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Where are my votaries? Where my flatterers now?
Adien, those eyes, which made the darkness light.
When coxcombs flatter, and when fools adore,
D. D. on Religious Sincerity, and his Short Remarks on Miracles, are received. This new Correspondent will accept our thanks for his excellent communications. We shall feel ourselves particularly obliged by a continuance of his favours, through the friendly hand, that forwarded the above.
In the Remarks on the Death of Mr. Gibbon, by W. we are happy to recognize the hand of a former Correspondent, to whom we wish more frequently to acknowledge our obligations.
H. on Christian Faithfulness, exemplified in the Conduct of Daniel, shall appear in our next number.
We have received the well written Sketch of the Character and Exercises of Miss A. D. Communications of this kind are always peculiarly acceptable, especially from this Correspondent.
L. on the Effects of Human Apostasy, has just come to hand, and is placed on our files for publication.
PHILOLOGOS, No. 5, on the Decalogue, is necessarily delayed till our next.
AGENTS FOR THE PANOPLIST.
Messrs. CUSHING & APPLETON, Salem; THOMAS & WHIPPLE, Newburyport; W. BUTLER, Northampton; WHITING & BACKUS, Albany; GEORGE RICHARDS, Utica; COLLINS & PERKINS, New York; W. P. FARRAND, Philadelphia; ISAAC BEERS & Co. New Haven, O. D. Cook, Hartford; BENJAMIN CUMMINS, Windsor, Vt.; JOSEPH CUSHING, Amherst, N. H.; Mr. DAVIS, Hanover, N. H.; Rev. ALVAN HYDE, Lee, Me.; J. KENNEDY, Alexandria.
THE writer of these memoirs was greatly interested by these uncommon events; and, on a favourable occasion, earnestly pressed Mr. Tennent for a minute account of what his views and apprehensions were, while he lay in this extraordinary state of suspended animation. He discovered great reluctance to enter into any explanation of his perceptions and feelings at this time; but, being importunately urged to do it, he at length consented, and proceeded with a solemity not to be described.
man. I immediately reflected on my happy change, and thought, Well, blessed be God! I am safe at last, notwithstanding all my fears. I saw an innumerable host of happy beings, surrounding the inexpressible glory, in acts of adoration and joyous worship; but I did not see any bodily shape or representation in the glorious appearance. I heard things unutterable. I heard their songs and hallelujahs, of thanksgiving and praise, with unspeak. able rapture. I felt joy unutterable 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 recolsuperior 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 appeareffable glory, the impression of ed lifeless, seemed to me not which on my mind it is impossi- more than ten or twenty minble to communicate to mortal utes. The idea of returning to Vol. II. No. 2.
this world of sorrow and trouble, gave me such a shock, that I fainted repeatedly." He added, "Such was the effect on my mind of what I had seen and heard, that if it be possible for a human being to live entirely above the world and the things of it, for some time afterwards I was that person. The ravishing sounds of the songs and hallelujahs that I heard, and the very words that were uttered, were not out of my ears, when awake, for at least three years. All the kingdoms of the earth were in my sight as nothing and vanity; and so great were my ideas of heavenly glory, that nothing,
which did not, in some measure, relate to it, could command my serious attention."*
The author has been particularly solicitous to obtain every confirmation of this extraordinary event in the life of Mr. Tennent. He, accordingly, wrote to every person he could think of, likely to have conversed with Mr. T. on the subject. He received sereral answers; but the following letter from the worthy successor of Mr. T. in the pastoral charge of his church, W ill answer for the author's purpose.
"Monmouth, N. 7. December 10, 1805.
"Agreeably to your request, I now send you in writing the remarkable account, which I sometime since gave you verbally, respecting your good friend, my worthy predecessor, the late Rev. William Tehnent, of this place. In a very free and feeling conversation on religion, and on the future rest and blessedness of the people of God, (while travelling together from Monmouth to Princeton) I mentioned to Mr. Tennent that I should be highby gratified in hearing, from his own mouth, an account of the trance which he was said to have been in, unless the relation would be disagreeable to himself. After a short silence, he proceeded, saying, that he had been
sick with a fever; that the fever increased, and he by degrees sunk under it. After some time (as his friends informed him) he died, or appeared to die, in the same manner as persons usually do'; that in laying him out, one happened to draw his hand under the left arm, and perceived a small tremour in the flesh; that he was laid
out, and was cold and stiff. The time for his funeral was appointed and the People collected; but a young doctor, his particular friend, pleaded with great earnestness that he might not then be buried, as the tremour under the arm continued; that his brother, young gentleman, and said to him, Gilbert, became impatient with the
'What! a man not dead who is cold and
stiff as a stake! The importunate young friend, however, prevailed, another day was appointed for the bu rial, and the people separated. During this interval many means were made use of to discover, if possible, some symptoms of life, but none appeared excepting the tremour. The doctor never left him for three nights and three days. The people again met to bury him, but could not even then obtain the consent of his friend, who pleaded for one hour more; and when that was gone, he pleaded for half an hour, and then for a quarter of an hour; when, just at the end of this period, on which hung his last hope, Mr. Tennent opened his eyes. They then pried open his mouth, which was stiff, so as to get a quill into it, through which some liquid was conveyed into the stomach, and he by degrees recovered.
"This account, as intimated before, Mr. Tennent said he had receiv ed from his friends. I said to him, Sir, you seem to be one indeed raised from the dead, and may tell us what it is to die, and what you were sensible of while in that state.' He replied in the following words: 'As to dying-I found my fever increase, and I became weaker and weaker, until, all at once, I found myself in heaven, as I thought. I saw no shape as to the Deity, but glory all ua
for further information as to the words, or at least the subjects of praise and adoration, which Mr.
utterable? Here he paused, as tho' unable to find words to express his views, let his bridle fall, and lifting up his hands, proceeded, I can say, as St. Paul did, I heard and I saw things all unutterable! I saw a great multitude before this glory, apparently in the height of bliss, singing most melodiously. I was transported with my own situation, viewing all my troubles ended, and my rest and glory begun, and was about to join the great and happy multitude, when one came to me, looked me full in the face, laid his hand upon my shoulder, and said, You must go back.' These words went through me; nothing could have shocked me more; I cried out, Lord, must I go back! With this shock I opened my eyes in this world. When I saw I was in the world, I fainted, then came to, and fainted for several times, as one probably would naturally have done in so weak a situa
"Mr. Tennent further informed me, that he had so entirely lost the recollection of his past life, and the benefit of his former studies, that he could neither understand what was spoken to him, nor write, nor read his own name. That he had to begin all anew, and did not recollect that he had ever read before, until he had again learned his letters, and was able to pronounce the monosyllables, such as thee and thou. But, that as his strength returned, which was very slowly, his memory also returned. Yet, notwithstanding the extreme feebleness of his situation, his recollection of what he saw and heard while in heaven, as he supposed, and the sense of divine things, which he there obtained, continued all the time in their full strength, so that he was continually in something like an ecstasy of mind. And,' said he, for three years the sense of divine things continued so great, and every thing else appeared so completely vain, when compared to heaven, that could I have had the world for stooping down for it, I believe I should not have thought of doing it.""
Tennent had heard. But when he was requested to communicate these, he gave a decided negative, adding, "You will know them," with many other particulars hereafter, as you will find the whole to his intention of leaving the among my papers;" alluding writer hereof his executor, which precluded any further solicitation.*
The pious and candid reader is left to his own reflections on this very extraordinary occurrence. The facts have been sta
ted, and they are unquestionable, The writer will only ask, whether it be contrary to revealed truth, or to reason, to believe, that in every age of the world instances like that which is here recorded, have occurred, to furnish living testimony of the reali ty of the invisible world, and of the infinite importance of eternal concerns?
As soon as circumstances would permit, Mr. Tennent was licensed, and began to preach the everlasting gospel with great
*It was so ordered, in the course of Divine Providence, that the writer was sorely disappointed in his expectation of obtaining the papers here alluded to. Such, however, was the will of Heaven! Mr. Tennent's death happened during the revolutionary war, when the enemy separated the writer from him, so as to render it impracticable to attend him on a dying bed; and before it was possible to get to his house after his death, (the writer being with the American ar.. my at the Valley-Forge) his son came from Charleston, and took his mother, and his father's papers and property, and returned to Carolina. About 50 miles from Charleston, the son was suddenly taken sick, and died among entire strangers; and never since, though the writer was also left executor to the son, could any trace of the father's papers be discovered by him,
zeal and success. The death of confidence. After a short time his brother John,† who had been some time settled as minister of the Presbyterian church at Freehold, in the county of Monmouth, New-Jersey, left that congregation in a destitute state. They had experienced so much spiritual benefit from the indefatigable labours, and pious zeal of this able minister of Jesus Christ, that they soon turned their atten. tion to his brother, who was received on trial, and after one year, was found to be no unworthy successor to so excellent a predecessor. In October, 1733, Mr. Tennent was regularly ordained their pastor, and continued so through the whole of a pretty long life; one of the best proofs of ministerial fidelity.
Although his salary was small, (it is thought under 1007.) yet the glebe belonging to the church was an excellent plantation, on which he lived, and which, with care and good farm ing, was capable of maintaining a family with comfort. But his inattention to the things of this world was so great, that he left the management of his temporal concerns wholly to a faithful ser vant, in whom he placed great
+ The following entry in the records of the church at Freehold, shows the opinion of that church with regard
to Mr. John Tennent's usefulness.
"Lord's day, April 23d, 1732. The Reverend and dear Mr. John Tennent departed this life between eight and nine o'clock this morning, A mournful providence, and cause of great humiliation to this poor congregation, to be bereaved in the flower of youth, of the most laborious, successful, well qualified, pious pas tor this age afforded, though but a youth of 25 years, 5 months and 11 days of age."
he found his worldly affairs were becoming embarrassed. His steward reported to him that he was in debt to the merchant between 201. and 30%. and he knew of no means of payment, as the crops had fallen short. Mr. Tennent mentioned this to an intimate friend, a merchant of New-York, who was on a visit at his house. His friend told him, that this mode of life would not do, that he must get a wife, to attend to his temporal affairs, and to comfort his leisure hours by conjugal endearments. He smil ed at the idea, and assured him, it never could be the case, unless some friend would provide one for him, for he knew not how to go about it. His friend told him he was ready to undertake the business; that he had a sister-inlaw, an excellent woman, of great piety, a widow, of his own age, and one peculiarly suited in all respects to his character and circumstances. In short, that she was every thing he ought to look for; and if he would go with him to New-York the next day, he would settle the negociation for him, To this he soon assented. The next evening found him in that city, and before noon, the day after, he was introduced to Mrs. Noble. He was much pleased with her appearance; and, when left alone with her, abruptly told her, that he supposed her brother had informed her of his errand; that neither his time nor inclination would suffer him to use much ceremony; but that if she approved the measure he would attend his charge on the next sabbath, and return on Monday, be married and immediately take her home.