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canvass, and no more is it flattery ine,* his sensibilities exquisite, his. to preserve their moral likeness. affections copious and ardent. Few It is not ostentation in good men to minds are formed to receive or to serve their generation, and it is communicate more social enjoynot ostentation to preserve the rec- ment, or to inspire or feel more ord of what they have done. For ardent affection. these reasons, which I doubt not As a man he possessed naturally will be satisfactory to you all, I shall an uncommon purity of character, be more particular, and more ex- in every sense of that term. His tended than common, in my remarks delicacy was exquisite ; his honour upon the life and character of our most honourable, his integrity most departed friend; for I am persua- inflexible, his conscience most conded that we shall be agreed in the scientious, his humanity most husentiment that few men have led a mane. His patriotism was ardent, life in which there is loss to be de. his public spirit expansive, while plored and more to be admired,than his moral courage inspired both is to be found in the life of Judge confidence and admiration. He Reeve. I have always felt both was naturally timid. His nervous the positive and the negative excel- sensibilities exposed him to easy lence of his character; but never, excitement and alarm, and yet when until this memoir has demanded a dangers pressed, and decision was closer inspection and comparison, demanded, his courage rose with have I felt the full power of the en- the danger, and his decision with tire combination of all the promi. the urgency of the demand. He nent points in his character, as who in ordinary circumstances great points and good, while the might be startled at the shaking of failings inseparable from humanity a leaf, when the public good reare uncommonly few and small. quired judicious counsel, knew not
As a man he was blessed un- discomposure, and when it demanddoubtedly with a mind of the first ed undaunted action, was a stranorder ; which shed a light on the ger to fear. subject submitted to its inspec- Such naturally was the mind and tion; which enabled him with pre- character of our departed friend. cision to mark its relations and to One of the best minds, it would place them in day-light to the in- seem, which nature in her happiest spection of others. His person was efforts is permitted to form. well proportioned and command- From a mind and heart thus coning, his countenance regular and stituted we should anticipate an interesting, his eye especially was honourable and useful life, and such filled with mild but most animated a life unquestionably our dear friend expression. His voice, before it lived, His professional knowledge failed,* was full toned and musical, in the beginning was accurate, and and his eloquence, when his soul for one of his age, ample, and was raised and his heart awake, was through life was regularly increased. powerful. It was the eloquence His deportment at the bar; his of a vigourous mind, of a vivid im- treatment of the judge and jury, agination, and an expansive heart. the opposing counsel, and the witIt was animated argument, which nesses, furnished an example worassailed the heart by the under- thy of imitation, and which was atstanding, and the understanding al- tended eminently with a purifying, so by the heart, and seldom failed elevating influence, both in the to secure the willing captivity of county and in the state. He was both. His humour was genų. chaste, respectful, kind, dignified. * Note B.
* Note C.
No coarseness, no vulgarity, no 1820. The plan of giving lectures rudeness, mingled in his most earn- in the manner he conducted them est professional collisions. In was original with the judge, and the examination of witnesses he the number who from all parts of was candid and honourable ; no the nation have sought legal sciattempt to confound, to intimidate, ence at his lips, as well as the numto perplex, and though powerful ber of his pupils who have been, beyond many, he was never oppres- and are, distinguished at the bar, sive or overbearing, while toward and in the state and national counthe junior members of the bar, his cils, attest the wisdom of his plan course was affectionate, and even and the distinguished ability with paternal.
which it was executed. In the management of cases his President Dwight, by his talents integrity was inflexible. He would and official labours, exerted a pownot prostitute his talents or legal erful national influence through his science to pervert justice. If un- pupils, and next to him, if not equal. fortunately his cause was a bad ly so, has been the national influone, as bound by his oath to do, he ence of Judge Reeve, especially would say all the favourable things on the subject of legal science and of which'it admitted and there leave correct professional deportment.-it. There was no chicanery in his This ascendancy over his pupils, practice; nothing low, nothing derived from the power of his mind, mean, nothing fraudulent, or crimin. was greatly increased and rendered ally artful. His power with the court delightful to them, by the virtues of as an advocate consisted in his lu- his heart, and especially by the delminous exhibition of the great icate and truly paternal treatment points of his case, and with the which they all experienced at his jury, in the interest which he man hands, and which inspired them all ifested in his cause, and the del- with an ardent and imperishable aficacy and sincerity with which he fection for him. The testimonies conducted it. The happy talent of affectionate remembrance from of speaking out his soul by his his pupils, many of whom are men looks, and pouring out his heart in- of wealth and eminence, have to his argument, inspired a confi- been frequent, and as honourable to dence that whenever he made an them as they were cheering to the earnest effort he followed the sober judge, and especially toward the convictions of his conscience and close of life, the fervency of grateful judgment.
affection, increased in expressions As State's Attorney he conduct of filial respect, and acts of substaned the public business of the coun- tial munificence. ty with great ability and uprightness, Though his domestic afflictions and yet with such humanity temper: withheld him from the active ing his justice as disarmed even scenes of the revolution, none criminals of displeasure and concil. entered more deeply into his couniated their esteem.
try's cause than he. He shared Upon the bench he was distin with his generation in all the soliciguished for his legal science, his tudes, hopes, fears, self-denials, inflexible integrity, and while he and losses, of that arduous day. presided in the court, for his laconic He possessed, though in early life, and luminous charges to the jury. * the confidence, and participated in
In the year 1792 he commenced the counsels, of the wise, and great, his law lectures, which he continue and good men of that day; and at the ed until the latter part of the year moment of greatest dismay, when * Note D.
Washington fled with his handful VOL. I.-No. II.
of troops through the Jersies, and We may say then in the first inorders came for New-England to stance that for our generation he turn out en masse, and pursue, and rendered a numerous household emmake a diversion to save him,-the inently prosperous and happy. His Judge was among the most ardent affection, pure and copious, extendto excite the universal movement, ed to every member of his family, and actually went in the capacity which, combined with his intelli. of an officer to the vicinity of New- gence and ever watchful and unYork, where the news met them, of wearied ministrations for their the victory at Trenton, and at good, rendered his house always Princeton, and once more Washing- the dwelling place of instruction and ton and the country were deliv- enjoyment. But while his affecered.
tion for his family was so peculiar Though eminently qualified to as would seem to have allowed no shine in public life, he was not am- capacity for expansion, it did exbitious of popular distinction, and pand wonderfully. His neighbours though always within the reach of felt and rejoiced in his affection. I it, and often solicited to accept of it, have never known an individual he always declined, partly from who loved so many persons with the state of his fainily, and partly, such ardour and was himself belovI have no doubt, from his vehemented by so many.* aversion to ambitious ostentation. In the concerns of the town he
He was not envious. He saw was always attentive, always in his with pleasure, and admitted with place at the town meetings until incandour, the excellence of his con- capacitated by infirmity, consulting temporaries at the bar, and was es- the public good, and ready always pecially cheered and delighted with to do his part. His bosom was a the opening talents of young men stranger to the economy that for who rose up around him, to whom little personal savings would exhe never failed to extend a cheer- pose the public to great deprivaing personal influence.
tions and injuries,-he lived not for We may say, in closing our himself only. It was never his account of his public life, that he has study to ascertain how much he served his generation by the will could do for himself, and how little of God, both eminently, and hon- bestow for the public good, but acourably. No stain by his own act cording to his ability his purse was has been fixed upon his reputation. ever open as his heart. God grant No breath of calumny has ever that his mantle may fall upon us all, whispered a charge implicating his and his blessed example speak to purity, or his honesty, or his honour. our hearts long after he is dead. His sun from its rising to its set. His deep interest in the prosperity ting hour, has shined full-orbed of this society, and his unceasing without the shadow of an eclipse. vigilance and efforts for its good,
But were we to confine our re- are known to us all. His judicious marks to the public character and counsels and his strong hold upon deportment of our friend, we should the affections and confidence of have but a partial view of his char- this people, rendered him a cenacter or usefulness. There is much tral attraction in times of discord indeed to excite admiration in and peril. When the society was great traits of character and illus- blessed with a revival, he performtrious deeds, but it is the daily, ed more pastoral labour in visiting noiseless tenor of the good man's and conversation than any other way that constitutes the greatest man. There was scarce a district amount of real service rendered to his generation.
* Note E.
or family which he did not visit ; it crated to the service of man, by the seemed as if there was not a single power of religion. lIis intelligence, convert, with whose exercises and his knowledge, and his talents, were history he was not familiarly ac- consecrated to God, and were exquainted.
erted in subordination to his will as While the society and church the rule, and under the influence were vacant his influence was great, of love to God, a sense of accountand if our union as a pastor and ability, and the hope and expectapeople is to be regarded as a bless- tion of eternal life. ing to us, he was eminently instru. His public and his private life mental in its procurement. To me were under the dominion of religand mine he has been pre-eminent- ion, yet his interest as a patriot was ly a father. I have loved him great never separated from his interest ly, and have received, I am persua- as a Christian. His religion though ded, my full share of his ample af- ardent was not enthusiastic. The fection. If my ministry has been fire of his heart was kindled to inmade useful to you, much of that tenseness by the most sublime and usefulness has been derived from comprehensive views of God, his his counsels, and his benevolent character, law, gospel, and governco-operation, and his unceasing ment in all its unerring rectitude and prayers.
great results, that I have ever known. Such was Judge Reeve as a man This was strikingly manifest always and a member of civil society.-- in his prayers ; especially in those But if we were to close our account which I heard about the time of my of him here, we should leave him settlement, and soon after the death unknown in a world where he liv. of his only son.* His doctrinal ed, and moved, and had his being, opinions were those of the Reformwhere he displayed illustriously ation, explained and vindicated, as his capacious mind, and illustrated they have since been, by Edwards, most delightfully all the great and and Bellamy, and West, and Hopnoble affections of his heart,-where kins, and Dwight. The peculiar he discovered his chief sources of traits of his piety were ardour, conenjoyment, and received that pre- stancy, activity, humility, and gratserving, and purifying, and anima- itude. His views of the evil of ting impulse, which made him sin and of the greatness of his own shine as a light in the world. I sin, were emphatically deep and refer to his religious character. affecting. In his last converFor though as a man he was so pure sation with me, after assenting to and excellent as would seem to su- my suggestion that the blood of percede the necessity of a change of Christ cleanseth from all sin ; he of heart; there is not an instance said, “Yes, it does, it is sufficient ; perhaps on record, where religion but if there could be a case in which has excited within a man more the sins of one who had obtained prominent and specific new charac- mercy should exceed the provisions terics, or called into being more of the atonement”-he faultered distinctly a new world of interest with deep emotion, and when he and action. And it is proper to say could speak, added, “I should exhere, that though much which gives pect to find that I am the man that lustre and loveliness to his charac- had thus sinned.” ter is owing to his powerful mind As a man of prayer he was emiand unusually happy temperament, nent. He not only prayed at stayet all that rendered him as a man, ted times, as a duty and an exercise great, and lovely, and useful, was purified, and ennobled, and conse
* Note F.
of devotion, but he abounded in His sufferings at times were as seasons of prayer, as a part of the great, and especially in his last sickwork and labour of his life ; he ness, and for the three or four last gave himself to prayer. He pray- hours,as it is possible for the human ed habitually for the influence of body to experience ; but during the the Holy Spirit upon the church whole of it his soul was in peace, and town, to revive religion ; and constituting the strongest instance I there is reason to believe he felt have ever known of the power of early in his own soul the approach religion. The nerves seem to be of spiritual blessings, in the fulness the medium of sensation, and when and fervency of quickened interces suffering falls exclusively upon the sion.
nervous system, it is unspeakably But his benevolence which wrest- more exquisite than muscular sufled with fervent importunity for fering can be, and of all pains most those that were nigh, did like Abra- distressing and agitating to the ham plead for those that were afar mind, there is nothing like it. And off;-he prayed for the churches I have known few men whose nerof the state and nation, and for all vous sensibilities were at all times men. Though himself a statesman more acute ; but in the wildest and wise in human counsel, and in- state of discomposure, and agitadefatigable in action, he was one tion, and in all that extremity of of those patriots who prayed for his amazement and anguish which fell country. For a number of his last upon him, and which is supposed years especially, there is reason to to have been the immediate cause believe that no inconsiderable por- of his dissolution, there was in tion of his time was devoted to de- his heart a tranquility which seemvotion and supplication. He was ed like a calm in the bosom of a in the habit of praying for the con- whirlwind. This was indicated by version of individuals, and many a placid countenance, the moment are the instances in which he re- his paroxysm ceased, and by the joiced over them as the children heavenly composure which spread whom God had given him.*
over his countenance about a minBefore the first revival he expe- ute before he ceased to breathe, rienced a spirit of prayer for a long when exhausted nature ceased to period preceding it. He believed suffer, and heaven broke upon his in the millennium, and prayed ear soul. nestly for its approach, and rejoiced On Tuesday he apprehended that in the indications of its advent. the hour of his departure was
Judge Reeve lived always in come ; and though in a state of a state of simplicity and fulness cor- great debility and of extreme suffer. responding with his exertions, his ing, he caused himself to be raisstanding in society, and the wishes ed in his bed, called his family of his friends. Though blessed around him, and took of each of with a good income he neither liv- them a most affectionate farewell, ed nor died affluent ; and for rea- and pronounced on each a paternal sons which in the day of judgment benediction. On Friday, he pray. will add new honours, it is believed, ed audibly, and though in great sufto his character, and new joys to fering, his prayer consisted of as
men, and given to hospitality.
* Note G.
+ The losses he sustained in the war the support of his aged father twenty
years—the remission of charges to his poor clients his munificence to the poor, and his pious patronage of religious institutions, and missionary efforts.