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more clearly will it be seen that they are the doctrines of God's word. If the Bible stands, they will stand. Nor will it, I think, be long before the great question at issue among disputants will be, not whether the doctrines commonly called orthodox, are contained in the Bible, but whether the Bible itself is true. Let it come to this ; Socinians, Neologists, and Infidels on one side, and evangelical Christians on the other. The sooner it comes to this, the better. Then we shall know where we are, and who our antagonists are. We shall no longer be at a loss as to the meaning of their words, or the aim of their arguments. All will be plain. There will be no more fighting in the dark. The battle will be in full day light, on the open direct, fair, honorable; a battle with little noise, and great power.And heaven and earth will be witnesses of the strife and the victory. Our departed brother wished for the day when all contention should be reduced to this. He will not be here to take a part in the contest ; but he will feel a deep interest in it, and with inexpressible joy will behold its glorious results.
As to Christian character, it would be difficult to name a man of more unquestionable piety, than Dr. Porter. The evidence he
gave of this was the evidence to which the sacred Scriptures attach the highest importance; that is, a life devoted to the service of God, and regulated by the precepts of the gospel. His pious affections had both strength and ardor, though they were remarkably sedate and rational. I know not whether he was more distant from extravagance thusiasm, or from coldness and indifference. His religion exhibited itself as a steady, active, holy principle, and not as a passionate excitement. He had a uniform and most hearty aversion to all ostentation and display. And this, together with his humble estimation of his own piety, rendered him reserved as to his own religious exercises. He was indeed slow to speak of any thing which related particularly to himself. But there were times when he unbosomed his religious feelings with freedom. From his conversation at such times, from his circumspect example, and the whole development, public and private, which he made of his character, it was abundantly evident that he " walked with God,” and made it his object to grow in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. His enjoyments in religion, whether in health or in sickness, were, as we should naturally suppose from his general character, tranquil and uniform, rather than rapturous. Such was his habit of watchfulness and circumspection, such his balance of mind, his control over his appetites and passions, and his maturity of religious principle, and such his sense of God's all-seeing eye, that he was less accessible, than most Christians, to the influence of temptation, and more perfectly prepared for conflicts. He endured his long-continued infirmities, and the distressing diseases with which he was frequently attacked, with an equanimity and patience almost unparalleled. I never knew a man who accomplished so much and enjoyed so much, with health so often interrupted and feeble, and with sickness and pains so severe and exhausting.
He had from the beginning a deep and habitual impression of his responsibility as an officer in this Institution. For his pupils he cher. ished a sincere and paternal affection, and was solicitous for their improvement in all respects, especially for their growth in grace; believing this to be absolutely necessary to prepare them to labor successfully for the real, spiritual interests of Christ's kingdom. In his conversation with his colleagues, and in his letters to them when the state of his health required him to be absent, he frequently and with great earnestness expressed his conviction, that the promotion of elevated Christian piety in the Seminary was of the first importance, and that whatever else was neglected, we ought never to intermit our labors and prayers for this. The Lord grant that the surviving Professors, and all their successors in office, and all whose duty it may be to guard and advance the welfare of this Institution, may keep in mind the paramount importance of vital godliness, and may ever regard it as the very life and soul of the Seminary, of the ministry, and of the Christian church.
Brethren and friends, a man has been taken from us of rare excel" leneies of character, both intellectual and moral; a man whose amia. ble disposition, pious example, and diligent, unremitting services have been and will be an inestimable blessing to this Institution, and to the cause of Christ. Our first duty, under this afflictive dispensation, is cordial, peaceful, entire submission to God, the only wise, all-perfect God, whose ways are just and right. It is also our duty, and our privilege, to lift up our souls to him who heareth prayer, that through the help of his Spirit we may profit by this affecting bereavement; not forgetting to render to him the warmest gratitude of our hearts, that he has been pleased to continue the life and usefulness of our dear brother for so many years, and so much longer than circumstances permitted us to expect. May this stroke of divine providence, though for the present not joyous, but grievous, lead us to abound in the peaceable fruits of righteousness, and so help to prepare us for an inheritance among the saints in light. How can wo look at a life so full of activity, usefulness, and enjoyment, and see it brought to a
close, without feeling a new motive to work while the day lasts, and to do with our might whatsoever our hand findeth to do. In imitation of our departed brother, we ought first of all, to be sure to have our great work done, and done in season. To postpone any duty, whether it appertains to our own welfare, or the welfare of others, to a sick and dying bed, is infatuation. What can a man do either for his own soul, or for the souls of his fellow men, or for any important object, when he is sinking under the exhausting influence of disease, his vital energy spent, the pains of death getting hold upon him, and the power of speech and thought failing? To all the great purposes of life we may be dead long before we expire. Let us carefully remember this. And let us each day apply ourselves to the work which God has given us to do, under the impression that this may be our last day, and that we may now be doing our last work.
In this visitation of his providence, God has come near to the be reaved and mourning widow. The loss she has sustained I shall not attempt to describe. But she will utter no words of complaint, and will give place to no feelings of disquietude. She knows that God reigneth and doeth his will, and that his will is alwaye wise and good. May her God, and the God of her husband, be graciously present with her and give her peace.
This is, we well know, a solemn and affecting scene to our respected ed and honored friend, the only surviving founder of this Institution, to whom our departed brother for so many years sustained a relation of peculiar endearment. Our prayer for him shall be, that the comforts of the divine Spirit may cheer and support him under this affliction; that God may be his present help, and still prolong his life, and health, and usefulness, and enable him to finish his work.
As to those who have been called to part with a colleague, particularly those of us who for more than twenty years were most happily united with him in all the labors and trials, the joys and sorrows, which have here fallen to our lot,—words are not adequate to express what we feel on this occasion. In the tenderness of grief we might be ready to ask; What shall we do without that long-tried and faith. ful friend and colleague, who has been taken from us? But we will rather say; “The Lord liveth, and blessed be our rock;" and in reference to the increased labors and cares and responsibilities now to come upon us, will earnestly pray that his grace may be sufficient for us.
It is well known what a high place the lamented President of this Seminary held in the cordial esteem and confidence of the Trustees
and Visitors, and of the members of the Institution, and of the many hundreds, now engaged in the service of the church in this country and in other countries, who once enjoyed his instructions and counsels; yea, it is well known what a high place he held in the love and confidence of ministers and Christians far and near. Our whole community will say, that he was raised up for a great work, that he has accomplished a great amount of good, and that his memory is blessed. But we trust he enjoys that which is infinitely more precious than the highest esteen and most cordial affection of man, even the gracious approbation of his Savior and Judge. Blessed is he, and he only, to whom the Searcher of hearts will at last say ; Well done, good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord."
THE PEACEFUL DEATH OF THE RIGHTEOU S.
OH for the death of those
Who slumber in the Lord !
Like theirs my last reward.
Their bodies, in the ground,
In silent hope may lie,
Shall call them to the sky.
Their ransomed spirits soar
On wings of faith and love,
And reign with him above.
With us their names shall live
Through long succeeding years,
Our praises and our tears.
Oh for the death of those
Who slumber in the Lord !
Like theirs my last reward.
“ Allow me to express my decided approbation of the object and plan of the National Preacher. It has opened a new channel for the religious influence of the press. It gives a durable form to a selection of able discourses ; and probably gains for them a more attentive perusal, by distributing them, not in volumes, but in smaller portions, at regular intervals of time. The execution, so far as I have observed, is such as to satisfy the public expectation.”
FROM THE REV. ASAHEL NETTLETON.
“ I have read, as I have had opportunity, the Numbers of the National Preacher with great satisfaction. I regard it as a work peculiarly desirable to clergymen, and at the same time, as worthy of a place in every intelligent family.”
FROM THE PRESIDENT AND PROFESSORS OF AMHERST COLLEGE. “ Mr. Dickinson has a clear and discriminating mind; and is himself at once an able writer and preacher. Having spent four years at the South and West, and become extensively acquainted with Ministers and Christians of different de. nominations; and having at the same time, an intimate knowledge of the religious state and wants of New-England; perhaps no man is better qualified to make a powerfnl and salutary impression on the public mind, by combining, (and in a sense directing) the talents of our most eminent divines in his Monthly Preacher.
“ Most sincerely do we wish him the co-operation of those whose name and influence may make the work a blessing to many thousands."
FROM PROFESSORS OF PRINCETON THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY.
“The plan, proposed by the Rev. Austin Dickinson, of publishing a Monthly Series of Sermons, from the pens of respectable ministers of different denominations of Christians in the United States, is one, which, in our opinion, may be rendered highly interesting, and extensively useful. We do therefore willingly re. commend the undertaking to the patronage of the Christian community.”
FROM THE QUARTERLY CHRISTIAN SPECTATOR.
“We do not hesitate to say, that Mr. Dickinson has adopted one of the hap. piest expedients hitherto devised, for eliciting that diversity of gifts,' in the Christian ministry, which infinite wisdom and benevolence have bestowed for the edification of the body of Christ, and for bringing sinners to the foot of the cross."