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Christ's salvation was not intended of God, for such vile and sinful men as I am.' But who would have conceived that Moses' lifting up the serpent had the meaning we know it has, if God had not revealed it? It is not now time for me to be poring upon myself: I much approve of that hymn
Let not conscience make you linger,
Is to feel our need of him.
Law and terror do but harden,
The above was one of those seasons of darkness, through which Christians, most eminent for holiness, may be called to pass. The general state of his mind, however, was peaceful and patient.
The Rev. J. Lawson wrote, in February 1785, as follows:-"As to the state of Mr. Adam's mind, in his illness, three years ago, I remember that he appeared, and professed to be, habitually calm, patient, and resigned: we expected his dissolution every day; and he repeatedly declared, that he neither hoped to live, nor feared to die." He spoke a few words to many of his parishioners respecting their souls.
From this period, he might be said to die daily; yet he was not inattentive to the happiness of his family, and to the spiritual welfare of those who, by the joint labours of himself and his curates, had
been brought to make an open profession of religion. He continued still to take an interest in the instruction of the children and youth in his parish. He encouraged them, by pecuniary presents, to commit the Church Catechism, with Scripture Proofs, to memory they were also invited to take tea with him at the rectory, during the Christmas holidays.
His parishioners, who wished to see him, had a ready access to him, at all seasonable times; and while he received them with cordial affection, he did not fail to encourage or admonish them, as occasion offered.
One day he observed to one of his parishioners, who visited him in his sick chamber, and who had lately become interested on the subject of religion: "Mary, if there is one truth in the whole Bible, it is this, 'The grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared unto all men, teaching us, that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.""
Mr. Adam did not overlook the least of his flock; the poor and the aged, and also the young and unlearned, shared in his care. John Foster, a native of Wintringham, in his autobiographical Memoir, when referring to the period before he was twelve years of age, writes: "The Rev. Mr. Adam, the rector of the parish, came frequently to speak to my mother about the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: he also gave me Watts's Hymns for children; for by that time, through the assistance of a female cousin, I had learned to read."
The editor mentions this independent testimony to Mr. Adam's fidelity in the discharge of the pastoral office, because it has been objected to him, that his ministry was not blessed to the conversion of his parishioners; and that he was remiss in visiting the people at their own houses.
Another evidence that he was aware of the paramount duty of private visitation, will be seen in the following notice, which was found among his papers: "Dreamed that J. M. and S. E. were under soulconcern. I interpreted it as a call to go and speak with them but what shall I say to J. for not speaking more to him, and to all others, without a dream?"
The editor considers that private visitation is, with a minister, a solemn duty; he also considers private charity a solemn duty, with all Christians; but both must be left to the judgment of individuals, as to the time and manner of performing them. Mr. Adam had a high sense of this duty, as appears from the following observation.
"To relinquish or intermit parochial labour, because it is not attended with success, would be terribly inexcusable. Labour on: commit the matter to God: wait patiently: get a feeling of the bowels of Christ; and die praying, 'Lord pity the people!""
We may here glance for a moment at Mr. Adam in his study; where he prayed to the Lord; where he prepared his pulpit addresses; and where he noted down those thoughts which were afterwards collected by his friends, and published among his posthumous works.
The following is a prayer drawn up and made use of by Mr. Adam, when he retired to prepare his
"O blessed Lord God, who teachest man knowledge, and givest wisdom to the simple, assist and bless me in all my studies and undertakings, and especially in the work I am now about, of meditating and preparing what I am to deliver to the people in thy name. Open mine eyes that I may see the wondrous things of thy law; illuminate my understanding with thy saving truth; purify my heart with the love of it; enable me rightly to divide thy word from my own inward experience, and to declare it boldly, in full assurance of faith, with true compassion for souls, and a holy zeal for thy glory.
"O Jesus, bless the labours of all those who are employed in propagating the gospel of peace and salvation: if it be thy blessed will increase the number of them, and let thy arm be with them to protect them, and thy Spirit, to guide, support, and comfort them. Send out thy commandment, that thy word may run swiftly, and fulfil all thy good pleasure. Let thy way be known upon earth, thy saving health among all nations. Let the knowledge of the Lord cover the earth as the waters cover the sea. Arise, O Lord, and have mercy upon Zion, for it is time that thou have mercy upon her, yea the time is come. Have mercy upon all unbelievers, take from them all ignorance, hardness of heart, and contempt of thy word; and bring them home, blessed Lord, to thy flock. Thou art our Saviour, and mighty deliverer, and without thy gracious help we perish. Remember thy holy covenant. O God, make speed to save
us. O Lord, make haste to help us. Bless me, even me also, O my God, in my ministry in this place. I know that I am utterly unworthy to speak at all in thy name; but thou sendest to man by man, and canst perfect thy praise even out of my mouth. Lord have mercy upon us! Raise up, we pray thee, thy power, and come among us, and with great might succour us. O send out thy light and thy truth, to guide our feet into the way of peace. Send down thy reproving Spirit to convince us of sin, to comfort us with the knowledge of thy righteousness, to be in us as a refiner's fire, and like fuller's soap, sitting in judgment upon our lusts, cleansing and consuming all our iniquities, and casting the devil out of the possession he has gotten in our hearts. O let us not say, we will not have thy blessed Son to reign over us, but bring us, with penitent hearts, to the fountain opened for sin and uncleanness, that through him, and by faith in his precious bloodshedding, we may rejoice before thee in righteousness and true holiness, all the days of our lives. And, O gracious God, pardon my foul omissions, my unbelief, and wretched thoughtlessness, in neglecting to pray for my flock; and grant that, for the time to come, I may watch over them with godly jealousy, and be very earnest with thee, in the overflowings of a faithful and true heart, for a blessing upon my endeavours among them. O Lord, look upon me in mercy, in the greater mercy, because of the place and calling I am in, since I must give a stricter account to thee. 'Look, therefore, upon me, O Lord, but not till thou hast nailed my sins to the cross of Christ, not till thou hast bathed me in the blood of Christ,