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The Christian Monitor, No. 7. Boston. Munroe, Francis & Parker. Beauties of the Children's Friend, being a selection of interesting pieces, from that celebrated author, Berquin. Intended to promote a love of truth and virtue. For the use of schools. By the author of the Child's First Book. Boston. Manning & Loring and Lemuel Blake.
Shakespeare's Works, Vol. vi. and No. 12. Boston. Munroe, Francis, & Parker.
A Discourse delivered March 13, 1808, in consequence of the death of Deacon Thomas Thompson, who departed March 7th, in the 66th year of his age. By Samuel Spring, D. D. Newburyport. E. W. Allen.
A Sermon, preached at Hopkinton, on Lord's day, Feb. 28, 1808. Occasioned by the death of three persons, the week preceding the time of its delivery. By Nathanael Howe, A. M. pator of the church. Boston. Lincoln & Edmands.
MEMOIRS OF MISS SUSANNA WILKINS,
Who died at Milford, N. MISS Susanna Wilkins was grand child of the Rev. Mr. Wilkins, first minister of Amherst, N.H. She was born at Amherst, 1782. Possessing more than common abilities, and considerable advantages, she was disposed to employ them all for the acquisition of useful science. Her information secured her from superstition and bigotry. Great pains were taken, particularly by her grandmother, to instruct her in the true principles of Christianity, in which she early made uncommon proficiency. As her mother died while she was young, she occasionally resided at her uncle's, Deacon Samuel Wilkins, in Amherst, and at her uncle's, Mr. Moses Towns, Milford, where she died. For several years previous to her death, she instructed a school in the summer season, in which employment she gave universal satisfaction, and was very useful to the rising generation.
The summer before her death she gave more serious attention to religion. Although she had been
blameless and amiable in her outward deportment, she was brought to cry out, Oh wretch that I am! I have offended my God and Saviour. Her nights were spent in anxious cares and her days in trouble. Did any ask her, why those anxious looks, and those distressing sighs? Her answer was, I have offended my Redeemer. Thus was this inoffensive youth distressed by a view of her depraved heart.
H. Feb. 1807, aged 27.
About this time she was seized with a lingering illness, which, the following winter, put a period to her life. Though the distress of her body and mind was often great and almost insupportable, yet the Lord was faithful and kind, and turned her trouble into joy. In transport she cried to her friends, to praise the goodness of God. From that time to her death she never groaned or sighed on account of her bodily distress, being constantly supported by assurance of hope and confidence in God. Many, who stood round her, were astonished at the words which she spake ; but all confessed that she was happy in religion, and spoke the words of truth and soberness.
She was sensible of her approaching dissolution, but was not in the least dismayed, declaring that she realized the joys of heaven. As she drew nigh to death, she appeared more sensible that it was her duty to make an open profession of religion. She said, I long to commune with my dear Redeemer at his table. It would give me greater union to him, and I could come to him in prayer with greater freedom and boldness. Sabbath before her decease she was propounded as a candidate for admission into the church at Milford. As she was unable to go to the house of worship, the minister attended in the evening at her residence, where she was admitted as a member of the church, and partook of the Lord's sup
per. After this she observed to her friends, that she should live but a few hours, and that she had no desire to stay any longer from her beloved Jesus. She continued in a very benevolent and pious frame till Monday morning, when she expired.
About a week before her death, she requested her grave clothes to be prepared, in every part of which she directed with as much composure as though it had been for a journey, constantly remarking, that she had great desire to depart and be with her dear Redeemer.
Thus died the amiable Miss Wilkins, witnessing to the truth of relig ion, and to the operation of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of sinners, and leaving to her friends the pleasing hope, that she will be forever with the Lord. EUPHIA.
DIED at Paris, (N. York) the 28th of March, 1808, in the 67th year of age, the Rev. Samuel Kirkland, for more than forty years a distinguished Missionary among the Oneida Indians.
THE Communications of Erastus and Omicron are very acceptable to the Editors. A continuance of their correspondence is solicited. Pastor is necessarily omitted. Several reviews and other communications are received and under consideration.
Thelesus, abridged, shall appear in a future number.
We invite the attention of our readers to the important intelligence from India. To give room for the whole of it, we have added a half sheet to this number; the next will contain but five half sheets, exclusive of the table of contents, title, &c.
The Editors are engaged in closing their accounts for the current year, and making their arrangement for the next. Agents 'and subscribers are requested to settle their accounts with the agent in Boston.
Errata. In the No. for November, Vol. III. p. 271, for Van Sissart, read Van Sittart. p. 274, Maupertus, read Marpertuis-D'Argent, read D'Argens. No. for Jan. p. 339. Sarbonne read Sorbonne
SKETCH OF THE LIFE AND CHARACTER OF THE REV. DR.
From the Anthology.
THE design of biography is to celebrate useful talents, to record patriotic labours, and to exhibit characteristic traits of virtue. The distinguished mental powers, the public spirit, and scientifical researches of the late Rev. Samuel West, of New Bedford, fully entitle him to biographical notice, and he may justly claim a place in the records of posthumous fame. Although the theatre on which he acted was retired, the spectators few, and his life spent with little diversity of event, yet his mind presented strong and prominent features: and, had he lived in Europe, his reputation and usefulness had fallen little short of that of Buxtorf, Kennicot, Mede, Poole, &c. for his mind was doubtless equal to any exertions of these men, and, with their literary means, no common embarrassments would have presented obstacles retarding his progress to the summits of their theological eminence. Although his learned connexions were few, and his Vol. III. No. 12.
life spent among those incapable of comprehending many of his ideas, or profiting from his treas ury of biblical information, yet were he to pass off the stage without any biographical notice, it would occasion regret to the religious, the grateful, and the learned, who knew his intrinsie merit, and were favoured with his friendship.
Father West was one of the first men in the New England congregational churches on account of his scriptural knowledge, skill in the prophecies, and a ready recollection of every text, which enabled him upon the shortest notice to collect and pertinently apply all the passages of scripture, connected with his subject, and conducive to the purpose of his argument. The epithet of Father above given, probably originated in the conviction of his judicious friends, that his sincere benevolence, his faithful and discreet coun sels, might be safely relied on, while his literary pre-emię Uuu
nence, his treasures of criticism, wit, and historical information, justified the continuance of so respectful an appellation.
He was born in Yarmouth, Cape Cod, March 4th, O. S. A. D. 1730, and died at Tiverton, R. I. Sept. 24th, 1807, and was buried at New Bedford, where he had been pastor over a congregational church 43 years. His parents, though in moderate circumstances, were reputable, and he laboured with them till he had passed the 20th year of his age. During the earlier, as well the latter part of his minority, he discovered such uncommon traits of genius, and symptoms of a strong mind, as, together with his pre-eminent knowledge of the sacred scriptures, and those other few books thrown in his way, awakened the attention of the few intelligent and good men who happened to know him. They solicited, and finally obtained his father's consent, though at a late period, to fit him for college, which was completed in the short term of six months under the care of the Rev. Mr. Green, of Barnstable. His rapid improvement, while at the seminary in Cambridge, was such, as to give him a rank for genius and learning with the most distinguished of his. class.
After leaving college, his application to study was unremitted, and though devoted to almost every branch of science, get Divinity was his main object; in this he peculiarly excelled.
In the later stages of life he is said to have applied himself to chemistry, in which it is testified by adepts, that he was a distinguished proficient. The year
1775 awakened his attention to politics, and he became a whig partizan, writing many forcible pieces in the newspapers, which animated the confident, and revived the spirits of the timid for the important contest. These speculations gratified his friends, and were highly applauded by the public. He also brought himself into a considerable degree of notice by decyphering Dr. Church's letter, which was written at the commencement of the revolutionary war, and exposed to a relation, who had joined the party of the enemy, the particufar state of our army. The alarm which that letter occasioned is still remembered, and it was natural for every one to inquire who the person was that made it intelligible for the public eye. And it was acknowledged by the writer, that it was done very correctly.
Dr. West was a member of the convention for forming the constitution of this State, as also that of the United States. He was an honourary member of the Academy of Arts and Sciences instituted at Philadelphia, and of that at Boston. He received from the university in Cambridge, the degree of Doctor in Divinity, A. D. 1793.
In the latter part of his life, his memory failed to that degree, that it was with difficulty he could recognize his most familiar friends. The vast treasure of his ideas began to vanish at the age of seventy years, and during the course of seven succeeding years, the great man disappeared, and it was an afflictive sight to his friends, and all who had known him in the glory of his understanding, to perceive he
had survived all his wit and learning.
Doctor West, notwithstanding his powers and knowledge, was not very popular, as a preacher, excepting upon particular oc
He used no notes in preaching, during the last thirty years of his ministry, unless upon some special occasion. He had so retentive a memory, and such perfect knowledge of every subject, that he could preach an hour upon any text without any premeditation, and yet with coherence and unity of design. It is to be regretted that he left behind him so little in writing. Had he, in several periods of his life, written more, and used more bodily exercise, he might have been useful much longer.
His publications were, a Sermon at the ordination of the Rev. Samuel West, of Needham; Sermon before the provincial convention at Watertown, 1776; Sermon at the anniversary of the Fathers' landing at Plymouth, 1777; Sermon at the ordination of the Rev. Mr. Allyn at Duxborough, 1788; a small tract on Infant Baptism, and Essays on Liberty and Necessity, in two parts, in which the arguments of William Edwards and others, for necessity, are considered. Printed at New Bedford, 1795.*
This book was replied to by Dr. Edwards, and a rejoinder to him was promised by Dr. West to the public, and so far prepared that it might be finished with a little exertion, if the public attention and liberality were to call for, and support the publication. It is desirable, that some person of science, and metaphysical acumen, would review Dr. West's Essays, in some of our periodical works.
Doctor West's style of writing and preaching had nothing in it peculiarly deserving imitation, though the matter of his discourses was pertinent and solid. They were always independent and commonly original in their form any defects in the tone and inflexion of his voice were always compensated by rich information and irresistible force of argument.
His manner of studying upon religious subjects was not wholly peculiar to himself, being similar to that of Mr. Locke, and Dr. Taylor; to this he adhered with strictness. Without any discoverable partiality for, or prejudice against the manner and systems of Calvin, or Arminius, Athanasius, Arius or Socinus, his appeal was always direct to the Bible, which he was often wont to say was its own best interpreter." He was therefore more frequent in the use of a concordance than a commentator, and never had recourse to the latter but in cases of great obscurity. His common phraseology was, says,-The prophet says-Our Saviour saysThe apostles say," and while he substantiated his doctrines on words and phrases clearly defined and explained, he would not lay much stress on particles, or ground an argument of the truth of an essential doctrine on the Greek article ò, or any other particle in the Hebrew, Greek or Latin languages.
His method of teaching his pupils in divinity was always consonant with the protestant principles of free inquiry, and the sufficiency of the scriptures. He endeavoured to make his pu