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responsibility, and exposed him to some objections and difficulties in the discharge of his more sacred and appropriate duties. But, whatever may be thought of the expediency of this union of offices in general, it appears doubtful whether, in Mr. Waltham's case, the visible and important change produced at Darlaston, during his incumbency, would have been effected without it. His authority as a magistrate, in restraining vice and promoting civil and moral order, would often be intelligible and efficient, where the weightier instructions and sanctions of religion would not have access, and, if they had, would, in a majority of cases, have been neither understood nor regarded. And though external reform be not the only nor the highest end of the Christian ministry, it is confessedly an important point gained, and one which must materially contribute to the general usefulness of the faithful Minister.

Whether the success of this excellent man was in proportion to his more abundant exertions and fervent desire for the temporal and eternal welfare of his parishioners, may perhaps be questioned; but the remarkable change produced in them was universally admitted, and became even proverbial throughout the neighbourhood. It remains, therefore, the solemn duty of his parishioners," to take heed for themselves, that the things wrought" by their late pastor, be not finally "lost" but that, in their complete salvation, he "may receive a full reward."

In addition to the laborious and faithful discharge of his pastoral and magisterial duties, Mr. Waltham was enabled to accomplish two objects of great importance, both to the spiritual welfare of his parish, and the comfort of his suc

cessors.

The parish-church was rebuilt on an enlarged and commodious

scale; and the parsonage, which, before his time, was deemed scarce ly habitable by a clergyman, he enlarged, and, by the addition of suitable offices, made it a convenient and respectable habitation.

To the former of these objects he contributed liberally in money, but still more essentially by his able and unwearied superintendence of the progress of the work. The enlargement and improvement of the parsonage were undertaken and completed at his sole expense. And though it was not permitted to him long to enjoy these fruits of his pious labours here, he has now nothing to regret; he is removed to a purer temple, is the resident of a better house, and shall henceforth be employed in higher service and nobler worship.

But though much has been effected at Darlaston by the blessing of God upon his labours; though a considerable portion has been al ready redeemed from the waste, and much fallow ground been already cleared, broken up, and planted, by his vigorous and successful exertions, yet we may confidently hope, that, by the continued blessing of God on his successors, this favoured spot will be carried to still higher degrees of moral and religious cultivation. The field of labour is indeed vast, and it may well be asked, "Who is sufficient for these things?" It should, however, be remembered, that the resources of the Christian Minister are infinite; his sufficiency is of God. "May the God of the spirits of all flesh set a man over this congregation" -- a pastor after his own heart, who shall feed® them with knowledge and understanding *!"

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But, if the path of our revered friend, both as a Christian and a Minister, was as the shining light, the end of his path was as the per

* This prayer has been happily answered in the appointment of the Rev. Mr. Lowe. --EDITOR.

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fect day. To few has equal grace been shown in their last hours-an equal measure of that faith which substantiates things not seen, and of joy and peace in believing." And this is the more to be noted, as magnifying the grace of God, because our friend was not aware, till within a very short time of his dissolution, that his sickness was unto death. For more than twelve months his disease had been secretly acting upon his constitution, and had made a fatal progress, neither perceived by himself nor apprehended by his nearest friends.

About a fortnight before his death, he was advised to visit Chel-. tenham; but his physician there soon apprised him, that Cheltenham could be of no avail, and advised his immediate return to Darlaston. This counsel he received as the notice to set his house in order. He with great difficulty reached Darlaston on the Wednesday in the same week, and on the Monday following was called to his rest.

But who can describe his blessedness in the interval? Though but a comparatively short time before he appeared in the fulness of his strength and maturity of his usefulness; in possession of every thing that could make life desirable; and with a more than ordinary prospect of length of days; he yielded to the call, not as one who was compelled to obey, but as one who was "ready," and had a desire to depart." The truths he had so long and so faithfully preached to others, now administered to him their full support. He seemed wholly occupied and absorbed by two considerations, THE WELFARE OF HIS FLOCK, and

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THE JOY THAT WAS SET BEFORE

HIM. Like his blessed Master, the "good Shepherd, he cared for the sheep" and those of them who had access to him in his last hours, will not soon forget "how he exhorted, and comforted, and

charged every one of them, as a father doth his children, that they would walk worthy of God, who had called them to his kingdom and glory;" with what ardour of holy affection he gave them his dying benediction!" May the Lord bless you! Cleave to him with purpose of heart; hold on unto the end, that you may meet your unworthy Minister, and that he may have to present you at last in the presence of God. I shall be looking for you, one by one, to follow me to glory." So affectionately desirous was this excellent man of the people of his charge, that their future welfare amongst the last and dearest cares of his valuable life! Mr. Waltham felt and expressed the fullest reliance on the wisdom and piety of his revered patrons, in their choice of a successor; but so near was this subject to his heart, that he made it his dying request that his solicitude on this point might be respectfully communicated to them. May every Christian pastor drink deeply into the same spirit!

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To all who visited him during the last days of his life, he had something strikingly appropriate to say; and when, at intervals, the power of utterance was suspended. he pointed upwards, to indicate. where he was going. On one occasion, reviving a little, he was heard to say, "A poor vile sinner saved!" and immediately repeated the two first verses of the hymn, "Jesus, I love thy charming name,' &c. Mrs. Waltham requested him not to exert himself so much; when he replied, "I must speak the honours of my God with my last labouring breath!" He then addressed his dear and afflicted partner: "Let your soul's salvation be your only care. regard to earthly things, you will be left in a comfortable and respectable situation: but what are all these things? Do not set your affections upon them-consider

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them as the dust to be trampled under your feet!" After a suitable address to all present, he exclaimed, "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? Thanks be to God, who hath given me the victory, through Jesus Christ our Lord!" On the evening of the same day, one of his hearers came to see him, and being much affected, Mr. Waltham said, "Don't weep; I am happy! Tell my friends how happy I am! Tell them I am going before; may they soon follow! I hope to pre sent them before the throne of God, and to say, Behold, I and the children thou hast given me!" The following morning another of his parishioners called upon him, when, taking him by the hand, Mr. Waltham said, "I shall soon be with Jesus! The Lord bless you! cleave to him with full purpose of heart!" This friend observed to him, "What a blessing it is, Sir, that the Lord is so good to you, as to fill you with such a glorious prospect!"-when our brother replied, "Not a cloud! The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom, then, shall I fear! The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom, then, shall I be afraid!" In the course of the same day, Mrs. Waltham, observing in her revered husband the struggle of departing life, was much affected, and said, "This is very hard!' when he answered, "It is not crucifixion !"

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On Sunday morning (the day before his death) he inquired, "Is not this the Lord's day?" and, addressing himself to Mrs. Waltham, added, "I hope my love would have no objection to my spending this day in heaven ?" On receiving from her some wine and water, he said, "It only keeps me here! I long to drink at the fountain head!" A friend observed, "The Lord's time is the best."-"Yes," said he," so it is; but I long to be gone; I long to see Him as he is. When I awake up after thy like

ness, I shall be satisfied! Into thy hands I commend my spirit, for thou hast redeemed me, O Lord, thou God of truth!"

In the evening of the same day (Sunday), he said to his medical attendant, "I thought my spirit would have taken its flight before this time; but it clings so hard to this poor body!" And soon after, "I am upon a Rock-Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace who stayeth himself on thee!" On Monday morning, about an hour before his death, he said, "Glorious vision!" and, opening his eyes, and observing the sun's rays entering the room, he added, "Farewell sun! I want not thee! I shall behold the Sun of righteousness! Bright prospect!" and having said this, he fell asleep.

His funeral sermon (from Heb. xiii. 7) was preached by a friend and neighbour, who can never for get the spectacle which the church at Darlaston that day presentedit was indeed "the house of mourning!" and the preacher's impression, on ascending the pulpit, resembled what he has sometimes felt on visiting a numerous and afflicted family for the first time after the removal of an affectionate and revered father. It would afford to the mind of the writer of this Memoir a melancholy satisfaction to linger a while on this affecting subject; but he dares not trust himself further. Nearly of the same age with his lamented friend, placed in a station of great responsibility, and not without indications of declining strength, he is reminded that the period of his labour, and of life itself, cannot be long. What he most desires is, that it may not be spent in vain. He will, therefore, with encouragement and awe, go forth to his work and to his labour until the evening;" humbly praying, that the God of his friend" may be his God for ever and ever, and his guide, even unto death.”

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RELIGIOUS COMMUNICATIONS.

ON THE SEVEN CHURCHES OF

ASIA.

[Continued from Vol. II. p. 344.]

Rev. ii. 7.

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches: To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

THIS is the concluding part of the Epistle which St. John was ordered to write to the church of Ephesus. Having commended what was good, and rebuked them for what was evil; exhorted them to repentance, and added a threatening to enforce the exhortation, viz. I will remove thy candlestick out of its place except thou repent; he next, in the words before us, calls for serious attention from all, and by a promise encourages to perseverance and steadfastness. We have to observe here,

1. The attention required: He that hath an ear, let him hear, &c. 2. What it is to overcome. And, 3. The gracious reward promised thereto I will give to him to eat of the tree, &c.

:

1. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches. With a like admonition our Lord concludes several of his parables: He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. What is spoken to his creatures by him who is Lord of heaven and earth, and the great Judge eternal, it behoves all to hearken to with the utmost seriousness and awful attention. Upon the reception we give to it depends our everlasting state of bliss or woe. It must be heard with diligence, and an humble and obedient heart, by all who would be accepted at the last; and not to do this is the most daring insult to the Majesty of heaven. The Lord hath given us the faculty of

hearing; ears to hear, that we may listen to what he speaks to us, and concerning us. And it is his command, he that hath an ear, let him. hear. Psa. xlix. 1: Hear this, all ye people; give ear, all ye inhabitants of the world, both low and high, rich and poor, together. He speaks to us all that it concerns us to know, believe, and do; and it belongs to all alike that have the use of reason. He speaks in the written revelation of his will; and he speaks when his message is publicly declared by his ambassadors, agreeably to his written word. The Bible is to be read and searched with diligence and humility, that his will and his truth may be discovered; and when his word is publicly dispensed, it is to be heard with the same diligence and humility, and received, not as the word of man, but of the most high God. He commanded St. John to declare these things in his name to the churches; and he hath appointed an order of men to remain in his church to the end of time, to teach publicly in the Gospel ministry, and to help mankind to understand and receive his word. Such as will not attend the public ministry are therefore guilty of the most profane and horrid contempt of God and of their own souls. Every one that hath an ear, let him hear.--To hear, often signifies not merely to lend the outward ear, but to hear with effect, and so as to regard and obey the heavenly message; to hear with reverence, humility, and devout attention, that it may be an engrafted word, able to save the soul. For, to hear with carelessness, and to forget and disobey, is still but mockery and contempt of God and his word. We must hear what the Spirit saith. Here is a clear proof of the doetrine of the Trinity, and of the

divinity of Christ and the Holy
Ghost. Christ speaks in his own
name, authoritatively, to the
churches; therefore he is the most
high God.
And what he speaks is
said to be spoken by the Spirit,
which is a proof that the Spi-
rit also is God, and a co-equal
Person in the undivided Trinity.
So the Spirit speaks in the Scrip-
tures, and they are said to be given
by inspiration of God; and holy
men spake as they were moved by
the Holy Ghost. Every one is re-
quired to regard what the Spirit
saith to the churches; not only
these particular churches, but all
other men. It is not of private
interpretation, but concerns all
mankind to the end of time.

ment. Striving against sin.—The idea of victory supposes adversaries and opposers, and likewise continual resistance. It does not imply that they are never foiled, nor compelled at all to give way; but they yield not to the enemy: and when at any time overpowered, they rise and recover themselves. through grace, and return not to former sins, nor give up following the Lord, as others do. Through foils they wax valiant and skilful in fight, and learn the better how to withstand temptation, and also become more humble and watchful.. They overcome, not by any power, wisdom, or resolution of their own, but by faith in Christ, as their righteousness and strength, and by 2. What is it to overcome? This using every means of victory, in. is the character of all sincere and dependence on him. They vanpersevering Christians. Though quish Satan's accusations and the any of then may be guilty of leav- guilt of sin, by the blood of the ing their first love, yet they repent Lamb; their only plea before God. and do their first works. Not only And they overcome temptations to do they make a profession, but are sin by humble reliance on his grace truly engrafted into Christ by faith. and power, and fighting under his They not only begin, but hold out banner. Be strong in the Lord, to the end; and not merely in re- and in the power of his might. Be ligious profession, but godly and strong in the grace which is in Christ upright conversation. Not only Jesus. I can do all things through all the openly ungodly, but some Christ that strengtheneth me. They that set out in religious profession, overcome not only other's, but their instead of overcoming, are over- own besetting sins, and those to come; fall away, or persevere in a which they are under the strongvain profession, under the dominion est temptations; for, to overcome of sin. Not so those who are sa- some and not others, or those only vingly and spiritually united to which are the most easy of conChrist by faith, and to whom the quest, is no victory; though many promise belongs. These overcome, do thus deceive themselves. and by patient continuance in well- sincere Christian is led and enadoing seek for glory, honour, and bled by divine grace to follow, not immortality. This implies that the course of the world, or what Christianity is a warfare and an ar- is most pleasing or profitable to duous contest: Fight the good fight himself, but what is the will of of faith, I have fought a good fight. God in Christ concerning him, and Christians have enemies and oppo- to deny himself in what is contrary, sitions to overcome, the world, the If excess has been his besetting flesh, and the devil; all the as- sin, he is enabled to forsake it, to saults of unbelief and sin. Against withstand temptation, and to be these they have to stand steadfast, strictly temperate: if lasciviousand to struggle all their days tillness, he now lives in chastity, and they have finished their course, ac- keeps himself pure. If he has cording to the baptismal engage- been guilty of theft or dishonesty,

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