1. We may infer from the subject, that the gospel ministry is of God, and that we are to seek its welfare, and use suitable exertion support support.
The scripture and reason dictate that it is of so much importance, especially as it relates to a Judgment Day, we may conclude that God would not do without it, and we may see divine wisdom and goodness in the institution. Nothing more conducive of divine glory, and salutary to men, the preaching of the gospel.—Without these glad tidings proclaimed, the Incarnation of Christ is vain.
Nothing but opposition to God, and disregard to his glory, will make them indifferent to the preaching of the gospel. Rejection of Christ and his ministers, have commonly vice and open profanity, for their inseparable companions. The opposition that the impenitent part of mankind have made to the servants of Christ has doubt listen some measure had its rise from a consciousness that they must meet them at the bar of Christ to their disadvantage.
We may conclude that since the gospel ministry is so very useful, that will be continued to the end of the world.
2. When a faithful minister is taken away it ought seriously to be regarded. But few ways perhaps that God shows greater displeasure against people than in calling his ambassadors home. By this he threatens to put an end to his treaty of peace and become irreconcilable. It may sometimes be the case that God has no more chosen or elect ones among them. When Paul and Barnabas were preaching at Antioch, as may as were ordained to eternal life believed — then they departed. Acts 13. All the encouragement for a minister to preach among a people, so far as salvation of souls ought to be a motive, is the doctrine of election. After the death of a faithful minister, there is less of a people.
We may further observe when it is considered that we are to meet them no more in the house of God, to hear them declare unto us the words of reconciliation; but our next interview will be at the tribunal of Christ, to hear them testify, for or against us, how affecting the consideration! It is more solemn to die then if we had never been favored with the gospel ministry. People, whether they here or forebear, shown no too their joy or sorrow that there has been a profit among them. Ezekiel 2:5.
3. This subject affords a direction how minister should preach and how are people ought to hear, that is, with death and judgment in view. It is this that makes preaching and hearing a serious matter, and renders the house of God so very solemn. We must soon meet before the bar of Christ, I’m perhaps before the next Sabbath, to have our sermons and our hearing examined by him who is infinite and knowledge and in present and every congregation. Did we always consider these things, it would tend to abolish that coldness, drowsiness and indifference that too often attend the ministers of the gospel, and that formal spirit which is too apparent among hearers. How dreadful is this place! is a reflection suitable on all occasions, and more especially when we meet for public devotion.
4. The surviving widow when children will for a moment suffer a word of exhortation. Are you not in some sense his hope and joy? The Attended to smooth the rugged Road true death that he should meet you before the bar of Christ, And that you should be a crown of rejoicing in that day? If ministers and people are to meet each other before the tribunal of Christ, as having special business together, then we may conclude that this will be the case with particular families, such as husbands and wives, parents and children; you can say much about each other up on that occasion, having for so long the time composed one family on earth.
You who are this day call to mourn, must give an account how you have improved his public and especially this providence [that is, his death]. The present occasion, however Saalam, what appear more so at the great day. Consider that although he is gone to return Nellemore, get God the source of consolation ever lives–his promises are always new to the widow and the fatherless. God’s people always die in the best time, manner in place. Love only to take up the body and bury it, set your house is in order, and follow him. Manifest your love to the deceased by preparing to meet him, and make his heart glad in the day of the Lord Jesus. Contemplate the rectitude of divine government and a future world and be still.
Let children remember that you have a pious faithful parent taken away is an unspeakable loss. Your father has done much for your bodies, but we trust more for your souls; never, never forget his prayers and admonitions. Can you, dare you meet him at the bar of Christ in impenitence? This be the case, instead of those endearing and parental caresses that you have received from him in this life, he will join with the judge of all in saying, Depart! He has done for you and condemn you. Let your mother experience that tender regard and kind assistance during her short continuance with you as becomes dutiful obedient children. Make her heart clad by a holy life, and let your father lives daily before her eyes in your pious examples.
5. Let me say one word to the church and the congregation in this place: dear friends, I am not a stranger to those mournful sensations at the present melancholy Providence tends to inspire. I trust I am a hearty mourner with you and am a sharer in your loss.
By the foregoing observations you have reason to conclude that you have lost a faithful minister.
You can’t forget those solemn and affectionate warnings that he has given you from the desk: never those pious examples he has set before you. He has preached his last sermon. Your next meeting must be before the tribunal of Christ, Where are those sermons you have heard him deliver in this life Will come to view any improvement you have made of them.
Will you, my brethren, be his crown of rejoicing in that day? If you were his hope and joy in this life, you doubtless are still. It is with satisfaction we trust that he this moment looks forward to this day, when he expects to see this dear people want so committed to his charge; and doubtless he hopes to meet some of you as crowns of rejoicing. Oh, do not disappoint the hope and expectation of your Rev. Pastor. Manifest your love to him by imitating his holy examples and by having those heavenly instructions pretty so often inculcated always in your remembrance; and by preparing to give him joy in the day of the Lord Jesus.
Examine what improvements you have made of the gospel ministry while you had: and whether to great inattention has not had influence and it’s being removed. Have you ever experienced the power and efficacy of the gospel ministry upon your own souls? Have you by the Holy Spirit been formed into the moral likeness of the blessed God, and into the image of his Son Jesus? Or have you been contented with the mere form of godliness? Have you not true sloth and unbelief, neglected attending on the preaching of the gospel, during the residents of your pastor among you? Oh! what account will such gospel despiser will have to give another day. Consider, I am treat you, how dreadful it will be to have these things brought interview, when you come to meet your minister, who was once, & perhaps is now, an eye-witness of your conduct and will testify against you to your everlasting condemnation!
Your minister, though dead, now speaks. He preaches the most solemn lecture to us all this day on mortality.
You will, as it were, hear his voice when you look on the place of public worship, where he an you so often attended. When you look on his grave, which is here among you. And when you look to the second coming of Christ. Think often of that day. Let the Sabbath and the worship of God be still dear onto you; and remember him who has spoken onto you the word of God: who says follow.
MEMOIRS OF THE LIFE OF THE
REV. ABRAHAM CARPENTER
He was born on 23 September 1739 at Rehoboth, Massachusetts: was son of Mr. Abiel Carpenter of that place; who was a man of piety an industry; by which means his family received to religious education, the fruit of which was conspicuous in his children, especially his son, the subject of these memoirs, who dates ‘s conversion in the 23rd year of his age, when he became a member of the church under the pastoral care of Rev. Mr. Rogerson. He was married to Miss Elizabeth Bliss, daughter of Mr. John Bliss of Rehoboth, in his 21st year. They had 10 children, four sons and six daughters; their mother and six children only survive.
It is 24th fourth year he moved to Killingsly, in Connecticut, where he recited for eight years, and commenced a preacher of the gospel. Soon after he removed to Plainfield, New Hampshire, where you had a call to settle and the work of gospel ministry, which he accepted; any continued pastor of a church there for 15 years, and was much esteem by his people and acquaintances.
Some divisions are rising in the town respecting a place to build the meeting house, together with the great depreciation of numbers in the church, an ecclesiastical council was called, and for the reasons set forth above, thought it expedient to dismiss him from his pastoral relation to that people.
The church at the same time cordially united in, “Recommending him as on who had approved himself able and faithful in his work, during the time of his having exercised the pastoral care of the church among them.” The counsel at the same time concurred with the church and recommending their pastor, so far as their acquaintance what admit. This appears from a result Council left among Mr. Carpenter’s papers. He removed to Rutland, State of Vermont, March 13, 1789, and was again settled in the work of ministry, and discharge the duties to which he was called, to the great satisfaction of his people, and gain the love and esteem of all new him.
But few give greater evidence of this left to Christ in the souls of men than Mr. Carpenter, both in his public ministry and private department. He always discovered that simplicity ensure fullness, mixed with Christian sobriety, as endeared him to all his acquaintance, to those especially with whom he conversed, we may say without flattery, that he was a rare example of piety. His health evidently began to decline several months before his death, which at times impeded his public ministry. Love to his divine master and to the souls of men often urged him on beyond his strength. For some weeks before his death he was much trouble with a billious disorder, to which yet been much subjective, which greatly debilitated his constitution, but had in some Measure recovered; when he was seized with a violent diarrhea, which carried him off on the evening of 2 August, 1797, and is 58th year.
He was speechless for sometime previous to this accident; But while able to speak, manifested the most placid resignation to the will of God; earnestly exhorted others to prepare for death. He said,
He had no will as to living or dying, but chose to submit the matters to that God, to whom belong the issues I’ve life and death, but the great truths That he had preached to others, where those in which he could now venture his soul for eternity; that he had no desire to outlive his usefulness.
We trust he has fallen asleep in Jesus.