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thing which could gladden a long entertained of the great parent's heart.
doctrines of Christianity. But Having finished his prepara. I would not have you embrace tory studies, he was entered as them on my authority. It a student in Harvard Universi. would indeed afford me pleasure ty at the early age of fourteen to know that your views accord. years. Here he maintained the ed with mine, on a subject of character of a good scholar, a so vast concern ; but I do not pleasant companion and an a. wish you to be influenced in the miable and virtuous youth. He least by this consideration. received the honours of college Take the scriptures for your with the class, which graduated only guide, and endeavour, with in 1811, being then in his 19th humility and prayer, to discover year. From this period his their true meaning." friends saw in him a growing Nothing could have afforded seriousness and manliness, Dr. Prentiss sincerer pleasure, which procured him the respect than to see his son zealously as well as the love of the wise engaged in preparation for the and good, wherever he was Christian ministry. And he known. He spent the first year, saw him thus engaged ; and after the close of his collegiate the good man's heart was filled life, in the office of instructer with joy and hope. But he was of youth in Brookline in this denied the privilege, with which state. Here it was that he first we have been indulged, of witdevoted himself to the ministry, Dessing the auspicious comand commenced his theological mencement of his pastoral life: studies. In the autumn of the For God removed him, in the following year, he removed his ripeness of a good old age, residence to Cambridge, and en- while his son was still pursuing gaged with much zeal and hon. his studies with ardour and sueesty, and perseverance, in the cess. He died in February, various branches of study con. 1814. pected with the profession he There is a propriety in the had chosen.
mention of this event, as it un. It may be proper here to men- doubtedly had no inconsiderable tion a circumstance which re- influence in forming the characflects much credit on the mem- ter of our friend. He was with mory of his excellent father. him during his wbole sickness, No sooner was he made ae- and saw with what composure quainted with the resolution of and hope a Cbristian could die. his son to enter a profession, The diseipline of affliction he which he himself loved so well, had scarcely ever experienced than be took an early opportu- till now; and the effect of it pity to impart to him his coun- was such as we could desire to sels and wishes. After other see. interesting remarks, to which In a letter written soon after tbe pature of the interview led, this event, he unbosomed his his fatber observed in words whole soul. His heart was to this effect : “ You know, my softened with grief, and he son, the views, which I have sought consolation in the sym
pathies of friendship and the them his willing and warm sup, hopes of religion. « Oh, my port. friend," he writes, “ you who We shall always look back well knew my almost adored with interest and pleasure on father, will not think my grief this part of the life of nur excessive, but will bear with my friend. It was now that his melancholy and dejected mind. character was more fully devel. • But let us not the overcome oped, and his worth more genwith over-much sorrow,' as be erally appreciated. Those, told us during his sickness, my who have not known him for children, you are not willing the three last years of his life, that the Lord's will should be can searcely be said to have done.'”
known him at all. During this In September of that year, period, we remarked in him, at Mr. Prentiss was approbated to least in a higher degree than preach by the Boston Associa. before, an uncommon union of tion of Divines, and immediate. seriousness and cheerfulness, ly entered upon his public la- which endeared him to us as a bours. He was listened to, most agreeable companion at from the first, with great and all seasons and in all places. very general satisfaction ; and It was during this period was almost constantly employed also, that we saw and admired as a candidate till his final set- that prudence and practical tlement at Charlestown in good sense, wbich are so imporMarch last. During this in- tant to the success of the Christerval, he applied himself with tian minister, and of which he exemplary diligence to his the possessed a more than common ological studies, and acquired share. distinction among his fellow In these, and in several other students by a general acquaint. traits of character, he bore a ance with the best writers in striking resemblance to his exdivinity.
cellent father, which, to those He was remarkably cool and who knew them both, was every deliberate in forming his opin. day becoming more and more ions, and never was suspected evident. of taking them upon trust. Mr. Prentiss was accustomed Sometimes indeed he has been to look forward to his life as a thought to carry his caution to minister with deep and lively excess; but it should be remem. interest. He entertained corbered, that basty judgements rect views of the holiness of are frequently erroneous; while the pastoral office, and never those, which have been formed for a moment allowed bimself slowly and calmly, in the love to view it merely as the means of truth, are likely to be cor- of obtaining temporal support. rect. But though he was slow While employed as a candidate and cautious in forming his in the several towns, where he opinions, he was open and hon. was called to preach, be liad est in declaring them; and, opportunities of cultivating an when be viewed them to be of acquaintance with mankind, sufficient importance, he gave which he studiously improved. Perhaps few men of his years nearly an unanimous invitation could have been consulted with from the third Congregational so great advantage, on any of Society in Dorchester, which he the prudential affairs of church felt it his duty to declive, he or people, Men of the first soon after had an unanimous respectability, who knew him call from the second Congregaduring the few last months of tional Society in Charlestown; his life, strongly testify, that and, on the 26th of the followthey have seen him in various ing March, was duly introdueedtrying and perplexing scenes, to the pastoral office in that and have never known him place. We well recollect the rash or unguarded, in word or interests and hopes excited by deed.
that solemn and impressive ocHe had formed and matured casion. He had now reached many plans for doing good, long the summit of his earthly ambibefore he entered the pastoral tion. Situated in the immediate office. He joined with many vicinity of the capital and of other good men, in lamenting our university, favoured with the very general neglect of the friendship of learned and christian ordinances which is pious divines, with whom he Observable especially among might hope long to associate on young people of our sex. the most intimate ternis, sur“ Cannot soinething be done,” rounded by a kind and affection. he observes in a letter written ate people, who testified their severai months previous to his esteem by every mark of apsettlement, “ to take away this probation, he felt, that his was reproach ? Or, rather let me a privileged lot. He also felt say, to convince young men that the obligation to evince his grat. they have an equal interest in itude for these mercies, by zeal this salvation, and that they and engagedness in the work, to may derive an equal benefit which he had devoted himself. from an attendance on the holy He was oot satisfied with do. supper, with persons of the ing merely wbat was expected other sex? It is a subject, wbich and required. The interests of often passes through my mind, his people lay near his heart, when I look forward to the min- and he was justant in season istry. It must be, to a minister, aud out of season, that he might who is himself in earnest, a make full proof of his ministry. most painful sight, when at the He devoted much of his time close of the ordinary services, and thoughts to the younger he sees families separating, and part of his charge. He improythe mother with her daughters ed every opportunity, by famil. gathering round the sacred ta. iar instructions on the Sabbath, ble, to receive the consecrated and on other days of the week, elements, while the father with to lead them to a knowledge of his sons turn their backs upon the doctrines and duties of relithis most interesting rite." gion, and to excite in them the
We come now to the last and love of God and of goodness. most interesting part of his life. - He was instrumental in intro. Having, in Dec. 1816, received ducing to their acquaintance
several books, well adapted to toms of his disease were more these ends; anong which may alarming, and on Sunday threat. be named Watson's Serious Ad, ened a fatal termination. He dress to Young Persons, aud Mr. · now desired that his mother Colman's very valuable l'ate. might be sent for, whom he chisms for Children and Young was unwilling to alarm, till he Persons.
was satisfied that his danger It was evident to all, who was imininent. From this tiine saw him during the last few bis physicians saw but little months of his life, that bis in. chance for bis recovery ; alterest in his people was becom- though there were short seasous ing stronger every day. He when his friends were encourspared no pains to excite and aged to hope that the violence cherish in them the Christian of his disease was abating. At temper, and lead them to make every return of reason, he was religion a personal concern. anxious to converse upon bis And his exertions, we believe, situation and prospects, and of. were duly appreciated, and at. fered up many devout prayers tended with rather uncommon to heaven for himself and his success.
flock. He was willing to die; But he was taken from the but he felt that death would be midst of his labours and hopes, the dissolution of the strongest by a sudden and mysterious and tenderest ties. He wished Providence. Ou Sabbath day, to live, if it were the will of Sepiember 21st, not quite six God, for the sake of others, but months from the time of his or not for his own. He was sup. dination, he preached for the ported in the last trying hour, last time. Ou ile following by strong, and we irust, well day, he was seized somewhat grounded hopes; and, in the violently with a typhus fever, imperfect glimmerings of rea. which soon prostrated his son, with which he was indulgstrength, and deprived him of ed a short season before be exthe use of his reason. At times, pired, le poured out his soul in however, he had lucid intervals, a most devout and inipressive, and was perfectly sensible of though somewhat confused and his situation. He seemned from incoherent, prayer, full of cone the commencement of his dis. fidence, resignation, and hope.. ease, to bave a strong pre-sen- He died on the morning of timent tbat he should never re. Lord's day, October 5th. eover. To a friend, wbo visit. Thus lived and died this amia ed him on the third day of his able and interesting young man, illness, and before be was He is gone ; and we shall see thought to be in danger, he com- his face no more. The infant municated his views on this church mourns its youthful paga point. He was then able to tor. The voices of an mited speak with ease, and spent the people lament the shepherd, . whole evening in conversing on who so faithfully and tenderly religious topics, and the con- guided his flock. He was not cerns of his people. On the permitted to see the close of a following morning, the symp. year on which he entered with
such flattering hopes ! He was pass ; and his friends are calm removed from the office he lov. and resigned. They believe, ed, and from the people to whom that he is gone to the bosom of bis soul was bound, at a time, his Father; and why should when his exertions were the they lament, that he is made greatest, and his life, to human happy so soon? They hope to view, most important, and de- meet him again in a better sirable, and useful. But, it was world, where there is fulness of God who removed him; and joy, and where the paius of sep. God's will be done. He was aration are unknown. · With removed from a sphere of great this expectation they are able and increasing usefulness. But to support themselves under one it was God who issued his com- of the severest trials which hu. mands; and God is perfectly man nature is called to bear ; wise and good. He was taken and they would not exchange away in the midst of his days. their hopes, for the richest But it was God, who appointed treasures whieh earth can bethe bounds, which he might not stow.
GOD A WISE AND TENDER FATHER,
If ye then being evil know how to give goud gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give good things to them that ask him ?.-Matt. xii. 2.
It was the constant endeav. children to parents. The imour of our Saviour in all his in- age which perpetually occurs structions to give such views of throughout the Gospels, and unthe character and such assuran- der which our Saviour seems to ces of the providence of God, have peculiarly delighted to reas should excite our best affec present the Supreme Being, is tions and produce unreserved that of our Father,-our Father trust and confidence.
in heaven, tender and compasWe are not oppressed by the sionate, who created the human chilling apprehension that we family for their happiness, who live in a fatherless and unpro. is merciful even to those who tected world ; that the author repay his kindness with ingratof our being is indifferent or un- itúde, on whose arm universal concerned for our happiness. nature leans for support, and Neither are we oppressed by without whose notice or permisthe fear that we serve a merci. sion no event takes place jess and unrelenting master who throughout this boundless uniimposes burdens on his creatures verse ; whose providential care which he knows they are una extends to the inost minute of ble to bear, and requires servi. his works, even to the numberces which he intentionally made ing of the hairs of our heads them incapable of performing and the support of a falling
We are taught to consider onr sparrow,--whose power. enables relation to God the same as him to satisfy the desires of