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their vengeance on the head of their||tions of his sin and danger. Earn. enemies. How often have all the powestly engaged in the pursuit of his studsi ers engaged in a war, been heartily ies, these convictions declined, and ! sorry, before they finished it, that they nearly subsided. The faithful dis* forsook the way of peace, and spread course of a pious fellow-student again o their paths with misery and destruc-roused him to a sense of his sins, that,
tion! After the flame of war has once on an examination of divine truth, he broken out, it is extremely difficult to found himself in a lost, perishing state. restrain its fury, until it has greatly He frequented religious company,
weakened, diminished, and exhausted from which he derived much salutary | all the parties concerned. No people instruction. Atlength, the preaching can suffer the spirit of war to seize of Dr. Preston which was very solemn their breasts, without exposing them- and pungent, who went to reside at
selves to the folly and danger of adopt the college during Mr. Shepard's pu. | ingrash and precipitate measures, pilage, was made effectual, in the which they will always have reason to hands of the Holy Spirit, as he believregret.It is therefore, the wisdom of any ed, of bringing his soul to the mercy, nation,who enjoys the blessing of peace seat of the divine Saviour. In a subto cultivate a cool and pacific spirit : sequent period of life, he writes conand if possible, to avoid the horrors cerning the divine mercies which he and calamities of war.
had experienced, “The Lord is the
God that sent Dr. Preston and Mr. BIOGRAPHY
Goodwin to call me. The words of OF THE VENERABLI FATHERS OF NEW-ENGLAND. the first, in the first sermon I beard
(Continued from page 234. ) from him, and divers others near that REV. MR. SHEPARD.
time, did open my heart, and convince Mr. Thomas Shepard is distinguish-me of my unbelief, and my total emped among the New England fathers, by tiness of all, and enmity against all an uncommon ardor of piety; by a good.God, by him, showed me great zeal for God and his holy truth; the worth of Christ, and made my soul by a great success in the work of the satisfied with him, and cleave to him, ministry, and by his valuable writings, because God had made him righteouswhich have been an eminent security ness, and hence also revealed his free to our churches, and a great defence justification, and gave me support and to the cause of truth. He was born rest in his promises." About the near Northampton, Nov. 5th, 1605.— time of the important change in the A day rendered memorable in the an-exercises of his mind, when he was nals of the British nation by the dis-about nineteen years of age, he resolve covery of the well known Powdered to devote a certain season, on the plot. He was the youngest son of his evening of every day, to a careful father, by whose death, he was left an meditation on divine things. His oborphan in early life. His eldest broth-ject was to learn divine truth, to get er took the care of his education, and an acquaintance with his own heart, performed for him the duties of a fa-and to seek the saving mercy of ther. At the age of fifteen, he was ad- Christ. In these seasons of meditamitted a member of Emmanuel Col- tion, he received his first special comlege, Cambridge. While he advanced forts in God. in the paths of science with an uncom- After receiving the degree of Mas. mon rapidity for his years, he expe- ter of Arts, he left the University and rienced the frequent and powerful stri- began to preach the gospel. Though vings of the divine Spirit upon his quite young, his preaching possessed a conscience. The preaching of some gravity of manner, and an energy of pious ministers at the University pro- expression, which procured much atduced in his mind powerful convic-tention and high respect. At the
same time he exhibtied such an ardent . Having an invitation to preach in zeal for Christ, and for the salvation of Yorkshire, he travelled to that distant immortal souls, in his preachiug and county, hoping to be permitted to all his conduct, as caused his labors minister for his Lord without molestato be attended with great success.- tion. After labouring for a season, The great desire of his heart was that with the most encouraging prospects, his fellow-sinners might enjoy the ex- he again felt the arm of ecclesiastical cellency of divine grace.
power, and though he made another A certain charitable gentleman in || removal, to the county of Northum. Essex, proposing to establish a weekly berland, he was prohibited from any lecture,committed the management of further exercise of his ministry. He it to a number of pious ministers, who must now renounce the service of the offered the service to Mr. Shepard. ministry of reconciliation, or seek a As they were attending one of their field of labor in some country not his stated monthly fasts while engaged in own. He could not hesitate which prayer for divine direction respecting course to pursue. the disposition of their lecture, an ear- The removal of Mr. Cotton, Mr. nest application from a destitute peo-Hooker, and others, to New England, ple, soon brought them to a descision. for whose example he must have the The lecture was fixed at Coln, for highest respect, and to whom he was three years, where Mr. Shepard was attached by the strongest ties of Chris. employed to the great approbationtian friendship, fixed his determination and benefit of the people. He was to engage in the same arduous service. very laborious in that and in the neigh-|| Mr. Shepard, and Mr. Norton. who boring towns,and was made eminently was afterwards the successor of Me. instrumental in impressing the reality Cotton at Boston, went to Yarmouth and excellency of divine truth. Many to embark for New-England, near the were so attached to him, viewing end of the year 1634. Being soon him as the instrument of their saving overtaken with a violent storm, in conversion, that, for the benefit of his which the prayer and faith of the pasministry, they attended him to the wil- |sengers was considered the means of derness of America. Though the lec- their preservation when their loss apture was renewed, after three years, at peared inevitable, they were compelthe earnest desire of the people, he led to return and wait till the next seacontinued to reside and labor at Coln. son. They were kept in the most At his request, the lecture was estab-careful concealment during their stay, lished in his native town, and given to to avoid the vigilance of their pursuhis intimate friend, Mr. Stone.
Mr. Shepard lost his eldest son Though employed in an obscure at Yarmouth, but he could not appear part of his Lord's vineyard, devoted, at the funeral. In October, 1635, Mr. exclusively, to his service, the fideli- Shepard, with several worthy, ministy and success of his ministry were ters, and three or four hundred pas too great to be unnoticed by the iron sengers, arrived at Boston. rage of persecution. He was silenced Mr. Hooker and his people were by Bishop Laud, for no other fault | generally removing from Cambridge, than his non-conformity. He was no to Hartford. This made a conven. scismatic or partizan; yet he was aient opening, when considerable impuritan, and his influence must be sup-provements had been made, which pressed. For fear of further sufferings, were very gladly purchased and occuhe was obliged to live some time in pied by Mr. Shepard and his friends. concealinent. The vigilant zeal of|In the February following, on a day the pursuviants made it necessary that of public fasting and prayer, in prehis retreat should often be changed, sence of a great concourse of people, or he must have fallen into their hands. they organized a church at Cam
bridge, and Mr. Shepherd was set || from an ecclesiastical council at How apart to the pastoral charge. He now ley, he was suddenly taken with a rejoiced in an opportunity to be enga- quinsey, which in a few days termin
ged, without interruption, in the great ated his life, Aug. 1649, in the 14th !! and good work which commanded all year of his age. A little before his
the affections of his heart. Though departure, he observed to his friends indefatigable in his labors he pursued around him, "Oh love the Lord Jesus, no other object than the inculcation of the little part that I have in him is my
the doctrines of the gospel, the vindica- great comfort, and all my hope." He ition of its truths, and the salvation of left three sons, who became eminent
sinners. He well understood the error ministers in the colony.
of the antinomian sentiments which The writings of Mr. Shepard were ?! 'prevailed considerably in the colony, of great benefit to the cause of truth,
soon after his arrival, and was most after the testimony of his voice had !! active and successful in counteracting ceased to be heard. His most elabo their baneful effects.
rate work was a treatise on the Sab. The colony having determined on bath. The morality of the Lord's day founding a College, the faithful and began to be called in question in Eng
judicious ministry of Mr. Shepard, was| land, by many of the Antinomians and at the principal inducement to establish some others. In this treatise, he vinf it at Cambridge. He was considered dicated the perpetual obligation ofthe
a most useful model for imitation in fourth commandment, the morality the sacred calling, as well as eminent- and holiness of the Christian Sabbath, ly successful in detecting false religion, in á most lucid and unanswerable
and leading enquirers in the way of manner. In another work, which he To the truth.
published, he maintained, with much In his own and in the neighboring ability, the propriety of separating towns, Mr. Shepard was very labori- | from the ecclesiastical establishment I
ous, and the zeal and solemnity of his of England, and vindicated the order
preaching always procured him atten- of the New England churches as most stion. He preached much, attended conformable to the primitive pattern.
many lectures, and omitted no favora- In a practical work, entitled “The ble opportunity to testify for Christ.- Sound Believer,” designed to distinHis ministry was attended with great guish true religion from false, which success. This we should expect. has been much read, he observes Though God be a holy sovereign, and in the preface, “I considered my gend the blessings of his grace in such | weak body, and my short time of so
a way as he sees fit, yet, seldom or journing here, and that I shall not i never, do we find faithful, humble, speak long to children, friends, or
persevering labore, unattended with God's precious people. I have been, bis blessing. The same Holy Spirit therefore willing to leave some part which accompanied the ministry of of God's precious truth on record, that Mr. Shepard in his native country, it might speak, (Oh that it might be to wherever be was called to labor, did the heart,) when I shall not be.” His not forsake him in the deserts of largest and perhaps most useful publiAmerica. As he was successful in cation, was an elaborate performance, awakening the thoughtless and re- to illustrate and apply the parable of claiming the vicious, he was eminent- the ten virgins. A principal object in ly useful in leading inquiriers in the this work is to point out the corrupway of truth, in resolving the doubts tions and dangers of churches. It and soothing the concern of the des- consisted of a series of sermons deliv. ponding Christian.
ered at his weekly lecture, from 1636, This shining light was extingnished to 1640. It was published in a folio in its meridian splendor. Returning volume, with high commendations, af
VOL. 2. Kk
ter his death. This work is much as sufficient ; I waited on him as cft
!' improved in that great light and guide cient ; and said, Now Lord, do for
i of the American church, President Ed-thy churches and help in mercy. A. ward's Treatise on Religious Affec-pril 4, Preparing for a Fast. May not tions.
I be the cause of the church's sorrows, A few extracts from Mr. Shepard's which are renewed upon us? These private writings will not be unaccept- sheep, nhat have they done? 1. My able. “ April 10 I had many thoughts heart has been long lying out from which came in to press me to give up the Lord. He sent a terrible storm myself to Christ Jesus. So I gave at sea, to awaken me. Then, immemyself to him. First, I acknowledg- diately took away my child, my firsted all I was, or had, was his own.- born. Then the Lord took my dear Secondly, I resigned not only my own wife from me. He, then Threatened goods and estate, but my child, my blindness to my child. And this made wife, my church, and myself to the God's will afflicting, sweet to me, but Lord; out of love, as being the best much more, commanding and promisand dearest things which I have. Ju-ing. But Ob, how is my gold become ly 10, 1641. On the evening of this dim. 2. The people committed to me. day, before the sacrament, I saw it my They are not pitied so much, nor duty to sequester myself from all oth-prayed for, nor visited, as they ought er things, for the Lord, the next day.- to be. 3. The family ; I have not ed. And now I saw my blessedness didified nor instructed, nor taken all'ocnot lie in receiving of good and com-casions of speech with them. 4. The fort from God, but in holding forth the gospel I have preached, has not been glory of God, and his virtues. For itseen in its glory, not believed, not afis, I saw, an amazing, glorious object, fecting. 5. Not seeking to Christ for to see God in the creature; God speak, supply. My not lamenting the falls of God act, the Deity not being the crea- professors, and the condition of the ture, but filling it, shining through country. I have now had a long sick. it, to be covered with God as with a ness, as if the Lord would delight no cloud. Aug. 15. I saw, on the Sab- more in me to use me. Oh my God, bath, four evils which attended me in who shall be like to thee in pardoning my ministry. First, discouragement and subduing mine iniquities ?" 0. and shame from a sense of the mean
Con. Evan. Mag. ness of what I have provided in private meditations. Secondly, carelesness possesses we. Thirdly, infirmities
For the Utica Christian Magazine. and weakness, a9 want of light, want
SOME THOUGHTS ON 2 PET. ii. 16. of life, want of a spirit of power to dekiver what I am affected with, for As also in all his epistles speaking in Christ. Pourthly, want of success. I
them of these things, in which are saw these, and that I was to be hum- some things hard to be understood, bled for them. Dec. 1. A small thing which they that are unlearned and troubled ine. I had a spirit soon
unstable wrest, as they do also the touched and provoked. I saw that other scriptures, unto their own des the Lord let sin and satan prevail there
struction. that I might see my sin, and be more The writer has in view, principally, humbled by it, and so get strength an answer to this question. What is against it. Nov. 3. On a Fast-day at meant by the things hard to be unders night, in preparation for the duty, I stood ? Some suppose the apostle has gaw sin as my greatest evil, I was reference to some of the fundamental vile. He only was good whom my doctrines of Christianity, on which sin did cross. On the end of the fast, the whole scheme is built. Such as I went unto God, I 'rested upon him li divine sovereignty, the decrees of
God, or the doctrine of election. But hard to be understood." In Cor. XV. these doctrines are as plainly revealed, 42, 44, Speaking of the resurrection of and are brought into view as frequent-||the body, he says, “ It is sown in con ly, as any doctrines in the word of God. ruption, it is raised in incorruption. It A denial of them, is tantamount to a is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glo. denial of the being of God. Besides, ry. It is sown io weakness, it is raised these doctrines, the heart of every be- in power. It is sown a natural body; it liever, older or younger, approves is raised a spiritual body." There is a and embraces : they are the joy and natural body and there is a spiritual bo: rejoicing of his heart. Now can it bedy. In the same chapter, versés 51, believed, that sentiments which have 52, it written, “Behold I shew you a such an important bearing in the chris-mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we tian religion; sentiments, to deny which,|| shall be changed, in a moinent, in the amounts to a denial of the being of twinkling of an eye, at the last truinp." God; sentiments, with which every || Here are facts stated by the pen of inchristian's heart is pleased-can it be, spiration ; but they are " things hard that these doctrines, which all are to be understood.” What mortal man bound to believe, and approve, are on earth, can comprehend these things? revealed so obscurely, and indistinctly, What a mystery indeed! To look at that deep research is necessary in or- our body, and think what a change der to form clear and correct ideas of will take place among believers, of them. The doctrines, necessary to be whom Paul is speaking, who are alive believed, in order to salvation, are with at that day. This body "changed in clearness, and distinctness, laid before a moment, in the twinkling of an eye," the mind in divine revelation : their from corruptible to incorruptible, certainty, and importance may be ap- from dishonor to glory, from weakness prehended even by children, and per- to power, from natural to 'spiritual. sons of small intellectual capacities. These are "things hard to be under
These doctrines being subjects of so stood"--are beyond our comprehenmuch altercation and quarreling among sion. mankind, is an evidence they do If, in reading the verge under conknow and understand them; if they sideration, the elipsis be supplied, and did not, they would not contend a-the words parsed according to the rules gainst them, with so much zeal as ma of grammar; the above explanation,
it is judged, is correct. The gramatHaving considered what appears|ical reading will run thus. As in all his to be, not the meaning of the expres- (Pauls) epistles, speaking in them, sion, " Things hard to be understood,” ||Epistles) of these things (the things of
it will now be mentioned, to what it which Peter had been speaking, viz, | seems most directly to refer. The the day of judgment, and of which 1 apostle Peter in using that expression, Paul had spoken in his epistles) in
si Things hard to be understood," re. which (epistles) are some things hard to | fers, it is belieyed, to the day of judg. be understood. The Greek article
ment, and those important and solemn here ţranglated which, is feminine, events which will then take place, ļfhence it is evident, that the antecedent the reader will look at the passage pre-is epişlles. If the antecedent had been ceding this under consideration, verse things, it must have been peuter. The 10th and onward, the main subject on apostles, both Paul and Peter, bad which the apostle is treating is the day spoke in their epistles of the day of judgment. In the observations he of judgment, and both, in speaking of makes, are “ Things hard to be under these things which will take place on stood.” The Apostle Paul, also, spake that solemn and interesting day, had on the same subject—the day of judg- spoken "things hard to be underment. And he also said " things stood."