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sincerity. He had a nice perception of character, and an admirable power of adapting himself to circumstances as they arose. In addition to pastoral visits, he frequently addressed pastoral letters, -sometimes to individuals, and sometimes to all his people. The exceeding high estimation in which he was held by them, caused these epistles 10 have great influence. The following is a specimen addressed to such as were about to spend the summer season in traveling.
"1. Never, on any plea whatever, travel on the Lord's day.
2. Make your arrangements to stop, if possible, in some place where you can enjoy suitable religious privileges.
3. If at a public house, or watering place, on the Lord's day, do not mingle with indiscriminate company. Keep your own room as much as possible, and be engaged in such a way as to make the day profitable to your souls and honorable to God.
4. Every day find or make time for your private duties of reading, meditation, self-examination and prayer.
5. Carry tracts and good books with you, to read, distribute, or to lend, according to circumstances.
6. Seek for opportunities to do good to the souls of those into whose society you may fall.
7. Never, by deed or conversation, appear to be ashamed of your religious profession. 8. Remember you are to stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
Let me intreat you to read these items of advice over and over again, and recur to them in every time of temptation. They are the affectionate warnings of one who knows the dangers of your situation, and whose heart's desire and prayer to God is, that you may maintain your christian integrity, honor God, live in obedience to his will, and enjoy
that can alone spring from a conscience void of offence, because the love of God is shed abroad in the heart.
If neither a sense of duty nor this affectionate appeal, can hinder you from sinning against God and your own soul, this pastoral letter will be my testimony when we stand together at the bar of God, that I have warned you of your danger and am guiltless of your blood.
Most truly, your friend and pastor.'
Sunday schools received a large share of his attention. The schools in connection with his church, continued steadily to increase from the time of their institution. In January, 1833, they contained seventy-five teachers and nearly eleven hundred scholars. Once a year they were all assembled in the body of the church and addressed by the pastor. The simplicity, power, and effect with which he addressed them was wonderful.
He used to assemble his teachers at bis house to receive from him instruction on the lessons they were to teach. We have heard it said, that he never appeared so lovely as when surrounded by his sabbath school teachers, and teaching them how to distribute
to others the word of life. He bestowed great labor on his bible classes. He sometimes spent as much time in preparation for them as other ministers spend in preparation for the sabbath. The consequence was, they were always interesting and always well attended. He sometimes printed a syllabus of the course of instruction for the use of the class, and procured maps, transparencies, and other modes of illustration. Over all the charitable societies in the congregation he took the supervision. Nothing that was 1 imed to be useful was too minute to escape his attention. He was
a great lover of music, and paid particular attention to the regulation of this part of divine worship. He frequently invited the choir to meet at his house, where they always received religious instruction. He was peculiarly solicitous and watchful for their conversion, and before his death he had the pleasure of seeing every one of them hopefully pious. He was very cautious in admitting members to the communion. He held separate meetings for young converts, and gave them instruction adapted to their circumstances. The following was put into the hands of each one who desired to be connecied with his church.
* As you are about to make a profession of religion, I am exceedingly anxious that both you and myself should be satisfied on some points of importance; and, in order that this may be done, you will do me the favor, (for I ask it as a favor and not as a right,) to meditate on the following questions and give me your views in writing ? I have two great objects in view; one is, that I may be satisfied as to the correctness of your sentiments, and the other, that should I at any subsequent periods as a faithful pastor, be obliged to remind you of any departures from the line of duty and of love, I may have the advantage of placing before you your own deliberate conclusions when you joined yourself to the Lord in the bonds of a covenant never to be forgotten. Read these questions,-pray over them,-compare them with the word of God. If they in the least depart from the simplicity of the gospel, I have no wish that you should answer them. Satisfy your mind on this point. I wish you to act conscientiously, and in the fear of God. This is one of the most solemn periods of your life, and you must act as with eternity in view. Take two copies of your answers, written both in precisely the same words. Keep one for your own satisfaction,-read it once every week, by yourself, and with prayer. Give the other copy into my hands. It is for my private satisfaction as the pastor set over you in the Lord, and responsible for the manner in which I discharge my duty to you. May the Lord direct you and keep you by his grace, and finally present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy.
Questions for self-examination. 1. Do I acknowledge and feel that I am a sinner in the sight of God?
2. Do I recognize the necessity of repentance; and what good reasons have I to suppose that I have repented of my sins ? Vol. VIII.
3. What reasons have I to suppose that I have experienced that change of heart which is so frequently spoken of in scripture ?
4. Am I sure that, as a sinner unable to save myself, I am resting my only hopes upon the sole merits of the Lord Jesus Christ?
5. Do I look upon the Lord Jesus Christ as a Divine Saviour, who took our nature upon him, and died on the cross as an all-sufficient sacrifice for the sins of the world ?
6. Do I think that I am capable without the influence of the Spirit of God, to turn myself to his service ?
7. Do I feel as if it was my duty, as well as privilege, to spend a stated time every day in prayer to God; and do I take delight in this ?
8. Do I believe that the bible is the word of God, and that I am bound to obey its requisitions ?
9. Do I think that I ought to read the bible with regularity and prayer,
and do I love so to do? io. Do I believe that I am bound to give up my heart and life to the service of God?
11. Do I believe it my solemn duty to make a public profession of religion ; and do I think that I am called upon to maintain a consistent christian profession?
12. What is my candid and free opinion as to the nature of what are called the amusements of the world, such as theatres, balls, games, &c.
13. Is it my opinion, that I could with any kind of consistency engage in these things ?
11. Do I love any of these things now? 15. Should I be led astray in relation to these things, what do I think ought to be my own opinion of my spiritual state, and what do I think ought to be the conduct of my pastor towards me?
16. Do I think that I ought to be much engaged in advancing the Lord's cause by every lawful means ?
17. Am I determined by the grace of God to adorn the doctrine of God my Saviour, and let my light shine,—to grow in conformity to God,--and to seek above all things the glory of God and the salvation of my soul?
13. Have I prayed over these questions, and have I answered them sincerely, and in the fear of God ? “Be not deceived, God is not mocked.”
Let your answers be full and explicit. What I want is, to ascertain the state of your mind as to the things of religion. Thus I may know how to adapt my christian instruction to your case.
Let your answers be written on a separate sheet of letter paper, and let the number affixed to your answers correspond carefully with the questions.
If on any point you are in doubt come to me. Gladly will I seek to direct you in any thing which concerns your eternal peace,--and pray with you and for you,- for my beart's desire is, that you may be saved, and be made, by your precept and example, the instrument of saving others,—which may God grant, for his mercy's sake in Jesus Christ the Lord. Your friend and pastor.'
Whenever he saw any of his flock wandering, or in circumstances of peculiar danger he either visited them, and gave them in all wisdom, the necessary reproof and warnings, or addressed letters to them with so much skill, that they could rarely fail of the desired effect.
He was warmly interested in all the catholic benevolent enterprises of the day. So that good was to be accomplished by an enterprise, he did not wait for the approbation of prelates before be gave it his support. He often spoke at public meetings of benevolent societies, always with great acceptance and effect. In the American Sunday School Union he was especially interested, and gave it efficient support by his influence, voice, and
His church and congregation were brought up to a comparatively high standard of liberality; we are told, that more than $8,000 bave been contributed by them for religious purposes in a single year.
“ His manner,” says Dr. T., “ as a public speaker was entirely peculiar. Retiring, unostentatious, simple, apparently unconscious of the effect he produced, and the popularity of his eloquence, and quite unmoved by any desire to exhibit himself. On occasions when he was to preach, or to speak, he generally sat in a retired corner until his proper tine of speaking ; his downcast eye, and peculiarly bumble and modest demeanor, indicated to every one around, that he was least of all anxious to be seen or heard for his own sake. As the time arrived for bim to commence, nothing could exceed in simplicity and forgetfulness of himself, the manner in which he arose before an audience, who were silent and watchsul in their anxious suspense, and began the address in which he was to be engaged. His manner was perfect calmness ; his voice was strong and clear, and sweetly melodious, but not loud; his articulation was remarkably distinct, and without any apparent effort to bimself, he was always heard with accuracy throughout the largest house of worship.
Dr. Bedell preached the gospel, the pure simple gospel, as it is found in the bible. His views were modified by no philosophical system, for he did not meddle with philosophy. He felt, that he was not fitted for abstract speculation. With the distinctions of natural and moral ability and inability he had nothing to do. He preached the obligation of the sinner to immediate repentance, urged home this obligation with pungency and power. İn order to do this he did not find it necessary to preach preliminary discourses on moral agency, ability, and kindred topics that sometimes occupy so large a portion of the time of the polemics both of the old and new school. While he thus preached obligation, he felt and acted habitually under the influence of the feel. ing, that success would come from God alone. He was commonly called an Arminian, but every discriminating hearer could perceive, that while he avoided the phraseology of Ca
views were founded on a cordial adoption of the doctrines of grace. We have met with no man whose theology was more perfectly biblical than Dr. Bedell's. He knew but little of systematic theology, as the term is commonly used. Whatever he found in the bible, he considered as revealed to his faith,
-he cordially embraced it without inquiring whether it would accord with any system or not. He was content to take his own way of studying divine truth, and leave the same privilege to others. His excellent sense and sobriety of mind, and his complete yielding of himself to the guidance of the Spirit, kept hiin from adopting unsound opinions.
The following extracts from a discourse preached on the tenth anniversary of St. Andrew's church, will give some idea of his labors, and their results, in Philadelphia:
• We have abundant reason to say, Hitherto hath the Lord helped us, when we consider the amount of labor which God in his mercy has permitted your minister to perform. He wishes here merely to state facts that God may have the glory. You know that for six of the ten years he has now ministered before you, his health has been greatly impaired, and yet when facts are looked at, it will be remarked that an extraordinary amount of duty has been performed. Including this morning, he has been able to preach in this church, exactly seven hundred times, which amounts to a fraction beyond six years and a balf of uninterrupted preaching; twenty-eight Sundays, or in amount fiftysix sermons only, has he been kept from the pulpit by actual sickness. Taking this from ten hundred and forty, which is the amount of public occasions during ten years, there will be a balance of two hundred and eighty-four times, to be divided between absences for health, absences for business either private or ecclesiastical, exchanges with other clergymen, or courtesies to brethren, besides some few occasions of Episcopal services by the Bishops, and about three months in the ten years, during which, for repairs and other contingencies, the church has been closed by the orders of the vestry. In addition to the seven hundred times of public preaching, he has been able to hold lectures on weekday evenings, and has officiated at these two hundred and ninety-six times, besides not less than fifty lectures on weekdays, and, in amount, four years of weekly bible-class instruction. I have given you this detail, my friends, simply that both you and I may feel the force of the declaration, “ Hitherto hath the Lord helped us.
• On Sunday, Oct. 1823, the first communion in this church was celebrated. There were then present thirty-four persons, all of them it is believed having been communicants of some of the other churches of our city. It is not my intention to trace the gradual increase. Suffice it to say, that on Easter last, our actual number amounted to three hundred and thirty-four, exactly three hundred more than when the cominunion was first administered. This, however, does not give as favorable a view as the case really requires, for during the ten years wbich have passed, changes have taken place by death, removals, &c.