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2l-rBb£oRg die affair was brought into (hef fynod, Mr. Abernefhy, who was alway-s looked upon as at the head of the Non

isuhsefiberSj had, by his uncommon abilities, and as uncommon emineney as a chrifr tian, acquired a most established reputation* He was, indeed, esteemed by many to a degree, which could hardly be duetto any man: This gave him great advantage in these controversies; no man had mose, or as much authority. The other members of the Belfaft-iocvefyi as the Reader will form some notion of fheir abilities, from •what has been feid above, so were men of unblameable lives; and indeed nothing,. _ without remarkable purity of manners,, would have supported them against the torrent of prejudice, which they had,- at first especially, to wrestle with; their side of the question was most unpopular, and the clamor raised against them almost universal i And the reader wh% without being particularly informed* readily imagine many personal inconveniencies which those, who* upon such occasions are on the unpopular fide, must suffer.


e>Mr. E J? JV£THrhad the gfeitest ihare, both in conducting the counsels of tfte Non-subscfibefs, and managing their pu©fic debates }. and he, with some others of that society, acquired extraordinary reputation for found judgment and eloquence. He ,was particularly distinguished by an evenness and constancy of temper, which ne'thing could ruffle or discompose: He was , ralways himself, and free from those tumults . and agitations of spirit, which are oftenr.Jeen to deprive men of the use of veryemir«en* abilities ^ let the spirit of strife and Contention rage ever so much in the synod, „ ,;fie seemed to catch nothing of the infec, tion : His mind always ready and clear in

- judging, and his utterance eafy and free: ; He has often spoken extempore for a long efime together, in the greatest warmths-©f debate,. with such pertinency, temper and

fluency of expression, as, while it surprized -the hearers, commanded their respect and attention. A great vivacity and quickness

- ids apprehension, a perfect presence of mind, with a penetrating judgment, happily c[aalisied him for the part he had to act -in these assemblies, which was so' much the • - easier easier to him, that he had a clear, strong* and agreeable voice: If his cause was dislikedj the person that pleaded it with such advantage, could not but be admired; and, as he acted from a thorough persuasion of the righteousness and great Importance of the cause of liberty, so he proceeded in the defence of it, with a resolution and boldness which became one \vho had nothing but truth and right in his airru

The truth is, he and his friends of thd Belsajl-fociety found themselves involved in great difficulties; rriany, who set themselves to oppose them with violence, were men much, and justly celebrated for learning and great piety; and, without doubt, acted from a principle of zeal for God: And, in assemblies constituted as the synod is, there will always be a considerable part, which cannot enter deeply into the merits of such a cause, but will be swayed by great names, and follow them in all their measures, especially when religion is apprehended to be at stake, and the foundations of it undermined, which notion greatly prevailed upon this occasion amongst the less discerning; so that it is not to be wondered deffcd dt, that'the Nort-fubscriberi weVc looked upon with great jealousy, anct'trlaf jltejudices, quite invincible by reason, were laM in against all that they could fay. Thfe populace, in most places, conceived a great dislike to them and their ministrations j aria tW'this the authority of the synod (however" fi&cere their aims and intentions might be, which I do not at all call in question) very much contributed. Popular reproaches fell as heavily upon Mr. Abemethy, as any m'an; and he was by many as much disliked irfd^evil spoken of, as he had been formerly celebrated and admired; but so did he conduct himself through the whole of this controversy, that, neither in the synod, nor mjt' pf it, did he give his adversaries any advantage against him, or the least occasion, of 'enmity.' His character for discretion, dander, and greatness of mind, amongst all ffiat'Tthew him, and. could judge, he still maintained: And, for himself, it was enough. to him, that he did justice to his cause ari'd his own conscience; the personal incohveniencies which followed upon his attachment to the cause of liberty, did not move him: And he can hardly appear to the reader in a more amiable light, than by Vol. I. e imagining

imagining him in a few years, from( the moil: admired character, and celebrated preacher in the north, become the object ©f jealousy and reproach, forsaken by a. 'cbniiderable number, even of the people of his own congregation, and all the while preserving an equal temper, without doing 'any thing which spoke resentment against others, or. disquietude in his own mind.


. — A N D his brethren of the BeIfaJ?-{ocj£tyT or prefbytry of Antrim (for having been formerly of different presbytries, they were, by an act of the synod, some time before the rupture, joined together in one) had not only great satisfaction in him as a member, but, when things came to-a crisis, and. some ministers were like to- suffer deeply for being of this party, his presence and conversation were a most powerful support to their minds; he did not only preserve an -easy cheerful spirit himself, but had a very peculiar faculty of infusing it into others j .and, as he always maintained an even tem•per, so he was most patient of labour and application j not at all hasty in his spirit, -joi? discouraged from renewing his attempts frequent disappointments; for, while c-u.v things

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