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abusive sermon, being told by an officer they might now make ready for the stake, Mr. Latimer, having thrown off his prison attire, appeared in a shroud prepared for the purpose; “ and whereas before (says Mr. Fox) he seemed a withered and crooked old man, he stood now upright.” Leing thus ready, he recommended his soul to God, and delivered himself to the executioner, saying to the bishop of London, “ We shall this day, brother, light such a candle in England, as shall never be put out.”.
When the fire was first kindled, he cried, “O Father of heaven, receive my soul ;" and so receiving the fame, and (as it seemed) embracing it, and having stroked his face with his hands and bathed them a little with fire, he soon died without the least appearance of suffering pain.
Such was the death of Hugh Latimer, bishop of Worcester, one of the leaders of that noble army of martyrs, who introduced the Reformation in England. He had a happy temper, improved by the best principles; and such was his cheerfulness, that none of the circumstances of life were seen to discompose him. Such was his Christian fortitude, that not even the severest trials could unman nim; he had a collected spirit, and on no occasion wanted á resource ; he could retire within himself, feel the sups port of a gracious Master, and hold the world at deti, ance. . .
LAVATER, JOHN CASPAR, was born in 1741, of very respectable parents, at Zurich in Switzerland, who, to the best of their knowledge and abilities, educated him in the strictest principles of virtue and religion. From his infancy, he had many serious impressions ; and, when only seven years old, felt himself strongly drawn to seek God by prayer. “To use God,” says he, “as my own God, was one of the earliest and most deeply impressed ideas in my mind. Observing the indifference of others towards God, I was determined to make the best use of him I could. I felt a need of his presence, and made it a constant practice to pour out my heart before him in fervent prayer every morning and evening: yet my light and volatile disposition oftentimes disturbed me in my devotions. To listen to the sermons was too tiresome for me, so I took my little Pocket Bible to the place of wor, ship; and, with the greatest eagerness, I read the His
tories of the Old Testament, more especially that of Elias and Elisha Christ and the New Testament had but a small share of my attention or affection at that time.”
When ten years of age, young Lavater freely declared bis intention to devote himself to the ministry, and, not. withstanding all the objections and difficulties he had to encounter, he never changed his mind ; but zealously applied himself to the study of the Latin language, and other branches of human learning requisite for this purpose.
In his fourteenth year he had a dangerous fit of sickness. " When thus taken ill,” says he, “ I seriously reflected upon my former life, endeavouring to purify my heart, most heartily forgiving every received injury, and asking pardon of all those to whom I suspected I had given the least offence.” This illness, he adds, left be. hind it many a serious impression. Soon after this, hava ing laken a long walk on a very hot day, and too eagerly drinking more wine than he could bear, he got nearly intoxicated : which grieved him to his very heart. “ Hardly,” says he, “any occurrence in my whole life has made such an indelible impression upon my mind as this accident. I shed streams of penitentiał tears, and nothing could erase the remembrance of it from my mind; and, even now, after the elapse of twenty-six years, it serves me as a powerful warning never to exceed moderation in drinking, in the least degree.” In the fifteenth year of bis age, a violent shock of an earthquake, and the happy departure of his elder brother, contributed to confirm and to increase the good impressions and pious resolutions of his mind. “ When,” says he, “ my brother was in his last moments, he sat up in his bed, lifted up his hands, and, looking up stedfastly toward Heaven, exclaimed, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God! Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.” Thus saying, he sunk down and expired. All of us were dissolved in tears. Now I saw my brother a dead corpse, on the very spot on which I was born, I felt quite heavenly-minded. Death and Heaven were my only thoughts ; so I went to bed ; buť • when I awoke the next morning, I felt quice pleased in my having become the eldest son of the family, and the heir of the cabinet of curiosities which my brother had collected. I could not help abhorring myself, on account
of this sudden change of mind. Oh! vanity of vanities! all, indeed, is vanity?".
When young Lavater entered upon his academical course, his talents soon began to shine forth so brilliantly, as to attract the notice of the most learned characters who were at that time professors in the college at Zurich, some of whom endeavoured to encourage and direct his rising genius. During the three years of his studying divinity, he was most deeply impressed with a sense of the infinite importance of well-employed or mis-spent time ; and had such views of the awefulness of sin and holiness of God, that he oftentimes humbled himself in the dust. He made it a point of conscience daily to examine himself, watching over all his thoughts, words, and actions, and most sin.
cerely bewailing, not only every improper action which - he had done, but even every impure motive which might have influenced his conduct. At the same time, Christ, in his person, and all his endearing characters and offices, was rendered exceedingly precious to his soul. To him he approached, “ weary and heavy laden,” seeking rest for his immortal soul, and entirely devoting himself to his blessed service.
In 1762, Mr. Lavater, after having finished his Theo- logical studies, entered into holy orders, to the great
satisfaction of his professors; but under very humble views of his own attainments. Soon after his ordination, he thus addressed one of his dearest friends : “ You have preached this day ; and, I trust, with much success. O let us consider the infinite importance of addressing immortal beings in the name of God! May the principle of St. Paul never fail to be yours : : We preach not our. selves, but Christ Jesus the Lord ; and ourselves, your servants, for Christ's sake.”
Mr. Lavater was only twenty-two years old when he performed an action which cannot but highly interest every impartial reader in his favour:- There lived in the city of Zurich, and even a member of its senate, a most wretched character, who, during the time he had been prefect over a district of the canton, had committed in. numerable acts of the grossest injustice; yea, such abomi. nable crimes, that all the country people loudly reproached and cursed him ; but no one dared to call him to public account, he being related to several gentlemen who were
members of the Zurich government, and son-in-law to the principal magistrate of the city. Mr. Lavater, after having oftep heard of, and duly examined into, the atrocities of the prefect, committed even against helpless widows and orphans, could at last no longer refrain himself; his tender feeling heart was glowing with the noblest sentiments of justice and humanity, and felt an irresistible desire to plead the cause of the poor and oppressed. He was fully aware that his stepping forward in this cause would expose him to the frowns of the great and mighty, and occasion niuch uneasiness and anxiety even to his nearest and dearest relations; but he was de. termined to obey God rather than man. Having prepared himself by earnest prayer, and consulted an intimate friend, he first addressed a letter to the prefect; in which he strongly reproached him for his detestable actions; and freely declared his full intention to bring him to public justice, should he not restore his spoils within the term of two months. This time having elapsed, and the warn. ing proving in vain, Mr. Lavater proceeded to print a most solemn indictment against him ; which he caused to be delivered to every member of the Zurich government. At first he kept his name a secret ; but when called upon, he came forward in the most open manner, nobly avowed, and fully proved the points of his indictment before the whole assembly of the senate ; and had the unspeakable satisfaction to see the wicked prefect, who, conscious of his guilt, had saved himself by fight, solemn!y condemned by law, his unjust property confiscated, and restoration made to the triumphant cause of oppressed poverty and innocence.
In the spring of 1763, Mr. Lavater set out on a literary tour to some of the principal places in Germany; from which journey he acknowledges himself to have derived the most exiersive benefits : “ I received advantages," said he, “ from my journey, of which I had not the least conception. My mind is continually enlarging, and my heart forcibly drawn after that which is good: so greatly I profit by the conversation and example of learned, great, and good men.”
in 1766 Mr. Lavater married an excellent and amiable lady, with whom he lived thirty-four years in the most exemplary and happy manner ; and by whom he had
eight children, three of whom, à son and two daughters, survived him *. The first public office which was entrusted to Mr. Lavater's care, was that of chaplain to the orphan. house in Zurich ; upon which he entered in 1769. Here he found a very large sphere of usefulness. His sermons were much admired, and numerously attended; for he displayed in them great force of natural eloquence, accom. panied with that divine unction of the Spirit of God which
• How Mr. Lavater felt on the solemn day on which he was united to his amiable bride, he shall inform us in his own words : “I awoke very early, in the most serene and cheerful frame of mind. The sun had just risen ; the resplendent glories of which both delighted my eyes and filled my soul with inexpressible delight. After having prayed and sung one of the beautiful bymns of the late excellent Mr. Gellert, I went to the apartment of the dear object of my love, who cheerfully came forth to meet me, and wished me a thousand blessings. We could not but adore and praise God, out of the abundance of our hearts. Two considerations very forcibly struck my mind : first, 'That of the glory which might result to the providence of God from our union; and, secondly, That of the immortality of our offspring. I then res tired to my own room, and wrote the following prayer : “ Father of infinite goodness, who art in heaven, and seest in secret, blessed Author of our union, and Rewarder of them that d'igently seek thee, behold us in our new connexion, commencing in thy name. Being now assembled in thy presence, we bless thee with the most joyful feelings of our hearts, for baving united us by the sacred bonds of marriage. Lo ! we prostrate ourselves, and adore thee in the inost rapturous strains of unfeigned love and gratitude ! Yes; thou lovest us, most gracious Father; and we are sensible of this thy love! Oh that we may never lose sight of the gracious purposes for which thy wise providence has united us! Oh that we may have continually res newed a sense of thy presence with us! We will, with heart and mind, rejoice in thee; and gladly serve thee with constant faithfulness and unremitting zeal. Let nothing allure us from thee; but keep us most closely united in thee! Be thou our suprenie good ! let thy word be our food, and virtue our delight! Preserve us.from the deceitfulness of sin ! Let us be watchful over ourselves, constant in our de votions, fervent in praver, moderate in our enjoyments, sincere and upright in our dealings, faithful and affectionate towards each other! Let thy fear accompany us, O thou omnipresent and gracious Lovet of mankind ! Bless us, we humbly beseech thee, with good and healthy children ! and may we be enabled, by thy grace, to bring them up for the praise and glory of thy holy name! Lord, thou knowest the sincerity of our resolutions ; let our sweetest reward be the answering of these our prayers ! May our whole life be consecrated to thy service, and entirely devoted to the cause of virtue and religion! Let us never forget these our resolutions, not even for a moment! 0 how sweet to call thee our Father ; Let us remain thy obedient children, unto the very end of our davs ! Be our God and our guide that we may remain faithful unto death! Anien."