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manager in the public debates, and was much regarded; for as he was an excellent speaker, to the perfect candor of his fpirit, which in the whole of his conduct was so apparent as to raise him quite above suspicion, made him univerfally beloved : Even the greatest adversaries to his cause, could not but admire him.
He was of no party, farther than his regard to truth and virtue made him of it. He was a great master in natural religion, and in the arguments which fupport the authority of the christian religion, to which he did great honour by a conversation worthy of it. He was a person quite above the spirit of the world, and seemed to have no solicitude at all about his circumstances in it. No man easier about himfelf, but the good and benevolent affections fo reigned in him, that to do good to others was his constant business and study. And no one manifested a greater reverence for his creator, and care to please him in all things. A fixed persuasion of the perfect wisdom and goodness of God, and that all events are under the direction of his providence, begot such an habitual calm and tranquillity in his mind, that he was not to be thaken even by most afflictisg occurrences.
He was a most acceptable preacher, and had a wondrous faculty of expressing himself, even upon the most difficult and abstracted subjects, in a manner that was plain and easy to the apprehension of his hearers. And his way of thinking was so clear, and his memory so strong, that tho' he did not write his sermons (which his friends now regret as a very sensible lofs) yet he delivered himself in a correct style, and without any confusion, He was capable of rising into great warmth, but the most distant possible from the unreasonable wildnesses of enthusiasm. His strong reasoning, enlivened by the zeal of his fpirit, (which never discovered itself but in matters truly important) made deep imprefsions upon his hearers. It was apparent he felt the power of the sacred truth which he taught: And as he was a man of the greatest simplicity of spirit in declaring the truth, so he was of the greatest firmness in defending it; not to be sway'd by any authority, or daunted by any opposition.
MR. Taylor was a man of found judgment, and very considerable knowledge. He was a weighty speaker, and could inix the argumentative and pathetic very agree
ably, A man of a bold and resolved spirit, and who could not give way
human authority in religious matters, but followed steadily the conviction of his own judgment, He was a laborious and serious preacher, He bestowed much pains in composing his sermons, and always studied to do honour to his station and character. He maintained a great and firm mind in very afflicting circumstances, which attended an unweildy body, and full of disorders, for many years, This confined him much, and rendered him incapable of those services for which he was in other respects very well qualified. He was much esteemed in the Belfast focis ety, and very zealous in their cause.si
MR. Shaw was a gentleman who could not be known without being beloved. He had an education suitable to his genteel paFentage. He had the greatest sweetness and cheerfulness of temper, happily joined with a gravity which became his character, and
fat easy upon him. He was much and justly admired for prudence and discretion
in his conduct. Not hafty in resolving, and very diligent to satisfy himself thoroughly in the reasons upon which he acted. But
put out of
of a firm mind, and not to be
67 Mr. Harper was distinguished by great piety and tenderness of affection. He had attained to a considerable degree of learning in the languages and philosophy, as well as divinity. His sermons were full of the páthetic, which was natural to him, and without any affectation. He had a delicacy in his temper and pafsions, which was in some respects uneasy to himself, but amiable to his friends, with whom he rejoiced bror suffered, as their circumstances gave OCcasion, above most men. He had the inb terefts of true religion greatly at heart, and b.was content to bear perfonal inconveniencies no not-a-little grievous to hiin, rather than forfake that party which he believed had truth Vi and reason on their fide. tuä.
9:11 SAY: nothing of meffieurs * Nevin, Wilson, Clugston, Henderfon; and Mearsz
Mr. Nevin's death happened since this preface was written. He was a man of great abilities, and indefatigable industry and activity. Exceedingly zealous for the juft liberties of mankind, and warm in opposing all pretences to power in matters of religion and conscience, In the course of the debates between the Synod and Nonfubscribers, a particular charge was brought against him, for some things he had faid in private conversation; which were thought inconsistent with some important articles of the christian faith. In the Synod which met at Dungannon, 1724, the matter was brought to a public trial; and issued, not in a decision upon evidence, but in requiring Mr. Nevin to make a declaration of his faith concerning the supreme deity of Christ. This he would not submit to, for many reasons which he urged against fuch a method of proceeding, as holding an in quisition upon him, and a direct violation of the common rights of mankind : Upon which he was excluded from the Synod. The Nonsubscribers protested againlt this, and gave in their reasons, which are printed with Mr. Nevin's trial publifhed by himself.' His defence, to which the reader is referred, though made under great disadvantages, very much raised his character, even in the Synod as well as without doors, fhewing great eloquence and strength of reason. He continued, nots withstanding his exclusion, to maintain his reputation amongst his friends at Downpatrick; and when the Nonfübfcribers were erected into a separate Prefbytry; became a member with them.
He was an eloquent and acceptable preacher, and delivered himself in the pulpit with great life. He had truly generous dispositions, and was ready to serve his friends at the expence of any labour to himself. As this engaged him in many affairs, so he came to acquire à confiderable knowledge in civil matters, and was exceedingly serviceable in the neighbourhood by bis advice