« PreviousContinue »
CHRIST THE POWER OF GOD, AND THE WISDOM OF GOD.
1 Cor. i. 24.
(For the Wesleyan-Methodist Magazine.)
CAN this be Power, in prostrate grief,
A human Champion dar'd engage,—
Their solemn sorrowing vigils there;
Meek LAMB OF GOD! may yet my eye
Pouring for me, midst groans and cries,
"Tis past! the hour of weakness ends;
Oh, hither bend your lucid flight,
Mysteries of wisdom, power, and love,
Printed by T. Cordeux, 14, City-Road, London.
FOR MAY, 1822.
MEMOIR OF THE LATE REV. JOHN DREDGE:
(Concluded from page 212.)
WHILE stationed at Edinburgh, MR. DREDGE was called to suffer, as well as to do, the will of his LORD; and thus had an additional opportunity of proving the genuineness of his religion. Hypocrites are generally discovered in their true character in the furnace of affliction; as the shattered state of the wall is best seen, when the green ivy is torn away. But the "trial of his faith" proved "more precious than of gold that perisheth," being found "approved unto GOD."-In a letter to his Brother-in-Law, MR. T. INGLE, dated Edinburgh, Dec. 3, 1818, he writes thus: "Thank God, I am gaining strength every day; and I trust that the affliction through which I have passed has been sanctified to me, and that I shall have to praise God for it through all eternity. While in the furnace, I was favoured with abundance of consolation. The SAVIOUR was precious to my soul; and my prospect beyond this life was most glorious and animating."-As soon as he became convalescent, he renewed his labours but his severe affliction had so sapped the foundation of his strength, that his medical friends strongly recommended a removal to the south of Britain; and, in the year 1819, he was appointed to labour on the Ashby-de-la-Zouch Circuit. This appointment was received with great and pleasing expectations; and with confidence I assert, that they were much exceeded, in every respect, by the truly judicious and devoted manner in which he discharged all his ministerial functions. Whenever he ascended the pulpit, he evidently felt and spoke as if on the margin of the eternal world; the glories and terrors of which excited in his mind most solemn and affecting emotions, which he conveyed to others in a truly impressive and successful manner. This, in conjunction with the purity of his style, his pleasing voice, and his energetic delivery, usually obtained for him the fixed attention of his congregation.
"With eloquence innate, his soul was arm'd':
Though harsh the precept, yet the Preacher charm'd.
But sweetly temper'd awe, and soften'd all he spoke."
VOL I. Third Series. MAY, 1822.
That he might not dishonour his high office, he conscientiously "redeemed the time," knowing that he could not retard its flight, nor recall it when passed, and that "the blood of the soul runs out in wasted time." He, therefore, was "instant in season, and out of season;" so that the solemn saying of our LORD seemed to be constantly vibrating in his ears :- "I must work the works of Him that sent me while it is day; the night cometh, when no man can work."-His natural temper being amiable, and duly regulated by the grace of God, his soul was the constant temple of peace. In all the relations of life, he greatly excelled;-as a Husband, Father, Minister, and Friend. He was humble, without servility; cheerful, without levity; patient, without apathy; and pious, without parade. His judgment was sound, and enlightened; his memory was strongly retentive, and well stored with scriptural knowledge. As a Messenger of CHRIST, he made JESUS,-his sufferings, example, and promises, the great and constant theme of his ministry. Fervent love to the souls of men, originating in ardent love to GOD, was his master-principle; and this burning zeal was associated with that indifference to himself, which led him to say, "I count not my life dear so that I may finish my course with joy, and the ministry which I have received of the LORD Jesus."
The LORD, who "counted him faithful, putting him into the ministry," suffered him not to spend his strength for nought; but succeeded his faithful exertions to "turn many to righteousness." His labours were continued, without much interruption, until Friday, Nov. 19, 1819. On that night he preached his last sermon, from Isa. xliii. 10. His disorder now compelled him to desist from public service, and confined him to his room, until the end of December; at which time he seemed to be in a convalescent state, and hopes of his complete recovery were indulged. In January, 1820, he was well enough to go to Leeds, to see his mother. There he continued until Thursday, January 27, when, having to ride a mile on horseback from his mother's house to the coach-office, in a very heavy shower of rain, he was very wet; and, on his arrival at Ashby the next day, his chest and lungs were in a state of high inflammation, which terminated his valuable life.-On Saturday, January 29th, his medical attendant considered his case to be hopeless: but he did not think himself in danger until the Monday night following, when he concluded that the time of his departure was at hand. The thoughts of leaving the wife of his youth, and his dear child, made him for a short time start back, and cling to life; but by earnest prayer, he was enabled to make the sacrifice, and gain the victory-On Tuesday morning, about five o'clock, he sent for me, that he might communicate to me the views and feelings of his dying moments. On my entrance into the room, I saw that the shades of mortality were gathering around him, but found his mind serene and undisturbed, and his