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at Cambridge, Mass., of which Rev. N. The following beautiful and most Adams became the pastor. When the truthful description of his devotional New York American Tract Society character is quoted from the funeral was organized in 1825, he was ap- sermon already referred to : pointed corresponding secretary of the original society, then located at Ando- “ His prominent characteristic as a Christian ver, retaining the same title, and con- minister, the secret of his usefulness and the tinuing its operations with special
source of his strength was his spirit of prayer.
There was the hiding of his power. In his reference to New England. He held
public devotional performances there was great this office two years, and continued a
sublimity and fervor of thought and feeling; member of the executive committee till sometimes he rose to such a pitch of holy elohis death. In 1829 he also became a quence in his praises of the Saviour and his inmember of the publishing committee tercession with God, that the congregation at New York, and this office also he
were rapt with wonder. This was the more re
markable from the fact that these sublime and retained during his life.
fervent thoughts and expressions belonged to His charity was unbounded.
his prayers more than to his sermons; the latdefects of character called forth his ter, while they were above mediocrity in this animadversions, except those which respect, being distinguished rather for plain already indicated prevailing enmity and earnest exhibition and application of truth
than for the highest order of intellectual effort. against God and the revelations of his
While he was not deficient in this will, nor even these, farther than they (latter) respect, he had a large share of emotion: were demanded by his sense of obliga- and it was this that enabled him to pray with tion to the Redeemer of lost men. He fervency, and as a prince to have power was naturally affectionate, and this with God. . He was a holy man in trait naturally made him strong friends. private. He carried with him this impression,
"Thou God seest me," and seemed to live in His heart was expansive, generous, and
the fear of God all the day long. His habit of sympathizing. None were too low in
prayer became a second nature. the world's esteem to share his smile, Prayer was the breath of life to his soul. When if they sought it; and none so elevated therefore, he led the devotions of others, comas to escape his gentle and salutary mon-place expressions did not fill up his prayers rebuke, if they deserved it and were
through the want of sufficient emotion to raise within his reach. He was remarkable his feelings to God. He was so familiar with
confession and praise, that he easily rose at for having no personal enemies, as
once to the heights of adoration, and it was rewell as for having many ardent friends. markable in him that he sustained the feelings He was of a conciliatory disposition, of his fellow-worshippers in this service to its and would not intentionally give occa- close, and generally raised them as he prosion to wounded or hostile feeling, nor
ceeded, so that when he preached, the feelings
of his hearers were softened and predisposed to fail to heal any breach of peace that
impression: and hence his success in winning had been inadvertently made. Men souls to Christ." could not be offended with his faithfulness, because affection was so ap- Uniform cheerfulness and unvarying parent in all his words. During the kindness marked his intercourse with pendency of his call from Reading to his family. Though he spent almost Essex Street, some strong feelings were all his time in his study when at home, naturally aroused, and remarks made yet few men conversed so much and calculated to wound a conscientious so freely in their familjes as he did. and susceptible mind. On hearing All opportunities of doing good withsome unpleasant suggestion, he calmly in the domestic circle were judiciously and seriously said, “I have made it a and faithfully improved, especially rule never to be angry with my people.” that portion of time devoted to meals.
Then his conversation was uniformly was in accordance with the spirit that cheerful and rich in instruction.
glowed on the family altar. All was His method of conducting family order and regularity, mutual attention worship was highly profitable. It led and kindness. The combined firmness those who attended on it to study and mildness of his manner, the known and reflect on the sacred Scriptures; steadiness of his purpose, and the the morning service might well have gentleness of his authority, secured been called a Bible Class. His custom ready obedience from the younger was to take the Bible, and before read- members and inspired the confidence .ing to offer a short prayer for light to and warm attachment of the elder ones. guide, and for the Holy Spirit to sanc- He was a finished model of the affectify the heart through the truth read. tionate husband, the tender father, and His prayers were very peculiar. There the cordial friend. was little of supplication for any or all His intellectual powers were rather objects combined, but there was the of the solid than the brilliant order. breathing out of a peaceful spirit in In the course of his education, those a very soft and gentle yet audible lan- pursuits which required close thought guage. There were rarely or never and research were his favorite studies. the rapt feelings we sometimes hear Yet there were not wanting powers of poured forth with a loud voice, but the imagination, and he could illustrate his aspirations of a subdued and chastened thoughts often happily and strikingly. spirit, uttered with all the meekness His apprehension was not remarkably and gentleness of a child. The time quick ; but what he learned was well thus occupied was not longer than understood, firmly fixed, and long reusual, or if it was, it did not seem long- tained in mind. He could think closely, er. His manner of questioning each connectedly, and patiently. His intelone of the family circle on the selection lectual habits were practical, well fitof the day was plain and appropriate: ting him for usefulness, enabling him each one read a portion in turn; he to adapt himself readily to common followed with short explanatory prac- minds, and to bring his natural and tical remarks for immediate use ; in acquired powers to bear in doing good the prayer that followed every one to those around him. It will be almust have felt that he had an interest lowed by all who knew him well that that he was remembered before God; in intellectual power he was inferior to that his particular wants were made few who enter on the same high and known to him, who could supply all holy profession, and that the power he their need. Even when the day possessed was employed with all, and had been spent in manual labor, as more than all, the diligence permitted many of his days were after the failure by a due regard to the feebleness of of his voice, a stranger at the family his frame, and with the most hearty altar with him would have supposed consecration to the noblest ends. that his prayers flowed from a mind In the summer of 1829, he was and heart which had all the day been obliged temporarily to suspend his laemployed in heavenly meditations in bors, and retire into the country for the closet ; would have felt that he the recovery of his voice and the imwas on holy ground, that the voice provement of his general health. He of praise and thanksgiving and holy then returned to his duties; but early joy in God might soon be called to in 1831 his health failed so suddenly mingle with the voices of praise above. and entirely as to compel his relin
The whole discipline of his family quishment of all pastoral work.
The following account, drawn up by which might be reasonably hoped for within himself, is in every aspect too valuable six months. On learning these circumstances, and instructive to be omitted here :
Mr. J. T. called, and very kindly and generously offered to defray my expenses in a voyage
to Europe, - France being particularly named. “ A hoarse cold, which I took in the month
The exceedingly kind and generous manner of of January, 1831, produced some debility of this offer, in connection with Mr. T.'s other lungs, from which I have not at any time en
numerous expressions of a father's affection, tirely recovered. For a season, however, I wrought deeply on my heart and that of my went on to labor as usual; and, as a revival dear wife. I want words to express my sense commenced in February, which promised a
of gratitude to him, and I hope I can say, more glorious result than anything previous, above all to God. Verily it is God that conI had my heart unusually drawn out for the sidereth our frame, and remembereth that we conversion of my dear people, and labored more
are but dust ; that raiseth up friends to His abundantly. I felt, like Jacob, that I could not
servants in their days of trouble. let the Lord go without a great shower.
“ This was about the 25th of April, 1831. I “ About the middle of March, I felt so much immediately commenced preparations for the debility about the organs of voice that I sus
voyage. Such was my inability to converse, pended my regular pulpit exercises, and only and the pain which immediately followed on a made short exhortations after others had continued conversation of even ten minutes, preached, and aided in smaller meetings, and and often less, that I was obliged to exclude all visited considerably, and conversed with in
company. My dear people were very kind, quirers. My meetings for the anxious assumed and exceedingly desirous of conversation with the deepest interest; and I felt, from time to
me, as many of them were greatly distressed time, overpowered, and my poor body torn and for the salvation of their souls, and some were crushed by my labor in it, and the inexpressible beginning to rejoice in hope of the glory of solicitude God gave me for the salvation of the
God, who had not enjoyed the opportunity of two hundred or three hundred precious souls conversing with me since their minds were who met there.
thus exercised. Knowing their state of mind , “I labored in this way, amid great bodily the self-denial I was obliged to exercise, in ex · sufferings, till the middle of April, when Mr. cluding them, was at times exceedingly disJ. T. (John Tappan] called on me, and said, tressing to my feelings. But I reflected that I * You must quit for a time: it would be tempting
was a worm, and could be of no service to God to delay any longer some effort to regain them without the Holy Spirit, and He could your voice. He proposed to take me in the
work for them deliverance and comfort by anstage to Northampton, on Monday morning, to other, as well as by me. spend three weeks. This was Saturday night.
“For two Sabbaths it was thought duty Satisfied of the path of duty, I said I would go. that I should not visit the house of God, not
“At N. I presumed too much on my voice, from a deficiency of strength to walk, for of and gained nothing. In fact the wound had be- this the Lord gave me nearly as much as I had come too deep to be healed in a few weeks.
enjoyed in health ; but from the necessity I “From thence I went to Hartford, and ex
was under of avoiding excitement, and occaperienced great kindness in brother H.'s family sions of using my voice. On the last Sabbath, something more than two weeks. Consulted May 15th, before leaving Boston for the purDrs. T. and B. The last particularly suggested
pose of embarking at New York, I attended the & voyage ; and, in conversation with brother
house of God all day. I could but magnify H., the plan of our visiting Europe together the Lord for sustaining me.
... Dr. W. was started, without much serious thought that (Wisner) preached in the afternoon, and read a God would open any way for its accomplish- short farewell communication which I had pre
pared for my people.” “On coming home, much debilitated and rather discouraged, a consultation of Dr. J. His church had, on the 29th April, with Dr. B. was called. The result of their with cordial and affectionate sympathy, opinion in writing was that the difficulty was
released him for six months from his in the muscles of the throat and other parts
charge. On the 20th May he ememployed in speaking, and not in any serious affection of the lungs; and that a disuse of barked at New York for Liverpool, the voice, bodily exercise in the air, and free- where he arrived June 24th. Those dom from care were the means of recovery,
were not the days of ocean steamers.
From Liverpool he proceeded by rail- On the 20th July he left London, road, June 29th, to Manchester, thence and reached Paris on the 22d, where to Birmingham, Worcester, Glouces- he passed a few weeks, occupying himter, Bath, and Southampton to the Isle self with collecting information on vaof Wight, and, through Portsmouth, rious points of interest to the friends reached London, July 8th. Here he of Zion, and gratifying his curiosity writes :
with the examination of whatever
monuments of art and genius fell in “ Our reception has generally been very cor- his way. Health, however, was his dial, and I see a great opportunity all around primary object, and all his employme for doing good. Judging from ments were shaped with reference to it. what has fallen under my observation, I must
Of the French people he remarks : think that the tone of piety and ministerial fidelity is below even the standard which I had “I find myself amidst a very civil peosupposed. They need a Richard Baxter or a ple, but they are emphatically without Whitfield to rouse them from the slumbers of God.” July 30th he writes in some deformality, to dissipate the chilling influence of tail to Mr. Tappan respecting the vapomp and circumstance in the worship of the rious openings for usefulness in France living God, and bring Christiaris to feel that
by the circulation of religious tracts their great business on earth to glorify Christ in saving the souls of men. It is believed, how- and Sabbath School books, by the supever, that the cause of evangelical truth is gath- port of domestic missions, and by eduering strength. There is much inquiry about cating pious young men for the minisour revivals, and great interest is felt. They try. On the 8th September he left preach on the subject and pray for them; but Paris for Brussels, and visited the field they have few or no revivals ; and the preach- of Waterloo two days later ; on the ing even of the most evangelical ministers is not, so far as I can ascertain, much blessed. 13th proceeded to Antwerp, and thence Indeed, many of them frankly confess this and returned by Ghent and Lille to Paris, lament it. In fact many of them preach and remaining till October 5th, when he converse enough about revivals, but the diffi- proceeded to Avignon, Nismes, and culty is, as it seems to me, they do not go to work with ardent zeal and dependence on the by way of Marseilles and Toulon to Holy Spirit to press men to immediate repent- Genoa, and thence to Leghorn, Pisa, ance. They preach almost entirely to Chris. Florence, Rome, and Naples, where tians. You would hardly know, from most of he had the good fortune to witness a their sermons,
that there were any poor, perish- magnificent eruption of Vesuvius. He ing sinners, momently exposed to the wrath of next visited the principal cities of Sicily, the great, and holy God, among their hearers.
and made the ascent of Mount Etna. They do not preach as if they expected to awaken and convert men. There is something
After a detention of more than three like timidity and overweening caution in their weeks at Syracuse, he secured a passage exhibitions of divine truth, and this to a greater for Malta, where he arrived, Feb. 24th, extent than I expected to find. Till a different 1832. Here he found great comfort and mode of preaching and performing pastoral enjoyment in a congenial circle of reduty is adopted, they may preach about revivals , and publish and pray, but unless the Holy 29th, when he embarked for Gibraltar,
ligious friends, and remained till April Spirit departs from his usual mode of operation, I fear they will be sadly disappointed. Indeed, and thence was enabled to continue some of them have been making these attempts his voyage without delay to New for a long time, and with much desire and ex- York, where he arrived June 19th, and pectation, but seeing no fruit they are becom- after a very short period of repose, ing faithless, and doubting whether our reported conversions are sincere. These views I proceeded to Boston, and on the folhave drawn from hearing some of the best men
lowing Sabbath met his people, with in the kingdom ; but perhaps a more intimate health, as he hoped, “in some measure acquaintance might change them.”
improved," but still unable to preach
or to resume his pastoral duties. Their mate recovery. For a week before his sympathy was unabated, and though last illness his spirits were unusually their prospects grew darker instead good, and the prospect of his being of brightening, they were still pre- able at no distant time to resume his pared to sustain him and patiently labors, seemed to give him unspeakable wait the further developments of Prov- pleasure. It was remarked by those idence. After a year spent in various who were then with him, that at evenexperiments at different places in ing prayers with his family, it appeared search of health, without satisfactory as though he had been all day in prayer results, he felt it his duty to request a with God, his fervor and joy of religious dismission from his pastoral charge, feeling rising far above his ordinary which was done in a letter dated July frames of mind. From the time that 4th. On receipt of this communica- he was first laid aside from his labors, tion the church appointed a day of no murmur and not even a look of disfasting and prayer, and after full dis- content escaped him in private. His cussion, “reluctantly consented to the whole temper of mind in regard to his measure, which in his solemn sense of trial was that of perfect submission duty he had requested of them "; as- and confidence in God. This feeling suring him of their unabated affection prepared him to enjoy with a keener and sincere sympathy in his long-con- pleasure the increasing hope of retinued indisposition,” and presenting turning to his labors. It was his inhim with one thousand dollars as an tention to go to the West, under medexpression of their sincere affection and ical direction, and with a good prospect, sympathy. On the 26th March, 1834, in the opinion of an eminent physician, “the solemn and momentous tie which of speedy restoration to health. bound a most affectionate people to a He attended worship at Essex Street pastor who would very gladly have on the afternoon of the Sabbath, Oct. been spent for them, was formally dis- 19th, and his friends were struck with solved by an ecclesiastical council his unusually healthful countenance ; called for the double purpose of dis- but before the close of the exercises he solving this connection and installing was seized with a pain in his side and over them my beloved brother, Rev. a chill, from which he could obtain no Nehemiah Adams,” exactly eleven relief, by any applications made by his years after his own installation. The friends or physician. At midnight a vote of the council by which Mr. Green fever set in, which the physician prowas dismissed, after an earnest expres- nounced a pleurisy or lung fever, but sion of regret at the necessity, and a thought it not very serious. In the tribute of affectionate admiration to course of the day following, the pain his character, concludes as follows: gradually diminished, and in its place
a distressing universal develop" It is their warmest prayer to the Almighty ment of heat,” as he expressed it, from Physician that his health, which has been so long enfeebled, may yet be restored and con
the whole frame. He deemed his atfirmed, and that some sphere of usefulness may tack very serious from its commencebe opened to him, where, if he is not able to ment; and, though he said nothing to lift up his voice for God, he may devote his his brother, at whose house he was, it talents to the enlargement of the Redeemer's
was evident from his appearance and kingdom and the good of mankind.
the manner in which he spoke of it, John CODMAN, Scribe.”'
that he feared a fatal termination. On For six or seven months longer he Monday afternoon his wife arrived. continued to indulge the hope of ulti- On Wednesday, he called her to his