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specting eternal things. In the dour, in the pursuit of knowl. light of divine truth, he was led edge. His progress was impedto see himself a sinner, exposed ed by a variety of obstacles. to the awful displeasure of God, But the native vigour of his geand to all its insupportable con- nius, united to an indefatigable sequences. These impressions assiduiiy, surmounted them all. were full of anxiety and terror. Sooner than could have been raIn this distress, he was enabled tionally expected, he was found to discern the necessity, the im- qualified for the gospel ministry. portance and all-sufficiency of He passed the usual previous the salvation revealed in the gos- trials with distinguished appropel. This divine system of bation, and consecrated all his mercy now appeared in a new faculties and acquirements to the light. It satisfied his anxious service of the sanctuary. inquiries, and made provision for Being now licensed to preach all his wants. In the blood and the gospel, he applied himself to. righteousness of the REDEEM- unfold and enforce those precious ER, he perceived a solid ground truths, whose power he had hapof hope, an unfailing source of pily experienced on his own consolation. Here he was ena- heart. In the exercise of this bled to place his whole reliance. sacred and delightful office, his Here he found a peace and satis- fervent zeal and undissembled faction before unknown. “ Be- piety, his popular talents and enlieving, he rejoiced with joy un- gaging methods of address, soon speakable, and full of glory." excited general admiration, and His religious comforts were, acquired him a distinguished however, long intermingled with character, Scarce was there a doubts and perplexities. But congregation where he was after some years of repeated and known, but would have esteemimpartial self-examination, he ed it a happiness to enjoy his attained a confidence respecting stated ministrations. But how his state, which continued to the mysterious are the ways of Heaclose of life.
ven! He was about this time atFrom this happy period, his tacked with complaints, which mind seemed almost entirely ab- were supposed consumptive, and sorbed by heavenly things. His which brought him apparently great concern was to keep his to the borders of the grave. In heart, and set a watch over every this enfeebled state, and without thought, word, and action. An- hope of recovery, he determined imated with love to God, he felt to spend the remainder of what stronger desires than ever, to he apprehended an almost ex. serve him in the gospel of his Son. hausted life, in endeavouring to Having tasted the sweets of re- advance bis Master's glory in the ligion, he longed for nothing so good of souls. Being among a much as to be instrumental in people who were destitute of a bringing his fellow sinners to minister, he assiduously labour know the same pure and sub- ed, in season and out of stantial delights.
While, by night, his hectic was Inspired by these sublime ob
so severe as to render him some. jects, he engaged, with new ar- times delirious, and make it ne:
cessary that he should be attend- erful energy of the divine Spir. ed by watchers, he still preached it. The wilderness, and the soliin the day.* Nor did his indefati
lary places rejoiced, and blossomgable and heroic zeal gounreward- ed as the rose. A great number, ed. God gave him some precious both of whites aud blacks, were first-fruits of his ministry, par- hopefully converted to the living ticularly, in the remarkable con- God. In this success, the beversion of two gentlemen, who nevolent soul of Mr. Davies manifested
His lives and conduct, that they were tract of preaching was singularly saints indeed.
extensive, his labours almost inIn consequence of an earnest eessant, and his pecuniary comapplication, he removed, after a pensation small. But to be an time, to some of the distant set- instrument of spreading the Retlements of Virginia, where he deemer's triumphs, and of addundertook the charge of a disc ing new subjects to his spiritual senting congregation. Nothing kingdom, though from among but the purest motives of self- the despised and oppressed nadenying benevolence could have tives of Africa, was to him, the dictated such a step. It separat- highest reward. ed him from the beloved society From this scene of toil and of his friends, and his brethren of enjoyment, the providence of in the ministry ; it plunged him God now summoned him away. into a sea of anxious, unremit. He was chosen by the synod of ted labours ; while it exposed New York, at the instance of the him to the bitter censures and trustees of New Jersey college, resentments of many. Num- to accompany the Rev. Mr. Gilbers of the inhabitants were but bert Tennent to Great Britain little removed from absolute hea- and Ireland, in order to solicit thenism. All the obstacles which benefactions for the college. could arise from blindness This election evinced the confiand prejudice, from profaneness dence both of the synod and corand immorality, his preaching poration, in his superior abilities encountered. Yet his patience and popular talents; a confiand perseverance, his magna- dence, which the issue of the afnimity and piety, added to his fair no wise disappointed. A evangelical and powerful minis- service in itself difficult and delitrations, were not without suc- cate, in its consequences precacess. The more he was known, rious, and involving a temporary the more was he esteemed. sacrifice of those domestic enContempt and aversion were joyments, which were peculiarly gradually turned into reverence. dear to him, he cheerfully unOpposition yielded to the doc- dertook, and executed with sintrines of the cross, and the pow. gular spirit and success. The
benefactions he received from These remarkable facts are re- the patrons of religion and learnlated on the authority of Dr. Gib- ing in Great Britain, were nuBoxs of London, who, being an inti merous and liberal, and such as mate friend of Mr. Davies, appears to have received them from his own placed the college in a prosper, mouth.
Returning from his voyage, us. His previous situation had he entered anew on his beloved afforded little leisure and com. task of preaching the gospel to paratively few means, for the his people in Virginia. Here cultivation of general science. he continued till the year 1759. He came likewise to the college The unusual lustre of his piety at a time when its literary state and talents was now no longer and reputation had been much to be confined to so remote a re improved by the great and ac: gion. A vacancy being occa- knowledged abilities of President sioned in the college of New Burr. It was natural, therefore, Jersey by the decease of the em- that even his friends should have inent President Edwards (who some doubts of his complete prehad occupied the place but a few paration to fill and adorn so exdays) Mr. Davies was elected by alted a sphere. But it soon apthe Trustees to fill the important peared that the force and activity station. He received the news of of his mind had supplied every this event not merely with con- defect, and surmounted every cern, but with a kind of conster- obstacle. His official duties were nation. Though earnestly invited discharged, from the first, with to accept the charge, it was with an ability which disappointed ev, great difficulty he was brought ery fear, and realized the brightto think it his duty. The pro- est hopes. vince he occupied was impor- The ample opportunities and tant; and it was unspeakably demands which he found for the distressing, both to him and his exercise of his talents, gave a people, united by the strongest new spring to his diligence. bonds of mutual aflection, to While his active labours were think of a separation. Repeated multiplied and arduous, his apapplications, however, at length plication to study was unusually prevailed to shake his resolution. intense. His exertions through But to preclude all mistake in a the day seemed rather to dispose case so important, he withheld bim for reading,than rest by night. his consent, until he had sub- Though he rose by break of day, mitted the matter to the Rev. he seldom retired till twelve synod of New York and Phila; o'clock, or a later hour. His suc; dciphia. They unanimously cess was proportionate. By the gave their opinion in favour of united efforts of his talents and his acceptance. Thus, to use industry, he left the college, at his own expressions, the evi: his death, in as high a state of dence of his duty was so plain, literary excellence, as it had ever that even his scepical mind was known since its institution. The satisfied; while his people saw few innovations which he introthe hand of Providence in it, 'duced into the academical exerand dured not oppose.
cises and plans of study, were The period of his presidency confessediy improvements. He was equally auspicious to the was particularly happy in inspircollege, and honourable to him. ing bis pupils with a taste for self.
It was here that he gave composition and oratory, in the crowning evidence of the which he himself so much excelvigor and versatility of iris geni- led.
His unremitted application to ple remarked that it was premonstudy, and to the duties of his of itory. Mr. Daries repried, that fice, probably precipitated his “although it ought not to be death. The habit of his body riewed in that liglit, set it was being plethoric, his health had, very remarkable.” When newfor some years, greatly depended year's day came he preached; on the 'exercise of riding, to and, to the surprise of the conwhich he was, from Decessity, gregation, from the same text. much habituated in Virginia. Being seized about three weeks This salutary employment had afterward, he soon adverted to been, from the time he took the the circumstance, and remarked, charge of the college, almost en- that he had been undesignedly tirely relinquished. Toward the led to preach, as it were, his own close of January, 1761, he was funeral sermon. seized with a bad cold, for which It is to be regretted that the vihe was bled. The same day, he olence of his disorder deprived transcribed for the press his ser- him of the exercise of reason, mon on the death of king George through most of his sickness. the Second. The day following, Had it been otherwise, his friends he preached twice in the college and the public would doubtless hall. The arm in which he bad have been gratified with an adbeen bled, became in conse- ditional evidence of the tranquence, much inflamed, and his scendent excellence of the Chrisformer indisposition increased. tian religion, and of its power to On the morning of the succeed- support the soul in the prospect ing Monday, he was seized, and approach of death. But he while at breakfast, with violent had preached still more emphatchills. An inflammatory fever ically by his life ; and even in followed, which, in ten days, put his delirium, he clearly manifesta period to his important life. ed what were the favourite ob
What are called premonitions jects of his concern. His beof death, are generally rather wildered mind was continually the fictions of a gloomy or mis- imagining, and his faltering guided imagination, than reali- tongue uttering some expedient ties. Yet the following anec- to promote the prosperity of dote contains so singular a con
Christ's church, and the good currence of circumstances, as
of mankind. gives it a claim to be recorded. His premature exit (he was
A few days before the begin- but little more than thirty-six) ning of the year in which Mr. was generally and justly lamentDavies died, an intimate friend ed, as a loss almost irreparable, told him, that a sermon wouid not only to a distressed family, be expected from him on new. and a bereaved college, but to year's day; adding, among other the ministry, the church, the things, that President Burr, on community, the republic of let. the first day of the year in which ters, and in short, to all the most he died, preached a sermon on valuable interests of mankind. Jer. xxviii. 16. Thus saith the An affectionate tribute was paid Lord, This year thou shalt die: to his character and virtues, by and that after his death, the peo- Dr. Finley, his successor, in a
sermon preached on the occasion Lord ; or whether we die, we die of his death, from Rom. xiv. 7, 8. unto the Lord: whether we live, For none of us liveth to himself, therefore, or die, we are the Lord's. and no man dieth to himself. For whether we live, we live unto the
(To be continued.)
CRITICAL OBSERVATIONS ON
CERTAIN PASSAGES IN THE
New Testament could be writ. ten.
The inspired writers had oc
casion to treat of many things, Though the apostles in wri- of which the Greeks had no preting, as well as in preaching, used vious knowledge, and for which great plainness of speech; yet they had no appropriate terms. particular passages, taken by But those writers chose such themselves, may to us seem ob- terms and phrases, as were best scure. These however may adapted to express their meangenerally be elucidated by other ing. Where perspicuity repassages, or by the analogy of quired, they used description. faith. If they remain of doubt. To ascertain the sense of particful interpretation, yet the essen- ular terms, it is not necessary to tial doctrines and duties of reli- recur to heathen writers ; it is gion are not endangered by better to consult the sacred writhem ; for these depend not on ters themselves. As they have a few doubtful or obscure pas- used words, so we must undersages, but are plainly taught in stand them. They are their innumerable places. Still it may own best interpreters. be useful to investigate the The New Testament is writmeaning of texts, which seem ten, not in pure, classical Greek, obscure.
but in a peculiar dialect, which The writers of the New Tes- may be called Hebraistical Greek. tament, it is well known, used The writers were Jews, and spake the Greek language, except Mat- the Hebrew, or rather the Ara., thew and the author of the mean, or Syro-Chaldee language. epistle to the Hebrews, who When they wrote Greek, they wrote in Aramean. This was introduced into it the idioms of the learned language of the their own language. - Thus also day; most men of education did the seventy Jews, who transwere acquainted with it ; and it lated the Old Testament into was the native language of ma- Greek by the command of Ptoleny subjects of the Roman empire ; of those particularly, to lation was in use in the apos
my, king of Egypt. Their transwhom St. Paul wrote most of tles' times, and from it are made his epistles. It was, on many most of the quotations from the accounts, the best language in Old Testament, which we find which the inspired books of the in the New Without some ac