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nature and the disease, slept pleasantly in Jesus, to whom pleasantly he was often given."
A few years after his settlement at Ceres, his health began to decline; and such was the progress of his debility, that it was with difficulty he could go through his ministerial work in that parish. In April 1710, having, without any application, or wish, or thought on his part, received a patent from her Majesty, Queen Anne, and an invitation from the Presbytery of St Andrews, the Synod of Fife, to whom the affair had been referred, dissolved his pastoral relation to the people of Ceres, and translated him to the Theological Chair in the New College of St Andrews. The exercise of his mind, in reference to this important change of situation and employment, was worthy of him; and he calmly submitted to the alteration, only in consequence of discerning evident tokens of the hand of God in effecting it. His inaugural discourse in Latin, which consists of an able refutation of an atheistical pamphlet, entitled Epistola Archimedis ad Regem Gelonem, was delivered on the 26th of April 1710.
Had it pleased providence to spare him, great hopes were entertained of his proving signally useful to the students. About a twelvemonth after his induction, however, he was seized with a dangerous illness, which obliged his physicians to take from him large quantities of blood. Though he recovered from the disease, his strength was never restored. On the contrary, his infirmities increased, and his animal spirits were, at the same time, exceedingly depressed by the imposition of the oath of abjuration on the ministers of the Church of Scotland, and by the disheartening prospect of animosities and schisms, as its probable results. In September 1712, he found himself laid on the bed of death, and it pleased God to remove him to eternity, on the morning of the 23d day of that month, in the thirtyeighth year of his age.
His deportment amid the approaches of the last enemy was uncommonly befitting a Christian and a minister, sustained and cheered by the hope of an unfading crown. The record of his demeanour and his sayings on a dying-bed, supplies one of the richest feasts of that description that have ever been presented to the Christian church in any country, or in any language. A deep sense of his own unworthiness, mixed with an entire dependence on the cross of Christ, and high admiration of the mercy displayed in redemption; a distinct consciousness of personal religion, and of that zeal for the interests of truth and holiness which he had discovered in his conduct, blended with a lively impression of his obligations to the free grace of God which had wrought effectually in him; sacred joys and hopes, that not merely supported him under poignant distress, but seemed, in a manner, to absorb every feeling of pain; the surprizing zeal and energy with which, amid much affliction, and in spite of the solicitations of friends, who urged him to spare himself, he commended the Saviour to those who approached him, and inculcated serious attention to their eternal interests
- these and other kindred features of character are pleasingly apparent in the narrative. Not satisfied with giving verbal advices to his wife and children, he dictated a long paper for them, full of appropriate instruction and consolation, and containing an impressive testimony to the truth and excellence of vital religion. While he uttered many expressions caleulated to impress the minds of clergymen, physicians, and acquaintances, that inquired for his welfare, he wrote letters to several young relatives at a distance; and as but few of his students could then wait on him, he dictated a letter to be read to them at the commencement of the next session, containing his last counsels and charge. In this epistle he exhorts them, as his dearly beloved, his joy and hope, to rest satisfied with nothing “short of saving acquaintance with the power of divine truth”-to prosecute their studies with zeal and diligence -and to beware of imbibing prevalent errors. “I recommend to you,” says he, “among human writings, for a true view of the mystery of the gospel, especially those of the great Dr Owen; but the word of God, in dependence upon the Spirit of God, must be your study and meditation day and night.” He recommends the ministry as the most noble, honourable, and advantageous work in which they could be employed.” “I am this day sure, from experience,” he adds, “that it is better to serve the Lord in the gospel of his Son, than to serve the greatest princes on earth in the highest station." A few minutes before his decease, when his powers of utterance had failed, a friend having expressed his hope that he was encouraging himself in the Lord, he held up his hands and clapped them, showing, by this significant gesture, his continued trust in the Saviour, and his joyful expectation of approaching glory!
Mr Halyburton's published works, beside the Memoirs of his life, written chiefly by himself, consist of Discourses on the Great Concern of Salvation, including his first sermon after his
ordination; a small volume of Communion Sermons; and his learned and able treatise, entitled “ Natural Religion Insufficient, and Revealed Necessary,” &c., with the above mentioned Oratio Inauguralis prefixed, and a few Essays subjoined—the most valuable of which is, “ An Essay concerning the Nature of Faith, or the ground upon which Faith assents to the Scriptures."
THE NATURE OF FAITH, &c.
CONTAINING SOME GENERAL REMARKS CONCERNING KNOWLEDGE, FAITH, AND
PARTICULARLY DIVINE FAITH, AND THAT BOTH AS TO THE FACULTY AND ACTINGS THEREOF.
All knowledge is commonly, and that not unfitly, referred to the understanding or intellective power of the mind of man, which is conversant about truth. Our assent to, or persuasion of, any truth, is founded either, 1. Upon the immediate perception of the agreement or disagreement of our ideas, and so is called intuitive knowledge. Or, 2. It results from a comparison of our ideas with some intermediate ones, which help us to discern their agreement or disagreement; and this goes under the name of rational knowledge. Or, 3. It leans upon the information of our senses; and this is sensible knowedge. Or, 4. It depends upon the testimony of credible witnesses; and this is faith.
Faith again, if it is founded upon the testimony of angels, may be termed angelical; if on the testimony of men, human; and if it is founded on the testimony of God, it is called divine faith: It is of this last we design to discourse, as what particularly belongs to our present purpose.
When we speak of divine faith, we either mean the faculty or power whereby we assent unto divine testimony; or the assent given by that power. Both are signified by that name, and faith is promiscuously used for the one or the other.