And think there were a Metempsychosis,
Yea, like John Baptist in the wilderness,
So was our John in Patmos here, no less.
John, the divine, resembling therefore rather,
And of New Englands prophets was the father,
John, the divine, whose life a revelation
Of faith and love, and Christ to admiration,
John, the divine, whom Jesus lovd most dear,
Sweetned with leaning on his bosom here:
This is that John, whose death who doth not mean,
Hath sure no heart of flesh, but one of stone.
He had the countries faith, and love, and zeal,
Even grace enough for church and common-weal;
Whereby was propt up all the fabrick still,
That else had tumbled down our Sion hill.
Of meerly men deserving glory more,
Youll find nor martyr, nor a confessor,
Inspird he was with the prophetick spirit
Of all the prophets, which he did inherit.
Twixt an apostle and evangelist,
His order standeth in the heavenly list.
If Paul himself among us dead had been,
More tears or sorrow could not have been seen.
They wept not more for this, that they should see
His face no more, than now we mourners be.
For heavenly poems most angelical,
Composing volumes with delight, were all
But gathered up in one, we should espy
Enough to fill an university.
And were another psalm-book made by thee,
(Mictam of John) their title it should be.
As aged John th apostle usd to bless
The people, which they judgd their happiness:
So we did count it worth our pilgrimage
Unto him, for his blessing in his age;
Yet then, no babe more longing for the breast,
Than he to take within the church his rest,
To have the sincere milk of Gods good word,
Which to his soul all comfort did afford.
Not heat, nor cold, nor rain, nor snow, must bar;
But everywhere becomes an auditor.
Who ever laboured in the ministry,
More given, than he, to hospitality?
To strangers, widows, fatherless, and all;
To friends and foes he was most liberal.
Of all his prayers, sermons, travels, pains,
He is ascended heaven to reap the gains.
Oh, for a double portion of thy spirit!
No richer treasure would we all inherit.
This year it pleased God to visit New England with the manifestation of his displeasure, by the death of three eminent instruments; the first whereof was that worthy servant of Christ, Mr.Samuel Shepard, pastor of the church of Christ in Rowley, in New England, who deceased in the spring of this year, in the midst of his days, and in the beginning of his work in the ministry.3The second, that worthy man of God, Mr. Henry Flint, teacher of the church of Christ at Brain-tree, in New England, who ended his mortal life the 27th of April, in this year; a man of known piety, gravity, and integrity, and well accomplished with other qualifications fit for the work of the ministry. The third and last, but not the least, that supereminent minister of the gospel (rightly so called), Mr. Jonathan Mitchell, pastor of the church at Cambridge, in New England, who laid down his earthly tabernacle on the ninth of July, in this year. Of whose rare endowments, and the great loss the whole land sustained by his death, take this following brief account.
Mr. Jonathan Mitchell was born at Halifax, in Yorkshire, in England, of pious and wealthy parents, who coming over to New England, brought him over young; his education in learning was perfected at Harvard College, in Cambridge, where he attained to such a degree in knowledge, that he was soon called to be a fellow of the college, and, within a few years after, his lustre did so shine, that the church at Hartford, upon Connecticut river, made application to him in order to supply the place of that eminent servant of Christ, Mr. Thomas Hooker, a little before deceased; but the church at Cambridge (by the advice of their worthy pastor, Mr. Thomas Shepard, then living), not willing to part with so great a treasure, became competitor with Hartford, and gave him a call to them. This loving strife, between the two churches of Hartford and Cambridge, about him, was, in a short time, decided by the awful hand of God, in the death of that eminent and glorious star, Mr. Thomas Shepard, pastor at Cambridge; which place being wholly destitute, and Hartford being supplied with a teacher, namely, that worthy of the Lord, Mr. Samuel Stone, the balance was cast for Cambridge, and in the year 1650, he was called and ordained their pastor. It was an eminent favour of God to that church, to have this great breach thus made up, with a man so much of the spirit and principles of their former pastor, and so excellently qualified with respect to the College: for, reason and prudence requireth, that the minister of that place be more than ordinarily endowed with learning, gravity, wisdom, orthodoxness, ability, sweet and excellent gifts in preaching, that so the scholars which are devoted and set apart, in order to be preachers of the gospel, might be seasoned with the spirit of such an Elijah; in which regard, this holy man of God was eminently furnished, and his labours wonderfully blessed; for very many of the scholars, bred up in his time (as is observed), do savour of his spirit, for grace and manner of preaching, which was most attractive. He lived pastor of
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