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ticles. The Companion to the Altar may do for a self-righteous mo. ralist; but it is a miserable guide to a mind enlightened by the Spirit of God. He therefore published a small octavo, under the title of * The Christian Communicant, or a suitable Companion to the Lord's Supper." Mr. Romaine, in his Recommendatory Preface, says, “The subject here treated of, is one of the deep things of God, of which none can write, as Mr. Mason has, unless he be in his heart alive to God; nor can any but such understand the nature of the ordinance, or be fed and nourished at it."
It might, perhaps, prove tiresome to our readers to notice the whole of his publications. The Believer's Pocket Companion met with a very favorable reception, and in a very little time ran through six editions. After the death of Mr. Toplady he became the editor of the Gospel Magazine, which he solely conducted for several years; and in this publication first appeared his notes on Bunyan's Pilgrim.
Though as a private christian and an author, Mr. Mason was distinguished from many religious characters, yet he was too sensible of the depravity of his nature, and the spirituality of God's law, not to feel and acknowledge that he was wholly indebted to the sovereignty of divine grace for whatever he enjoyed in preference to the genera. lity of Christians ; and would frequently express himself in the language of the apostle, By the grace of God I am what I am.
Having presented our readers with a striking likeness of the subject of these memoirs, and faithfully delineated the prominent features of his mind, we would not pass over unnoticed those imperfections, from which he only was entirely free, “who was holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners.”
He was naturally very warm and hasty: and as the heat of his temper would sometimes gain an ascendancy over his judgment, in the moments of cool reflection it would produce the most serious contrition. Being frequently called to struggle with this constitutional evil, he thought, on this account, no person more competent to point out the sinfulness of yielding to passion, and the evil effects which flow from an ungovernable warmth of temper.
His mind being deeply impressed with the truth of that scripture, The ornament of a meek and quiet spirit is in the sight of God of great price, and his conscience feeling the smart of thạt godly sorrow which worketh repentance to salvation, he wrote “ An affectionate Address to passionate Professors,” shewing the blessedness of a meek and quiet spirit, the evil of giving way to bad tempers, and pointing out some likely means for subduing them. He begins this little tract with, “ My brethren, suffer a word of exhortation from a heart that knows its own bitterness, and groans under the ruins of a sinful nature and disordered passions. Permit one, who freely owns with grief and
shame, that he is naturally of a very hasty temper and passionate disposition, to address you on the evil of indulging and giving way to this. In this attempt, I humbly crave your most serious attention and affectionate regard, hoping therein mine eye is singly directed to our Lord's glory, and my heart sincerely engaged for your spiritual good, and my own. Bear with my freedom, as I assure you I desire to write from my own sense and experience of this evil, as well as from observation of it in others. I would apply to my own soul all that I write to you; and desire to fall under every conviction myself, which I may bring against you."
Having been long namred in the commission of the peace for the county of Surrey, in the year 1783 he retired from business, and became an acting magistrate. As the evening of life was now drawing on, he thought, in this department, he might employ those hours for the public good, which otherwise might appear to himself dull, and to others useless.
About four years previous to his death, he first felt a slight stroke of the palsy. His speech for a few days was interrupted, and he complained of a pain and numbness in his head. It then left him; but not without having, in some degree, impaired his faculties. About two years after, while performing the duty of a magistrate at Union-Hall, in the borough of Southwark, he suddenly fell from his chair, and was taken up speechless: from this shock he also recovered; but not without a greater debility of the mental powers.
On the morning of his death, he intended to walk as usual; was as perfectly in health as he had been for some time, and appeared to possess a more than common vivacity: he ran down stairs with an unusual agility; and when engaged in prayer with his family, evinced a more than common degree of fervor. About eleven o'clock in the forenoon, as he was walking in his own room, in a moment he was deprived of the use of his limbs on one side. An apothecary and physician were immediately called in; but death had received his commission. In less than two hours, his speech, which from the first had faultered, was entirely taken away; and though it would have afforded his surviving relatives the greatest pleasure, to have heard him, in his dying moments, extol that Saviour, whom having not seen he loved, and boast of that salvation from which he had derived unspeakable joys; yet that God, who orders all things after the counsel of his own will, was pleased to deny them that privilege; for at eleven o'clock in the evening of the same day, Sept. 29, 1791, in the 73d year of his age, he breathed his last.
He has left a widow, two daughters, and a son. His remains were interred in the church of St. Mary Magdalene, Bermondsey, in which
.parish he had resided upwards of sixty years, and where, for the last twelve years of his life, he attended on his son's ministry.
Mr. M. may with strict propriety be classed among the good, the great, and useful of society. In his personal appearance, there was nothing to impress a stranger with a favorable idea of his talents; but in company, in his conversation evidenced marks of superior sense and prevailing piety, and rendered him an instructive and entertaining companion. Influenced by the power of divine grace, he glorified God in his generation. His soul was the peaceful residence of all the social virtues. In the discharge of the filial, fraternal, conjugal, and parental duties, he was cheerful and exact. The urgencies of business were never suffered to intrude upon the more urgent claims of his soul. In persecution for righteousness sake “his heart was fixed, trusting in the Lord;” and at length he had the happiness to experience, that God had "redeemed his soul from all adversity, and brought him through fire and water, into a wealthy place.” Many years he lived on Jesus Christ, as the alpha and omega of his own salvation, and possessed the enviable talent of recommending him to others with peculiar advantage. His mind was equally averse to the leaven of Pharisaical pride and Antinon.ian presumption; which he considered as dangerous extremes, and against which his exertions were uniformly and equally directed....Though he was never dignified with the epithet of reverend, or elevated to the pulpit, yet by the discreet husbandry of his time, he was enabled to compose those works, which, during his life-time, rendered him useful to thousands; and which will embalm his memory, and convey instruction to succeeding generations.
Reader, for thee this memoir was collected....not for the entertainment of thy leisure moments, but for the improvement of thy future days. Learn from the character and conduct of a private individual, that real worth, heavenly wisdom, and extensive usefulness, are not confined to men of public profession. Let Jesus and his salvation be thy first concern. Assured of his favor, make it thy study to live for God, and glorify him in thy body and spirit, which are his.' Then, when called to drop the veil of mortality, thou wilt survive in the esteem of his saints, the excellent of the earth, and be rewarded by the admiration of posterity....while thy happy spirit, wafted to the regions of bliss, shall enjoy in the beatific presence of Jesus, ineffable and eternal felicity.
THOU shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name.... Isa. Ixii. 2.
This is predicted of the church of God; which, according to covenant-transactions of the glorious Trinity, stands in the nearest and dearest relation to Jesus her head. She is here spoken of as a single person, Thor: she is called “Christ's body,".... Col. i. 24....and “the bride, the Lamb's wife,”.... Rev. xxi. 9....of whom, saith God the Father, “I have loved thee with an everlasting love,”....Jer. xxxi. 3. Yea, saith the Son of God to his Father, of all his beloved members, “Thou hast loved them as thou hast loved me....and thou lovest me before the foundation of the world,”....John xvii. 23, 24. O most comforting truths of God's word! how ancient is the love of God to his church! That God should love us miserable sinners at all is amazing; but that he should love us with the very same everlasting unchangeable love, wherewith he loves his own beloved Son, this surpasseth all knowledge! This love is the source of all blessings in time; this love secures all happiness in eternity.
The Son of God has manifested his infinite love to his church, by conflicting with and overcoming all the powers of earth and hell for her sake. He most dearly purchased her, in a way of strict justice, with his most precious blood. But he finds every one of his ransomed ones branded with this old name of infamy, a SINNER: it being near six thousand years since first entailed. By nature we are all old in sin, and dead in sin: but being predestinated unto the adoption of children þy Jesus Christ, and to be conformed to his image, to the praise of the glory of God's grace, therefore we shall be called by a new name.
This the Lord, the Spirit, effecteth. Being born of the Spirit, and baptized with the Holy Ghost into the faith of Jesus, the Lord calls us by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name, This is it, verse 12, “The holy people....the redeemed of the Lord....thou shalt be called sought out." O the blessedness of being sought VOL. I.
out! how precious is he who sought us out! He sought us in the ruins of the fall. He found us in a most miserable condition; but he calls us by a NEW NAME, which signifies new creatures in our living head, who is the NEW MAN. This he makes us. Then we experi'ence the blessedness of a new state in, and of a new life from JESUS. He is a new and living way to us. By faith we walk with God...live upon Jesus....feel sweet fellowship with him....enjoy comforting communion from him....and have joyful access to the Father through him. Thus the Lord writes “a new name upon his members, which no man knoweth, saving he who receiveth it."....Rev. ii. 17.
Thus, as Luther testifies, 'a christian is a new creature in a new world.' He is a subject of a new King, whose name is LOVE; and of a new kingdom, wherein dwelleth righteousness. He is possessed of new hopes....new pleasures....new desires and new joys. Yes, and he finds new fears....new sorrows....new conflicts, yea, and new enemies too. Though that old serpent the Devil and Satan, who deceiveth the whole world, is cast out of us, he still wageth war against us. What then? every trial we meet with, every temptation we are beset with, shall only glorify the riches of God's love to us, and the power of the grace of Jesus in us....shall learn us the use of our spiritual weapons....deaden our affections to earth....quicken our longings for glory....endear.Jesus more to our hearts, so as with ardency to cry out, О that I may be found in HIM! how glorious the privileges ! how animating the prospect of all such new-named souls ! they are interested in all new covenant blessings. New wine of gospel-peace and love is put into such new bottles. A new song, “Salvation to the Lamb that was slain," inspires their tongues. Such are lovingly called, by the word of their Father, and powerfully enabled, by the Spirit of his grace, to serve and glorify him, “not in the oldness of the letter," but in newness of the Spirit, in “righteousness and true holiness before him all the days of their life:" happy new year to such new-named souls! every revolving year on earth brings them nearer their Father's house, their Saviour's kingdom in glory. Thus, “if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away, behold all things are become new."....2 Cor. v. 17.
My Jesus, my almighty friend, My feet shall travel all the length
Of the celestial road,
To see my Father God. Still has my life new wonders seen When I am fill'd with sore distress Repeated ev'ry year;
For some surprising sin, Behold my days thạt yet remain, I'll plead thy perfect righteousness, I trust them to thy care.
And mention none but thine. Thou art my everlasting trust, How will my lips in glory tell Thy Person I adore :
Thy vict'ries, O my King! And since I knew thy graces first, My soul redeem'd from sin and hell, I speak thy glories more.
Shall thy salvation sing.