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bates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults: And lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and that I shall bewail many which have sinned already, and have not repented of the uncleanness, and fornication, and lasciviousness, which they have committed."
And even with respect to those who in some measure preserve their first love, and who continue to give some considerable evidence of having passed from death unto life, the anxiety of the faithful servant of our Lord Jesus is great and permanent. The heart of man is remarkably deceitful. The adversary of souls is ever on the alert. The world at large is watching for our halting. Instances of final apostacy even in those who were considered the most firmly established are numerous. And just in proportion as our pleasures and our hopes are high, when the word has apparently produced the desired effect will be our disappointment and our mental agony when facts demonstrate that even in our prosperity the enemy had only deceived us.
Now, add to all these things-that the man of God, the faithful expounder of God's word, is a man of reading, a man of study and close thinking, a man who, from fidelity to his master and the souls of men, never attempts to serve his God with that which cost him nothing.-And add also--that as a man of prayer, he has to wrestle with his God in his closet for himself, and his family, and his flock, and his careless neighbours--and that as a christian, he has to watch over his own heart, deceitful above all things and desperately wicked-and that he is always more or less reminded, that after he has preached Christ to others he himself may be a cast-away.--Add all these things together, and the wear and tear of the body by mental exertion must be daily and hourly and nightly, and always of such
a kind as admits of very little repair. Against continual wastes of this kind, the most approved rules to promote longevity and bodily vigour furnish no defence. The only rule given in all such cases is, "Remove the cause;" that is, cease to discharge ministerial duty with vigour and fidelity.
And yet these are not all. Nor are they in many cases the kind of mental feelings which are the most destructive to our animal nature. The messenger of God's salvation to fallen man is himself a man. He has all the feelings and a large share of the infirmities of men. And while he is himself the object of envy and jealousy, and every mali, cious passion, those passions themselves also occasionally prey upon his own spirits. See Acts xv. 34-39. and Gal. ii. 11-14.
He is a man, and he expects to be supported by his fellow men and fellow christiaas in the faithful discharge of the important duties of his station. But in cases innumerable, and in important cases too, he is left, so far as human aid is concerned, to stand alone. Nay it is even well, if those from whom he expected important assistance are not found in the opposition. See Gal. iv. 12-18.
He is a man, and as a man he is a member of civil as well as of religious society; and as a member of civil society, he partakes more or less of the spirit of the place where Providence has cast his lot. And from every thing, whether without or within, which disturbs the peace of the place, he also suffers, and generally suffers in a manner peculiar to himself.
He is a man, and he has all the honorable feelings of a man. He puts a high value upon his character, and this character is to him every thing; and yet this character is frequently by no means respected or appreciated, or defended as he expected it would have been, even by those
who are very far from joining the hue and cry which is raised against him.
He is a man, and he has all the relations of a man, and he is under obligations to perform all the social duties of a man. The anxieties of the family, and the affections of the family, and the little jealousies of the family, and the daily wants of the family, are consequently daily preying upon his spirits. And from his habits, and from his high state of moral feeling, and from the rank which he is supposed to hold in society, all these different kind of feelings have a more destructive influence upon his animal frame, than the very same kind of cares have upon other men, in other situations of life.
The general proposition is then, we think, clearly made out-viz.-That of all the occupations of men, the ministerial office, when sufficiently understood, and entered upon with becoming spirit, produces the most intense action of the mind upon the clay tabernacle.
It was under such labours, and under such anxieties, that the clay tabernacle of our friend, whose death we would this day improve, was worn out. Blest with a mind of the first order-having his lot cast under circumstances peculiarly trying-feeling strongly the obligations under which he was to have his all devoted to the service of his master-the earthly tenement was battered down before, in the ordinary language of men, he had half fulfilled his days. His period of public services was short-his period of notoriety and successful action still shorter-but from the hour that he resolved to live, and to serve his God and his fellow men, by the energies of his mind, till the hour that his spirit took its flight to the land of spirits, the ac tion of his mind upon his body was continued and intense, and the building was nearly dissolved before the value of the inhabitant was known, except by a few of those who were in some degree kindred spirits,
He was from the very commmencement of his studies a close student-and all that he studied he resolved tho roughly to understand. In no case was it enough for him merely to know that such and such was the doctrine taught, or such and such was the matter of fact. In every case, and in every step, he thought and examined for himself and in many cases in the course of his studies he carried his enquiries, and made his application of facts considerably farther than either his author or instructor had done. Originality was a leading feature in the char acter of his mind.
He entered upon the great work of the ministry under circumstances peculiarly well adapted for the excitement of a mind of this cast. The important tract of country extending from the Allegheny to the Gulf of Mexico was to be the sphere of his action. He beheld this vast region filling up with immortal beings. He knew the va lue of natural advantages. The fertility of the soil-the salubrity of the climate the facilities for internal navi. gation, of this portion of the country, were duly appre ciated by him. He despised not political sagacity. The wisdom of the legislator-the integrity of the judge-the valor of the soldier, he well knew were essential to the prosperity of any country; and with no common joy did be behold these intellectual and moral talents springing up among the sons of the west, with a luxuriancy only surpassed by the productions of their fields and their forests. But with him all plans of future greatness were deficient which did not embrace ETERNITY. And with him the gospel of God's Son, with its regenerating and sanctifying influences, was the only thing which could confer durability and happiness upon any association of men. He beheld, and beheld with no ordinary feeling, that the means enjoyed for religious and moral improvement were ̈
either of that character nor of that extent which the wants of such a country required. Nor, without a very great change in the spirit and conduct of those whose duty it was to attend to these matters, were adequate means likely soon to be enjoyed. For, whatever may be the fact now, the real situation of this important section of the union, was at the time of his entering into the ministry, not known, or if known, not generally felt, even by those among us whe were very far from being indifferent to these things.-That he had at this time pretty accurate conceptions of the state of things, and what is more, had an accurate conception of the only remedy, and actually made some considerable exertions to apply the remedy, it will be the duty of his biographer to state.
The circumstances, my friends, under which he endea voured, in the strength of his Master, to rear up within these walls—“a glorious church—(to use his own words) a church composed of spirits ardent as the seraph-pure as heaven's own cherubim, and lofty as arch angels which bow before God;"-these circumstances, and these labours, and these anxieties, are still fresh before us. Many of them are also of such a nature that, though my heart is considerably steeled against feelings of that kind, yet I could not command myself in attempting any detail. But they are fresh and known; and may they never be forgotten by ús, or by any to whom he ministered, till under the influence of the good and holy Spirit they produce that great and important effect, which was the object of all his labours, and all his anxieties.
He was taken away from among us, while his value was but very imperfectly known. Yet he lived not, he laboured not in vain. When Messiah's mighty plan shall be fully executed, it will be seen that the labours and the sufferings of JAMES M'CHORD were important links in the grand