תמונות בעמוד

lengths, and breadths, and heights, and depths of the love of CHRIST with which he was favoured? To evince this, I will present the reader with a short sketch of his dying icene, and leave him to judge, whether he ever saw or perused any account of an exit so far beyond the common run of Christians. And yet, by the grace of God, and a diligent use of the divinely appointed means, this, or fomething like this, might be the attainment of all.

Mr. JANEWAY was born in the year 1633, at Tylly in Hertfordshire. At about twelve years old, he had made a considerable proficiency in mathematic science, and in the study of astronomy, and other parts of useful literature. At seventeen he was admitted to King's College in Cambridge. At eighteen it pleased God to enlighten his understanding, and to give him the knowledge and experience of evangelical truth. Mr. Baxter's Saints Everlasting Reft became his favourite book. This he read, studied, imitated. Now he knew, that astronomy, with which he was so delighted, surveyed but a dunghill in comparison of that system of things which the religion of Jesus contemplates. Stars, about which Mr. Paine · makes such a pother, are but dirty clods, when compared with that glory which lies beyond the reach of the highest human contemplation. He was now, therefore, wholly occupied with divine contemplations, and tasted so much sweetness in the knowledge of Christ, that it was discernable in his very appearance, and he counted every thing but dross and dung, in comparison of the knowledge of Christ and bim crucified. Not that he looked upon human learning as useless: but when fixed below Christ, not improved for CHRIST, or set in opposition to CHRIST; he looked upon wisdom as folly, upon learning as madness, and upon genius as a curse, which would make a man more like the Devil, more fit for his service, and put a greater accent upon our misery in another world.

At the age of twenty he was admitted a Fellow of his College. Still, however, he went on with his religious contemplations, and became so mighty in prayer, and other sacred exercises, that he forgot the weakness of his body, and injured his health. He studied much, prayed much,




319 and laboured much in every way he could contrive to be of use to mankind, and to promote the honour of the Divine Being. Sickness coming on, he was never permitted to preach but twice. His disorder, which was of the consumptive kind, encreased rapidly upon him, but yet with some intervals of relief. During the greatest part of his sickness, however, he was so filled with love, and peace, and joy, that human language links under what he saw and felt. During the greatest part of his illness, he talked as if he had been in the third heavens; breaking out every now and then into extasies of joy and praise. Not a word dropped from his mouth but it breathed of CHRIST and heaven. He talked as if he had been with Jesus, and came from the immediate presence of God. At one time he said:-" O my friends stand and wonder; come, look upon a dying man and wonder. Was there ever greater kindness? Were there ever more sensible manifestations of rich grace? O, why me, Lord? why me? Sure this is akin to heaven. And if I were never to enjoy more than this, it were well worth all the torinents men and devils could invent. If this be dying, dying is sweet. Let no Christian ever be afraid of dying. Oh! death is sweet to me! This bed is foft. Christ's arms, his smiles, and visits, sure they would turn hell into heaven! Oh! that you did but see and feel what I do! Come, and behold a dying man, more cheerful than ever you any

healthful man in the midst of his sweetest enjoyments. o Sirs! worldly pleasures are pitiful, poor, sorry things, compared with one glimpse of his glory which shines fo strongly into my soul. Oh! why should any of you be so sad, when I am so glad! This, this is the hour that I have waited for.”

About forty-eight hours before his dissolution he faid again :

“ Praise is now my work, and I shall be engaged in that sweet employment for ever. Come, let us lift up our voice in praise. I have nothing else to do. I have done with prayer, and all other ordinances. I have almost done conversing with mortals. I shall presently be beholding CHRIST himself, that died for me, and loved me, and


[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

washed me in his blood. I shall in a few hours be in eternity, singing the song of Moses, and the forg of the LAMB. I hall presently stand upon mount Sion with an innumerable company of angels, and the spirits of just men made perfeet, and Jesus the mediator of the new covenant. I shall hear the voice of much people, and be one amongst them who say-Hallelujah! Salvation, glory, and honour, and power unto the LORD our God! And again we say, Hallelujah! Methinks I stand as it were one foot in heaven, and the other on earth. Methinks I hear the melody of heaven, and by faith I see the angels waiting to carry my soul to the bosom of Jesus, and I shall be for ever with the Lord in glory. And who can choose but rejoice in all this?”

In such a rapturous strain as this he continued, full of praise, full of adıniration, full of joy, till at length, wich abundance of faith and fervency, he cried aloud:-“Amen! Amen!” and soon after expired *.


Mr. JANEWAY arrived at these high attainments in the divine life, hy a constant perusal of his Bible; a frequent perufal of Mr. BAXTER'S Saint's E-verlasting Rejt, a book tor which multitud es will have cause to bless God for ever; and by spending a due proportion of every day in fecret prayer, and devout contemplation.

The Earl of Mirandola and Concordia, who died in the fower of his age, about the year 1494, after he had for some time quitted all his great employments under CHARLES the fifth, emperor of Germany, was esteemed the most beautiful person of that age, and a man of the most exalted genius; and yet, after having read all that could be read, and learned every thing that could then be learned, he wrote to his Nephew, an officer in the army, in a stile worthy of the above example of JANEWAY:“ I make it my humble request to you,” says he, “ that you would not “ fail to read the Holy Scriplures night and morning with great attention ; “ for as it is our duty to meditate upon the Law of God day and night, fo nothing can be more useful; because there is in the Holy Scriptures

celestial and efficatious power, inflaming the foul with divine fear " and love."

Our celebrated Spencer, though a man of dissipation in his youth, in his more advanced years entered into the interior of religion, and in his two Hymns on Heavenly Love, and Heavenly Beauty, hath expressed all the height and depth of JANEWAY's experience ;

Then shalt thou feel thy spirit fo poffett,
“ And ravisht with devouring great desire
“« Of his dear self, that thall thy feeble breast

« Inflame


[ocr errors]

And now, my Friends and COUNTRYMEN, with sentis ments of the most benevolent and affectionate regard, both for you, and every human being, whether Jew, Turk, infidel, Heretic, or Christian, I submit these reflections, concerning Religion and the Sacred Writings, to your most serious con

" Inflame with love, and set thee all on fire
“ With burning zeal, through every part entire,
"That in no earthly thing thou shalt delight,
« But in his sweet and amiable fight.-
• Then shall thy ravisht foul inspired be
“ With heavenly thoughts, far above human kill,
“And thy bright radiat eyes shall plainly see
“ Th’idea of his pure glory present still
Before thy face, that all thy spirits shall fill
s With In eet enragement of celestial love,

“ Kindled through fight of those fair things above." XPEXCER's religion, we fee froin the above extracts, is, like that of the Ruker, " a religion of feeling.” This too is usquestionabytie re igjen of the Bible. Ilhom having not seen ye love; in vnon, though you ye fie kım nnt, yet believing, je rejoice wiih jny unspeakobie and full of glory. See this lubject considered at some length in Mr. WILBER FORCE's Praca tical View, ch, 3. fect. 2d and 30.

This fame devout ard heavenly spirit breathes strongly in all the old afcetic authors. AUGUSTINE is famous for it; fo were several others of the ancient Fathers of the Church, THOMAS A KEMPis is excelled by none in this way. St. BERNARD is very pious. His hymn on the name Jesus is in a high strain of this kind.

« Defidero te millies,
"Mi Jesus! quando venies ?
“ Me lætum quando facies?

“ Me de te quando faties?”
St. AuGUSTINE's hymn, which begins,

“ Ad perennis vitæ fontem

“ Mens sitivit arida;" is in the fame frain; and has been imitated in that favourite old hymn recorded in the Pilgrim's Guide.

Jerusalem, my happy home,

" O that I were in thee.
“ O would my woes were at an end,

" Thy joys that I might see! &c. &c.
Almost every thing of this kind, however, which has been left us by.
our forefathers is written in a ftile highly depraved, and is usually equally
devcut and superstitious. The pious reader, therefore, will be upon his
guard in the perusal of such authors, and take the good, and cast the bad.
away. The Bible alons is free from human weaknesles.




[ocr errors]

fideration. What impression they may make upon your minds, is known only to the God of the spirits of all fiesn*.

• If the reader should find himself dissatisfied with the Plea for Religion and the Sacred Writings, which is here put into his hand, let him by no means give up the cause as desperate, but rather let him lay it aside, and have recourse to those more able and explicit Treatises, which I have occasionly recommended in the Notes. Or, if he thinks himself ca. pable of rendering a more effectual service to the cause of evangelical truth, let him take


his own pen, and confound the enemies of religion. Learned Laymen, especially, should come forward in vindication of the Gospel; since every thing, which proceeds from the Clergy on religion, is supposed to spring from a self-interested fource. Mr. WILBERFORCE has done himself much honour. He is a bold and able advocate for a much injured caufe. Nor less so is the excellent Miss HANNAH MORE. She is a credit to her sex, and a blessing to her country. It is scarcely possible, however, for authors on this subject to be too numerous. We are not wanting in clerical writers; but those who have treated on subjects purely religious, among the other ranks of society, are, comparatively, few; and especially among the Princes and Nobles of the land. Mr. HORACE WALPOLE has given us a catalogue of the Royal and Noble authors of England, Scotland, and Ireland, since the Conquest; and, I think, he produces only, during all those ages, 10 English Princes, 92 Peers, and 14 Peeresses. To these he adds 24 Scotcle Royal and Noble authors, with us Irish Peers: In all about 150; a small number, when it is considered they are usually the best educated men in the country.

In Germany have been published in the course of fix years, from 1785 to 1790, no less a number than 272372 books, on the following subjects, and in these proportions: i General Literature

68 2 Philology

1527 3 Divinity

4863 4 Jurisprudence

2158 5 Medicine and Surgery

1898 6 Metaphysics and M. Philosophy

965 7 Education

506 8 Politics and Finance

1885 9 Military Sciences

154 10 Physics and Natural History

1729 II Arts and Manufactures

U10O 32 Mathematics

581 13 Geography and History

4779 14 Belles Lettres 15 History of Literature

762 16 Miscellaneous




Gent. Mag. Feb. 1796, p. 147. From the Monthly Mag. for June 1798, it appears, that the average number of books published in Germany from 1785 to the close of the year 1797, is 5,360 annually.


« הקודםהמשך »