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| Nitead of attempting to give any Character of the
I pious Author of the following. Letters, whose true Worth was well known in Arnerica, we Thall give our Readers the two following Paragraphs, which were published soon after his Death; and only add, that we hope this Edition will be found more correct than any of the former two that have gone before it.
CHARACTER of Mr. DICKINSON late President of the College of New-Jersey. Extracted from the Reverend Mr. FoxCROFT of Boston, bis Preface to Mr. DICKINSON's fecond Vindication of God's Sovereign free Grace, printed at Boston, 1748.
VET I must be allowed to drop a Tear over my I deceast Friend, endeared to me by a long Aco
quaintance, and on the most valuable Accounts, as a Scholar, a Christian, and a Divine of the firit Rank, in thefe Paris of the World. His Realonableness of Christianity, his Scripture Bishop, his Scripture Doctrine, his Familiar Letters, hine a• mong his Works that praise him in the Gates, and
embalm his Memory. He had a Soul form’d for Exo quiry, Penetration, accurate Judgment, and disin.. ierested Attachment to Truth. With a natural Turn for Controversy, he had a happy Government of his Pasions, and abhorred the perverse Difputings to common to Men of corrupt Minds: Nor did he, as is too customary with those of an argumentative Genius, fuffer the Eagerness of Contention to extinguish the Fervours of Devotion, or of Brotherly-Love. In his Example he was truly a Credit to his Profeffion; by good IVorks adorning the Doctrine of Grace, he was so zealous an Advocate for.--Hc had generous Sentiments with Regard to Freedom of Enquiry and private Judgment in Matters of Conscience and Salvation, detesting all Persecu. tion and Impositions in Religion, and not approving Subscription to human Tests of Orthodoxy. Yet nevér.. thelets, as one set for the Defence of the Gospel, he boldly confronted what he took to be Error, and knew not how to fit an idle Spectator, when he apprehended an Assault made on the Christian Faith. He could not bear the Thoughts of being found either a Traitor to the Cause of Christ, or a Coward in it. Whenever he saw it openly invaded, or secretly un. dermined, he stood ready to appear in its Defence, without consulting his Ease or his Credit. As Bigotry and Party-Rage, Malevolence, Calumny and Censure, too frequently mingling with religious Dif. putes, were his Abhorrence, so he was an Enemy to temporifing Dissimulation, blind Glarity, politic Silence, and that falfe Moderation which sacrifices divine Revelations to human Friendships, and under Colour of Peace and Candour, gives up important Points of Gospel Doctrine to every Opposer, but still is consistent with discovering a Malignity towards on thers that appear warm Defenders and constant Asjerters of those Evangelical Truths.
From the Boston Gazette, 20. 02. 1747. Elizabeth-Town in New Jersey, 10. O&. 1747. ,
N Wednesday Morning died here, of a pleuretic Illness, that eminently learned, faith.
ful and pious Minister of the Gospel, and Prefident of the Colledge of New- Jersey, the Reverend Mr. Jonathan Dickinson, in the 60th Year of his Age, who had been Palior of the first Presbyterian Church in this Town, for near 40 Years, and was the Joy and Glory of it. In him conspicuously appear. ed those natural and acquired, moral and spiritual Endowments which constitute a truly excellent and valuable Man, a good Scholar, an eminent Divine, and a serious devout Christian. He was greatly ad. or ned with the Gifts and Graces of his heavenly Master, in the Light whereof he appeared as a Star of superior Brightness and Influence in the Orb of the Church, which has sustained an unspeakable Loss in his Death. He was of uncommon and very extenhve i Sefulness. He boldly appeared in Defence of the great and important Truths of our most holy Religion, and was a zealous Promoter of godly Practice and boly Living, and a bright írnament to his Profession in Times and Cases of Difficulty be was a ready, wife and able Counfellur. By his Death, our infant College is deprived of the Benefit of his superior Accompliments, which afforded a favourable Prospect of its future Prosperity under his Inspection. As he lived desired of all, so never any Perfon in these Parts died more lamented.
T HE irregular Heats and Extravagancies of
1 fome late Pretenders to extraordinary Attain ments in Religion, their imaginary divine Impulses, : and extatic Raptures, with other Effects of their disordered Fancies, have cast fuch a Blemish upon the Chrilian Profession, in the Eyes of unsettled and : unthinking People, that 'tis well if too many are not in Danger of calling Christianity itself into Question on, from the manifestly false Pretences and enthusia, astic Flights of some who have put in a Claim to go eminent Experience in the divine Life. It is there. fore thought needful, as well as seasonable at this Time, that a brief and plain Confirmation of the Christian Religion be sent abroad among our People; to establish them in the Foundation of our eternal Hope. This has been my Special Motive to the Pi• blication of some of the first of the ensuing Letters.
On the other hand, whether for want of duly diftinguishing between delufive Appearances and the genuine Effects of an Effufion of the Holy Spirit, or from whatever Cause, fuch has been the violent Opposition of some to the late Revival of Keligion in The Land, that the Doctrines of fpecial Grace, and of experiinental Piety, seem now, by too many, not only rejected and opposed, but even treated with Contempt, under the opprobrious Character of New Light, as if they had never before been heard of or profelled among us. This I take to be one of the darkest Symptoms upon this Land that we have ever yet seen.It must on that Account not be unseasonable to represent to our People, in a clear and distinct View,