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to benefit and please the students ity did not suffer him to say of under his tuition and government. hinself. He, in truth, sought fer He was
a tutor more than two vently the welfare of Zion and years ; during which time, he was
the good of souls. But he feared not merely gratifying his high rel- being deceived himself as to the ish for classical learning ; but was foundation of his religious hopes ; devoting what time his office and he feared lest others should would allow to the study of divin- be deceived. This made him a ity.
close and distinguishing preacher; Previously to his resigning his by which I mean, that he inces
I office in the College, he was santly laboured, in his preaching, licensed to preach ; and was in- not only to make persons religvited to supply the desk at Hollis. ious ; but to make them trust in ton, the town in which he was af
nothing, but those pure and disinterwards ordained and settled.
terested affections, in which he His ordination was on the 6th of conceived that true religion conDec. 1815. He now entered zeal.
sisted. ously into the duties of the min- In his intercourse with his
peoistry ; and performed those duties ple, his wisdom was evangelical; with great credit to himself, and first pure then peaceable, gentle, it is believed, with lasting advan- easy to be entreated. His contage to his people.
ciliating deportment, amiable temThe labors of a christian min- per, and dignified, yet unaffected ister, whose main concern is to manners won the affections of those feed the church over which he is who were not always pleased with made an overseer, are not of a his theological sentiments. kind, to afford interest by a par. Among that highly respectable ticular detail. Rev. Mr. Wheaton people, there had been unhappy laboured faithfully to promote divisions previously to Mr. Wheawhat he considered the best in- ton's coming among them. The terests of his people. He cared unanimity which attended his call for souls as one that must give an to be their pastor, and teacher, account. He was anxious for the was under such circumstances conenlargement of his church, and sidered remarkable ; and Mr. very anxious, that all who named Wheaton continued to hold and to the name of Christ should depart increase their respect and affecfrom iniquity. He used to lament tion. that no special revival of religion A spirit of improvement, in genwas experienced among his peo- eral, he seemed desirous of promo. ple ; and would express fears that ling. Hence his solicitude for the it was owing to his unfaithfulness. prosperity of schools and his enOthers however may justly say of couragement of every laudable him, what his characteristic humil- undertaking among his people.
But he was all the time a stu- topicks and chapters of which re. dent as well as a pastor. What main as a memento of bis useful time the more active duties of his designs. office would permit, he was with He was extensively acquainted his book and his pen.
His dear with the authors who have written companion who bewails his death, on mental philosophy and moral bears witness to his diligence; and science. He had so great a taste observe that scarcely a day past, for these subjects, and had read so without hearing from him some extensively in reference to them, lamentation, that he had not bet- that he sometimes ventured to ter improved his time. He usu- contemplate a publication, not inally read with system ; and em- tended as an original work, but braced in that system nothing which should embody the best which he did not deem subordi- views on these important subjects. pate and conducive to his useful- As a preacher Mr. Wheaton was ness as a servant of Christ. His what he principally aimed to be, in desire for learning was indulged structive. He considered truth to be rather from motives of duty, than the ordinary instrument of sanctiof variety.
He was, indeed, fying and saving men ; and that made to be not only a minister the chief object of a preacher but a literary man, such was the should be, to inculcate truth, in character of the talents with humble dependance on a higher which God had endowed him ; power to give it a saving energy. such had been the effect of the Yet he was also an animated circumstances into which divine and animating preacher. His whole Providence had cast him. But soul appeared in his work; and his object was learning sanctified his pulpit exertions were even too and devoted to increase the glory fatiguing for an ordinary constituof God and the good of men, he tion to support. meant to make the wisdom of the He was always instructive and Egyptians subservient to the in- animated, and sometimes powerful. terest of the people of God. To be eloquent, was not his ob
He excelled in an intimate ac- ject, yet be was occasionally eloquaintance with the classics. His quent to a very high degree.literary character, and eminent That part of his discourse on the talents as an instructor of youth, equality of mankind, which relates made his house a favorite resort of to slavery shews no less the pen young men fitting for College, or of a master than the heart of perfecting their education. Among a christian philanthropist; and the plans which quickened his in- needs only the authority of a name dustry, was a book which he was to spread it in other climes and well qualified to compose on the countries. But it was his maxim, subject of school education; the that the world generally do justice
to merit, and that every man finds perspicuous, and he was generally his proper place and standing.- successful. He was unobtrusive on the world As it respects the delivery of for fame, and no fortunate circum- his discourses, it was natural, and stances brought his merits exten- the animation of which we have sively before the public.
already spoken, united with the His style will bear just encomium. rich materials of his sermons, made Language in the most extensive use him a highly acceptable speaker. of the word, was a subject with Yet “ the start theatric,” &c. he which Mr. Wheaton was familiar. had never practiced. And perhaps Few, even among the learned had it may be said of him as of most 80 quick and clear a perception of preachers in this part of our counthe different shades of meaning, try; that he did not pay proporof different words, or were able to tionate attention to the delivery choose words with such uniform of his compositions. Since I have propriety. He well understood assumed to act the part of the crit. what Melmoth calls the 66 pumer. ic I will take the freedom to ob. ous composition” and had an ear serve what perhaps was less noticfor a harmonious period. In a ed by his ordinary hearers; tbat word, bis style was worthy of the he spoke too fast. His own quick man who wrote, and, of the impor- apprehension and warm temperatant subjects on which it was em- ment led him to a delivery of his ployed. He seemed to think with discourses, which was too rapid Addison that good thoughts ought to permit every auditor fully to to be well dressed. He had, also apprehend, all the thoughts with the authority of a wiser man ; who which his sermons abounded.
; " because he was wise, sought to this defect, bis benevolence, would find out acceptable words,” and undoubtedly dispose him to permit considered “words fitly spoken to be mentioned, if it might guard to be like apples of gold in pic. others against a fault, which is not tures of silver."
unfrequent. It is certainly matBut it may, however, be ac- ter of regret, that after a preacher knowledged, without depreciating has with anxious and laborious bis attainments or usefulness, that study, collected valuable materials his intimacy with learning, led him for his discourse, he should delivunconsciously at times to a literary er his thoughts so rapidly, that if phraseology, which though it was much is understood, still much intelligible, yet did not come home must be lost by the hearer. This $0 well to the minds of men-as defect however has been more reif he had always spoken in a style markable in thousands of others, more akin to their modes of con- than in Mr. Wheaton ; and is the
His intention was, to be more to be regretted in this in
tance, as it made his preaching so imated christians, reproved the much more wearing to his consti- lukewarm, and denoted him to tion and may have been somewhat be a man of prayer in private as instrumental in cutting short his well as in public. valuable life.
His piety was ardent; and humilHis faithful preparations for the ity was well known by his acquain. pulpit ought not to be left unnotic. tance to be a distinguishing fea. ed. He carried beaten oil into ture of it. His trials in respect to the sanctuary, and seemed uuwil. his own piety, though not without ling to offer to God an offering of example, were peculiarly severe that which cost him nothing. Few and at times caused painful sensaministers of his age, could, per- tions in his friends who had so haps she w such proofs of their care much confidence, that he possessand industry, by the number and ed religion, and wished that he condition of their manuscripts. might go on his way rejoicing.-
He extemporised occasionally; But his sun was not always overand although he usually did this cast; he hoped in God; resigned when time permitted bim only a himself with confidence to his dishasty preparation; yet the quick- posal; and often had joy and ness of his conceptions, the ardor peace in believing. Mr. Wheaton of his feelings, and his well fur- was a valuable and interesting nished and well disciplined mind, friend; as well as an affectionate made his performances on such oc- and kind husband and parent.casions very creditable to his talents While his family and relatives, his and useful to his hearers. There church and people calljustly for the appeared indeed on these occasions tenderest sympathies, his brethmore nature and power in his deliv. ren in the ministry with whom he ery and unusually striking illustra- was most intimately associated, tions and expressions. Had he pur- mourn that they must see his face posed to have become an extem- no more. They always received poraneous preacher, and thus have from him a cordial welcome, and devoted as much time to his ex- felt it a great privilege to enjoy his temporary, as to his written dis- conversation and counsel. They courses, he might have increased saw in him a mind of the first order, his usefulness, by adding this to both for the acquisition and the bis other attainments.
retention of knowledge; they witIt was delightful to listen to, nessed his constant application and and join in his prayers. Not only rapid growth in knowledge and was there extensive compass, and grace and predicted his eminence happy pertinence of thought, and and increased usefulness to the and great ease and fluency of ex- church and the world. He still pression; but a charming sincerity lives in their affections. May the and fervor of devotion, which an example of his diligence and piety
animate them to increase in dili- trust to an unclouded and perengence; and more entire devotion nial day. to the cause of the Redeemer.- This servant of the Lord ex. His health was declining for pired Feb. 4th 1825 having not nearly three years before his yet completed bis 37th year. death. His disease was obstinate He was interred on the 10th, and peculiar; not only causing a and an appropriate discourse, confrequent alternation of hope and taining a concise but just and affear in him, but in his friends also. fectionate notice of his character, It appeared peculiarly trying to was delivered by Rev. Mr. Ide of be the subject of a disease, of so Medway from the 77th Psalm 19th doubtful a nature and issue. The verse. 66 Thy way is in the sea, variation of the prospect presented thy path in the great waters, and to him, now of life and a protrac- thy footsteps are not known.” tion of his duties and labors, now of death and an end of all earthly pursuits-caused the trial to be in his case, constantly repeated ; SERMON No. XII. and it seemed as if divine Provi.
MARK, IX. 40.-For he that is not dence intended to try his resigna- against us, is on our part. tion by the severest test, and It is very easy to distinguish make him an example to others of the rich from the poor, the learnpatience and submission. But leted from the unlearned, the moral pious but humble christians know from the immoral; but it is not so that this man of God, was not in easy to distinguish the gracious his last sickness, at all times de- from the graceless. This most livered from every fear, but, as important of all distinctions is the might have been expected of him, most difficult to ascertain. The he was always patient, usually disciples of Christ were unable to serene, and sometimes even joyful. determine, who were his real As those will witness who were friends, in distinction from his present, when the communion, real enemies. They often formed was administered to him at his wrong opinions concerning the rehouse. Then it seemed as if ligious characters of men. They unusual strength was given him ; took one of their own number to so that he sung through an hymn be a cordial friend to Christ, who of some length, and greatly enjoy- afterwards turned out to be his ed the divine ordinance. Though mortal enemy ; and they took anshut out from the natural light, other man to be his enemy, whom as he was, entirely, for months he declared to be his friend. during the last of his sickness ; This they were constrained to acthe ' “ heavenly light at times knowledge. Christ having illus. shown iaward," an antepast as we trated the character of a true dis