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the least aberration from it, even in a joke. He was remarkable for his candour and liberality of sentiment, with regard to those who differed from him in opinion. His hospitality and domestic enjoyments were even proverbial. His public spirit was always conspicuous, and his attachment to what he thought the best interests of his country, was ardent and inflexible. He took an early and decided part with his country in the commencement of the late revolutionary war. He was convinced that she was oppressed, and that her petitions to the sovereign of the mother country were constitutional, loyal, moderate, and reasonable; that the treatment they received, was irrational, tyrannical, and intolerable. As he made it a rule, however, never to carry politics into the pulpit, he had no way to manifest his zeal for the public measures, but by his private prayers, and by his decided opinions delivered in private conversations. But, in this way, his sentiments became universally known, and he was considered as a warm friend to the American cause. Notwithstanding these political opinions, he was not blind to the errors of his countrymen, and especially to their moral and religious conduct. The following extract from a letter to the author of these sketches, dated Feb. 14, 1775, strongly marks the temper of his mind. “ My very dear Sir, Your kind letter came to hand three days since. Your comforts and sorrows are mine in no small degree; I share with you in both; the tie is such as death cannot dissolve. This is a day of darkness, in my view, and few are in any degree properly affected with it. I have, through grace, perhaps as little to fear for myself, or mine, as any living. I humbly hope we are housed in Jesus ; but I am distressed for the nation and land. The ruin of both is awfully threatened ; and, though now deferred, may ere Jong be accomplished, unless reformation takes place. It behoves every one to cry, spare thy people, O Lord, and give not thine heritage to reproach. I know God is merciful; he has, notwithstanding, disinherited a people as dear to him as ever we were, whose sins were not more aggravated than ours. The Lord can deliver, but have we reason to think he will, having told us that he will wound the head of his enemies, and the hairy scalps of such, who go on in their trespasses? Is there any appearance of reformation? Yea, is it not the reverse ? Are not our meetings for the preservation of our liberty, often abused by excessive drinking ? &c. &c. Have not politics taken place of religion in all our conversations? Is it not become unconstitutional (to use the vulgar language) to mention God's name in company, unless by way of dishonouring him? Are not things sacred ne
glected by some, and burlesqued by others? Is not the newspaper substituted for the bible on Lord's days, yea, at church? What will the end of these things be? Blessed be God, through Jesus Christ, he is for a sanctuary."
Mr. Tennent was on a visit, within less than twenty miles of New-York, when a British frigate attempted to pass the batteries, and to proceed up the North River, while general Washington lay with the American army in the city. A very heavy cannonading took place, which was mistaken by the surrounding country for a general attack on our army. Mr. Tennent was deeply affected, and after a violent struggle within himself, he turned to a friend or two present, and said, “ Come, while our fellow citizens are fighting, let us retire to prayer." They, accordingly, went up into his room, where he most devoutly poured out his soul for about half an hour, in the most fervent prayers, wrestling with God in behalf of his suffering country.
In the winter of 1776-7, the British overran great part of the state of New Jersey, and particularly the county of Monmouth, where a number of the inhabitants were in the British interests. Such was their apparent power, and the distressed situation of the American army, retreating before them, that it was generally supposed by the people in the country, that the dispute was almost at an end, and that all hopes of successful opposition were nearly extinguished. A British party arose in the county, who seized their fellow citizens, and dragged them to a British provost, where they were treated in the most cruel manner, as rebels and traitors. Even citizens from other parts of the state, who had taken refuge in the county, depending on the known hospitality of the inhabitants, were not respected. In this situation Mr. Tennent very justly thought himself in great danger; but having no place to flee to for safety, he remained at home, committing himself to the protection of almighty God. In the month of Dec. 1776, a number of the inhabitants came to his house, and insisted that he should go to Princeton, without delay, and take the benefit of Gen. Howe's proclamation, offering a pardon to those who should seek it within a limited time. He refused, till he found himself in danger of being taken off and committed to a British provost, which he well knew, another word for a lingering death. He also found that, in his present state, his usefulness as a minister of the gospel an end, unless he complied with the wishes of the people, most of the whigs of influence having fied. Concluding, that present duty enforced the request which was thus urged upon him, he
promised to go to Princeton. On his way, he lodged at the house of a young clergyman, and, on rising in the morning, he seemed greatly oppressed in spirit. On being asked what troubled him, he answered, with a heavy sigh, "I am going to do a thing for conscience sake, directly against my conscience.” Soon after his return home, to the surprise of every body, the British quarters at Trenton were beaten up, and a British regiment taken at Princeton; the American army again advanced, and took a strong position at Morristown, by which the British in their turn, were obliged to retreat and contract their lines to Brunswick and Amboy. The Americans again got possession of the county of Monmouth, where the whigs returned in force. Mr. Tennent's mind was greatly oppressed with his untoward situation, and he severely blamed his untimely submission.
About the latter end of February, or beginning of March, 1777, Mr. Tennent was suddenly seized with a fever, attended by violent symptoms. He sent for his family physician, who was in the act of setting off for the legislature of the state, of which he was a member. He called on his patient on his way, but could spend but a few minutes with him. He, however, examined carefully into Mr. T.'s complaints, and the symptoms attending the disorder. With great candour the physician informed his patient, that the attack appeared unusually violent; that the case required the best medical aid, and that it was out of his power to attend him. He feared that, at his advanced age, there was not strength of nature sufficient to overcome so severe a shock, and that his symptoms scarcely admitted of a favourable prognostic. The good old man received this news with his usual submission to the divine will; for, as he had always considered himself as bound for eternity, he had endeavoured so to live, that when the summons should come, he would have nothing to do but to die. He calmly replied, “ I am very sensible of the violence of my disorder, that it has racked my constitution to an uncommon degree, and beyond what I have ever before experienced, and that it is accompanied with symptoms of approaching dissolution; but, blessed be God, I have no wish to live, if it should be his will and pleasure to call me hence.” After a moment's pause, he seemed to recollect himself, and varied the expression thus : “Blessed be God, I have no wish to live, if it should be his will and pleasure to call me hence, unless it should be to see a happy issue to the severe and arduous controversy my country is engaged in; but, even in this, the will of the Lord be done."
and a man of war, and prudent in matters,” fitted to attend the king both in court and camp. Now how can it be supposed that Saul's servants should have this knowledge of David previous to his combat with Goliath? Saul, whose anger was subsided, agrees to their proposal, and sends for David, whose skill in music and humble deportment so won upon the king, that he loved him greatly, and desired that he might abide with him. There only remains to be considered the junction of the close of chapter sixteen with the tenth verse of the eighteenth chapter, “ And it came to pass on the morrow,” which seems abrupt to the English reader; but the objection disappears on considering the word we render to-morrow, to be the same which occurs, Exod. xiii. 14. Josh. xxii. 24. and Deut. vi. 20. in all which places the sense requires an indefinite future time; and then it only implies, that though David's music was, through the favour of God, a means of relief to Saul, yet, that after a time, his jealousy returned, and he gave himself
up to the deliberate purpose of taking the life of that man whom he fully believed God had chosen to fill the throne of Israel, (see chap. xx. 30, 31, where he calls Jonathan's at. tachment to David perverse rebellion, which would produce his own exclusion from the succession). It is no wonder that this impiety of Saul led him into the evils, and brought down upon himself and his house the calamities* recorded, which ended in the utter extirpation of his family except the line of Jonathan, which was preserved by David in Mephibosheth.
ANECDOTE. AFTER the signal victory off Trafalgar, one of the Spanish ships was taken possession of by the British; on board of which the Spanish captain addressed the Priest as follows: “ Father, there has been a serious loss on our part: it appears that God fights for the Protestants!" To whom the Priest gravely replied, “ Yes, he has fought for them indeed! and by this battle, it should seem that God himself is a Protestant!"
* By evils as distinguished from calamities I mean those great sins, the destruction of the priests, consequent neglect of God's worship, and, at length, seeking to devils for direction, into which Saul fell, and which awfully terminated in suicide: in the outline his history (as David was a type of the Messiah,) Saul seems to have resembled Judas, both in his election and apostacy.
RELIGIOUS INTELLIGENCE. A letter from the Directors of the Nether. blished missionary society in London land Missionary Society.
was brought to us, and awoke, in the first To the Rev. Dr. Ashbel Green, chairman place, the learned and pious Mr. I. F. of the standing committee of missions of Vanderkemp, who, upon particular inforthe General Assembly of the Presb terian mation that it was to be sent throughout church in the United States of America. Christendom, was seized with an ardent REV. SIR,
desire to go and proclaim the tidings of Your very acceptable letter dated Phi. salvation to the heathen; he made a ladelphia, 28th April, 1804, came safe to voyage to London, to visit the English our hands, and we acknowledge our obli. brethren; upon his return, he was stigation for the opening you have made for mulated by his zeal, to form a small so. a brotherly correspondence with you. We ciety here, in Rotterdam, and in other have learned with pleasure, from the parts of our country, from which our soworthy brethren at New-York, with whom ciety originated. Then he went again to re have corresponded since the year England, taking with him the pious young 1800, that the missionary spirit increases teacher, Mr. 7. 7. Kicherer, which brein all parts of your country; we trust it thren, in the year 1798, made the first has been excited by the same spirit which voyage to Africa, on account of the Lonin these last days has, amidst all the don society, and some societies with us. commotions of the world, enkindlod so Brother Vanderkempwas ordained a teachmuch christian zeal for the conversion of er in England. the heathen, and for the instruction of 3. What are your leading religious destitute christians, especially of those principles ? on your own borders, who, in such a A. Our society have wished to estabmultitude, call for help.
lish themselves, simply, upon the Gospel We thank you particularly for your of Grace for sinners, according to the inminute statement of the furtherance with structions of the Saviour and his apostles, which this important undertaking has as will be explained to you in a small been blessed; and we perceive also with pamphlet which accompanies this. gratitude the communion with our glori. 4. What obstacles or difficulties have fied Head, which is the only sure band you had to surmount ? that can produce brotherly co-operation;
A. After the first mission to Africa on and that he has graciously pleased that account of the English brethren, we also so many different christians should here. engaged some other missionaries, and in, with one heart and one soul, wish to sent them to those parts, to serve withinbe the evidence that he will openly ap- land: therein we had no great difficulty; prore all who truly engage in this work and throughout the whole we have met for the enlargement of his kingdom. This with more encouragement and assistance also strengthens the hands of all here in than obstruction, both from the pious here Europe, of different religious societies, and in that country. and of different ranks, who have united 5. Have any opposed you by writing, in this weighty undertaking; and it gives or by governmental influence ? us boldness to request your help in mutual A. Some small pamphlets were publishlove and labour, and by your prayers. ed, containing reflections on our under
You have the goodness to ask from us taking; but none expressly in opposition some particulars respecting our society to it: nevertheless, the government has about which you have had only some im. always been friendly and helpful to us, perfect reporis: we shall satisfactorily an. although it was not necessary for them swer your questions, but it will not be ne. to countenance it by public authority, cessary to be very particular, as we must which indeed we never asked. Both the especially refer to the printed pamphlets English and Dutch governments at the sent herewith, which we request you to Cape of Good Hope have been very fa. accept in love.
vourable to the brethren. You ask ils,
6. What are your funds ? 1. How long has your society existed? A. Voluntary contributions, and gifts Answer. Since the month of December, from devout people, have not been incon1797.
siderable, and have hitherto been suffi. 2. What were the circumstances and cient. motives which led to its institution? 7. What is the number of your mis4. A report from a then lately esta. sionaries? Vol. II.