« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
And her language he understood in ary Institution in the county of
His disposition was most kind and " What he was as a preacher is well amiable: it excited the affection of known. No man understood his all who knew him. His manner had subject better, or entered more a benevolence and suavity rarely heartily into the spirit of it. He met with, even among good men, was lucid and methodical on every which endeared him to his parish, subject he handled. His style was his family, and his friends, and ren- classical, elegant, and simple; his dered bis intercourse with them pe- attitude and manner in the pulpit culiarly useful.
highly engaging. All he said came His publications were confined to with great effect, because his own two occasional sermons; one in fa- mind felt its influence. Those who vour of the Society for the Conver- heard him the oftenest were his sion of the Jews, and the other in greatest admirers. There was great favour of the Missionary Society, in variety in his preaching: he always whose objects he was particularly had new matter; and the Lord interested; but he has left behind blessed his labours to a very consihim a work consisting of a scheme derable degree. of sermons designed for the younger “ The leading features of his clergy, part of which he had pre- character were these : He had great pared for the press. Should it be compass of understanding; his published, it will prove, I doubt not, knowledge was general. In noà valuable present to those for thing, perhaps, did he excel so whom it was composed.
much as in humility. And if ever With excellent sense and an exten. I saw a man without guile, it was sive knowledge of all subjects con- Earle Gilbee. Kindness and benenected with his profession, Dr. Gil- volence were the very temper of his bee manifested a gentle and conde- mind. It was as his meat and drink to scending spirit, which tended to ex. lessen human misery and produce cite general love and attachment. happiness. He was a true lover of Jle took a lively interest in the con- peace, and would make any sacrifice cerns of his friends, and his truly to maintain it. I never knew a man Christian sympathy and friendly who was more dead to this world : counsel often materially contributed perhaps he even erred in inattention to reconcile them to their afflictions. to his earthly concerns. The cir.
Dr. Gilbee was a firm friend to cumstance in his character which I the British and Foreigo Bible So- chiefly lamented, was, that he lived ciety, and much rejoiced in witness- too much in the shade. He was too ing the establishment of an Auxili. fond of a retired life.
" It would be unnecessary to add, prayer and watchfulness, discover that he made one of the best parish to us our insufficiency and nothingpriests, husbands, fathers, and ness, and cause us to cling more friends."
stedfastly to the blessed hope set beAfter several years passed in the fore us in the Gospel. Such I exuseful and honourable exercise of his perience to be the blessed fruits of ministry, it at length appeared to be fear; nor will I quarrel with the the will of his heavenly Father to unpalatableness of this medicine, remove him from the church mili.. while it operates thus kindly. I tant on earth to that triumphant in need not detail this argumeni fure heaven. For several months be- ther. The balance between life fore he died, he declined greatly in and death is easily struck by the health, but still retained his usual Christian. The Apostle encloses it flow of spirits, with an easy con- all in a putshell : Pbil
. i. 21; · For tented mind, under great bodily to me to live is Christ, and to die is weakness, and sometimes under ex- gain.' May the grace of God enacruciating pain.
ble us both to attain to his experiThe following is an extract from ence in this point!" a letter written by Dr. Gilbee in Au- He returned from Ramsgate to gust last, from Ramsgate, to a friend, Barby in September. It was not the Rev. Mr. Newcatre :
long before an increase of alarming "After all, my dear friend, symptoms began to appear, and he life is hardly worth an anxious was evidently sinking into the thought. Were it not for its inti- grave. mate connection with eternity, it The night before this excellent would be a mere nonentity, a dream, man departed, he sent for a few of a shadow, a nothing. Thus as mis his most intimate friends in the nisters we teach our people, and as town, in order to leave with them ministers let us exemplify our own bis dying testimony. He addressed lessons; we shall then be solicitous them to the following purpose :not so much for our continuance in “ I do not think it right to quit this world as for an honourable de- this world without leaving behind parture 'out of it. I thank God, me my dying testimony, for the that in the prospect of my removal, comfort of my people. I charge my chief regret is, that I have not you, therefore, 10 tell them from me, served him better. On the other that the truths which I have preached hand, in the prospect of living a few to them bear me up now above the more years, my chief desire is to fear of death. My faith in Christ serve him with more fidelity in the is without a cloud, and makes me time to come. In that regret and happy in the prospect of death. in that desire I see my best evi. The Gospel supports my soul; but I dences. Encouraged by them, I can have to repent that I have not been quietly leave it with God to shorten more faithful and zealous for the my life or to lengthen it, to sweeten Lord. The religion of Jesus is so it or to embitter it, as seemeth to consoling to me, that it suppresses
all doubts and fears. • For me to “ You must not, however, sup- live is Christ, and to die is gain.' pose that I have no fears with re. Though my family at this time gard to death and a judgment to want a father's care, yet with Christ come: on the contrary, I am at I can confidently trust my soul, times sharply exercised by them: my family, and my people ; knowbut still I would not be without ing that" Infinite Wisdom cannot them. Our fears I consider as very err. uapleasant companions; but pera"Tell my people, that I feel myself haps they are our best safe-guards, a sinner, a penitent sinner, a sioner inasmuch as they excite us to saved by Divine grace; and charge
them to cleare to the Lord with full which I have preached with scorn
the earnestly prayed for a blessing on
terview, in a letter to a friend :" Tell those of them who have “ He expressed great joy on see some thoughts of religion, not to ing me, and clasped me in bis dyput off such concerns to a future ing arms. He said he was very iime, but to be in earnest now; thankful to die in the bosom of his for time fleeth fast away, and death family; that he would not turn over is at their door. O bid them from me, a straw to live, unless it were the will not to trifle with their precious time, of God. •I know,' said he, whom but to seek Christ with their whole I believe,' I wished him to spare hearts while he may be found. The his little strength; but he was de work is most important; let them sirous rather of turning the short no longer halt between two opi- time yet left him to a good acnions, but be decisive, seeing their count. «I could wish;' he said, 'ta eternal salvation depends upon it. have some of my people here. I
“ Tell those of my parishioners could wish to preach Christ to them who have made light of the truths once more; but tell them how I which I have preached, now to re- die, and how I love them.' He was flect and consider how many oppor. so collected, as to send his love to tunities they have lost, how many one whom he knew to be near and sermons they bave heard with indear to me. He embraced Mrs. Gile difference, how many Sabbaths they bee with great tenderness, express. havetrifled away, and how much time ing his strong attachment to ben, they have squandered which can ne- and his esteem for her worth. ver be recalled. O tell them, that it “ When his strength failed him is my earnest prayer that the death he grasped my hand, smiled, and of their minister may be the life of bowed his head, to express that all their souls. Assure ihem, that I find was well. This he did till he became the world to be now what it has quite insensible. been to me for a long time, nothing “ About six he left this world to more than a shadow, a vapour, à enter on an eternal Sabbath, and to bubble, a nothing. Tell those who see Him whom bis soul loved.” have treated me and the truths Another friend, describing his lasti
moments, says," His conversation was most heavenly and interesting, For the Christian Observer. and his mind most deeply impressed CHRIST'S INVITATION TO THE WEnar. with the importance and glory of Divine things. He said, among other When we familiarly term our prethings, • If I were in the pulpit now, sent state a “ vale of tears,” we da how I should preach Christ to my not properly mean, that every step people, and leave with them my in our pilgrimage to eternity is dying testimony for Christ!' He then wearisome and painful; but, that called on those who were present, to each individual has a human share join him in singing the hyma which of suffering. The most careless obbegins,
servers know, that some of their fel.
low-travellers are, for example, lan« Come ye that love the Lord, And let your joys be known.”
guishing under disease; others dis
tressed in mind; a third party opHe repeated the whole with great pressed by indigence; a fourth perfeeling, and soon after fell into a plexed by the cruelly of a relation, kind of slumber, spoke no more, and or disheartened by the ingratitude departed without a sigh or a groan. of a friend; several ruined in their
His funeral was conducted in the fol- estates, and several in their reputalowing manner :- Before the corpse tion; and that there are numbers walked two medical men, who had who, though they have suffered nane attended him ; his attorney, and the of these things specifically, are yet clergy.man who read the burial ser- disappointed and vexed by the vice. Six clergymen, as pall-bearers; world, and, with many a bitter sigh, the widow and her eight children; confess to themselves, that whatever and several of his nearest relations, else they possess, they have not ats followed as mourners. At the gate tained the happiness they once exbefore his house the whole parish pected. In this sad and disordered state met the funeral train of their reve- of mankind how welcome ought to be red minister. Every one who could the invitation which Jesus Christ ada at all afford it, had clothed him- dressed to the world.; Come unto me, self in black. They thus fol- all ye that labour, and are heavyladen, lowed him in regular and mournful and I will give you. rest! It does procession to the church, where an not appear that this was exclusively interesting and pathetic address was addressed to such as mourn for their made to the numerous hearers, by sins, but generally to every person the Rev. Mr. Newcatre, Weeping who feels himself depressed and disand sighing were heard from every quieted; to the man of aflluence, part of the congregation. The cause and the man of fame. I instance was not trivial: Dr. Gilbee, was no these characters, from a conviction longer there.--He died on Sunday, that the first of them has not reached October 2, 1813, while his, people the summit of the golden eminence were at.church.
which his, avarice keeps stedfastly The three last, texts, from which in view ; nor that the latter is at all Dr. Gilbee preached were the fol satisfied with the applause, which is lowing; Phil. i. 23 ; "I am in a the envy or boast of his flatterers strait betwixt two, having a de- and dependants. Could we penetra e sire to depart, and to be with Christ, into their bosoms, we should either which is far better,”--2 Tim. i. 10; smile or mourn at the contemplation " Who hath abolished death, and of immortal creatures panting after hath brought life, and immortality to an unknown something, and, burlight through the Gospel.”—2 Tiin. dened by feelings of disappointa ix. 1; “Who shall, judge the quick ment and insulted vanity. The life and the dead, at his appearing and of an earthly-minded man, no mats
ter what, shape his earthliness ass
his kingdom.” .br
sume, is a life of discontent. He sions of the Holy Ghost. The time
Leaving, however, this character And harder still-as learnt beneath despair. for the present, let me turn to one All this, more or less, takes place of another description, to a humble in the mind of him who is burdened penitent, whom I will suppose to by the discovery and the convichave lived in a state of false security, tion of sin. It is not, indeed, safe indifferent concerning his eternal to prescribe a certain course of inprospects, at ease in his sins, ming. ward disquietude or terror as an inling confidence with ignorance, and dispensable evidence of repentance; practical infidelity with self-righte. but it would be treachery to the ousness. At length he begins to sus- souls of men to deny that a process pect the stability of his foundations, either of serious uneasiness, or of to inquire, whether he has; not been actual terror do not shrink from throughout deluded; and proceeds the use of a strong term), has been by the first gradations of alarm and experienced by the majority of reconviction, to the great question, ligious persons at the outset of the “What must I do to be saved ?” This Christian life. Jesus Christ grounds is the man who is weary and heavy his own eternal Gospel on the asladen. He looks back on his past sumption that his followers feel such life as a long course of mistake and a degree of guilty anxiety, as causes rebellion ; 'he has no consolation in them first to examine, and finally to re-tracing a line never to be trod embrace, a doctrine suited to such again ; his hours are gone, and gone an exigent case as theirs and theirs for ever, or rather preceding him, to only. In fact, what is the promise be witnesses of his folly at the day which he adds to his invitation? I of judgment; his conscience is load will give you rest. ed with the remembrance of a sloth. To recuc in this place to the chaful, wasted life, and regards itself racter whom we left in a state of as all but inaccessible to the imprese mere worldly suffering, as distike