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commanded his mind and heart. His soul seemed to be exalted above those contrivances and cares, which are necessary to the acquisition of wealth. His in satiable thirst for knowledge, and his sedulous attention to pastoral duties, left him little opportunity and little inclination for worldly concerns. His temporal interests were, therefore, chiefly entrusted to the prudence and fidelity of others. Superior to fretfulness and anxiety, he accepted, without murmuring, a salary quite inadequate to his support, humbly confiding in the bounty of Providence, and in the generosity of affectionate individuals. His moral taste was so refined, and the plan of his conduct so devout, that it was his deliberate choice to live at a distance from luxury and show. What he possessed of this world's goods, he valued chiefly as the means, not of private gratification, but of promoting the welfare of others. Free, in a good measure, from the incumbrance of worldly cares and pursuits, he consecrated his talents to sacred duties. While he sustained the pastoral office, he devoted a great portion of his time to study.* His acquaintance with the old English authors was extensive. The treasures of truth contained in Owen, Howe, Goodwin, Bates, Baxter, &c. raised them in his estimation far above the greater part of more polished moderns. The best models of refined composition he, nevertheless, studied with diligence, and imitated with success. What the old authors wanted in point of elegance, he aimed to supply from accomplished moderns. And what most of the moderns want in point of solid information, he sup
* " With all that was remarkable in him, nothing was more so, than constant mental action, and an ardent desire to be ever improving. Hence he, was as uncommon a hearer, as speaker ; his eye, his attention, unremittingly fixed, so that nothing of consequence seemed to escape him ; and he was very happy in retaining the valuable ideas, be had once acquired.”
plied from the old authors. In the old authors he found the body of divine truth; in the new, its more comely and engaging dress.
Though his abilities might have raised him to eminence in general erudition; he wisely chose to limit his attention principally to those branches of knowledge, which are allied to theology, and have the most promis. ing influence on ministerial usefulness.
He never sacrificed to ambition or taste the regular duties of his office. First of all he attended to the work of the ministry. His stated sermons he composed with much study and accuracy.
He carefully furnished himself for every common as well, as for every special occasion. Though his apprehension was quick and his invention fertile ; and though he had a remarkable facility in fixing his attention, and in arranging and expressing his thoughts; yet he did not allow himself to enter the desk without thorough preparation. For several years, he wrote his discourses at full length. But afterward his increasing employments and avocations frequently permitted him to write only the plan and leading sentiments; and sometimes he preached wholly extempore.
For the duties and delights of friendship he was peculiarly formed. His religion disposed him to sympathy, tenderness, and love. Kind affection lighted up his countenance, gave a delightful glow to his conversation, and cheerfulness to every beneficent action he performed. In him appeared true Christian politeness. The gentleness and suavity of his manners were not the substitute, but the spontaneous expression of sincere kindness. So mild and obliging was his disposition, that it cost him an effort to refuse even an improper request, or in any
way to give pain to others. In the whole intercourse of social life he was studious to please, cautious of offending, and slow to be offended. His deportment and conyersation bespoke an unsuspecting simplicity of heart, a dignified sense of propriety, and serious regard to moral and religious obligation. He maintained a chaste and sober cheerfulness, by which he constantly gave evidence, that religion is a productive source of the best enjoyments.
His people always found him a friend, a brother, a father. He was a guide to inexperienced youth, a pious comforter to old age, a counsellor in difficulties, a support to the afflicted. In the chamber of sickness he was a serious, tender, and prayerful visitant. And while he delighted to participate and sooth the troubles of his people, he was no less ready to rejoice in their prosperity, and to esteem their happiness a part of his own. Love seemed to be the ruling principle of his pastoral conduct. Even when he administered reproof to any of his flock, a task the least of all congenial to his feelings, he gave them evidence, that their reprover was their friend.
The cause of vital, experimental religion was dear to his heart. With great satisfaction he read accounts of what God had recently done in many parts of the world. He rejoiced to observe the deep religious impressions, which usually take place where God pours out his Spirit. To promote such impressions among his own people, particularly in the latter years of his pastoral work, he was instant in season, and out of season.
He was a very ardent friend to his country. United by the strongest affection to the cause of the public, he warmly espoused the principles of those men, whom he considered as honest patriots. In conformity to those
principles, he vindicated the rights, unfolded the dangers, and inculcated the duties of his country, without entering into the violence of party spirit, or detracting from the dignity and sacredness of his station.
He possessed an uncommon degree of Christian condour ; that candour which is the operation of an enlarged mind and a benevolent heart. He was an equitable judge of the characters, and a mild interpreter of the actions of men.
Toward them, who differed from himn in belief, he cherished a very kind and generous affection. He knew too well the constitution of the human mind; he had too much regard to the right of private judgment and the use of free inquiry; he was too wise, too modest, and too just to indulge in himself, or to encourage in others a dogmatical, intolerant spirit. His candour prevented him from passing sentence upon persons or things without the authority of scripture ; from giving way to groundless suspicions and jealousies; from judging of men's state with reference to divine acceptance, upon grounds not expressly determined by the gospel; from imputing to others opinions, which they disavow, and from overlooking their excellencies, because mingled with faults. His candour was a branch of that love, which suffereth long and is kind; which thinketh no evil; which beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. His charity was benevolence; benevolence restricted to no particular denomination, or even character; though it had not the same operation toward all. Like the charity of Jesus Christ, it was cordial complacency in them, who obeyed the truth. But toward the erroneous and irreligious, it was mingled disapprobation, compassion, and good will; disapprobation of their errors and sins, compassion for their miseries, and good will to their souls. His charity
as well, as his judgment, led him to mourn the relaxed opinions of religion, which prevail at this day. Inspired with the spirit of other times, when the glory of New England piety shone forth, he greatly lamented its decline. In his view, modern liberality stripped the gospel of all its glory. Socinianism he pronounced a cold, lifeless system, the name without the essence of Christianity. He considered it as taking away the life and soul of re. ligion, and as very near the confines of infidelity. In the spread of this and other forms of antichristian theology, he clearly saw the decay of vital piety, the peril of immortal souls, and the desolation of Zion,
In June, A. D. 1792, the corporation and overseers of Harvard University, harmoniously invited him to the office of Professor of Divinity. His learning and piety, his religious sentiments, and his aptness to teach, accord ed with the design and statutes of those who founded the Professorship, and justified his appointment to the important office.* He considered his relation to his peo. ple so intimate and sacred, that he did not determine upon a separation without long and serious reflection, and such advice as deserved his confidence. The
ques. tion was submitted to a very respectable ecclesiastical council, who unanimously voted, that duty and the general interest of religion required his removal. On the 26th of December, A. D. 1792, he was inaugurated, as Hollis Professor of Divinity in Harvard University.
In order to give a proper idea of his usefulness, it is necessary to observe, that, when he was introduced into the Professor's chair, the religious state of the University was very alarming. For some time the students had
Among those, who were active in introducing him into the Professor's chair, were several who were his cotemporaries at the University, and had known him from his childhood. Of this number“ was that excellent man, the late Lieutenant Governor PHILLIPS, than whom no one took a more earnest part in placing him in that station."