Page images
[graphic][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]





FOR MARCH, 1852.


COLLIER'S-RENTS, SOUTAWARK. The following valuable memorial of, bright hemisphere, and sympathized, one of the best of men, is from the pen far more than many of his ministerial of the Rev. George Clayton, and was brethren, in the movements of that readdressed to his flock, at Walworth, on markable era. For many years he was occasion of Mr. Knight's death. Hav- accustomed to preach, as à regular ing spoken of the duty of honouring supply, at the Tabernacle in Moorfields the character and cherishing the me- reared by Mr. Whitfield. His son, Mr mory of the departed servants of God, James Knight, through the grace that and cited the well-known passage in the was bestowed on him, became decidedly Epistle to the Hebrews, “ Remember pious in the days of his youth, and early them that have the rule over you (your devoted himself to the service of the spiritual guides), and have spoken to Christian Ministry. He entered on his you the Word of God,” &c. &c., the academical course at “ Old College, preacher then proceeded as follows: Homerton," and pursued his studies,

The Rev. James Knight, for more both classical and theological, with disthan forty years the esteemed pastor of tinguished diligence, application, and the church in Collier's-rents, South earnestness; while his deportment was wark, and since his retirement from the marked, in a more than ordinary depastorate, an inhabitant of Clapham, gree, with gravity, spirituality of mind, and a worshipper in this congregation, and holy circumspection. While at was born in the year 1769. His ho- college, he united himself in fellowship noured father, the Rev. Titus Knight, with the church at the King's Weighwas for a long period the pastor of an house, Eastcheap, then under the pas ancient congregation, of great respect. toral care of the late Rev. John Clayton, ability, at Halifax, in Yorkshire. He between whom and himself there arose lived in the age of religious revivals, a firm and lasting friendship, which and was cotemporary with the Wesleys, remained uninterrupted for more than George Whitfield, Selina, Countess of half a century. Huntingdon, and other stars of that Having honourably completed his





course of study, he was invited to take | number of pupils, never exceeding the oversight of the church in Collier's six or eight in number, and resided in rents, in the year 1791, and cheerfully Richmond-place, Walworth. Of this responded to the call; and his ordination little group it was the happiness of service took place on June 19th of that the preacher to be one. How little year. At the age of twenty-two years, could it, at that time, have been imahe succeeded to the pulpit of the Rev. gined, that the school-boy of seven John Rogers, who is described in the years old, should have eventually bechurch document read on that occasion, come the pastor of a church in that

a pastor whose integrity, simplicity, populous hamlet for the space of fortypiety, and steady attachment to the eight years, and should have been called glorious truths of the gospel will long upon to improve the event of his rebe gratefully remembered by his be- vered tutor's decease, after the lapse of reaved flock.” The presbyters engaged sixty years, from the period of his early in the service were the Rev. Benjamin training at Walworth? Yet such has Davies, D.D., the Rev. Thomas Towle, been the ordination of the Divine Head B.D., and the Rev. John Clayton. In the of the church. charge delivered to the young minister In process of time, Mr. Knight was by Mr. Clayton these words occur : invited to fill the Divinity Chair, in

Among other examples you will natu- Homerton College, where he liad, as we rally consider that of your esteemed have stated, received his education for predecessor. He finished well. And as the ministry. It was an important and an affectionate son, you cannot but re-honourable post, which he retained for flect on that of your venerable father, several years, most creditably to himnow thought to be at the point of death; self and advantageously to his classes. if power remains he is imploring a dou- His was the good old-fashioned theoble blessing on you this day; follow his logy,—that of the Owens, the Howes, shining track, and you will share with the Bateses, and the Flavels of a former him the rewards of fidelity unto death.” age, which, it is to be feared, in the

Mr. Knight now addressed himself boasted march of intellect and of scienwith great seriousness and assiduity to tifio improvement, has been suffered to the duties of his office, upon which he fade from the ministrations of many of bestowed much patient thought, and our modern teachers, who have substiwell-directed labour. Those who fre- tuted the flimsy but gaudy essay, or the quented his public teaching, could not elaborated scientific disquisition, for but feel that they were listening to a those glorious truths of the gospel of man of God, -one whose mind was Christ which constitute the food, the deeply impregnated with a devout spi- nourishment, and the life of the soul. rit and a sincere solicitude for the con- For my own part, I must freely confess, version and edification of souls. If his that no healthful revival can be hoped gifts were not of the popular order, for in our nonconforming colleges and they were of sterling value, and secured churches, without a return to that sys. the approbation and preference of some tem of public teaching, which is simple, among the most reflecting, judicious, scriptural, and “instinct all o'er with and godly of the community. Those Christ,”—Christ in his dignity, his mewho attached themselves on principle rit, his fulness, and his immutability to his ministrations were very strongly Christ in the humiliations of his cross, attached, and, doubtless, profited greatly in the radiance of his crown, and in by them.

the power of his Spirit. Christ the With the duties of his pastorate he Alpha and Omega, the beginning and combined the education of a select the end, the first and the last, the all



and in all. The health of Mr. Knight, It ought to be noted, that he indinerer very robust, became fluctuating cated throughout his whole course a and uncertain, which led bim first to spirit of wise catholicity towards all relinquish his tutorship at the college, who loved the Lord Jesus, whatever and some years afterwards to retire might be their sect, denomination, or from the stated labours of his ministry. party. He could distinguish between When once he clearly discerned firmness and bigotry, and therefore was path of duty, and had made up his enabled, in the spirit of Christian love, mind to any measure,

he was of inflex- to maintain communion with those ible purpose, and therefore bid farewell | from whom, in some things, he conto his charge, with mutual regard and scientiously differed. His own brother the reciprocation of the best wishes. a minister of the Established It was, however, an evil day for the Church, as were also his nephews; and people at Collier's-rents when his min. I never heard that the diversity of their istrations among them finally ceased. judgment and practice, on ecclesiastical His retirement was marked by habits matters, interfered to prevent the interof regular and fervent devotion; he change of mutual affection, or to dimiwalked with God, he held commerce nish the agreeableness of relative inter with the skies.

He was the last man in the He was mighty in the Scriptures, an world to employ himself, directly or accurate expositor of the Sacred Word, indirectly, in sowing discord among and a sound and learned critic. He brethren. might, in truth, be called a perfect text- As his health and strength began uary. He was known, and resorted to, visibly to decline, he was strengthened by many as a skilful, able, and faithful unto all patience and long-suffering casnist; expert in resolving doubts, and with joyfulness, till, having exemplified defining duties in their most delicate this last and hardest lesson, he was relations and nicest shadings, in those visited for a few months previous to his matters which demanded the right ap- decease with a paralytic seizure, which plication of acknowledged truths to confined him to his bed for the rest of practical purposes. He was a man of his days. But even in this season of stern principle, steadfast and immove- | infirmity and disqualification, he en. able in the work of the Lord. Withal joyed the presence and the help of his he was of a social turn and friendly Divine Master and Lord. His bed was disposition, always courteous, and some-made in his sickness, and he was comtimes indulging in innocent pleasantry forted on the couch of languishing. He and well-regulated mirth. For several did not speak much or often, but the years his house was open, once in the utterances he gave forth were sentenweek, for the reception of his friends, tious, weighty, and edifying; and by who resorted to him for instruction, the testimony of his nearest relatives, counsel, and edification. These he en- who were in constant attendance upon couraged to propose questions upon him, he became doubly endeared to matters of doctrinal and practical inte them, in his last illness, by his gentle, rest, to which he gave a response from peaceful, thankful, and considerate carthe Holy Scriptures, which lay before riage and behaviour. The ripe and him; and the meetings for friendly and mellow fruits of faith and love they were Christian communing were closed with permitted to gather will be long laid up prayer. There are some persons now in store for their comfort and joy. present with us who can testify to the On awaking from slumber, one morninteresting and improving character of ing, he was heard to groan heavily. these social gatherings.

His affectionate daughter inquired if

she could do anything for him, and He was at length favoured with a asked if he were under any particular tranquil dismission from the body; and pain or pressure. He replied, “No;~ if he had not a painless exit, it was I was only praying that I might be not marked by any strong or agonizset right, and kept right, through the ing conflict. He slept in Jesus. It day on which I have been permitted to may be said, with the strictest truth, enter.” He was always accustomed to that having served his generation attach great importance to the first according to the will of God, he fell on thought which possessed the mind in sleep. awaking out of sleep. And who would Mark the perfect man, and behold not desire to be set right, and kept the upright; for the end of that man right, with every returning day? is peace."

[ocr errors]


No. III. Tue most interesting and awful weighed most heavily upon the world's question, which equally pertains to the population, and most deeply agitated whole race of mankind and each indi- the mind of successive generations. It vidual, and which can possibly be en. cleaves to man in the frozen regions of tertained by the human mind, is un the north, and in the burning climes of doubtedly that of the ancient Patriarch, the south ; amidst the fairest scenes of “ How shall man be just with God?” | oriental beauty, or the arid sands of and stand with acceptance before the the wilderness, and the uncleared foMost High? In proportion to this, all rests of the west. No outward circumother solicitudes that weigh upon the stances can conceal it- no external anxious spirit of humanity, or ever en- glory or ignominy suppress it-no congage the less thoughtful attention of the ventualisms of human life destroy it. passing hour, are trifles light as air, | It rises above them-it breaks through and if weighed in the impartial balances them - it will manifest itself. And of truth and soberness, will be pro- amidst the barbarities of uncivilized nounced by every child of Adam to be nations, or the attainments and im“ found wanting.” What are all the provements of tho civilized and polite, speculations that relate merely to the there it is, ever present, ever faithful, present world—the demands of science, ever uppermost—" Wherewith shall I the problems of philosophy, or the theo come before the Lord, and bow myse ries and appliances of human govern- before the High God?” This is the inments—in comparison with the tremen- terrogation of our common humanity. dous inquiry, What shall pass before All classes feel it. The rich cannot the bar of the Eternal ? What shall escape it; the poor are perpetually meet the approval of His eye? And conscious of it. It has lived in the boin what righteousness shall man as a som of all generations hitherto: it will sinner-a fallen, depraved, guilty being live in all that are to come. The - appear, so as to receive acquittal, and thoughtful mind alone can appreciate be released from condemnation at his it; but none can forget or overcome it. Maker's tribunal ?” This is tlie ques. It has engaged the solicitude of the tion of questions. It is that which human spirit through all ages; and to through all time, and in every portion furnish an answer to it, have all the deof the globe, semper et ubique, has | vices of unassisted reason, and all the


« PreviousContinue »