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fore must have high ideas of him, as having 'by religion and virtuous discipline, got above the common weaknesses of human nature. There was, indeed, no part of his character more to be admired than this.
His mind was formed for friendship. He entered into the true spirit of it, and had a great relish for those strict intimacies ia which only the highest joys of it can be tasted. But it will be readily concluded from his character, that it must be with very few that he could enter into such intimacies. When he did, the generosity of his spirit, the tenderness of his affection, and faithful constancy, must render that relation very happy to his friend. His diary lhews, that he had some such friendships, and he frequently mentions them with a spirit which became that sacred relation.
Bv T he was a hearty friend, in the general acceptation of that term, to all men of worth, and ready to do good to all as he had opportunity. He was indeed sparing in professions, but never failed in important acts of kindness. And where he thought respect was due, he came short of no one ;n paying it. But had a just sense how unf 4 worthy
worthy it was of. him to put on appearances of respect to the worthless; and a mew of honour and regard, where disregard only and neglect were to be justly expected. From this mean vice no man was evermore free. He knew what was due to others, and what he owed to himself; and was peculiarly happy in maintaining the dignity of of his own character, consistently with modesty and the greatest meekness of Spirit.
He took much pleasure in directing and assisting young candidates in their studies j and was always ready to enter into conversation with them upon any points, with the difficulty of which their minds were pressed and entangled. But made it his care principally to assist their reasonings, and in forming their judgments of things by argument, 'and according to evidence; endeavouring to encourage liberty of thinking, and to take them off from all undue regard to authority, as he was himself the most distant possible from claiming any, or thinking the worse even of the youngest learner for differing from him in disputable points.
His faithfulness to his friends shewed itself remarkably in one thing, which is amongst the very tenderest offices, and requires the discreetest hand, that is, animad^verting freely upon their culpable weaknesses. This he never failed of doing when there was the least prospect of advantage from it. And tho' he could act this part with severity enough when that was necessary, yet it was so tempered with good-will, and an apparent intention to serve the best purposes, thatnoone, not quite lost to ingenuous sentiments, could be displeased with him. And he thoroughly understood how to address himself to men in the most effectual manner, and could touch the affections and springs of action, with great dexterity, suiting his application to the various tempers of men, which no one could more readily find out.
H i s first appearances, as a preacher, promised very considerable things, but he quickly exceeded all the expectations of his friends. Through the whole time of his ministry in the north, he preached without the use of his notes in the pulpit j yet was
seldom or ever at a loss. A clear, composed, and assured mind, with a choice and fluency of words which never failed him, and a strong and faithful memory made the delivery of his sermons easy to him j as a great compass of invention and readiness of thought, made the composition of them. For some years he delivered his sermons with a very great pathos, which tended to strike the imaginations and passions of his hearers. But he departed very much from ihis in his riper age, avoiding every thing which look'dhke enthusiasm, and addressed himself more directly to the consciences of men, and the higher principles of action, in a style strong and nervous, rather than pathetic. . After he came to Dublin, he constantly used his notes in the pulpit, not from any necessity he was then under, which did not oblige him to it before, but from a persuasion it was the best way, as upon other accounts, so particularly on this, that not using notes in the delivery, may prove to some a. temptation to negligence in the composing of their sermons. How exact his own were, the reader will fee from the sermons following.
But many thought he did not excel more in any thing than in prayer. In this he had a fluency of thought and expression, which seemed inexhaustible. And the discerning hearer might easily perceive great fervor of spirit, with an exact propriety of words, and very exalted strains of devotion, without any thing of the false sublime, but perfectly suitable to the gravity of a solemn address to God. It appears from his diary, that he was at much pains to qualify himself for performing this part of the public service after a right manner. His prayers upon some particular occasions were composed with great care, and committed to memory. And as he look'd upon the scriptural style to be the most becoming in our addresses to God j so he made much use of scriptural phrases, and was very happy in the choice of those which were best adapted to the matter of his petitions, or adoration and praise.
Thus, J have giien the reader the oust lines of his character, which he will perceive was very uncommon. I shall no longer fatam him from the perusal of the following