« EelmineJätka »
(Continued from p. 6.) THE writer of these memoirs man. I immediately reflected on was greatly interested by these my happy change, and thought, uncommon events; and, on a Well, blessed be God! I am safe favourable occasion, earnestly at last, notwithstanding all my pressed Mr. Tennent for a mi- fears. I saw an innumerable nute account of what his views host of happy beings, surroundand apprehensions were, while ing the inexpressible glory, in he lay in this extraordinary state acts of adoration and joyous wor. of suspended animation. He ship; but I did not see any boddiscovered great reluctance toily shape or representation in enter into any explanation of his the glorious appearance. I heard perceptions and feelings at this things unutterable. I heard their time; but, being importunately songs and hallelujahs, of thanksurged to do it, he at length con- giving and praise, with 'unspeaksented, and proceeded with a so- able rapture. I felt joy unutter. lemity not to be described. able and full of glory. I then ap
“While I was conversing with plied to my conductor, and remy brother," said he," on the quested leave to join the happy state of my soul, and the fears throng. On which he tapped I had entertained for my future me on the shoulder, and said, welfare, I found myself, in an in- " You must return to the earth." stant, in another state of exist. This seemed like a sword thro! ence, under the direction of a my heart. In an instant I recolo superior being, who ordered me lect to have seen my brother to follow him. I was according- standing before me, disputing ly wafted along, I know not how, with the doctor.
The three till I beheld at a distance an in- days, during which I had appear. effable glory, the impression of ed lifeless, seemed to me not which on my mind it is impossi: more than ten or twenty min. ble to communicate to morial utes. The idea of returning to Vol. II. No.2.
this world of sorrow and trouble, It is not surprising, that after gave me such a shock, that I so affecting an account, strong fainted repeatedly.” He added, solicitude should have been felt « Such was the effect on my
b. mind of what I had seen and sick with a fever ; that the fever inheard, that if it be possible for a
creased, and he by degrees sunk under human being to live entirely it. After some time (as his friends. above the world and the things informed him) he died, or appeared to of it, for some time afterwards I die, in the same manner as persons was that person. The ravishing one happened to draw his hand under
usually do; that in laying him out, sounds of the songs and hallelu- the left arm, and perceived a small jahs that I heard, and the very tremour in the flesh; that he was laid words that were uttered, were out, and was cold and stiff. The time not out of my ears, when awake, for his funeral was appointed and the for at least three years. All the his particular friend, pleaded with
people collected; but a young doctor, kingdoms of the earth were in great earnestress that he might not my sight as nothing and vanity; then be buried, as the tremour under and so great were my ideas of the arm continued ; that his brother, heavenly glory, that nothing, Gilbert, Became impatient with the which did not, in some measure, What a man not dead who is cold and
young gentleman, and said to him, relate to it, could command my stiff as a stake. The importunate serious attention.'
young friend, however, prevailed ; another day was appointed for the bu.
rial, and the people separated. Dur. Tlie author has been particularly ing this interval many means were solicitous to obtain every confirmation made use of to discover, if possible, of this extraordinary event in the life some symptoms of life, but none apof Mr. Tennent. He, accordingly, peared excepting the tremour. The wrote to every person he could think doctor never left him for three nights of, likely to have conversed with Mr. and three days. The people again Ti on the subject. He received sev- met to bury him, but could not even eral'answers, but the following letter then obtain the consent of his friend, from the worthy successor of Mr. T. who pleaded for one hour more ; and in the pastoral charge of his church, when that was gone, he pleaded for half will answer for the author's purpose. an hour, and then for a quarter of an
hour; when, just at the end of this pe“ Monmouth, N. 7. December 10, 1805. riod, on which hung his last hope, « DEAR SPR,
Mr, Tennent opened his eyes. They “ Agreeably to your request, I now then pried open luis mouth, which send you in writing the remarkable was stif so as to get a quill into it, account, which I sometime since gave through which some liquid was conyou verbally, respecting your good veyed into the stomach, and he by de. friend, my worthy predecessor, the late grees recovered. Rev. William Tennent, of this place.
« This account, as intimated be. In a very free and feeling conversa fore, Mr. Tennent said he had receivtion on religion, and on the future ed from his friends. , I said to him, rest and blessedness of the people of "Sir, you seem to be one indeed raisGod, (while travelling together from ed from the dead, and may tell us Monmouth to Princeton) I mentioned what it is to die, and what you were to Mr. Tennent that I should be highisensible of while in that state.' He - ly gratified in hearing, from his own replied in the following words : As mouth, an account of the trance which to dying-I found my fever increase, he was said to have been in, unless and I became weaker and weaker, the relation would be disagreeable to until, all at once, I found myself in himself. After a short silence, he heaven; as I thought. I saw no proceeded, saying, that he had been skape as to the Deity, but glory all uai
for further information as to the Tennent had heard. But when he words, or at least the subjects of was requested to communicate praise and adoration, which Mr. these, he gave a decided negative,
adding, “ You will know them,
with many other particulars hereetter able " Here he paused, as tho' after, as you will find the whole unable to find words to express luis views, let his bridle fall, and lifting up to his intention of leaving the
among my papers ;" alluding his hands, proceeded, "I can say, as St. Paul did, I heard and I saw things' writer hereof his executor, which all unntterable! I saw a great multi- precluded any further solicitatude before this glory, apparently in tion.* the height of bliss, singing most me lodiously. I was transported with my
The pious and candid reader own situation, viewing all my troubles is left to his own reflections on ended, and my rest and glory begun, this very extraordinary occurand was absut to join the great and renče. The facts have been stabappy multitude, when one came to me, looked me full in the face, laid ted, and they are unquestionable. his hand upon my shoulder, and said, The writer will only ask, wheth.
You must go back.!. These words er it be contrary to revealed went through me; nothing could have truth, or to reason, to believe, shocked me more ; I cried out, Lord, that in every age of the world must I go back! With this shock. I instances like that which is here opened my eyes in this world. When I saw I was in the world, I fainted, recorded, have occurred, to furthen came to, and fainted for several' nish living testimony of the realitimes, as one probably would natu- ty of the invisible world, and of rally have done in so weak a situa. the infinite importance of eternal tion.' “Mr. Tennent further informed
concerns ? me, that he had so entirely lost the
soon as circumstances recollection of his past life, and the would permit, Mr. Tennent was benefit of his former studies, that he licensed, and began to preach the could neither understand what was spoken to him, nor write, nor read everlasting gospel with great his own name. That he had to begin all anew, and did not recollect that It was so ordered, in the course he had ever read before, until he had of Divine Providence, that the writer again learned his letters, and was was sorely disappointed in his expecable to pronounce the monosyllables, tation of obtaining the papers here such as thee and thou., But, that as alluded to. Such, however, was the his strength returned, which was very will of Heaven! Mr. Tennent's death slowly, his memory also returned. happened during the revolutionary Yet, notwithstanding the extreme fee. war, when the enemy separated the bleness of his situation, his recollec. writer from him, so as to render it tion of what he saw and heard while impracticable to attend him on a dying in heaven, as he supposed, and the bed ; and before it was possible to sense of divine things, which he there get to his house after his death, (the obtained, continued all the time in writer being with the American ar. their full strength, so that he was my at the Valley-Forge) his son came continually in something like an ec- from Charleston, and took his mother, stasy of mind. “And,' said he, ‘for and his father's papers and property, three years the sense of divine things and returned to Carolina. About 50 continued so great, and every thing miles from Charleston, the son was else appeared so completely vain, suddenly taken sick, and died among when compared to heaven, that could entire strangers ; and never since, I have had the world for stooping though the writer was also left execudown for it, I believe I should not tor to the son, could any trace of the have thought of doing it.'”
father's papers be discovered by him.
zeal and success.
The death of confidence. After a short time his brother John,t who had been he found his worldly affairs were some time settled as minister of becoming embarrassed. His the Presbyterian church at Free- steward reported to him that he hold, in the county of Monmouth, was in debt to the merchant be. New Jersey, left that congrega- tween 201. and 301. and he knew tion in a destitute state. They of no means of payment, as the had experienced so much spirit- crops had fallen short. Mr. ual benefit from the indefatigable Tennent mentioned this to an labours, and pious zeal of this intimate friend, a merchant of able minister of Jesus Christ, New York, who was on a visit at that they soon turned their atten. his house. His friend told him, tion to his brother, who was re- that this mode of life would not ceived on trial, and after one do, that he must get a wife, to year, was found to be no unwor- attend to his temporal affairs, and thy successor to so excellent to comfort his leisure hours by predecessor. In October, 1753, conjugal endearments. He smil. Mr. Tennent was regularly or- ed at the idea, and assured him, dained their pastor, and contin- it never could be the case, unless ued so through the whole of a some friend would provide one pretty long life ; one of the best for him, for he knew not how to proofs of ministerial fidelity. go about it. His friend told him
Although his salary was small, he was ready to undertake the (it is thought under 1001.) yet business; that he had a sister-inthe glebe belonging to the law, an excellent woman, of church was an excellent planta. great piety, a widow, of his own tion, on which he lived, and age, and one peculiarly suited in which, with care and good farm- all respects to his character and ing, was capable of maintaining a circumstances. In short, that family with comfort. But his she was every thing he ought to inattention to the things of this look for; and if he would go world was so great, that he left with him to New-York the next the management of his temporal day, he would settle the negociaconcerns wholly to a faithful ser- tion for him. To this he soon vant, in whom he placed great assented. The next evening
found him in that city, and before
noon, the day after, he was intro+ The following entry in the re- duced to Mrs. Noble.
He was cords of the church at Freehold, shows much pleased with her appearthe opinion of that church with regard to Mr. John Tennent's usefulness. ance ; and, when left alone with
“Lord's day, April 23d, 1732. her, abruptly told her, that he The Reverend and dear Mr. John supposed her brother had inform Tennent departed this life between eight and nine o'clock this morning.
ed her of his errand ; that neithA mournful providence, and cause of er his time nor inclination would great humiliation to this poor con
suffer him to use much ceremogregation, to be bereaved in the flow- ny; but that if she approved the er of youth, of the most laborious,
measure he would attend his successful, well qualified, pious pas charge on the next sabbath, and tor this age afforded, though but a youth of 25 years, 5 months and 11 return on Monday, be married days of age.”
and immediately take her home.
The lady, with some hesitation public worship. The design of and difficulty, at last consented, the walk was for religious medibeing convinced that his situation tation. As he went along, acciand circumstances rendered it dentally casting his eye on the proper. Thus, in one week, she child, a thought suddenly struck found herself mistress of his him, and he asked himself this house. She proved a most in- question : “ Should God in his valuable treasure to him, more providence take me hence, what than answering every thing said would become of this child and of her by an affectionate brother. its mother, for whom I have nev. She took the care of his tempo. er taken any personal care to ral concerns upon her, extricated make provision? How can I anhim from debt, and, by a happy swer this negligence to God and union of prudence and economy, to them?” The impropriety of so managed all his worldly busi. his inattention to the relative du. ness, that in a few years his ties of life, which God had called circumstances became easy and him to; and the consideration of comfortable. In a word, in her the sacred declaration, “that he was literally fulfilled the declara- who does not provide for his own tion of Solomon, that“ a virtuous household, has denied the faith, woman is a crown to her hus- and is worse than an infidel,” band, and that her price is far had such an impressive effect on above rubies.” Besides several his mind, that it almost deprived children who died in infancy, he him of his senses. He saw his had by her three sons, who attain- conduct, which before he ed the age of manhood; John, thought arose entirely from a who studied physic, and died in deep sense of divine things, in a the West-Indies, when about point of light in which he never thirty three years of age ; Wil- before had viewed it. He liam, a man of superior charac- immediately attempted to return ter, and minister of the Independ- home, but so great was his disent church in Charleston, South- tress, that it was with difficulty Carolina, who died the latter end he could get along; till, all at of September or beginning of once, he was relieved by as sudOctober, A. D. 1777, about thirty- denly recurring to that text of seven years old ; and Gilbert, Scripture, which came into his who also practised physic, and mind with extraordinary force, died at Freehold before his fa- « But unto the tribe of Levi ther, aged twenty-eight years. Moses gave not any inheritance, Few parents could boast three the Lord God of Israel was their sons of a more manly or hand- inheritance.” Such, however, some appearance ; and the father was the effect of this unexpected gave them the most liberal scene on Mr. Tennent's mind education that the country could and judgment, that ever afterafford.
wards he prudently attended to Mr. Tennent's inattention to the temporal business of life, still, earthly things continued till his however, in perfect subordinacldest son was about three years tion to the great things of eterniold, when he led him out into ty, and became fully convinced the fields on a Lord's day after that God was to be faithfully