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bringing you like a lamb to the slaughter. This consideration overwhelms me with sorrow, insomuch, that I disregard any hazard I may run, so as I may hut deliver you out of the lion's mouth.' To this friendly proposal Mr. Frith replied, with a smile, ‘Do ye think I am afraid to deliver my sentiments before the bishops of England, and these manifestly founded on the unerring veracity of Divine revelation ?' *It seems strange to me,' said the other, that you was so willing to quit the kingdom before your apprehension : and that now you are even unwilling to save yourself from almost certain destruction.' «The matter,' said Mr. Frith, “stands thus. While I was yet at liberty, I cherished it, and to the utmost of my power, endeavoured to preserve it for the benefit of the church of Christ; but now, by the providence of God, having been delivered into the hands of the bishops, I consider myself particularly called upon as an evidence for Christ and the truths of his religion, as well as bound by the ties of gratitude and love to my adorable Redeemer, publicly to acknowledge his supreme government in the church, and contend for the purity of that faith which in old times he committed to the care and guardianship of the saints. If therefore I should now start aside, and run away, I should run away from my God and the testimony of his word, deny the Lord that bought me, and grieve the hearts of his faithful servants: I beseech you, therefore, bring me to the place appointed, otherwise I must needs travel thither by myself.'”
In this spirit of devotion to the cause of truth and righteousness, determined not to compromise bis humane attendants, and feeling that having been apprehended, the service which was then required of him was to testify to the truth before its enemies and persecutors, he met his examination. He suffered a lingering and very painful death at the stake; but his mind was so fixed and his patience so invincible, that he seemed less careful for his own sufferings than those of his faithful companion. He breathed his last, committing himself into the hands of his father and Redeemer.
It is pleasant to turn from a scene of persecution like this, however illuminated by the light of faith and hope, to the peaceful death-bed of an aged minister. Such was Thomas Gataker, minister at Rotherhithe, in the early part of the seventeenth century, a member of the assembly of divines, and one of the most learned men of his own or any age. His life may be found in Samuel Clark's Marrow of Ecclesiastical History, whence the following account of his departure is taken with some few omissions.
“In his last sickness his faith and patience were strikingly manifest. The day before his departure, when exercised with extreme pain, he cried out, ‘ How long, O Lord, how long? Come, O come speedily!' A little before he breathed his last, he called his son, his sister, and his daughter, to each of whom he delivered the charge of a dying Christian. My heart (said he) fails me, and my strength is gone; but God is the strength of my heart, the rock and fortress of my salvation, and my sure portion. Into thy hands, therefore, I commend my soul, for thou hast redeemed me, 0 thou God of truth! My son, (said he) you have a great charge; be sure to look after it, and discharge the duties thereof with a conscientious regard to that important day when you must render an account of your stewardship. Instruct your wife and children in the fear of God, and watch for the welfare of the flock over which you have been appointed pastor. Sister, (said he) I thought you might have gone before me; but God wills it otherwise, and I am called to my appearance first. I hope we shall meet together in heaven; and I pray God to bless you, and be your comfort in your declining years. Daughter, (he said) mind the world, and the things of the world, less; God, and the things that concern your eternal peace, more than you have hitherto done ; and never let it drop out of your memory, that the earth, and all it contains, without the fear of God, and the hopes of eternal life, are of no value, less than nothing, vanity.' Having thus delivered his dying charge, he desired them to withdraw, and leave him to rest, but the hour of his departure was at hand. He died July 27th, 1654, and in the seventy-ninth year of his age."
We have reserved for the last place in our paper that most touching incident in pastoral history-John Robinson's farewell to his flock upon the sea-shore of Holland, as they were departing for the wilds of America, to find a home there for liberty and truth. It is an incident which comes home to our feelings both as Christians and as patriots. These exiles might have preserved their liberty, and probably their religion with it, in the United Provinces ; but they would have lost their mother tongue. They declare, in the account they gave of their reasons for leaving Holland, that “their posterity would in a few generations become Dutch, and so lose their interest in the English nation, they being desirous rather to enlarge his majesty's dominions, and live under their natural prince.” But they had a still higher motive, for they name as their last, “a great hope and inward zeal they had of laying some good foundation, or at least to make some way thereto, for the propagating and advancement of the Gospel of the kingdom of Christ in those remote parts of the world ; yea, although they should be but as stepping-stones unto others for the performance of so great a work."
They therefore bought and fitted out in Holland a small ship of about sixty tons, called the “Speedwell,” and hired another in London, called the “ Mayflower,” to convey them across the Atlantic. “Being prepared,” says a contemporary account quoted by Mr. Hanbury, (Historical Memorials, vol. i. p. 392,) “to depart, they had a solemn day of humiliation, the pastor teaching, a part of the day, very profitably and suitably to the occasion, (on Ezra vii. 21]; the rest of the time was spent in pouring out prayers unto the Lord with great fervency, mixed with abundance of tears. And the time being come that they must depart, they were accompanied with most of their brethren out of the city, unto a town called Delft Haven, where the ship lay ready to receive them ; so they left that goodly and pleasant city, which had been their resting-place above eleven years. . . . The next day, the wind being fair, they went on board, and their friends with them ; when truly doleful was the sight of that sad and mournful parting, (so) that sundry of the Dutch strangers that stood on the quay as spectators could not refrain from tears! ... But the tide, which stays for no man, calling them away that were thus loth to depart, their reverend pastor falling down on his knees, and they all with him, with watery cheeks commended them, with most fervent
prayers, unto the Lord and his blessing; and then, with mutual embraces and many tears, they took leave one of another ; which proved the last leave to so many of them.”
Mr. Hanbury has recorded many further particulars in his work as above quoted, respecting the causes, objects, and issue of their vorage, and especially two interesting letters to the emigrants from their faithful pastor. The shorter of these, a letter of inestimable value, must close the present paper.
" Brethren,-We are now quickly to part from one another, and whether I may ever live to see your faces on earth any more, the God of heaven only knows. But whether the Lord have appointed that or not, I charge you before God and before his blessed angels, that you follow me no more than you have seen me follow the Lord Jesus Christ.
“ If God reveal anything to you by any other instruments of his, be as ready to receive it as ever you were to receive any truth by my ministry; for I am verily persuaded, -I am very confident, the Lord hath more truth yet to break forth out of his holy word. For my part, I cannot sufficiently bewail the condition of the reformed churches, who are come to a period in religion; and will go, at present, no further than the instruments of their first reformation. The Lutherans cannot be drawn to go beyond what Luther saw: whatever part of his will our good God has imparted and revealed unto Calvin, they will rather die than embrace it. And the Calvinists, you see, stick fast where they were left by that great man of God; who yet saw not all things! This is a misery much to be lamented; for though they were burning and shining lights in their times, yet they penetrated not into the whole counsel of God; but were they now living they would be as willing to embrace further light, as that which they first received.
“I beseech you to remember it, it is an article of your church government, that you will be ready to receive whatever truth shall be made known to you from the written word of God. Remember that, and every other article of your most sacred covenant. But I must herewithal exhort you to take heed what you receive as truth : examine it, consider it, compare it with the other Scriptures of truth, before you do receive it. For it is not possible the Christian world should come so lately out of such thick antichristian darkness, and that perfection of knowledge should break forth at once.
“ I must also advise you to abandon, avoid, and break off the name of Brownist! It is a mere nickname, and a brand for the making of religion, and the professors of religion, odious unto the Christian world. Unto this end, I should be extremely glad if some godly minister would go with you, or come to you, before you can have any company. For there will be no difference between the unconformable ministers of England and you, when you come to the practice of evangelical ordinances out of the kingdom. And I would wish you, hy all means, to close with the godly people of England. Study union with them in all things wherein you can have it without sin, rather than in the least measure, to affect a division or separation from them. Neither would I have you loth to take another pastor besides myself; inasmuch as a flock that hath two shepherds, is not thereby endangered, but secured.
“So adding some other things of great consequence, he concluded, most affectionately commending his departing flock unto the grace of God.”
THE COLLEGE CONFERENCE PAPERS.
No. II. The Importance of Theological Study, and of giving special attend
ance to Sacred Learning in the latter years of the collegiate course. By the Rev. H. F. Burder, D.D.
The subject on which I have been requested to suggest a few thoughts for the consideration of this meeting is, the importance of securing, at least, the two last years of the academic course for theological and cognate studies.
The importance of such an arrangement will appear from several considerations, which I shall endeavour to state with great conciseness.
1. It is the natural order of study to enter on those pursuits, in the first instance, for which the youthful mind is best prepared, and to reserve for the last those which require the greatest degree of intellectual maturity.
The study of the English, the Latin, and the Greek languages, the attention to history and geography required in the careful reading of the classics, and the elements of mathematical science, are, with good reason, allotted to the early years of an academic course.
The student, thus initiated, is prepared to enter on the philosophy of language, and on the philosophy of mind, of which language is the developement; and is thus trained and disciplined in habits of clear discrimination, just reasoning, and patient research. All this is preparatory to the more elevated, the more difficult, and the more important studies to which the candidate for the sacred ministry proposes to devote the energies of his mind, and of his life.
2. This order of study is established and pursued in the bestregulated seminaries of learning and religion. Among these, I may be permitted to assign an honourable rank to the Scottish universities and theological institutions. After passing through the grammarschool, the student is usually placed under the professors of Latin and Greek for about three years; he is then engaged in the study of logic, of rhetoric, of mathematics, of mental, of moral, and of natural philosophy, for three years more; and if he is destined to the ministry in the Established Church, he pursues the study of theology, and other related subjects, during four additional years. If he belong to the Secession Church, he is placed, after his graduation at college, under the professors of their divinity hall; and his attention is entirely directed to those studies which have the most important bearing on the Christian ministry. A similar order of studies is, I believe, pursued in the colleges and theological seminaries of the United States. This arrangement of the course of study, recommended by long experience of its advantages and efficiency, as well as by the order of nature, cannot, I conceive, be reversed or disregarded without serious injury and detriment.
3. It is the dictate of wisdom to devote the mind, in the advanced and concluding years of preparatory study, to the subjects which are most intimately connected with the duties and the labours of the Christian ministry.
In every other profession this is deemed essential and indispensable. The general education and discipline by which the mind has been trained, is justly regarded as only preparatory to the acquisition of that specific range of knowledge in which the professional man is expected to be a proficient. If he betray incompetency or deficiency in that in which he is expected to excel, little credit will be given him for any other species of intellectual acquirement. Of little avail to the incompetent physician would be the reputation of a scholar. Of little avail to the incompetent lawyer would be the reputation of an astronomer. Of as little avail to the Christian minister would be the reputation of a geologist, or a mathematician. It may be added, that a want of accurate, consistent, and comprehensive views in theology is more likely to be detected in the ministrations of the pulpit, than occasional deficiencies and mistakes in the practice of any other profession. Our hearers have themselves access to the very fountain of theological knowledge in the sacred Scriptures; and not a few of them are “swist to hear,” and not “slow to speak,” if there be any offence against sound doctrine, or even against sound judgment, good feeling, or good taste. Of this it is not for us to complain. Our concern should be to “show ourselves to be workmen not needing to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
4. It is important to proceed on the arrangement most favourable to the cultivation of those mental habits which are most conducive to the success of the Christian ministry.
Which of us has not felt and lamented, during our academic career, the secularising and torpifying influence of many branches of study, which could not, without serious injury, be discarded or omitted ? Is it then an unimportant question, in what part of the course these studies shall be placed ? Is not the power of mind invigorated, is not the value of time increased, is not the importance of devotional feeling and heavenliness of spirit augmented, as the student approximates to his actual entrance on the sacred ministry ? Are not the studies in the various departments of theology more congenial to the spiritual mind, more formative of the Christian character, and more generative of the Christian temper, than the reading of the heathen classics, or the demonstrations of geometry? Throughout the entire course of our ministry, do we not need all the aids we can obtain for the cultivation of the hallowed impulses which best prepare us for the pulpit? Is it kind, then, or is it wise, or is it just, to our young brethren, who