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Mr. Davenport was too familiar with the thoughts of death to be disconcerted at this sudden call. Such was his habitual state of preparation, that he could have adopted the language of another good man ;—" I bless God I can lie down with comfort at night, without being solicitous whether I awake in this world or another.” He who had spent his life in communing with Christ and his saints on earth, was ever ready to go and commune with Christ and saints in heaven. As good Mr. Hooker said of himself, in his dying hours, he was only going to change his place, but not his company.
So quickly was Mr. Davenport's life taken away, ,-or rather, so quickly was death given to him,—that he left none of those golden words which so many expiring saints have bequeathed as a treasured legacy, to help such as are coming after them to die.
It may have been a presentiment that his end might be too sudden to allow of a long deathprayer, that made Mr. Davenport constantly use those devout ejaculations which were his wont. He once solemnly counseled a young minister, “ that he should be much in ejaculatory prayer; for indeed ejaculatory prayers, as arrows in the hand of a mighty man, -so are
they. Happy is the man that has his quiver full of them.” Those who knew him best, were satisfied of his skill in this spiritual archery. He was not only uniform in stated devotions, whether secret, domestic, or social; but at every pause or turn in his daily affairs, he was ever tying the desires of his soul to these winged missives ; and vigorously drawing the bow of faith, he sped them over the walls of heaven. His example taught what has been beautifully expressed by Quarles;
“ Dart up thy soul in groans; thy secret groan
Mr. Davenport was a laborious student throughout his long life. So unremitted was his application, that it excited the attention of the wild Indians in his vicinity, who used to call him, according to their custom of applying significant or descriptive names, “So-big-studyman.' Most of his published treatises relate to
the obsolete controversies of his day; and have little interest now, except for the historian or the antiquary. One volume of his, a work of experimental piety, called “ The Saint's Anchorhold, in all Storms and Tempests," is worthy of the republication it would receive, could a perfect copy be found. He left some expository and practical writings prepared for publication ; but, to use one of John Cotton's singular metaphors, these fair clusters of grapes have never passed under the press, that all who would might quaff the juice, and rejoice.
“ This grave and serious-spirited man," was regarded as one of the first preachers of his day. One who knew him well has said ;—"He was a person beyond exception and compare, for all ministerial abilities.” Increase Mather, who, in his earlier life was the intimate friend of Mr. Davenport's old age, gives him this testimony;
-“ I have heard some say, who knew him in his younger years, that he was then very fervent and vehement, as to the manner of his delivery. But, in his later times, he did very much imitate Mr. Cotton; whom, in the gravity of his countenance, he did somewhat resemble.”
Venerable man! We can almost see him
rising up in the antiquated pulpit of the First Church; the thinness of his frame, wasted by hard study and disease, concealed by the gown which the ministers of “the standing order” then generally wore, when abroad, as a customary article of dress. Being university-men, they used it, rather as an academical, than a clerical garb. We notice next the benevolent visage, mild even to an expression almost feminine, were it not for the brim tufts of silvery beard upon either lip. We see a few bleached locks escaping from the confinement of the old “ Roundheads' close black cap.” The broad bands of " formal cut” smoothly cover his neck and bosom. And we are caught by the radiating eyes, those windows of the soul, through which is seen the inward burning, the quenchless life-fire, which age and sorrow cannot dim. While he is pronouncing his text in measured tones and slow, the congregation rises up from the seats as a token of respect for the eternal word of God. The audience is again seated, to listen intently to strains of oratory, impassioned, but well-controlled; such as is the child of entire conviction, and the mother of full persuasion. Says the historian, Hubbard, who knew him well, speaking of him in his old age ;-"Yet
mas be on that viracity, that the strength of his memory, prosoudness of his judgment, and Bondess of his doctrine, were little, if at all ata:ed."
This was John Davenport ;-old when Toang, such was his gravity of beharior; and young when old, such was the quickness of his endowments."
Shall it be said, that this race of men is er. tinct? Is there no surviror to be found ? Nay: where is that father, or that renerated grandsire,—that conscientious, derout, Sabbath-keeping Puritan whom you knew in your best, your youthful days? Hare you forgotten the gathering of the household to the morning and evening sacrifice of the family altar? Do you no longer remember the godly man, who, ere he bowed in prayer, recited a portion of Holy Writ “with judicious care," with an altered voice, and an intonation which bespoke his awful sense of the majesty of the oracles of God, read as no other book was read? Does not erery sight of the old Family Bible, between whose Testaments is the written record of your own birth and baptism, bring up the patriarchal form to view ? And is it in your heart to forsake your father's faith and your father's God? Will you seem to discredit