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Considered as a preacher, he was greatly admired and followed, and his "doctrine dropping as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass," was always entertained with satisfaction. He fed us not with jejune, much less with stolen sermons; but with well-studied composures, which discovered the diligence of one sensible what a King he stood before. And yet with what a modest, and what an humble self-diffidence did he decline all public appearances, but what he was in some sort compelled unto !

Considered as a pastor, how faithfully, how painfully, how patiently did he feed the whole flock whereof he was the overseer! With what self-denial did he adhere to them under strong temptations to have embraced greater opportunities! One would think it impossible for any one mouth to open against a shepherd of so much goodness! If any did, his worst word upon it was, "Father, forgive them!"

Certainly, in Dedham there is now to be seen the threshingfloor of Atad. If we do not lay it to heart when such men are taken away, it will be a sad sign, that they are taken away from the evil to come. Nay, in their being taken away, there is much evil already come. We lose, how much of our beauty, and our safety! Such a loss, how hardly, how rarely to be repaired! Such teachers being removed into the silent corners of the grave, where the eyes that have seen them, shall see them no more: the people in that very thing have an adversity and an affliction of the worst kind given unto them, and spiritual plagues, which are judgments of the worst kind, are scattered in such dispensations. They that were not brought home to God, or made but a mean proficiency in godliness, while the day of grace in such a ministry was lengthened out unto them, are in danger of that awful doom, "never let any good fruit be found upon them!"

I do not think, as they that are vainly dismayed at the signs of heaven do, that the eclipses on the luminaries there, carry any omens with them, on which we may make our divinations; but yet I will so far come into the Jewish observation, as to say, that when we see eclipsed by mortality such luminaries, as we are this day mourning for, Malum Signum est Mundo, it is ominous of a dark time growing upon us.

O! may our glorious Head at the right hand of God, look down upon the feeble state of his churches in the wilderness! May he raise up witnesses to his cause and kingdom, that shall tread in the steps of their pious predecessors! May he give us to see Elijah's mantle in its operations, and bring down the hearts of the fathers into the children, and incline the hearts of the children to be such as were in their fathers!

AN

ELEGY

UPON THE MUCH LAMENTED DECEASE OF THE REVEREND AND EXCELLENT

MR. JOSEPH BELCHER,

Late faithful Pastor of the Church of Christ in Dedham, N. E. Qui Obiit, April 27, Anno Dom. 1723. Etat. Sum 53.

THE name of BELCHER long has bless'd the State
With heroes in succession good and great:
And bless'd the Church too, with a radiant star,
A man of GoD, an angel-tutelar.

The sin, we must arraign, and not the doom,
That brings our saints and heroes to the tomb;
Adore the sovereign grace, (when they remove,)
That takes their souls to the blest seats above.

Darker than midnight, is this day's eclipse:
We flow in tears upon the dying lips;
The lips, that did with heavenly nectar flow,
And every Sabbath bless the church below.

Such as God honors, we should honor too;
And view their death as a presage of wo:
May Heav'n avert it! Such may be distressed,
Whom th' shines for thirty years have not impressed.
Yet bless we CHRIST, that we may not complain
And say, his faithful labors were in vain :
By this bless'd instrument, this heavenly guide,
Many converted, many edified.

Bred in the eagle's nest and taught to fly,
Travers'd the circle of philosophy;
Thirsty of arts, he many an Helicon

Drank up, as thirsty stars drink up the sun,

Made noblest flights up to the upper region,
Feasted best at the banquets of religion.
His learning vast, like Moses and like Paul,
TO GOD in CHRIST he sacrific'd it all.

His rule and conduct, prudent, steady, mild,
Honor'd the house of GOD and th' chair he fill'd.
His 'scutcheon, glorious virtues; and his crest
Humility, the crown of all the rest.

By breath of heav'n this saving trumpet blown,
The walls of Jericho came tumbling down.
A friend unto New England's first-best-ways;
To th' constitution that the Scripture lays.

The teacher dextrous and laborious;
The word he taught, divinely glorious;
He liv'd it all to walk the way he trod,
(Prove it who will,) will bring a man to God.

Stopt is the conduit-pipe that did supply
God's holy church, and many a family,
Abundantly, and that for many a year:
Then run to the Fount', and take refreshment there.
This loss so public of such vast extent,
Christ's ministers throughout the land, lament.
Heav'n's balm we need; for bitter is the cup;
Great is the breach: JEHOVAH, make it up.

Thine all-sufficient blessing, gracious LORD!
To consort, children, and the church afford!
May they in their distress depend on THEE;
And thy great goodness now and ever see!

The heavenly temple, and the earthly tomb
Have each a part, till th' resurrection come.
Our part were humbling to the last degree
But that his dust united is with THEE,
Blest JESUS! waiting till the jubilee,
And that there's left us, his immortal memory.

Sic Condoluit, J. DANFORTH.

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A Call from the Dead to the Living.

IN A

SERMON

PREACHED ON OCCASION OF THE EARLY AND SURPRISING, THOUGH COMFORTABLE DEATH OF

MR. TIMOTHY METCALF,

A VERY HOPEFUL YOUNG MAN, WHO RECEIVED HIS DEATH'S WOUND ON SATURDAY, AUG. 12, 1727. AND EXCHANGED (AS WE TRUST) EARTH FOR HEAVEN, ON THE MONDAY FOLLOWING, ÆTAT. 19.

BY SAMUEL DEXTER, M. A.

PASTOR OF THE CHURCH IN DEDHAM.

"Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth, Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them."-Rev. xiv. 13. "And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children."— Isa. liv. 13.

BOSTON:

PRINTED BY B. GREEN, JR. FOR J. ELIOT, AT THE SOUTH END.

1728.

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