Ashbel Green.

The Christian advocate online

. (page 69 of 93)
Online LibraryAshbel GreenThe Christian advocate → online text (page 69 of 93)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


will in an especial manner take into
his own hands the infliction of the

Jiroper penalty, even ** his righteous
udgment," on all its transgressors;
and has pledged his veracity and
' his omnipotence that «* they shall not
escape." Verily, this is the moot
fearnil of all sanctions or commina-
tions : and yet its equity is manifest,
since the sin whicn Is threatened
is committed immediately against
God, and receives its whole punish-
ment from him alone. In itself, also,
it is a very aggravated sin, espe*



Digitized by



Google



laas.



BtograpUeal MbHce efJokn Jaeniekt.



ciaIIj when coniiiMtted bythose who
enjojr the lip;ht of divine reyelfttion*
bj which the glorioqa Majestj* as
well as the infinite goodness and
mercjrof God, are clearly exhibited.
This idea appears to be intimated
in the precept, by the words, '' the
name of the Lord [in the original,
Jehoyah] thy God;'^ implying that
those who were addressed, were not
in a state of ignorance, like the hea-
then, but were acquainted with the
essential glory, and excellence of
the Supreme Being, as revealed to
them in the very name Jehovah;-^
implying also that Jehovah had ma-
nifested faimself to th^m, as in a
special sense their God—* their co*
venant God, laying them under the
sirosgest obligations to a holy and
reverent use of his name.

You need not be informed, my
young friends, that we who live
under the light of the Gospel, by
being better acquainted than the
ancient Ismelites were, with thiS
grace and mercy of God in Christ,
are under even stronger and mors
tender obligations than they were,
is yield him our profoundest rever-
ence and warmest love* The sin,
therefore, of treating him with dts-
rsspect, and with a sort of defiance,
by taking his name in vain, must,
among us, be peculiarly aggravated*
^ Thine snsmies take thy name in
vain," says the Psalmist All pro-
faneness manifests enmity to the
blessed God, of whose holy law it is
a flagrant transgression % and as sure
as there is a jodgnient seat before
which his enemies shall appear, so
snre it is that then this Sin, of which
they now think so tittle, and which
often escapes even without censure
from men, shall receive a special
notice and a tremendous punish-
ment Not only, therefore, avoid
all jprofaneness yourselves, but pity
and pray for those who are guilty
of it ** Cast not your pearls before
swine," by hasty, ana indiscrimi**
nate, or unseasonable rebuke i jret,
consider it as a sacred Christian
duty, to endeavour to seek sad seize



4d5,

a favourable opportunity to admo-
nish those whom you know to be
profane, of their guilt and danger*
A word seasonably, seriously, and
tenderly addressed to them ob this
subject may, under the divine bless-
ing, awaken reflections which may
terminate in- true repentance: and
** let him know, that he which con-
verteth the sinner from the error of
his way, shall save a spul from
death, and shall hide a multitude of
sins*"



sioGiitAPHicAL ironoE ojr john jae-
miokb; FatUr of a Church at
Berlin, S[e.

( Concluded from p. 394.)

^ Jaenickepreserved an entire con-
sistency of character: you found
him the same man in the pulpit and
In the study. When he began a
sermon he commonly intimated in
what manner he should divide his
text; but he very rarelj adhered
ricorously to that division: very
often he me himself up to tbe
emotions of his heart, without re-
stricting; himself to any plan. Ho
mingled, as he did in his familiar
conversations, the exhibition of his
ideas with anecdotes, which served
to illustrate them, and with the re-
cital of numerous remarkable oc-
currences. This, doubtless, result-
ed in a discourse exceedingly dif-
ferent from the most of modem
sermons, but which, notwithstand-
ing its singularity, produced the
most happy effects on those hearers
who came not to criticise his style,
but to profit by his instructions, his
piety and his experience. He al-
ways spoke o/the Saviour or to the
Saviour: He constantly set forth
the excellence of Him who had
called him oqt of darkness into
marvellous light ** That is a sin-
gular man," said one who saw him
inr the last years of his life, " he can
speak of nothingbutof his Saviour."
Although he coald but lisp of him.



Digitized by



Google



Biographical MHce of John Jaemcke.



436



(as he habitaally expressed it,) he
was not long satisfied to speak of
him as an absent being: the impres-
sion of his presence came upon him
so powerfullj, that he was forced to
break out into strains of adoration
and thanksgiving.

Jaenicke was simple in his habits,
as well as in his discourses. To be
useful to his parishioners, he did not
scruple to elve himself up to the
humblest offices. Even in his ad-
vanced age, he constantly visited
the poor and the sick, who inhabited
those parts of the city which were
the most distant ft-om his dwelling.
But jou could not discover, unless
by accident, his acts of charity.
Thus it happened that a physician
was one day called to a very poor
man, who had nobody to take care
of him. A medicine was prescribed;
and as it was necessary that it
should be taken that very evening,
the physician inquired of his patient
how he would be able to send the
prescription to the apothecary. The
sick man said that he could easily
find the means of sending it, but
appeared afraid to mention the per-
son whom he would charge with the
message. The physician insisted
that he should tell ; and at last it
came out, that the old pastor Jae-
nicke himself, came every evening
to make up the poor man's bed, to
prepare his nourishment, and to pro-
vide for him other necessaries. On
another occasion, he received from
a gentleman of wealth, a liberal pre-
sent for a poor man who lived at a
considerable distance, and a few
sous for the person who should have
the charge of carrying it to the pau-
per; but Jaenicke carried it himself,
that by adding the sous to the dol-
lars, he might a little increase the
treasure of his parishioner. We
cannot recite more than these two
instances of the charitable acts of
this humble pastor; but how many
did that life in which they were
found, present to the eyes of Gk)d !

After Jaenicke had consecrated
himselff with entire devotedness, to



Oct.



the duties of his ministry for one-
and-twenty years, a new vocation of
a different kind, and not less beset
with difficulties, demanded his at-
tention. At the time when infide-
lity was spreading its deadly inftu-
ence through Germany, as it had
done in France, Christuins began to
perceive the necessity to associate
and labour together, for the ad-
vancement of the kingdom of God.
Laymen and Clergymen, cast as it
were into a common stock, and de-
voted to the same purpose, whatever
influence their standing in society,
their fortunes, their talents, and
their character, had given them. M.
de Sehirndin^,of Doubriluekin Lu-
sace, especially distinguished him-
self for a long time, by a zeal which
feared no sacrifices. He had pub-
lished a ^eat number of religious
treatises in German, in French, in
the Polish, and in other languages;
but he thought that he ought to make
his large fortune subservient to some
work more lasting, and that the
founding of an institution for Mis-
sions, at Berlin, would be more use-
ful than any other. He formed a
close friendship at this time with
Jaenicke, communicated to him his
plan, and proposed to him to second
it, by accepting the direction of the
new establishment. Missions were
no new thing to Jaenicke: His bro-
ther, who had passed his prepara-
tory studies at Halle, had gone to
preach the Gospel in India, and had
died a little before this at Palam-
cotta, after havingseen with joy, the
blessing of the l^rd granted to his
labours. TRese circumstances had
no small influencein disposing Jae-
nicke to favour the project which
M. de Schimding submitted to him.
They two undertook the work, and
in 1800, seven young men were ad-
mitted into the Institution. But
scarcely was it opened, when it was
threatened with entire ruin. A re-
verse of fortune came upon the ge-
nerous founder; and he was oblised
to retain the funds which he had
offered e and as these were the Mly



Digitized by



Google



1S29.



Obituary JVMice rfMrs. Margard TAoouon.



43r



resoarces on which they had count*
ed, it seemed as if their failure must
inevitably draw after it the disso-
lution of the Institution. Such an
effect would indeed have followed*
if Jaenicke had not known that he
might trust in the Lord. He knew
that the Lord works with those who
work /or him— and he persevered.
His expectation was not di8a[)point-
ed; and the House of Missions of
Berlin, has continued to exist even
to this day, in despite of all the dif-
ficulties which its venerable direc-
tor had to surmount, at the time
when religion was chilled, and dur-
ing the years of the continuance of
war. Immediate aid was sent him
by some pious persons; and shortly
after, the Societies of Missions
which were formed in England
about this period, came with ioy to
his assistance. They were deficient
in missionaries; and they receiTed
into their service as volunteers,
tome of the young men who had
been educated in this G^innan In-
stitution. In 1820, thirty of the
students of this Seminary, had al-
ready gone forth— of whom ten had
been sent into different parts of Asia,
and twenty to the Western side,
or to the interior^ Africa. Since
that time, the misnonaries who have
iieen educated in this establishment
have, for the most part, been com-
missioned to preach the Gospel to
the Jews, who reside in great num-
bers in Poland, Russia and Prussia.
Thus passed the active life of
Jaenicke, in performing the double
functions of Pastor and Director.
He did not, however, remain a
atranjg|er to any of the institutions,
hj which the revival of the spirit of
religion in our day, has manifested
itself; and he accepted cheerfully,
the office of Secretary of the Bible
Society of Berlin. He always re-
ceived with the greatest kindness,
those who desired to profit by his
conversation : and if he remarked in
them, that love of the Saviour which
held an undivided reign in his own
heart, the good old man testified to



them his joy, in terms, the simpli-
city of which rendered them the
more touching, and by tapping them,
in a familiar and friendly manner,
on the cheek.

In 1825 his strength sensibly de-
clined, and he was obliged, little by
little, to omit the prayer meeting
which had hitherto been held in his
house, and the lessons which he had
been accustomed to give to the mis-
sionary students ; and he could no
longer preach but in a sitting pos-
ture. In the beginning of June, 1827,
he preached ^r the last time. A
dropsy of the chest then discovered
itself, and it was not long before it
was evident, that this malady would

I»rove mortal. Jaenicke, neverthe-
ess, retained his faculties to the
last. He was able to receive nu-
merous visits from his friends, to
speak to them of the Saviour in
whom he had placed his hope, and
to give and receive edification. On
the 21st of July, his weakness be-
came extreme. The last words
which he could be understood to
utter, were these — " Through my
Ions life, I have always found that
theliord is faithful." His departure
was now instantly expected; and
his attendants, among whom were
the students of the House of Mis-
sions, surrounded his bed ; and as if
desirous to catch some part of the
joy of that soul, which was just ^o-
ing to return to the bosom of its
God, they sung, in a low voice, two
verses of a hymn, which ends with
a description of the happj^ death ot*
a Christian. After singing, they
again approached the old man — He
had fallen asleep.

The age of John Jaenicke was,
seventy-nine years and some days.



VOB TBS CaanTIAV JJITdCATS.

OBItUARY NOTieE OF THE LATE MRS.
MARGARET THOMSON, OF PRINCE-
TON, NEW JERSEY.

It has been often remarked, that,
if we were to search for some of the



Digitized by



Google



438



OUteury JVWice ijfMn. Margara Tfmmtu



OCT«



mMt iiiteni|^t» deroted* and ex-
jemfilarv Chrifttiant that breathe, we
should De apt to find them more fre-
quently ia the shades of retirement,
than in the walks of publick and
eonspicuons life. Accordingly, the
eelebrated John Newton has, if I
mistake not» somewhere said, that
if we were looking for the most
deeply spiritual and heavenly-
minded indiyidual.in a siven con-
gregation ef professing Christians,
we should probably fix-*not on tiie
pastor-— not en any of the most pro-
minent or active prdfessors-— bat^
perhaps, on some poor solitary wi-
dow, who had been for more than
half a century ** walkingwith God ;"
who scarcely departed from ker
closet, bat, like Anna of oM,
^served Qod with fastings and
prayers night and day." The writer
of the present sketch has been fre-
i)ietttly reminded of this remurk,
when reflecting on the general cha-
racter of the venerable woman, of
whom be thinks it a tribute due to
eminent worth, as well as adapted
to be useful, to give some account.

Mrs. Margaret Thomson was
born in the city of Cork, in Ireland,
February 1st, 1753. Her fiinuly
name was Poptian. In 1764, wb^i
she was in the eleventh year of her
age, she came to America with her
parents, who settled in the village
of Newark, New Castle county, in
what is now the state of Delaware.
Of her childhood and youth little is
now known, excepting that her pa-
rents gave her a pious education;
that care was taken to enlighten
and cultivate her mind, and give her
a taste /or reading, which appeared
in all her after life ; and that in the
year 1774, when she was in the
twentv-first vear of her age, she
united herself in full communion
with the Preshvterian church of
Newark, and thus commenced a
profession which she long continued
to adorn.

In 1775, Miss Popham married
Mr. William Thomson, a gentle-
man of great respectability; an ac-



'&



curaite< and mature sdiolar; wW
spent the greater part of his life in
collegiate office— liaving been for a.
numSsr of years Professor of Idin*
^ ages in Dickinson Colleige, Car-
Isle, Pennsylvania and aftarwacda
in the same station in Nasaan Hall.
In thiscoanezioa she-spent upwarda
of thirty years in gteat haf^ineaa.
The amiable tempep, pioaa asam-
pie, and literary habits o< her hns-
band entirely aeemrded witb ker
taste and disposition^ and placed
tier in circumstances whsdi she was
peculiarly fitted to enjoys HArcha-
paoter as a wife was saBarkaUy
exemplary. Indefatigable indastey*
eoonomy, and activity, were united
with intelligenoe, affectioo^ and
piety, in an unusual degreokSbepve-
vided, for many years, with her own
hands, and with very little domea-
tick assistance, nearly all tbe cloth-
ing worn by her hu^miid and chii-
drai, as well as tbe bed and oiker
house Hnen, which were nocessarj
far faoii^ puvposes. She was also
exceedingly fond of a good garden,
and had a particular delight in^ (he
oultivatioa of flowers ; a taste which
waa very strongly nsarked, and con-
tinued to the end of life.

Bat besides^ftention to these
objects, Mrs. ffomaon, from her
earliest youth, foaad much tine for
profitable reading. She u&eallj
cave from two to three hours to
books, after her family had retired
in the evening; and lieing the first
of the number to rise in the morn-
ing, she devoted some of the early,
as well as the late hours, to the same
employment. Ner was her reading
confined within narrow bounds. As
her literary connexions placed her,
during the greater part of her life,
within the reach of excellent collec-
tions of books, her acquaintance
with a large number of the best wri-
ters in the English language, might
be said to be intimate. Some* of the
most important KngUsh classicks,
both in poetry and prose, were al-
most constantly her companions.
And aa she waa an axte&si ve reader.



Digitized by



Google



1B&.



CUImarjf JVWto of JMrs. Margaret TAmuoiu*



439



aiw aIm read with fnaX attention
and profit. If a book interested her»
abe was seldom contented ivith a
single pemsal of it» but went o?er
it again and again. This practice
qf pemsing repeatedly books which
she deemad peculiarly instmctiye
and valuable, was continued to the
last year of her life* But amidst
this multifarious reading, the most
precioas of all was by no means ne-
^koted. Her ^rst book in the morn-
ings and her last at ni^t, was inva-
riably the Bible. Accordingly, Mrs.
Thomson's conrersation strikingly
manifested, that she had read not
only extensirely, but also withjiro-
JtU She often referred to elevated
sentiments, or eloquent passa^,
which had occurred in her reading,
with a taste and familiarity, and»at
the same time, with an unostenta-
tioas simplicity, which evinced that
her reading was as judicious as it
was varied. On this account, few
persons were more capable of being
instructive and entertaining com-
panions, especially when thrown in
company with the more enlightened
and polished classes of society. In-
deed, for many years, her house was
the constant resort of almost all
those of her neighbours, both young
and old, who had a taste for culti-
vated intellect, and for pleastog
cheerfulness ; and they seldom fail-
ed of a rich repast.

The manners of this lady wore no
less striking, than her reading and
good sense. While they were at
• She greatest distance from any thing
like show or affectation, they mani-
fested that union of dignity, delica-
'cy, respectfulness, and Christian
benevolence, which can never fail
to attract and command respect in
turn. No one ever saw her make
the most distant approach to levity;
yet she was habitually cheerful, and
eoold easily render herself pleasing
to the most vouthful circle.

This excellent woman, for a num-
ber of years before her death, wm
visited with much affliction, ariaine
from tha protracted iilaess and



death of her husband, and>otfaerdo*
mestick trials, as well as the sick-
ness and infirmities which she ez«>
periencedin her own person. She
nad enjoyed an almost uninterrupt-
ed state of good health, until about
her fifty-second year, when her nar
turally vigorous constitution suiA, .
under heavy domestic fatigues and
sorrows. For a number of yean
after this, she suffered much from
repeated and violent attacks of dis-
ease; but for the last (our or five
years of her life, she enjoyed com-
parativeljr good health. Under all
her sufferings, abe was patient, re-
signed, and even cheerrol; habitu-
ally manifesting the value of Chris-
tian hope, and Christian consola-
tion, under the heaviest trials of life.
Mrs. Thomson became an inhabi-
tant of Prfnceton, in 1802, in which
year her husband accepted the of-
fice of Professor of Languages in
the College of New Jersey. After a
few years, his health failed, and he
sunk under the pressure of a pro-
tracted and severe illness, in 1808.
From that time until her decease,
she continued to reside in the same
town; and seldom, indeed, has any
one of its inhabitants been more be-
loved and honoured by all classes,
than was this truly venlraUe wo-



For a number of years before
her death, she was greatly afflicted
with deafness, which, always in-
convenient, was sometimes so dis-
tressingly severe, as in a great rndt-*
sure- to cut her off from the plea-
sures of intelligent and. Christian
society, which she was so eminent-
ly fitted to enjoy. This infirmity,
together with a weakness in her
head, which rendered walking, and
especially frequenting large assem-
blies, very .oppressive to her, inter-
fered,.during several years, with her
regular attendance on the bouse of
God. She often lamented this pri-
vation as one of the most distress-
iuff which she endured. She wag
led, from this circumstance, to
spend more of her time in reading



Digitized by



Google



440



Obituary JVMiee qfMrs. Margaret Tham»m.



OW.



than she would otherwise have
done; especiallj in that kind of
reading which never faiU to be most
attractive, to one who is " waiting
for the salvation of God."
Mrs. Thomson's last illness be-

En on the 1 1th of February, 1S£9.
was very severe from the first at-
tack; and continued, with scarcely
any abatement, for eleven days.
She almost immediately apprehend-
ed that the issue would be fatal,
and was, for several hours, much
agitated with the thought that she
was soon to appear in the presence
of her final Judge* She passed a
night of great mental, as well as
bodily sttttering. But with that
night the struggle ended. The next
morning founa her in a calm, re-
signed, nappy state of mind ; rather
desirous to live, but willing to de-
part, if her appointed time was
come. She called her daughter to
her bed side, and informed ner that
her distressing fears were ail gone.
Her language was — *' How merci-
fully has my Saviour dealt with me !
Secure in his compassion, death
and the grave have no terrors for
me now.'' Her mind wandered ex-
ceedingly during the whole of her
illness; but whenever her, thoughts
were collected, she spoke of her ap-
proaching change with calmness and
submission. No severity of suffer-
ing caused one impatient word to
pass her lips. Sometimes, when en-
during very bitter a^ony, she would
tlasp her hands, raise her eyes for
a moment, and repeat the patlietick
exclamation of Job-^" O that thou
wouldest hide me in the grave ; that
thou wouldest keep me in secret,
till thy wrath be past !" Her calm-
ness in the prospect of death, on
this trying occasion, is worthy of
more particular notice, because, in
every preceding illness, she bad
been much agitated by the thought
of dying; indeed, even when in her
usual health, she often 8ufi*ered much
from the anticipation of death: in-
somuch, that she sometimes feared
it was a sad mark against the reali-



ty of her Christian hope. But now^
when death was actually approach-
ing, she waa happily raised above
allher fears. Death had no longer
any terrors for her. This change
made a deep impression upon 3X
who witnessed it; and was regard*
ed (not, indeed, as a meularp for,
blessed be Qod, it is far from being
so, but) as a striking testimony ana
instance of grace being aflRirdedy
agreeably to the divine promise,
" in time of need ;"— -of " strength''
being imparted to the humble, wait-
ing believer ** according to hi*
day."

She spent mudi time, during her
last illness, in prayer; and it was
observed by her attendants, that
however her thoughts wandered on
other subjects, on this she was al-
ways consiatent and correct in her
expressions, usin^ the most appro*
priate language in the most reve-
rential manner. It is believed that
she never took the smallest article
of food or medicine, not even a tea-
spoon full of water, without first
imploring a blessing. Her daily
habit of reading the Bible, had made
her so familiar with its contents,
that, when she remembered nothing
else, she quoted long passages from
it, without making the slightest mis-
take. In every, interval of reason
with which she waa favoured, she
lamented her deafness which pre-
vented her from hearing the Bible
read. She sometimes said, O, if I
could only hear the voice of prayer,
what a comfort it would be to me i
but it is alL riglit ; my heavenly Fa-
ther knows what is best for me."

A few days before her death, on
the margin of a book, in which she
was in vain striving to read a few
lines, she wrote, with a trembling,
dyin^ hand, these words — ^'* There
remaineth a rest for the people of
God." Into that rest, it is confi-
dently hoped, she soon entered.
She departed this life on Sabbath
morning, February 2^, 1829, in a
few days after entering on the rrth
year ot her age.



Digitized by



Google



18S9.



Obituary MHce oJMrs^ Margaret Tliamson.



441



Mrs. Thomson was in the habit,
for a number of jears, of keeping a
diarj, in which, besides brief notes
of passing events, she recorded some
of the exercises of her own mind.
The greater part of this diary^ was
destroyed, a short time before her
death. The following fragments af-
ford an imperfect specimen of the
manner in which she was accustom-
ed to mourn over her defects and
corruptions, and of those gleams of
hope, and confidence, and joy, with
which she was sometimes favoured.

««Sept 2, 1810.-^Some days ago,
as I was reflecting on the hardness
of my heart, my helpless and wretch-^
ed condition, and want of love to



Online LibraryAshbel GreenThe Christian advocate → online text (page 69 of 93)