« AnteriorContinuar »
So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.
O THOυ! the Parent of the day,
The God of ev'ry hour,
Perhaps, at this still, solemn hour,
Some spirit wings its way; Or, in the chamber's sullen gloom, Now sickens to decay; And ere another morning's sun At thy command shall rise, Commission'd Death's unerring hand May close these waking eyes! Tremendous thought! and can my doom The fleeting moments seal? Seme moment, swiftly hastning, will Th' amazing truth reveal,
Great God! while roll the midnight hours,
O let me own thy care;
'Tis thine each thought to know. Oh! there, with gratitude and love,
May Faith and Joy reside;
(The mortal veil withdrawn) Then on my raptur'd, longing sight, Eternity shall dawn!
Orphan Boy's Lamentation.
AH, what a,cloud o'erspreads my sky,-
Once had I parents, parents dear,
More precious far to me than gold; Who watch'd my steps with anxious care, Who screen'd my tender limbs from cold.
Thrice happy days were those to me; Eut ah! what diff'rent days I see! No father now to guide my feet, No mother's tender voice I hear! No more their daily converse sweet Fills with delight my list'ning ear!
Ah no! I'm left to wander on,
And rent in twain each tender tie!
Oh, mournfu! hoor, when I, poor I,
THE YOUNG CONVER D'S PRAYER
Unite their subtle force
To court and draw my heart aside;
That they shall stray no more;
O then I'll let my neighbours sce
On whom my hopes depend.
And some of wealth, and some of arms,
I'll sing the glories of thy grace,
The meltings of thy love; And mine affections will I place
On thee and thine above.
Yea, earth shall sink beneath my feet,
G. AULD, Printer, Greville Street, London.
FOR THE YEAR 1803.
THE LATE REV. JOSEPH RADFORD.
Ir is impossible to view the various distinguishing excellencies of the servants of our dear Immanuel, without admiring the wisdom of the Spirit of the Lord, who divides to every man severally as he will. To some he imparts qualifications for extensive usefulness,. in awaking the careless: to others, skill instrumentally, to bind up the broken heart, and comfort the feeble mind. One is indulged to gather a church; another is peculiarly fitted to tend and feed it when formed: all have reason to be thankful; none have any occasion of boasting. Men of the greatest talents have not every talent; there is a wise and gracious distribution. It will not, however, be deemed presumptuous to say, that those whom the Lord has been pleased to favour with the necessary requisites for general use fulness and continued reputation, who never were exposed to the snare of momentary popularity, nor ever sunk into neglect and oblivion, are among the happiest and most honourable, not to say the most enviable, of all the ministers of Christ. Such a one was the subject of the present memoir.
The Rev. Joseph Radford was born in the parish of Stepney, July 21, 1752. His father, who was a reputable tradesman, died when he was but two years old; and the business continued to be carried on by his mother; but, alas! with so little success, that when the Lord removed her by a fever, during his apprenticeship, it appears, that not only all her own property was consumed, but also an estate of seventeen houses,. which his father had left him by will; so that all his earthly 4 C
hopes were dashed at once. He was, however, an eminent instance of the divine goodness; for that God, whose name is the Father of the Fatherless," now began to shine into his heart, to give him the light of the knowledge of his glory, in the face of Jesus Christ. It appears from some papers found since his decease, that he had prevailed on a young man of his acquaintance, in whom the Lord had begun a good work, to accompany him on the Sabbath Day to Hackney church; and afterwards persuaded him to stroll about the fields. The conscience of his young companion smote him; and he expressed great concern at having left the minister under whom he had lately sat; and he spoke so highly of him, that young Radford was anxious to hear what there was in his preaching that could so interest his friend.-This desire continued strong upon his mind; and on the following Sabbath evening, about the middle of the year 1768, he first heard the Rev. Mr. Bazeley, who then preached in White's Alley, Moorfields. He had not listened many minutes, before the Lord was pleased to bring the word home to his conscience with divine power. He looked round about, and beheld many in tears as well as himself; and immediately concluded that something must be done in him, more than he had ever thought of. These were his own words; and," continues he, " from this time I found the Lord drawing me with cords of love." But little time had elapsed before his master discovered a great change in him, and began to think religion would so affect his mind, as to incapacitate him for his business, and therefore forbade his hearing the Methodists; restraining him also from going out at all on the Lord's Day. This opposition did not, however, quench his desire for spiritual things; and his master observing, that since he had been serious, he was a better servant than before, soon gave him leave to attend worship whenever he could make it Convenient. May we not stop here, just to remind young converts, that they honour Christ most, when zeal for his name is joined with a becoming deportment to those with whom they are connected? It is probable that young Radford would have had greater obstacles in his way, and have endured more opposition, had not his conduct testified the conscientious integrity of his mind, as influenced by divine grace. It seems, that during the three following years, he experienced much Consolation, but had comparatively very little insight of his own corrupt heart; and was often at a loss to comprehend what his minister meant by speaking so much of the plague of a man's own heart." But now the Lord began to deepen the work in his soul, and to prepare him for future usefulness, by shewing him the unbelief of his heart, that it was such as God described it, " deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked, "In short, he went through fire and through water; but at last God brought him out into the wealthy place. The