Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub
[merged small][merged small][graphic][merged small]

DE
EATH is a subject always affording religious

instruction. The death of a private per son, though it furnish to all matter for useful contemplation, is apt to interest but the small number of those personally acquainted with the deceased. The death of one sustaining a public character, especially of a public benefactor to mankind, excites a more general interest and concern. Perhaps in few instances has the death of a minister of the gospel occasioned a more deep and universal sympathy than that of the Rev. Job Swift, D. D. The universal grief, manifested by all classes in community, must be considered as furnishing a sincere tribute to his worth, and an ample testimony of his extensive usefulness. All acknowledge the importance of keeping alive the memory

B

of such men, that, though dead, they may yet speak.

The following imperfect sketch of his life and character may not be unacceptable to those, who cherish in their hearts, the memory of those great and good men, who have done honor to the cause of christianity.

The Rev. Job Swift, D. D. was born in Sandwich, in the State of Massachusetts, on the 17th of June, A. D. 1743, 0. S. While he was very young, his father removed to Kent, in Connecticut. He became a member of Yale College in 1761. His mind became impressed with a sense of religion while he was at College, and was studying the writings of President Edwards. He was graduated 1765. He was by nature endowed with those distinguished talents, which would have enabled him to appear with the highest reputation in any profession. It was from motives of duty that he chose the ministerial profession, and he was assisted in his preparatory studies by the Rev. Dr. Bellamy, of whom he ever afterwards retained a profound esteem. He was little more than twentytwo years of age, when he became a preacher of the gospel. In the following year, he was ordained over a church and people in Richmond, Mass. where he labored seven years. His prospects of usefulness in this place were, for a time, favorable and encouraged him to hope that his labors would be successful. That he might more readily lead the minds of his people into a proper understand. ing of the christian doctrines, he lent his aid in favor of religious conferences, in which, questions on doctrinal subjects were freely discussed. By his unwearięd exertions a great part of his people, in a short time, became well indoctrinated, and soine few of them the hopeful subjects of gospel

[graphic]

grace. But alas! The scene was soon changed. His bright prospects began to darken, and he had soon to encounter those afflictive difficulties which so often fall to the lot of the faithful ministers of Christ. His difficulties here arosë solely from his strict and conscientious adherence to what he judged divine truth. Neither the purity of his sentiments nor his christian charity would suffer him to favor the sentiments and wishes of many

of his church. While he was faithful in teaching them that the just live by faith, and warning them of the danger of being slothful in the performance of christian duties, many were highly offended with him, because he did not preach consolation. Hav. ing set himself as a defence of the gospel of Christ, he could not be persuaded to accommodate himself to their feelings. This served but to increase their dissatisfaction, and they at length declared themselves irreconcilable. He was of course souh dismissed from his pastoral charge. Many and grievous were the trials and affictions which he experienced: But he endured them all with the patience, submission and cheerfulness, which formed such distinguished traits in his character thro? his whole life. After his dismission from the church in Richmond, he preached in different places about a year, during which time, nothing very remarkable happened with relation to him. He then removed to a place called the Nine-Partners, in the State of New York. During his stay in this place, he had the misfortune of losing the chief part of his property by the depreciation of paper currency. This loss, though severe, he endured with all his usual fortitude and cheerfulness. Here his gospel labors were attended with no apparent success ; and he met with no opposition ;- for the greatest stupidity and carelessness

[graphic]
« ПредишнаНапред »