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tion could not be diverted by any subject of a temporal nature, save one only, and that, with subordination and submission. Sometimes, when speaking of his continual need of unabating admi
the fullest confidence. He said, he never saw so clearly the truth of the doctrines which he had been preaching, as since his illness. His view of the certainty and excellency of God's promises was in Christ unshaken.
“ The interest, likewise, which he took in the success of the Gospel, was prominent, when his disease at all remitted. His own people lay near his heart: and, when a providence had occurred which he hoped would promote their benefit, he expressed himself with old Simeon, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace.'
“ The principal effect of his distemper was in throwing a cloud over his comfort; yet, in producing this, the spiritual tendency of his mind appeared. His diseased depression operated indeed, but it was in leading him to set a high standard of holiness, to bring together elevated marks of regeneration, and to require decisive evidences of a spirit of faith and adoption. The acuteness of his judgment then argued so strongly from these false premises, that he necessarily excluded himself, almost entirely from the consolation of hope. If I may be allowed a theological term—the objective acts of faith; those that related to the grand objects proposed in the Scriptures on the testimony of God, such as the work of redemption, the person of Christ, and the virtue of his blood, remained the same; nay, were ripened and strengthened as his dissolution approached : but the subjective acts of faith; those which respected his own interest in these blessings, and which gave life to the exercises of hope; rose and sunk with his disease. He was precisely like a man oppressed by a heavy weight; as the load was lightened, he began to move and exert himself in his natural manner; when the burden was increased, he sunk down again under the oppression.
“ About a year before his death, when his powers of mind had for a long time been debilitated, but still retained some remnants of their former vigour, his religious feelings were at times truly desirable. His intellectual powers were indeed too far weakened for joy; but there was a resignation, a tranquillity, a ripeness of grace, a calm and holy repose on the bosom of the Saviour, that quite alarmed, if I may so speak, his anxious family, under the impression that there appeared nothing left for grace to do, and that he would soon be removed from them, as a shock of corn cometh in its season. Even when his disease had made still further progress, as often as the slightest alleviation was afforded him, his judgment became more distinct, his morbid depression lessened, and he was moderately composed. It was only a few weeks before his dissolution that such an interval was vouchsafed to him. He then spake with great feeling from the Scriptures, in family worship, for about half an hour; and
nistration, and the consequent demands upon my health and spirits, he would say, looking at me with tender affection, “I earnestly wish that I could reward your labours by leaving you an independency”—but would add, with a firm faith on divine providence, “I doubt not but that you and your children will be provided for after my decease. -I can only look to that God who has so graciously taken care, of, and provided for me, who entered upon the world without any possessions.” "
His evangelical views became more and more vivid latterly. He read such authors only, as treated these views most simply. Archbishop Leighton's Sermons. afforded him continual source of satisfaction. He read them perpetually; and particularly his sermon on 1 Cor. i, 30—that on Cant. i, 3—and two on Rom. viii, 33, 34. He said to me and others, that he earnestly wished all his own writings had been of this description; and that his Address, added to the Life of Mr. Newton,
dwelt on the love, and grace, and power of Christ with particular composure of mind. I had the happiness of visiting him at this sea
He was so much relieved from his disease, as to enter with me on general topics relating to religion, and to give me some excellent directions as to my conduct as a minister. In reply to various questions which I put to him, he spake to me to the following purport; “I know myself to be a wretched, worthless sinner, (the seriousness and feeling with which he spake I shall never forget,) having nothing in myself but poverty and sin. I know Jesus Christ to be a glorious and almighty Saviour. I see the full efficacy of his atonement and grace; and I cast myself entirely on him, and wait at his footstool. I am aware that my diseased and broken mind makes me incapable of receiving consolation ; but I submit myself wholly to the merciful and wise dispensations of God.'
“One or two other interesting testimonies, of the spiritual and devoted state of his heart may be here mentioned. A short time before his decease, he requested one of his family to write down for him in a book the following sentence: None but Christ, none but Christ, said Lambert, dying at a stake: the same, in dying circumstances, with his whole heart, saith Richard Cecil.' The name was signed by himself, with his left hand, in a manner hardly legible through infirmity.'
could be exchanged for an abridgment of the Sermon on 1 Cor. i, 30, as infinitely more interesting.
It cannot be supposed that I mention this, as though any thing in that Address were defective, (for whoever can read
Address without emotion or without a tear, has a proof in his own breast, that he has little experience or a hard heart) but, rather to show his humility; and, also, how he esteemed every thing as dross, compared with that one object which led him so often to repeat, with the martyr Lambert, “None but Christ !-None but Christ!" While his fatal malady had much impaired his natural powers, and contracted his former grasp of thought, he retained, like the blessed Apostle John, one faculty 'in perfection, that of an adherence of heart to the bosom of his Saviour, with that true contrition of spirit, described in that Address, and which the High and Lofty One regards with delight in his children.
Mr. Cecil's disease tended to produce frequent irritation: the impulse was sudden, and irresistible; but these irritations were so insignificant in their consequences, that the chief pain produced by them arose from observing his own poignant feel. ings on such occasions.
He would recur, in a moment, to his principles: and would express, , in the strongest terms, his detestation and selfabasement; entreating forgiveness, forbearance, and patience. Indeed, it excited exquisite pain, and often surprise, in the minds of those around, to remark, that the slightest instances of these irritations never failed to produce the strongest expressions of humiliation: he continually brought to my recollection the words of the Prophet, Thou hast laid thy body as the ground; and as the street, to them that went over.
One evening after reading his Bible for some hours, he said to me, “I derive my whole consolation from meditating on the Godhead and character of Jesus, in whom I place all my hope! Him, hath God exalted with his right-hand, to be a Prince and a Saviour; for to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins."
His habit of reading remained with him to his last hours. He was wholly engaged in reading the choicest parts of such authors as Leighton, Trail, Boston, and Gurnall. This last he was reading at the moment when the apoplectic seizure took place. Blessed is that servant, whom his Lord, when he cometh, shall find so doing! Luke, xii, 43. He read Gurnall's “Christian Armour," without intermission, during the last four days of his life; and expressed his having been much helped and benefited by that writer.
Notwithstanding the deep inroad which disease had made on his intellectual powers, whereby his enjoyment was eclipsed and his comfort overshadowed, yet I had the satisfaction of observing (as had some of those friends who had access to him) that, through all impediments, his real ripening for glory was manifest, as he travelled nearer and nearer to the grave-in his childlike simplicity-his humility, self-abasement, and increasing estimation of his adorable Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Though, as I have before remarked, his mind was often bowed down by the fatal paralysis which put an end to his labours, yet he retained to the last something of his ministerial spirit; and, in a lucid moment, often spoke of preaching again, saying, “Should it please God ever to raise me up to preach again, Christ would be my only subject!" On this Rock of Ages he had, by divine help, built for eternity—a building, which the winds of adversity could not shake. His place of
defence, and his treasure was on high; and where his treasure was, there was his heart also ; and, though called to wade through a dark dispensation, yet his long and gracious habit, (which never left him) of turning to his Heavenly Father, remained as the evening time light, till he was admitted to a mansion where there is night no more.
In conversation with a friend and minister, he said, “In your preaching hold up Christ. This should be your great object and aim in your sermons. Some have objected, that I have preached too much on faith ; but, were I to preach again, they would hear much more of it." But he had finished his public course, and was
more able to resume his ministry. He had another, and a very different lesson to learn in the school of Christ. After having exhibited the Saviour with fervour and faithfulness in public, he was taken aside into a sick chamber—there to be more emphatically taught, what he had declared to others, that none but Christ could meet the wants of a dying sinner. From this chamber and this dispensation, he did indeed preach again, and aloud, TO THE HEART, on that important warning of our Lord-BE YE ALSO
Nor did his faith fail him here, but remained firm, while every thing else was shaken: nor did I ever, at any time, hear him declare his faith with more steadfastness, than in the days of his affliction. It was a ground of much comfort to me to observe, that at no period during this visitation even when disease made the deepest inroad on his health and faculties, and Satan's temptations harassed his enfeebled mind--DID
OBJECT VARY, but remained one and the same with that in the days of his health“ Christ crucified, for the chief of sinners !"__the only point worthy the contemplation of a mortal hastening into the eternal world!