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to shine before others. His appearance, his countenance, words, and whole demeanour, (though without any thing of affected grimace and four aufterity,) was attended with a ferioufnefs, gravity, and folemnity, which was the natural, genuine indication, and expreffion of a deep, abiding fenfe of divine things on his mind, and of his living conftantly in the fear of God.
Agreeable to his Refolutions, he was very careful and abstemious in eating and drinking, as doubtless it was neceffary fo great a ftudent, and a perfon of fo delicate and tender a bodily make as he was, fhould be, in order to be comfortable and useful. When he had, by careful obfervation, found what kind and what quantity of diet beft fuited his conftitution, and rendered him moft fit to purfue his work, he was very ftrict and exact in complying with it; and in this refpect lived by rule; and herein conftantly practised great felf-denial, which he alfo did in his conftant early rifing, in order to redeem time for his ftudy. He ufed himfelf to rife by four, or between four and five in the morning.
Though he was of a tender and delicate constitution, yet few ftudents are capable of clofe application more hours in a day than he. He commonly spent thirteen hours every day in his ftudy. His most usual diversion, in fummer, was riding on horseback and walking. He would commonly, unlefs diverted by company, ride two or three miles after dinner to fome lonely grove, where he would difmount and walk a while. At which times he generally carried his pen and ink with him, to note any thought that fhould be fuggefted, which he chofe to retain and purfue, as what promifed fome light on any important fubject. In the winter he was wont almost daily to take an axe and chop wood moderately, for the space of half an hour or more.
He had an uncommon thirst for knowledge; in the purfuit of which he fpared no coft nor pains. He read all the books, efpecially books of divinity, that he could come at, from which he could hope to get any help in
his purfuit of knowledge. And in this, he confined not himself to authors of any particular feet or denomination; yea, took much pains to come at the books of the most noted writers, who advance a scheme of divinity moft contrary to his own principles. But he ftudied the Bible more than all other books, and more than most other divines do. His uncommon acquaintance with the Bible appears in his fermons, and in most of his publications: and his great pains in studying it are manifeft in his manufcript notes upon it; of which a more particular account may be given hereafter. He took his religious principles from the Bible, and not from any human fyftem or body of divinity. Though his principles were Calvinistic, yet he called no man father. He thought and judged for himself, and was truly very much of an original. This is evident by what he publifhed in his life-time, and is yet more fo by his MSS. Many volumes of which he has left; and the reader may expect a more particular account of them in the fequel. For reading was not the only method he took to improve his mind; but he did this much by writing; without which it is probable, no ftudent can make improvements to the beft advantage. Agreeable to Refolution 11. he applied himfelf with all his mind to find out the truth: he fearched for underftanding and knowledge, as for filver, and digged for it, as for hid treasures. Every thought, on any fubject which appeared to him worth purfuing and pres ferving, he purfued, as far as he then could, with his pen in his hand. Thus he was all his days, like the bu fy bee, collecting from every opening flower, and storing up a stock of knowledge, which was indeed fweet to him, as the honey and the honey.comb. And as he advanced in years and in knowledge, his pen was more and more employed, and his manuscripts grew much fafter on his hands.
He was thought by fome, who had but a flight acquaintance with him, to be ftiff and unfociable; but this was owing to want of better acquaintance. He
was not a man
of many words indeed, and was fome. what referved among ftrangers, and thofe on whofe candour and friendship he did not know he could rely. And this was probably owing to two things; First, the ftrict guard he fet over his tongue from his youth, which appears by his Refolutions, taking great care never to use it in any way that might prove mifchievous to any; never to fin with his tongue; nor to improve it in idle, trivial, and impertinent talk,, which generally makes up a great part of the converfation of those who are full of words in all companies. He was fenfible, that in the multitude of words there wanteth not fin; and therefore refrained his lips, and habituated himself to think before he spoke, and to propofe fome good end even in all his words; which led himh to be. above many others, agreeable to St James's advice, flow to speak. Secondly, This was in part the effect of his bodily conftitution. He poffeffed but a com... parative fmall stock of animal life: his animal fpirits were low, and he had not ftrength of lungs to fpare, that would be neceffary in order to make him what would be called, an affable, facetious gentleman, in all companies. They who have a great flow of animal fpirits, and fo can speak with more eafe and lefs expence, may doubtlefs lawfully practife free converfation in all companies for a lower end, (e. g to please ·· and render themselves acceptable,) than he, who has not such a stock to expend upon. It becomes him to referve what he has for higher and more important fervice. Befides, the want of animal fpirits lays a man under a natural inability to that freedom of converfa. tion at all times, and in whatever company he is, which thofe of more life naturally go into; and the greatest degree of fociable difpofition, humility, and benevolence, will not remove this obftacle.
He was not forward to enter into any difpute among ftrangers, and in companies where were perfons of different fentiments; as he was fenfible that fuch difputes are generally unprofitable, and often finful, and of bad!
confequence; and he thought he could difpute to the beft advantage with his pen in his hand yet he was always free to give his fentiments on any fubject propofed to him, and remove any difficulties or objections offered by way of inquiry, as lying in the way of what he looked upon to be the truth. But how groundless the imputation of stiff and unsociable was, his known and tried friends beft knew. They always found him eafy of accefs, kind and condefcending; and though not talkative, yet affable and free. Among fuch whose candour and friendship he had experienced he threw off the referve, and was moft open and free; quite patient of contradiction, while the utmoft oppofition was made to his fentiments, that could be by any plausible arguments or objections. And, indeed, he was, on all occafions, quite fociable and free with all who had any fpecial bufinefs with him.
In his conduct in his family, he practifed that confcientious exactnefs which was perfpicuous in all his ways. He maintained a great efteem and regard for his amiable and excellent confort. Much of the tender and kind was expreffed in his converfation with her, and conduct towards her. He was wont frequently to admit her into his study, and converfe freely with her on matters of religion; and he used commonly to pray with her in his ftudy, at least once a-day, unless fomething extraordinary prevented. The time in which this used to be commonly attended, was juft before going to bed, after prayers in the family. As he rose very early himself, he was wont to have his family up in feafon in the morning; after which, before the family entered on the bufinefs of the day, he attended on family prayers; when a chapter in the Bible was read, commonly by candle-light in the winter; upon which he asked his children queftions according to their age and capacity; and took occafion to explain fome pasfages in it, or enforce any duty recommended, &c. as he thought moft proper.
He was careful and thorough in the government of his children; and, as a confequence of this, they reverenced, efteemed, and loved him. He took fpecial care to begin his government of them in season. When they firft difcovered any confiderable degree of will and stubbornnefs, he would attend to them till he had thoroughly fubdued them and brought them to submit. And fuch prudent thorough difcipline, exercifed with the greateft calmnefs, and commonly without ftriking a blow, being repeated once or twice, was generally fufficient for that child; and effectually established his parental authority, and produced a cheerful obedience ever after.
He kept a watchful eye over his children, that he might admonish them of the first wrong ftep, and direct them in the right way. He took opportunities to treat with them in his ftudy, fingly and particularly, about their own foul's concerns; and to give them warning, exhortation, and direction, as he faw occafion. He took much pains to inftruct them in the principles of religion; in which he made ufe of the Affembly's Shorter Catechifm: not merely by taking care that they learned it by heart, but by leading them into an understanding of the doctrines therein taught, by asking them questions on each anfwer, and explaining it to them. His ufual time to attend this was on the evening before the Sabbath. And, as he believed that the Sabbath, or holy time, began at fun-fet the evening before the day, he ordered his family to finish all their fecular business by that time, or before; when they were all called together, and a pfalm was fung and prayer attended, as an introduction to the fanctifying the Sabbath. This care and exactnefs effectually prevented that intruding on holy time, by attending on fecular bufinefs, too common in families where the evening before the Sabbath is pretended to be obferved.
He was a great enemy to young people's unfeafonable company-keeping and frolicking, as he looked upon it as a great means of corruping and ruining youth.