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services through all that time, though forced to stand upon one leg, while in the pulpit, the pain being so great I could not bear to extend the other to the ground. I consulted the physicians of the town; went to Boston, to the funeral of my excellent father, took the opportunity of consulting the ablest physicians there ; found some directed to bleeding, some to a course of physic, but all agreed that possibly a blister might help me. When I came home, I thought what they all agreed in was most likely to serve me, and therefore put on a very large and strong blister, about two inches below the pain, upon the thick of my thigh, which, through the blessing of God, thoroughly cured me; so that I have never been affected with that disorder since. Possibly this may be serviceable to others in a like case. In the summer of 1746, I had contracted, by my much and strong speaking, such a weakness in my diaphragm, and it may be some other organs employed in speech, that I was in danger of losing the power of audible speech ; for which reason my kind people desired me to desist preaching for a month or two, or more if wanted, and they would supply the pulpit the meanwhile at their own charge. I complied with their desire, and in this time travelled to Rhode Island, and what with my rest from public labors, and my travelling, through the blessing of God, I recovered such a firmness of strength as to return to the service of the pulpit in about two months.
We have had our Sabbaths and New Moons constantly observed with us, throughout the long time I have been here; except twice by a sudden cold arresting me, when my people were forced to attend at the other house ; and I never left my people without help, but one Sabbath, when upon a journey, through the unhappy failure of one I had good reason to depend on, I left them destitute. So constant have I been in the labors of the pulpit throughout the course of my time, that I have been often years without any assistance; and once, I find near eight years, wherein I have not had so much as the relief of one half day. As to my charities, I always thought the tenth of my income due to our great Melchisedeck. My private ones are known unto God; but there is one way of service I will venture to tell you of; I have generally kept two boys of poor parents at school, and by this means have been instrumental of bringing up, from unlikely
families, such as have made good men and valuable members of the commonwealth.
The Church of England was set up in Marblehead about the time I moved into it; and designing to cultivate a good understanding with their minister, I found him neither a scholar nor a gentleman, but a poor, mean bigot, with whom we could have no intimate correspondence; of such behavior as he was forced to run away from his people in a few years. Their second minister was something of a scholar and gentleman, but, at his first coming among us, very shy of us, and upon all occasions declaiming against the Dissenters. However, being of good moral behavior, I visited him, conversed with him, till we became free with one another. Then I took an opportunity to ask him, what was the occasion of his being so warm against us, at his first coming ? “Why sir," said he, “ you must not wonder at it, when you consider that before I came over to you, I was filled with the conception of you as an heathenish, irreligious people, full of spleen and rancor against the Church of England ; but when I had been among you some time, I found you a virtuous, religious, civilized people, and of moderate temper towards the church ; and therefore I thought proper to alter my conduct.” We lived in good friendship with one another, till, in hopes to better his circumstances, he removed to Virginia. Their third minister* had pretty good school learning, having been usher in his father's grammar school, but never educated at the Universities, nor knew any thing of arts and sciences beyond the school; and was a worthless man, with whom we had customary correspondence, but no intimacy. He also, for some reasons known to himself, anon run away from his people. Their fourth ministert was a Scotch gentleman, of great learning; and being originally of the Kirk of Scotland, still retained some fondness for it, and therefore, though true to the Church of England, yet far from a bigot. With him we lived in close friendship, till upon some prospect and invitation to what he thought better accommodations, he also left his church and went to Maryland. Which occasioned their sexton to say, “ Their church was the healthiest church in the country, for they never buried a minister yet, though they had had four, who all run away.” I held some corres
[* Mr. Pigot.
† Mr. Malcom. See 1 Mass. Hist. Coll. VIII. 77.--Pub. Com.)
pondence, by letters, with the second and fourth, after they were gone from us; and in their letters to me they both lamented their unhappiness in being deprived of our company.
Their fifth minister was the worthy Mr. Bours, of Rhode Island, bred at our College ; a man of an excellent temper, good learning, and great piety; whose good carriage gained more to the Church of England than in all the years that preceded him. My people were very fond of him, and kind to him; insomuch that the church minister has told me, he received more presents from my people than from his own; and I and Mr. Bradstreet (of the other church in the town,) maintained the strictest brotherly love and friendship with him. The last time he was abroad, among other things, he told me, though his brethren at Boston had hitherto hindered him, yet he was determined with himself to attend our Lecture for the future, as he had opportunity; as we had often attended his funerals, and some of his red letter services. It pleased God, the next day, he was confined by sickness, (though he had complained of a strange pain in his bowels, for some time before,) and in a few days expired. A grievous loss! Being one of the pall-bearers at his funeral, after our return to the house, one of the chief of his people, in the name of the others present, asked me to give them my advice what they should do to supply his place. I freely said to them, though they could not expect I should advise any bred among us, to take orders for their church, yet I could heartily advise them to seek and procure such an one, if they could ; because he would be better acquainted with the manners and huinors of the people, and know how to adapt himself to them, than a foreign missionary. I saw that a foreign missionary, present with us, changed countenance upon it. I therefore added, though we may have men of great learning and probity sent among us, (such was he that colored,) yet one of our own, having a more thorough knowledge of the disposition of our people, would better suit them. Upon which a missionary, bred among us, replied, “I think you are right, Mr. Barnard ; such an one will best know how to adapt himself to the people.” The church followed the advice, and procured Mr. Weeks, a virtuous, learned, sweettempered gentleman, with whom we live as brethren. And may a good God spare him long a blessing to them.
My kind flock, sensible I had begrudged no labors while I
had been among them, were very forward, some years ago, to have afforded me what help in the ministry I pleased, at their own charge, and often moved it to me. I gave them to understand, that I was not willing to put them to more charge than needs must ; but was willing, while God was graciously pleased to continue my abilities of body and mind, to spend myself in their service. But in the beginning of the year 1760, in my 79th year, I acquainted my church that, finding my strength decaying, and not knowing how suddenly I might be taken from them, I thought it would be best, both for them and me, to have some constant assistance. They immediately provided help for me. And having heard several candidates for the ministry, I found that, after hearing Mr. Job Whitney once, a very great number of my people were very strongly set in their affections for him ; and, after a second hearing of him, were so eager as to urge that he might be forthwith ordained to the work of the ministry among us; even the very next week; there being nothing, they thought, to hinder it. Several of the chief both of the church and congregation, were not so fond of him, and thought we ought to proceed more deliberately. I was greatly afraid of a controversy ; committed the case to the infinitely wise God, and begged direction from him. When, upon a number of those that were fixed upon Mr. Whitney, meeting together to consult how to conduct in the affair, they were pleased to send for me, and asked my advice. I freely told them, that, however satisfied I or they might be with Mr. Whitney, so far as we knew him, yet an affair of so great importance as that of settling a minister, on which our spiritual welfare, and that of our children, was so dependent, should not be hurried over, but managed with mature thought and prudent deliberation. The apostle of our Lord had charged us, to "lay hands suddenly on no man.” There seemed to me to be several things necessary, which would unavoidably take up a considerable deal of time ; and it would be prudence for us to take time, lest by too hasty actions we bring ourselves into difficulties. It would be fitting that we should be further acquainted with Mr. Whitney, that we might better discern his aptness to teach, than one or two sermons could inform us ; that we might more thoroughly understand his principles in the Christian religion, and know his Christian life and conversation. It was requisite that he should acquaint himself with the
neighboring ministers, that they might be satisfied in their laying on of hands, and receiving him as a brother ; that we ought, in a solemn manner, to ask the direction and blessing of the great Head of the church in our choice, that he may prove a valuable gift of the ascended Saviour to us; and this would require the assistance of some of the neighboring ministers, and their preparation for it. After which the church would proceed to a choice; and then the person chosen was to be approved of by the congregation, who were to be concerned in his maintenance ; after all which he was to be publicly separated to the service of the Gospel of Christ. * All of which they plainly saw would unavoidably take up several months' time; and I desired them seriously to think of what I had said, and to act accordingly. Some time in January, 1761, at a meeting of the church and congregation, I proposed to them to hear Mr. Whitney and two others, each of them alternately, for three months, which would be a month a-piece ; after which we would call in the help of neighboring ministers in keeping a day of prayer for direction, and then proceed to a choice. This was agreed upon. But before one month was out, it pleased God to visit Mr. Whitney with sickness, and he died before the three months came about. Though I truly lamented his death, yet I could not help thinking, the wise and good Providence of God had hereby prevented that contention I feared we were going into.
We then heard some others, and among them Mr. William Whitwell, son of Mr. William Whitwell, merchant in Boston, who preached his first sermon 24th May, 1761. Upon several times hearing of him, my church and congregation generally inclined to him, and thought it needless to hear any other, and therefore soon after, that is in October, desired him to come and live among us, and carry on the labors of the pulpit with me constantly. He did so, October 31, and from that time preached one part of each Sabbath. The chief of my flock having told me they relied upon me as to his principles, which they thought I was a better judge of than themselves, and, if I approved of him, they would look no farther, for fear lest, by hearing many, they should grow divided in their opinions, I informed them thai, upon hearing of him, and often conversing with him, I could not but approve of his principles ; that, upon inquiry among the ministers of Boston, who knew him, I found they valued him as a