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received no regular instruction in divinity. Books, con. taining the poison of deism, were eagerly read, and the minds of many corrupted. Immorality and disorder, in various shapes, had become prevalent, and mocked the power of persuasion and the arm of authority. Such was the state of things, when Professor Tappan entered on the duties of his office. The great object of his public and private lectures was, to defend the principles of natur. al and revealed religion, and to lead the students to the knowledge of their Maker and Redeemer. His whole official conduct was calculated to conciliate affection, to excite serious regard to divine truth, and to impress the importance of religious duty. Not expecting youth to overlook their pleasure in their love of improvement, he aimed, in his public lectures, to unite entertainment with information. He happily combined brevity with fulness, and animation with exactness. He was didactic, yet persuasive ; profound, and yet pathetic. It was impossible for young men of liberal minds to hear his public lectures, with the well adapted and fervent prayers which introduced and closed them, without a conviction, that religious truth could be vindicated by argument, and that Christian goodness ennobled the soul, and yielded the best enjoyments. So singular was the assemblage of excellent qualities in his public performances at the University, that the nicest criticism could complain of no inelegance in the style, and the most metaphysical, of no unfairness in argument; while the warmest piety was raised to a higher and purer flame. It must not be omitted, that his evangelical sentiments and puritan morals were greatly conducive to his usefulness, as a professor. In consequence of his influence, infidelity among the students was gradually confounded, profanity and irreligion were awed and restrained, and the science of God was
studied with more seriousness and delight; and it soon became customary in all public performances, to speak of Christianity in terms of respect and veneration. The religious public manifested a growing attachment to the University, and cherished a pleasing hope, that the youth, educated there, would not only be instructed in human science, but guarded against infidelity, and initiated into the true principles of the oracles of God.
During his professorship, he was frequently invited to preach in the neighbouring societies, and sometimes in distant places. His preaching was remarkably acceptable. There was not wanting in his performances sométhing to command the respect of the wicked, to please the taste of the polished, and refresh the souls of the saints, He willingly laboured in the ministry even above his strength, gladly embracing every opportunity to preach the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to spread the savour of pure religion. “He was indeed a burning and shining light."
But that shining light was suddenly extinguished, When his amiable character had become generally known; when his prospect of usefulness was growing brighter ; when the sphere of his activity was extending, and the energies of his mind were most constantly ex. erted, his prospect was overspread, and his useful life. closed. When ministers are best qualified to do good in the world, then are they often most ripe for the kingdom of heaven. To replenish the celestial mansions, the excellent of the earth are taken away.
Let the reader, for a moment,'turn aside, and behold that scene, where the good man's character is tried, Though Dr. TAPPAN's sickness was short, it was long, enough to display his piety, and to glorify the Saviour in whom he believed. The notice of his approaching
dissolution, though very sudden, did not discompose him. * With many expressions of humility and self abasement, he declared his hope in the infinite mercy of God through the atonement of Christ. In redeeming grace he found rest to his soul. After such solemn and prayerful examination of himself, as becometh a man hastening to the bar of eternal justice, he found reason to hope, that he was the subject of saving religion, and finally had strong consolation.
Only one or two particulars of his dying exercises will be mentioned. When his wife expressed some of the tender feelings, which were excited by the thought of parting with him, he said; “If God is glorified, made forever. Can't you lay hold of that? Can't you lay hold of that?" To his sons, then undergraduates, he expressed his paternal concern for the welfare of the University. On being told, that the students were more attentive, than they had been to the Bible, he replied ; Well, the Bible ever has been, and ever will be the best guide for young men. He died Aug. 27, A. D. 1803, aged 51.
Doctor Tappan's death was no common calamity, To the surviving partner and children, and other near connexions, the affliction was indescribable. Youthful genius and virtue mourned the decease of a friend and patron. The church and nation lost one, who had sought and prayed for their welfare. The University felt, that one of her pillars was fallen. Religion herself wept over the tomb of Tappan, who had pleaded her cause, lived for her honour, and rejoiced in the hope of her approaching triumph.
* Many interesting particulars respecting the character and death of Dr. T. will be found in the funeral sermon, which follows.
The following is a complete List of the Publications of
1, 2. Two Discourses delivered on the Sabbath after his Ordi.
nation at Newbury. 3. A Sermon on the Character of Amaziah, 1782. 4. A Fast Sermon. 1783. 5. A Thanksgiving Discourse, on the Peace. 1783. 6. A Sermon on the Death of the Rey. Moses Parsons. Dec.
14, 1783. 7. Two friendly Letters to Philalethes. 1785. 8. A Sermon at the Ordination of Rev. Timothy Dickinson,
Feb. 18, 1989. 9. Address to the Students of Andover Academy, July 18, 1791. 10. Election Sermon, May 30, 1792., 11. A Sermon before an Association at Portsmouth. 1792. 12. A Farewel Sermon at Newbury. 1793. 13. A Fast Sermon delivered at Cambridge and Charlestown,
April 11, 1793. 14. A Sermon at the Ordination of the Rev. John T. Kirkland,
Feb. 5, 1794. 15. A Sermon on eight persons drowned at Newbury, July 24,
* 1794. 16. A Discourse to the Class, which was graduated in 1794. 17. A Discourse to the Class, which entered in 1794. 18. An Address to Andover Students, July, 1794. 19. A Thanksgiving Sermon at Charlestown, Feb. 19, 1795. 20. A Discourse on the Death of John Russell, student, Nov.
1795. 21. A Discourse to the Class, which entered in 1796. 22. A Sermon before the Convention of Ministers, June 1, 1797. 23. A Fast Sermon at Boston and Charlestown, April 5, 1798. 24, 25. Two Sermons at Plymouth, after the Ordination of the
Rev. James Kendall, Jan. 5, 1800. 26. A Discourse on the Death of Gen. Washington, Feb. 21, 1800. 27. A Sermon at the Ordination of the Rev. Nathaniel H.
Fletcher, 1800. 28. A Sermon on the Death of Lieut. Gov. Phillips. 1802. 29. A Sermon at the Installation of Rev. Hezekiah Packard,
Sept. 1802. 30. A Discourse on the Death of Enos Hitchcock, D.D. Provi.
dence, 1803. 31. A Sermon on the Death of Mrs. Mary Dana,, April, 1803. 32. Lectures on Jewish Antiquities. 1807. 33. Sermons on Important Subjects.