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age of seven, left a very pleasing testimony; which may be seen in the Evan. Mag. for July 1799. Four of his children were living at the time of his death; but the youngest survived him only about a month, and departed in his eighth year, to be for ever with his father, which he anxiously desired. The remaining three, it is hoped, are walking in the footsteps of their father.
Activity was one of the leading features of Mr. Burchett's mind: wherever we follow him, we shall find him diligently employed. - He could not bear, in a world filled with sin and misery, to sit still and look on, without devising methods to benefit those around him; and while souls were perishing for lack of knowledge, could not forbear w exert himself to the utmost, to communicate to others the light of truth by which he had been made good and happy.-- In the year 1797, being much affected by the rapid spread of infidelity, chiefly by the circulation of small infidel publications, he conceived the design of fighting its promoters with their own weapons, and published a small Tract, which was distributed gratis; and shortly after, proposed a plan for the more general distribution of such publications.
We are now come to the most useful period of Mr. B.'s life, when he was made the instrument of beginning a Society which has already proved a blessing to thousands. A seemingly insignificant and fortuitous occurrence was the means of directing his attention to this object. In the spring of the year 1799, Mr. B. after attending at Surry Chapel, was walking home with a friend, and discoursing upon the sermon they had heard. Mr. Hill had been mentioning the great good etfected in Scotland (which he had visited a little time before) by Sabbath Schools; and made a very powerful appeal to his congregation, to go and imitate their Scottish brethren. Mr. Burcheir's ardent mind immediately caught the idea, and began to consider how it might best be accomplished. Mr. B.'s friend offered the use of one of his rooms, and remembering that whatever we do should be done with all our might, they agreed to open a Sunday School the next Lord's Day. At this stage of the conversation Mr. Campbell called at Mr. Burchett's. On his entering the room Mr. B. exclaimed, 'I am glad to see you: we have just been contriving a plan to open a Sunday School; but I recollect you have one already in Kent Street; perhaps we had better endeavour to enlarge your border.' Mr. C. welcomed the idea, and complained that he had for some time been withont assistance. They accordingly visited him on the following Sabbath, and found him labouriug alone with about 40 children, They enquired whether children would readily attend; to which Mr. C. replied that he would engage lo collect a considerable number; and they agreed, on their part, to supply them with teachers. Accordingly, by their acquaintance at Surry Chapel, they soon procured a sufficient supply; - but the school was no sooner filled with children than they were forcibly struck with the destitute condition of many other parts of the Borough ; and shortly a room was hired in the Mint, then the lowest and most depraved neighbourhood in Southwark. : This too was speedily filled; and they proceeded to open another School in Gravel Lane; and another in Garden Row, St. George's Fields. Children flocked in great numbers; and 500 were quickly taken from the streets, and brought under the means of instruction. Hitherto they had not solicited any subscriptions from the public;. but Mr. B. prevented any concern about pecuniary affairs, and generously made hiinself responsible for the rent, &c. This had all been done in the summer of 1799; and when Mr. Hill returned to town in the autumn, they related their progress, soliciting his patronage. He rejoiced exceedingly in their success; and
since,' said he, you have undertaken to provide teachers and children, I will find the money requisite.' He recommended them to form a junction with a school which had been long before established at Surry Chapel; and the whole was denominated. The Southwark Sunday School Society.
Mr. Burchett, however, was not satisfied with having originated his most beneficial. Institution, but continued to watch over it with the auxiety of a parent. He had the happiness to see it increase, year after year; and it now contains eight Sehools, and nearly 2000 children. Thus we see how much, , under God, may result from the energy and liberality of two or three persons.
The blessing of those who were ready to perish has come upon thein ; whole neighbourhoods have already acknowledged that a visible reformation has taken place, wherever these Schools have been situated; but Mr. B. and his associ*ates had still higher objects; they regarded chiefly the immortal souls of the children, and hoped to be instruinental in proinoting their eternal salvation : and looked forward to the great day when they hoped to be able to say of a great number of them,' Lord, here are we, and the children whom thou hast given us.?. ?
Mr. B. was not contented with the services which his coun. cil and his purse could render to the Society, but was for inany years an able and zealous teacher in any of its schools where his labours were most wanted; and he principally attended in the Mint. Here, Sunday after Sunday, he might be seen sitting down to teach poor children their alphabet. Here he continued a father and benefactor to the poor neighbourhood till about two years previous to his death, when he was reluctantly obliged to leave it, by becoming a resident at Kentish Town.
Here, also, he soon found abundance of employment, and
immediately commenced a Sunday School, in the management of which he took a very active part. Thus had this devoted servant of God his loins always girt, and his lamp always burning; and though the messenger of his Lord came sooner than himself or any of his friends expected, yet he was not unprepared. His firm, robust constitution seemed to pro mise a lengthened life of usefulness; but He, whose ways are not as our ways, saw fit to remove him from the stage of activity in the prime of his days. We naturally enquire how such a character departed, and whether the God whom he had served was pleased to support him in that trying hour." An infidel writer of the present day advises his disciples to think of dying as little as possible, He tells them, that dying is at best a humiliating uncomfortable business; and, therefore, instructs them to live well, and die as they can.-Blessed bé God, our religion teaches us another lesson; it directs us to
live well; but does not leave us at last to die as we can/ Those who have believed in Jesus, have usually found him • making all their bed in their sickness,' have felt the everlasting arms beneath them, and experienced that when their fesh and heart failed, he was the strength of their hearts and their portion for ever. This was the case with our beloved friend: and though, if he had died without remarkable comfort, no one who knew him would have had the shadow of a doubt respecting his final safety; yet it is pleasant to hear : that the sun of such a day went down serenely; and that he who served God while living, was enabled, when dying, to leave a glorious testimony behind him.
His illness began in September 1809, first with a severe cold, which very much affected his lungs, although medical aid was immediately resorted to. The state of his mind at this time will be best learnt from a letter he wrote to the Rev. John Campbell, of Kingsland in • Dear Sir,
Nov. 28, 1809. 'I need an interest in your prayers; for I have been confined the whole of this month, in consequence of a cold which has affected my chest to a serious extent. However, appearances are now favourable, and I hope, ere long, to have at least a partial release from the confinement. I do not trouble myself a3 to the second causes which have produced this complaint, but I wish to consider it as sent from above to promote my sanctification; and I trust, it has on the whole, deepened repentance, discarded every thing like self-dependence, exhibited the Saviour in a more prominent view, placed the world at a distance, and given such a view of what should be the character of the Christian, ás whilst it leaves a great deal to mourn o ver as to the past, makes life desirable to exemplify such a character. I allude generally to the last discourses of our Lord with his disciples, and to the writings of Paul, which I have lately reperused with perhaps more attention than here: tofore.
* Now, Sir, when I desire your prayers, it is on this account; I am afraid that the views I now have should abate, and the return of animal strength, by placing eternal things further off, should weaken their effect. I am anxious that this affliction should, if possible, leave me purged of all dross, and that it may be the means of quickening the graces of the Spirit within me; and that the rest of my days may be marked by a successful opposition to all sin, and an uninterrupted course of communion with the Father, and his Son Christ Jesus.'
Soon after this letter was written, and while all around him thought him recovering, he was seized with a spitting of blood, in consequence of the rupture of a blood vessel in the lungs. From this he never recovered, but by degrees went down into the valley of the shadow of death. We have now, therefore, to draw near, to see his conflict with the final enemy, and to mark this perfect and upright man' in his last encounter. He was strictly forbidden all conversation ; and, therefore, his mind, which was as vigorous and active as ever, had full time for meditation and recollection. To a soul like his, deeply impressed with the holiness of God, his best actions appeared polluted, and his whole life to have tallen far shorı of the requirements of the perfect law of God. He was thus brought into considerable distress; and two texts to which he referred a friend, will correctly 'shew the state of his mind.
Hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger; that thou hast been my help, leave nie not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation.''Ps. xxvii.9. For innuanerable evils have compassed me about ; mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs upon inine head, therefore mine heart faileth ine.' Psalm xl. 19. The enemy is always at hand to annoy the Lord's people; but he generally chooses the time when they are about finally to escape for ever from his temptations, to inake bis most violent assault; but it is our mercy to have a great High Priest, wiro has prayed for us that our faith may not fail, and who has promised that we shall not be tempted above what he will strengthen us to bear.
After Mr. B. had been thus exercised for a time, he was enabled to look more steadily to the great Propitiation; and by considering the finished work and righteousness of Christ, and his ability to save to the uttermost, and being enabled to confide in that declaration, · The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin,' he once more attained to peace and joy, and to a settled dependence on our all-sufficient Saviour. This was mercifully maintained during the remainder of his life, which caused him often to repeat, All is well;' my heart and ny flesh faileth ; but God is the strength of my heart,' &c.; and though he was not favoured with extatic joys, he had a comfortable sense of his acceptance, and a steady confidence arising from knowing in whom he had believed. He was very diligent in reading the word of God. It occurred to him, during his illness, that it was possible he might not have read every part of the sacred Scriptures; and considering that every thing which God had revealed claiins our notice, he determined to begin the Bible, and proceed regularly to the end, which he accomplished before his decease. He was struck likewise with a view of the importance of Christ's priestly office, and resolved to consider every text he could find upon that topic. He read the Epistle to the Hebrews, and then turned to the numerous passages both in the Old and New Testament referred to in the margin. By this diligent enquiry, with much meditation and prayer, he attained an enlarged acquaintance with that fundamental doctrine, and an increased establishment in the faith of Christ.
But we inust hasten to the closing scene. The letters which he wrote about this time, clearly shew the state of his mind, On the 5th of December, the Rev. R. Hill called upon him; to whom (as he was forbidden to speak) he addressed the following note:
Dear Sir,-'I am prohibited talking ; but shall be glad of an interest in your prayers. I trust this affliction is sent from above, for the purposes mentioned in Heb. xii. 6-11. I have been much humbled on a retrospect of my past life; and although I cannot boast of great inental enjoyments, I find the promises supporting and comforting. I am breathing after greater conformity to the divine will; and if my life be spared, I hope it will be to exemplify the Christian character in a greater degree.'
To a Friend
Dec. 24. You have no cause to weep. I have turned my the world, as one relying upon the righteousness of Jesus Christ to carry me safe to glory. I have not so strong a faith as I could wish in these circumstances, because I feel the effect of much worldly intercourse, and of not having lived sufficiently near to God; but I have laid myself at the feet of Jesus'; he has said I will heal their backslidings, and love them freely; and him that cometh to me I will in nowise cast out.'
Some time after this, im consequence of the blood vessel rupturing again, Mr. B. sent for a friend; when, considering the prohibition of his physicians as now fruitless, he began to converse freely. "Do not gricve,' said he ; ' there is no occasion for it; I hope, as it respects myself, all is well; but as it is very probable this may be the last opportunity we may ever have of conversing together, and, as I have several things