Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Jewry; where he died, on the twenty-second of June 7690, and was buried in the church of St. Mary, Aldermanbury. The fee was kept vacant on account of the unsettled state of the kingdom, till the eighth of January following.

He was a Prelate greatly esteemed for his humility, modesty, hospitality, and charity; as also for his great learning and excellent preaching; and was reckoned also no inconsiderable poet.

His WORKs consist of Two volumes of sermons; An Exposition of the Ten Commandments, printed in 1692, 410. And an Exposition of the Lord's Prayer, &c. 1692.

410."

THOMAS JACOMB, D. D.

,

TH

HOMAS JACOMB was born near Melton
Mowbray, in Leicestershire, in the

year

1622. After he had been trained up in grammar learning at the country schools, he was sent to Magdalen-Hall, Oxford, of which Dr. Wilkinson, the elder, was then principal. When he had taken the degree of bachelor of arts, he removed to Cambridge, and was of Emanuel-College. He was for some time fellow of Trinity, and much esteemed in that flourishing society : He came to London in 1647, and was soon after minister of Ludgate parish, where his ministry was both acceptable and useful till he was turned out in 1662. He was a nonconformist upon moderate principles; much rather defiring to have been comprehended in the national church, than to have separated from it. He met with some trouble after his ejectment, but being received into the family of the countess dowager of Exeter, daughter of the earl of Bridgewater, he was covered from his enemies. Her respect for the doctor was peculiar, and her favors conferred upon

him extraordinary; for which he made the best return, by his conItant care to promote religion in her family.

He was a Servant of Christ in the moft peculiar and sacred relation; and was true to his title both in his doctrine and in his life. Effectual grace wrought so pow.

B 2

erfully

erfully upon his soul, that he became an excellent preacher of the gospel, and had a happy art of conveying saving truths into the minds and hearts of men.

He did not entertain his hearers with mere curiofities, but with fpiritual food; faithfully dispensing the bread of life, whose vital sweetness and nourishing virtue is by the Holy Spirit rendered both productive and preservative of the life of fouls. He preached Christ crucified, our only wisdom and righteousness, fanctification and redemption.

His great design was to convince finners of their absolute want of Christ, that with flaming affections they might be led to him by his convincing Spirit, and from his fulness receive divine grace.

This is to water the tree at the root, whereby it becomes both flourishing and fruitful; whereas only laying down moral rules for the exercise of virtue, too frequently ends in words only, without any real effect in the life and conversation. In short, his fermons were clear, folid, and affectionate. His words came from his foul, and from wasm affections, and they entered into the breasts of his hearers : Of this many serious and judicious persons were witnesses, who long attended upon his ministry with profit and dea light.

His constant diligence in the service of Christ, was becoming his zeal for the glory of his master, and his love to the souls of men. He preached thrice a week while he had opportunity and strength; esteeming his labor in his sacred office both his highest honor and his pleasure. At the first appearance of an ulcer in his mouth, which he was told to be cancerous, he was observed to be not more concerned thereat, than as it was likely to hinder his delightful work of preaching; and when he enjoyed ease, and after wasting sickness was restored to some degrees of strength, he joyfully returned to his duty. Nay, when his pains were tolerable, preaching was his best antidote when others failed; and after his preaching, the reflection upon the divine goodness, that had given him strength for the discharge of the service, was a great relief of his pains.

His fermons, which, we have observed, were clear, folid and affectionate, were printed in a fair and lively character in his conversation. He was an example to believers, in conversation, in charity, in fpirit, in faith, in purity. He was of a stayed mind, temperate pafsions, and moderate in counsels. In managing affairs of moment, he was

not

not vehement and confident, not imposing and overhearing, but receptive of advice, and yielding to reason. His com passionate charity and beneficence were very conspicuous amongst his other graces. His heart was given to GOD; and his relieving hand was open to the living images of GOD, whole presling wants he felt with tender affections; and he was greatly inftrumental in supplying them. As his life adorned the gospel, fo also his death was exemplary to others, and gracious and comfortable to himself. The words of men leaving the world make usually the deepest impressions, being spoken most feelingly and truly, and with the least affectation. Death reveals the secrets of men's hearts: And the testimonies of dying saints, how gracious a Mafter they have served, and how sweet his service has been to their souls, have a mighty influence upon those about them.

In his last fickness, which was long and painful, his first work was, to yield himself with resigned submission to the will of GOD, When a dear friend of his first visited him, he said, “ I am in the use of means; but I think my appointed time is come, that I must die : “ If my life might be serviceable to convert or build

up one soul, I should be content to live; but if " GOD hath no work for me to do, here I am, let « him do with me as he pleaseth : But to be with Christ is best of all.” Another time he told the same person, " That now it was visible it was a determined is case : The Lord would not hear the prayer, to bless “ the means used for his recovery,” therefore desired. his friend to be willing to resign him to GOD, faying, “ It will not be long before we meet in heaven,

never to part more, and there we shall be perfectly “ happy : There neither your doubts and fears, nor “ my pains and sorrows, fhall follow us,

nor our “ fins, which is best of all.” After a long continuance in his languishing condition, without any sensible alteration, being asked how he did, he replied, “ I lie here, “ but get no ground for heaven or earth :" Upon which one said, 'Yes, in your preparations for heaven.' “ ) yes, said he, there I sensibly get ground, I bless « GOD." An humble submission to the divine pleafure was the habitual frame of his soul. Whether the hope of his recovery were raised or sunk, he was content in every dispensation of providence,

His

B 3

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

His patience under sharp and continuing pains was admirable. The most difficult part of a christian's duty, the sublimest degree of holiness upon earth, is to bear tormenting pains with a meek and quiet spirit. Then faith is made perfect in works; and this was eminently verified in his long trial. His pains were very severe, proceeding from a cancerous humor that spread itself in his joints, and preyed upon the tenderest membranes, the most senfible parts, yet his patience was invincible. How

many restless nights did he pass through without the least murmuring or reluctancy of spirit! He patiently suffered very grievous things through Christ that strengthened him; and in his most afflicted condition was thankful. But neither disease, nor even death itself could disturb the blessed composure of his soul, which was kept by the peace of GOD that passes all understanding. Such was the divine mercy, he had no anxiety about his future ftate, but a comfortable assurance of the Lord's favor, and his title to the eternal inheritance. He had a substantial double joy in the reflection

upon his life spent in the faithful service of Christ, and the prospect of a blessed eternity ready to receive him. This made him long to be above. He said with some regret, “ Death flies from me, I make no haste to my Father's " house.” But the wise and gracious GOD, who is rich in mercy, having tried his faithful servant, at length gave him the crown of life, which he hath promised to those that love him, and live and die in the Lord.

His body, that poor relict of frailty, is committed in truft to the grave. His soul sees the face of GOD in righteousness, and is satisfied with his likeness.

He died of a cancerous humor, in the countess of Excter's house, on the twenty-seventh of March, 1687, in the sixty-fixth year of his age, leaving behind him an incomparable library of the most valuable books, in all parts of learning; which was afterwards sold by auction for thirteen hundred pounds. His funeral sermon was preached by Dr. Bates, and dedicated to the above pious Lady Exeter.

His Works are, “A Commentary on the first four Verfes of the vijith Chapter of the Epistle to the Romans, 410.

A Treatise of Holy Dedication, both personal and domestic, written after the fire of London, and recommended to the citizens, after their return to their rebuilt habitations, and other tracts. A Funeral Sermon for Mr. M. Martin. - Another for Mr. Vines, with an account of

his life. Another for Mr. Case, with a narrative of his life and death. The life and death of Mr. William Whitaker, son of the famous Mr. Jer. Whitaker. Two Sermons in the Morning Exercise.' A Sermon at St. Paul's, 08. 26, 1656. A Sermon before the Lord Mayor, &c. at the Spital.

JOHN

BUN Y A N.

OHN BUNYAN, Author of the justly admired

allegory of the “ Pilgrim's Progress," was born at Elliow, near Bedford, in the year 1628. His parents, though very mean, took care to give him that learning which was suitable to their condition, bringing him up to read and write; he quickly forgot both, abandoning himself to all manner of wickedness, but not without frequent checks of conscience. He was often affrighted with dreams, and terrified with visions in the night; and twice narrowly escaped drowning. Being a soldier in the parliament-army, at the siege of Leicester, in 1645, he was drawn out to stand centinel; bat another foldier of his company desired to take his place, to which he agreed, and thereby probably escaped being Phot through the head by a musket-ball, which took off his comrade. About this time he married, having no other portion with his wife than the two following books, left by her late father, · The Plain Man's Pathway to Heaven;' and · The < Practice of Piety.' Bunyan often reading in these books, and his wife frequently telling him of her father's religious holy life, and how he reproved vice and immorality both in his own house and among his neighbours, begat in him fome desires to reform his vicious course of life; and accordingly he went to church twice a day, with a great deal of seeming devotion, but still was not able to forfake his fins. One day being at play with his companions, he says, “ A voice fuddenly darted from heaven into my soul, say“ ing, Wilt thou leave thy sins and go to heaven, or have “thy fins and go to hell?” This put him into such a conIternation, that he immediately left his sport, and looking up to heaven, thought he saw, with the eyes of his underftanding, the Lord Jesus looking down upon him, as

bighly

B 4

« AnteriorContinuar »