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Sept. 22, 1776, Mr. Cecil was ordained Deacon. In the Lent terin following, he took his degree of B. A. with great credit; and on Feb. 23, 1777, received Priest's orders. His first ministerial duty was with Mr. Pugh, of Rauceby, Lincolnshire; but soon after, at his request, he went to serve three churches, in Leicestershire, -Thornton, Bagworth, and Markfield, till such time as Mr. Abbor, the late Vicar's son, should be able to take the charge. Here he not only laboured with success among the people, but was made the happy instrument of converting young Mr. Abbot himself, who became a faithful minister of the gospel. At Mr. C's return to Rauceby, he was informed that two small livings had been procured for him at Lewes, in Sussex, of which he now went to take possession. Both livings together brought in about 80l. which he was obliged to expend in employing a curate, as he was long afflicted with a rheumatic disorder in his bead,
through the dampness of his situation, which obliged him eventually to remove to London. He retained, however, the Ljvings till he had the satisfaction to resign them to the late Rev. Mr. Dale,
He now resided at Islington; and used to supply different London churches and chapels in the Establishment. For some years he preached the early Sabbath Morning Lecture at Lothbury, and a Sunday and Wednesday Evening Lecture in Orange Street Chapel, Leicesterfields, beside the whole duty at St. John's.
In 1787 he was appointed to the Sunday Evening Lecture at Spitalfields, which he preached alternately with that of Long Acre Chapel, both in connection with Mr. Foster. But his most important sphere of usefulness was at St. John's Chapel, Bedford Row, in which he began to preach, March 1780*. He was encouraged to take this large and commodious place, which cost 5001. to put it into repair, by the support of Mrs.Wilberforce (aunt to the Friend of Africa) and of Mr. Cardale, of Bedford Row, whom Mrs. Cecil styles the Nursing-Father both of St. John's and of its Minister;' and · who still remains the uniform friend of his bereaved family. For the first three years he received no emolumnent from this chapel; and his income on commencing this dury was but 801, which accrued from his lecture at Orange Street Chapel ;-and afterwards, for several years his income from St. John's was very inconsiderable. Emolument was never the object of his pursuit; but no sooner was he settled here than he began to plan schemes of benevolence. He established an Annual Ser
* This chapel was part of the estate of the Rugby Charity; and the managing trustee was Sir Eardly Wilmot, who resided in the neighbourhood. To himn Mr. C. was recommended by Dr. Cornwallis, thea Archbishop of Canterbury; wẠo bad given Mr. C. une of his livings at Lowes,
mon on May-day morning for young people: Two Serinons were preached annually for the Welsh Charity School, which attended his ministry; two for the Parish School, and two for a Sunday School recently established at his Chapel; and he would have added several more, but for the remonstrances of some of his congregation.
Mr. C. was many years greatly afflicted with a painful com: plaint, supposed to be the Sciatica, which; in the close of the year 1798 became so alarming, that it was judged necessary to have a consultation of the faculty ; and he was forbidden to preach any more while the threatening symptoms continued. He had,
however, been given out to preach two sermons the following Lord's Day for his Sunday School. In the morning, notwithstanding the injunction of his physicians, he ascenried his pulpit; but had not spoken more than five minutes before he was evidently in great pain; and at the end of twenty minutes was obliged to conclude;---which he did, not with the usual benediction, but with the words immediately following his text, which happened to be the last in the New Testament; and it was generally supposed that he was closing his public ministry : -it pleased God, however, to add 12 more years to his valuable life. During this illness, in the winter of 1798, Mrs. C. made memoranda of his most remarkable observations, which are inserted in her Memoir; but we can give only one short extract. To a person who spoke of his illness, he said, bt is all Christ. I keep death in view. If God does not please to raise me up,
e intends me better. I know whom I have be lieved. How little do we think of improving the time while we have opportunity! I find every thing but religion ouly vanity. To recollect a promise of the Bible: this is substance! Nothing will do but the Bible. If I read authors, and hear different opinions, I cannot say this is truth! I cannot grasp it as substance; but the Bible gives me something to hold. I have learnt more within these curtains, than from all the books I ever read.'
The violence of this attack was mercifully abated; and Mr. "C. was so far recovered, that he ventured to preach the Evening Lecture at St. John's, Feb. 24, 1799 : but, though he used great precaution, he found the exertion too much for him; and was obliged again to retire, until, by a blessing on the means used, his strength was sufficiently recovered.
In the year 1800 Mr. Samuel Thornton requested hiin to take the livings of Chobham and Bitsley, which his late father, the ever- memorable John Thornton, Esq. had purchased, and placed in the hands of trustees. Mr. C. repeatedly declined but was at length prevailed on to accept them, and to do the duty in the summer. By these livings, after deducting all ex: pences, about € 150 per annum was added to his net income.
These parishes were deeply sunk in vice and ignorance.
When I first came to Chobham,' says Mr. C.' as I was sitting in the vestry, on hearing the noise and uproar of the boys, and the people in the gallery talking aloud to each other, I burst into tears, and felt with the Prophet, when he said 'Can these dry bones live:'--He did not, however, labour in vain: a large and attentive congregation was collected; and much good was done. After a few years his good friend, Mr. Bainbridge, bought several acres of ground, and erected a house for him, in which he spent a few inonths during the suinmer of 1807; but did not live to see it entirely completed.
During this year Mr. C. had a slight paralytic affection; but soon recovered sufficiently to resume his usual labours. During this affliction he thus writes, in answer to the enquiries of a friend :- I find it easy to tell the people from the pulpit how to act in such cases, and particularly Christians; but things are stronger than we are; and I find it very difficult to act myself. People say, and physicians too, that my preaching three times a day, through the hot weather, at St. John's, was the cause of my present infirmity : - a state in which I have not only seemed to lose my faculties, but at one time was unable to speak at all. I dare say they are right; but I have an interior feeling, which, while I hear people talking thus un this subject, makes me smile, and say within myself, 'You talk well, but you know nothing of the matter; God is in this thing; and he is teaching me a lesson which I cannot learn from books.'
[To be concluded in our next.]
TIIE CHRISTIAN PHILOSOPHER. IX
POISONOUS WINDS. Tue quality of the air depends, in a great measure, upon the soil over which it passes. The sandy deserts of Africa and Arabia give a burning heat and blasting quality to the air passing over them. At Goree, on the river Senegal, there
is an easterly wind froin the inland parts, with which those who are met by it in the face are scorched, as by a blast from a furnace. Ai Falkland's Islands an extraordinary blasting wind is felt, which cuts down the herbage as if tires had been made under them. The leaves are parched up, and crumble into dust; fowls are seized with cramps, and never recover; and men are very painfully affected with complaints in the chest, which, without the greatest care, cannot be removed *. But the most dreadful winds are those called the Samiel, or - Mortifying Winds, which are frequently met with in the Arabian and Nubian Deserts. The camels perceive their approach, and are said to cover their noses in the sand, that they
* Pinkerton's Geographical Introduction.
may not inhale the blast. Travellers, for the same purpose, throw themselves, as close as possible, on the ground, and wait till it has passed over, which is commonly in a few mimutes. Thus some escape; but those who die have their limbs mortified. Mr. Bruce describes this wind, which he calls the Simoom, as a kind of haze, ‘in colour like the purple part of the rainbow, but not so compressed or thick. "It did not occupy twenty yards in breadth, and was about twelve feet high from the ground; it moved very rapidly, though it did not prove fatal to this celebrated traveller, or any of his companions, he felt the effect of it for two years afterwards; and he says, “We were all persuaded that another passage of the purple meteor over us, would be attended with our deaths*.? T'he poisonous wind was preceded by another curious phenomenon ; prodigious pillars of sand were seen by Mr: Bruce, moving about with great velocity; eleven of thein appeared at once, but did not approach nearer than two miles. The rays of the sun, shining through them, gave them the appearance of pillars of fire; nor are they less destructive than the Simoon, as whole caravans have been buried under them.
We find in the scripture frequent allusions to the dangers which abound in the eastern deserts; and the terrors of the Divine vengeance are illustrated by a reference to these de. stroying winds. Of the wicked it is said, “By the blast of God they perish, and by the breath of his postrils they are congumed.' This wrath passeth over them suddenly, irresistibly, like the poisonous and fiery Simoom, and they perish. • The winds are the messengers' of Jehovah, and the faining fire his servant. Probably the Sinoom was the messenger of the Lord, employed to destroy in one night the host of Sennacherib, agreeably to the prediction of Isaiah:-* I will send a blast upon him, and he shall return to his own land," In Jer. xxii. 22. The wind shall cut (or devour) thy pastors' there is evidently an allusion to this destroying wind. The Psalmist has beautifully illustrated the sudden approach of death by the effect produced on vegetables by the scorching blast: As for man, his days are as grass, as the fiower of the field, --- the wind passeth over it and it is gone.'
The stalking pillars of sand (as Bruce calls them) which threaten to bury alive the traveller who beholds them, and the purple meteor, are not more terrific than those spiritual dan. gers which they who set their faces toward Sion have to encounter in their passage through this world. Let the difficulties of the way lead us to look upward for direction, support, and comfort, and to desire inore earnestly a better coulitrý, even a heavenly one. Thus, by the exercise of faith in the power and grace of the Lord Jesus, let us daily go up out of the wilderness, leaning on our Beloved.'
T. P. B.
* Byuce's Travels, vol. F. p. 223, 330.
NUMEROUS are the evidences which the holy Scriptures: afford of the divinity of hun who is the gracious Author, the beloved Object, and almighty Finisher of the Christian's faith. It has been repeatedly shewn that such names are there given to Christ, as it were blasphemy to apply to any being who is nót God, that works are said to have been wrought by him, which no power but that of the Almighty could perform, that attributes are ascribed to Jesus, which an infinite God is alone capable of possessing, ---and that worship is paid to him, such as cannot be given, without the grossest idolatry, to any but him who inhabiteth eternity. By arguments drawn from these and other sources, the important truth, that. Christ is God,'has been established beyond reasonable doubt. It is perhaps owing to the fulness of this evidence, that some additional proofs which have been brought forward in our day are little regarded; but in this neglect, do we act with prudence? Is that a wise commander who looks with indifference on one soldier, because he has ten thousand others ?
The additional proofs alluded ty, have been furnished by Mr. Granville Sharp, who, not confining his exertions to the loosing of the iron fetters of African Slavery, has taken ne small pains to break the bands of Jewish and Socinian infide lity, and to confirm the divine character of him, whose errand was to proclaim liberty to the captive. This venerable man has demonstrated, that (in Eph. v. 5; Titus ii. 19; and 2 Pet. i. 1) the Person called God is Jesus Christ; for he has observed it to be an invariable rule in the Greek language, that when kai («) connects two or more attributive nouns, nouns significative of character, relation, or dignity in the singular number, and the article ho có in any of its cases, is inserted before the first only of such nouns, then they are all of them assumed of the same person or thing *
This rule, when examined in its application to such instances of the form of expression to which it relates, as occur in the New Testament, is found to be uniformly correct:-ic principle of the rule has been elucidated by Dr. Middleton +; and his search into the works of profane authors has fully confirmed its truth. These authorities are abundantly suflici. ent to justify us in translating the passages which have been ineationed, in the following inanner : - Eph. V. 5. “ For this ye know, that no whoreinonger, nor unclean person, nor covetvus man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the king dom of him (who is) Christ and God.' Tilus ii. 13. ' Looking
* Vide Doctrine of the Greek Article by Dr. Middleton, p. 80, note. * Doctrine of the Greek Article, p. 79.