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unspeakably desirable, when we could consider it in this view, as retiring with the best of our friends into a nobler apartment, to spend an eternity in his delightful company, without the least interval of sorrow, absence or indifference. It is a happy state; but alas! my friend, when shall we arrive at it? In the mean time, let us cherish this love to him, and labour after more elevated devotion; but we cannot expect it, at least for any constancy, till we have subdued or regulated every meaner pas
Having endeavoured to lead my readers into Dr. Doddridge's private and domestic character, and laid open as much of his connections and correspondence as may be useful, I shall now proceed to give some account of the manner in which he employed his time, his leading views, his habitual temper, the graces for which he was most eminent; and mention some circumstances and incidents, by which, it is generally allowed, a person's real character may be best known. I hope, by this means, to carry on my principal design, which is, to propose a good example to the world, especially to those who are honoured with the christian ministry; and furnish them with some maxims of wisdom and prudence, which will result from the various lights in which we are to consider him, and the several scenes through which he passed.
[To prevent some inconveniences arising from the unavoidable length of this chapter, it may be proper to divide it into sections.]
His uncommon Diligence, Activity and Resolution in the Dispatch of Business.
THIS was the most striking part of his character, and must be in general visible to every one, who is acquainted with his writings, and considers his relations, as pastor of a numerous congregation, and an instructor of youth, intended for the ministry. With what assiduity he applied himself to his studies, while a pupil and during his retirement at Kibworth, has been shewn, Chap. I. and II. Yet so intent was his heart upon the great work in which he was engaged, that, while others applauded his diligence in that period, he deeply lamented his mispence of much time. I will insert one of his mournful reflections on this subject, as a specimen of others, and to subserve my main intention; " Upon reviewing the last year I find, that I have trifled away a great deal of time. Not to speak of that which hath been lost in formal devotion, and an indolent
temper in the dispatch of business, I find, upon computation, that I have lost some hundred hours by unnecessary sleep. I have lost many in unnecessary visits, journeys of pleasure, or of business prolonged to an unseasonable length, and by indulging vain roving thoughts while travelling. A multitude of precious hours have been lost in unprofitable discourse, when I have been necessarily engaged in company; for want of taking care to furnish myself with proper subjects of conversation, or not making use of them, or not attending to opportunities of introducing profitable discourse."
In following years he laments the mispence of time in his youth; and reflects, what superior improvements he might have made in learning and piety, and how much more useful he might have been, had he exerted more diligence in those days, when he had fewer avocations than when he lived in a large town, appeared under a more public character, and his labours and connections were increased. He endeavoured then to make up, what he thought, his culpable deficiency by habitual diligence in his proper business. In this view he rose early and sat up late. He reckoned the smallest parcels of time precious, and was eager to seize every moment, even while he was waiting for dinner, company, or his pupils, assembling together, that he might make some advance in the work he was about. Doing nothing was his greatest fatigue. He thought, and often told his pupils, that one good work was the best relaxation from another; and therefore he would not allow any chasm between the several kinds and branches of business he was to transact. He found it an infelicity to have his thoughts divided between two affairs which lay before him; and observed, that as much time had been sometimes spent in deliberating which of the two should be entered upon first, as would have finished one, if not both. To prevent this, he laid as exact a plan of business, as he could, at the beginning of every year; but as this alone was too complicated and extensive, he had also his plan for every month and sometimes for every week, besides what was to be done in his stated course of lectures and public services. He contrived to have a few hours every week, to which no particular business was allotted: These he set down, as a kind of cash account, in which any unexpected affair was to be transacted, or the time lost by accidental hindrances might be in some measure retrieved, without breaking in upon his general plan.
Through all his riper years he kept an exact account how he spent his time; when he rose; how many hours had been employed in study or the more public duties of his station; how
much time was really, at least in his apprehension, trifled away, and what were the causes of its loss. Under this last particular, I find him lamenting taking up a book, with which he had no immediate concern, and which yet engaged his attention and so broke in upon the proper duties of his study. He laments, on another occasion, pursuing too long some abstruse mathematical enquiries, the advantages of which were by no means an equi- valent for the time employed in them. He often complains of the loss of time by some visits, which civility and good manners obliged him to pay; and resolves not to make himself such a slave to the customs of the world, as to neglect more important duties out of regard to them. He found even friendship a snare to him; and that the company of his friends produced some ill effects, with regard to his business and religious frame. "While I have had company with me, he writes, my work hath been interrupted; secret devotion straitened; the divine life reduced to a low ebb, as to its sensible workings, though my heart continued right with God." At another time; "Too much company, though very agreeable to me, led me to neglect some part of my business, and turned that, in which I so much rejoiced as a very pleasing circumstance, into a mischief rather than a benefit. Had I been resolute to have commanded an hour or two in the morning, I should have been less embarrassed through the day. I will therefore be more watchful and self-denying on this head." He was desirous to do the work of every day in its day, and never defer it till the morrow; knowing there would be business enough remaining for that day, and all the days and hours of his life. He thought (and his own temper shewed it) that activity and chearfulness were so nearly allied, that one can hardly take a more effectual method to secure the latter, than to cultivate the former; especially when it is employed to sow the seeds of an immortal harvest, which will be rich and glorious, in proportion to our present diligence and zeal."
So solicitous was he to improve every moment, that one of his pupils generally read to him, when he was dressing and shaving. In these short intervals he was improving himself and them, by remarking on their manner of reading, and pointing out to them the excellencies or defects of sentiment and language in the book read. When he was upon a journey, or occasional visits to his friends, where he spent the night, he took his papers with him, and employed all the time he could seize, especially his morning hours, in carrying on some good work for his people, his pupils or the world. While he was preparing his Family Expositor for the press, he did something at it
daily. When an intimate friend had expressed some fear, lest his academy should be neglected, while he was preparing some works for the public, he thus wrote to him; "So far as I can recollect, I never omitted a single lecture on account of any of the books that I have published. The truth is, I do a little now and then; something every day, and that carries me on. I have wrote some of my pieces in short-hand, and got them transcribed by my pupils, and thus I do by many letters. This is a help to me, and some considerable advantage to those whom I employ. I scarce fail being in the lecture-room three hours every morning; that carries me through my stated work,,and, with the concurrence of my assistant, I over-see the academy pretty well."-So great was his diligence in his master's work, that he often preached several days in a week in different villages. about Northampton, and chose the evening for those services, that his lectures might not be omitted.-During his annual vacation, which continued two months, one of them was usually spent in close study, pastoral visits, or making little circuits among the neighbouring congregations, by the desire of their respective pastors; preaching to each in his way, not excepting some of different sentiments and denominations from himself. In the other month, he visited his friends in London, and other parts of the kingdom, finding such excursions and journeys serviceable to his health; yet he pursued his studies and writings, and frequently preached occasional sermons, especially in London and its environs, almost every day. I find that in some years he preached one hundred and forty times, in others many more; besides his repetitions, expositions and devotional lectures at home. So that the exhortations he gave his brethren, in his discourse on "The Evil and Danger of Neglecting the Souls of Men," came with peculiar grace and propriety from him, as they were illustrated by his own example.
Nor must I, in this connection, omit his correspondence; which was almost large enough to have taken up the whole time of a person of common abilities and industry*. His letters were principally of business, and that of the most important kinds. Besides his correspondence with the parents and guardians of his pupils, he had many letters to write.
* Sometimes he lightened his burden, by making use of the pen of his pupils, to whom he dictated his letters, while he himself went on with his Family Expositor or any other work in which he was employed. I was not unfrequently either his amanuensis on these occasions, or read to him while he answered his correspondents.-K.
in answer to questions of moment, proposed to him by his brethren, especially those who had been his pupils, and by congregations at a distance, who applied to him for direction. and assistance. His judgment was often desired by learned men, concerning critical difficulties, or works which they were preparing for the press; and his own publications would naturally enlarge his work of this kind. His correspondence with some persons of the first rank for wisdom and learning in the established church required much attention and delicacy. Several foreign gentlemen and divines, who had heard of his character and read his works, sought his epistolary acquaintance, and corresponding with them in Latin or French required some particular application. It is surprising to find how many hundred letters he received and answered in the space of one year*. I may say of him, as Pliny of his uncle, "When I consider his dispatch of so much business, I wonder at the multiplicity of his reading and writing; and when I consider this, I wonder at that." But his resolution was indefatigable, and God had given him a happy facility in the dispatch of business. He was master of the contents of a book upon a summary view, and could readily express his thoughts upon the most abstruse questions with ease and perspicuity. It is wonderful that his tender constitution should, for so many years, support such an intense application to business, so unfavourable to health. His friends were often expressing their painful apprehension, that it would impair his health and shorten his days, and addressing him with that carnal advice, Master, spare thyself: And, with regard to his last illness in particular, it might have been happy for them and the world had he regarded it. But love to God and man, and zeal for the salvation of souls bore him on. He needed no recreation; for his work was his highest pleasure. When he saw any success of his labours, and found that his writings were useful to many, it gave him fresh spirits and resolution. When he was advised, by a friend, to relax a little and not preach so often, his answer was, "Be in no pain about me. I hope that we have the presence of God among us, and that he is bearing testimony to the word of his grace. I take all the care of my health, which is consistent with do
* A very honourable part of Dr. which he maintained with some of the elergy and laity of the established church. letters lately published. We there see how much he was esteemed, and how highly he was thought of, by the first religious and literary characters of the age.-K.
Doddridge's correspondence was that brightest ornaments, both among the This is apparent from the collection of