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turity-he has torn aside the cover- and, instead of being thankful for the ing-he has told us that all cannot gift, he allows his mind to be absorbbe told, but he has told us much—he ed by any other work, and neglects the has brought life and immortality to only volume that can conduct him to light, and they who believe shall, at glory, honour, immortality, and eterthe last day, be acknowledged by him nal life. And oh, shame, Christian, in the presence of an assembled uni
upon you and upon me, that the book verse, and receive from his hand every has not more of our attention, that we token of honour, and every mark of do not read that book with more freroyal distinction—that he will pro- quency, more earnestness of mind, nounce them blessed, and take them and with more intense delight, which to dwell with himself for ever and ever. speaks to us of God, which speaks to
How should we value the Scrip- us of the Saviour, of glory, of heaven; tures where this discovery is made, that fits man for communion and fellowand which contain the record of those ship, notonly with the church on earth, glorious prospects ? Oh, what are the but conducts him into fellowship with creations of genius, and the sublimest angels, with the redeemed spirits in works that the sublimest mind of man glory and with God himself. My ever penned, compared with this one. friends, we should blush before God It is, viewing ourselves as immortal that we are not more attentive to this ! creatures, going on to an unending Again, let the believer, amidst all state—it is worth all the volumes that his trials, afflictions, conflicts with the have ever been written on all other sorrows and cares of the present life, subjects. I do not undervalue science anticipate the decision of the judgmentor literature, I give to them all that day. Oh, Christian, what is before can be claimed for them; they em- you! What a scene of wonder, and bellish life, they multiply the sources what a prospect of glory opens up here of our innocent gratifications, they to the eye of faith! Christians, what raise us above the low and grovelling is there that should concern you then! habits ; but, my friends, what is all Why should you think so much about that science and literature can do for your privations or sorrows, that day us, compared with what the Bible will make amends for all. If this unfolds ? This sets immortality and be pronounced upon us—if we hear eternal life before us; and oh, the
“ Come ye blessed of my wickedness, the desperate wickedness Father, inherit the kingdom prepared of man, that he should be anxious to for you from the foundation of the read every book but that which God world.” Believer, go back to thy sorhas written, and on every subject but rows, to thy conflicts, to thy poverty, that of immortality! Deny the doc- to every thing, go with a smile of comtrine of human depravity! My hear- fort upon thy brow. Thou hast heard ers, here is a proof that may serve in- a distant echo of the voice which on the stead of a thousand—God has given day of judgment is to be pronounced man this book, written by his own upon thee, and make thee blessed. finger; given it to him to open before Thou hast seen the first beam of the him an interminable career of know- rising sun, which is, in all his glory, to ledge, of holiness, of life and happiness, burst upon thee-then should not this and to teach him how these may be reconcile thee to any thing? obtained; God has given him this But, oh, remember now that there book to guide his feet into everlasting is another sentence at that day. God, life, through life's dark gloomy valley ; in his mercy, grant that it may not be
pronounced upon us! If we have not brother and sister-between husband faith in Christ, if we are not among and wife—between pastor and people the number of the righteous—if we if they are not bound by the tie of re. are not righteous in the sight of ligion—the wicked to take their place God through the righteousness of at the left hand of the Judge, to Christ-if we are not righteous by the hear that dreadful sentence,“ Depart work of the Holy Spirit, sanctifying from me, ye cursed, into everlasting our hearts, and having that faith which punishment prepared for the devil and worketh by love, that other sentence his angels.” Instead of this, may you will be pronounced upon us, “Depart and I, belonging to the number of the from me, ye cursed, into everlasting righteous, hear that blessed welcome, fire, prepared for the devil and his Come ye blessed of my Father, inangels.” Christ will pronounce that herit the kingdom prepared for you too. A separation, awful and final, from the foundation of the world." shall then be made between the Amen. righteous and the wicked—between
A Funeral Sermon
DELIVERED BY THE REV. W. B. LEACH,
(OCCASIONED BY THE DEATH OF THE REV. BASIL WOOD) AT ROBERT STREET CHAPEL, GROSVENOR SQUARE, SUNDAY EVENING, APRIL 24, 1831.
Acts, xi. 24.~" For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith :
and much people was added unto the LORD.
Our much respected neighbour, the with the snow of nature's winter, would Rev. Basil Wood, is no more. His naturally remind them that their beministerial work is done-and he has loved pastor would shortly be gathered gone to receive “the crown of life to his Fathers ; still, we can easily imawhich the Lord, the righteous judge, gine, that when the time of his dewill give unto him” at the great de- parture arrived, they keenly felt that cisive day. His affectionate flock have pang which was to separate them until felt, and will long feel, the separating the resurrection of the just. Their constroke. He was to them a worthy solation, however, is, that he was spar. pastor, father, and friend. Most of ed to them so long-that his character them, no doubt, were presented by was untarnished for so lengthened a him in their infancy at the baptismal space that their loss is his indescri. font, grew up to maturity under his bable gain--that the great Lord of the ministerial oversight, viewed their chil church, as "the ancient of days," ever dren as the lambs of his fold under liveth to guide, to supply, and to supthe great and good Shepherd, and port them in their individual and social felt an attachment to his person and capacity; and that their beloved pastor, official character, which the revolu- whom they have, within the last few tion of forty-six years could not fail days, followed to the grave, with so to consolidate and strengthen. And much affection and respect, was so dethough his venerable brow, covered servedly esteemed by them, and by those who knew him, as a consistent, a close alliance with angels and seamicable, and useful minister of Jesus raphs. It is also a mark of his adoption Christ—"For he was a good man into the family of God, forms a pracand full of the Holy Ghost and of tical attestation of his union to the faith : and much people was added Saviour, and will survive the ravages unto the LORD.”
of death and the destruction of the Our text forms the high encomium universe.—" This honour have all the which it pleased the Holy Ghost to saints." confer on Barnabas, who was one of
To be "
a good man” is to be a the-first preachers of the Gospel in converted man, a new creature in Christ the primitive age. He was deno. Jesus——to be born again of the Spirit minated the son of consolation, and to have the heart sprinkled from an shone as a bright star amidst the sur- evil conscience by the precious blood rounding darkness of Judaism and of Christ-to have the understanding paganism. And in wishing to pay made light in the Lord, the enmity of our last public token of respect to the carnal will subdued, and every our deceased neighbour, the text in- thought brought into subjection to the stantly occurred to us, as a very sui- obedience of the Saviour.—To be so en.. table exposition of the amiableness of dowed, as to view religion as his elehis temper, the piety of his heart, the ment, to possess a spirit of piety and consistency of his deportment, and devotion, which hungers and thirsts the usefulness of his ministrations. It after righteousness, and which cannot is only since I entered this sanctuary, be satisfied with any attainments short that I have heard, that the same text to of the image of God impressed upon which your attention is now drawn, was the heart. the theme of meditation in our friend's Such a state of godliness and spiritual chapel this morning; but shows us, excellence is not natural to us. W by this interesting analogy of think- born in sin and shapen in iniquity ; ing and feeling, the high estimation and until that evangelical change ensues in which both preachers held the which causes us to bear the image of our deceased.
heavenly Father, and to possess the With these introductory remarks, mind of Christ, we walk according to let us now proceed to consider in the the course of this world, actuated by First place, the personal character and the prince of the power of the air, the ministerial success of Barnabas, and spirit which worketh in the children endeavour in the Second instance to of disobedience. But it is the great trace the resemblance to this pious design and specific tendency of the model, which was borne by our es- Gospel to produce this holy transforteemed departed friend.
mation. It “new models all the carnal First, our attention is drawn to mind, and moulds the man afresh ;” THE PERSONAL CHARACTER OF BAR- and, then, when the tree is good the
He was a good man, and fruit becomes good, when the fountain full of the Holy Ghost and of faith.” is cleansed the stream which issues This, you will allow, my dear hearers, from it must of necessity be pure. is an appellation of the very highest And let me assure you, my dear hearers, order. It rises infinitely above all the that nothing short of this sanctity of titles of sovereignty and nobility- mind and character can make you happy. eclipses the splendid garniture of You may have made great attainments crowns and cornets and places the in religious knowledge-you may be favoured individual who sustains it in very charitable in your actions
you may abound in fervent zeal-you the desire of every saint? Or else may possess personal and mental qua- what mean you by your hungering lifications and endowments ; but, with and thirsting after righteousness—your out vital godliness, these acquisitions mournirg over inbred corruptionare only like the drop of the bucket, your exclaiming, “as the hart panteth or the mere dust of the balance. This after the water-brooks, so panteth my is equally true of every minister of the soul after thee, O God?” Is it not Gospel. He may be a good classic, your ceaseless prayer to "live soberly, a good preacher, and yet not a good righteously, and godly”—to have a con
Vital piety must be the ground science void of offence-to watch work of ministerial excellence and pas- and pray lest you enter into temptatoral success.
tion—to avoid the very appearance Now, observe for a moment how of evil, and to cleave to that which strenuously the word of God enforces is good. this state of heart and character-What But though Barnabas was a good are its exhortations? “ I beseech you, man,” we are very far from the suptherefore, brethren, by the mercies of position that he was immaculate.
We God, that ye present your bodies a have no idea that he was entirely free living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto from those remains of a corrupt nature God, which is your reasonable service." which we carry with us whilst passing “ Put on, therefore, as the elect of through the wilderness. Unmixed puGod, holy and beloved, bowels of mer- rity, entire perfection is an attain. cies, kindness, humbleness of mind, ment only to be enjoyed in the heavenly meekness, long suffering.” “ Let the world. It is unknown to us on this same mind be in you which was also in side the grave; “for we that are in Christ Jesus." “ Put off the old man this tabernacle do groan, being burwhich is corrupt according to the de- thened.” But though not immacuceitful lusts, and be renewed in the lately good, in the strictest sense of the spirit of your minds, and put on the word, he was comparatively good when new man which after God is created his present condition was contrasted in righteousness and true holiness.” with his former, while in a state of With all these admonitions before unregeneracy; or when his character them, how fervently do the inspired was brought into comparison with the writers pray, that their beloved people men of the world. His mind had a might exemplify and feel the force of holy bias, his understanding was under these truths. Take one or two in- the influence of the Spirit of Christ stances as a specimen, “The very God Jesus; he felt a holy tendency, enof peace sanctify you wholly; and I joyed a holy fervour, cherished holy pray GOD your
whole soul, and body, aspirations, indulged holy thoughts, and spirit, may be preserved blameless words, and actions. My brethren, until the coming of the Lord Jesus may we follow him as he also followed Christ.” “ Now the God of peace Christ ! that brought again from the dead our Secondly, Barnabas was “full of the Lord Jesus Christ, that great shepherd Holy Ghost.” This was the secret of the sheep, through the blood of the
cause of all his piety and goodness; everlasting covenant, make you per- for “no man can receive any thing exect in every good work to do his cept it be given him from above." Here will." And so prays the Saviour, was the hidden spring of every spiritual
Sanctify them through thy truth : feeling which drew him forth from thy word is truth.” And is not this the creature to the Creator—from sight
to faith-from sin to holiness-from Satan to GOD. And what a treasure was this compared with all other enjoyments! To be filled with the Spirit-to have his condescending indwelling with all his gifts and graces, and saving operations and influences. -To have him in the heart like GOD in the midst of his temple; or like the beautiful and glowing sun in the midst of the firmament as the source of light and life. To feel his agency in instructing, guiding, comforting, assisting in prayer, restraining, admonishing, sanctifying, sealing, supporting, preserving, strengthening, according to our day and our need. And this is what the Lord promises to every saint. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you." Jesus Christ in timated the same divine donation when he said, "I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever." And Jehovah again adds, "I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them." And does not religious prosperity entirely depend on the work of the Holy Ghost? What are ordinances, however divinely appointed-however regularly attended upon-however peculiarly adapted and valuable, unless the Lord the Spirit is pleased to bless and apply them? What are our Bibles —what are our sabbaths—what are our prayers-what are our ministers-without the aid and unction of the Holy One? Is not ministerial success altogether ascribable to the Spirit of GOD? For it is "not by might nor by power;" and when the Spirit is poured out from on high, every barren wilderness will become as a fruitful field, and
the fruitful field shall be accounted for a forest.
But there is an important member of the sentence which is not to be neglected-"FULL" of the Holy Ghost. Here is repletion. The passage intimates that the Spirit dwelt in Barna. bas not partially, but redundantly— that he was not only supplied, but enriched-that he was not only fed, but filled with the Spirit. And what is this but an indication of eminent piety, of fervent, glowing, enlarged devotion? Oh, to be like him-to have that unction from the Holy One by which we may know the things that belong to our peace, and be made wise unto salvation! Oh, to feel by the aid of that good Spirit that there is a power and sweetness attending vital godliness— to enjoy more and more under his direction the life of religion in the soul
to be spiritually minded which is life-to walk with God, and to live more than we ever have done, on the confines of the eternal world! And why, my dear friends, why should not this be the standard of your piety? Is the Spirit of the Lord straightened? Do we not need to be filled with the Holy Ghost? Is he unwilling to bestow this fulness upon us? No-but we are too worldly-too disposed to settle down upon our privileges-too inclined to rest in the form and shadow, in the mere externals of religion too inclined to follow the Lord at a distance.
But Thirdly, One feature more in the character of Barnabas should be noticed he was full of faith, "For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith." The word of GOD insists very much upon Faith. The want of it is the reason why the Gospel does not more extensively profit us-why we have not more generally embraced Christ in his offices and characters, as our wisdom