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BM OF Divines vieular greatly
in He had not for
and had a juft Value for their Writings : but an equal Respect for many of the Divines of the Reformation, and in Truth to these he rather gave the Preference in his Judgment, on some Accounts. He had a peculiar Efteem for the famous CALVIN, among the first Reformers; and among the more modern English Divines, he had a diftinguishing Value for the learned Dr. Owen, and for the great Mr. Howe, whom he feem'd in fome Regards to prefer above all : Though at the fame Tithe he used to express an Affection and Respect for many others, as Dr. Bares, Mr. CHARNOCK, Mr. FLAVEL, Mr. RICHARD TAYLOR, &c. He very much approved the Asembly of Divines CONTESSION of Faitb, and CATECHISMS į and in particular greatly priz'd the Affemibly's mortem Catechism. However, still he had not so learned CHRIST, as to take any. Man or Sett of Men for his Standard, and to subject his Faith to any Scherte of Divinity, or his Conscience to any Model of Religion whatever, of meer human Contrivance. No, but Divine Revelation, as it is contain'd in the facred Scriptures, was what he repair'd to as the Fountain of Tbeological Truch, and made that the only Rule of his judgment, in Matters of Faith and Worpip ; ever esteeming that is Rule sufficient, obliging, and limiting, both as to Principles and Practices in Religion. Guided by the Light of Scrip. turé, he embraced those great and important Doctrines of the Reformation, the fame that are contain'd in the 39 Articles of the Church of England, and the same that have been commonly profess'd and preach'd in the Churches of New England. Nevertheless he carefully avoided all Extreams; and in particular, equally oppofed Arminianism on the one Hand; and Antinomianifm on the other, always wishing the Churches and Ministry of New England might be exempted from both : Yet he would Ypeak cbaritably of some Divines, that leaned to either of the Extreams, and always took Care to preserve
Distinction between Persons and Opinions ; being very sparing in his Censures upon the former, while he readily bore his Testimony against the latter,
Wich such a happy Temper and Furniture of Mind, with a Judgment chus poiz'd and fixed, and with an eftablish'd Character of Piety, he at first set out in che World as a Candidate for the Ministry ; his Pulpic-Performances meeting with uncommon Acceptance.-There seems to have been a special Interposition of divine Providence, in his first Introduction into Roxbury. Pulpit ; which perhaps may be worth relacing. And it was chus, as the Fa& lies in the Memory of one of us, that heard the Account of it long since. ---Mr. Walter had entertain'd Thoughes of travelling abroad ; it's supposed, with a View partly to making further improvements in Knowledge ; and had actually bespoke his Passage in à Ship for Ireland, or England. Bui it fo happen'd in Provia dence, that when the Vefsel only waited for a Wind, he on a Saturday. Afternoon receiv'd a Message from Rox. bury defiring of him a Sermon on the Morrow. Accordingly, he then went, and preach'd there (as it was faid) for the first Time ; greatly to the Satisfaction, both of Minister and People. They had for a considerable while been seeking a Colleague for their aged Paftor; the famous and venerable Mr. John Ecior (che same who has usu. ally been celebrated as the Američan Apostle, and among several very worthy Candidates, whom they had often heard, their Inclinations were lo divided, as to retard their Proceedings. But upon hearing Mr. Walter, they were inftantly very much united in him and haftned to invite him to constant Preaching among thein, with a Prospect of Secrlement in due Time ; which, it was said, occafion'd the putting off his intended Voyage. The good old Minister was fo charm'd with this young Geocleman's Preaching, that on the first Day of hearing bim, he stay'd the Church after Evening Service, and was for purring it immediately co Vote, whether they would give him a Call. But the Honble Joseph Dudley Eig; (afterwards Governor) then present, notwithstanding he had conceiv'd a high Opinion of Mr. VValter, yet appeared in Opposition to so sudden a Mocion, and persuaded Mr.
Eliot, to defer it for a while. After a short Delay, he reos ceiv'd an unanimous Call; the Brethren of the Church making their Choice on Lord's-Day, July 15. 1688. and the Inhabitants of the Town, in publick Assembly, on Lord's Day, Sept. g. approving and confirming it. Mr. VValter upon the Call given him, though it was then a dark and threatning Seafon, in the Reign of K. James II. a profess'd Papift, and in the Administration of Sir EdMUND ANDROSS, Governor of New England, a Tool of the Court, and grievously, týrannizing over the poor People here; yet had the Courage to enter into the Miniftry, at such a critical Juncture, and devote himself to the Service of Christ in these Churches.
On Wednesday, Otober 17. 1688. (in the 25th Year of his Age) he was publickly and folenonly ordained, with the laying on of the Hands of the Presbytéry. Mr. VValter himself (pursuant to the former Usage among us) preached the Sermon on chat Occasion ; which was from 2 Cor. iv. 7. But we have this Treasure in eartben Vessels, ibat the Excellency of the Power 97 ay be of GOD, and not of us. Mr. Eliot (then in his 8 4th Year) presided in his Ordinacion, and gave the Charge. And though a Dilinction was wont to be made between the Characters of Pastor and Teacher, when two Ministers were together in the same Church (one of them being ora dain'd under the former Name, and the other under the Jaccer) Mr. Eliot notwithstanding law fic to join both Names or Characters in Mr. VValter's Ordination. And on their Return from the Solemnity, he look Occasion plea. santly to say to Mr. VValter ---- Brocher, I've ordain'd « you a Teaching Pastor': but don't be proud of it ; for I " always ordain my Indians fo."
After this, Mr. Eliot did not long survive : for on the Joth of May 1690, he died; having been Minister of Roxbury from Sept. 1632. and being worn out with Age, and with abundant Labours, in the Service of Christ and Souls, as well among the Indians as English: But it was a great Satisfaction to him, that he saw his
People, before his Death, so peaceably and happily fertled under Mr. Walter's Ministry. And it is well known, how for the Year or two they were together, Mr. VV al. ier served in the Gospel with his venerable Colleague,even @s a son with a Faihet, full of filial Duty and Affection ; and what a vat Esteem and Parental Love that ancient Gentleman had for his young Colleague, how he honoured him before his people, and almost intirely devolv'd upon him all publick Offices of the Ministry, from a Sense of his superior Abilities. Mr. Eliot wou'd often make the Remark, that well beaten Oil was required for the Service of the Sanctuary ; and to ibat, he used to compare Mr. VValter's Sermons. He would therefore seldom preach ; that so he might not hinder his People from the Benefit of his desirable Colleague's Labours, and might himself enjoy the Privilege of hearing him. This we find taken Norice of in the Memoirs of Mr. Eliot's Life, written above fifty Years ago, by the late very excellenc Dr. COTTON MATHER; where we have che Pleasure of seeing Mr. WALTEŘ thus characterised; -“ A Person young in Years, but old in DISCRETION, “ GRAVITY, and EXPERIENCE ; and one, whom the $ Church of Roxbury hopes to find a Pastor after GOD's “ own Heart." It follows, “ Who being, by the una. " nimous Vote and Choice of the Church there, become “ the Pastor of Roxbury, immediately found the vene. ļ rable Elior embracing and cherishing of him, with o the tender Affections of a Fatber. The good old " Man, like Aaron, as it were difrobed himself, with an “ unspeakable Satisfaction, when he beheld his Garments
spread upon a Son so dear to him. After chis, he for " a Year or two before his Translation, cou'd scarce be “ persuaded unco any publick Service ; but humbly s pleaded, It would be a VVrong to the Souls of obe People, ” for bim to do any Thing among them, wben they were “ supply'd so much to their Advantage, otherwise. And it's faid, the good old Gentleman, when he preach'd as any Time in che Morning, would excuse the Meanness
and Brokenness (as he call'd it) of his Performance, but would conclude with saying, “ My dear Brother bere will by'n'by mend all.”_
Thus, Mr. VValter gave early Presages of his future Eminence ; and he has all along, from Youth to advanced Age, jewed himself a VVorkman that needed not to be ashamed; a burning and shining Light, both in the Pulpic and out of it; and through a long Life, abundantly answering the high Expectations he had raised in his younger Days.--He was Owner of all the valuable Qualifications, intellectual and moral, necessary to confti. tute an eminent Character, whether as a Christian, or a Divine.
He certainly exhibited a bright Example of personal Holiness; which is of the first Consideration, and the grand Requisite in the Christian Professor, much more in the Christian Minister. He gave very convincing Evi. dences of vital Experience in Religion, to a high Degree. He liv'd the Christianity he preach'd ; lewing bis Faith by bis VVorks, and having bis Fruit unto Holiness, in all its various Exercises. He was most exemplary for Harred of every Sin ; and an Instance of the correctest Morals : appear'd ever devoted to the Service and Honour of Christ ; exprefs'd a deep Concern for the Advancement of his Kingdom and Interest: manifested an ardent Love to God, and warm Benevolence to Men ; a great Morcificarion to the World, and Abstraction from earthly Conceros ; an habitual Equanimity, and Contentmenç with his outward Condition; Resignation in Adversity, and Moderation in Prosperity ; Freedom from Envy at others rising Reputation, or flourishing Circumstances, and from all undue Elation with the peculiar Respects universally paid ro himself; was remarkable for his domestick Tenderness, and Endearingness towards his People ; for his Humility, and Modesty, which made him decline some publick Honours that were offer'd him, and very much to avoid publick Appearances; was remarkable for an habitual, constant Seriousness, Solidity, Veracity, and Up