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serve thee; and that I have delighted myself in the pleasure of obeying thy will! Such was thy goodness unto me! I truly and humbly acknowledge, that whatsoever good was in me, flowed from thy grace; but my defects ought to be ascribed to my inbred corruption: Alas! I acknowledge this with humble and serious repentance; how often have I sinned in so holy a charge, not only by omitting many things which I ought to have done, but also by doing many things amiss! How often have I offended through negligence, and slackness! Long since had I been cast off, were it not that I had to do with so good a Lord, who bath borne with me, and hath been so gracious to me as not to exact a severe account of my words and works! Alas! O Lord my God! Enter not into judgment with thy servant, for in thy sight shall no man living be justified. Let me be found not having mine own righteousness, but the righteousness of thy Son, for the sake of whom, I beg thy favour. Pardon, O my God, pardon the iniquity of thy servant, who is devoted to thy fear: I refuse not thy discipline, I know it is necessary: only this I earnestly beg, that it may turn to my salvation. Chasten me, O Lord, but in measure, lest thou bring me to nothing. Let not my trial exceed my strength, lest I sin through impatience, and become a scandal to those I should edify. O let me never break out into a murmuring complaint; O how light is this chastisement, if compared with my fault! What are these temporal pains, in comparison with those eternal torments from which I am redeemed by him, that poured out his soul upon the cross for me! For me! This is the language of faith, which makes a particular application of general promises. This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation; That Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. 1 Tim. i. 15. Lord, I believe, help thou mine unbelief: Turn thou me, and I shall be turned indeed: Seal all thy promises in my soul: Cause in the inmost of my heart a lively perception of those sweet words, My son, be of good comfort, thy sins are forgiven thee." With such holy meditations and speeches as these, was the Thursday night passed over.
On Friday morning, Mrs. Rivet his wife, put him in mind of sending one to the Hague for his son; "By all means (said he) that ought to have been done sooner;" and then gave orders himself concerning it. About nine o'clock he was visited by Renessius, a doctor of divinity, and pastor of a Dutch church; who in the Latin tongue saluted him after the following manner: Most excellent man, how do you do? To whom he answered in the same language: "I am yet strong, neither doth my speech fail me; but that passage in my bowels is not yet opened, and
unless that be opened, I see I must make my passage another way, even that which the eternal God hath set before me from my infancy. I should be the most ungrateful of men, if I should not acknowledge the mercy of God towards me, who hath so wonderfully preserved me even from my cradle:" Then rehearsing his deliverance from a very dangerous accident that befel him in his infancy, through the negligence of the maid; he added,
"From that time my mother consecrated me unto God, and he abundantly blessed me all my life time, and the whole family: And therefore I place all my hope in the goodness of God, being ready either to live or to die. I have always thought, that either this disease would be my death, or else the stone, for I have scarce ever been afflicted with any other distemper. I pray you to testify unto all men, that I die in that faith and doctrine, which I have always delivered both in preaching and writing: And if perhaps in some things I have erred, I pray God that he will make perfect all my imperfections."
The rest of the day was filled up with the visits of friends; for he would have none hindered from coming to him.
"Let all that will (saith he) have access to visit me; I ought to give an example of dying to other men."
With such sayings as these, he filled the by-standers both with consolation and with wonder; while he thus proceeded: "Come, see a man, who is an example of the great mercy of God: What shall I render unto him? All his benefits overwhelm me: He hath so disposed my life, that in my whole course, I have had an healthful body; he hath heaped upon me both temporal and spiritual blessings: And now before I am rendered feeble or morose through old age, he comes unto me, and prevents me; he both calleth me, and causeth me willingly to follow him at his call: And now the end of my life is within my view, he still affords me the perfect use of my reason, that I may praise the holy name of God in the land of the living, and instruct my neighbours by my example. Pray for me, my friends, that this grace may be continued unto me till I draw my last breath; that he will strengthen my faith, confirm my patience, and raise my hope; he hath already captivated all my affections to his will; I have cast the care of me, of mine, of life, and all my affairs upon him; let him do with my body as it pleaseth him, so it may but be well with my soul. There is no going hence
A fall whereby his life was in great hazard.
hence without pains; this flesh must suffer and fall: It matters not, provided the soul obtains new strength, and I arrive at a better mansion than that made with hands; it is that I aspire to, I lament not the world. I have lived long enough, and have had leisure to make trial of all things, and to know that they are vanity and vexation of spirit. One thing is necessary; to fear God and keep his commandments, for that is the whole duty of man. And now there is nothing that I am concerned about, neither is my life dear unto me, so that I may finish my course with joy, and fulfil the ministry which I have received of the Lord; which is best done at the last. This is the end, and this the mark, which a christian ought to aim at: The end of this frail life is the beginning of eternal life: O happy change! Truly I fear nothing; Christ is gain both in life and death; he forsakes me not: If he make heavy my bodily pains, yet he increaseth the joy of my soul. Come, and I will tell you what he hath done for my soul; I called upon him, and he inclined his ear and heard me; he hath blotted out my sins as a cloud; and as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him.”
His manner was to let no minister part from him, before he had prayed with him; "Pray unto God (would he say) now is the acceptable time."
Towards evening, when his wife could not be prevailed upon to withdraw, and betake herself to some rest; "It troubles me (said he) to see so dear a person, and one that I honour so much, so far in years, and of so weak a body, to wear out herself at this rate:" But then giving way to her desire," Seeing thou wilt have it so (said he) tarry; it is a pleasure to me to see thee. The Lord strengthen thee."
The night before Saturday was spent in grievous pains, and in most ardent prayers for the church of God.
When the night was spent, he was exceedingly wearied and tired out, both with overmuch speaking, and especially by means of abstinence from drink, with which he was wont to be refreshed: For when through the extremity of his thirst he was forced to take down a little, immediately his stomach cast it back again, being like a vessel filled to the top, that could receive no more. The physicians afflicted his body with the use of various remedies, but he bore all with an even temper of mind; often saying, "I have told you before, that the use of these things will be to no purpose: But it is no matter, I must comply with you; do what you please, for your own satisfaction."
[To be continued.]
RELIGIOUS AND MORAL DISCUSSIONS.
In the summer of the year 1799, the presbytery of Philadel phia ordained, at one time, five candidates for the gospel ministry, viz. John B. Linn, (since dead) Jacob J. Janeway, William Latta, Thomas Picton, and Buckley Carl. They had all received and accepted calls to settlement, as pastors of particular churches, and representatives from these churches were present at their ordination. But, for the accommodation of the presbytery, they were set apart to their office in a single service, which was celebrated in the Second Presbyterian church; and in which the Rev. Dr. Blair presided, the Rev. Mr. Irvin preached, and the Rev. Dr. Green gave the charge. The whole that was delivered on the occa sion was, at the time, prepared for the press; but the occurrence of the yellow fever delayed the printing for several months, and then it was agreed to omit it altogether. The charge is now offered to the public as an article in the Magazine; and it is only necessary to remark farther, that the author was senior pastor of the church where it was delivered, and that one of the brethren ordained was installed as his colleague.
Ir may be generally affirmed of the time and country in which we live, as it was of the day and place in which our Lord fulfilled his ministry on earth, that "the harvest truly is great, and the labourers are few." There is a much greater demand and necessity for the faithful preaching of the gospel, than can be answered or supplied by those who are engaged in the work. Affected by this consideration, many who love the Redeemer's cause, have, I trust, been praying for some time past, with unusual earnestness, and in obedience to their Saviour's command, that "the Lord of the harvest would send forth labourers into his harvest." And have we not at this hour a proof that their prayer hath been heard, and that God hath begun to answer it? When did we see such a band of labourers, as this before us, entering together into the vineyard of the Lord? The ordination, in one service, of five ministers of Christ, is to us a spectacle equally novel, solemn, and animating. Let our hearts be enlarged with gratitude to God, and let our faith and hope in his promises be strengthened and enlivened.
To me it has been committed to delineate and inculcate the duties of the office and character with which you, my young brethren in the ministry of the gospel, have just been invested; VOL. II. 3 Q
and to explain to you, the people of their future charge, the correspondent duties which you owe to them. Expect me then, both pastors and people, to speak with that plainness and explicitness which so sacred a trust, and so solemn an occasion, indispensably require.
The duties of ministers and people, as just intimated, are correlative; that is, the sacred obligations which bind a minister, imply that correspondent obligations are binding on his people. I will endeavour to specify these in their order, to show their connexion, and to urge their importance.
In making a statement of what is incumbent on you, my brethren, who have just been admitted to take part of this ministry with us, I shall speak I. Of your personal piety; II. Of your duties as preachers and pastors; III. Of your general character and deportment as ministers of Christ.
I. I am to speak of your personal piety. "Take heed unto thyself," is the leading injunction of the word of life, addressed to every one who has the charge of souls. Believing, as we profess to do, that no man ought to seek the office of a gospel minister, who has not some comfortable hope, derived from a close examination of himself by the tests of unerring truth, that he has been "renewed in the spirit of his mind;" believing, also, that no man ought to be admitted to this office who does not give to those whose business it is to inquire, the proper evidence that he has been the subject of a work of grace; we could never, with a good conscience, have laid our hands on you in the solemn act of ordination just performed, if we had not obtained satisfaction in this momentous concern. But let me remind you, that your having satisfied us, should be no reason why you should not renewedly and closely question yourselves. Nay, the approbation which you have received from others, should increase your desire not to deceive yourselves. A mind rightly disposed will be quickened in its inquiries, by the consideration that a mistaken estimation of character is easily and often made; and that, at the day of final retribution, it will be awful beyond description, to be detected and exposed as an enemy of God, after having always possessed, in the eyes of men, the character of a friend. Look, then, frequently into your hearts, with a view to ascertain whether you have really been changed from a state of nature to a state of grace; whether you have truly embraced Christ Jesus, as the only hope of your souls; whether you have been delivered from the reigning power of sin; and have your supreme delight in those exercises and habits, which are the