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case seemed to require. And if he administered reproof, it was done in so delicate and mild a manner, that it oftener conciliated esteem, than created offence. In his prayers with the sick, however intricate the occasion, he was always both appropriate and highly devotional. So eminent was his character for piety, and so universally was he beloved, that he was often called to the sick and afflicted of diferent denominations. How many wounded hearts he has bound up, and from how many weeping eyes he has wiped the tears away; how many thoughtless sinners he was the means of awakening; and how many saints he has edified and built up unto eternal life; how many wavering minds he has settled, and to how many repenting sinners his words administered peace, can be fully known only at the great day.
The integrity of Dr. S.'s character was such as produced universal confidence in him. Expressive of this was his election by the town of Boston, as a member of the State Convention, for the formation of the State Constitution, in 1779; as also for the adoption of the Federal Constitution, in 1788. In this last body he deliv. ered a very eloquent speech in its support; and was considered, at the time, as having contributed much towards its adoption, and confirmed many members in its favour, who were previously wavering upon that question. To that constitution, he ever after continued a firm, unshaken friend, and a warm approver of the administrations of WASHINGTON and ADAMS,
fect unison with the other parts of it. Of husbands, he was one of the most kind and accommodating-of parents, the most affectionate and endearing.-It pleased the Author of Wisdom to visit him with peculiar trials. In the course of a few years he was called to bury seven of his children, all adults, and some of them with families; yet such was his confidence in the perfect wisdom of God's government, that he was always patient and submissive, and his mind lost nothing of its lively confidence and cheerful hope.
His habit of body, through life, was weakly, and he was not unused to occasional interruptions of his ministerial labours; yet he survived all his clerical cotemporaries both in this town and its vicinity. It was his constant prayer that " his life and his usefulness might run parallel." In this, his desires were gratified. A slight indisposition detained him at home the two last Lord's days of his life. On the Wednesday following the second of them, without any previous symptoms, he was suddenly attacked, at about 11 o'clock, Á. M. by a paralytic shock. At 10 at night, having received a second stroke, he grew insensible, and at 12 expired. Could he have selected the manner of his death, it had probably been such an one as this, which spared him the pain of separation from a flock he was most ardently attached to, and a family he most tenderly loved; a scene, which to a person of his feeling mind, notwithstanding all his religion, must have occasioned a shock. On the Monday following, his remains were attended to the Meeting House, where a pathetic and appropriate dis course was delivered on the occasion, by the Rev. Dr. BALDWIN, pastor of the 2d Baptist Church in this town, from 2 Tim. iv. 7, 8, to an immensely thronged and deeply affected assembly; after which his remains were carried to the tomb, amidst the regrets of a numerous concourse of people, who crowded around his bier, to take a last look at the urn, which contained the relics of him, who once to them was so dear, but whose face they now should see no more. His loss will long be felt, not only by his own immediate Society, but all his other numerous friends.
The memory of the just is blessed.
The Biographical Sketch of the Rev. WM. COOPER, has come to hand and shall appear next month.
We have received the Remarks of Candidus, on the Extract from Sennebier's History of Literature, [see Panoplist for Sept.] which contains an account of Calvin's treatment of Servetus. This respectable correspondent will excuse us if we decline publishing his objections in the manner in which they are brought forward. Were they reduced to a concise and specific form, and accompanied by proper references to authorities, we could have no objection to their admission; as truth is our object. Were we to admit the whole communication of Candidus, as it now stands, it would still be a question, whether we are to submit to his authority or to that of Sennebier. Especially when we consider, that the extract from Sennebier, which we published, received the sanction of the late learned Dr. Erskine, who was intimately conversant with ecclesiastical history, and with European literature.
We readily admit the correctness and pertinency of many of the remarks of Candidus. With some abatement in respect to the characters and conduct of the first Reformers, we could subscribe to the following observations. "It cannot be contested that the Reformers were pretty generally," we should say, in too frequent instances, "actuated by a blind, intemperate zeal against all, whom they suspected to be enemies of the gospel of truth, and embraced too often, improper methods for its support, which by the more candid and Christian sentiments of our day, are disapproved. Calvin too was a son of Zebedee. Francis Davidis also experienced, that even Socinus was, in this respect, not more tinctured with the meek doctrine of our humble Saviour. It becomes us to state historical facts fairly; then we may try, as far as truth will allow, to lessen their faults, who greatly sinned through ignorance. Let the purity of our doctrine and lives be their severest condemnation, and the mouth of unbelief shall be stopped forever."
The following are pertinent and forcible observations of Candidus, intended to expose one of the pleas of Sennebier in favour of Calvin. "Had Sennebier, to extenuate Calvin's guilt, fairly acknowledged this instance of human weakness, and expatiated on Calvin's piety; on his eminent services in the cause of Christendom; on his elegant, learned writings; on that masterly piece of composition, his preface, and I had nearly said, unequalled dedication to Francis I.; on his modesty, as a divine interpreter, and his disinterestedness; had he even concluded with his panegyrist Beza, that Calvin left us in his life and death an example, which it was more easy to slander than to imitate; had Sennebier delineated, with few strokes, the turbulent spirit of democracy rankling in every breast at Geneva, Calvin's high authority in that city, with his uncontrolled power in the church, as President in the assembly of the clergy and ecclesiastical judicatory; had he shows this reformer exasperated by the virulent invectives of his haughty antagonist, and urged his irritable tem per unused to brook opposition, he might have induced his readers to deplore the frailty of Calvin, and to avert their eyes from a foul spot in such a bright character. But what friend of Calvin can bear with patience Sennebier's plea ? "Calvin's situation was delicate. The Catholics accused him of dangerous errors. Had he remained an indifferent spectator of the process against Servetus, they would have pronounced him a favourer of his opinions." "Had Servetus escaped, his gross and abusive charges against Calvin would have appeared to be well founded." If Calvin's conduct will admit no better apology than this, his character, we freely grant, deserves to be stigmatized.
If, after the foregoing remarks, Candidus shall feel disposed to forward us his remaining communications on this subject, they shall be treated with the respect due to their author.
Z. on Christian Zeal, and the Biographical Sketch by Theophilus shall appear next month.
Our other correspondents shall be attended to as fast as the limits of our work will admit.
THE CHRISTIAN'S ARMORY.
MAY, 1807. [No. 12. VOL. II.
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF THE REV. WILLIAM COOPER, A PASTOR OF THE CHURCH IN BRATTLE STREET, BOSTON.
THE early years of Mr. Cooper were distinguished by presages of that eminence, which in future life he actually attained. A vigorous mind, intense applied cation, and an ardent thirst for knowledge marked his childhood. Blest with a religious education, he exhibited, even at this period, hopeful evidences of piety; evidences which brightened with his years, till all who knew him were convinced that the grace of God had taken possession of his heart. At his father's death, his lovely and afflicted mother found in him a son of consolation indeed. His tender and sympathetic attentions, in this trying scene, were mingled with a seriousness, which gave them a double value.
His progress in the branches of knowledge usually taught at school, was rapid. But the Bible was his chosen companien; and with the greatest assiduity, he stored his mind with its sacred truths. He had early set his heart on being a minister of Jesus Christ; and from this choice he never swerved. No. 12. Vol. II.
At seven years old, while hearing a sermon of Mr. Colman, with whom he afterward was colleague, he was so attract
by the eloquence of his manner, that he went home with a determination to read like him; a circumstance, which drew from that venerable man (who survived him, and preached on his death) the following affectionate and humble remark. "I ought to thank God, (says he) if I have served any way to form him for his since eminent pulpit services, and in particular, his method of preaching Christ and Scripture. So a torch may be lit at a farthing candle."
Mr. Cooper's youth, though passed in the midst of temptation, was exemplarily pure. He was grave, but not gloomy, nor austere; discreet, but not precise; and cheerful, with innocence. Study was his recreation. He accurately discriminated, ardently cultivated those branches of science which were most useful and important. Every literary pursuit was sanctified by prayer, and every human acqui
upon Christian principles, and by Christian arguments.
His sermons were composed with cart; easy and natural in method; rich in important truth; plain, but not grovelling in style; solid and argumentative, yet animated with the spirit of devotion. They were calculated at once to enlighten the mind, impress the conscience, and warm the heart. In explaining the profound and sublime truths of the gospel, he had the singular felicity to be intelligible to the ignorant, instructive to the well-informed, and edifying to the serious. In prayer, he remarkably excelled. ways ready, always serious and animated, with a mind stored with scriptural ideas and expressions, and a heart fired with devotion, he seemed to converse with his God, and bear along his fellow-worshippers to the very gate of heaven. He had a voice at once powerful and agreeable, an elocution grave and dignified; while a deep impression of the majesty of that BEING whose mercy be implored, and whose messages he delivered, was visible in his countenance and demeanor, and added an indescribable solemnity to all his performances.
In his discharge of pastoral duties, he was exemplarily diligent, faithful and affectionate. His preaching being very acceptable to other congregations beside his own, scarce a Sabbath passed in which he did not preach both parts of the day; in addition to which, he frequently performed at stated and occasional lectures.
sition rendered subservient to the knowledge of God and religion.
Though he entered the desk young, it was not without the advice of the most eminent ministers in Boston. Their expectations were high; but they were exceeded. In the opinion of the ablest judges, his first exhibitions stamped him with the character of an accomplished and eminent preacher.
The Church in Brattle street, of which he was a member, soon chose him, with great unanimity, as co-pastor with the Reverend Mr. Colman, afterward D. The ordination, which, at Mr. Cooper's request, was de ferred for a year, was solemnized May 23, 1716. From this period to that of his death, his min isterial gifts, graces and useful ness seemed regularly and unintermittingly to increase, and the more he was known, the more he was esteemed, loved, and honoured, as one who eminently ful filled the ministry which he had
received from the Lord Jesus.
As a preacher he was mighty in the Scriptures, and contended earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints. He was an able and zealous advocate for the
distinguishing doctrines of the gospel. Christ, the alpha and omega of the Bible, was ever the prominent object in his discoursOn the doctrines of grace, he insisted much; considering them as not only constituting the sole foundation of a sinner's hope, but as exhibiting the capital aids and incentives to holiness of heart and life. Hence his preaching was practical, as well as evangelic. It inculcated obedience
Nor were his abundant labours in the gospel without important and happy effect. God was pleas
ed to grant the desire which was nearest his heart; to make him an instrument of saving good to many, who loved and revered him as their spiritual father. He was an eminent instrument and promoter of the great revival of religion which took place toward the close of his life. With a heart overflowing with joy, he declared, that since the year 1740, more prople had some times come to him in concern about their souls in one week, than in the preceding twenty-four years of his ministry. To these applicants, he was a most judicious, affectionate counsellor and guide. Some, indeed, stigmatized those remarkable appearances as nothing better than delusion and enthusiasm. Nor did Mr. Cooper himself fail to bear a decided testimony against the spirit of separation, and other irregularities which mingled themselves with the religious commotions, in some parts of the land. Yet, nobly disregarding human censure and applause, where he thought the honour of God was concerned, he invariably declared his persuasion that a remarkable work of divine grace was going on. The numerous instances which met him, in his own circle, of persons affected, either with pungent and distressing convic, tions of sin, or with deep humiliation and self-abhorrence, or with ardent love to God and man, or with inexpressible consolation in religion, perfectly satisfied him that the presence and power of the divine REPROVER, SANCTIFIER and COMFORTER was among them.
In the private walks of life, he displayed the combined excel
lencies of the gentleman and Christian. In conversation, he was equally entertaining and instructive; and while he was courteous and kind to all within his.sphere, he was especially val ued and endeared in the relations of husband, father, master and friend.
He lived in great affection and harmony with his colleague, serving with him as a son with a father. "If in any particular point," says that great and good man, "I could not act with him, yet he evidently appeared to me to act, as he professed-as of sincerity, in the sight of God, and as his conscience commanded him."
In the sermon occasioned by Mr. Cooper's death, Dr. Colman expresses himself in this remarkably affectionate style : "This I can truly say (as I said in tears over the dear remains, on the day of interment) that had I the like confidence of my own actual readiness to be offered, I would much rather, for your sake, and the churches through the land, have chosen to die in his stead, might he have lived to my years, and seryed on to the glory of God."
Mr. Cooper was truly an honour and blessing to his country. Scarce any minister was more esteemed and loved by his brethren, or by the community at large. In the year 1737, he was chosen by the Corporation, president of Harvard College; but when the vote was presented to the board of Overseers, he declined the honourable trust. Near the period of his death, his reputation for piety and learning was rapidly extending, and several divines of the