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Single Page Chapter IX

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magnitude are evidently attached. I introduce this appeal, to prepare your minds for the communication I am now compelled to make."

"My dear brethren, after many struggles and great reluctance, I am at length conquered. I am persuaded to yield to the direction and call of the Churches represented in General Synod, who has a right to command the services of her members and officiers; and I believe, therefore, that it is the will of our Lord and Master, who speaks by his Church, that I should remove to New-Brunswick, and there devote the short remnant of my days to the direct duties and objects of the theological professorship, and without delay. I let you know the result. Let it not offend any zealous believer to hear a Christian speak of struggles and reluctance, since self-denial and cheerful acquiescence ought always to be forward, and predominate. It is so; yet the infirmities of human nature claim some indulgence, as far as they may be considered to be free from sin. It is not always an easy task to ascertain the will of the Lord, with respect to providential events, especially when a train of difficulties has long continued to interrupt the accomplishment of any great object. The immediate welfare of our congregation was always uppermost upon my heart, and I could never feel a freedom to

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leave it, while my presence was judged necessary to its peace and prosperity. But, after a deliberate and disinterested view of existing facts, that critical state appears to be now essentially changed. The Lord has blessed us with sufficient and acceptable hlep; and, if it may please him to hear the fervent prays of his people, we may indulge the hope, that our beloved minister, who has for some time been much indisposed, may again have his precious health restored, and be able, at least, in some measure, to edify the Church with his labours, his counsel, and experience."*


[The "beloved minister" to whom the Doctor referred, was the Rev. Dr. John N. Abeel, who was at the time, as but too soon after became evident to all his friends, consumptively diseased. He lingered about two years, and then finished his earthly course. - Dr. Abeel was a native of the city of New-York. Having made sufficient progress in preparatory studies, at a school in Morristown, N. J. he entered Princeton College; - and his course in this institution completed, he commenced the study of law in New Brunswick, under the late Judge Patterson. - In the office of this gentleman he remained about a year, when, being made experimentally acquainted with the power of divine grace, he left it, and put himself under the care of Dr. Livingston, to study theology. Shortly after, receiving the appointment of a tutor of Princeton College, he repaired thither, and while engaged in the duties of this station, prosecuted and finished his preparations for the ministry, under the celebrated Dr. Witherspoon. He was licensed to preach the Gospel by the Classis of New-York, in the month of April 1793. His first settlement was in the second Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia, as a colleague with the Rev. Dr. Green; but in the fall of 1795, he accepted a call from the church of New-York, and removed to the city, where he laboured in the Gospel, until the commencement of the disease which terminated in his death. He died in January 1812, in the forty-third year of his age. - This eminent servant of Christ was, indeed, a "beloved minister." His eloquence in the pulpit, mild, interesting, and persuasive, in an uncommon degree; his amiable disposition and unassuming manners; his affable and instructive conversation; his unaffected Piety; his vervent zeal, greatly endeared him to the people of his charge, and to the church at large. Many precious souls received the grace of God under his faithful preaching, who will be his glory and his joy in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ; - and his great and successful exertions in behalf of the theological school, ought never to be forgotten.]


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