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and had a just Value for their Writings : but an equal
With such a happy Temper and Furniture of Mind, with a Judgment thus poiz'd and fixed, and with an establish'd Character of Piety, he at first set out in the World as a Candidate for the Ministry ; his Pulpit-Performances meeting with uncommon Acceptance.-There seems to have been a special Interposition of divine Providence, in his first Introduction into Roxbury Pulpit ; which perhaps may be worth relating. And it was thus, as the Fact lies in the Memory of one of us, that heard the Account of it long since. ----Mr. Walter had entertain's Thoughts of travelling abroad ; it's supposed, with a View partly to making further Improvements in Knowledge ; and had actually bespoke his Passage in a Ship for Ireland, or England. But it fo happen'd in Provi. dence, that when the Veffel only waiced for a Wind, he on a Saturday. Afternoon receiv'd a Message from Rexbury defiring of him a Sermon on the Morrow. Accordingly, he then went, and preach'd there (as it was faid) for the first Time ; greatly to the Satisfaction, both of Minister and People. They had-for a considerable while been seeking a Colleague for their aged Paftor; the famous and venerable Mr. JOHN Eciot (che fame who has usually been celebrated as the Američan Apostle, and among several verý worthy Candidates, whom they had often heard, their Inclinations were fo divided, as to retard their Proceedings. But upon hearing Mr. Walter, they were inftantly very much united in bin, and hafined to invite him to constant Preaching among them, with a Prospect of Settlement in due Time ; which, it was faid, occafion'd the putting off his intended Voyage. The good old Minister was fo charm's with this young Gentleman's Preaching, that on the first Day of hearing him, he stay'd the Church after Evening Service, and was for purring it immediately to Vote, whether they would give him a Çall. But the Honble Joseph Dudley Eiq; (afterwards Governor) then present, notwithstanding he had conceiv'd a high Opinion of Mr. VValter, yet appeared in Opposicion to fo sudden a Motion, and persuaded Mr. b
Eliot to defer it for a while. After a short Delay, he re ceiv'd an unanimous Call; the Brethren of the Church making their Choice on Lord's-Day, July 15. 1 1688. and the Inhabitants of the Town, in publick Assembly, on Lord's Day, Sept. g. approving and confirming it. Mr. VValter upon the Call given him, though it was then a dark and threatning Seafon, in the Reign of K. James II. a profess'a Papift, and in the Administration of Sir EdMUND ANDROSS, Governor of New England, a Tool of the Court, and grievoudly týrannizing over the poor People here; yet had the Courage to enter into the Ministry, at such a critical Juncture, and devote himself to the Service of Christ in these Churches.
On Wednesday, October 17. 1688. (in the 25th Year of his Age) he was publickly and folemnly ordained, with the laying on of the Hands of the Presbytery. Mr. VValter himself (pursuant to the former Usage among us) preached the Sermon on that Occasion, which was from 2 Cor. iv. 7. But we bave this Treasure in eartben Vessels, ibat the Excellency of the Power may be of GOD, and not of us.---Mr. Eliot (then in his 84th Year) presided in his Ordination, and gave the Clarge. And though a Distinction was wont to be made between the Characters of Pastor and Teacher, when two Ministers were together in the same Church (one of them being ordain'd under the former Name, and the other under the lacter) Mr. Eliot notwithstanding law fic to join both Names or Characters in Mr. VValter's Ordination. And on their Return from the Solemnity, he took Occasion plea. santly to say to Mr. VValter,-“ Brocher, I've ordain'd
you a Teaching Paftor : buc don't be proud of it ; for I " always ordain my Indians so."
After this, Mr. Eliot did not long survive : for on the 20th of May 1690, he died ; having been Minister of Roxbury from Sept. 1632. and being worn out with Age, and with abundant Labours, in the Service of Christ and Souls, as well among the Indians as English: But it was a great Sacisfaction to him, chai he saw his
People, before his Death, so peaceably and happily reciled under Mr. Walter's Miniftry. And it is well known, how for the Year or two they were together, Mr. VVal. ier served in the Gospel with his venerable Colleague, even as a Son with a Faiber, full of filial Duty and Affection ; and what a valt Esteem and Parental Love that ancient Gentleman had for his young Colleague, how he honoured him before his People, and almost intirely devolvid upon him all publick Offices of the Ministry, from a Sense of his superior Abilities. Mr. Eliot wou'd often make the Remark, that well beaten Oil was required for the Service of the Sanctuary ; and to ibat, he used to compare Mr. VValter's Sermons. He would therefore feldom preach ; that so he might not hinder his People from the Benefit of his desirable Colleague's Labours, and might himself enjoy the Privilege of hearing him. This we find taken Notice of in the Memoirs of Mr. Ęliot's Life, written above fifty Years ago, by the late very excellent Dr. COTTON MATHER; where we have the Pleasure of seeing Mr. WALTER thus characterised; -“ A Person young in Years, but old in DiscreTION, “ GRAVITY, and EXPERIENCE ; and one, whom the $i Church of Roxbury hopes to find a Paftor after GOD's “ own Heart." lc follows, “ Who being, by the una" nimous Vote and Choice of the Church there, become “ the Pastor of Roxbury, immediately found the vene" rable Elior embracing and cherishing of him, with • the tender Affections of a Fatber. The good old “ Man, like Aaron, as it were difrobed himself, with an
unspeakable Satisfaction, when he beheld his Garments • spread upon a Son so dear to him. After chis, he for " a Year or two before his Translation, cou'd scarce be “ persuaded unto any publick Service ; but humbly.
pleaded, It would be a VVrong to the Sauls of ibe People, “ for bim to do any Thing among tbem, wben they were
Supply'd so much to their Advantage, otherwise. And it's said, the good old Gentleman, when he preach'd as any Time in the Morningwould excuse the Meanness
and Brokenness (as he call'd it) of his Performance, but would conclude with saying, My dear Brother bere will by'n'by mend all."
Thus, Mr. VValter gave early Presages of his future Eminence ; and he has all along, from Youth to advanced Age, shewed himself a VVorkman that needed not to be ashamed; a burning and shining Ligbt, both in the Pulpit and out of it; and through a long Life, abundantly answering the high Expectations he had raised in his younger Days.--He was Owner of all the valuable Qualifications, intellectual and moral, necessary to confti. tute an eminent Character, whether as a Christian, or a Divine.
He certainly exhibited a bright Example of personal Holiness; which is of the first Consideration, and the grand Requisite in the Christian Professor, much more in the Christian Minister.. He gave very convincing Evidences of vital Experience in Religion, to a high Degree. He liv'd the Christianity he preach'd ; shewing bis Faith by bis Vorks, and having bis Fruit unto Holiness, in all its various Exercises. He was most exemplary for Harred of every Sin ; and an lortance of the correcteft Morals: appear'd ever devoted to the Service and Honour of Chrift ; express'd a deep Concern for the Advancement of his Kingdom and Interest: manifested an ardent Love to God, and warm Benevolence to Men ; a great Morcification to the World, and Abstraction from earthly Concerns ; an habitual Equanimity, and Contentment with his outward Condition ; Resignation in Adversity, and Moderation in Prosperity ; Freedom from Envy at others rising Reputation, or flourishing Circumstances, and from all undue Elation with the peculiar Respects universally paid ro himself; was remarkable for his domestick Tenderness, and Endearingness towards his People ; for his Humility, and Modesty, which made him decline fome publick Honours that were offer'd bim, and very much to avoid publick Appearances ; was remarkable for an habitual, constant Seriousness, Solidity, Veracity, and Up: