Brooks - BX9338 .B7 1813 v3

98 LIVES OF THE PURITANS. And the very sabbath after this man was buried, Mr. Blackerby obtained his liberty, and preached on that day in Hundon pulpit. Mr. Blackerby was eminently distinguished for personal religion and true holiness. To promote this, was indeed his chief business. Though he was not without his infirmities ; yet, to all impartial judges, he was free from the allowance of any iniquity. His whole deportment was as if God, his holy law, and the day of judgment, were constantly before his eyes. Ile was always deeply impressed with the majesty and holiness of God, and maintained a constant watchfulness over his heart and life. He practised mortification and self- denial, and wasjustly reputed " one of the holiest men living." Nevertheless, he was deeply humbled under .a sense of his manifold infirmities and imperfections. This he often dis- covered to a grand-child of his, whom he used to address as follows : " Oh, thou little thinkest what a vile heart I have, and how I am plagued with proud'thoughts. Child, if thou hast any acquaintance with God, pray for me, that God would purify this filthy heart. Oh ! if God did not enable me, in some measure, to keep a watch over it, I should act to the shame of my face." While he brought these bitter accusa- tions against himself, he exercised the greatest candour towards others, even those who differed from him in matters of subscription and church discipline. He used to observe, with the famous Mr. Perkins, " That when a man is once acquainted with his own heart, he will be apt to think every one better than himself: and an appearance of the love of God in any, will make him put the best construction on all their words and actions." Yet no hope of preferment, nor any painful suffering, would prevail upon bins to act contrary to the convictions of his own mind. Though he could not, with a safe conscience, conform to the church of England, with the view of obtaining a living, or to secure himself from the iron hand of persecution ; yet; in those things wherein it appeared to be his duty to conform; no man was more exact than himself. Like many other nonconformists, he had no objection to the use of some parts of the Book of Common Prayer. He was a wise, affectionate, and faithful friend, and never suffered sin to pass unreproved. In the discharge of this most difficult duty, he manifested so much love, seriousness, and sweetness of spirit, that while he touched the consciences of those whom he reproved, they still loved him. " His reproofs," as one observes, " were dipt iii oil, driven into the