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Visits Joseph Burr, Esq., on his death-bed.-Extract of a letter giving an
account of his visit at New-York, and at Dr. Sprague's, Albany.-Visit
at Granville, Mass.-Sketch of his sermon.-Anecdote.-His visit to the
old mansion where he was brought up.-Visit to the burying-ground.-
Visit to the apple-tree where he first found the Saviour.-Brief sketch of
his sermon on taking leave of the people where he was brought up


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In consenting to write a few paragraphs introductory to this memoir, I am quite aware that I may incur the charge of indelicacy, in seeming to place myself between the public and an individual so much my superior in age, that his highly respectable standing in the church is the subject of some of my earliest recollections. It is due to myself to say, that, in performing this service, I yield my scruples, on the score of deli cacy, to the wishes of a venerated friend and father, in whose neighbourhood it has been my privilege to pass several delightful years of my ministry; and, even if the public should not acquit me of a disposition to be obtrusive, it will be some satisfaction to me to have complied with the wishes of one towards whom I entertain so cordial and affectionate a regard.

In the few remarks which I purpose to make, it will be my object to exhibit an outline of the process by which the providence of God usually operates in rais ing individuals from great obscurity to eminent usefulness in the church; and then to consider some of the lessons which such events are adapted to inculcate.

If I mistake not, it will be found in most cases in B

which an individual reaches considerable eminence from an unpromising beginning, that he is more or less distinguished by his native powers of mind. There is especially a strong thirst for knowledge, in connexion with an unyielding spirit of perseverance. These qualities seem necessary, in order to put the individual on the course of intellectual effort necessary to ensure the contemplated result, as well as to enable him to overcome the obstacles which lie in his way. No man ever becomes truly great without a course of severe application; but such a course will never be entered upon where there is not a strong native desire for knowledge; or, being entered upon, it will be abandoned, unless there is much native energy of resolution to sustain it. And, in addition to these qualities, there is often found some striking intellectual peculiarity, which marks the individual among the multitude; and, by attracting public attention towards him, goes far to neutralize the influence of whatever is unpropitious in his external circumstances.

In the subject of this memoir we find a striking illustration of these remarks. That his mind was cast in a superior mould will not probably be questioned by any individual who contemplates the history of its operations. In his early childhood he evinced the same inquisitiveness of mind-the same irrepressible desire of knowledge, which constituted one of the leading traits of his character through life. While other

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children of his age were passing their evenings in the usual sports of childhood, he was passing his in the diligent culture of his intellectual faculties-in acquiring knowledge from every source to which his straitened circumstances permitted him to have access. Had he possessed only a common degree of perseverance, he would have yielded to the obstacles which met him at the threshold of his career. Not only extreme poverty, but the worst kind of orphanage, and circumstances still more trying, were mingled together in his humble and pitiable lot; but the native energy of his character rose superior to all these obstacles, and enabled him to go forward, notwithstanding all the embarrassing and retarding influences by which he was surrounded. And then again he was distinguished for the exuberance of his fancy, and the keenness of his wit; and these qualities served not only to make him known, but to render him a favourite. Had his mind been differently constituted from what it was-had he been lacking in inquisitiveness, or in energy, or in brilliancy, or had these qualities been combined in different proportions, it is by no means certain that he would have reached the degree of usefulness which he was permitted to attain. It is not intended by these remarks to convey an impression that an uncommon original genius is essential to eminent usefulness; or even that persons whose native powers have not risen above an humble medi

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