Page images
PDF
EPUB

Toured to take the highest and boldest Flights, which with Sobriety I could, yet could he, I say now, after his Ahort experience of that blessed Perfection, hear what I have said, and together conceive what Notions you have framed thereof, how would he Pity us all, groping thus in the Dark, discoursing and thinking of heavenly perfection, just as Men born Blind do of Lights; or as those who never saw any thing but Midnight would do of the Sun walking in his Noon-Days brightness. How would he, if not reprove our Mistake, yet help our Errors – Ein fequor – I trust we shall all follow him into like perfection, and then see also.

I Would here willingly stop or draw a

Curtain, for that I am not able to Delineate to the Life, so much of real Worth,and true Christianity, such Prudence and Temper, such heavenly mindedness,and serious Sense of Religion, as well as exactness in the outward Offices of it,as dwelt in our Deceased Brother. Verilyhe was rather a Subject for Admiration and Wonder, than for Commendations. I had almost said he was above Praise. . Such Charity to the Bodies, such Care and Compaffion to the Souls of Men, such Integrity and Uprightness in his Dealing, and yet such strange Abilities for the Dispatch of Business ; such a self-denying Spirit and strict Retiredness, yet such constancy in doing Publick Good; such Readiness to oblige all, yet such Sincerity in his Friendship, it is not easie to find : I sincerely profess, I know not where in the present Age to meet with, every way, the like Man. In a word, a Person so accomplisht for the Publick Einployments he sustained, yet no less Accurate in his Duties to God, to his Neighbonr, and Himself, I fear scarce an Age may shew. This be spoken in general as to the Bulk of his Excellencies and whole Conversation.

As to some particulars of his Life, (for to all I cannot speak,) there are Two, which 8. I shall take Notice of." The First of them is

indeed such, in which (according to the Judge

ments of some fierce Men) he needs to be - Vindicated. He held (or rather, he was in a

fort by force kept in) bis Place at the Cu

ftom-House, during the worst part of the last * Reign. Touching this, I will only Read to

you part of a Letter, which I this Day received, from a Person of known Worth and Integrity. I can speak nothing therein of my own Knowledge, for all Corresponden

cy, even by Letters, was then cut off between to my dear Friend and Me. The Letter, after

a modeft Excuse, which indeed it needed not,

relates, “ That he happened to be continua Du ed in his Employment at the Custom-House

" because (at that time) they could not be

us without his Knowledge in the Revenue ; " " but how he did employ his time, and tbe 2. 6 Interest be had amongst that sort then in

" Power, is to none better known (faith the 1; 66 Writer) than to my self: He was emi-, is gently Charitable, and useful to the Poor,

Oppress

[ocr errors]

« Opprest Protestants ; both those who had " liv'd in the City, and others who o fled for Refuge; and made so great use " of the Opportunities he had to Relieve 6 and Asilt them, that it was more than «: one half of his Business to run about and 06 Act in their behalf. What Income he ci had, by his Enployment, he scattered as 6 broad amongst them, and fought out ocso casions for To doing; and very often ran “ Hazards, in Pressing their Sufferings, to 66 the Reproach of a Malicious and Revenge6. ful People, who had Robid and Abus'd c them. We were daily together in one u Corder or other, (as we durft without is observance) and I am sure he valued no. 6. thing more than the good he could do « (in that fad time) to all that wanted his " help. I might enlarge upon this Subject, (s but it may be needlefs : He is gone to his " Reward in that Heavenly Kingdom, .

Thus my Voucher. I have all the reason in the World to be. lieve this Relation; and I here folemnly declare I do: It holds such proportion with the Temper of his Life, known to me. And this both sufficiently vindicates and together bigbly commends our Deceased Friend in that difinal juncture.

The other Particnlar relates to God's Espe cial Providence to him on his Death-bed. It so came to pass that from his first taking his Bed; his Head of all Parts was mostly seized, and though he had frequent and long. Lucid Intervals, yet he too often wanted what. we call Sane Memory : But how often none knew so well, as She who best knew him, and ligion unto all; together with exemplary dying Recommendations of those he left behind him to God: These and many like Advantages, which none but Souls like his, knew how to value, we loft by this the unhappy Affection of his noblest Part. But it was God's Hand, and more a Punishment to Us, than to Him; for, blesed be our good God, he died in perfect Peace.

was of any,most constantly, with him. Strang- ers who are not acquainted with the Circum

stances and private Converfation of People when in their Healths, are apt to mistake many Speeches or sayings of theirs in Sickness, and upon approaching Death, especially if unusual ; and this befel the Deceara ed. Divers Visitants and People about him on his Death-Bed, misinterpreting many things he spoke to his Wife, to have been delirious, which she knew to be only the pious Breathings of his Soul. Notwithstanding it must be confest, that sometimes during his Sickness, by the interruption of his Reason, through his Disease, we loft,what perhaps would have been the most glorious Scene of his Life. For from a Soul of such standing in Christ, and so long practised in all Christian Virtues, and more especially in all the parts of Godliness, and in the several kinds of devout Exercises, from Such a Soul, I say) many Instances of great Peace and Joy in the Holy Ghoft; of the allurances of God's Love, and Forecasts of Heaven; many exalted Ejaculations, and almost, Seraphick Strains of Praise Chaply even Raptures and Extasy) might have been expected : Not to mention Counsels and Directions to Friends, posibly some peculiar Commands also to certain of them: Exhortations and Admonitions to such attending him that needed them, and palionate Attestations to the Truth of Reli

T 2

gión

[ocr errors]

Yer upon this, there is one Observation, which I cannot forbear making, that may be for the Spiritual Benefit of us all. It pleased God fo to govern his Tongue, and as far as could be perceived, his very Thoughts, under all those discomposed Paroxysms or Emotions of Mind, that nothing came from bim any wise unbecoming a Christian of the most Heavenly Temper. All that was heard from him, was either Prayers or Invitations thereto, or Arithmetical Accompts : That is, He was, even in his Deliriums either employ'd as a Devout Person in the Exercise of his Religion, or as a diligent Officer in the Discharge of his Calling and honest Business. A rare Providence ! and such as should teach us all Two Things.

1. How happy it is to be, in our Health, diligent in the Works of our Christian and Common Calling. It may in the very unhappiest and most dangerous Part of our Lives, have an Influence upon us, or move God so to commiserate us, that in a dying, and even doting Hour we no wife dishonour him, but our very Infirmities may provę good Examples

2. 16

« PreviousContinue »