Page images
PDF
EPUB

now be to death, and he was well of religion and morality, and in contented with the prospect be other ways. fore him, being full of days, and And when he commenced his fatisfied with life, &c. He gave missionary labors, which he view . many excellent counsels and ex-ed himself as specially called in hortations to all about him. Like Providence to undertake, with Moses, he had a vigorous old age; what wisdom, Christian zeal, and his memory continued unusually ardor did he prosecute them ? tenacious ; and all his intellectual The toils and hardships attending powers uncommonly good. the work, were no discourage

Justice Mayhew was a gentle- ments. Animated with a glowman of strong powers of mind, ing love to his blessed Saviour, of an accurate knowledge of hu- and with fervent affection to the man nature, of distinguished pru- poor natives, many of whom dence, and of a commanding ad- were perithing for lack of vifion, dress. The general tenor of his he pursued the work with vigor conduct thro' a life protracted to at an age, which he might have an uncommon length, discovered, pleaded as an excuse for omitting as far as we learn, a lively and to carry on such extensive, wearideep sense of the infinite import- fome, and hard services. But ance of Christianity—that part of God supported him under all; his life especially, which was spent and long before his departure, upon the Illand.

gave him the unspeakable satisAs a magistrate he was just, faction of seeing that his labor and impartial. The Indians, tho'l of love was crowned with great naturally a jealous people ; yet success. His zeal in the bieffed after some acquaintance, had full cause, continued unimpaired to confidence in the goodness and the last ; and with agęd Polycarp, integrity of his heart ; that he who suffered matyrdom at Smyrhad no disposition to injure them na, in the second century, A. D. in their persons, property, or lib. 167, could declare, “ That tho' erty; but, on the contrary, was I have long served Christ, I have intent upon promoting their in- always found him a good matter, tereft: They revered, and loved and therefore I cannot forsake him as a father. In some things him.” He continued full of faith, which he proposed, tho' they confolation, and holy joy to the might for the present, thwart laft. their inclinations ; yet they were

“ The sweet remembrance of the juis willing to allow, that even in

“ Shall flourish, when he sleeps in duft." them, he aimed at their good : And after some time, were gene- death of his pious grandfather,

Rev. John Mayhew, after the rally sensible, that he not only intended their benefit, but proposed the Indians, with unwearied ap

pursues the evangelic work among wife measures to accomplis it. Before he entered upon his miffiona plication. He taught alternately ry career, he was very helpful to and affifted them in their ecclesial

in all their assemblies every week, his son by his advice, by removing

tical affairs. prejudices from the minds of the Indians, by his private conversa and Indians under his care, his dili

And having both the English tion with them upon the subjects

gence was now to be doubled.--His

er.

lebor was much increased, by reaning the Indians very similar to. fon of certain erroneous opinions, that of his grandfather, and fathwhich were likely to take root in His. custom was to tarry the Island, unless proper measures some time with them, after the were adopted to prevent. After public exercises of prayer, pfalmthey were sown in some minds, ody, and preaching were conclu. and pains were taken to fow them ded; allowing them to put quef. in others ; he cxerts himself, in tions to him for their own instruc. all suitable ways, to prevent the tion; and also trying their knowl, evil from spreading; to check the edge, by putting questions to growth of those errors that were them. This way of tarrying after implanted, and, if possible, to sermon, and answering questions eradicate them. Like a rational was generally practised by the an, and candid Christian, he attempts cient missionaries, and found, by their extirpation by spiritual in- experience, a very profitable mode struments. Being a person of su- of instruction, The Indians perior abilities, and acquaintance would oftentimes ask questions, with the scriptures, he used to de- which naturally occured to their fire such as began to receive these minds from the subject of the ser. principles, to produce their rea mon they had just heard : Some Ions ; and, those, who wanted times other questions, which had to be resolved in their difficulties, no relation to the discourse which to give him the advantage to re had just been delivered. The solve them in public, that others questions which the Indians some. also might receive light and satis- times asked, were of such a nature, faction ; whereby they came to that no small degree of theologic. be more clearly instructed, and al and philosophical knowledge more fully convinced and satisfied, was requisite to resolve them, than in the ordinary way of The other method of asking them preaching, which yet always pre questions might be very profitable, ceded the other. He had such as it would put them upon more an excellent talent for the defence close thinking ; and the observa. of the truth, against gainsayers, tions made by the millionaries up. that they, who would have spread on their answers, might fix the their errors, found themselves so truth more strongly in their misds. effe&tually opposed and baffled by the power of his knowledge and quainted with their language, that piety, and the strength of his ar- he was able to discourse freely gumentative genius, that they with them upon any kind of subcould make no progress in their ject; and to preach and pray in defigns on the Inand; and the their tongue with the greatest churches and people, and in them readiness; which he must have their pofterity, were happily saved found of singular advantage in from the spreading of those erro- the various instructions he gave, neous opinions, and the disturb-them. ance and troubles they would Like the great apoitle of the have produced among them.* Gentiles, he took special pains He pursued a plan of instruct with them more privately; which,

we doubt not, he found, by hapMatthew Mayhew's Triumphs of py experience, eminently to subGrace- Indian Converts,

ferve the blessed cause he had un- 1 year of his age, and 16th of his dertaken.

ministry. He survived his grandMr. Mayhew constantly preach father about eight years. Не ed to the English at Tilbury for left the Indians in a very orderly the space of 15 years to his death ; way of assembling on the Lord's and about as long once every week day for public worship, in four, to one or other of the Indian af or five several places. Their consemblies on the Illand.

gregations were supplied with And having finished what God, well instructed teachers of their in his Providence, law meet to own nation, who usually began employ hira in, he deceased on with prayer, and after singing February 3, 1689, in the 37th

dition of particular persons, than he • This, without scruple, was a wise can do in his public discourses. In this Rep, whether the Indians, whom he way he may become better acquainted called upon, and visited, were con with the spiritual state of professors, verted to Christianity, or not, and only than in any other. He may know betwilling to pay attention to the eviden- ter what subjects may be most profita. ces of it. Suppose some of them to ble to them in public. He may somehave been still in a state of heathenism, times have a favorable opportunity of but yet possessed of so much candor, as convincing the erroneous-reproving to be willing to hear what might be offenders removing the doubts of the said in support of Christianity, great Scrupulous animating the timorous, bencfit might result from these private and reprefsing the confidence of overinterviews. In this way, a missionary forward professors. may engage the affections of those he

Private, personal addresses, when vifits; gaining this point may be of managed with wisdom, will sometimes special benefit to the heamen.-Their make a deeper impression upon the prejudices may, in some degree, be mind, than public discourses, tho' they foon removedbetter attention may be may contain the same fentiments, and given to gospel truth, and the eviden- be delivered with becoming animation. ces, by which it is established. In oral Such private conferences sometimes conferences in private, a missionary | give a minister a fair opportunity of may oftentimes have a more favorable renioving prejudices againt bimielf

; opportunity to explain the leading doc- and of conciliating the minds of con. trines of religion more fully to the un- tending people to each other. Dir derstanding of people, than in public creetly managed, they tend to cement discourses; to answer objections, re friendship, and to render his public admove doubts, and prepare them to at ministrations more ufeful. They will Lend upon public exercises to better ad-give people a better opinion of him; vantage.

that he is heartily engaged to promote And when heathens have received the their best interests : He may also, in Christian faith, much good may result this way, obtain a more extensive acfrom such private visits; and it is a quaintance with human nature, which point of prudence to make them, is of great moment, in every branch when circumstances allow, and they of his duty. do not interfere with public services, However, such visits, tho' useful, private studies, and devotional exercises. must have their limits, and not intrench

Every inftrumental duty of religion upon other duties, whether public, or has its particular benefits.' Tho' faith private.----Whether upon preaching, comes by hearing, by the public difpen- which is the prime duty of a mifiionaSation of the divine word; yet private ry; or application to study, in the negaddrelles are a good preparative for the led of which he will be but poorly reception of the gospel preached by the qualified to discharge the public, and anballadors of Christ. In private in private offices of his profeffion. In the terviews a minister may speak more severalduties of his Itation, circumstances particularly, and adapt himself, with muft determine what proportion of time greater precision to the fate and con is to be allotted to cach.

part of a psalm, fpake to the au- longer to have seen his children ditors from some portion of sac more ripened in age before he ed scripture. He also left an In- died ; and to have done more serdian church consisting of one hun vice for Christ on the earth : But dred communicants, walking accor- with respect to his own state beding to the rule of the scriptures.* fore God, he enjoyed a great se

Rev. John Mayhew was a per- renity of mind, having a lively son of a clear judgment, great apprehension of the mercy of God, prudence, and of an excellent thro’ the merits of Christ : Far {pirit : And the Indians very from being afraid to die, having much resorted to his house for hopes, thro' grace, of obtaining advice and instruction, and also eternal life, by Jesus Christ our for relief in their wants : And as Lord. He counselled, exhorted, he was persuaded that many of and encouraged his relatives, and them were truly religious, he others, who came to visit him : would sometimes say, " That tho' And with respect to himself, he had but little reward from men among other things, said, “ He (having but about five pounds a was persuaded, that God would year for his labors among them, not place him with those after his excepting the two last years) yet death, in whose company he could if he might be instrumental in fa- take no delight in his life time.” ving any, he should be fully fat Thus expired this third succesisfied, and think himself to be five preacher to the Indians of this fufficiently recompensed.” The worthy family, after he had set whole of what was allowed him another illustrious example of ferfor his incessant labors both among vent zeal for the glory of God, the Indians and English, put to a lively faith in the invisible and gether, would scarcely amount to eternal world, and generous, ten pounds a year, except the great, and unremitting concern two last years of his life. With for the salvation of all about him. justice he could adopt the words It is needless to say, that the loss of the apostle, and address the peo- of him in the meridian of life, and ple of his charge, “ I feek not especially fo foon after his grandyours, but you." After the father's decease, was deeply regrethonorable commissioners came to ted both by English and Indians. be acquainted with him, and the If we measure life by a man's eminent services he did, they set- piety, benevolence, great activity, tled upon him thirty pounds a and eminent usefulness, we may year, the two last years of his life. say, with strict propriety, that

He walked in his house with a Mr. Mayhew lived to an advan perfect heart, having his children ced period. The words of an and domestics in all subjection, ancient Jewish writer may be apthey both loving and revering plied to him, with as much jul. him ; and being frequently and tice, as to most men of a similar seriously instructed by him. age ; “ Honorable age is not that,

In his last fickness, he express which ftandeth in length of time; fed a desire, if it were the Divine or that is measured by a number will, that he might live a while of years : But wisdom is the grey

hair unto man; and an unspotted Matthew Mayhew, and Indian life is old age.” Converts.

(To be continued.)

a

The work of God perfe&. the dispensation of his grace, pro(Contin. from Vol. II. p. 465.) ceeds on this rule to the intent that

none may glory in his presence, and

that the transcendant glory which NUMBER III.

God will bestow on creatures the H AVING in my second num moft worthless, guilty and forlorn,

ber attempted to trace the who are redeemed from evidence of this great truth, men, might appear to be all of That none is good but one, God, in God. Thus as the old creation the work of creation in God's must have appeared more glorious dispensation towards the angels and divine when contrafted with in his general plan of mercy the chaos out of which it was towards fallen man and in one par- formed ; so the new creation, the ticular branch of this plan, the end and perfection of all God's events of his common providence : works, will appear more glorious I proceed to trace the evidence of and divine when contrasted with the same truth,

the shapeless and vile materials out 2. In the objects of divine mer- of which it was formed, and will cy. These were finning men and be more to the glory and praise not finning angels. Had the lat- of all his perfections. Again, ter and not the former been the Though the election of grace objects of divine mercy, the im- is confined to men, yet it is a most perfect views of creatures might folemn truth, that it does not emsuggest the doubt whether God, in brace all men, fome will be left to choosing them, might not have had their own chosen way, and under respect to their superior greatness the dominion of that carnal mind and excellence in their first forma- which is enmity against God, will tion. But he that calleth things choose the way to death. The that are not as though they were, difference in temper, character and saw fit, in the choice he made, to state between them and the saved, show otherwise. Man was not is wholly of God, who worketh chosen because his fin was venial, all things after the counsel of his or because he was less guilty than own will

. It is not of him that the finning angels ; he deserved willeth, nor of him that runneth, condemnation as much as they. but of God that showeth mercy. His election of God was an act The faved are born of the Spirit, of sovereign goodness ; still there regeneration then is the work of are good reasons for all God's acts; the Spirit, known unto God are he does not will and act because all his works from the foundation he will ; but he wills and acts as of the world; and if known then he does, rather than otherwise, decreed. Where God has decreedto because it is fit. It would be work, he has decreed to save, and presumption to decide with confi- where he has decreed not to work, dence on all the reasons of the di- he has decreed not to save. The vine conduct in any case ; but in heart of enmity cannot enjoy God the case before us, it is apparent, or heaven ; on the contrary, it is that God has ordained, according the forerunner and certain source to a known maxim of his king- of endless woe. dom, That the first shall be last, change his own heart, or act upon and the laft firf ; and it seems rea- higher principles than he has. sonable to suppose, that God in He cannot by an act of the will

No man

can

« PreviousContinue »