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BIOGRAPHY OF MR. TIMOTHY CRUSO.
. With a Portrait. ]
In furnishing our readers with bio- I at one of the Scotch Universities, graphical sketches of the ministers where he resided for some years, and whose portraits embellish the numbers took the degree of Master of Arts. We of our Journal from month to month, cannot trace his history, from the time we have often had to lament the want of his leaving the University, until his of attention that has been shewn to settlement in London, which was about their memory, by their surviving con- the period of the Revolution, (1688.) temporaries. They have honoured But some little time after this, we find them while living, and rejoiced in their him chosen to fill up the vacancy in light; but when snatched from them the lectureship of Pinners' Hall, occaby death, they have not been sufficiently sioned by the exclusion of Dr. Daniel mindful of their duty, in 'committing to Williams; from which it is argued, record the more interesting incidents of that he must have been in high repute their personal history, for the benefit of as a preacher prior to that election; for posterity. We have an instance of this this was a distinction conferred only in the case of Mr. Cruso. From a upon the most eminent divines in and sermon preached on occasion of his about the metropolis. · At that lecture death by the celebrated Matthew Mead, he delivered many elaborate discourses, we can collect, that he was a person of the fruit of intense study, and composed considerable learning, and an eminent with great accuracy and judgment. preacher of the gospel of peace; sound | From these a sufficient number were and orthodox in his principles; a bright selected after his death, to form a and burning seraph, fervently devoted volume, which was published in 1699, to the service of his divine Master; with a recommendatory preface by Mr. and so willing to spend and be spent Matthew Mead. for his glory, and the good of souls, Mr. Cruso was the first pastor of the chat his mortal tenement was consumed church assembling in Jewry Street, away at the early age of forty-one! Aldgate; indeed that society seems to
Of Mr. Cruso's family, education, I have been gathered by his ministry; but and early history, we find scarcely any we have not been able to ascertain the thing recorded by his surviving friends. exact date of his accepting the pastoral We are merely told, that he was born office. Under his ministry, the congreabout the year 1657, and that he re- gation was large, and the church in a ceived a liberal education for the minis- / flourishing state; but after his death it try, at a private academy among the declined greatly, particularly under the dissenters; and afterwards perfected ministry of Drs. Lardner and Benson; his preparatory studies for the ministry which, indeed, it is not very difficult to
account for. Mr. Cruso's doctrinal sen- , and he presided over a numerous and timents were strictly Calvinistic, and flourishing church. harmonized entirely with those of the This truly great and excellent man, to Assembly of Divines at Westminster, use an expression of Mr. Mead, “ lived as contained in their Confession of too fast." * In this respect he seems to Faith; while the former, though men have resembled the amiable Samuel of learning and talents, adopting the Pearce of Birmingham; not like many, Arian scheme, introduced a mode of who shorten their days by criminal preaching but ill adapted to build up indulgences and excess, but as a taper, the church, or preserve it from a lan- | that wastes itself to give light to others. guishing state. The consequence has His bodily constitution, naturally weak, been, that after some feeble attempts to became greatly impaired by constant revive the expiring interest, the society application to study, and incessant lawas broken up in 1774, and the meeting bours. His extraordinary zeal for the house passed into the hands of the glory of his Lord, and the salvation of Wesleyan Methodists.
precious souls, animated him to inMr. Cruso's character was highly creasing desires for usefulness; and respectable. His qualifications for the his ardent mind, continually aspiring ministry were very considerable. En- after a progressive increase in knowdowed with a competent portion of ledge, and higher attainments, ultilearning, both theological and classical, mately overreached his strength, and his talents were cultivated with care, I brought him to the grave in the midst and improved by close application and / of his days. His death was hastened industry. Blessed with a sound mind, by an asthmatic complaint, which deand a discriminating judgment in the prived the church of one of its brightest things of God, he illustrated the great ornaments, on Nov. 26, 1697. His retruths of revelation with clearness and mains were interred in Stepney church precision, and enforced them with a yard, where a handsome tomb was becoming solemnity. His views of the erected over his grave, with a Latin nature and importance of the ministerial / inscription to his memory. It recapioffice, would not allow him to enter the tulates all the traits in his character pulpit in a careless and unprepared to which we have briefly adverted, with manner; for though he looked up with the addition, that he was a most affecbecoming reverence to the Father of tionate husband-a most indulgent faLights, for the promised aids of the ther-a most steady friend; to whom Holy Spirit, he could not regard this as he endeared himself by the gentleness superseding a diligent preparation by of his manners, as well as by his unprayer and the study of the Scriptures, common benignity to all.” We shall for holding forth the word of life. His close this brief sketch of his character, compositions were the fruit of a well | by subjoining an extract from Mr. informed mind;. correct, serious, and Mead's funeral discourse, to which practical, combining solidity of judge reference has already been made... ment with fertility of imagination. His “I know you expect," says Mr. Mead, voice was clear and melodious; his “ that I should say something of the manner eloquent and persuasive; and person deceased, and not pass him by in his deportment in all respects so digni- silence. But I acknowledge myself very fied and pleasing, that he could scarcely unfit for this province, it being a work! fail of commanding the attention of the rarely engage in, as having no authority most dull and inconsiderate of his to take the commission out of the hands hearers. And these qualifications were of his own works; they are to praise happily directed to the noblest purposes. him in the gates, and not I. And yet Mr. Cruso rightly esteemed it his it is not fit, when every mean virtue in highest honour to be a faithful minister others hath its funeral trumpet, that so of Jesus Christ: his work was his de- much excelling worth as was in him light, and his noblest efforts were con- / should be forgotten, and the memory of secrated to promote the interests of his lit buried with him. Should I speak of fellow creatures; and his labours were his carriage and behaviour in the various attended with a remarkable degree of relations he stood in;-as a son to his acceptance and success. He was de- / surviving mother-as a husband to his servedly esteemed one of the finest | wife—as a father, while he had chil. preachers of the age in which he lived ;) dren-as a master to his servants--as a friend to his friend; I might propound i DISCOURSE ON THE MILLENNIUM, him as a pattern, for he excelled most:
[Concluded from page 111.] and that is a good man,indeed, who is good in all relations. But his great
Rev. xx. 1–7. and chief care, was to fill up his relation HAVING briefly answered the arguto God in Christ; and that, not only as ments which have been adduced in faa Christian and a believer, but as a vour of the literal view of the Millenminister of Christ, and a pastor to that nium, or personal reign of Christ during flock which the Holy Ghost had com- a thousand years, we may now take mitted to his charge. I must say, notice of the harsh and uncharitable God had fitted him for this work and conclusions that have been drawn from service above many of his brethren, in the hypothesis of Christ's spiritual reign betrusting him with such gifts and during that period. For instance, it is talents as but very few have received. said, And how diligent and faithful was he, 1. That “any other view of the in laying them out, and so improving Millennium than a literal one, or any them in his Master's service! How other view of the reign of Christ during zealous was he for Christ! how labo- this period, than that which comports rious in his work! how sound in the with his personal residence on the earth faith! how great in prayer! how apt to during the thousand years, must make teach! And how all was crowned with void the scriptural injunctions to be success, is evident from the many com- looking for the coming of Christ; because fortable seals which God gave to his under any other view, we cannot expect, ministry among you. And though his him for a thousand years hence. The natural parts were great, and made prospect of death will not so much much greater by the blessing of God check schemes of family aggrandizeupon his unwearied industry, yet that ment, as the persuasion that the perhe neither leaned upon them, nor trusted sonal coming of the Lord draws nigh." to them, appeared by his constant la- Now to this I answer, that the first bour and study for every sermon. They Christians looked for the coming of that were discerning Christians, and Christ; but was it right for them to wisely observed the suitable matter he look for his coming in their day? If so, prepared the exact method in which why does the apostle rectify the mistake it was ordered the taking dress in of the Thessalonians on this head, by which it was clothed—the charming shewing them, that the removal of the manner in which it was uttered, could heathen emperors, and the succeeding not but say, that he did not offer to God rise, reign, and ruin of the man of sin that which cost him nothing. His was first to take place? 2 Thess. ii. great delight was in his work, for he 149, which we now find has already knew how well it becomes a disciple to occupied a space of more than seventeen be as his Lord, whose delight was to do hundred years. Again, the book of the will of God; and therefore, he was the Revelation lays open a long train of fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; and successive events, and mentions one this made him willing to spend, and be thousand two hundred and sixty years spent, till by degrees he wasted and of the reign of Antichrist, to take place consumed himself.” Blessed is that before the coming of Christ. Was this servant, whom his Lord when he comes intended to destroy the necessity of shall find so doing!
looking for his coming ?-Or was it Mr. Cruso was a steady friend to the through mistaken views, or ignorance cause of religious liberty: and living at of this, that the first Christians could the time when the glorious Revolution perform the duty of waiting for the under King William supplanted the ty- coming of Christ? Certainly it was rannical reign of the Stuarts, he took a not. We may then wait for the perlively interest in it, rejoicing in the sonal coming of Christ, even as we wait downfal of despotism and Popery. for the redemption of our bodies, and
Mr. Cruso's publications amount to look for new heavens and a new earth, a dozen or thirteen; a list of which, though we should consider these things with their titles, may be seen in as more than a thousand years hence. Mr. Wilson's History of Dissenting It cannot be shown that those who beChurches, Vol. I. page 62, &c.
lieve the literal view of the Millennium, are more engaged in looking for Christ,