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should dispute. The reader of the succeeding narrative will perceive, that for many years it was his constant practice to devote a considerable portion of each day to the perusal of the best practical writers; to which, under God, he was undoubtedly indebted for that habitual spirituality of mind which so remarkably distinguished him, and in which very few, whom I have had the happiness of knowing, appeared to equal, none to surpass him. His sense of the divine presence, his relish for devout meditation and intercourse, his advertence to the great realities of a future life, seemed scarcely ever to forsake him; and the least that can be affirmed of him is, that "he walked with God."

Though he exercised his ministry, through the whole of his life, amongst the general baptists, his sentiments approached nearer to those of Mr. Baxter than to the system of Arminius, nor would his statements of christian doctrine have given the slightest offence to a congregation of moderate calvinists. But to polemical theology he was not attached; his religion was entirely of a practical and experimental character: nor did he attach the smallest importance to correct views of christian doctrine, any further than as they tended to influence the heart. To socinianism, in all its modifications, he entertained a most hearty and decided aversion, and few circumstances gave him more poignant uneasiness than to see some of the most conspicuous members of his church embrace and patronise that destructive heresy. In the latter

years of his life he devoted a considerable portion of his time to composition; and his tract on Socinianism, his Directions and Encouragements for Travellers to Zion, his Advice to a young Minister, with other publications of a similar tendency,-the result of long experience, of much well-digested reading, and of patient thought,-will perpetuate and enrol his name among the most useful practical writers of the present day. Fond as he was of retirement, he retained a keen relish for the pleasures of society, for which he was eminently fitted by the gentleness of his manners, the amenity of his temper, and the variety of his knowledge. His conversation expressed and inspired serenity and cheerfulness rather than mirth; and he possessed, to a very extraordinary degree, the happy of greatest relaxation. The natural temperament of my revered friend inclined in some degree, I have been informed, to the irascible; but who ever beheld him betrayed for a moment into language or deportment incompatible with the meekness of the gospel? His exquisite sensibility is abundantly. conspicuous in the following narrative, nor could it escape the observation of any person who enjoyed much of his intimacy; but it was so directed and refined, by a higher principle, as to become one of the most attractive qualities in his character.

The extreme depression of the manufacture in the place of his residence, was a source of much uneasiness; both by the intense sympathy he felt

for the sufferers, and the degree in which it affected his personal resources. It is painful to reflect that a man "of whom the world was not worthy," perhaps never received from his people more than a moiety of the means of his subsistence; and that, after sinking the greater part of his scanty property, he must often have been involved in irretrievable difficulties, but for the casual liberality of friends whom his superior merit had attached. That, in a situation so full of embarrassment and perplexity, he retained a curiosity so eager, a passion for study and inquiry so unabated, as to induce him to spend a large sum of money in the purchase of books, is a decisive proof of his possessing a mind of no ordinary vigour. But I check myself. It was not my intention to write an encomium on the excellent person who is the subject of the following Memoir, but merely to introduce it to the reader's attention, by a few prefatory remarks; and, having already trespassed too long on his patience, I must be permitted to close, by expressing my earnest prayer that the effect of its perusal on as many as read it, may be to assimilate their minds, in some degree at least, to the character of its excellent and lamented author.





EARLY in life he formed an intimacy with a set of writers, who, however they may push some theoretical views to excess, are eminent for their elevated ideas of the moral character of the Deity, and for the zeal with which they contend for its influence on doctrinal and practical religion. Firm champions of disinterested love, they set themselves, with the greatest ardour, to expose those religious affections, which are founded on mere selfishness, and which are excited merely by the conviction their possessors entertain of their having been the object of the divine predilection, without any perception of the excellence and moral beauty of the divine nature. They laid, as the foundation of all vital religion, a perception of moral beauty, a complacency in the Deity on account of his own intrinsic excellence, which, they contend,

is a separate principle from mere gratitude for benefits expected or received, however it may enlarge and extend it. The originality displayed by these writers, at the head of whom the celebrated Edwards is placed by universal consent, the acumen of their logic, and the fervour of their piety,-seized powerfully on the mind of Dr. Ryland in his early years, and gave a decisive turn to his subsequent studies and pursuits. From that time. to the close of his life, the relation which christianity bears to the display of the divine character was ever present to his thoughts: he delighted in whatever tended to deepen and enlarge his conceptions of that ineffable original; he delighted especially to contemplate him under the character in which John presents him, when he affirms that "God is love,”—as a being possessing an infinite propensity to impart his "fulness," by diffusing the greatest possible sum of happiness throughout his vast dominions. These lofty musings were, with him, not the object of speculation only, or the discriminating features of a creed. He formed the interior of his character upon them; they were his mental aliment, and intimately incorporated with his thoughts. Nor can it be doubted that, in a mind so prepared by divine grace as was his, they exercised a most [beneficial] influence, and produced a luxuriant crop of christian virtues. He appeared to be penetrated with a perpetual sense of the divine presence; not as a source of terror or dismay, but of habitual peace, confidence, and

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