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And now the feverish dream of life is o'er.
HAD we talents, we would exhibit a portrait of the deceased :But, besides that we feel ourselves inadequate to a task so arduous, we are not perfectly convinced of its propriety. Friendship might be too warm, and admiration too lavish. His colleague has been his eulogist, and no friend of the deceased will pronounce the panegyric an exaggeration. Perhaps it does not contain a more just, or a more happy paragraph than the following: Without a second to aid him, you saw him pass along these shores from Maryland to New Hampshire, like the lonely Pelican of the wilderness, publishing, as with the voice of an angel, the tidings of everlasting life to the whole world, in the name, and through the mission of our Lord. Christ!'
It has been said that persuasion dwelt upon the lips of our philanthropist. The pages of recollection furnish many instances of his powerful and soul-subduing eloquence. We are impelled to select, from the fading record, two facts which are well authenticated:
A London mob had assembled in great force, with the most destructive and murderous designs. Time-honored edifices were to be demolished, and the weapons of death to be pointed at the most valuable lives. This scene of riot was exhibited during the troubles relative to Mr. Wilkes; all was tumult and tremendous uproar; an attempt at reasoning was stifled by outrageous clamor; the efforts of peace officers were fruitless, and the military was on the point of being called into action, when Mr. Murray, returning from some religious meeting to his peaceful home, found himself in the midst of the infuriated rioters, and instantly mounting a stand, which opportunely presented, he harangued the lawless multitude; and, by soothing their prejudices, addressing their passions, and pointing out the only legitimate steps for the purpose of outaining redress, he first obtained silence, next softened and ameliorated their passions, and finally dispersed, without mischief, a most enraged populace. A nobleman, seizing him by the hand, impressively said, 'Young man, I thank you; I am ignorant of your name, but I bear testimony to your wonderful abilities. By your exertions, much blood and treasure have this night been saved.'
The second instance which we present is nearer home. A motion was made in the legislature of a sister state, then province, to raise a sum of money for the relief of the Bostonians, suffering from the severe decrees of a British ministry. Mr. Murray attended the debates; the motion was seconded, and supported with spirit and
judgment, and it was opposed with some violence and little reason. It was put to vote, and lost by a majority of twelve persons; Mr. Murray's particular adherents voting against it. It happened he was on that day to dine at the house of a Doctor Bof the triumphant majority, with several gentlemen on the same side of the question, when his powerful animadversions and reasoning upon subject wrought so great a revolution as to produce a re-consideration of the vote, and the motion for succoring the Bostonians passed, by a majority of nine persons.
Mr. Murray has been accused of licentious opinions and practices. His letters to his friends would fill many volumes; addressed to the private ear of those he best loved, they ought to decide upon his opinions; and, for his life, perhaps no man of abilities so stinted was ever a greater blessing to mankind. We indulge ourselves with giving one letter, written to the son of a most intimate friend:
'You are placed at school for two purposes; the improvement of your understanding, and the formation of virtuous principles. It cannot be doubted that the improvement of the heart is esteemed by those to whom you are most dear, beyond the most cultivated intellect. It is your business to unite these estimable objects; your heart and understanding should be emulous in pursuit of excellence. Ethics, improved and elevated by the christian religion, become the guides to real wisdom and solid happiness; these they could never have attained in the schools of heathen philosophy. It is not expected that you should thus early be engaged in the profound disquisitions of theology. The plain doctrines of the religion, which it is hoped you will profess, have been explained to you; but the principal business is to open your heart for the reception of those sentiments and principles, which will conduce to the direction of your actions, in the employments and engagements of your subsequent life. Permit me, however, to remind you of the necessity of reading the scriptures, that is, of drinking the sacred waters at the fountain head. But, to read the scriptures with advantage, judgment is necessary, and as your judgment is not yet matured, you must submit to the direction of your instructers. The plainest, and most perspicuous passages will, for the present, best deserve and reward your attention. The historical parts of the Old Testament will entertain you, if you consider them only in a classical point of view, as valuable passages of ancient history; but I would call your attention more immediately to the books which are most replete with moral instruction, such as the Proverbs of Solomon, the Wisdom of the Son of Sirach, and the admirable book entitled, Ecclesiasticus. I trust the time will come, when the prophecies will most pleasingly instruct you; at present you will peruse them for the poetical beauties, which they confessedly display. Isaiah abounds with fine passages of this description, and Jeremiah is by no means deficient in this line. You have no doubt read Pope's Messiah, and could not but have observed, that its most pleasing imagery is selected from Isai
ah. If you read the Old Testament with a taste for its beauties, you will accomplish two important purposes; you will acquire a knowledge of the Holy Bible, which is your duty, and you will improve your taste and judgment. The New Testament requires the attention of every one, who professes himself a christian. You must read it with that humility, which becomes a finite being, but more particularly a young person you will do well to pay especial attention to the Sermon on the Mount, and to that admirable epitome of all moral philosophy, the RULE OF DOING TO OTHERS AS WE WOULD THEY SHOULD DO UNTO US. If you pay due obedience to this precept, you will never hesitate in determining what part you are, upon every occasion, to act. It is proper you should familiarize your mind to the language of scripture; although you may not fully comprehend the sacred writings, you will thus treasure up in your memory many useful passages, which may become in future highly consolatory. An early acquaintance with the letter of the Old and New Testaments, has been found substantial props through lengthening years; but all this, my dear young friend, will avail but little, unless you add thereto prayer and praise. Make it therefore a rule, never to be violated, to pray night and morning. The Redeemer, while clothed in humanity, earnestly and fervently addressed the Deity; forget not, therefore, to offer your private addresses to the Father of your spirit, at retiring to rest, and with the early dawn. Your age is the age of inadvertence; you enjoy health, and you are a stranger to the cares of the world. Cheerfulness does indeed become you, but let me pray you to consider the value of time, and the importance of appropriating it to wisdom. Consider your parents; the anxiety they experience upon your account: most ardently do they desire your improvement. Laudably ambitious, they are solicitous that you should be eminent, in whatever profession or employment you may be destined to engage. To see you contemptible, would fill them with the extreme of anguish; and, trust me, nothing will rescue you from contempt, but individual merit, a good disposition, adorned by literature, and embellished by the lighter accomplishments, and especially elevated by christianity. Your parents have labored indefatigably, to promote you; but it remains with yourself to give success to their endeavors. The mind is not like a vessel, into which we may pour any good quality, whatever the director may choose; it is rather like a plant, which, by the operation of its own internal powers, imbibes the nutriment afforded by the earth. I repeat; it is certain that instructers can serve you only in conjunction with your own efforts. Let me then entreat you to exert yourself, if you have any regard for those parents, whose happiness so much depends upon your conduct; if you have any regard for your own honor, felicity, and prosperity; if you hope to be useful, and respected in society.
Always consider me as your friend and servant,
If the testimony of respectable contemporaries; of men who disdained flattery, and whose judgment was unquestionable; who delighted to address our departed friend in the strains of panegyric-if these vouchers were permitted to decide in his favor, we could produce a cloud of witnesses. We content ourselves with a few extracts, from the many letters which might be produced. General Greene thus writes: 'You may remember, I promised you a letter at the close of every campaign. Had I the tongue of a Murray to proclaim, or the pen of a Robertson to record, the occurrences of this campaign should be delineated to the honor of America. The Monmouth battle, and the action upon RhodeIsland, were no small triumphs to us, who had so often been necessitated to turn our backs. To behold our fellows, chasing the British off the field of battle, afforded a pleasure, which you can better conceive, than I describe. If, my dear Murray, I had before been an unbeliever, I have had sufficient evidence of the intervention of Divine Providence, to reclaim me from infidelity: my heart, I do assure you, overflows with gratitude to Him, whose arm is mightier than all the Princes of the earth. In the midst of difficulties, and I have encountered many, my heart reverts to you; were you addressing me from the pulpit, you could convince me that considering the World to which I am hastening, I have not the least cause of complaint-I sigh for an opportunity of listening to the music of your voice.
'Are you and the priests upon any better terms? Or are they as mad with you as ever? Well, go on, and prosper, and may God bless you to the end of the chapter.' Again, General Greene writes: 'It is, my dear sir, a long time since you and I have had a friendly meeting. God only knows when we shall be thus blest. It is impossible for me to give you an adequate idea of the distress of the once happy people of New Jersey. I know your fancy is lively, and your genius fertile; give your faculties full scope, in drawing a picture, and it will still fall far short of the original. How greatly would you be pained were you present; you who sympathize with everything in distress, and feel and share the miseries of all around you. Oh, my dear, my dear friend, may God preserve you from such complicated distress. Soon after you left me upon Long Island, I was seized with a violent fit of sickness; my restoration was unexpected, but my health is now confirmed. Oh what would I give for a few hours uninterrupted conversation with our dear Murray. I beseech you to visit Mrs. Greene in Coventry.' One more extract from the letters of General Geeene shall suffice. 'Once more, on the close of the campaign, I am to announce to my very dear friend, that I am still an inhabitant of this globe. We have had a hard and bloody campaign, yet we ought rather to dwell upon the mercies we have received, than to repine because they are not greater. But man is a thankless creature: yet you, dear Murray, know, that the mercies of God are happily proportioned to our weakness. Retired to winter-quarters, the social passions once more kindled into life. Love and friendship triumph
over the heart, and the sweet pleasures of domestic happiness call to remembrance my once happy circle of friends, in which you, my dear sir, appear in the first rank. My friendship for you, is indeed of the warmest description. My attachment was not hastily formed, and it will not easily be relinquished. I early admired your talents; your morals have earned my esteem; and neither distance nor circumstances will diminish my affection.'
The subjoined extracts are from letters written by gentlemen of high respectability, in the mercantile, literary and christian world. The first extract is from a letter, soliciting a visit from the preacher.
'The grand, the glorious expedition in which you are engaged, to disseminate truth and knowledge; the assurances we can give you how little is known here, and how eagerly it is wished that the ways of God to man should be made manifest, will, I trust, induce you to make an exertion in our behalf. My ardent prayer is for your life, and health. The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; yet I trust in God, that the beams of light will irradiate this benighted world, and that he will accelerate that eternal day, when the Son shall give up the kingdom to the Father, and God shall be all in all.
'You solicit me to write; my writing can afford you no novelty, for what intellectual ground is there that you have not trod, or that I can mark out, which you have not before observed. I am wearied with reiterated reflection, and I pant for that sky, where I may range without confinement. The simple truths of the gospel please me much. I rest in confidence that Christ died for me, rose again for my justification, and will make me completely blessed; that I am essentially united to, and a part of that nature, which pervades all space, and a spark of that fire that shall escape to heaven, its native seat. I recollect your preaching with pleasure, and I bless God for the light he has been pleased to convey to my mind, through your instrumentality. May your labors be blest with abundant success; but I predict the genuine gospel laborers will be but few. Poor man! you must stand singly opposed, without human aid; be persuaded that the conflict will be inferior to your strength. I really despise the world for their treatment of you; but you know who says, 'Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. What mildness was there in the majesty of the person of the Redeemer? He could have been no other than the Deity enrobed in a mantle of flesh. I venerate the liberal, the magnanimous principles of your general and your colonel; and I love them for their friendship for you, and the estimation in which they hold you. It is so rare to meet with liberal and enlarged minds, that when I do, I exult at the discovery, and my soul leaps to embrace them. Should you have a vacant moment, you will do well to fill it by writing to us, your children.'
Never, my dear Murray, can I forget you, while memory holds her seat in this benighted vale. The impressions are too lasting to be effaced, and so deeply are they marked together, that, when the