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In this very early part of life, he desired to devote himself to a course of laborious usefulness in the Christian ministry among Protestant Dissenters. He was therefore placed, at the expence of his affectionate father, for the acquisition of academical learning, under the Rev. John Kirkpatrick, at Bedworth, in Warwickshire. In this retired seminary were educated the late Mr. T. Reader, of Taunton; Mr. Simon Reader, of Wareham; and Mr. J. Rooker, of Bridport; ministers whose memory will long be revered in the western counties of England. The first of these was contemporary with Mr. Barber; as was the late Mr. J. Burgess, a respected dissenting minister at Whitworth, in Lancashire. – Mr. Barber, having passed through the course of theological and other studies professed by Mr. Kirk patrick, was examined by a committee of ministers, and received from them a testimonial of his skill in the languages, - his talents for preaching, – and his other qualifications for the Christian ministry. This instrument is dated June 26, 1745.
In the same year, he was invited to preach to the congregation at Basingstoke in Hampshire; and was chosen by that Jespectable church as successor to the Rev. W. Moth. On August 5th, 1746, he was ordained to the pastoral office. On that occasion, the charge to this young and proinising minister was delivered by Dr. Guyse, from 1 Tim. iv. 16, • Take heed unto thysell, and unto thy doctrine,' &c. The same charge was afterwards addressed to the late Rev. Mr. Towle; and was twice published. The sermon to the church at Basingstoke, on Mr. Barber's ordination, was preached by Dr. David Jennings, from 2 Thess.iii. 1, " Brethren, pray for us," &c.
Mr. Barber's evangelical labours in this situation were very acceptable and useful; and he enjoyed, as he deserved, great personal respect. During his residence here he was most happily married to Miss Hunt, of Crondall, near Basingstoke, and became the parent of a numerous family.
The circumstances of a straitened income, which was quite insufficient to support an increasing family, obliged MrBarber to remove froin Basingstoke in September, 1735 He was invited to a church at Brentwood in Essex, and he accepted the call. In the year 1761, he removed from Brentwood to London. This reinoval was occasioned by de restlessness of disposition, but by his conscientious ad
* Mutual respect and affectiou still continued between Mr. Barber and his friends at Basingstoke. He occasionally visited this scene of his first pastoral labours ; apd he often spoke of the happpiness which be enjoyed during that period of his life. At the very time when this dis course was in delivery, the worthy miuister of that church, the Res Josepb Jefferson, preached a sermon at Basingstoke, upop Zech. i. 5.
herence to the doctrine of the gospel, and the consistency of holy practice.
He now became pastor of that respectable church of Christ which, so honourably to him and to itself, this day affords its public testiinony of affectionate attachment to his memory. And assuredly, my honoured friends, you have the best reason for your attachment. You have had ample opportunities to know and to estimate the character of your late Reverend Pastor. You have enjoyed his valaed labours for near forty
you will bear your ready testimony that he was, indeed, a man formed to attract respect, love, and veneration.
Mr. Barber possessed a sound, clear, and correct understanding. Of few men could it ever be affirmed, with more strict propriety, that he' understood righteousness, and judgment, and equity, yea, every good path;' that discretion preserved hiin, and understanding kept him. His life was long, and exposed to much and scrutinizing observation. But how few have passed through a shorter course, with a discretion so free from defects, a propriety so universally undeviating! This rare quality distinguished him no less in the communications of friendship, than in his personal deportment. The numerous persons who have been benefitted by his counsels, can attest the candour and prudence with which he formed his opinion of persons and occurrences, and the meekness of wisdom which characterized his advices.
His passions were under the best goveșnment of reason and religion. Who ever beheld him with agitated anger, or inAamed with resentment, or jaundiced with envy, or swollen with pride?
It may with justice be said, that his characteristic disposi. tions were kindness and sympathy, tender and condescending consideration, mildness, benevolence, pure candour, and unaffected humility. It was observed, with a just felicity of expression, by my highly esteemed friend, who addressed you at the grave of your beloved pastor, that he carried the modesty of youth with the venerable dignity of age.'
If such as had the happiness of knowing Mr. Barber as a friend only, so fully witnessed the various but constant and steady display of these qualities, it may be presumed that a deeper impression remains in the minds of those who were members of his own family. His excellence was not a gasb assumed to attract the public eye, and to decorațe his professional character. It was pure, genuine, unmanaging, unos. tentatious worth. It shone brightest in the eyes of those who viewed it nearest. Never, never, I trust, will his surviving children cease to cherish the tender and profitable recollection of the warm affections of their father's heart; of the be
nignant government, the generous goodness, the solemn admonitions, and the holy devotion of their father's house.
Towards his brethren in the sacred office, Mr. Barber was uniformly respectful, kind, and friendly. To young ministers, in particular, his conduct was peculiarly affectionate, condescending, and instructive. The person who now addresses you feels his obligation to pay this public tribute of gratitude for the uninterrupted kindness and friendship with which he was honoured by your excellent pastor. He always shewed the most proper respect towards his late reverend colleague in the pastoral charge. He lived in united affection and reciprocal honour with the ministers who have, either formerly or lately, been his associates in that useful and ancient lecture of which, for the terın of forty years, he was an ornament.
It is well known that Mr. Barber was held in high estimation by good and worthy persons of religious denominations different from his own; but the fact ought not to be passed without some notice on this solemn occasion.
With Mr. Whitefield he had occasional and friendly intercourse; and he entertained an exalted, but judicious and measured, opinion of that celebrated and eminently useful preacher.
Mr. Romaine professed a high regard for Mr. Barber, as a Christian and as a Minister, and took a peculiar delight in hearing him preach. To those who recollect that gentleman's zealous attachment to the exclusive peculiarities of the established church, this circumstance must appear a striking testimony to the commanding excellence of our venerable friend.
With peculiar pleasure I likewise mention Mr. Barber's close and affectionate intimacy with that truly eminent and holy man of God, Mr. Abrahain Booth. These two venerable ministers had that congeniality of mind and feeling which gave them great happiness in the society of each other. They einbraced opportunities of enjoying the mutual benefit; and their edifying intercourse was crowncd and blessed with united devotion. Ö! who does not exclaim, * Let my soul be joined with theirs ! Such sanctified intercourse of such men, must have been, indeed, a heaven
a heaven upon earth. The Christian church and congregation, which, for almost half a century, has been blessed with the enjoyment of his labours, entertains a lively and grateful remembrance of its late beloved pastor, which no expressions from me can enhance, or even adequately utter.
You have fully known his doctrine, manner of life, parpose, faith, long-suffering, charity, patience, and afflictions.
That he bad done of the errors and failings of sinful mortals, I by no means insinuate. But that eye must have been quicksighted, if not malignant, which could readily espy iben. Yet he himself felt the deepest sense of the inperfections
which his conscience and his God knew. Few men ever pose sessed more unaffected humility; and few have been less apparently conscious of the personal excellencies which all others could perceive.
His conversation and inanners in domestic visits and friendly intercourse, were such as became the man of God. He was chcerful, yet serious; lively, yet grave; frank, yet prudent; kind and indulgent, yet ever faithful to propriety and holiness. I may boldly ask, Whose feelings did he ever needlessly and wantonly wound!- whose good name did he ever asperse? - whose character did he ever stab, by subtile insinuation, by affected pity, or by rude reviling? On the contrary, he was the willing and generons vindicator of the injured. If envy or scandal inet his eye, he resolutely frowned upon thein. Even where he could not approve, his candour led hiin to pity, to forgive, and to veil in generous silence; except the interests of holiness and justice compelled his faithful animadversion.
As a Christian pastor, he fed the flock of God, and exercised his rule over it, with fidelity, benevolence, and purity.
His manner of conducting the affairs of the church was marked with temperate discretion, solid judgment, and“ the meeknes and gentleness of Christ.”
When he led your devotions before the throne of grace, or presided in the celebration of the sacraments of the new co
venant, he breathed the simple and fervid utterance of a mind · well inured to sweet and humble intercourse with heaven. His
public prayers were lively in gratitude, peniteni in confession, ardent in supplication, sympathizing and benevolent in intercession. With enlightened zeal and love he gloried in the Redeemer's cross; while he distributed the instituted memorials of the atoning sacrifice; and when he dispensed the ordinance of Baptism, he directed your faith and hope to the covenant influences of the Eternal Spirit, those clean waters which God has promised to sprinkle upon his people, to purify them from all their pollutions. Such were his closing labours. On the last day of the year he baptized one of his grandchildren ; and on the following Sabbath-day he administered the Lord's Supper . This was the last public service of his
life. In the pulpit he shewed uncorruptness, gravity, and sincerity. He maintained the primitive and holy doctrines of I grace, as the vital principles of pure, conscientious, and uniFersal holiness.
He preached the eternal love of the Almighty Father, the glorious Source of all blessings : hc preached the condescending grace of Him who came in the likeness of sinful flesh, while he is the same yesterdas, to-day, and for ever the true God and eternal life.
never relaxed the obligations of the divine law; nor did he covertly suggest excuses for sin. He announced the grace of God, which bringeth salvation,' as a system which
effectually teacheth the cordial renunciation of all ungodliness and worldly lusts ;' and which pronounceth its blessings upon none but the man who laath clean hands and a pure heart. He enjoined upon you, his beloved hcarers, the motives and the precepts of a life universally upright, conscientious, beneficial, and pious ; and, in so doing, he directed you to wait patiently, and to hope perfectly, for the glorious appearance of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.
These doctrines he taught with careful judgment and wellapplied learning in the exposition of the sacred text, according to its native and genuine sense. He urged scriptural doctrines with scriptural argument, with a simple felicity of illustration, with affectionate reproof, remonstrance, invitation, and consolation, - and with a designed plainness and familiarity of language, which inanitestly declared that he
preached not himself, but Christ Jesus the Lord;' and that he sought the profit of many, that they might be saved? Though, from principle and conscience, he disavowed the enticing words of human wisdom,' and every kind and form of low and little artifice to buy mens' applause, by Aattering their vanity,-yet he spoke the great things of God, salvation, and eternity, with feeling, energy, and love, with awakening earnestness, and with interesting solemnity.
Yes, brethren,' ye know what manner of man he was among you, for your sake. His exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile; but, as he was approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so he spoke not as pleasing men but God, who trieth
our hearts. He used not the speech of Flattery, as ye know, nor the pretence of covetousness; nor of men did he seek glory: but he was gentle among you, as a nursing mother cherisheth her own children. Ve are witnesses, and God also, how holily, justly, and unblameably, he behaved himself among you; and how he exhorted, comforted, and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children, that ye would walk worthiiy of God, who hath called you to his kingdom and glory.'
He was a burning and a shining light; and ye have, for a long and favoured season, rejoiced in that light. The season is past. The light is extinguished on earth, to be rekindled in heaven, — there to shine unclouded, and never more to decay and die!
Mark the perfect man! Behold the upright! His end was peace.' With his latest breath he invoked blessings on his family and his people, his country and the world; and he literally died in the arins of his affectionate children.
Thus, without a struggle, a pang, or a groan, our venerated father, friend, and pastor, sweetly and calmly slept in Jesus, in the evening of February 14, 1810, having just added eleven days to his tighty-third year.