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tions to be made in the phraseology of a paper, when it shall be deemed expedient; and this liberty will always be supposed to be granted, unless expressly withheld. It is hoped also, that no apology will be required for declining to insert any paper, not strictly conformable with the plan of this publication. The conductors are determined to admit nothing harsh, or intemperate toward any sect of christians; nothing implying disaffection to the government; nothing which can have the remotest tendency, in their apprehension, to promote skepticism or infidelity, or to undermine the essential truths of christianity; and, though they will encourage discussions of the subordinate points, upon which real christians may differ, as long as such discussions are conducted with candour and charity, they cannot be considered, as adopting the particular sentiments of their correspondents upon these subjects, as their own."
THE CHRISTIAN'S ARMORY.
SKETCHES OF THE LIFE AND CHARACTER OF REV. DAVID TAPPAN, D.D. Bora 21 April, A. D. 1752, died 27 August, A. D. 1803, aged 51. THE Creator, in whose hand it is to make great, designed doctor TAPPAN for a very important station, and imparted to him correspondent advantages. The talents which he inherited from nature, to gether with his moral and literary improvements, qualified him for extensive usefulness. He early discovered marks of a very docile, active mind. His father, the Reverend Benjamin Tappan of Manchester, had the principal care of his first years, and taught him the elements of knowledge. Before his admission into the University, he was placed, though not for a long time, in Dummer Academy, under the tuition of Mr. Samuel Moody. At the age of fourteen years he was admitted into Harvard College. There, rising above juvenile follies and vices, he dili gently sought useful knowledge. He was not one, who considered it the end of his collegiate studies, to sparkle and shine for a day. He never courted popularity by com mitting fashionable irregularities. That applause, which is purchased at the expense of virtue, had no charms for young Tappan. He was considerate and soberminded. Extending his views into future life, he preferred those attainments which are solid and durable, before those which are showy or splendid. He was distinguished for ardent Vol. I. No. 1.
love of knowledge, and diligence in study; for his blameless and se rious conduct; for proficiency in learning, and dutiful regard to the laws and guides of the institution.
Within less than three years after he was graduated, he commenced the work of the ministry. Though very young, he could not be charged with intruding himself, unprepared, into the sacred office. For, after leaving the University, he assiduously devoted his mind, more than two years, to the study of divinity, though he was occasionally employed in teaching a school. Indeed he had bestowed an uncommon share of attention on moral and religious subjects while at college, and from his earliest youth. Beside which it is to be remembered, that early maturity of understanding was a remarkable trait in his character. Accordingly, his first performances in the desk displayed a large fund of theological information, procured him a high place in the publick esteem, and fully indicated the eminence, which he afterward attained. His hearers were surprised with the extent and pertinence of his thoughts, with his accurate and copious style, with the animation and solemnity of his utterance, and with the fervour of his devotions.
A very harmonious church and society in Newbury soon invited
that the revelation of mediatorial mercy is the chosen instrument of saving a ruined world; that he was divinely commissioned to publish and enforce it for this end; and that its final completion will embrace the order, perfection, and happiness of the moral world, and the highest glory of its Author; he dwelt upon the sublime subject with eager and profound contemplation." Those doctrines, which are the groundwork of revelation, were the groundwork of his preaching. Scarcely a sermon came from his lips, in which some of the peculiarities of evangelical truth were not found. Frequently, and in many different ways, he inculcated the doctrines of man's fallen, ruined state, the redeeming love of God, the atonement of Christ, justification by grace, and the efficacy of the divine Spirit in renewing sinners and preparing them for glory. The doctrine of redemption by a crucified Saviour constituted, in his view, the basis of the gospel, the faith and glory of the christian church. To neglect this doctrine in its various connections he considered, as neglecting the very essence of the gospel.
his ministerial labours. At the age of twenty one he was ordained the pastor of that flock. In that place he continued about eighteen years. DoctorTAPPAN chose the sacred office from principle. It was his deliberate judgment, that the gospel ministry is, of all professions, the most important to mankind. The design of that work, involving the best interests of the universe, perfectly accorded with his expanded benevolence. There is reason to believe that he early imbibed the excellent spirit of christianity. After much anxious concern respecting his everlasting welfare, and deep conviction of sin, he was, in the judgment of charity, renewed by grace. Embracing the allsufficient Saviourand submitting to his will, he cherished the hopes and consolations of the gospel. And he made it the delightful business of his life to recommend to others that Saviour, whose preciousness and glory had been revealed to him. He had the peculiar advantage, which belongs to all ministers who are called of God, that whenever he preached the unsearchable riches of Christ, he spake what he knew, and testified what he had seen. To this undoubtedly must be ascribed, in a great measure, his impressive manner of preaching. He spoke from the fulness of his heart. He was sincere and in earnest. No hearer could doubt, that he felt the reality and eternal importance of the truths he delivered.
As a preacher, he was decidedly evangelical. The peculiar contents of the gospel were the principal subjects of his discourses. He determined to know nothing, save Jesus Christ and him crucified. The gospel, as a revelation of grace to sinners, was the great subject, which he studied and explained. To use his own words; "sensible
He was not only a doctrinal, but a very practical preacher. Every gospel doctrine, he insisted, has its corresponding precept and duty. Speaking of the doctrines of human depravity, and salvation by the mercy of God, the atonement of Christ, and the sanctification of the Spirit, he says; "from these doctrines immediately result the duties of evangelical repentance and humility, faith and hope, gratitude and love, obedience and joy." Agreeably, when he preached the doctrine of human depravity and misery, his aim was, to show sinners their dependence on God's mercy and their need of redemp tion through the blood of atone
ment, and to lead them, with thankfulness and joy to accept proffered salvation. When he preached the allsufficient atonement, he was careful to show its influence on the violated law of God, and on the guilty, deplorable condition of man. In his hand it was the terror of the obstinate rebel, but the hope and consolation of humble, contrite souls. The doctrine of divine influence he aimed to exhibit in such a light, as at once to humble the proud, and encourage the lowly in heart. Justification by faith without the deeds of the law he represented, as inseparably connected with a godly life; yea, as the spring of true gospel obedience. He gave it as his judgment, "that christian piety and morality must rise or fall, as the doctrines of grace, which support and exalt them, are regarded or neglect ed." By these sentiments he regulated his preaching. Whenever he inculcated the duties of christianity, whether the duties of repentance and faith, which immediately respect men as sinners, or the general duties of piety to God, and benevolence to man; he failed not to inculcate them chiefly by evangelical motives. And let it be added, whenever he undertook to describe a good man, he described him as a character formed upon gospel principles; as a redeemed sinner, pardoned through Christ, regenerated by the Holy Spirit, a penitent, a believer. He represented his inward exercises and his whole practice, as having a constant respect to the great scheme of mediatorial grace. In his painting of virtue and religion you would not see the image of Seneca er Plato, but that of saint Paul. The christian of his describing you would not hear descanting, in cold, uninteresting language, on the the beauty and dignity of virtue; but
rather proclaiming the abundant grace of Christ, and, from a heart. captivated with his divine beauty, crying out, unto him, who hath lov ed us, and washed us from our sins in his blood, be honour and glory for ever. At the same time he took much pains to show, that such affection to Christ is not only the surest evidence of an upright heart, but the most efficacious motive to a pious and useful life. But as a more particular display of Doctor TAPPAN's theological sentiments is contemplated, it is not, in this place, necessary to enlarge.
Doctor TAPPAN was a plain and distinguishing preacher. Knowing the gospel to be of everlasting importance to mankind, he endeavoured to preach it in the most intelligible manner. He was happy in commanding a style, which had charms for all. While the refined hearer enjoyed its flowing elegance, the unrefined was edified with its plainness. He judged a close, distinguishing mode of preaching of vast consequence. Deeply impressed himself with the necessity and worth of true religion, he laboured to describe it correctly, and to discriminate its saving exercises and fruits fromevery deceitful imitation. To this work his mind was early directed by the perusal of Edwards' treatise on Religious Affections. By what he wrote in the book when young, he emphatically expressed his opinion of its inestimable value; an opinion which, it is well known, he never altered. It was often the drift of his discourses to point out the essential and eternal difference between the sanctified affections of the believer, and the best exercises of the unrenewed heart. Under his most discriminating sermons, conscience could hardly sleep; the sinner could not, without a great effort, deceive himself; and
the humble believer could scarcely fail of obtaining consolation. To introduce again his own words; it was his serious endeavour " to lay open the human heart to the view of mankind; to trace its windings, its disguises, its corruptions; to expand all its latent seeds of abomination; to pluck off its mask of apparent virtue; to unfold the secret principles of human conduct, and distinguish appearances from realities; to detect the various b' asses of selflove and selfdeceit; to delineate every shape and form, which the unsanctified heart in various circumstances will assume; so that every singer might see and recognize himself in the draught, and all classes of natural men, from the careless and profane to the deeply convicted and distressed, might so perceive their moral diseases, as immediately to lock out for a suitable remedy."
in his preaching. It was his opinion, that a minister's usefulness is greatly abridged by confining himself within a small circle of favour, ite speculations. He reasoned thus, "that as christian divinity is one regular and immense whole, so each part has its claim on the evangelical instructor; that by duly attending to any one branch, he really befriends and enforces all the rest, as connected with it; that he cannot do justice even to the doctrinal part without largely explaining and urging its corresponding precepts ;" and that, considering the unlimited variety of christian subjects, it is altogether absurd to expect that the preacher will interweave them all with every sermon. Accordingly he took an extensive range, and aimed to introduce that pleasing variety of topics, which the scriptures furnish; though, after all, it was manifest, that he made evangelical religion the sum and centre of his preaching. The variety in his discourses was increased and rendered still more agreeable, by his method of adapting his performances to particular occasions. In this he discovered a remarkable facility and pertinence. By the instantaneous operation of a discerning taste, he readily entered into the spirit of every occasion, and said what was suitable and impressive. Beside his appropti. ate performances on sacramental and funeral occasions, he frequently noticed the great events of Providence in the natural, civil, and religious world, and made use of them to elucidate some interesting truth, or enforce some impor tant duty.
He was a very affectionate preacher, When addressing his fellow immortals, his heart was often enlarged with benevolence, and melted in tenderness. In him there appeared nothing overbearing, harsh, or uncivil. His countenance, his voice, his gestures had all the natural marks of kind concern. His hearers, however reproved and alarmed, were convinced that he spoke from love; that the mortifying reproof and the painful alarm he gave them, were meant for their good. They saw, they felt, that the preacher was an ardent friend to their souls, and that he did not inflict the wound, which faithfulness required him to inflict, without reluctance and grief. This procured him free access to their consciences and hearts. It gave him liberty to use great freedom and plainness of speech, with a prospect of the most desirable effects.
Doctor TAPPAN studied variety
With a view to give his preaching a diversified air, and to make it more popular and impressive, he sometimes adopted an expedient, which is thought liable to criticism.