« PreviousContinue »
while we ourselves are compassed with Rev. Thomas Mortimer, and in doing a variety of besetting and variously so, as unexpected impediments have injurious peculiarities and sins, we are prevented our gaining additional intoo apt to be severe upon those of formation, we have to acknowledge others, and too forgetful of learning our obligations to the accounts furwisdom from the lessons of experience nished by the Rev. Mr. Cottle and they teach.
the Rev. John Garwood in their fuThe year 1850 has been a memor- neral sermons. able period in the history of the It appears that Mr. Mortimer was Church of England. We have been born in London, in the year 1795, engaged in a contest against the com- and that in his early infancy, he very bined attacks of open foes and false shortly passed from the arms of his brethren; and while the battle has own dying mother into the watchful been at the fiercest, many a honoured care of his father's second wife, who standard-bearer has been summoned became to him, in very truth, a loving, to lay down the sword, and to receive anxious, pious mother. Mr. Cottle, that “crown of life” which is pro- in his funeral sermon, at Trinity mised to all who, like them, shall be Church, Weymouth, thus shortly “found faithful unto death.” Who, sketches the history of one valued amongst us that remain, is sufficient and lamented by a numerous circle:for the days in which we live, and for “Even when quite a child, he was the times which are hastening on, the subject of religious impressions ; fraught with so much that appears but at the early age of sixteen years, dark and threatening to the peace of the words of St. Paul, 'He loved me the Church and the world? We well and gave himself for me,' were apremember the expression of a long- plied with power to his soul, and led valued friend, when writing some
him from that time, with adoring grayears ago, of the even then overcast titude and love, to devote himself to sky,—he remarked that he should hold God. it to be an especial mercy to be al- “He was now placed under the lowed to take part, and to be on the care and instruction of his brother, Lord's side, in the great battle of Ar- the Rev. George Mortimer, then Cumageddon. Happy is it for us that rate of Madeley, in Shropshire. Here our great Captain orders both our he not only made satisfactory protimes and our places, and with un- gress in his studies, but devoted himerring wisdom raises up, or takes self with much success to the religious away, the soldiers of the cross, when instruction of the villagers. In 1818, we are either despairing of leaders, he dedicated himself to the Lord in or too fondly imagining that we cannot the work of the ministry, and was ordo without those who have long dained in London on Easter Sunday proved themselves to be able wielders in that year, the anniversary of which of the sword of the Spirit.
was generally observed with feelings We must now turn to the imme- of solemn awe. He entered on his diate object we have in view, and work with fear and trembling, and give some short details which we under a deep sense of his responsihave gathered from various sources,
bilities. He delivered his first sermon relative to the life and history of the in Madeley church. His first curacy was at Mirfield, in Yorkshire, and his with an eagerness of desire that shook second at Woburn, in Buckingham- his frame to the very centre. shire. His labours were blessed in “He preached at St. Mark's every both these spheres, and many were Sunday morning and evening, and at turned unto the Lord. In 1821 he St. Leonard's in the afternoon. On removed to London. At the time, the Mondays he had private interviews wisdom of this step was doubted; his with anxious and enquiring souls, at friends fearing lest his plain and his house. Besides his numerous frank addresses, though well received other parochial duties, he also made by country congregations, should journeys in aid of the Church Misprove less attractive to a more refined sionary, and other religious Societies. London audience. Their fears, how- These efforts began to tell on his conever, were never realized.
stitution, and on one occasion great " About this time it was his wish to alarm was excited, by his fainting in have proceeded as a missionary to the pulpit of St. Leonard's. He India, but the death of his first-born preached his last sermon in this altered his intentions.
church from these words, ‘Strengthen “His first London duty was at me, I pray thee, only this once, o St. Olave's, Southwark. In that sa- God.' cred edifice thousands listened with “ Various causes led him to reearnest attention to his thrilling ap- nounce the living of St. Mark's, and peals; enforced as they were with to become, in 1837, Minister of the youthful energy, glowing with a Sa- Episcopal Chapel, Gray's-inn-road. viour's love. So much interest had he
This was the period of his heaviest excited here, that when he preached trials, and, from circumstances enhis farewell sermon, it was difficult tirely beyond his control, he was
to approach the church; so unexpectedly involved in pecuniary great was the multitude, that he was difficulties. His mental sufferings at obliged to be lifted over the heads of this time were great, but his faith the congregation into the vestry. failed not, and in due time deliver
“For nine years he was Incumbent of St. Mark's, Pentonville. Here his 'Though scarcely beyond the melabours were indeed abundant, and ridian of life, his strength now began highly honoured of God in bringing to fail, and he retired from the minismany sons to glory. But the chief try of this chapel on the 2nd of Descene of his Gospel triumphs, was the cember, 1849. It was on Advent ever memorable St. Leonard's, Shore- Sunday; and in his address on this ditch, where, for sixteen years, as occasion he said, 'I can look back afternoon lecturer, he “lifted up his with delight upon Advent Sundays. voice like a trumpet, and showed the Oh, the day was always sweet. I can people their transgressions.' His look back with pleasure to days that heart overflowed with love at the are past. What blessed Advent Sunsight of the multitude, and he longed days we used to have at St. Mark's ! to impart to them, not only the Gos- What blessed Advent Sundays we pel of God, but his own soul also. It used to have at St. Olave's !
Ah, was with no feigned affection that he well, the ecclesiastical year goes its besought them to come to Christ, round, and by-and-by we shall stop
going our rounds with it; but happy with these solemn and awakening for us, if, when our Lord comes, all words, he terminated his ministry in shall be well.
In the close of the year 1849, ""O that each in the day of His coming may say, • I have fought my way through,
Mr. Mortimer removed to Weymouth, I have finished the work, Thou didst give me with the hope of recruiting his shat
tered health; not expecting at the O that each from his Lord may receive the glad • Well and faithfully done:
time any public clerical duty. But Enter into My joy, and sit down on My throne,” his love for his Master's work was
so great, and “a door of utter“It is remarkable, that our friend ance" having been unexpectedly fell asleep just at the close of that ec- opened, he, on the first Sunday in clesiastical year, and that his Advent 1850, preached in Trinity Church, Sunday this year, was his first sab- from the words of Haggai, “Whence bath in glory. Happy change!- comest thou, and whither goest thou?" Blessed Advent!
He said to a friend, in reference to his “In the same sermon he says, “I removal to Weymouth, “This is my am speaking to you in weakness, and last stage to heaven.” He preached in fear, and with much trembling; on Sunday, July 21st, for the last because I feel that I am concluding a time, from these words: “For ye ministry for which I must one day go have not received the spirit of bonand give an account before God. dage again to fear; but ye have rePerhaps I may be speaking in the ceived the Spirit of adoption, whereby presence of some, who may be ready we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit to say that they have often been itself beareth witness with our spirit, wounded by the harsh and severe that we are the children of God: and things that I have uttered, during a if children, then heirs; heirs of God, ministry of thirty years' duration.
and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be Now, mark, I do not say that I have that we suffer with Him, that we may always spoken with the kindness that be also glorified together.” I ought to have done; but I will say “In describing on this occasion,” this, God knows I have been intensely remarks Mr. Cottle, “the prospects desirous to save the souls of men; and of the children of God, he was almost as you must feel, that in your calmer carried beyond himself in holy rapmoments you would not be angry ture, and he made the church resound with a fireman, who should rush into with the words, Death is not terrible your chamber at night, and, after to the Christian.' How soon was the trying in vain to awake you, should preacher called to verify the truth of seize you by the hair of your head, his words! This service closed his and thus drag you out of the burning labours, not only in this church, but house; so I say, forgive me whatever for ever. He had selected for his harsh words I have used. I have
text on the following Sunday evening often felt, whilst speaking to you, these words, Thou mayest be no that time is short, that death is near, longer steward,' but he was not perthat truth is infinitely important, and mitted to preach from them; his that without a knowledge of Christ, Heavenly Father had determined you must sink into the burning lake.' otherwise, and before that day ar
rived, He had sent His messenger to
and amiable man whose removal has say, 'Behold I come quickly.' furnished us with the subject of our
“I esteem it one of the most ines- present consideration, has, by his detimable privileges of my life, that in cease, left him who now addresses the wonder-working providence of you in a situation at once peculiar God, I was associated with him, al- and solemn. Of eight grandsons on most from the first, in the duties of his maternal side, the preacher of the this church and parish. As a son with present discourse this day alone rethe father, I served with him in the mains. Thus do the families of men Gospel; and it refreshes and consoles pass away to the grave! Thus does my spirit, now that he is gone to his it sometimes please God to take away rest, to remember how often he spoke a number of young men as they reach of the comfort he enjoyed from our the flower of their age. For let it be friendly and united labours.
remembered that, of the beloved bro“Our friend was not exempted from thers and cousins of whose removal the afflictions of life; he had his trials, I have spoken, one only,—the subject great and many. In him was expe- of the present discourse,—died at the rienced the truth, as many as I love age of forty-five. The rest, with one I rebuke and chasten.' In 1836, his exception, (my youngest brother, a affectionate heart was wounded by youth of seventeen,) were removed the loss of a holy, meek, and devoted between the ages of twenty and thirty. wife, who was a blessing to his home, Yes, all young men, and men as likely and an ornament to the christian pro- to live as any of those by whom I am fession. He was deeply affected, but surrounded. I trust that this circumdivinely supported in this trying be- stance, together with others which I reavement, and he would often say to shall have presently to mention, may others, in reference to this event, 'get plead my apology, if any be necesa religion that will support you, when sary, for my present attempt, in humyou hear the undertaker's feet coming ble dependence upon the Lord's blessup stairs.' In 1846, he lost the elder ing, to take, as it were, of the ashes of of his two daughters, an amiable and my departed relatives, and sprinkle lovely young person of the age of them over the flock committed to my twenty-five. A few years ago, when charge, as solemn mementos of their delivering a sermon on the death of a own mortality, and as a solemn call relative who had been snatched away to prepare themselves to meet their in the prime of life, he took an op- God.' portunity of making the following “On the 25th of July last, Mr. touching remarks: 'I am not, I trustMortimer was seized with a fit, which the person to intrude upon the notice was then thought to be apoplectic, of an affectionate people any family but which afterwards was found to details, in which, of course, they can- proceed from the pressure of a grownot be supposed to feel any interest; ing substance on the brain. This, but I do consider myself at liberty to however, proved the harbinger of mention, what I confess has made a death. After two days of delirium, very deep impression on my own he partially recovered; and the first mind, connected with the present be- words he uttered were, 'I little thought reaving providence, that the worthy suffering awaited me, but the Lord
has done it in righteousness.' His was asked if Jesus was precious ? He greatest trial in this illness, was that raised the hand of the speaker with of not being permitted to share in the his arm, in the attitude of adoring public duties of the sanctuary. In praise, and lifting up his eyes to heaconversing with him shortly after, he ven, evinced the inward peace he ensaid to me, in his own energetic and joyed. striking manner, “I have learnt one “He lingered until the following thing by this seizure: it is this, all this Monday, when, about half-past three side the grave is shadow, all the other o'clock in the afternoon of the 25th of side is substance.'
November, our friend sweetly fell “With the hope of benefiting his asleep, and the angelic convoy came health, he removed soon after to and bore his happy spirit to the bosom Brosely, near Madeley, a spot en of his God. Mark the perfect man, deared to him by youthful and holy and behold the upright; for the end associations; but before he was able of that man is peace.' The Lord grant to inhabit his new abode, the messen that we 'may die the death of the ger, at the end of two months after righteous, and may our last end be his first attack, smote him the second like his.' time, at an inn in Burton-on-Trent, “ His dear remains were on the foland from which he never recovered. lowing Saturday deposited in Madeley In the midst of depressing weakness, churchyard; a spot selected by himhe said, “How happy am I without self a few weeks before his death. In care, without sin, (you know what I this church he had preached his first mean,) unpardoned sin.' All other sermon in 1818, and there the immorthoughts were now banished from his tal Fletcher had preached his last in mind, that he might contemplate Him 1784. Dying at the same age, though only whom his soul loved. He was a separated in their death by an interval great admirer of nature, but now the of nearly seventy years, these devoted trees, the flowers, the hills, had lost friends of the Saviour repose near each their charms, and Jesus, the rose of other, until the morning of the resurSharon, was the only object of his rection, then, amongst the wise, shall love. He would frequently say, 'Un- they shine as the brightness of the speakably happy; Christ is all and in firmament; and as those that have all; I am prepared to die.' On one turned many to righteousness, like occasion, when his medical attendant the stars for ever and ever.” came into his room, he said, “Doctor, We now extract from Mr. Garyou are come to try to keep me here wood's sermon, and we do so with a little while longer, but I don't wish the especial object of shewing of to tarry; I want,-) long to get home.' what character was the life and miThen, taking the hand of his adopted nistry of Mr. Mortimer. son, he added, “My boy, I am going “ His feelings were very acute. home.' He then fell back on his pil- He possessed largely of the bowels low, and, looking up to heaven, said, of affection. There was nothing of "O my Saviour, my Saviour.'
coldness in his character. “On Sunday, the day before his spi- (if I may use the expression) all rit fled from its tenement of clay, and heart. It was manifest in his public the last day of his consciousness, he ministry. Often have I seen the