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DECEMBER, 1822. [No. 12. Vol. XXII.
make the sacrifice. That he did For the Christian Observer,
not yield through any interested MEMOIR OF THE LATE RIGHT or ambitious motive is proved by REV. THEODORE DRHON, D, D. a resolution which be formed, that
the appointment should never be (Concluded from p. 679.)
to bim a source of emolument; and 'N the year 1812, the Convention that, far from assuming any appear
of South Carolina unanimously ance of elevation above his brechose Dr. Dehon for their bishop. thren or his flock, he would endeaThe post had been unoccupied for vour more than ever to be “ the many years: it was also an office servant of all.” The following oblittle known, and of an unpopular servations found in a paper after character in the country; and, be- his death evince the truly Christian sides involving great anxiety and spirit in wbieh he undertook the fatigue, appeared likely to give office. rise to much misconception and “ It having pleased Almighty misrepresentation. It was besides God to permit me to be called to not very congenial to the retired the office of a bishop in his church, habits, the diffident manners, and I ought to be humbled to the dust, the early associations of a man by the sense of my unworthiness, like Dehon, to whom honours were and penetrated with gratitude, love, burdens; and was also a post for and fear, for 'this undeserved diswhich he conscientiously thought tinction. Lord! what am I, or himself very ill qualified. He, how. what is my father's house, that ever, fully entered into the views of thou shouldest bring me to this his fellow-churchmen in relation to honour in thy service?' I have exthe importance, and, as be consi- amined my past life. Oh! bow dered, ihe necessity, of the episco- little do I find with which to be pal order; and remarked that, in satisfied ! how much to condemn! declining to receive it, he should God be merciful to me a sinner!' incur as great responsit lily as in Would men inspect themselves accepting it. He therefore delibe- closely by the light of God's word, rately weighed the subject with how little cause would they find in much fervent prayer to God for themselves for self-complacency. direction, and with an attentive Alas! my best services have been perusal of the Epistles to Timothy 'alloyed with too much selfishness ; and Titus, in order to have fully and conscience accuses me of many before him the qualifications requi- sius. Never have I felt myself so site for a bishop. He also frankly poor and needy, so culpable and stated bis difficulties to his bre- wretched, so much a subject for thren, and did not at length accept mercy rather than favour. Lord, the office till they had expressed what is man, that thou art mindful their deliberate opinion tbat, under of him; or the son of man, that thou the circumstances of the case, Di. so regardest him?' At times I have vine Providence called him to it, felt as if I would give worlds, if I and that it was clearly his duty to had them, could I but go spotless CHRIST. OBSERV, No. 252.
into the office whereunto I have likely to forget : bis countenance been permitted to be called. But, beamed with affection, devotion, perbaps, there is something of pride and every Christian grace, in a and self-love in this. There is way difficult either for the peo or none good but One.' All whom pencil to describe; nor did he ever He has employed, from among lose his devotional and interesting men, have been sinners. In Him manner of conducting these seralone can there be any glorying; vices, though Ibey were often to Him must be all glory. Saul protracted for many hours, and who persecuted, and Peter who were sometimes interrupted by a denied Jesus, were employed as want of sympathy in those around Apostles by Him, and their con- him. In his visitations, he ever version has scarcely done less than kept in mind his great object : in their labours for His cause. I all his conversations, his anxiety for hope that God has presented me the welfare of the church of Christ, with this most humbling view of especially of that branch of it of myself, that I may perceive fully at which he was a minister and overmy entrance on this office, that if seer, was prominent. He carried a I stand at all, it must be in the Christian and a missionary spirit worthiness of Christ; that in me into the social circle ; and even there is no good thing to give me alpidst the exertion and haste of authority, power, complacency, orbis visitations, he would go many confidence: that I must act by his miles out of his way to visit authority and power; be a depend- a Christian inquirer, or a sick or ant of his, and owe every thing to afflicted person “ perishiug for lack Him; especially that I may know of knowledge.” Many of the and feel the absolute necessity, the parishes in his diocese were far amazing extent, the constraining remote from his residence; and as power of his mercy in Christ Jesus; bis duties to bis owo large congreand so have a fuller sense of the im- gation would not permit of his portance of the treasure entrusted being absent long together from to me. My best delight bas been Charleston, he was obliged to Irain His law. My fondest joy****"vel with a degree of exposure and
This interesting fragment here fatigue which his delicate constiabruptly terminates; but not lution could ill sustain, especially without having disclosed to the in a Carolinean climate, travelling reader the feelings of devotion, of often beyond midnight, and hastenself-abasement, and of trust in God, ing not unfrequently from church with which this humble-minded to church, worn down in body, but man commenced his episcopal la- ardent in spirit, without even al. bours. His life hitberto had been lowing time between one service somewhat retired, but he soon be- and another for the friendly hospicame well skilled in all tbe duties talities wbich he so much needed, of bis public station. In the chair and which an atfectionate people of the State Convention, he display- were most anxious to bestow. Ia ed an exemplary diligence and im- these visitations be succeeded by partiality, combined with an un- the Divine blessing, in reviving episaffected dignity of deportment, copal worship in several parishes great collectedness of spirit, and where it bad been long neglected, an almost instinctive discrimivation and establishing it in others where in matters of business. In admi- it had been hitherto unknown. The nistering the rite of Confirmation, candidates for Protestant Episor conferring holy orders, he ex- copal ordination having at that bibited a demeanour and expression time no regular instructor, he vowhich none who have ever beheld luntarily undertook that office; him on such occasions, will be pointing out to them the best theological works for their study, pa- the spring of 1817, at New York, tiently examining the abstracts where Bishop Dehon attended in which they made under his direc- his place; and though a young man, tions; conversing with them with and almost the junior bishop, anithe freedom of a friend and brother; mated, by his powerful influence, and as a parent correcting their the whole body of that assembly. errors, and cherishing in them On no occasion probably had his the dispositions which become the talents and eloquence appeared to sacred office, His examination for so great advantage, and never cerorders, as respected sound doctrine, tainly did he impress on his admirpersonal piely, professional attain- ing auditors a greater regard for ment, and attachment to the dis. his person, or a greater estimation cipline of the episcopal church, of his Christian zeal and piety. He was strict and conscientions. It had attended this General Convenneeds scarcely be added, that he tion with almost certain risk to his cherished great affection for his health, having, on a similar occaclergy, whom he was always pleased sion in 1814, keenly experienced to see around him, especially at the hazard of returning to the pegthe sacred altar; and he particular. tilential climate of Charleston at ly wished to have the society and midsummer. But his sense of duty advice of one or more of them in prevailed, and he counted not his all bis episcopal visits, alleging the life dear if he might in any way example of our Lord, who sent out benefit the church of Christ On lais ministers by“ two and two." his arrival at home, he instantly He felt great interest in their con- resumed his customary duties will cerrs: his influence and exertion his characteristic ardour and actiwere ever at command to promote vity. The larger sphere in which their welfare, and his purse to sup- his talents had been lately displayply their necessities. He extended ed, had created in him no distaste bis regard to their families, and, in for the most minute details of his case of their death, would undertake ordinary function: he was seen vithe education of their fatherless off- sitiag the poor, the sick, the afflict. spring. He was particularly anxi- ed, as usual ; and his last visit, ous for the establisbment of a cole within a few hours of the attack of lege under the patronage of the that malady which terminated bis whole of the American Protestant life, was to the chamber of a moEpiscopal church for the instruction ther who had lost her child. The of candidates for the sacred ministry. seeds of the fever which ended thus
This measure be had urged for a fatally, and for the reception of considerable period in the General which his return to Charleston in Convention, and elsewhere, with- the sickly season bad predisposed out effect; but he had the satis, him, are thought to have been sowo faction, before his death, to in- while he was attending by the deathduce a change in the opinions of bed and at the grave of the wife those who had most strongly op- of a clerical brother who was from posed the project. His success on home, and whose family the bishop This occasion filled bim with the had been accustomed to visit in liveliest joy; and the “ Theological seasons of sickness and affliction. Academy” since instituted in con- The last two letters he ever wrote sequence of his exertions, bids fair were to the absent relatives of this to become as splendid a monument lady, to cousule them under their to his memory as a lasting benetit bereavment. to the American Episcopal church, The Bishop's illness was too seand to posterity.
vere to admit of his holding much This great point was carried in conversation; and the world is conthe General Convention held, in sequently deprived of the benetit of many pious and interesting re- be mortal," on the 6th of August marks which would doubtless have 1817, in the 41st year of his life, fallen from his lips on so solemn an and the 201h of his ministry. occasion. But Ibe little that trans- In the preceding narrative, no pired was highly consolatory. His intimation is given that Bishop Demind was perfectly serene amidst hon was a husband and a parent*, bis greatest sufferings. Having once Dr. Gadsden having apparently uttered a sudden exclamation from been prohibited from touching upon pain, he instantly remarked, “ Do this tender subject, by respect for not suppose that I murmur,” add- the wishes of the bereaved surriing for the solace of those around vor. He remarks,“ Of our debim, “ Be still, and know that I parted friend's feelings towards the am God." The 33d chapter of Job dearest of his relatives, I would having been read to him, he ob- that I were allowed to speak, for served, in allusion to. verse 25; they gave rise to some of his most “ I do not know wbether my flesh interesting remarks. Blessed be will ever again be fresher iban a God, they will afford unspeakable Witle child's; but this I know, that comfort to the heart to whom they I am just where I would be in the belong." This deficiency, it is earhands of God." He declared that nestly to be boped, will be perhis trust in the mercies of bis mitted to be supplied in some fuHeavenly Father had never been ture edition of the Bishop's sershaken ; that “ be knew he should mons; for Bishop Dehon isdow carry to God, at his death much endeared to a circle far wider than sinfulness : but," continued be, in that of bis immediate and beloved reference to the atonement of his relatives : his memory “ belongs" Saviour, " that is covered;" add- to his country, and to the church ing a second time, with emphasis, of Christ; and every reader of his “ That is covered.” On the last works, or of the memorial of bis day of his life, he made the re- public life, must feel anxious to marks already alluded to, respect- learn, as far and as soon as the ing his desire to be " a more per- sacredness of private feeling wil fect being," his rejection of all permit the disclosure, how such a meritorious claim to salvation, and man deported himself jo those cohis exclusive trust in his Savigdearing relations which occupied He repeated from one of the core his domestic moments, and called lects, " Increase and multiply opon forth the tenderest sympathies of us thy mercy;" commenting as he his truly affectionate spirit. proceeded, “ Increase-and not The following particulars are seonly increase, but multiply." His lected from Dr. Gadsden's interestlast quotation from Scripture was, ing summary of the principal fea“ God of Abraham, of Isaac, and tures of his character. of Jacob ;" expressive, says his The great and peculiar characbiographer, of his confidence in teristic of Bishop Dehon was de that Divine faithfulness on which votedness to God and his ministry. the patriarchs rested, and of that In this cause he left his quiet home, mercy which is from generation to his select friends, his favourite generation.
“ As his end drew studies and contemplations, and ennear," continues Dr. Gadsden, “ he tered into general society, for which was silent and still: his counte. he had no taste ; and on a life of dance had the expression of his perpetual activity, which was unhappiest and most pious moments ; it was turned from earth and friend
• He married Sarah, daughter of ship, to heaven and to God.” He Nathaniel Russell, Esq. of Charleston, expired, or, as his epitaph strik- by whom he had three children, one of ingly expresses it, he “ ceased to whom was posthumous.
congenial both with his disposition rity," he used to remark,“ reand bis habits. In this cause he quires me to bear with the errors of spared no sacrifice, and declined my brother, but not lo adopt or to no difficulty and danger; he was approve them." willing to spend and be spent, and He was most beneficent. He would allow nothing to divert him had for many years appropriated from his object.
one tenth of his income to chariBut his conduct, in the other re- table purposes; but latterly he gave lations of life, ought not to pass one seventh;-observing, thatChrisunnoticed. As good citizen, it tians ought to do more than the was his uniform practice to call on Hebrews did, and that this prothe Chief Magistrate of the State, portion seemed to be suggested by soon after his election, and to ex- ibe circumstance, that God repress devout wishes for the prog- quired of man one seventh of his perity of bis administration. He time. But he found reasons for prayed, and requested his friends giving away still more. He lent to pray, for his country. He sug- sums which could not be returned. gested the propriety of several of He never laid up money from his the fasts and thanksgivings ordered income, and he never wished to do by tbe civil authority. He patron- so ; for he used to say, “ he had ized important literary institutions never wanted, and could not doubt and publications, not to avail him- the future good providence of God self of their advantages, for he towards him.” had not sufficient leisure, but be- Thus liberal himself, he soffered cause he considered them valuable no favourable opportunity to escape to the country. He rejoiced in the for exciting the liberality of others; establishment of the free schools, and be enforced the claims of cliaand bas left in print two judici- rity on the affluent, with a delicacy ous plans for securing to the poor which was almost irresistible. To of Charleston the ordinances of his influence, the pious and the religion ; and he went into the bye- poor are indebted for several genelanes of that city for the express rous benefactions and legacies, as purpose of making himself ac- honourable to the givers as they quainted with their condition. llis have been valuable to the receivers. anxiety for the slave population bas Of the powers of his understandbeep already mentioned.
ing, it may be observed, that they In the intercourse of society he were of a very high order; for in was courteous to all, but he flat- the various situations in wbich be tered no person. He was as tell- was called to act, he always held der of the feelings and reputation the first rank. His imagination of otbers, as of bis own, and was lively, and in early life bad equally so in their absence and been cultivated. His memory was their presence. He was careful to remarkably quick and retentive. avoid giving, and very slow in tak. His judgment was emineutly sound. ing, offence; but he declared his His opinions, on subjects not consentiments in relation to wicked nected with his profession, were conduct without fear or favour; seldom incorrect, and were eagerly and, when it was necessary, with sought by his friends. He had a the boldness of an Apostle, to the complete command of his intellectoffender to his face. He bad cha- ual resources, and could use them rity for those whom he conceived with equal advantage in public and to be in error; but he never could in his study. His mind had an be seduced, by a specious liberality, energy which was not to be conto do any thing which might rea- trouled by the fatigue of the body. sonably be considered a compro- A prominent excellence in the mise of his own principles. “Cba- character of Bishop Dehon, was