Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

when revealed, they do not come within our capacity of judging, and recommend themselves to our belief and approbation. And what I would observe upon it is, that it is doing unspeakable mischief to the christian religion, to distinguish those who, either from principle, or compliance with the corrupt taste of the age, soften, or too generally suppress, these points, by the name of rational divines.»

It is pleasing to observe how graciously God has answered the prayers of those good ministers of Jesus Christ, who, nearly a century ago, together with Mr. Adam, prayed that God would raise up everywhere, “such painful labourers and faithful stewards, as the curate of Truro.” The prayers of these ministers have been abundantly answered ; probably, far beyond their hopes and expectations.

Mr. Adam not only prayed that God would raise up ministers in the Church of England, but he endeavoured, by such means as were in his power, to diffuse the leaven of true evangelical religion in the church, by promoting the knowledge and piety of the clergy themselves. He was also ready to assist young men of decided piety and talent, whose minds were disposed to serve God in the ministry, within the pale of the church.

In Mr. Adam there was at all times a close adherence to the discipline as well as the doctrines of the Church of England. If in some matters he seemed to lean to the doctrines of Arminius, as opposed to those of Calvin, he was far from approving of the conduct of Mr. Wesley, or of the doctrines he maintained, such as assurance and perfection. He could not as a churchman sanction the measures Mr. Wesley adopted, and the agents he employed. The followers of Whitfield were not approved by Mr. Adam; and he did not allow those clergymen to be in the right who preached in unconsecrated places, and took part in sacred duties, with those who had not received episcopal ordipation.

CHAPTER IV.

A. D. 1757-1762.

Mr. Walker visits Mr. Adam-His account of his visit--Mr.

A dam writes bis Lectures on the Gospel by St. Matthew; and his Annotations upon the Four Gospels_Death of his Wife.

TOWARD the close of the year 1757, Mr. Adam was visited by four persons who were afterwards distinguished in the church of Christ : these were Mr. Joseph Jane, afterwards curate of Acton; Mr. George Burnett, at first curate of Huddersfield, and afterwards incumbent of Elland, near Halifax, in Yorkshire, who is considered to have been the father of the Elland Society, for assisting the education of pious and talented young men for holy orders in the Church of England ; Mr. Thomas Hawies, afterwards known by the name of the Rev. Dr. Hawies, rector of Aldwincle in Northamptonshire, and who was the father of the London Missionary Society to the South Seas; and the Rev. S. Walker, curate of Truro, whose life has just been published by the Rev. E. Sidney. Mr. Adam and his guests now rest from their labours, and their works do follow them. The following letter from Mr. Walker's

pen

when he was an inmate at the rectory at Wintringham, will show the esteem in which he held Mr. Adam, and the venerable Archdeacon of Stowe. Mr. Walker was drawn to Wintringham by the veneration he had for the character of the rector. When he had accomplished his journey of nearly four hundred miles, he thus writes to his friend, Mr. Conon, schoolmaster, Truro.

“ Wintringham, Nov. 3rd, 1756. My dear Friend, “ We got here last night from Archdeacon Basset’s. They are both excellent men in their way; the former plain, open-hearted, and tender; the latter sedate, hearty, solid, whom I would wish to talk a little more than he is inclined to do, not because I see anything blameable in his taciturnity, but that we might have more improvement from him.

“ You will certainly believe I do not repent coming even all this way to get this satisfaction, which will bring me back to Truro with content, where you may be sure I wish earnestly to be, among other reasons, because I have seen nothing like Truro; the thought ought to shame and humble me beyond measure, especially when I see God has owned, in so distinguishing a manner, one who is in no sort to be mentioned with several whom he has been conversing with.

“ George Burnett has great opportunities of improvement, but, as yet, no way is opened for his getting into orders. He does well, and begs his duty to you, and love to all friends. I am not yet determined what course I shall steer from this place, nor when I shall set out from it, perhaps not till Monday.

“ After all, I want to be at home in the more immediate exercise of my calling. Indeed 'tis cold times with me, though I am easy in the reflection that I am in the way of my duty. I could wish for conversation more close and practical.

“ I have put Mr. Adam upon publishing some sermons, and we are considering what are likely to be most useful. Be assured his sermons are nothing inferior to his Lectures on the Catechism, and such as are not only suited to make a good appearance, but, under God, to be very useful.

“I remain yours truly,

" SAMUEL WALKER.”

From some causes not noticed, the plan of publishing some of Mr. Adam's sermons was then abandoned ; and not resumed until Mr. Adam was laid aside from preaching.

Though Mr. Walker only saw Mr. Adam during the few days' he spent at Wintringham, a friendship was cemented between them which continued till Mr. Walker died. The letters which passed between them may possibly yet be found. Some of them appeared in the year 1802 in the Christian Observer; others, confided to the editors at that time, were not returned to the Rev. Wm. Richardson; and they are either lost, or, as the editor hopes, only mislaid.

« ZurückWeiter »