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Redeemer, and the tender and animating benedictions which he pronounced upon his beloved people. The interests of his congregation were peculiarly near his heart, and his prayers were never more fervent, than while he was commending them in all the tenderness of a father to the blessing of his Father in heaven.
His manner in the pulpit, as I am informed, was natural, solemn, and impressive. Without possessing, in a high degree, the graces of elocution, there was a dignified and reverent style of address which gave importance to every sentiment that he uttered. It was the unaffected expression of a heart impressed and elevated by a sense of the presence and majesty of Jehovah.
In his pastoral intercourse, he was uncommonly attentive to the peculiar circumstances of his flock, and disposed to make great personal sacrifices, for the sake of preserving their union and prosperity. Above all, he was an eminent example of prudence. He was cautious, without being timid; familiar without sacrificing his dignity; condescending, without abandoning what he believed to be the principles of duty. In cases of difficulty, his people always found in him a counsellor, in whose decisions they could trust with unwavering confidence. In seasons of affliction, they found him alive to all their sorrows, and ready to commend them to the God of all grace and comfort. They only, who have known and loved him as their minister, can form an adequate idea of the tenderness and dignity, with which he sustained the pastoral relation.
As a ruler in the church, few men have been more eminently distinguished. His excellent judgment and consummate prudence, united with a deep discernment of character, and an extensive acquaintance with ecclesiastical government, eminently qualified him to be entrusted with the most important interests of the church. The numerous instances, in which his advice has been solicited in doubtful and perplexing cases, shew in what esti
mation his character as a counsellor has been held by the christian publick. His talent at composing differences was almost peculiar to himself. He has, more than once, when called to act as mediator, in the heat of controversy, extinguished the flame of animosity and discord, and dropped upon the conflicting parties. the mantle of kindness and benignity.
It would be a grateful employment, did time permit, to dwell upon many other features of Doctor Lathrop's character, but I must leave to your own recollection, to fill up the imperfect outline which has been presented. We do not pretend that he was free from the infirmities of human nature, or hold him up to you as a model of christian perfection; but for intellectual greatness, for the most amiable and kind affections, for exemplary prudence and enlightened, consistent piety, we believe that few men have sustained a more exalted character. Multitudes, who have only heard of the splendour of his virtues, will contemplate, in his death, the extinction of one of the brightest luminaries of the church; while those, who have been blessed with his instructions and example, who have revered him as a pastor and loved him as a father, will delight to embalm his memory in the most grateful and tender recollections.
THE HARMONY AND CONSISTENCY OF GOD'S WORKS.
PROVERBS XIV. 4.
The Lord hath made all things for himself; yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.
THE first clause in the text is similar to many other passages, which we meet with in scripture. "God hath created all things for his pleasure."—" He worketh all things according to the counsel of his own will."-" He does whatsoever he pleases—and does it for his name's sake."
Such expressions cannot be understood as importing, that God in his works aims to increase his felicity or gloriousness; or to make himself more happy, or more excellent, than he is in his nature. As he is an infinite, eternal, independent being, and pos sesses all perfections, he cannot be more happy, or more glorious, than he is in himself. "With him is no variableness or shadow of turning." But, as we learn from scripture, one end which God intends in his works, is to manifest to intelligent creatures his own existence and perfectness, that they may know him, believe in him, honor and adore him; and he has made intelligent creatures, that they might behold him in his works, render due honor to his name, and be happy in his favor.