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charge of this church, over which the Holy Ghost made him overseer,' required a man of as much grace, as any such station could well be supposed to do, considering how numerous, how intelligent, and well instructed a people he was to take the care of. About forty-three or forty-four years ago I had the opportunity of beginning an acquaintance with him. His excellent good natural parts, his ingenious education, his industry, his early labours in preaching the Gospel of Christ, in his native country, in the city, and in this place; bis conjunction and society, for some years, with that excellent servant of God Mr. Greenhill; above all, the gracions assistances he had from heaven, gave him great advantages, to be a minister of Christ, 'approved unto God; a workman that needed not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. The great subject he had in hand, and which be left unfinished, when God took him off from his public work, was manifestly pointed this way, viz. Of the Covenant of God in Christ. And his annual course of preaching a sermon on May day to young men, had the same manifest scope and aim, with which his public labours were concluded; God so ordering it, that his last serion was this year on that day *. His judgement, in reference to matters of church order, was for union and communion of all visible.Christians, viz. of such as did sisibly hold the head, as to the principal credenda and agenda of Christianity: the great things belonging to the faith and practice of a Christian, so as nothing be made necessary to Christian communion but what Christ hath made necessary, or what is indeed necessary to one's being a Christian. His removal makes to many indeed a woeful day, and that all about him did long foresee. He was long languishing, and even dying daily. But amidst surrounding death, as a relation told ine, there was no appearance of the least · cloud upon his spirit, that obscured the evidences of bis title to : blessed eternity. Being asked how he did, he said, “ Going home, as every honest man ought, when his 'work is done." He was much in admiring God's mercies under his afflicting hand, saying, “ Every thing on this side hell is mercy; that the mercies he received were greater than his burthens, though in themselves grievous; that he rested upon that promise, that his Father would lay
.. This annual sermon was continued by Mr. Brewer to the last, as it is by his successor Mr. Ford, and attended by an amazing con· course of people. .
no more upon him than he would enable him to bear ; that he expected to be saved only by the righteousness of Christ imputed to him.". Though he well understood, as I had sufficient reason to know, that Christ's righteousness is never imputed to any but where, if the subject be capable, there is an inherent righteousness also, that is no cause of our salvation, but the character of the saved. Having ber fore precautioned some about him not to be surprized if he went away suddenly, he repeated the ejaculation, Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly; and renewing the former cau. tion, by saying, “ Reinember what I said before ; as he sat in his chair *, with all possibie composure, he bowed his head, and without sigh or motion expired in a moment. The sighing part he left to others that stay behind.”
Upon his tomb-stone is an inscription in Latin, of which the following is a translation:
“ Here lies all that was mortal of the rev. Mr. MATTHEW MEAD
minister of the Gospel. He descended from a respectable family in the county of Bucks, and was eminently distinguished , for his piety, learning, and eloquence. He spent his life with an invincible fortitude in constant and uncommon labours for his country, religion, and liberty: till at length, full of days, and crowned with honour, he most sereuely ascended, like a weary and longing pilgrim, to that celestial rest which had long filled his wishes, Oct. 16, 1699; and at the age of seventy years : leaving an illustrious example to posterity of a good citizen, a most tender husband, a most affectionate father, and a truly Chris
tian minister." He was author of,-). “ The Almost Christian tried and cast in seven Sermons."-2. “ A Serion to the United Brethren, about Ezekiel's Wheels.".-3. " Funeral Sermons for Mr Thomas Cruso, &c."-4. “The good of early Obedience."-5.“ The Young Man's Remembrancer."-6. "A Naine in Heaven the truest Ground of Joy, on Luke x. 20."—7. “The Power of Grace in weaping the Heart from the World ; two Discourses on Psal. 131," reprinted in 1772.--8.“ Two Sticks made one; or the Excellency of Unity, on Ezekiel xxyii. 19."-9.“ Spiritual Wisdom improves against Temptation,"-10. “A Farewell Sermon (the lich in the London Collection) on 1 Cor. 1. 3. Grace bé unto you, and peace," &c.
MEAD, HENRY, was born in 1745, in or near Bath, His parents were obscure persons, to which circumstance
• The chair in which he died was made for the wife of the famous Lilly the astrologer, and was covered with crimson velvet. It was in the possession of Mr. James late minister of Hitchin.
the defects of his early education may be ascribed. When only five years of age, he had some knowledge of his having offended God, and that he was liable to punishment; on the nature of that punishinent, “ he thought as a child," supposing that he might be ordered to some place where he should be treated with neglect. This apprehension arose froin the manner in which his mother corrected him for offences, by ordering him to a corner of the room, and not permitting any one to regard him. .. buen
His father dying when Henry was young, and his mother marrying a second time, he was put apprentice to a low. mechanic, but did not remain till the legal expiration of the term ; for, upon the death of his mother, his father-inlaw made away with the little property which Henry had expected. This so wounded his feelings, and left him sa destitute, that he abandoned his master and went to London.' Here we interrupt the narrative to stale, what was at once borh the genuine effect of that religion he afterwards possessed, and inuch to the credit of the profession he made, that he returned, and filled up that which had been lacking in the service due to his master. In the mean time, instead of seeking to recover the loss he had sustained, or to improve the disappointment which rexed him, by increased diligence and sobriety, we find him in the midst of the dissipations of the inetropolis, seeking to divert his mind froin reflection by the vain and criminal pleasures of this world. He chose persons of corrupt manners for his companions; and by telling merry tales and singing vain songs, he often raised their boisterous mirth. The Sabbath was to him a busy day in promoting the reign of sin; he thought God did not desire the labouring poor to go to church; and he pitied the clergy who were obliged to at. tend on the duties of religion, while he was at liberty to take a pleasant walk, .or to visit a public tea garden, &c. On one of those days, which should have been sacred, but, alas ! so frequently profaned, he could not meet with any of his associates; therefore, to get through the long and tedious hours of that day, he purposed in his mind to go to Long Acre Chapel; but on his way thither, he recollected to have heard of a Dr. Whitefield ; and from the reports which had reached him, he expected to find in his preaching what would gratify his curiosity, and furnish hiin with matter for humoronis remarks: be therefore directed his
course for Tottenham Court Chapel. The preacher was the rev. Howell Davis. While this faithful minister pointed out the different practices of the iin pious, Mr. Mead found his own life described; but he remained unmoved till the energetic penetrating close of the sermon, when the condemnation of such characters was set forth in a striking light. He felt distressed, went home, and, in retirement, began again to read his greatly neglected Bible; and resolved to love God. Still he remained ignorant of the nature of faith in Him who is the only Saviour. The work was an outward reformation, not the communication of an inward vital principle; his visible reform was observed by his acquaintance, who were surprized at its being so sudden. The religion (if it may be called by that name): which he knew at this time, was of a Pharisaic cast : he said his prayers inorning and evening, he bought a book of prayers for every day in the week; and in this way he pro- i. ceeded for some weeks, still attending at the chapel : but the Lord opened to his view the evils of nature, and both the seat and demerit of inward depravity. Spiritual convictions, took deep hold of him, and he groaned through disquietude. Now he found his book of prayers of no ser
vice : it was laid aside; and from his deep-felt misery, he I cried to Heaven, “ Lord, undertake for me, for I am op
pressed !”. He had for a time to wait as well as pray: his burden appeared to increase, so that in the day he could not find rest, and by night he 'bathed his pillow with tears. Indeed, some nights he was afraid to lie down, lest he should awake in hell. With a mind so uneasy, and his test so broken, it was no wonder that his body was brought near to the chambers of death. When he heard soine scoff, and say that “hell is nothing but a man's conscience,” he felt a wounded conscience to be such a hell as no one can bear. His worldly companions blamed him for going among the Methodists; and the Formalist in religion spoke of hiin as going mad; while he himself knew what he felt came through hearing them, but knew not yet how to obtain effectual relief. At one time he thought of going no more to the chapel ; at another, was drawn to try the pleasure of a day's recreation ; but, like the unsatisfying short. lived pleasures of sin, the day passed without real joy, and ras succeeded by the anguish which attends increased renorse. Thus exposed to “cruel mockings," to persecu. VOL.III.-No. 65. Ty
tion, to present sorrows, and the foreboding of fear, he, thought himself hated by man, and even by God: he was also assailed by this tempiation, that as the ways of religion - are pleasant, and he had sorrow instead of peace, he must be therefore a stranger to those ways. This wrought him up to temporary desperation ; his inexpressible grief poued itself forth in groans: “O that I had never sinned against God! I have a Hell here upon Earth, and there is a Hell for me in eternity !” One Lord's day, very early in the morning, he was awoke by a tempest of lightning and thunder ; and imagining it to be the end of the world, bis agony was great, supposing the great day of divine wrath was come, and he unprepared ; but happy to find it not so. Rising early that morning, and having heard that Mr. Whitefield was to preach, he went and heard him, froin Hosea x. 12, “ Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy,” &c. Under this discourse he had a reviving gleann of hope! but this was transient. A young man lent him Baxter's Work on the New Birth; in reading which he felt the iinportance of the subject, and examined himself by the evidences of regeneration it contains. In this exercise he felt much of the power of unbelief; he saw all necessary for salvation to be in Christ, and that a sinner is justified by believing on hiin only; but he felt it beyond his own power to believe : his prayers became inore ardent, he spread his guilt, his wanis, and his misery before the throne of God; he sought for saving mercy as one perishing; and when “he had nothing to pay," he freely received the for. giveness of bis sins, and the enjoyinent of heavenly peace. Thus was he brought, and even constrained to acknowledge, “ I am saved by grace, through faith ; and that not of myself, but Jesus gave it me!
“O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I'm constraiud to be !" The consolations he now enjoyed were connected with a holy deportment and a circumspect walk. This was the natural effect of the divine gratitude he felt, and the desire “ to inaintain good works,” that the cause of religion might not be slandered, nor the eneinies of God have occasion to blasphense. Having frequently reviewed the Lord's dealings with him, and the obligations he was under to recovering grace, (this appears to have been about two years from his first religious concern,) he thought himself called upon to
. . * • proclaim