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At the grave, the Rev. J. Davies, Dr. Smith's successor at Gravel Pits, delivered a short address, and concluded with prayer and the benediction. The scene was affecting; and the associations were all such as to subdue and sanctify the heart.
The funeral sermon for Dr. Smith was preached at the Gravel Pits on Lord's-day morning, February 16th, by the Rev. Dr. Harris, President of New College, with his usual power and pathos.
THE REV. A. BRANDRAM.
THE removal by death of this devoted clergyman, from his important sphere as one of the Secretaries of the British and Foreign Bible Society, is a great public loss. The solemn event took place on Dec. 26th.
But a short time since, and there were few men who seemed to bid fairer for a protracted period of honourable and useful service in the great and good work to which he had devoted the labours of his best years. For twenty-seven years he filled the office of Clerical Secretary to the British and Foreign Bible Society, with credit to himself and benefit to the great cause. He was a patient and indefatigable labourer, both in the Committee of the Institution and in his public advocacy of its vast and varied operations. His appeals, though distinguished by no flights of fancy, and by no bursts of overpowering eloquence, were always telling; and the distinct and energetic manner in which he was wont to read the Annual Reports of the Society will long be remembered by all the friends of the British and Foreign Bible Society accustomed to attend its Anniversary Meetings.
Andrew Brandram, which took place at Brighton, on Thursday, December 26th.
While they bow in silent submission to the will of the Most High, they desire to record their profound sense of the loss which the Society has experienced by this painful event.
Twenty-seven years ago, on the decease of the late Rev. John Owen, the first Clerical Secretary of the Society, Mr. Brandram, after some hesitation, accepted an appointment to the vacant office. Though not distinguished by the same power of eloquence as his highly gifted predecessor had been, he brought into the service of the Society a mind equally vigorous and well cultivated, an aptitude for business not less remarkable, and an attachment to the principles of the Society quite as sincere; while the high reputation which, as a double first-class man, he had obtained at the University; his manly, straightforward, and uncompromising spirit; blended with genuine and unostentatious piety, soon gained him a standing in public estimation and confidence, which he never lost.
Having once made up his mind to undertake the office, he gave himself to its duties with the most unreserved devotedness;throwing his whole soul into the work;"which he ever believed to be," as he assured the Committee in a letter dictated from his dying bed, "a work of God in our day."
His attachment to the constitution of the Society was not less marked than his unremitting efforts to promote its great and important object. So fully was he imbued with the conviction that its prosperity depends, under God, upon strict adherence to its original principles, that nothing could induce him to swerve from those principles, even in the slightest degree; and against any and every attempt on the part of others to touch or alter them, he at all times stood firm;-. personal considerations weighing little with him, when he considered the integrity and well-being of the Society to be at stake.
The memory of this valuable functionary will be long cherished and blessed. raised up by God to fill that post which Divine Providence had assigned to him. He had a firmness of character, combined with an open frankness of manner, which fitted him for the arduous service to which he had been called. At times, perhaps, his strong determination degenerated into something" resembling obstinacy; but this was only a proof of that infirmity from which the best of men are not exempt. He was a faithful and devoted servant of that great Society with which he had been so long and so honourably connected; and, in his private life and public ministry, he adorned the doctrine of God his Saviour in all things.
It may be truly said of him that he was in labours most abundant:" year after year, an increase of those labours was rendered necessary by the constantly enlarging operations of the Society. From his first entrance into office, he charged himself with a large part of the extensive correspondence of the Society, both domestic and foreign; and, in many other ways watched over its multifarious concerns; besides which, he devoted no inconsiderable portion of his time to travelling throughout the kingdom, for the purpose of attending the anniversary meetings of the auxiliaries and associations. These, in connexion with his other duties, domestic and pastoral, persevered in from year to year, exacted from him an amount of effort which few could have sustained so long, and under which even his robust and
vigorous frame at length gave way. The result was, that, when it pleased God that the hand of disease should be laid upon him, all the springs of life seemed to have been broken at once; he quickly sank into a state of entire prostration, and from the couch of utter feebleness rose only "to depart and be with Christ" for ever.
During his illness his mind was calm; he meekly yielded to the will of his Heavenly Father, often whispering, in the silent hours of the night, "Thy will be done." On the morning of his departure he was heard feebly to exclaim, "My Saviour! my Saviour!" and soon after, he entered into rest.
Of their beloved friend the Committee will only say further, that he combined qualities but rarely found in the same individual: strength of body and of mind; talent and learning; solidity of judgment; singleness of purpose; integrity of conduct; together with an independence of spirit always kept under the control of Christian principle. To these endowments were added a tone of feeling at once generous and tender, and a heart under the habitual influence of that "charity which is the bond of perfectness."
Though firmly attached to the Church of England, both in its doctrine and government, yet, in a truly catholic spirit, he could cordially co-operate with his fellow-Christians connected with other departments of the Universal Church. Not having respect to his own ease, nor shunning reproach for Christ's sake, he laboured, and toiled, and watched, and prayed; in all things commending himself to the approval, not of men, but of God. While the Committee express their sincerest regrets on the loss of so endeared an associate -regrets that will be fully shared, not only by his family, but by the whole body of his parishioners, and even by the Church of Christ at large-they are constrained to acknowledge the goodness of God in having permitted them so long to enjoy his faithful services; and they would, at the same time, offer up an earnest prayer, that He who is Head over all things to His Church may deign (now, as formerly) to raise up and point out to them a suitable instrument for carrying forward a work so deeply connected with the glory of God, and with the highest good of mankind.
REV. E. BICKERSTETH.
[By an oversight, purely accidental, we regret exceedingly that the concluding portion of dear Mr. Bickersteth's Obituary has been withheld from our readers.-EDITOR.] (Concluded from p. 540-No.334, Oct., 1850.)
His daughter asked a third question, but the momentary gleam had passed away. The intervals of consciousness afterwards returned more frequently. The next day he gave her this blessing, "The Lord bless
thee, my child, with overflowing grace, now and for ever."
At seven o'clock on Thursday morning, February 28, he became much worse; his breath hurried, and the pulse quicker than could be counted. He continued in this state the whole morning; except for the laboured breath, his appearance was that of a tired infant falling gently and wearily asleep. He was not conscious towards those around him, but seemed evidently conscious towards God; for his eye was clear and raised upwards, reminding them of the motto he had chosen for the year, "Looking unto Jesus," and recalling to their minds those beautiful lines
"How sweet the hour of closing day,
So peacefully he sinks to rest:
A smile upon his wasted cheek,
In language that no tongue can speak." At a little before five o'clock, the breath, which had been drawn at longer and longer intervals, suddenly ceased; afterwards, however, with one sob, life returned; and this was repeated several times. A shade of deeper solemnity, as at the approach of death, passed over his face, which then kindled with an expression of radiant joy. The
breath became noiseless as an infant's; the eye, fixed upward, grew brighter and brighter till it was glorious to look upon, and he seemed enjoying visible communion with that Saviour whom having not seen he loved.
"One gentle sigh his fetters broke;
Its mansion near the throne."
Light lingered in his eye, even after the faint breath returned no more, and his family scarcely knew the moment when the spirit returned to the God who gave it. May our last end be like his!
A few days afterwards, at a meeting connected with the Alliance, Dr. James Hamilton, minister of the Scotch Church, in Regent-square, thus referred to the bereave
"I am glad to see so many esteemed ministers of the Church of England with us this evening. They have not expressly said so, but I have no doubt that Mr. Carr Glynn, Mr. Johnstone, Mr. Jackson, Mr. Plumptre, and our other brethren, have felt the removal of Dr. Byrth, and Mr. Grimshaw, and Mr. Craig, and Mr. Bickersteth, as a call from God to step forward and snatch up the white
banner of those good soldiers, and to fill their places, as far as they can be filled, in the Union phalanx. Having mentioned Mr. Bickersteth, as this is the first meeting of the Alliance I have been present at since he was taken from amongst us, and as one of those deputed by the committee to attend his funeral, I may now mention that, along with Mr. Dibdin, I was there. I was there, and I felt it good to be there; good to join the devout men who carried him to his burial, and to realise immortality by the side of such a tomb. As from the door of the adjacent parsonage they bore the coffin in at the gateway of that sanctuary which his living presence had so often beautified, and through the rows of parishioners to whom his living voice had so often published the gospel of peace, to me the grief of his removal was more than swallowed up in thankfulness for his finished labours and his full-proof ministry: and when, after the anthem had been sung by the village children, and the service had been read by his aged brother, we gathered round the open grave, and through the grey clouds of a March morning the sunbeams broke, and the hum of some insect near where I stood, and the song of a mountain lark, reminded us that after all it was spring-time in the earth, I felt as if, instead of weeping with those who wept around that grave, we were rather called to rejoice with the ransomed spirit rejoicing before the throne. When the funeral was over, many of the ministers returned to Watton rectory, where Mr. Auriol, Mr. Wilson, and Mr. Dallas, offered up fervent prayers for the family, for the parish, and for the church, as affected by this dispensation.
"Very solemn it was to enter the vacated dwelling from which such goodness had for ever passed away; to view those apartments filled from the floor to the ceiling with his noble library; to find oneself in the very chamber where he had so often prevented the dawning of day with prayer and studious meditation-that chamber which had been visited by so many happy thoughts and bright visions, and from which had issued so many profitable books and fraternal epistles; it was even like finding oneself in Enoch's homestead, to tread for once the fields and gardenpaths where, in other days, he had walked with God. The Alliance can lose few friends, because the Christian Church can contribute few members like Edward Bickersteth. He was the religion of Jesus in its truest type-its happiest and kindest aspect. He was a visible Beatitude: 'Blessed are the poor in spirit: for their's is the kingdom of heaven.' You saw that the kingdom of heaven was already his; and you felt how ennobling is that humility which clothes the citizen of Zion with a dignity so endearing and a holiness
so beautiful. 'Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.' To sorrows and inward struggles he was no stranger; but just as the grass grows greenest where the winter flood lay deepest, there was a constant summer in his countenance; and you remember how radiant peace and cheerfulness filled all the depths of his dark and pensive eye. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.' And he did inherit it. Honoured but lowly, revered but self-unconscious, his meekness was his strength, and his unassuming friendliness gave him a heritage in all our hearts. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.' And he saw God. And we saw God in him-the grace of God, the peace of God, the blessedness of communion with God. And, Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.' Pre-eminently a peace-maker, this very movement is itself a record how he sought peace and ensued it; and as he was universally recognised among the children of God,' so the Prince of Peace was not ashamed to call him brother. A visible Beatitude! I might have said a living Doxology. Thanks be to God,' was the exclamation ever ready to start from his gracious lips; and living in the very atmosphere of praise, to see his thankfulness was enough to make us thankful. His exertions were never denied to the cause in which we are engaged; but it must never be forgotten that there was a way in which Mr Bickersteth helped the cause even more than by his great exertions
I mean the silent, ever-working, everattracting power of his own loveliness. This is the lesson which his life has taught us, and which, though dead, this man greatly beloved' yet speaks to us-that the best promoters of Christian union are Christians who attract our love."
THE good and amiable Lord Bexley, in his eighty-fifth year, has been called to his great reward. The event took place, on Feb. 8.
Few professing noblemen, or even private Christians, have been more deservedly esteemed for their eminent and consistent piety than the lamented President of the British and Foreign Bible Society. After a life of lengthened political service, under various Administrations, he sought for himself the retirement of private life, and devoted the evening of his days to works of faith and labours of love. He was known to take a deep interest in the progress of Christ's kingdom throughout the whole earth; and to cherish unbounded confidence in the efficacy of Missionary and Bible Societies, by God's blessing, in hastening on the glory of the latter day. He was, as long as strength would permit, a most indefatigable attendant
in the chair of the Bible Society Committee, in Earl-street; and entered with heart and soul into the business of the Institution. All our recollections of this nobleman are grateful to the heart: we have conversed as freely with him on spiritual subjects as ever we did with the humblest Christian in our circle. Dr. Cox, of America, after dining with him, said to us: "I see your Christian aristocracy on this side of the Atlantic, is quite as humble as ours (for we have an aristocracy in our own way) on the other. I love that venerable and condescending old nobleman; his heart is full of love to God and man."
THE WORKING CHRISTIAN.-A BRIEF NOTICE OF MISS SARAH LANGHAM, WHO DIED SUDDENLY, ON FRIDAY, 20TH DECEMBER, 1850.
MISS S. LANGHAM, daughter of William Langham, Esq., of Holloway, and of Bartlett's Buildings, London, was brought, with her mother and family, upwards of forty years ago, to attend the ministration of the Divine Word, at Union Chapel, Islington. Mrs. Langham, who was then a member of another Christian church, was received, by transference, into the communion of that at Union Chapel. Her daughter Sarah was an attentive bearer of the word, for some time. The Holy Spirit, at length, awakened her to a sense of the necessity of a change; and following up his own gracious impressions, opened her heart to receive the truth in the love of it. She continued to profit under the services of the sanctuary, in which she greatly delighted; and was enabled to rejoice in God her Saviour; but the modest and diffident turn of her mind detained her, for a while, from an open and public avowal of her spiritual experience. She was led, however, to communicate her thoughts upon the subject to her pastor, whom she always recognised as her spiritual father; and, in many interesting letters, disclosed to him the fears and the scruples that perplexed her mind. From such documents, and from what he knew of her walk and conversation, he could not doubt the reality of the change she had undergone; nor was he the only observer who took that favourable view of her case; she appeared to be an epistle of Christ, known and read of all" who were competent to judge in matters of such importance. When, after self-examination and prayer, she arrived at a humble trust that she was, by the grace of God, become a new creature; that she had begun a life of faith in Christ Jesus; and felt willing to give herself to Him and his service for ever, she considered it also her duty and privilege to confess Him before the world, and to cast in her lot with His people. Accordingly, in the year 1810, she was proposed to, and received by, the church worshipping
at Union Chapel; and to that church, it is but just to say, she proved a valuable accession.
We can truly say of her, that she was a meek and lowly follower of the meek and lowly Jesus. She had sat at his feet; she had listened to his gracious words; she rested upon his atoning work for her acceptance with God. Her faith was of the Spirit's operation, and it worked by love, purified her heart, and overcame the world. She was no doubtful character, no twilight Christian, no one who dealt in words without works. she had her faults and imperfections there can be no doubt, for perfection is not in man, and had we witnessed her faults, we should not unfaithfully conceal them; but we are bound to say, we never did perceive them. No doubt she lamented them, and confessed them before her God, whatever they might be, for her conscience was very tender and scrupulous; she was ever anxious to know the worst of herself, and was always afraid of thinking too highly of herself, or of others thinking too highly of her. That" meek and quiet spirit which is, in the sight of God, of great price," was her distinguishing ornament; and while we can freely say, that we have known but few in whose character there could be less of guilefulness or vain show, it may also be affirmed, that she "walked humbly with her God."
While she continued to go in and out among her brethren and sisters of the church, she manifested the truth of her Christianity by a firm and steady faith in the Person, Works, and Offices of the Divine Redeemer; and in her warm attachment to his Name, his Word, his Ordinances, and his People. She loved the habitation of his house. Whoever might be absent from it, Sarah Langham was sure to be seen in her place there. The Divine word was the delight and the food of her soul. Daily, and frequently in the day, was she found with the precious volume of inspiration before her, meditating thereon, and rejoicing over it more than they that find great spoil. She, indeed, would often say, "Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of my heart." "More to be desired is it than gold, yea, than much fine gold." And if an apostle could say, "We know that we are passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren," she possessed this mark of spiritual vitality in an eminent degree.
In her imitation of the Redeemer's example, and devotedness to doing good, we saw also the reality of her Christian character. It was her earnest desire to possess the mind of Christ, and to walk even as he walked; and those that knew her best will bear testimony that this desire of her heart was in no small degree fulfilled. Like Him, she "went about
doing good." It seemed her meat and her drink to go on errands of mercy. Often has she been known to forego personal gratifications, and even her necessary food, to go out to visit some case of distress, and to administer to the temporal and spiritual necessities of the suffering and the needy. In such works as these, indeed, she was surpassed by few. It was no heavy burden to her, no irksome task, thus to do service,-it was a pleasure, a thing in which she took delight, of which she was never tired. She was, in truth, a "WORKING CHRISTIAN" to the last hour of her life; and many are the families in this neighbourhood, whose homes she used to gladden by her kind and benevolent visits, that are now lamenting, and will long lament, the loss they have sustained in her removal.
Our long and intimate acquaintance with her character and habits entitles us to say, that her time, her influence, her property, were all consecrated to the glory of God-all freely rendered, in his name, to promote the entire welfare of others. It ought also to be recorded of her, that, in her walks of benevolence, she often succeeded, by invitation and entreaty, in bringing hearers to the house of God; and not a few to unite with his people. Her pastor, in fine, can well testify respecting her what the apostle did of Phoebe-" She was a servant of the church, a succourer of many, and of myself also."
Ghost had implanted in her heart, and which alone are acceptable in his sight. She was never known to indicate, in any degree, that spirit of self-complacency which seems to say, "Come, see my zeal for the Lord;" but, constrained by the love of Christ and of immortal souls, she went about her works of kindness as one who would not have her left hand know what her right hand was doing.
Such is the portrait we are warranted to draw of our departed friend; and we cannot but appropriate the words of our Lord to her case, "Blessed is that servant whom his Lord, when he cometh, shall find so doing!" She was at work for her Divine Master to the moment of her death; for it was on an errand of kindness she was gone, when arrested by the Hand that suddenly and unexpectedly caught her happy spirit into glory. She had left her pastor's house, where she was a frequent and always a welcome guest, between the hours of four and five on Friday evening, went to her brother's house in Holloway, and in less than five minutes dropped down a corpse! "Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours, and their works do follow them." To this we only add, that the name and character of Miss Sarah Langham remain embalmed in the hearts of numerous Christian friends, among whom she lived and laboured, and who will bear testimony, that, to the last breath she drew, she served the Lord.
Her mortal remains were interred in the
An enumeration of the many ways in which she abounded in the work of the Lord would be long; suffice it to say, that as a Visitor of the Sick and the Dying, as a Distri-family vault at the Chapel of Ease, on Fributor of Religious Tracts and other books, and as a Collector for the Bible Society, the Missionary Society, the Chapel Fund, and for other objects, she was untiring and persevering. If, at any time, a friend would beg her to spare herself for her own sake, and not try her strength too far, her prompt reply was, "Oh no! it is but little that I can do for Him who has done so much for me!
"Oh, to grace how great a debtor
Daily I'm constrain'd to be!' Whatsoever her hand found to do, she did with her might, and that we have reason to believe, not from any motives of ostentation, or vain-glory; but from those higher, and purer principles which God the Holy
day, Dec. 27th; and the event was improved at Union Chapel on the following Lord's-day evening, by the Rev. H. Allon, from the words-" Blessed is that servant whom his Lord, when he cometh, shall find so doing!"
Islington, Jan. 1851.
REV. JAMES A. HALDANE, EDINBURGH. WE have only just time to record the death of this devoted servant of Christ. He had reached his eighty-third year, and had laboured faithfully in the ministry of the word for fifty-four years. We hope to furnish a memoir of this venerable saint.