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their immediately securing the tion, that light is come into the blessings of salvation. And his world, and men loved darkness public discourses bear frequent rather than light, because their witness how near their immor- deeds were evil ;-we find the tal interests were to his heart. following pungent address to his Toward the close of a new year's pupils : “ There is not one in a sermon, he expresses himself in thousand of the sons of men that this tender, glowing language : enjoys your advantages. Light, * I beg leave of my promiscuous human and divine, natural and anditory, to employ a few min- supernatural, ancient and mod. utes in addressing myself to my ern; that is, knowledge of eveimportant family, whom my pa- ry kind shines upon you, and you ternal affection would always sin- are every day basking under its gle out from the rest, even when rays. You have nothing to do I am speaking in general terms but to polish your minds, and, as to a mixed crowd. Therefore, it were, render them luminous. my dear charge, my pupils, my But let me put you in mind, children, and every tender and that unless you admit the light of endearing name! Ye young im- the glorious gospel of Christ to mortals, ye embryo angels or in- shine in your hearts, you will fant fiends, ye blooming, lovely, still be the children of darkness, fading flowers of human nature, and confined in the blackness of the hope of your parents and darkness forever. This is intoler friends, of church and state ; ably shocking, even in supposi. the hope, joy and glory of your tion. Suppose any of you should teachers! Hear one that loves be surrounded with more light you ; one that has nothing to do than others, for no other purpose in the world, but to promote your but that you may have a strongbest interest ; one that would ac- er conflict with conviction, and count this the greatest blessing that your consciences may with he could enjoy in his pilgrim- greater force raise tumults and age; and whose nights and days insurrections within you ; supáre sometimes made almost pose your sins should be the sins equally restless, by his affection of men of learning and knowlate anxieties for you : Hear him edge, the most daring and gigan. upon a subject in which you are tic sins on this side hell; supmost intimately interested ; à pose you should turn out sinners subject the most important that of great parts, fine geniuses, like even an apostle or an angel could the fallen angels, those vast inaddress you upon, and that is, the tellects; wise, but wicked; wise right improvement of time, the to do evil, but without knowlpresent time, and preparation for edge to do good ; suppose it eternity.” He then proceeds to should be your highest characurge their immediate attention ter that you can harangue well, to religion, by the most cogent that you know a few dead lanarguments, and in a manner pe- guages, that you have passed culiarly awakening and persua through a course of philosophy ; sive.
but as to that knowledge which In another sermon, on this sanctifies all the rest, and ren-. text; And this is the condemna- ders them useful to yourselves or
others; that knowledge which be honest men; and surely this alone can make you wise to sal- is a most moderate and reasonavation, and guide you to avoid ble demand. Therefore, be ye the paths of destruction, you children of the light and of the day, shun, it, you hate it, and choose and walk as such, and then it to remain contentedly ignorant will be a blessing to the world, in this important respect; sup- and to yourselves, that you ever pose your parents, who have were born." been at the expense of your ed Instructions thus faithful, deucation ; your friends, who have livered with the greatest tenderentertained such high and please ness, and enforced by a life of aring expectations concerning you; dent, uniform piety, could scarcechurch and state, that look to you ly fail to make the most important for help, and depend upon you to and salutary impressions on the fill stations of importance in the minds of his youthful charge. world ; and your careful instruc The public and official appeartors, who observe your growing ances of President Davies were improvements with proportional marked with dignity, decorum pleasure ; suppose that after all and elegance. His performances this generous labour, and all at anniversary commencements these pleasing prospects, they reflected equal honour on himself should see you at last doomed to and the institution, and afforded everlasting darkness, for your the highest gratification to the voluntary abuse of the light you crowded auditories, which those now enjoy ; suppose these occasions brought together. But things, and but the con- the work of the ministry was his sequences of these suppositions chief delight. Here, emphaticare so terrible, that I am not har- ally, he was in his element. dy enough to mention them. Here he was at home. He had, And, O! shall they ever become indeed, a lively and almost overmatters of fact !
whelming sense of the magni. “ Therefore, my dear youth, tude of the sacred office, and of admit the light, love it, and puré his own insufficiency for its dissue it, though at first it should charge. This is strikingly apmake such discoveries, as, may parent from some passages in a be painful to you ; for the pain letter to his friend, Dr. Gibbons. will prove medicinal. By dis “ It is an easy thing," says he, covering your danger in time, "to make a noise in the world, you may be able to escape it; to flourish and harangue, to dazbut never expect to remove it by zle the crowd, and set them all the silly expedient of shutting agape ; but deeply to imbibe the your eyes. Be impartial inquir- spirit of Christianity ; to mainers after truth, as to yourselves, tain a secret walk with God; to as well as other things, and no be holy as he is holy ; this is the longer attempt to put a cheat up- labour, this is the work. The on yourselves. Alas ! how child- difficulty of the ministerial work ish and foolish, as well as wicked seems to grow upon my hands. and ruinous, would such an im- Perhaps, once in three or four posture be! The gospel, in this months, I preach in some measparticular, only requires you to ure as I could wish : that is, I
preach as in the sight of GOD, though the best means, without and as if I were to step from the his efficacious concurrence, dre pulpit to the supreme tribunal. altogether fruitless, yet he is I feel my subject. I melt into wont to bless those means that tears, or I shudder with horror, are best adapted to do good. Afwhen I denounce the terrors of ter a long course of languid and the Lord. I glow, I soar in sa- fruitless efforts, which seem to cred extacies, when the love of have been unusually disowned by Jesus is my theme; and, as Mr. my divine Master, what text shall Baxter was-wont to express it, I choose out of the inexhaustible in lines more striking to me, than treasure of God's word ? In what all the fine poetry in the world, new method shall I speak up
on it? What new, untried exper"I preach as if I ne'er should preach iments shall I make ? Blessed Je
again; And as a dying man to dying men.”
sus! my heavenly Master ! di
rect thy poor perplexed servant, But alas ! my spirits soon flag, who is at a loss, and knows not my devotions languish, and my what to do : direct him that has zeal cools. It is really an afflict. tried, and tried again, all the exing thought, that I serve so good pedients he could think of, but a Master with so much incon- almost in vain, and now scarcely .stancy : but so it is, and my knows what it is to hope for sucsoul mourns upon that account.”
cess." The same humble and self-dif Respecting Mr. Davies' apfident spirit breathes in the fol- pearance in the pulpit, an emilowing paragraph, which we find nent minister,* who intimately at the beginning of one of his knew him, has given the followdiscourses : “ To preside in the ing testimony : “ His manner of solemnities of public worship, to delivery, as to pronunciation, direct your thoughts, and choose gesture, and modulation of voice, for you the subjects of your med- seemed to be a perfect model of itation in those sacred hours the most moving and striking orwhich you spend in the house of atory. Whenever he ascended God, & upon the right improve the sacred desk, he seemed to ment of which your everlasting have not only the attention, but happiness so much depends--this all the various passions of his auis a province of the most tre- ditory, entirely at his command. mendous importance that can be And as his personal appearance devolved on a mortal : and every
was august and venerable, yet man of the sacred character, benevolent and mild, so he could who knows what he is about, speak with the most commandmust tremble at the thought, and ing authority, or melting tenderbe often anxiously perplexed ress, according to the variation what subject he shall choose, of bis subject. With what mawhat he shall say upon it, and in jesty and grandeur, with what enwhat manner he shall deliver his ergy and striking solemnity, with message. His success in a great what powerful and almost irre
depends opon his sistible eloquence would he illus. choice ; for though the blessed Spirit is the proper agent, and * Rev, Mr. Bostwick, of New-York. Vol.II. No:7.
trate the truths, and inculcate more of his auditory. That this the duties of Christianity! Mount should have been the case, will Sinai seemed to thunder from his not probably appear surprising to lips, when he denounced the those who attentively peruse the tremendous curses of the law, volumes of his printed discoursand sounded the dreadful alarm es, and reflect that the selection to guilty, secure, impenitent sin- was made, after his death, from ners. The solemn scenes of the such as he ordinarily preached. last judgment seemed to rise in The world is in possession of a view, when he arraigned, tried, great variety of excellent and inand convicted self-deceivers and valuable sermons. Yet, if aptiformal hypocrites. And how tude to accomplish the great ends did the balm of Gilead distil from for which sermons are needed, his lips, when he exbibited a be considered as the standard of bleeding, dying Saviour to sinful merit, few extant are superior to mortals, as a sovereign remedy those of President Davies. for the wounded heart, and an
Their chief and prominent guished conscience! In a word, excellence is doubtless this : whatever subject he undertook, that they abound in clear, forcipersuasive eloquence dwelt upon ble and affecting delineations of his tongue; and his audience the distinguishing doctrines of was all attention. He spoke as the gospel. The utter depravion the borders of eternity, and ty and impotence of man; the as viewing the glories and ter- sovereignly free grace of Jehorors of the unseen world ; and vah ; the divinity of Christ; the conveyed the most grand and af atonement in his blood; justififecting ideas of these important cation through his righteousrealities."
ness; regeneration and sanctifiThough to some, this descrip- cation by the Holy Spirit; these tion may seem like the partial, were his favourite themes. On undistinguishing panegyric of a these he never ceased to insist friend, there is much reason to and expatiate. He viewed these rely on its truth and accuracy. doctrines as constituting the There are those still living, who essence of the Christian scheme; repeatedly heard Mr. Davies the grand support of vital and preach, and who speak of his practical religion. 'He considerpublic performances as combin- ed their intelligent and cordial ing a solemnity, a pathos and an- reception as of the highest imimation truly wonderful, such as portance; and viewed every atseemed directly to result from a tempt to subvert and explain lively sense of a present Deity, them away, as equally hostile to together with a most tender, fers the truth of God, and the best yent benevolence to the souls of interests of men. On these men. The effects were in some points, he was uniformly explimeasure answerable. It is said, cit, decided, and strenuous. that he seldom preached, without Suill he defended the truth, producing some visible emotions and even repelled those errors, in great numbers present; and which he viewed most dangerseldom, without some saving ous, in the spirit of love and impressions being left on one or meekness. None could be more
distant from pressing unhallow- upon the bruised reed, and upon ed human passion into the ser- the spiritually whole and sick, vice of God. In his sermons, abound with discriminating reve find none of those asperities marks on character, and with by which religion has too often consolations for the weakest, the been dishonoured. Truth ap- most dejected and trembling bepears in an attitude and aspect, liever. not only majestic, but graceful It is no small recommendaand attractive.
tion of the sermons of Mr. DaEven in his most pungent and vies, that, while intelligible to awakening addresses to the un: the meanest capacities, they are converted, the spirit of benevo: calculated to gratify persons of lence and compassion is obvious the greatest knowledge and rely predominant. Perhaps there finement, They abound with are no sermons, which depict, in striking thoughts, with the beaumore striking and awful colours, ties and elegancies of expres, the guilt, the wretchedness and sion, and with the richest imdanger of the impenitent. Yet, agery. Some fastidious critics who does not see, that a tender, may perhaps object to his style, trembling concern for their best aş forid and ornamented in the interests prompts and pervades extreme. But it should be re, the whole? And where is the membered that nature made hiin sinner, who can refrain from a poet ; and that a brilliant imtaking the preacher's partagination, operating on a warm against himself?
heart, familiarized him to forms These sermons contain fre- of expression, which, in others, quent descriptions of the nature might seem unnatural and afand evidences of real religion. fected. On the whole, it may They exhibit it as commencing be properly remarked, that his in repentance and faith, as con- style, though rich and entertinued by a course of mortifica- taining, is rather a dangerous tion and self-denial, and as man- model for imitation. Young ifesting itself by substantial fruits preachers, by following it too of holiness and yirtue. So lu- closely, might be betrayed into a minous and striking are these manner ill suited to their ge. delineations, and so accurately nius. Let them study to resem: do they distinguish genuine re: ble President Davies in his pieligion, both from its opposites ty, his zeal, his fidelity in exand counterfeits, that it seems ploring and
communicating Scarcely possible that any one truth ; but let them not be toa should attentively peruse them, emulous of soaring upon the and yet remain ignorant of his wing of his vigorous and excurreal state. His discourses upon sive imagination. the poor and contrije in spirit,