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"such have been, in all ages, the great corrup"tors of the world, and their resemblance ought "no more to be preserved, than the art of mur"dering without pain *." With respect to many who are born and die in our world, the sooner they are forgotten the better. As they were cumberers of the ground while they lived; so their memorial would no less encumber the page of history, or the tablet of tradition. It is a real blessing that, according to the divine declaration, the name of the wicked shall rot.

But there is another mistake, much more prevalent than that which has been noticed. It is the mistake of those who run into the opposite extreme. They suppose that no life ought to be recorded and transmitted to posterity, unless it be that of one who has immortalized himself, either by his writings, or by a course of distinguished action on the theatre of the great world. Such a principle, if admitted, would undoubtedly exclude from the shelves of Biography some of the most useful characters that ever adorned human society. It is, therefore, a false principle. And while it is freely granted that the public ought not to be troubled with the life of every

* Rambler, No. 4.

good, or of every useful man; it may be confidently maintained, that whenever a case occurs in which a life has been marked with respectable talents, eminent piety, exemplary diligence, and extensive usefulness, such a life, if survivors are disposed to profit by the contemplation of it, ought not to be withheld from them.

On this principle the author of the following Memoirs presumes to lay them before the public. The venerable Subject of them was never indeed considered, either by himself or by others, as belonging to the class of those extraordinary men, who, by the splendour of their genius, the variety and extent of their learning, or the number of their publications, excite the admiring gaze of mankind. But if solid and respectable talents; if acquirements which enabled him to act his part, in various important stations, with uniform honour; if patriarchal dignity; if sound practical wisdom, and a long life of eminent and extensive usefulness, be worthy of grateful remembrance, and of respectful imitation, then the life of Dr. RODGERS is worthy of being written and perused. There is a day coming, and the estimate of christians ought now to anticipate it, when such a character will appear infinitely

more worthy of contemplation and regard, than that of the most splendid improver of human science, or the most admired leader of victorious legions, that was ever immortalized by the historian's pen. In that day it will be found, that bearing the image of Christ, and a gracious relation to his Person, is the highest nobility; and that services done for the Saviour's cause, will obtain the only lasting reward.

With these reflections in view, the attention of the reader is requested to the following Memoirs.

The Reverend JOHN RODGERS was born in the town of Boston, in Massachusetts, on the fifth day of August, A. D. 1727. He was the son of Mr. Thomas Rodgers, and Elizabeth Baxter, his wife, who removed from the city of Londonderry, in Ireland, to Boston, in the year 1721. There they resided until 1728, in the autumn of which year, when the subject of these Memoirs was a little more than a year old, they left Boston, on account of some troubles occasioned by the Indians, and transferred their residence to the city of Philadelphia. They had two sons, and six daughters. James, the elder son, died early; John, the younger, was the comfort and the pride

of his parents, while they lived, and survived, for a number of years, all the rest of the family.

His parents, early discovering in their younger son more than usual sobriety, reflection, and taste for knowledge, bestowed much pains on his education. His pious mother, in particular, was unwearied in her endeavours to form his tender mind, and to imbue it with the principles of piety. At the age of about twelve years, he was brought under serious impressions, and evinced much thoughtfulness and concern respecting his eternal interest. At this time, he had frequent opportunities of attending on the ministry of the Reverend Mr. Whitefield, that " prince of preachers," whose gifts were, perhaps, more wonderful, and whose labours were, probably, more eminently blessed, to the conversion of souls, than those of any other individual, since the days of the Apostles. The preaching of this herald of the cross was blessed to young Rodgers, in a very remarkable manner. That he attended upon it with great interest, and with deep impression, even at that early age, will abundantly appear from the following anecdote, which he of ten related to his particular friends, with much tenderness and pleasure.


It is generally known, that Mr. Whitefield often preached in the open air; sometimes, because houses of worship were shut against him; and at others, because his audiences were too large to be accommodated in any ordinary building. In Philadelphia, he often stood on the outside steps of the Court-house, in Market-street, and from that station addressed admiring thousands who crouded the street below. On one of these occasions, young Rodgers was not only present, but pressed as near to the person of his favourite preacher as possible; and to testify his respect, held a lantern for his accommodation. Soon after the sermon began, he became so absorbed in the subject, and, at length, so deeply impressed, and strongly agitated, that he was scarcely able to stand; the lantern fell from his hand, and was dashed in pieces; and that part of the audience in the immediate vicinity of the speaker's station, were not a little interested, and, for a few moments, discomposed, by the occurrence*.

A subsequent circumstance, connected with this event, and not less remarkable, is worthy of being recorded. Mr. Whitefield, in the course of his fifth visit to America, about the year 1754, on a journey from the southward, called at St. George's, in Delaware, where Mr. Rodgers was then settled in the Gospel ministry,

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