Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

Dr. Boudinot was born in Philadelphia, on the 2d of May, A. D. 1740. He was descended from one of those pious Protestants, who, at the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, Aed from France to America, to escape the horrors of ec. clesiastical persecution, and to enjoy religious freedom in this favoured land, He had the advantage of a classical education, and pursued the study of the law under the direction of the Hon. Richard Stockton, a member of the first Ame. rican Congress, whose eldest sister he afterwards married.

Shortly after his admission to the Bar of New Jersey, Dr. Boudinot rose to the first grade in his profession. Early in the revolutionary war, he was appointed by Congress to the important trust of commissary-general of prisoners. In the year 1777, he was chosen a member of the national Congress, and in the year 1782 he was elected the president of this august body. In this capacity he had the honour and happiness of putting his signature to the treaty of peace, which forever established his country's independence. On the return of peace, he resumed the practice of the law. It was not long, however, before he was called to a more important station. On the adoption of the present constitution of the United States, the confidence of his fellow citizens allotted him a seat in the House of Representatives of the United States. In this honourable place he was continued for six successive years. On quitting it to return once more to the pursuits of private life, he was appointed by that consummate judge of character, the first President of the United States, to fill the office of Director of the National Mint, vacated by the death of the celebrated Rittenhouse. This trust he executed with exemplary fidelity during the administrations of Washington, Adams, and (in part) of Jefferson. Resigning this office, and seeking seclusion from the perplexities of public life, and from the bustle and ceremony of a commercial metropolis, he fixed his residence in the city of Burlington, Here, surrounded by affectionate friends, and visited by strangers of distinction; engaged much in pursuits of biblical literature; practising the most liberal and unceremonious hospitality; filling up life in the exercise of the highest Christian duties, and of the loveliest charities that exalt our nature; meekly and quietly communicating, and receiving happiness of the purest kind; he sustained, and has left such a character, as will for ever endear his memory to his friends, and do honour to his country.

Prior to the revolution he was elected a member of the Board of Trustees of New Jersey College. The semi-annual meetings of this respectable body, he always attended with punctuality, unless prevented by severe indisposition. At the time of his decease, he was the senior member of this corporation. The liberal donation ho made it during his life, and the more ample one in his last will, must be long remembered with gratitude by the friends of science.

But while anxious to promote the interest of literature, he was not unmindful of the superior claims of religion on his remembrance and his bounty. Attached from principle and habit to the religious denomination of which he was so distinguished a member, he has been most liberal in his testamentary donation to the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, and to their Theologi. cal Seminary established at Princeton.

But as his mind, unshackled by bigotry or sectarian prejudice, was expanded by the noblest principles of Christian benevolence, he has also very liberally endowed various institutions whose object is to diffuse more widely the light of revealed truth-to evangelize the heathen-to instruct the deaf and dumbto educate youth for the sacred ministry-to advance knowledge, and to relieve the wants and miseries of the sick or suffering poor.

To those of his fellow citizens, however, who are peculiarly interested in the wide circulation of the sacred scriptures, perhaps the chief excellence in the character of the deceased, is the ardent and affectionate zeal he displayed in the Bible cause. The efforts he at first made, notwithstanding the infirmities of age, and much unexpected opposition, to establish the American Bible Society-his munificent donation to this institution at its organization-his subsequent libe. rality to aid in the erection of a depository—the devise of a large and valuable tract of land-and the deep and undiminished interest he has taken in all the concerns of the National Society ever since he was chosen its President-while they spread his fame tbrough every region of the globe, will consecrate his me

mory to the hearts of his fellow citizens in America, and his fellow Christians throughout the world.*

But if his public services, and his private worth, claim the tribute of general esteem and affectionate remembrance; the closing scene of his life is not less calculated to console his friends under the heavy loss they have sustained, than it is to edify and support the departing Christian.

In the full possession of his mental faculties, and in the assured persuasion of his approaching dissolution, his faith was firm-his patience unexhausted, and his hopes were bright. While with paternal solicitude he exhorted those around him to rest on the LORD JESUS CHRIST-as the only true ground of trust —while with solemnity and tenderness he commended a dutiful and affectionate daughter-his only child-to the care of his surviving friends ; with humble resignation, he expressed his readiness—his “ desire to depart in peace to the bosom of his Father in heaven;" and the last prayer he was heard to articulate, was—“LORD JESUS, RECEIVE MY SPIRIT. Testimonial of Affection. From the Minutes of the Managers of the

American Bible Society. The Board of Managers of the American Bible Society, while, in common with their fellow citizens, they sensibly feel the loss which the Christian community has sustained in the removal, by the death of the Hon. Elias Boudinot, of one of its most valuable members, have reason more especially to lament that which their institution has suffered in being deprived of its venerable president.

When the managers carry back their recollection to the period which preceded the formation of this society, and review the laborious and persevering efforts of Dr. Boudinot to accomplish the interesting object; when they consider the noble example of beneficence which he soon afterwards presented in the generous donation of ten thousand dollars to its treasury, and one thousand dollars since towards the erection of a depository; the unremitted interest, which, under the pressure of acute bodily suffering, and the infirmities of advanced age, he continued ever afterwards to evince in its concerns; his great exertions, notwithstanding the personal inconvenience and pain to which it subjected him, to attend its stated anniversaries; the dignity and amiableness with which he fulfilled the duties of the chair; and the pious and affectionate counsels supplied by his official communications; they deeply deplore the chasm that has been made in their body by this afflicting bereavement. To the will of an all-wise Providence it becomes them to feel unfeigned submission, and to accompany this act of duty with the expression of their grateful acknowledgments to a merciful God for his goodness, in prolonging beyond the ordinary measure of human life that of their illustrious patron; in permitting bim to witness the rapid growth and prosperity of the cherished object of his affections ; in conveying to his heart the consolations of that blessed book which he had made the standard of his faith and the rule of his conduct; and in enabling him to close a well spent life with the full hope, through the merits of bis Saviour, of a blissful immortality beyond the grave. The Board of Managers, would not

• To this account, the editor of the Missionary Herald adds, that Dr. Boudinot was chosen a member of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, at the annual meeting in 1812. The next year, not being able to attend the annual meeting, he sent as a donation a bill on London for 100 pounds sterling. In 1814, the Board meeting at New Haven, he was present, took a very active part in its deliberations, and showed a very cordial interest in its object. Repeatedly afterwards, when he met with the agents and officers of the Board, he discovered the same warm attachment to the cause. When three Cherokee youths were brought to the Foreign Mission School, in the summer of 1818, they spent a night at his hospitable mansion; and one of them, with his permission, took the name of Elias Boudinot. The same youth, having become hopefully pious in the meantime, not long since made a visit of two or three weeks to his venerable friend, who always took particular delight in every attempt to meliorate the condition of the American Indians.

only derive from these cheering recollections consolation for their loss, but in. citement to an increased measure of exertion in that work which so engrossed the affections of their lamented president, and, while they are diligently employed in diffusing abroad the Word of Life, encouragement in seeking to rea. lize for themselves its inestimable benefits.

With the mourning daughter of their deceased friend, for so many years the partaker of his joys and sorrows, the companion of his journeys, and his amiable assistant in well doing, the members of the Board sincerely sympathize; and they respectfully transmit to her this feeble expression of their feelings towards her venerable parent, as evidence of the affection with which they wish to embalm his memory, and the sincerity with which they condole with her under the bereavement she has experienced

The Treasurer of the Trustees of the General Assembly of the Pres

byterian Church, acknowledges the receipt of the following sums for their Theological Seminary at Princeton, N.J. during the month of November last, viz. of the Second Presbyterian Church Philadelphia, the annual collection for the Contingent Fund

883 32 Of Rev. Dr. A. Alexander, per Rev. H. L. Rice, the annual collection

in the congregation of Peaks, Bedford county, Virginia, for same fund

26 00 Of E. Steel, a quarter's rent, for do.

87 50 Of Rev. Robert S. Grier, per Rev. G. W. Janvier, from Toms Creek

and Piney Creek churches, for the Professorship to be endowed by the Synod of Philadelphia

46 12 Of Rev. H. R. Wilson, per Rev. T.J. Biggs, subscriptions of individuals in the congregation of Silver Spring, for do.

10 00 Of Rev. William Henderson, on account of the Scholarship to be en

dowed by the Eumenean Society in the Senior Class of 1821 10 00 Of Rev. Abraham Williamson, per Samuel Moore, esq. for the Scholarship to be endowed by the Senior Class of 1821

6 50 Of Mrs. Jane Keith, one year's interest of the Scholarship to be en

dowed by the Congregational and Presbyterian Female Association of Charleston, South Carolina

175 00 Total $444 44

$62

REPORT FOR DECEMBER LAST.
Of Thomas H. Mills, esq. six months' interest in advance, for the

Woodhull Scholarship
Of Rev. Jacob Kirkpatrick, collected by him for the Professorship to

be endowed by the Synod of New York and New Jersey
Of P- Boyd, esq. the annual collection in the First Presbyterian
Church in Albany, for the Contingent Fund

37 18 Total $157 68

P.S.Jan. 2. The Treasurer has just received Ten Dollars, in a letter from a person unknown, commencing, “I have read one half of the Rev. Professor Lindsly's Plea for the Theological Seminary at Princeton,' and stop to enclose to you ten dollars for the benefit of that institution. Would I were able to give ten thousand."

NEW PUBLICATIONS. A. Finley, Philadelphia, has published a neat edition of “ The Refuge," by the author of the Guide to Domestic Happiness. Price 88 cents.

Now in press, and will be shortly published, by W. W. Woodward, the “ Sermons of Rev. Charles Bradley, of High Wycombe,” in one large octavo volume.

THE

Presbyterian Magazine.

FEBRUARY, 1822.

Communications.

FOR THE PRESBYTERIAN MAGAZINE,

CHRISTIAN KINDNESS. Mankind are perhaps sufficiently prone to assume a right of inspecting the conduct of one another; but it is seldom exercised with that spirit of charity and benevolence which is recommended by the gospel. With the malignant temper of envy or hatred—with an unchristian indifference to the feelings and the reputation of others, we see even the professors of the meek religion of Christ, judging the actions, and prying into the history of their neighbours; not that they may approve and imitate that which is good—not that they may apply the knowledge of their errors in prudent and private remonstrances for their correction—not that they may employ the generous influence of friendship to recal them to virtue; but that they may blazon their faults to their injury—that they may entertain society at the expense of their good name. Widely different is the genuine spirit of Christianity. Its benevolence requires its disciples to take an interest in each other's character and conduct; but it is only in order to promote their mutual love, and to advance the interests of piety among the great fraternity of believers. This is the import, and almost the literal version, of the passage (Heb. x. 24.) which we translate “ consider one another, to provoke, or excite to love and to good works.”

Christians, like a band of brothers, should take a deep interest in each other's happiness, and mutually encourage one another in their heavenly course; and living in the midst of the temptations of the world, and of numerous and vigilant enemies, they ought to preserve the purity of their profession unsullied, and take from the adversaries of the gospel every rccasion to speak reproachfully of its divine Author, or of his

VOL. II.- Presb. Mag.

disciples. For this purpose should they, by counsel, by persuasion, and even by prudent reprehension, endeavour to prevent each other's errors, and to strengthen each other's virtues. But what analogy is there between this duty and that busy and unfriendly spirit, which, alas! is so common, and which is employed so often, only to furnish the materials of idle, and, sometimes, scandalous conversations.

Those who love religion, whose hearts are formed into the temper of the gospel, will delight to receive and impart those mutual admonitions which will contribute to increase their progress in holiness, and which, in particular, will put them on their guard against, or help to redeem them from, those evils, to which, from temptation or from habit, they are most exposed. But to do all this in such a manner as to avoid giving offence, while we aim at doing good—as to conciliate csteem where we are in danger of wounding self-love-as to accomplish the end of the precept, while we are every moment treading on the most delicate and difficult ground, requires infinite care-requires equally soundness of judgment and goodness of heart.

Therefore, let Christians consider and judge one another, with cautionwith fairness-with charity—and solely with the view of promoting mutual improvement in the divine life.

1. With caution.-Many circumstances must conspire, many qualifications are requisite, to enable us to form a sound and accurate judgment of others, without which, it were much better to suspend our opinions, and impose silence on our tongues. What, Christians! shall we pronounce of what we yet know nothing with certainty, of what we have heard only by common rumour; and that, perhaps, poisoned and inflamed by the breath of enemies? Is this the way to do good or to promote harmony in the body of Christ? Are we disciples of our Master who is in heaven, and cannot we restrain a criminal impatience of judging? Is it so difficult for a charitable mind to presume favourably of the intentions and actions of the brethren, where the most palpable proofs do not constrain us to form a different judgment? Reflect how often a single circumstance, which may be unknown to us, changes the whole aspect of an action-reflect, that it is the prerogative of God alone to judge the thoughts and intents, the principles and motives of the heartreflect how many pernicious consequences flow from rash and precipitate judgments—and reflect how often you have formerly been deceived, perhaps, and have been constrained to change your judgments of particular men; and does not every thing concur to induce you to pronounce with caution on the characters of your fellow Christians? This is the wise and holy circumspection to which our Saviour exhorts us, when he says— Fudge not ac

« PoprzedniaDalej »