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HIS LAST RESIDENCE AT NEWARK, AND HIS DEATH.
Doctor GRIFFIN reached Newark with his family, for the last time, Oct. 1, 1836. It is scarcely necessary to say that he was greeted with a most cordial welcome by a large circle of friends, and that he found himself in the midst of a community who well knew how to appreciate his residence among them, and many of whom it was his privilege to reckon among the seals of his ministry. Under date of Nov. 29, he writes thus in his diary.
Since I have been here the affection and respect of former friends have been overwhelming. Several have united in making me a handsome present. The trustees of the first church have offered me a pew for my family. God has ordered all things in mercy. I have been sick for near two months,—very sick,—but I now am somewhat better. I long to do something for God and his church before I die. May I live devoted to him, and walk in the light of his countenance, and hold myself ready to depart at a moment's warning.
TO HIS NIECE, MISS JULIA ANN LORD, OF LYME.
Newark, Jan. 19, 1837. MY DEAR JULIA ANN,
I received your very kind and gratifying letter of Dec. 16th, and thank you for all the delicate respect which it evinces. My health has been so feeble that I have not felt able to write to you before, and now must be somewhat brief. On the 15th of December while walking on the floor, I suddenly fell on the carpet like a corpse, and fainted clear away. I have repeatedly had some of the same symptons since, but have not fainted. For the last fortnight I have been better. The attention which I receive from my old parishioners and spiritual children is most affecting, and exceeds any thing I ever received from a public body in my life. My friends hope that God has sent me here to promote revivals of religion in Newark. O that it may be so! And, my dear cousin, how infinitely important that revivals of religion should prevail in Lyme. What will become of some of your dear sisters if this is not the case? After one has reached the
of thirty, unconverted, the chances against him are perhaps forty to one, and when he has reached the age of fifty, they are probably fifty or sixty to one. And are there
any in your family who stand these many chances to one for eternal burnings? Surely no more time ought to be lost—not a single day or hour. Every hour that is lost increases the danger, and every hour that is spent in enmity against God involves guilt that deserves eternal damnation. And then what a call there is for our agonizing prayers! A few christians with such prayers, may bring down the Holy Spirit. Do read and ponder closely upon Luke xi. 1-13,-particularly the 13th verse. O let your faith take hold of that assurance and it may bring down the blessing. I remember you all in prayer several times a day.
On sabbath evenings, Dr. Smith's family sing psalms, while he plays on a bass viol. It is the best means that I attend during the week. Last sabbath evening he sung a verse which dissolved me to tears, and affected me more than any verse ever did, I believe. It was the following:
These eyes which once resused the light,
And weep a silent food :
In pure redecming blood. I am sorry to break off so soon, but my strength seems to require it. With very tender regard, I am
Your affectionate uncle,
E. D. GRIFFIN.
Jan. 25th, 1837.
“Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
If Christ is the Rock of Ages, he is our firm foundation,
sure defence, and the same from generation to generation. What is a better foundation than a rock? What is a better bulwark than a rock cast around us? And a rock of
is the same from age to age. I have been so affected by that figure that I have examined to see whether I could find it in the Bible. I cannot find it in our translation; but in Isaiah, xxvi. 4. I find it in the Hebrew: "Trust ye in the Lord forever, for in the Lord Jehovah is the Rock of Ages.” The atonement of Christ is the solid foundation of our pardon, our sure defence against the wrath of God, and is always exerted in his intercession as a priest. The righteousness of his obedience is the foundation of all our positive happiness in both worlds, is the sure protection of all our interests, and this undeniable claim to a reward is unchangeably urged in his intercession. Thus he immutably exerts his influence as an atoning, obedient, and interceding High Priest, to obtain those reliefs and blessings from pure Godhead, which, in the name of God, he administers as mediatorial King. And as King, he is the Rock of Ages. The incarnate God who fills the throne of the universe, and dispenses all the pardons and blessings obtained from pure God
head by the pleading of his atonement and obedience, is the unchanging fonndation of all our reliefs, and hopes, aud comforts; and the defence which, amidst all our changes and imperfections, gives us everlasting protection and safety. Thus as both Priest and King he is the Rock of Ages.
March 3rd. Latterly I have been specially praying for faith in Christ. I could see his love to us all as manifested on Calvary; I could see his mercy to me in the innumerable blessings around me; but when I contemplated him in his relation to me personally, I could not view him in any other light than as a sin-hating Saviour,—the sins of my life appeared so enormous. But some Psalms and Hymns sung in the family which by the blessed and peculiar influence of Psalms and Hymns sung, that carry up the mind to Christ and fix it upon him immediately, rather than upon God, and that raise us to him as direct and unbounded love, have been mercifully appointed to overcome this difficulty. The words and the tune have rung through my mind in the waking hours of night, and led me directly to the tender love of Christ. I saw that I had too much confined my thoughts to God, and that I ought to go directly to a Saviour's arms, and that I ought to believe that, as abominable as my sins have been, if they have once been pardoned, they form no partition between me and the heart of Christ. He loves me as tenderly as though I had never sinned, and in proportion to my faith is as ready to hear my prayers.
How was it at the time of the crucifixion ? After the disciples had forsaken him and fled, and after Peter had denied him with oaths and curses, when he came out of the sepulchre he said to Mary, “Go and tell my brethren.” By his death the sins of believers are totally cancelled, and are never imputed to them any more ; and although, while under the means of grace they are chastened for remaining sin, as a mcans of their sanctification, they are no more condemned for their past sins than Peter and John are now condemned for theirs. He loves them as well as he will love them in heaven,-I say not their characters, but their persons. When he turned and looked upon Peter, he loved his person none
the less for his oaths and curses. We ought to feel, if we have evidence of our faith and pardon, that he loves our persons none the less for our past sins. Of two things one : either he loves us thus or we are under condemnation to hell. Which is it? If we do not abandon our hope, we ought to believe unhesitatingly in his direct, most tender, and unbounded love to our persons,-that he stands ready to hear our prayers, and with open arms to receive us to his bosom. This is faith in Christ. This will bring a sense of his infinite love in the work of redemption, of his infinite mercy in the management of our lives, and will fill us with hope and peace, and gratitude and joy.
Since I have been in Newark, I have been distressed at the low state of religion in the city, and have prayed much for a revival here and through the country. I have visited many families, and talked with the unregenerate as faithfully as I could. Others have been at prayer also. And, blessed be God, the Holy Spirit has begun to descend, not only here but in the country around, and in the neighboring city. Forever blessed be his name for this return to our American church after several years of absence. Oh may he greatly enlarge the power and make it to endure until the millenium.
March 8th. The obedience and death of Christ answer the purpose of our sinless obedience or righteousness. “Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” Rom. x. 4. " For he hath made him to be sin for us who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” II. Cor. v. 21. “Therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith ; as it is written, The just shall live by faith.” Romans i. 17. “The righteousness of God without the law is manifested, even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ." Rom. iii. 21, 22. “ If by one man's offence death reigned by one, much more they which receive abundance of grace, and of the gift of righteousness, shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ. Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation, even so by the righteousness of one the free