Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB
[blocks in formation]

MR. EDWARD BROMFIELD, Jun. The following biographical sketch of Mr. EDWARD BROMFIELD, jun. is from the pen of the Rey. Thomas PRINCE, formerly minister of the old South church in Boston, a man of integrity, learning, and piety. We are happy in rescuing from obscurity the memory of a man, who, though he died at the early age of TWENTY THREE YEARS, lived long enough to discover that he possessed genius and talents, which would have adorned any country, in any age. That his surprising talents would have been devoted to the glory of his Maker, and the good of his fellow-men, had his life been prolonged, there is the best reason to believe, as they were sanctified by religion, and under the government of a pious heart.

Boston, Nov. 30, 1746. IT is with great regret to and died at his father's house, think, and I have often thought Aug. 18, 1746, to the deep reit a thousand pities that one of luctance of all who knew him. the most extraordinary youths, From his childhood he was for various amiable excellencies, thoughtful, calm, easy, modest, especially piety, joined with a of tender affections, dutiful to most accurate mechanic genius his superiors, and kind to all and penetration into the internal about him.

As he grew up? works of nature, which this land these agreeable qualities ripened and age have produced, and who in him; and he appeared very deceased last summer, should be ingenious, observant, curious, allowed to sink into oblivion penetrating; especially in the among us. Those who were ac- works of nature, in mechanical quainted with him, have no need contrivances and manual operaI should say, it was Mr. Ed. tions, which increased upon his ward Bromfield, jun.

studying the mathematical sciBut to preserve his memory ences, as also in searching into in our public annals, I shall brief- the truths of divine revelation, ly observe, he was the eldest and into the nature of genuine son of Mr. Edward Bromfield, experimental piety. merchant, in this town; was His genius first appeared in born in 1723, entered Harvard the accurate use of his pen; college in 1738, took his first de- drawing natural landscapes and gree in 1742, his second in 1745, images of men and other ani. No. 5. Vol. II.

[ocr errors]

mals, &c. making himself a mas- with two rows of keys and many ter of the famous Weston's short hundred pipes; his intention behand in such perfection, as he ing twelve hundred, but died bewas able to take down every fore he completed it. The workword of the Professor's lectures manship of the keys and pipes in the college hall, sermons in surprisingly nice and curious, the pulpit, and testimonies, pleas, - exceeding any thing of the kind &c. in Courts of Judicature. As that ever came here from Eng. he grew in years, with a clear, land; which he designed, not sedate, unprejudiced and most merely to refresh leis spirits, but easy way of thinking, he greatly with harmony to mix, enliven improved in knowledge and and regulate his vocal and detherewith a most comely sweet- lightful songs to his great Creaness, prudence, tenderness and tor, Preserver, Benefactor and modesty, graced all his conversa-, Redeemer. He thought the Aution and improvements in the thor of nature and music, does, eyes of all about him.

by his early choristers of the air, As monuments of his extraor- with which the day-spring rises, dinary industry and ingenuity; teach us to awake with them, in two or three minutes view, and begin our morning exercise I see he has left in his study, with grateful hymns of joy and (1) Maps of the earth in its vari. praises to him. And what is ous projections drawn with his surprising was, that he had but a pen in a' most accurate manner, few times looked into the infiper than I have ever seen the side work of two or three orfike from plates of copper. (2) gans which came from England. A number of curious Dials made (5) But what I would chiefly with his own hands: One af write of is, his clear knowledge which is a Triangular Octodeci. of the properties of light, his mal; having about its center vast improvement in making eighteen triangular planes, with Microscopes, most accurately their hour lines and styles, stand- grinding the finest glasses; and ing on a pedestal, though unfin- thereby attaining to such wonished. (3) A number of Optical drous views of the inside frames andother mechanical instruments and works of nature, as I am apt of his own inventing and mak - to think that some of them at ing; the designs and uses of least have never appeared to morwhich are not yet known. (4) A tal eye before. He carried his considerable number of Manu- art and instruments to such a de-scripts, of his own writing ; con- gree, as to make a great numtaining extracts out of various ber of surprising discoveries of authors, with his own pious med- the various shapes and clusters itations and self-reflections ; contained in a variety of exceedthough almost all in short hand, ingly minute particles of vegetawith many characters of his own bles, insects, &c. as also of the devising, and hard to be decipher- yet smaller clusters which comed. (5) As he was well skilled in posed the particles of those ciusMusic, he for exercise and recre- ters, &c.--that he seemed to be ation, with his own hands, has making haste to the sight of the - inade a „most accurate Organ, Mlinima Vai uralia, or the very

[ocr errors]

minutest and original atoms of made the shade of the mite 100. material substances..

feet in length, &c. He then put In short, he could meet with in its place a small particle of no; curious piece of mechanism gutter wátér, about as long, but he could readily see its defi, broad, and thick again as the ciencies, make one like it, and mite, and it projected a thin happily improve. At one time, shade, which looked like a mighhe told me, it seemed as if we ty lake, wherein were swimming might magnify almost unbound- with inimitable life and swiftness edly, or as far as the rays of light a number of extremely small an: preserved their properties and imalcula, whose shade was but could be visible. At another half an inch long, and about protime, ebat he saw a way of bringe portionably broad as in the mite ing sun-beams in such a manner but less in thickness, by which and number into a room in the I then computed thus. coldest day of winter, as to make

The shade of the mite it as warm as he pleased, without

21-6 half inches long any other medium.

120 half inches broad site Learnestly urged him to write down, delineate and publish his

25,920 square half inches su: discoveries, for the instruction of

perficies men and glony of God: but his

120 half inches thick excessive modesty hindered him, and now they are gone without 3,110,400 cubical half inches in recovery.. I can only relate a

the whole. specimeu or two which once he showed me, as follows.

By which we clearly see, that · The first of which I remember 25,920 of those half inch ani; trasy he put a small live louse in: malcula could lie side by side to his Microscope, and project on the back of that one 'mite ; ted, the shade on the wall.... and that 3,110,400 of them to. By the beating of the collec. gether would not make a body led 'sun-beams, on him through so large as bis.. the glass, we presently saw his We also saw the animalcula Auids boiling, and his muşca

overcome with the collected heat parts excited to universal, of the sun beams, and die in violent-convulsions, which in- struggles ; before which their #creasedutili he died in an ine motion was so extremely swift, istanta in it!

our sight was unable to define The other, yet more wonder- their dimensions with any exactbulyI took down at the time in ness. writings: viz. April 18, 1744, as

This observing young gentle, -follows. He put in the place man told me, that about a fort. thereof a mite of a cheese ; and night before, or the beginning of it projected a shade 216 half April, when these animalcula inches long, 120, half inches were so much nearer their fætal broad, and about as thick as statc, they were so small as at broad. If the room bad been the same distance to project a 100 feet square, he could have shade of but a tenth of an inch

[ocr errors]

Jar

[ocr errors]

in length"; by which I then com- šion, and therein contract a con= puted thus.

tamination with him.*.

But those observations served The shade of the mite

to convince me of what the 108 inches, i.e. 1080 decimals of

wonderful Sir Isaac Newton has inches long 60 inches, i.e. 600 decimals of sagaciously premonished ; that

upon the improvement of mi. inches broad

croscopes, material substances 648,000 square dec. to prevent our perfect discovery

would appearso transparent, as imals of inches superficies

of them. 600 decimals of

These are but two or three ininches thick

stances of the many entertain

ing discoveries of this extraor388,800,000 decimal

dinary youth, who I doubt not cubes in the whole.

has now the discerning powers By this we may see, that of angels ; capable of seeing 648,000 of those decimal animals without instruments or "rays; cula could lie side by side on the even the finest parts of material back of the mite ; and that substances, with all their created : 388,800,000 of them in a heap beauties and the wondrous opetogether would not amount to rations of their Maker in them; the bigness of his single body.. and yet entertained with sublim: Yea, as the half inch animalcula, er views. As there was such a and consequently the decimals, conjunction of ingenuity and pins were not half so thick in propor. ety in him as-is rarely seen tion as the mite, it would take up among the sons of men ; so his more'than double of those cubi. ingenuity sanctified, became an: cal numbers to equal his body. instrument to promote his pie-u

Marvellous are the works of ty ; either to advance his knowl, God! • 'Yea, they are honourable edge and veneration of God, or and glorious, as the inspired help excite, and fit to adore, writer tells us ; and therefore serve and honour him. In a sought out by all those that have very tender and weakly body, he : pleasure therein.

had an indefatigable soul, was a By the observations above, es- wonderful redeemer of times pecially considering he could ea- and the above 'were some of his sily have magnified the shade of recreating exercises, which hea the mite to above a hundred feet, made subservient to the glory of yea, in a manner unboundedly, God, when he found it needful &c. methinks I can easily con- to divert from his intenser stu: ceive, how all the children of dies of divive Revelation, and men from Adam, might, in their his own conformity to his Creaoriginal stamina, be enclosed in their parental stamina ; and so in the loins of their primitive The reader will consider these ancestor be actually united to

as the philosophical speculations of him, as his living members, at

the Rev. Mr. Prince, for the correct:

ness of which the editors do not hold the time of the first transgres- themselves responsible.

[ocr errors]

tor, Sanctifier and Saviour ; to to their perfect and perpetual the latter of which, he, by divine pleasure and admiration. grace, was turned in an eminent

THOMAS PRINCE. manner about six years ago. Since which happy change within him, nothing seemed to en. LIFE OF SARAH PORTERFIELD. gage his soul and draw his at

Written by a female friend from tention so much as the study of Christ, that most admirable per

her own lips.* son, above all created beings,

I was born in Ireland, in the and the most wondrous work of county of Donegal, in the parish redemption in its various pro- of Raphe, Aug. 13, 1722. I gressive branches, from their had pious parents, who instructfirst original to their eternal

ed me in the Christian religion, consumination. And could the and set good examples before key of his characters be perfect. me. When I was about 11 years: ly discovered, it is hoped a re. old, I trust God was pleased to

effect a work of divine grace in : markable delineation might be al50 given of his experimental and my soul. After my first expe- . active piety.

rience of the truth of the gospel, Iwould on this occasion beg I was for some time left in the the reader's patience for one ob dark, and greatly feared that my servation more ; viz. that as bea change was not real. At length, sides the moral qualities of se

I was brought to see that I had renity, kindness, prudence, gen. neglected a duty in not giving tleness and modesty, displaying myself up to the Lord in a public in bis very countenance; there manner. Being about seventeen appeared especially in the air years old, an opportunity preand look of his eyes the strong-' sented, and I offered myself for est signatures of a curious and examination to the church in accurate genius, that I remem

Raphæ, of which the Rev. Da.. ber ever to have seen : from this

vid Farley was pastor. The and other remarks in others, I church, after examination, saw

fit to receive me into their comami apt to think, that even every quality of the human mind, and

munion, and I cannot but hope even in their various measures,

God was pleased, at that time, io may, by the operation of God, grant me tokens of his saving at least, become even visible in love, A blessed season it was the human countenance and eye

to me.

I sat under his banner to bear spectators; and as the with delight, and his fruit was

Never before appearance of the evil qualities sweet to my taste, of malice, madness, rage, &c. were such clear discoveries made among the damned, will eternal- to my soul of the love of Christ, ly excite their mutual horror ; so the amiable excellencies of * It is testified of Mrs. Sarah Por. the saints in light, and above terfield, by a judicious friend, that them all, of the most glorious

she was for many years an omament

to the church in Georgetown, Mainoy Son of God, will eternally blaze and died much esteemed by her out itr the countenance and eye, Christian acquaintance.

1.

« AnteriorContinuar »