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tion on subjects very little known, will be a most valuable acquisition to the public, and do additional honour to American literature."
Proposals will shortly be issued for publishing the work.
Dr.Waterhouse is about publishing "a continuation of the progress of vaccination in America; together with a narrative tending to show the import. ance of DECORUM in a young physi cian."
SWEET child of virtue, calm Content!
And smooth'st the rugged brow of poverty!
And gently bend the cowslip's silken head.
Yet without thee vain blooms the scene;
In vain the spicy shrub soft odour flings.
How richly now the tulip's drest!
How sweet the little violet's milder hue!
O'er all a sunny robe she throws,
And twines the wreath of spring for winter's head.
We have received a sketch of the life and character of the Rev. Moses Parsons, which shall appear in our next number.
A communication on the subject of the General Association is under consideration. We admit the ingenuity of this correspondent, but doubt the correctness of his reasoning in this instance. We think it proves too much.
Several communications, reviews, and some articles in our obituary, and other departments, are omitted, to give room for interesting intelligence. We have a body of it yet on hand to communicate for the comfort, animation, and gratification of our readers.
We have to congratulate the friends of the Panoplist on the continued increase of subscribers and patronage to this work. In consequence of its extensive circulation among the friends of religion and literature, the covers are probably the best vehicle which Booksellers and literary institutions can select for their advertisements.
Correspondents are requested to forward their communications early in each month.
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DECEMBER, 1807. [No. 7. VOL. III.
HARACTER OF THE
REV. MOSES PARSONS, PASTOR OF THE CHURCH IN BYEFIELD.
Extracted from a sermon delivered to his bereaved flock, by the Rev. David Tappan, afterward D. D.
THE God of nature had given him not only a most graceful and commanding presence, but a soul furnished with many excellent natural endowments; the most striking of which were a correct and solid judgment, a quick perception, a fertile invention, a ready and easy flow of thought and expression, a remarkably steady and resolute temper, joined and softened by a very pleasant and sprightly vein, and a large share of the kind and tender sensibilities. These, improved and expanded by a liberal education, polished by a large acquaintance with mankind, refined and consecrated by divine grace, enabled him to appear on the stage of the world in a very advantageous light, both as the gentleman, the Christian, the divine, and the preacher.
Having graduated at Harvard University, in 1736, the 21st year of his age, he was employed, for a series of years, in a Vol. III. No. 7.
He was born June 20, 1716.
grammar school; first at Manchester, and afterwards at Gloucester; in which department he displayed such mingled dignity and mildness, such a happy, ingratiating manner of instructing and forming the rising generation, as have left a lasting perfume upon his name in those towns; especially the latter, where he acted the part of a most tender, able, successful spiritual guide to his pupils, ina season of uncommon religious impressions.
On the 20th of June, 1744, he was ordained the pastor of the church in Byefield; in which he lived to complete near half of the fortieth year of his ministry t and through this whole period, he was a bright ornament both to his Christian and ministerial profession.
If we trace his private life, we see a remarkable pattern of steady and uniform goodness. The uncommon firmness and N N
He died Dec. 14, 1783.
stability of his natural temper communicated its own complexion to his moral and religious character, and rendered it a most lively comment on those lines of the poet.
"A man resolv'd, and steady to his
Inflexible to ill, and obstinately just." Having once deliberately settled his judgment, or fixed his purpose, upon any question, he maintained it with the most rigid, immoveable constancy, which nothing would shake, but the force of new light and conviction illuminating his understanding. Hence he always appeared the same good man, both at home and abroad; both in his most secret retirements, and in the open face of day; both in the pulpit, and the social circle. He always carried the gravity, the dignity, the prudent decorum of the Christian minister into his most cheerful hours and visits; and though he often indulged his pleasant, enlivening humour among his friends, yet a nice and singular purity, innocence and moderation ever presided over these sprightly sallies, and kept them at the greatest distance from the puerile jest, the boisterous laugh, the vain, indelicate mirth, which flow only from light, impure or vulgar minds. It has been remarked by some of his intimate acquaintance, that he scarce ever dismissed the merriest topic, without raising from it, or mingling with it, some qualifying observation, or useful lesson of a moral nature. In short, he knew how to be familiar without meanness; sociable without loquacity; cheerful without levity; grave without moroseness;
pious without enthusiasm, super stition or ostentation; zealous against error and vice, without 'ill natured bitterness; condescendingly affable to all, without the least sacrifice of his ministe rial dignity.
Another eminent "stroke in his character was a peculiar and noble simplicity of heart, discov ering itself in an honest, generous openness of language and behaviour. I never knew a person farther removed from every appearance of duplicity; wheth er deceitful flattery, low trick, designed falsehood, or artful disguise. His words and actions ever appeared to flow spontaneous from his inmost soul, and to speak its genuine language; insomuch that his real sentiments and feelings were almost visible and transparent in his frank, honest countenance, conversation and deportment.
With this was joined a warm, unaffected, enlarged benevolence, which, while it flowed out in good wishes and prayers for all mankind, embraced with a particular ardour the dear names of country, neighbourhood, ac quaintance, friends, and nearest connexions; and accordingly rendered him a zealous, patriotic advocate and fervent intercessor for the civil and religious interests of his beloved, persecuted America; an obliging, useful neighbour, and member of civil society; a kind, courteous and very hospitable acquaintance; an entire, faithful, inviolable friend; and in all his domestic connexions, as husband, parent, master, remarkably affectionate, condescending and endearing.
And as these virtues and accomplishments rendered him
very amiable and respectable in the more private walks of life, so they threw a lustre round his public, ministerial character; in which were combined, the judicious and sound divine; the evangelical, solid, affectionate, edifying, acceptable preacher; the prudent, compassionate and faithful pastor; the wise and good casuist; the zealous, steady friend, defender and promoter of pure and undefiled religion, in opposition to growing error, delusion and wickedness. In his sermons, he handled the great doctrines of the gospel, not in a merely speculative, or metaphysical mode; but in a manner studiously plain and practical; ever representing Christianity as a vital, holy system, designed not to amuse or puzzle the head, but to sanctify the heart and life, and in this way, through the mediation of Christ, to save the soul from death. He was very particular and faithful in suiting his public addresses to the various characters and circumstances of his flock; courageously reproving, and endeavouring to alarm stupid and bold transgressors, as well as applying the consolations of God to the contrite, dejected saint. He appear ed to enter deeply into the afflictions of his people, and was very careful and happy in adapting his friendly counsels and prayers to their various distresses. He was very remarkable for a religious observation and improvement of divine providence, not only in its uncommon dispensations, but even in its ordinary events; pointing his hear ers for spiritual instruction, to the various returning seasons, with their several iufluences and
vicissitudes; the opening or conclusion of each revolving year; the beds of sick and dying, or the graves of departed neighbours and friends, and the like; thus calling in (like his great Master before him) the world of nature, to join that of grace, in assisting and animating you and himself to adore and serve the God of both.
I shall only add, he greatly excelled in the gift of prayer; in a ready command of penitent thoughts and expressions on every occasion; and could with remarkable ease and propriety adapt himself to the most peculiar and sudden emergencies. He appeared to have a high sense of the duty, importance and advantages of devotion; and was very exemplary, both in practising it himself, and promoting it in others.
It is natural to conclude, that a character so estimable must have been very generally and highly respected. This conclusion was signally verified. He was reverenced and loved by the large circle of his acquaintance; and the fragrancy of his good name reached to multitudes who never saw his face or heard his voice.
The preceding view of his life also leads us to expect a peaceful and honourable exit. The past fully realised this expectation. His last hours were evidently cheered and brightened by those comforting reflections. and prospects which such uniform goodness, in connexion with the faith of the gospel, so naturally inspires. He declared the tranquillity he felt in the near views of his dissolution, and his hope of shortly seeing his dear
By the late Dr. Erskine.
DR. JOHN GILLIES was son of the Rev. Mr. John Gillies, minister of Carriston, in the presbytery of Brechin, and of Mrs. Mary Watson, who was descended from a respectable family in Galloway.
From his character when a
student of divinity, for worthy dispositions, learning, taste, and acquaintance with the best ancient and modern writers, he - was successively employed as a tutor in the families of Brisbane of Brisbane, Macdowal of Castlesemple, and Lord Glasgow.
Few have been more eminent for simplicity and godly sincerity; for lively impressions of divine things, accompanied with habitual cheerfulness; for delight in the scriptures, and in speak ing or hearing of Him who is their great subject; for the orna-. ments of a meek, humble, and quiet spirit; for patience and
The text was from Joshua i. 2.
Moses my servant is dead,
resignation under afflictive dispensations; for a sense of the divine goodness in his many comforts, and gratitude to those, through whom they were convey. ed; for thankfulness to those in authority, on account of the blessings enjoyed under their protection; and for an unsuspect ing charity towards all. He saw and approved what was excellent in men, whose sentiments in politics, and even in religious matters less essential, greatly dif fered from his own. Strict in examining his own heart and life, he viewed with candour the conduct of others. His care in avoiding sinful conformity to the world, and in abstaining from every ap pearance of evil, was adorned by gentle, courteous and endearing manners. His kind and affectionate heart wished to embrace all of every denomination, who love our Lord Jesus in sincerity. No wonder, then, that even the party spirited, who with rancour shunned one another,
met in one point, loving and reverencing Dr. Gillies.
His zeal against error and vice, and yet his moderation in the manner of contending against them, were known to all men. During the meeting of the gener al assembly, 1778, a bill was about to pass for repealing some of king William's laws against popery; and though that bill only respected England, it was apprehended, that next session of parliament, a similar bill
would be introduced for Scotland. Alarmed, lest such a repeal might greatly hazard the interests of Protestantism, the doctor moved, that the general assembly should instruct their commission to give it the earliest