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The lady, with some hesitation public worship. The design of and difficulty, at last consented, the walk was for religious inedibeing convinced that his situation tation. As he went along, acciand circumstances rendered it dentally casting his eye on the proper. Thus, in one week, she child, a thought suddenly struck found herself mistress of his him, and he asked himself this house. She proved a most in. question : “Should God in his valuable treasure to him, more providence take me hence, what than answering every thing said would become of this child and of ber by an affectionate brother. its mother, for whom I have neve She took the care of his tempo- er taken any personal care to ral concerns upon her, extricated make provision? How can I an. him from debt, and, by a happy swer this negligence to God and union of prudence and economy, to them ?” The impropriety of so managed all his worldly busi. his inattention to the relative duDess, that in a few years his ties of life, which God had called circumstances became easy and him to ; and the consideration of comfortable. In a word, in her the sacred declaration, “that he was literally fulfilled the declara. who does not provide for his own tion of Solomon, that " a virtuous household, has denied the faith, woman is a crown to her hus- and is worse than an infidel," band, and that her price is far had such an impressive effect on above rubies." Besides several his mind, that it almost deprived children who died in infancy, he him of his senses. He saw his had by her three sons, who attain. conduct, which before he ed the age of manhood; John, thought arose entirely from a who studied physic, and died in deep sense of divine things, in a the West Indies when about point of light in which he never thirty three years of age; Wil. before had viewed it. He liam, a man of superior charac- immediately attempted to return ter, and minister of the Independ- home, but so great was his disent church in Charleston, South- tress, that it was with difficulty Carolina, who died the latter end he could get along ; till, all at of September or beginning of once, he was relieved by as sudOctober, A. D. 1777, about thirty- denly recurring to that text of seven years old ; and Gilbert, Scripture, whicli came into his who also practised physic, and mind with extraordinary force, died at Freehold before his fa. “But unto the tribe of Levi ther, aged twenty-eight years. Moses gave not any inheritance, Few parents could boast three the Lord God of Israel was their sons of a more manly or hand- inheritance." Such, however, some appearance ; and the father was the effect of this unexpected gave them the most liberal scene on Mr. Tennent's mind education that the country could and judgment, that ever afterafford.
wards he prudently attended to Mr. Tennent's inattention to the temporal business of life, still, earthly things continued till his however, in perfect subordinaeldest son was about three years tion to the great things of eterniold, when he led him out into ty, and became fully convinced the fields on a Lord's day after that God was to be faithfully
served, as well by discharging please and to instruct. As ar relative duties in his love and instance of this, the following an, fear, as by the more immediate ecdote is given, of the truth of acts of devotion. He clearly which the writer was a witness, perceived, that every duty had its
Mr. Tennent was passing proper time and place, as well as through a town in the state of motive ; that we had a right, and New Jersey, in which he was a were called of God, to eat and stranger, and had never preach, drink, and to be properly cloth-ed, and stopping at a friend's ed; and of course that care house to dine, was informed, that should be taken to procure those it was a day of fasting and prayer things, provided that all be done in the congregation, on account to the glory of God. In the du- of a very remarkable and severe ties of a gospel minister, how- drought, which threatened the ever, especially as they related to most dangerous consequences to his pastoral charge, he still enga- the fruits of the earth. His ged with the utmost zeal and friend had just returned from faithfulness; and was esteemed church, and the intermission was by all ranks and degrees, as far but half an hour. Mr. Tennent as his labours extended, as a fer- was requested to preach, and vent, useful, and successful with great difficulty consented, preacher of the gospel.
as he wished to proceed on his His judgment of mankind was journey: At church the people such, as to give him a marked were surprised to see a preacher, superiority, in this respect, over wholly unknown to them, and his contemporaries, and greatly entirely unexpected, ascend the aided him in his ministerial func- pulpit. His whole appearance, tions. He was scarcely ever being in a travelling dress, cover, mistaken in the character of a ed with dust, wearing an oldfashman with whom he conversed, ioned large wig, discoloured like though it was but for a few hours. his clothes, and a long meagre He had an independent mind, visage, engaged their attention, which was seldom satisfied on and excited their curiosity. On important subjects without the his rising up, instead of begin. best evidence that was to be had. ning to pray, as was the usual His manner was remarkably im- practice, he looked around the pressive ; and his sermons, congregation, with a piercing although seldom polished, were eye and earnest attention, and af, generally delivered with such in- ter a minute's profound silence, describable power, that he was
he addressed them with great truly an able and successful min- solemnity in the following words: ister of the New Testament. My beloved brethren! I am He could say things from the told you have come here to-day pulpit, which, if said by almost to fast and pray; a very good any other man, would have been work indeed, provided you have thought a violation of propriety. come with a sincere desire to But by him they were delivered glorify God thereby. But if in a manner so peculiar to him- your design is merely to comply sell, and so extremely impres- with a customary practice, or sive, that they seldom failed to with the wish of your church of
ficers, you are guilty of the great
While on this subject, we may est folly imaginable, as you had introduce another anecdote of much better have staid at home, this wonderful man, to show the and earned your three shillings and six pence.* But if your considered as extraordinary and sinminds are indeed impressed with
gularly striking the solemnity of the occasion, “On the evening preceding public and you are really desirous of worship, which was to be attended the humbling yourselves before Al- next day, he selected a subject for mighty God, your heavenly Fa- ered, and made some progress in his
the discourse which was to be deliv. ther, come, join with me, and let preparations. In the morning, he reas pray.” This had an effect so sumed the same subject, with an in. uncommon and extraordinary on tention to extend his thoughts further the congregation, that the ut- on it, but was presently assaulted most seriousness was universally which he then held in his hand, was
with a temptation that the Bible, manifested. The prayer and the not of divine authority, but the invensermon added greatly to the im- tion of man. . He instantly endeapressions already made, and tend-voured to repel the temptation by ed to rouse the attention, influ- prayer; but his endeavours proved ence the midd, command the af- ued, and fastened upon him with
unavailing. The temptation continfections, and increase the tem- greater strength, as the time advancper, which had been so happily ed for public service. He lost all the produced. Many bad reason to thoughts, which he had on his subbless God for this unexpected ject the preceding evening. He tried visit, and to reckon this day one
other subjects, but could get nothing.
for the people. The whole book of of the happiest of their lives.t God, under that distressing state of
mind, was a sealed book to him ; and
to add to his affliction, he was, to use * At that time, the stated price for his own words, “ shut up in prayer.' a day's labour.
A cloud, dark as that of Egypt, op
pressed his mind. ✓ The writer, having requested of
“ Thus agonized in spirit, he prothe present Rev. Dr. William M. ceeded to the church, where he found Tennent a written account of an an a large congregation assembled, and cedote relative to his uncle, which he waiting to hear the word: and then it had once heard him repeat verbally,' was, he observed, that he was more received in reply the following letter: deeply distressed than ever, and es
pecially for the dishonour, which he " Abington, Jan. 11th, 1806. feared' would fall upon religion,
through him, that day. He resolved, “The anecdote of my venerable however, to attempt the service. He relative, the Rer. William Tennent, introduced it by singing a psalm, dur. of Freehold, which you wished me to ing which time his agitations were send to you, is as follows:
increased to the highest degree. "During the greatrevivalof religion, When the which took place under the ministry of commenced, he arose, as one in the Mr.Whitefield, and others distinguish- most perilous and painful situation, ed for their piety and zcal at that peri- and with arms extended to the heave od, Mr. Tennent was laboriously ac ens, began with this outcry, 'Loril, tive, and much engaged to help for have mercy upon me." Upon the utward the work; in the performance terance of this petition he was heard ; of which he met with strong and the thick cloud instantly broke powerful temptations. The following away, and an unspeakably joyful light is related, as received, in substance, shone in upon his soul, so that his from his own lips, and may be spirit seemed to be caught up to ihe
dealings of God with him, and him, or that he must perish unthe deep contemplations of his der a view of his ineffable glory. mind. He was attending the du. When able to reflect on his sitries of the Lord's day in his own uation, he could not but abhor congregation as usual, where the himself as a weak and despicable, custom was to have morning and worm, and seemed to be overevening service with only a half come with astonishment, that a hour's intermission to relieve the creature so unworthy and insufattention. He had preached in ficient, had ever dared to attempt the morning, and in the inter- the instruction of his fellow-men mission had walked into the in the nature and attributes of woods for meditation, the wea- so glorious a Being. Overstayther being warm. He was re- ing his usual time, some of his flecting on the infinite wisdom elders went in search of him, of God, as manifested in all his and found him prostrate on the works, and particularly in the' ground, unable to rise, and incawonderful method of salvation, pable of informing them of the through the death and sufferings cause. They raised him up, of his beloved Son. This sub- and after some time brought him ject suddenly opened on hiš to the church, and supported him mind with such a flood of light, to the pulpit, which he ascended that his views of the glory, and on his hands and knees, to the no the infinite majesty of Jehovah, small astonishment of the conwere so inexpressibly great, as gregation. He remained silent entirely to overwhelm him, and a considerable time, earnestly he fell, almost lifeless, to the supplicating Almighty God (as ground. When he had revived he told the writer) to hide hima little, all he could do was to self from him, that he might be raise a fervent prayer, that God enabled to address his people, would withdraw himself from who were by this time lost in
wonder to know what had pro
duced this uncommon event. heavens, and he felt as though he saw His prayers were heard, and he God, as Moses did on the mount, face became able to stand up, by holdto face, and was carried forth to him, with an enlargement greater than he ing the desk. He now began the had ever before experienced, and on most affecting and pathetic adovery page of the Scripturcs saw his dress, that the congregation had divinity inscribed in brightest colours. The result was a dcep solemnity on
ever received from him.
He the face of the whole congregation, gave a surprising account of the and the house at the end of the pray
views he had, of the infinite wiser was a Bochim. He gave them the dom of God, and greatly deplorsubject of his evening meditations, ed his own incapacity to speak to which was brought to his full remem
them concerning a being so inbrance, with an overflowing abundance of other weighty and solemn finitely glorious beyond all his matter. The Lord blessed the dis. powers of description. He atcurse, so that it proved the happy tempted to show something of means of the conversion of about what had been discovered to him thirty persons. This day he spoke of, of the astonishing wisdom of ever afterwards, as his harvest day. “I am yours with esteem,
Jehovah, of which it was impossi“WILLIAN M. TENNEXT." ble for human nature to form
adequate conceptions. He then particularly attentive, it being a broke out into so fervent and ex favourite observation with him, pressive a prayer, as greatly to " that he loved a religion that a surprise the congregation, and man could live by." draw tears from every eye. A Mr. Tennent carefully avoidsermon followed, that continued ed the discussion of controver the solemn scene, and made very sial subjects, unless specially lasting impressions on all the called to it by particular circumhearers.
stances, and then he was ever The great increase of commu ready to assign the reason of his nicants in his church was a good faith. The following occur. evidence of his pastoral care and rence will show the general state powerful preaching, as it exceed of his mind and feelings in reed that of most churches in the gard to such subjects. A couple synod. But his labours were of young clergymen, visiting at not confined to the pulpit. He his house, entered into a dispute was indefatigable in his endea on the question, at that time vours to communicate in private much controverted in New Engfamilies a savour of the know land, whether faith or repentledge of spiritual and divine ance were first in order, in the things. In his parochial visits conversion of a sinner. Not behe used regularly to go through ing able to determine the point, his congregation in order, so as they agreed to make Mr. Tento carry the unsearchable riches nent their umpire, and to dispute of Christ to every house. He the subject at length before him. earnestly pressed it on the con He accepted the proposal, and science of parents to instruct after a solemn debate for some their children at home by plain time, his opinion being asked, he and easy questions, so as gradu. very gravely took his pipe from ally to expand their young minds, his mouth, looked out of his and prepare them for the recep- window, pointed to a man ploughtion of the more practical doc- ing on a hill at some distance, trines of the gospel. In this, Mr. and asked the young clergymen Tennent has presented an excel. if they knew that man : on their lent example to his brethren in answering in the negative, he the ministry ; for certain it is, told them it was one of his elthat more good may be done in a ders, who, to his full conviction, congregation, by this domestic had been a sincere Christian for mode of instruction, than any one more than thirty years. can imagine, who has not made said Mr. Tennent, “ ask him, the trial. Children and servants whether faith or repentance came are in this way prepared for the first, what do you think he would teachings of the sanctuary, and say?” They said they could not to reap the full benefit of the tell. Then,” says he, “I will word publicly preached. He tell you : he would say that he made it a practice in all these cared not, which came first, but visits to enforce practical reli- that he had got them both. Now, gion on all, high and low, rich my friends," he added, “ be careand poor, young and old, masterful that you have both a true and servant. To this he was faith, and a sincere repentance, Vol. II, No. 2.