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HIS INDUSTRY. with noble faculties and powers, but being left to act freely, he fell from his original rectitude, not by a fatal necessity, nor by a decree that he should fall. For if it was, then man could not, had it rot in his power to stand, and if so, then, he could not be blame-worthy, or condemned therefor. If man fell by a fatal necessity he was nothing more than a machine or instrument, and these are not chargeable with the actions which are done with them. The agent that exercises the instrument is chargeable with the action ; for example, the knife with which a man is stabbed is not guilty of murder, but the man who made use of it is justly chargeable with the crime. So then if man fell through necessity he could not be guilty, but that power which laid him under the uecessity, which could be no other than his Creator, which is making God the author of sin, which is contrary to his being and perfections. For God to be the author of sin, would be to destroy himself. I trust there are none present who wonld be so weak and profane as to charge God as being the author of the sins which are cominitted by them. No. Let God be just but every mɛn a liar.”
Mr. T. was a very industrious man. He not only wrote his twenty-five hundred sermons— which one would think enough for a man to do in the course of a life however long — but beside the other avocations of a minister, as he told a friend, he did one fifth of the work of his house from the bottom of the cellar to the top of the chimnies, made his own water-pails and even hollowed the staves with a bent razor.'
He was in the habit for many years, of walking from E. to Holmes' Hole, a distance of eight miles, to preach a lecture on Sunday evening, and of crossing to the Island of Chappequiddick one evening of each week for a like purpose.
SIMPLICITY OF LIFE. At one time he was the only clergyman and phy, sician on the Island. Mr. T. read much, especially in the ancient tongues. His Greek, Testament he perused every day. His counsel to young clergymen was — always consult your Greek Testament before you sit down to write a sermon. When it is considered that he was ever subject to paroxysms of sickhead-ache and was rendered useless by their freqnency and severity for no less than a fourteenth part of his whole life — six entire years - it must be acknowledged that he accomplished wonders. Incredible as it may seem, he was absent from his pulpit but five Sabbaths on account of sickness throngh his whole ministry of forty-seven years. He must have led a very simple life, if his practice accorded with his preaching, for it was a maxim of his, tható brown bread and black (i . e. bohea) tea were good enough for ministers.' Many pleasant anecdotes are related of Mr. T. some of which, as I have made a beginning, I will throw together in this connection as they have been communicated to me by those who best knew him.
Years ago Dr. B. was on the Island. He and Mr. T. met and were introduced at the house of a mutual friend. “This is Mr. Thaxter, educated at Cambridge and therefore, I conclude, a Unitarian,' said the Dr. 'I profess to be,' was the reply. "Very sorry to hear it,' rejoined the Dr. “Bad doctrine, Sir, bad doctrine ; not Scriptural, Sir, not Scriptural.' This is Dr.Beecher fromConnecticut,'
DR. BEECHER. resumed Mr. T. and therefore, I conclude, a Trini. tarian. "I hope so,' replied the Dr. “Very sorry to hear it,' rejoined Mr. T. "Bad doctrine, Sir, bad doctrine ; not Scriptural, Sir, not Scriptural.''
Dr. B. was very free with Mr. Thaxter and asked him a great many questions about doctrinal subjects. “Now,' says Mr.T. I have answered you in the simplicity and integrity of my heart and given you exactly my views on many points. I hope you will be as ready to answer some questions that I will put to you.' 'I will endeavor to,' replied the Dr. Can you tell me then what is the meaning of these words,
ye which have followed me in the regeneration, when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory.'' The Dr.paused and at length acknowledged - he could not tell. "What,' said Mr. T. not understand the meaning when the word is used here for the first time in Scripture and is the foundation of all your preaching ?' ' I never had any particular thoughts on this passage,' said the Dr. Never,' rejoined Mr.T. 'I am surprized.' Said the Dr. “will you tell me what you think is the meaning ? No,' sir, was the reply, if you don't know, you had better go home and study your Testament.' In conversation with him at this time or afterwards, Mr. T. used nearly these words : " There are a few of my flock left about me – families which I have visited in sickness and sorrow-children, whom I have presented in baptism at the altar and if you have come, said he, with strong emotion, to draw them away
57 and embitter the days of an old man, you ought to hang your head for shame.'
Some one on the Island dislocated his limb. Mr. T. who always had the reputation of being the best. bone-setter on the Island, put it in place. "What is to pay, asked his relieved patient.' He replied if rich - seventy-five cents ; if poor -- nothing.'
A friend once asked him why he wrote such labored serinons, when his people would be satisfied with those far inferior. His reply deserves to be written in letters of gold : Would you have me go into the sanctuary with unbeaten oil or a worthless offering ?
To a friend who was going out of town said Mr. T., you had better take your cloak. «Why, Sir, said his friend, 'it is fair weather.' Take your cloak in fair weather,' rejoined Mr. T.; "any fool would take it in foul.'
Speaking to his wife about his parishioners, he said, “ If they give you anything, wise, take it and thank them. If they offer me a fish, though I have plenty, I take it and thank them, and on my way home toss it into the first pool.” He used to say to himself : Be careful now Mr. Thaxter, and don't preach for money,' and he satisfied himself that he did not as he was quite as contented with a salary of $275 as with £100.
One of the deacons of his church was asked by some individual what he thought of the weatherwhat be considered the prospect. “I hardly know,'
58 BENEVOLENCE AND SUCCESS AS A PREACHER. replied the deacon, for I am not very weather-wise. Mr.T. being in company, subjoined : 'No, nor much otherwise.'
Mr. Thaxter was a man of a good deal of natural eloquence and gifted in prayer. An evidence of the latter is a singular fact told me by one of his brothers in the ministry. He was present at an ordination some where in the southern part of the State, and though not a member of the Council convened to take a part in the exercises, he was unanimously requested, contrary to all usage, to take that part which constitutes the essence of the rite, viz : the ordaining prayer.
Mr. T. was a very benevolent man. I have been informed that not seldom he has got up at midnight and crossed to the Island of Chappequiddick to visit the sick, and that when he has been down in Town, (for he lived on the outskirts thereof) and
filled his basket with vegetables and more substan, tial things, he has stopped on his return to see this and that family of his parish, and ere he has reached home many time has found his basket empty.
Mr. Thaxter was settled as Pastor not only of a congregation, but of the Town. One would have no doubt of it from the size of the old Church. He was very successful in the ministry. The first year he added 53 to the Church and baptised 147. Alfa ter some years however the unity and peace of his society were broken. The love for sects inherent in human nature occasioned the rise of several,