstacy and triumph which sometimes escape the lips about 10 be sealed forever, have, always, a salutary effect. We therefore forbear to quote the valedictions of Mr. Darracott: Not that we have the slightest cause to suspect bim of delirium, or hypocrisy, or seil-delusion-but because we fear that many are inclined to make such scenes the test of religion, and to indulge in needless anxiety respecting the condition of their friends who may die without the language of exultation, though they had lived the life of faith and love, of contrition and obedience.
Mr. Darracott died on the 14th, of March, 1759, in the forty second year of bis age, and, we doubt not, entered upon the distinguished rewards of those who turn many to righteousness.
"On opening his Will, it was found to contain, besides the disposal of his property, the following statement:
"It is my will and desire that I may be buried the fourth or fifth day after my decease about one o'clock in the morning; and that the time be kept secret froin all but such as are bereafter mentioned, who are the only persons I desire may attend me to my last bed. At the grave, I would have nothing said, but let them commit my flesh to the dust, in cheerful hope of a resurrection to eternal life; let them all be concerned to give me a joyful meeting at the great day,"