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Joshua Harrison, to whom he freely expressed his confidence in the glorious work of the Saviour, and said : “In any case I may well be content and thankful. I am not an old man, yet I have lived long and worked hard. I have had, on the whole, a most happy, and I think I may say successful, ministry. God has blessed my work, and has always given me true friends. If I have finished my work, I am ready to go. Indeed, I should have no regrets, but for these dear ones” (his wife and children). When reminded of the prayers which were being offered on his behalf, he replied, "Yes, my people's prayers make me sometimes think I may have a little more work to do, but if not, I shall calmly march up to the Gates." Still trusting in Christ, he went "through the gates," April, 1880.
” , In the presence of a sorrowing multitude, his coffin was lowered into a grave in Abney Park Cemetery.
VI. An Ideal Christian Pastor. GEN. V. 24.
Enoch walked with God." OBERLIN'S motto may be summed up in three words, “ Walk before God." We have in him the ideal of a Christian and of a pastor. He had holy, vigilant, tender love for souls. When, of an evening, some of his flock were passing in front of his house at Waldersbach, and saw a light burning at a certain window which they well knew, “ Hush !” one said to the others, "our pastor is watching for us ”; and so, indeed, this valiant soldier of the cross did watch and wrestle for his people. He prayed by name for each of these souls whom he presented before God, as of old they brought the sick to the Saviour for healing. In common with all generous spirits, Oberlin had hailed with transport the clear, fair morning of revolution ; but when its aspect changed—when the day darkened in crimes and bloodshed-when the Gospel was proscribed in France turned pagan, and the Age of Reason substituted in its place- do you suppose Oberlin was dumb, and spoke no more to his flock of the Gospel and of Christ? Assuredly no. This good shepherd, under the needful disguise of president of a club, contrived to retain the right of still feeding his sheep with the Divine word. For example, when the Convention despatched to all the “club presi
dents” the common motto or text on which they were to speak on each decade, the subject on one occasion was this :-"Against tyrants." Oberlin was in no wise embarrassed thereby—not he!“ Tyrants," said he to his parishioners, “all good republicans ought to hate ; yes, and to make war on them without truce or intermission. But who are these tyrants ? The King of Prussia or the Emperor ? No, the real tyrants are the vices, the passions, the evil lusts which war against the soul. Behold in them our worst enemies, with whom peace there must never be.” And so, by a happy turn like this, the good Oberlin would soon find his way back to the Gospel he loved, and keep his people alive with the bread of life, of which there was a sore famine in other places.
VII. Gathering Flowers to Compose Him in the Hour of Death.
GEN. v. 24.
“ And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him." We know it to be a Scripture fact, that men have “walked with God,” in closest intimacy, and that God hath held converse with them, “even as a man converseth with his friend.” Such was the case with Enoch, Abraham, Moses, and all that luminous cloud of witnesses so brightly and clearly revealed in the Bible.
The Church of God, even down to our own time, furnishes innumerable witnesses to this truth, which we will establish by the mouth of two of them.
John Holland was an old Puritan minister, who died two hundred and fifty years ago. Little is known of him, except what relates to his deathbed. Perceiving that he was near his end, he said : “Come, oh come; death approaches. Let us gather some flowers to comfort this hour.” He requested that the eighth chapter of Romans might be read to him. But at every verse he stopped the reading, while he expounded it to the comfort of his soul, and to the joy and wonder of his friends. Having thus continued his meditations above two hours, he suddenly cried out, “Oh, stay your reading. What brightness is this I see? Have you lighted any candles?” They told him, "No; it is the sunshine." Sunshine?” said he ; nay, my “Saviour's shine! Now, farewell world-welcome,
heaven. The Day-star from on high hath visited my heart. Oh, speak when I am gone, and preach it at my funeral, God dealeth familiarly with man." In such transports his soul soared toward heaven. His last words, after repeating the declaration that “God doth and will deal familiarly with man,” were these : “And now, thou fiery chariot, that camest down to fetch up Elijah, carry me to my happy home. And all ye blessed angels, who attended the soul of Lazarus to bring it to heaven, bear me, oh bear me to the bosom of my best beloved, Amen; even so come, Lord Jesus, come quickly!”
Our other present witness is Gilbert Tennent, who was a main instrument, with Whitefield and Edwards, of the great revival in New England, one hundred years ago. In one of his letters to his brother, the holy William Tennent, he says, “ Brother, shall I tell you an astonishing instance of the glorious grace of the Lord Jesus Christ? It is this, that one of the meanest of His servants has had His presence every day, in some degree, for above eleven weeks. Nor is the great, good Master yet gone. Oh, brother, it is heaven upon earth to live near to God ! Verily our comfort does not depend so much upon our outward situation as is generally supposed. No, a Saviour's love is all in all. Oh, this will make any situation sweet, and turn the thickest darkness into day.”
VIII. Quenching the Spirit. Gen. vi. 3.
Spirit shall not always strive with man." A PREACHER says “ It is long since I was a collegian, either as a senior here, or previously as a member of the lower classes elsewhere. I still remember vividly three young men who went about swearing by the Holy Ghost, which they considered the unpardonable sin. They were already hardened and reckless. One of them, who became a brilliant physician, died in middle age, a suicide ; another of them, still carlier, a drunkard ; the other yet lives, a physician, but with not a sign of religious thought or feeling. This reminiscence has led me to the subject of quenching not the Spirit, as one adapted to young men just laying the foundations of life.
"In the class of 1840, of which I was a member, were two ministers' sons, of fine minds, but neither of them Christians. During revival services near by this edifice, at about this season of the year, one of them was conveited; but the other held aloof. Under an urgent appeal from his friend he had, however, been touched. He did not quench the Spirit. He became, finally, a minister, and settled at New Rochelle. In the same class was a third member, an avowed infidel. After graduation he banded with others even worse than himself to go by sea to New Orleans, and thence overland into Texas, there to form a predatory band for the commission of all kinds of iniquity. They did not all reach New Orleans. A part went on, but were attacked by disease. This student buried the last one, and was left alone. From Galveston he worked his way home, sick, diseased, and ragged, to his mother's door. He got a little school at New Rochelle, but was a gambler and misanthrope, resisting long all his classmate's advances and appeals. Touched at length by them, he did not quench the Spirit. He began a higher, a Christian life ; and these three students of this college within these walls nearly fifty years ago, are now all ministers of Christ, living at the West.
IX. GEN. vi. 5. “Every imagination of the thoughts of his
heart was only ev'il continually." EMMANUEL refuses even to allow a letter from Diabolus to enter the town of Mansoul. A preacher has well said : " There must be no correspondence whatever. The devil's letters are evil hints and suggestions, and if you entertain them, then you are opening up a correspondence with him. Whenever you get a letter addressed in his hand-writing, with the post-mark of hell on it, destroy it at once. Luther said, “I cannot help unclean birds flying over my head, but I can keep them from building and breeding in my hair.” So we cannot help evil thoughts crossing our minds, but we can keep them from dwelling there.
X. The Shut Door. GEN. vii. 16. “And the Lord
shut him in.” In the life of the late Hugh Millar, we find the following passage from Mr. Stewart, of Cromarty, whom Millar con sidered one of the very best and ablest of Scotland's ministers: “Noah did not close the door. There are words that God keeps for Himself. The burden is too heavy for the back of man. To shut that door on a world about to perish would have been too great a responsibility for a son of Adam. Another moment, and another, and another might have been granted by Noah, and the door might never have been shut, and the ship that carried the life of the world might have been swamped. And so it is in the ark of salvation. It is not the Church nor the minister that shuts or opens the door. These do God's bidding; they preach righteousness; they offer salvation, and it is God that shuts and opens the door. Oh, what a sigh and shudder will pass through the listening universe when God will shut the door of the heavenly ark upon the lost!”
XI. A Quaint Epitaph. GEN. viii. 9. “ But the dove
found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him
into the ark." The following quaint epitaph has reference to a little girl buried at the age of five months: “ But the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him into the ark.”
XII. Noah's Prayer. GEN. viii. 20. “ And Noah built
an altar unto the Lord." TRADITION has preserved the prayer of Noah, and the learned John Gregory gives it to us as he gathered it from the Arabic and Syriac. And assuredly the prayer is a
. beautisul one, a prayer which might not only have been well offered up in that floating church, but which may be even a pattern for many prayers. The following is John
a . Gregory's translation from the floating words of the traditional original : “ O Lord, excellent art Thou in Thy truth, and there is nothing great in comparison of Thee. Look upon us with the eye of mercy and compassion : deliver us from this deluge of waters and set our feet in a large room. By the sorrows of Adam Thy first-made man, by the blood of Abel Thy holy one, by the righteousness of Seth, in whom Thou art well pleased, number us not among those who bave transgressed Thy statutes, but take us unto Thy