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in sincerity.” The summit of his ambition is to be, and to be called a Christian, -" the highest style of man;" and next to that, to inoulcate and adorn that great systein of Christianity, which is the glory of the Reformatiova, forms the Creed of the national church, in its present establishment; and which, as an honest man, he feels himself bound to ena force, agreeably to the obligation of a most solemn and unequivocal subscription. He believes, that “ The truth, to which the Son of God came to bear witness, which prophe cies and miractes authenticate, which apostles have attested, and for which martyrs bled, must be of infinite importance: that if divine truth could cease to be important, it would be unworthy of God, and from that moment cease to be divine; and, therefore, that there are some branches of Christianity which it is essential to believe, and on that account a duty to deiend; otherwise to “ contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints, would be both nugatory and superfluous.”
On these just principles Mr. De Courcy conducted his preaching and his writings, in which be proved himself an able opposer of the dangerous dogmas of Socinus, as then revived and propagated by Dr. Priestiy. Reierring to the Articles of the Church, he says, in rol.ii. p. 104, “ They stand, as it is devoutly to be wished they may ever stand to latest ages, a barrier against the encroachments of those errors which have, at different periods, infested the church; and which are revived in the present day, with a bold licence of thought and expression harldly ever paralleled in the writings of the most outrageous fleresiarchs. They have been contemptoously styled, The Altar with Thirty-nine Horns; the fall of which too, has been confidently predicted: but the indecent abuse here as little affects us as the prophecy alarms our fears. Horns indeed this sacred altar has, strong enough, ( hope, to repel the enraged and impotent assaults of its adversaries, whether confederated by faction, or framtic with Sibyl. line or Sociniun enthusiasm ; - horns, potent enough to attach the boldest heresies, and make them bleed to death beneath the deep keen searchings of the sword of the Spirit. At this altar inany champions have stood to guard its foundation, and have offered up their lives upon it, rather than desert the structure, or deny the hand of Divine Interposition tbat consecrated and reared it. Esto perpetua be ever written on its base!”
Such was the sacred zeal of our departed brother for the doctrines of grace; nor Wils he less zealous for that trie morality which is the genuiue effect of those doctrines, when graciously received under the influence of the Holy Spirit. For this he pleads, in a masterly manner, in the work already quoted * ; from which we beg leave to make a short extract: # Let the subject be candidly and closely considered, and it will appear that we plead for a morality which possesses every excellence that can give il purity, efficacy, permanewy, and entent; and which is, in nature and wperation, essentially superior to any thing that bears the name among those who deny the influence that communicate it, or the doctrines from whence it derives its constraining force,"
These extracts from bis writings may convey some idea of his ministerial labours. Convinced, firmly convinced in his own mind of the truths of the gospel, his first great aim was to convince his hearers of the same trutlıs; well knowing that the exercise of heavenly affections, and the practice of holy duties, necessarily follow the due reception of the truth as it is in Jesus; and for this purpose it was his constant endeavour to reach the affections of his auditors, through the medium of their understanding.
Mr. De Courcy, knowing how to appreciate the civil as well as spiritual blessings enjoyed in this happy country, disa covered a commendable zeal iu resisting those dangerous doctrines which, under the delusive name of The Rights of Mun, have occasioned so awful a perversion of their rights and pris vileges in neighbouring nations. This will particnlarly ap. pear from his sermon, preached at ilawkstone Chapel, at the presentation of the colours to the North Shropshire Yeomen Cavalry, in 1798.
As to the person of our friend, his stature was somewhat below the middle size : his address was very pleasing ; and the fund of information which he possessed, together with a degree of natural sprigheliness and buinour, rendered him a very desirable companion. His teinper was considered as naturally warm ; “but if at any time," says the preacher of his funeral discourse, "the man appeared, let it be reinembered, that the grace of the Christian would presently gain the ascendency; and prove, that the main bias of his soul iuclined to those things which afford consolation to the believer, ainid the various calamities of life, and which constitute bis support in a dying hour.”
Mii De Courcy was not without domestic trials; among which, none seemed to affect him so much as the death of his youngest son, in August last, after serving some time as a midshipman, under his relation the Hon. Capt. De Courcy. In the close of his last sermon, from Rev. v. 2. On the evening of the Fast-day, an allusion to the memory of those we had “resigned into the arms of Death,” so far affected him, as ta occasion an involuntary fow of tears; and obliged him abruptly no cunclude.
His natural constitution was good; and supported him under many painful fits of the rheumatic gout, which at length weakened his knees so much, that he was sometimés obliged to sit in the pulpit. On the Fast-Day he caught a slight cold, which brought on a return of his disorder; from which he seemed gradually recovering, until a few hours only before his death. On the evening preceding this event, he retired to rest about ien o'clock; and in passing from the sitting-room to bis bed-chamber, his servant expressed her pleasure at see. ing him walk so well; -- to which he replied, " Thank God, I .am getting better!"
In the clorning following, between four and five, he rang his bell, when his servant found himn indisposed, but not so ill as to create the apprehension of greater (langer than she had fres quently witnessed, when attacked with flying pains about the neck and breast, whioli generally occasioned' a difficulty of breathing. He requested a little brandy and water; which in a short time relieved him. llis servant contimed with him till neareight'o'clock; during which time he frequently slumbered. When he was awake, he appeared, by motion of his liands and lips, to be engaged in prayer. He then desired her to retire, saying, he felt very comfortable, and she inight place pillows to support him, as he could not bear a recumbent posture. A little after nine, she returned to his apartment, and founil bim perfectly tranquil. On enquiring if he would like any thing, he replied, “I should like to sleep if I could;" on which she withdrew till about half past ten, when she re-entered, making her former enquiry, and was again dismissed. * Between eleven and twelve, he called for some breakfast, of which he partook as usual, and, during the repast, repeated some beautiful lines of poetry, saving, “ I was reflectips on these when I was so ill this morning: they are very fine," continued he. Suon after this, his attendant perceived a great alteration in his countebance, and found her apprehensions confirmed by his saying that he was very ill. A physician was instantly sent for. Alter a short pause, he raised himselt up in bed, and folding his arms together, with a countenance indicating great composure, said in a tirm tone, “ I shall not recover.” On his servant expressing her hope to the contrary, he replied, “I shall not; but be that as it may, Christ is mine.” Ilis pain and dif-. ficulty of breathing increasing, he prayed, “ Lord Jesus give me ease! Lord, give me resignation !” and shortly afier, “luo thy hands i commend any spirit.” Recovering a little, he exclaiaed, “ Christ is ny foundation; Christ is the rock I buld upon." On observing the servant in tears, and hearing her exclaim, “What shall I do?' be replied, “ Pray, for me; but do not weep.” Soon after which, gasping for breath, he said,
• Mrs. De Courcy was from home, ou a visit to a relation.
“I am almost spent; it is a hard struggle ; but it will soon be over.” About this time, the physician arriving, he told hiin he was very ill; but not so much in pain as greatly oppressed, putting his hand on his breast. The Doctor then leaving the room for a medicine, he said, while raising up his eyes to Heaven, “ Thanks be to God for my salvation ;” and instantly, without a sigh or groan, resigned his spirit into the hands of his redeein. ing God.
Thus departed our respected brother, about two o'clock on Friday, Nov. 4,at the age of fifty-nine years. Thus was his family (Mrs. De. Courcy and three surviving children) deprived of a husband and a father; his congregation of a faithful and af: fectionate pastor; and the town of an able and laborious mie nister of the gospel, after he had spent nearly thirty years in the constant dissemination of the pure word of life, the fruits of wbich, we trust, will long remain.
His remains were interred at Shawbury, the scene of bis first labours in Shropshire; and on that mournful occasion a great number of his friends, in carriages and on horseback, voJuntarily joined the funeral procession, anxious thus to render to the memory of their beloved pastor the last tribute of respect and gratitude. Several sermons suited to the occasion, were delivered on the following Sunday. The Rev. Brian Hill preached in the morning at St. Alkmond's Church, on Jolin xvi. 33; Mr. Weaver, in the afternoon, at Swan Hill Meeting, on Mat. xxv. 21; and Mr. Palıner, at the Baptist Meeting in the evening, on 2 Sam. iii. 38; all uniting to lament the public loss.
Mr. De Courcy published the following works :-Jesus' Looking-Glass on True and False Zeal ;-Nathan's Message to David, a Sermon ;-Two Fast Sermons, in 1776 ;-A Letter to a Baptist Minister ;-A Reply to Parmenas, 1776 ;-The Rejoinder on Baptisın, 1777; Hints respecting the Utility of some Parochial Plan for suppressing the Profanation of the Lord's Day, 1777;-Two Fast Sermons, 1778; - Seduction, or the Cause of Injured Innocence pleaded, a Poem, 1782;—The Seducer convicted on his own Evidence, 1783 ;-Christ Crucified, 2 vol. 12mo, 1791;-A Sere mon at Hawkstone Chapel, 1798.
N. B. A handsome Volume of Mr. De Courcy's Sermons, em
bellished with a fine Portrait, is about to be published by his Family, price One Guinen. Subscriptions are received by Mrs. Wood, at Shrewsbury; and by Ilatchard, Maithews, Row, and Il'illiams, in London.
ON THE INIQUITY OF TRAFFIC.
It was owing to an accidental glance upon an expression in the prophecy of Ezekiel *, that my thoughts were led to this subject of the Iniquity of Traffic. As I never had the opportunity of acquiring any practical knowledge of the concerns of trade, so I feel no disposition to suspect any class of men, as though they were more corrupt than the rest of our species; much less shall I aim, by what I may advance in this paper, to expose any individual to the censure of others. Having an high opinion of the integrity and piety of many professors of godliness, who are engaged in trade and mercantile concerns, I am persuaded that it is their habitual aim to depart from all iniquity. I have no suspicion, therefore, that there is any iniquity in traffic itselt; but, I conceive, that, like other things in which sinners are at all concerned, it is often the occasion of calling into exercise the evil dispositions of the heart. " The plowing of the wicked is sin ;” and so, I doubt not, is their traffic.
And though I may be unable to pursue the enquiry to its full extent, yet I conceive I may start a fit subject for meditation ; meditation, which will have, when impartially pursued, a profitable and salutary tendency, if I take occasion to enquire, Wherein consists the Iniquity of traffic! or, in other words, When is trade so carried on, by men of business, as that they contract guilt, and displease God, by their secular employments; or, at least by their mode of conducting them?
Some branches of traffic are, in themselves, absolutely unlawful. No traffic upon earth can be more iniquitous than that which constituted one branch of the trade of Tyre; and which, (alas for our country !) still constitutes a branch of the trade of Britain ; even a trade in the persons of men * !"
I will not peremptorily assert the profession of a dancing. master to be quite incompatible with true religion ; but I cao. not conceive it possible to excuse a professor of the gospel, who should not seek another mode of getting his bread than by making playing-cards for the service of gamblers, and mur. derers of precious tiipe.
Some trades, though not positively unlawful, yet are attended will such great temptations, as should cause all those persons to decline them, who are conscious of a constițutional tendency to fall into the spares wherewith they are connected. On this account, somne ought wholly to decline the selling of strong drink, or of spirituous liquors ; and those who venture on retailing such compinodities, onght to keep up a peculiar guard, lest, by encouraging tippling, and the vices which usually attend