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licitude that he might perform the service of it in a reputable and fuccessful manner, are expressed in his diary in very strong terms; which shews how naturally great modefty and great worth dwell together. Such modest expressions, and which speak self-diffidence, uttered in conversation, often pass unheeded, as having very little meaning in them, and which are sometimes used by the most petulant and assuming. But to meet with such expressions where a man is communing only with his own heart, cannot but greatly engage the readers affection, Some little time after his settlement in Dublin, he married miss Boid, daughter of Mr. John Boid of Rathmore near Antrim ( a gentleman of character and fortune) with whom he lived in all the tenderness of conjugal affection to his Death.

It appears from the account given of, the foregoing part of his life, that Mr. Abernethy was a person of great industry and diligence in the proper labours of his station, and very careful in improving his time to the best purposes. When he came to Dublin, tho' he was there in that stage of life in which many think they may be

excused 5

yet he

excused from laborious application to study,


himself to reading, meditation, and the composing of sermons, with as great industry as ever. He wrote all his sermons at full length, all. legible, and it appears that he composed one almost every week.

In the year 1733, the dissenters, upon the encouragement they had


from some persons of distinction on the other side the water, and strong assurances, that a considerable number of members of parliament in this kingdom would be upon their fide, proposed to move the house of commons for a bill to repeal the facramental test act. When this project was first formed, Mr. Abernetby wrote a paper to thew the unreasonableness and injustice of all such laws, as upon account of mere differences in religious opinions and usages incapacitate fubjects, in other respects perfectly qualified for it, to serve their country in places of power or trust; and cut them off from priviledges and advantages to which, as free born fubjects, they have a natural and just title; and particularly, that in the present state of Ireland, the continuing to restrain protest


ants by such legal incapacities, is a great error in politics, and cannot but weaken the proteftant interest, and, in consequence of that, be a real loss and dif-service to the government. This

paper was written with much spirit and strength of argument. But arguments are feeble things when set in opposition to the views and interests of

parties. The design miscarried. O MR. Abernethy continued his labours in Wood-street for ten years, with much reputation, and found himself very happy in the faciety of his friends, who held him in the highest esteem. He did not indeed go much into mixed company when the businefs of his station did not call him to it; and often said, as converfation was generally conducted, he had little satisfaclion in it. He therefore staid much at home, and applied" himfelf to study. This was not owing to any thing four or unsociable in his temper, for he had a taste for conversation, and was of a most cheerful, as well as affectionate fpirit; but to a perfuafion that much of the time spent in company was lost, at least, might be much better employ'd. And that when a habit of paling time in a trifling manner was


contracted, it must have bad effects upon the mind, unbending it too much, and begetting an indolence by which men were rendered averse to application, and in some measure incapable of it. He thought that, of all men, ministers had most reason to guard against this, as it was more particularly their duty to preserve the mind always in an aptitude for the best exercises, and avoid every thing which had a tendency to dissipate the vigor of it. Observing likewise, that where the taste of the

company was such, that they could not manage conversation so as to render it worthy of men of sense, and good affections, that dignity of character which they ought always carefully to maintain, must fuffer by it.

To this it may be added, that, as in the present age modest merit is not very apt to be much sought after by the great, so no man ever less affected to put himself in the way of such than Mr. Abernethy, tho’ few better qualified for their acquaintance, or more. esteemed by those to whom he was known. He accounted it a great error, and which spoke a little mind, to court them with such humble application as some are seen to do. His constant aim was to do


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good and adorn his own station, and it was no pain to him to be in the greatest ob{curity which was consistent with this. Had he ever suffered himself to be conducted by other views, he might have very reafonably hoped to have appeared in that light, which in the sense of

many, thing to be contended for. But as he chose the station of a diffenting minister, of which he never repented; so he was perfectly fatisfied with those circumstances which usually attend it, which indeed place men quite out of fight, where wealth and splendor are the principal objects of attention.

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It may perhaps much more amaze the reader, that he so long delayed making himself known to the learned world; in which it is apparent, from what is already published, he might have appeared with the greateft reputation. It was very late in life, before he appeared in it at all; otherwise, than by a few occasional sermons, and the papers he published in the controversies in the north. This shews that name and character were not the things for which he laboured. And as modesty generally waits upon true



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