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shall yet serre thee; serve thee to the test the principles and through an immortal duration ; motives of his actions, and sewith the activity, the fervour, the verely condemned himself for perfection of the rapt seraph that every deviation from the peradores and burns. I very much fect rule. Having been solicited şuspect this desponding view of to publish a volume of poems, the matter is wrong, and I do he conimunicated to a friend the not mention it with approbation, following ingenuous remarks ! but only relate it as an unusual « What affords me the greatest reason for my willingness to die, discouragement, attended with which I never felt before, and painful reflections, in sucli cases, which I could not suppress,
is the ambitious and selfish spir“ In my sickness, I found the it I find working in me, and inunspeakable importance of termixing itself with all my Mediator, in a religion for sin- most , refined and disinterested ners. (! I could have given aims. Fame, for which some you the word of a dying man professedly write, is a strong, for it, that Jesus whom you though a resisted temptation to preach is indeed a necessary, me ; and I often conclude, my and an all-sufficient Saviour, attempts will never be crowned Indeed he is the only support with any remarkable success, till for a departing soul. None but the divine glory be more sinCHRIST, yone but Christ. Had cerely my aim, and I be willing I as many good works as Abraç to decrease, that Jesus may inham or Paul, I would not have
It is easy to dared build my hopes en such a down this vile lust of fame; but quicksand, but only on this firm, oh! it is hard to extirpate it eternal rock.
from the heart. There is a pa“ I am. rising up, my brother, per in Dr. Watts' miscellaneous with a desire to recommend him thoughts, on this subject, which better to my fellow-sinners, than characterizes me, in this respect, I have done. But alas ! I hard- as exactly as any thing I have ly hope to accomplish it. He seen ; and a poem of his, enhas done a great deal more by titled, Sincere Praise, is often me already, than I ever expect, the language of my heart. ed, and infinitely more than I -“ Pride, that busy sin, deserved. But he never intend. Spoils all that I perform ; td me for great things. Ile has Curst pride, that creeps securely in,
And swells a little worm. beings both of my own, and of
** The very songs I frame superior orders, that can per- Are faithless to thy cause; form him more worthy service. And steal the honours of thy name, 0! if I might but untie the To build their own applause." latchet of his shoes, or draw wa. But though rigid in judging ter for the service of his sanctu- himself, he was exemplarily ary, it is enough for me. I am catholic in the opinions he formmo angel, nor would I murmured of others. He entertained a because I am not."
high regard for many, who disMr. Davies cultivated an inti- fered from him in various points mate acquaintance with his own of faith and practice. Taking a heart. He scrupulously brought large and luminous survey of the
field of religion, he accurately was as ready to forgive injuries distinguished the comparative received, as solicitous to avoid importance of things, and pro. offending others. His heart portioned his zeal accordingly. overflowed with tenderness and While conscientiously tenacious pity to the distressed ; and in on all great subjects, he was his generous eagerness to supgenerously candid in points of ply the wants of the poor, he of. minor consequence. Few in- ten exceeded his ability. While deed have so happily avoided the thus eminent in his disposition opposite extremes of bigotry to oblige, he was equally sensi, and latitudinarianism. Few have ble of the kindness of others ; exhibited so unwavering a zeal and as he could bestow with for evangelical truth, and the generosity, so he could receive power of religion, yet in such without servility. uniform consistency with the sa- His deportment in company cred principles of love and was graceful and genteel, with. meekness. His warm and libe out ceremony. It united the ral heart could never be confined grave with the pleasant, and the within the narrow limits of a accomplished gentleman with the party. Real worth, wherever dignified and devout Christian. discovered, could not fail to en- He was among the brightest gage his affection and esteem. examples of filial piety. The
Truth he sought for its own virtues and example of his exsake, and loved for its native cellent mother made an indelible charms. The sentiments, which impression upon his memory he embraced, he avowed with and heart. While pouring bles. the simplicity of a Christian, sings on her name, and humbly and the courage of a man. Yet styling himself, a " degenerate keeping his mind ever open to plant,” he declared, not only conviction, he retracted his opin- that her early dedication of him ions without reluctance, when- to God had been a strong in. ever they were proved to be ducement to devote himself by mistakes : for he rightly judged his own personal act, but that he that' the knowledge of truth looked upon the most important alone was real learning, and that blessings of his life as immediate attempting to defend an error, answers to ter prayers. As a was but labouring to be igno. husband, he was kind, tender, rant.
and cordial ; mingling a genuHe possessed an ardent benev. ine and manly fondness with a olence, which rendered him the delicate respect. delight of his friends, and the As a parent, he felt all the af, admiration of all, who knew fectionate, trembling solicitudes, him. The gentleness and suav- which pature and grace could ity of his disposition were re- inspire. " There is nothing," markable. One of his friends he writes to his friend, “that declared, that he had never seen can wound a parent's heart so hiin angry during several years deeply, as the thought that he of unbounded intiinacy, though should bring up children to dise he had repeatedly known him to honour his God here, and be be ungenerously treated, He miserable hereafter. I beg your
prayers for mine, and you may moves, and writes, mouldering expect a return in the same into its native element, you may kind.” In another letter, he safely indulge this reflection : says, “ We have now three sons “Well
, once I had a friend ; a and two daughters; whose friend, whose affection could find young minds, as they open, room for me in his retired imI am endeavouring to cultivate portunities for mercy at the with my own hand, unwilling to throne of grace, when his own trust them to a stranger; and I wants were so numerous and find the business of education great, that they might have enmuch more difficult than I ex. grossed all his concern." Or, if pected. My dear little crea- I am doomed to survive you, I tures sob, and drop a tear now shall have the melancholy satisand then, under my instructions, faction to reflect, “My friend but I am not so happy as to see did not live without such assur. them under deep and lasting im- ances of my tender affection as pressions of religion ; and this might engage his confidence in is the greatest grief they afford my useless friendship." me. Grace cannot be commu- “And now, when I feel the nicated by natural descent ;'and, soft emotions of friendship, and if it could, they would receive speak of the final period of this but little from me.”
mortal state, I cannot restrain Few have had a higher relish myself from intermixing some for friendship, than Mr. Davies. of the solemnities of religion. Few have better understood its We shall have an interview bedelicacies, or more faithfully and yond the grave, though we judiciously discharged its duties. should never converse more beThese and various other parts neath the skies, in the low lanof his character, are agreeably guage of mortals. But, oh! unfolded in the following letter, on what happy, or on what diswritten in the year 1751. mal coast shall we meet ? On
" My very dear friend, the verdant plains of the celes“I redeem a few nocturnal tial paradise, or in the dreary rehours to breathe out my benevo- gions of horror and despair ? lent wishes for you, and to as- The human mind is incapable of sure you of my peculiar re- forming a more important in. gards. Human life is extreme- quiry ; and if the hurries or ly precarious and uncertain ; amusements of this infant state and, perhaps, at your return, I of things can banish it from our may be above the reach of your minds, we have forfeited the correspondence ; or, perhaps, character of rational creatures ; your voyage may end on the we are as really, and more pereternal shore. , therefore, niciously mad than any wretch write to you, dear Sir, in the last in bedlam, though we are not agonies of friendship, if I may stigmatized as such by the use the expression. If, upon world, who are seized with the your return, you only hear my same delirium. The valley of worthless name tost from tongue the shadow of death appear's freto tongue, and find this system quently gloomy and tremendous of clay that now breatlies, and to me ; but, it is in those un.
kappy hours, when my views of agony, carry nothing terrible in
“ Clasp'd in my heavenly Father's
Of so divine and blest a death." lulled asleep in a carnal securi- " Dear, dear Sir, I have open: ty : but my mind cannot rested to you some of my senti: under this uncertainty: it ments on experimental religion, is too important a matter to and, you know, we unhappily make an implicit venture in. difler upon sundry points relatOh! Sir, an eternity of consun- ing to it. Our differences on mate happiness! An eternity of many other points, and sundry the most intolerable misery!- of them even with respect 10 My mind sinks beneath the un- this, have but a very remote wieldy thought, and I cannot fine connexion with everlasting salish the sentence! If I am mis- vation; and, no doubt, multitaken in this, if I forin to my- tudes arrive in the same heaven, self some easy scheme of relig- who are tenacious of different ion that may suit the humour of sides. But that thorough change this world well enough, but will of heart, usually denominated not obtain the approbation of the regeneration; that distressing supreme Judge, then my reason conviction of our undone condiis a pernicious superfluity, my tion by sin, and utter inability to very being an eternal
curse ; relieve ourselves by virtue of Wo is me, my mother, that thou that strength common to man. didst bear me. But, in those kind in general ; that humble acjoyful hours, when I can rest my ceptance of Christ as our only guilly soul on an all-sufficient Saviour and Lord, by a faith of Redeemer with all the humble divine operation, that humbling confidence of a confirmed faith ; sense of the corruption of hu. when I can read the evidences of man nature, and eager pursuit regenerating grace upon my and practice of universal boli
. heart ; when I can recollectness, which I have, I believe, the solemn transactions between mentioned in conversation and God and my soul, and renew my letters, appear to me of abs them in the most voluntary ded- solute necessity. ication of myself, and all I am
" I should be glad you would and have, to bim, through the read the second and third of Dr. blessed Mediator; then immor- Doddridge's Sermons on Reo tality is a glorious prospect; generation, which, I think, give the grizzly phantom, death, is
a very just and rational account disarmed of all its horrors, and, of that important change. I with the inviting mildness of an would not venture my soul on a angel, charms me into its cold religion short of this for ten embraces. Then the mortal thousand worlds, and I am inex: pale, the dying cold, the quiver: pressibly anxious, (pardon the ing lips, the falling jaws, and all perhaps needless anxiety of my the grim attendants of the last fore) lest you should fatally mis
take here. My anxiety is assert it, I could not embrace it heightened when I consider without willully throwing myyour favourite authors. Tillot- self into ruin. son's and Sherlock's works, the “You know, Sir, what use I Whole Duty of Man, and such would have you make of these authors, are truly valuable in hints; and I am confident you their place, and handle many will pardon the affectionate solipoints to peculiar advantage ; citude for you, which prompts but if I know any thing of expe- me to them. I speak solemnly, rimental Christianity, they creat dear Sir, solemnly as in the presof it very superficially, and, I ence of God, and not with the think, in their most obvious contradictious spirit of a dispusense, tend to mislead us in sun- tant. Of all the systems of dry things of great importance practical religion, which have relating to it, not so much by come under my examination, I asserting false doctrines, as by have endeavoured to choose the omitting sundry branches of it most sure as the foundation of absolutely necessary. I have my hopes ; and I should show a examined the matter with some guilty and unfriendly indiffercare ; and I am sure their de. ence about your immortal interlineation of Christianity is not ests, should I not recommend it an exact copy of what I must to you, and caution you against experience before I can see the those that appear insufficient. Lord : I must indeed come up It matters little to me whether to their account of it; but I you use the ceremonial peculiarmust not test there ; there is a ities of the church of England, necessity of experiencing some- or not; as I know they have but thing farther than they general- little concern with experimental ly inculcate. The same thing I religion : but our notions of the would inoffensively observe with substance of vital piety ought to respect to all the sermons I have be well examined, and impartialheard in Virginia from the es- ly formed ; as a mistake here tablished clergy. Hence, by the may
be of pernicious conseby, you may see the peculiar quences.
But I must desist. safety of my scheme ; if their May almighty grace prepare scheme of religion be sufficient, you for a glorious immortality! I am as safe as they, since mine May divine Providence be your includes it; but if it should guardian through the dangers of prove essentially defective, then the boisterous ocean ! you see where the advantage
“ May He, whose nod the hurricanes lies. This difference is not at and storms, all owing to their being of the And blustering wares in all their church of England, for many of
With calm adoring reverence obey : that church agree with me ; and May He with friendly vigilance preside many Presbyterians with them ;
O’er the outrageous winds and but it is owing to their imbibing boist'rous tide, the modern divinity, which, like And safe thro' crowds of deaths cona pernicious leaven, has diffused
duct your dang’rous way! itself among all denominations : “ I commit two letters to your and however confidently some care, one to Dr. Doddridge, and