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and irresistible conviction that he was listening for the last time, in that place, to the sound of that voice, rendered this one of the most touching scenes which the writer has ever witnessed. From this time he was only able to ride out occasionally, in the middle of the day. He remained with his people until May, when he was induced, by the persuasion of his friends, once more to try the effects of a change of climate; and set out with his family for Raleigh. He arrived there after much fatigue, and with great difficulty ; and there, after nine months of almost insensible decline, he expired, without a struggle or a groan, on the morning of January 18, 1820.
The general features of Mr. Forster's character, if the writer has been in any good degree successful in his attempt, will have been gathered from the preceding narrative. Such a character stands in no need of eulogy
His pure and elevated spirit would have shrunk instinctively from it, while on earth; and he is now far beyond the reach of either the praise or the censure of mortals. His record is on high. But to us it may be useful to recal and to embody, while their impression is fresh upon our minds, some of the most striking traits in his interesting character. To dwell on the memory of such a man, not only affords a melancholy delight; it is greatly profitable to our virtue. It comes over us with a freshness and a fragrance that are not only grateful but invigorating to our spirits. We naturally consider him as one more added to that “ cloud of witnesses,” the idea of whose presence must quicken and stimulate our exertions in the Christian course. The recollection of the great and good, who have gone before us, to their reward, naturally connects itself with all that is high and holy in our feelings and aspirations ; it strengthens all our good and generous purposes; it serves to break the illusion which is so apt to gather round present scenes and objects, and which enables them to get so firm a hold on our affections; it accustoms us to embrace with the eye of faith and hope, the prospect of our whole being.
Mr. Forster's was certainly a mind of no ordinary cast: He was endowed by nature with great boldness, decision and independence of character. His perceptive powers were unusually quick, clear and strong ; and his purposes equally simple and direct. To all the arts of simulation and dissimulation, he was an utter stranger. Like Nathaniel, he was an Israelite indeed, in whom was no guile.” His native uprightness and independence of mind, led him to examine every thing for himself. He took his impressions of truth and duty from no man upon trust, He acted under an habitual and deep sense of his own personal responsibility for his opinions and his conduct; and every thing was with him subjected to the test of rigid and unbending principle. Yet was there nothing of obstinacy, of dogmatism or self-sufficiency in his temper. No man listened with more patience or docility to argument, from whatever quarter; no man could be more free from the folly of a pertinacious adherence to his own opinions, merely because they were his own. Of him, if of any man that ever lived, it might be safely affirmed, that he was & sincerc lover of truth ; and to the pursuit of this he devoted himself with an ardour of mind, and singleness of heart, which have been seldom surpassed. Of the right of private judgment, and free inquiry in matters of faith, he was a firm and resolute asserter. He considered this the fundamental and primary article in that liberty wherewith Christ has made us free; and no earthly considerations could induce him to abandon the right, or forego its exercise for a moment.
But perhaps the most prominent feature in his mind was his strong and discriminating good sense.
This was apparent in every thing that he did, and in every thing
that he said, and stamped a strong and distinctive ebarac. ter of fitness and decorum on all his transactions. His insight into the characters of others was remarkably keen and unerring ; his judgment was rarely imposed on by hollow pretensions and specious professions.
As a Minister of the Gospel, his qualifications were of a high order. While his talents and virtues commanded the respect of his people, his manners irresistibly attached to him their affections. Few men have been more ardently beloved while living, or lamented, when dead, with more heart-felt sorrow.
His moral feelings were pure, elevated, discriminating, delicate, consistent; his piety was rational, deep, heartfelt, operative: it moulded his whole character, and gave the tone and tenor to the whole course of his life and conversation. His views of the divine character and government were liberal, consoling and delightful. He regarded the Deity, as the Father of the Universe, with sentiments of the deepest reverence and humility--yet joyous, confiding, filial. His trust in the providence of God was a practical and operative principle, a well-spring of hope, and peace, and joy which never failed him even in the darkest scenes of his life. During the weariness, and wasting, and exhaustion of his long-protracted illness, he manifested no symptoms of impatience. A tranquil resiguation, and unruffied serenity of spirit shed around his dying couch the light of his holy example, and displayed the triumph of the Christian's faith.
In the walks of domestic and social life, Mr. Forster shone pro-eminent. As a husband, father and brother, he was generous, kind and affectionate; as a friend, warmhearted, faithful and sincere. He seemed peculiarly formed to enjoy, and to give value to, the intercourse of the friendly circle. He possessed a candor of spirit, an openness, simplicity and directness of mind and feeling-an entire freedom from all selfishness and obliquity of purpose, that were irresistibly attractive.
But it is time to check the effusion of feelings which those who were unacquainted with Mr. Forster may perhaps think have been already too far indulged. On the other hand, those who knew him intimately will feel, with the writer, how imperfect is the sketch he has attempted to draw. When we reflect on the premature death of such men, it is difficult to repress a feeling of regret and disappointment, that rises almost to dissatisfaction with the dispensations of Providence. We are ready to inquire, with a repining querulousness of spirit, why to worth like his should bave been assigned so short a date? But feelings like these it is our duty to check. The ways of Heaven, though mysterious, are certainly wise and benevolent. One of the lights of the world is indeed extinguished, and extinguished in its meridian ; but the great source of Light and Truth remains unchanged; and he will not suffer his children to remain in darkness. Our friend is released from his sufferings, and gone to his reward.
“O ! 'tis well
Of the general character of Mr. Forster's Sermons, the following selection will exhibit a fair specimen. It ought, however, in justice to the author's reputation, to be remembered, that these Discourses were composed not only with no thought of their future publication, but composed, many of them at least, under great depression of spirits, and langour of mind, the result of corporeal debility and suffering. This consideration will, it is hoped, temper the severity of criticism with regard to any minor defects in the language, or in the arrangement of the topics. Further than this, the Editor neither expects, nor wishes it to avail.
MATT. XI. 29.
** Learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart.“
To the sincere Christian, whose heart is filled with the love of truth, nothing affords so pleasing and so instructive a subject for meditation as the character of our Lord. In his conduct we beheld all his divine precepts of moral duty illustriously exemplified. So truly was he the light of the world, and so evidently was he a teacher sent from God, that what he taught he practised; thereby setting an example for his followers, as well as enlightening them by his instruction. A moral glory ever adorned his presence and his conduct; for in him shone “ the brightness of his Father's glory.” Thus was he, as