Gambar halaman


glory I have been long expecting: though "I come not near Mr. Sheild's glory, nor "Mr. Anderson's, yet I will be well enough "if I win in. Worthy is the Lamb to receive glory."



Toone hefaid, "Another meffenger comes for me, a cough. O man! I am kindly "dealt with: the Lord has done wonderful things, only grace to be fober to the end, "for our strength lies in him, not we. "man! this is an upmaking for the residue of my days, well 38 years, come Decem. 25th, is my age. Hezekiah faid, I am "cut off from the refidue of my years, but I "will not fay fo, God is giving me this to "make up the refidue of my years."



In September 23d, at feven in the morning 1712, he flept in Jefus, and him will the Lord bring with him.

He was of low ftature, his body but thin and finall, his hair black, but his complexion pretty clear and fair. But, O! how noble a fpirit, how great a foul dwelt in this weak and frail body!

[ocr errors]

He was naturally of a very pleasant and defirable temper. He had an equal and cheatful fpirit, which he retained under furprizing viciffitudes. This evennefs of temper appear ed much in his frequent and dangerous fick. nefs. He had a calm, peaceable, healing dif pofition, and yet bold as a lion in his master's caufe. He had a peculiar talent for compof

ing differences: how afflicting the prospect of divifions was to him, his memoirs will teftify: and had some others been blessed with more of this fpirit, his and our fears had been utterly difappointed.

He was mafter of a confiderable ftock of prudence; he studied to walk in wisdom toward them that are without, and them that are within, and to become all things to all men.

He was dextrous in obferving tempers, and in addreffing and managing perfons. How wifely he carried in church judicatories, whereof he was a member, others can witness.

He abhorred that unedifying converse, that is spent in frequent and unfeasonable jefting and drollery, fo common with many; tho he was abundantly facetious in company, when and where he faw it expedient; and this way fometimes he has dropt what tend ed to edify. Those who converfed most with him, will own, they feldom enjoyed his com pany without fome profit by it. He oft was un eafy after much converfe with others, if he was not edified himself, or thought he did not edify others: how circumfpect and tender was the ftrain of his walk in this! He oft regreted the difficulty there was to retain in tegrity in the most part of company in this degenerate age; he reckoned fuch company a great hardship, and loth would he be to have let any thing offenfive in converse without a check.


The memoirs of his life will witnefs his



walking with God in his family and closet: but fome things here I cannot pafs; It was his ordinary, except he had been neceffarily hindred, to come from his clofet to familyworship, especially if the Lord had given him inlargement of heart, and if his spirit was in a due frame; he would then have been very uneafy, if any interruption fell in betwixt closet and family duties. He also commonly expounded the word of God, at leaft once a day in his family. The night before family-fafts, which he kept, or nati onal-fafts, he always directed his fervants how to manage that work, and on the faftdays themfelves difcourfed them about their fouls condition and concerns.

He was an affectionate and dutiful huf band, a confcientious and kind parent, a faithful and eafy master.

Such as knew him, will own he had a clear head, a very ready and rare invention, and an uncommon memory: he read little after his health broke, and oft owned his greatest improvement was more by thinking than reading.

He had a very ready way of expreffing his thoughts: he was far from a vain, airy af fectation of language in preaching, (a prevailing evil in this time:) he had ftudied an even, neat, and fcriptural ftile; and this be came natural, though fome thought in the end, his deep thinking made it a little more Housut Lab

[ocr errors]

abftrufe than formerly, to a popular audi



He had choice pulpit gifts; he was an accurate and pathetic preacher, a great textuary, clofs in handling any truth he dif courfed; and in the application, he was home, warm, and fearching; and in this he fhewed himfelf ufually a skilful cafuift. He oft complained, that fome worthy men were too general and bare in the application of their doctrines.

He ordinarily wrote his fermons very exactly, when health and bufinefs would allow: he used to fay, "A lazy minister in "his younger years, would make a poor "old man." It were to be wifhed, that this example were more followed than it is. He oft adventured to preach under great indif pofition, when he was not able to write fo much as the heads of his fermon; yea, even at facraments, and he has been fingularly affifted, to the conviction of all that heard him. In his laft two years he wrote little, his health then was fo low.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

His experience of the power of godliness, with his other gifts mentioned, made him very skilful to deal with wounded fpirits, according to the variety of their cafes: and this converse he owned was extremely useful to himfelf. Few minifters have taken a more cautious and confirming way of dealing with people, than he did before he admitted them b


[ocr errors]


to the facrament: and, while in health, he was diligent in the other parts of his minifte rial work.


He was no lefs fingularly fitted for the fchools: he spoke elegant Latin promptly, though he had been long in the difufe of it, and was fcarce at any pains to recover it, which was much admired. He was very expert in the Greek; but his fickness broke his defign to accomplish himself in the reft: of the oriental languages.



In controverfies, especially thofe of the time, he excelled many. It was ftrange to fee how quickly he would have taken up the ftate of a controverfy, the strength of an adverfary, feen through their deceitful fophiftry and pretences, and how clofs and nervous his reafoning was ufually.

Now, on the whole, what a lofs, efpecially in this juncture, may we juftly reckon the death of this great little man to the poor wrestling church of Scotland, to the place he lived in, and to his family! Alas! what i fhall we fay? What great thoughts of heart may it caufe, when fuch a green olive tree, fair, and of goodly fruit is cut down, when fuch bright ftars fet, yea, even constellati ons of them in our day! May we not justly fear, when fuch wrestlers with God are taken off, as he on his death-bed comments on fuch damping providences, That the confumption decreed ball overflow in righteouf ness! Ifa. x. 22. THE

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »