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I knew a man, not long ago, who surprised one of the swearing uibe of servants in the very act of damning liis master's horses. The son of Belial, though challenged, durst not open his mouth for his father's interest; but hung down his head like a coward in the devil's service. lle passed by, and had not the manners to thank his reprover', or grace to promise amendment. Is he here?--Do I see him? --Shall I name him? After some pause, lie added, we will rather pray for him. The servant was sitting trembling before him: and it may be proper to add, that he came afterward to Mr. Shanks, confessed his fault, gave signs of true penitence, was added to the church, and never after heard to blaspheme the worthy name.-When out of the pulpit, he could also give some very sharp reproofs without speaking; sometimes by a look full of expression, and sometimes by a silence no less expressive.
He was indeed occasionally carried to some indecencies of expression by the force of passion, being naturally of a sanguine constitution; but, through divine grace, he acquired such a degree of self-government that he seldom said a word which any could have wished to be unsaid.
llis mode of thinking and speaking was peculiar to himself. His ideas werc elevated and sublime; and his diction accorded with the grandeur and sublimity of his subjects and sentimients. Ile had a copiousness, But not a redundancy of expression. His style was simple, but not dry; sublime, without any inixture of bombast; and harmonious, but not poctic. His appearance in the pulpit was an indication of great self-possession. He stood erect, and with little motion of his body, while he delivered his discourses. His countenance sedate, and often inclining to a smile. The gentle motion of his paralytic band, his fine eye rolling to the different parts of bis audience, accompanied with a voice of unequalled solemnity and pathos; in short, bis whole appearance and language corresponding with the grandeur of his subjects, and the noble flights of his imagination, forcibly displayed the holy warmth of his heart, and often made an impression on his audience which cannot be described.
lle began all his discourses in a firm and slow articulation. · At first he paid no attention either to composition or delivery; but, being sent up to London, about two years after his ordination, he heard the rev. Dr. Haweis deliver a sermon, whose composition and manner so much accorded with his judgment and taste, that, from that period, he made both a part of his study. He read Longinus once. every year after this period; and the sublime, as defined by that author, belonged in no small degrec to him; for his discourses were striking to persons of all ranks,--to the highest and to the lowest.
He experienced for some years a very ill state of health, during which he received, at his own desire, a copious. supply of preachers from the Synod; his chief design was to bring the congregation to see the propriety of choosing, and the advantage of having a colleague; but, as they did not take the hint, his rules of prudence did not permit him to be more explicit. He relinquished the idea, and laboured after this period for nearly nineteen years, under great infirmities. About the close of this time, the paraJysis, with which he was early struck, increased; which added to the solemnity of his appearance, but increased his difficulty of speaking and writing: To the last he com, mitted his discourses to writing, employing the one hand to hold the other firm, and frequentiy lying at full length on the study floor.
He experienced the dreadful force of nervous affections;. and the great tribulation which is inseperably connected with the exercises of the christian graces. He often stood in the pulpit under an horror of great darkness; doubting, at one time, the rationality of his own nature; and fearing, at another, that he was about to be struck down by the avenging arm of a holy God: while some of his hearers were sitting carelessly, some asleep, and some wondering at the gracious words that he spake. The God of hope, however, comforted him in all his tribulations, and enabled him to comfort others by the consolations wherewith he himself was comforted. This will appear from a few of bis letters, which we will now insert.
A LETTER of CONDOLENCE on the DEATH of a Pious
and Pleasant FEMALE COMPANION.
DEAR SIR, THE run through the straits into a Pacific ocean though a rough, is not a perilous navigation. The Prince of life, who holdeth the wind in his fist, and treadeth on the waves of the sea, commands in these straits; and, after having sailed through himself in the fiercest hurricanes that ever blew, hath left under his hand and seal a correct chart of the sounds and currenis, of the shallows, and rocks, and breakers, and of the islands of Disappointment and Vexation, upon wliich any of his followers might be cast. At the mouth of the straits appears Cape Tribulation, stretching itself along to the Fair Havens; and much skill in seamanship is requisite to double it with advantage. This promontory, the terror of cowards and the shipwreck of fools, wise and brave men get round without damage, or rather with substantial advantage. Under it a bold adrenturer* found a bay sheltered from every wind, and in which a whole fleet rode with safety, and celebrated, not a carnival, but a jubilee: “Blessed be God, even the Father 6of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the “God of all comfort; who comforteth us in all our tribulastion, that we may be able to comfort them which are in "trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are scomforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ "abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by “Christ.” Among the papers written during his voyage, the following observations and instructions are of momentous importance under every disaster at sea: “If ye ensdure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons. 16 söye be without chastisement, then are ye bastards, and not risons. We have had fathers of our flesh who corrected sus, and we gave them reverence: Shall we not much rasther be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? “For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own "pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be pariakwers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present "seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless, after“ward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness, un610 them who are exercised thereby. Wherefore list up "the hands which hang down.”
Aster Byron, Carteret, and Cook, with the resolutions of seamen, have encountered the horrors of high Magellanic latitudes, in search of a Terra Australis incognita should we despond? or rather, should not we, with the bravery and intrepidity of believers, endure hardships in seeking that country whose mountains are gold, whose ri. vers are pleasures, whose natives are kings and priests unto God and the Lamb, and whose capital by its map is known to have the glory of God? especially when its existence is past doubt, and safe anchorage in its ports and harbours is promised by one who cannot lie. “These are "they who carne out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb."
In several circumstances tribulation is common; yet, by reading this scrawl, you will perceive that the writer thinks sometimes of the peculiarity in yours. Left alone just after tasting the sweet of company.-But helps-meet and dears are made for higher service than ministering to the necessity or pleasure of husbands. Whither is the pleasant soul, lately the manager of the house and the chearer of the heart, whither is she gone? down to the depth below, or over to one of the islands of Vexation around? Is there hope that, under the cover of the blood of an everlasting covenant, and with every sail bent, she rowed into the haven which we desire to see? When afraid of going to pieces among the fiats, and shallows, and breakers, this hope is not without vigour in the balancing of the heart. But a better hope, or a stronger anchor is necessary to ride out the storm in safety, and double the cape with advantage; even a hope which, like an anchor, takes hold of the Hope of Israel and the Saviour thereof in the ime of trouble. This, this hope is the sheet-anchor of extremity; and knowing it to have a sure and stedfast hold within the Yale by the promise of God without, every believer may sit in his cabin, even when the waves rise mountain high, and with the prince-royal of Israel say, “Deep calleth unto Gdeep at the noise of thy water-spouts; all thy waves and utliy villows are gone over me.
Yet the Lord will com"mand his loving kindness in the day time, and in the night ahis song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God «of iny life.”
Wishing you stores and provisions every day from above, through the whole length of the run, and at last a prosperous gale to carry you out of the straits into a Pacific ocean, lying perpendicularly under the sun of righteousDess, I am, Dear Sir, Yours, &c.
SHANKS JEDBURGH, Sent. 5, 1789.
The foregoing letter was written to the pious female's husband, and the following to her father:
REVEREND DEAR FATHER, BEHOLD, he taketh away. What hath he taken away? His loving-kindness!--No. "My loving-kindness will I “pot utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to 6ail." Wife and friend, son and daughter, to take these, is the right of his throne; he gave all, and excepting one thing, is free to take all, without committing violence on our property. But since he hath not taken away his loving. kindness; since the bereaved have it under his hand, that he will not take away his loving-kindness, they cannot be destitute, and should not allow themselves to cry “Maral," without limitations and saving clauses. Count the dear things one by one, which he hath taken away; and is there not pleasure in observing, that his loving kindness is not amongst the number? The freedom which the Sovereign lately used, in taking from you a dear creature, has doubiless left an impression; but an impression, I trust, not dishonorable to his loving-kindness. \Vbile his throne is standing, and the rainbow appearing, the voice of the closet may be, “Look thou on me, and be merciful unto sme, as thou usest to do unto theni that love thy naine." Uscst to do'--Artless sublimity indeed, towards lovers of his name; the dealing, which is the use and wont of his throne, is, “All the paths of the Lord are inercy and truth, Grunto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.". Under heaviness of spirit, there is pleasure in contemplating the mechanism of the body of Christ: its several members are united with the head, and united with one another, so as to be all members of Christ, and by joints and bands, members of one another. In virtue of this inysterious organization, one of the many wonders in hcaven, a community of feelings, afflictions, and consola ions exist in the body, and every member is both a dependent on the head, and, under the head, a contributor to the edifying of the body in love. The affliction and consolation of each member heip forward, not only his own consolation and salvation, but the consolation and salvation of multitudes. “Whether we he afficted,” (says one, taught by the revelation of the Spirit,) "or whether we be comforted, “it is for your consolation and salvation.” The framer of