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and some of them very sinful disputes, rent the new congregations, and eat up almost every thing like genuine piety. The Sabbath was not respected, even by the generality of the members of the church, as God's commandment, God's promises, and the practice of all who are under the influence of living religion, demand, Church discipline was executed in many cases with a great deal of difficulty, in many cases altogether omitted, and in others, the offenders set the authority of the church at defiance, and were received as good men, nay, in some cases, as sufferers for the truth, by other denominations. Impressions made on men by the preaching of the word and other ordinances, in many cases, were not lasting, Numbers who had been received into the church as converts soon lost their first love, and in some cases soon assumed their former character of carelessness and profanity. In fine, the spirit of avarice, cherished and strengthed by the opportunity for speculation, and amassing a fortune in land, was extremely inimical to the spirit of the gospel. A sense of moral obligation, unless it was sanctioned by some legal form, which could not be evaded, was almost destroyed. When a congregation had helped a minister and his family to a few acres of land, or in other words had directed him to devote himself wholly to the world, as they were doing, they practically, and many of them avowedly, considered themselves as under no more obligation to contribute to his support. Ministers considered it also as a point of delicacy to preach the doctrine of the apostle,-"that God had ordained that those who preach the gospel should live of the gospel"-and some,

from mistaken notions, if not from worse motives, openly preached the opposite doctrine "that ministers ought to labour with their hands, and support their families by following secular employments, as other people do." Taking all these discouraging circumstances into consideration, Mr. Rice had frequent occasion to adopt the language of the apostle. See Cor. xii. 20, 21.

CHAPTER XIV.

LAST YEARS OF HIS LIFE.

BETTER wear out than rust out, appears to have been Mr. Rice's motto. In 1798 he ceased to be the pastor of a congregation, and ceased in a great measure to take any share in directing the judicatories of the churchyet neither his labours nor his usefulness were at an end. He moved to the county of Green, a new and frontier county, and resolved to spend his last days in visiting the vacancies, and assisting his brethren as opportunities offered. The state of religion in general, in this new county, first attracted his notice. "I found," says he, "that there were but few of reputable characters as Christians. There were a few Presbyterians, a few Baptists, and a few Methodists, and but few upon the whole. These all united would make but a feeble band to carry on a war against the devil, the world and the

flesh. Yet if a union, a good understanding, could be accomplished, something might be done-whereas, should we divide, we should weaken each other's hands and injure the good cause in which we professed to be engaged." All the brethren of the different denominations appeared to coincide with father Rice in these sentiments, but they were all too ignorant of human nature, or too much tinctured with party spirit, and likely also possessed too little piety, to act as these sentiments demanded.

In the summers and falls of 1805 and 6, under the appointment of the General Assembly, father Rice made a tour through the churches of Kentucky and lower parts of Ohio, comforting the saints, and trying to gather in some of the lost sheep of, the house of Israel. Two small pamphlets, entitled a first and second epistle to those who are called, or who have been called Presbyterians, will be monuments to generations of his affection and faithfulness on these occasions.

The year 1812 or 1813 may be said to have closed the public administrations of father Rice. He was at home from that time till the day of his death, by the mere decay of nature, confined to his own house. He had been often applied to by his brethren in the ministry, and others, for a short account of his life. In the winter of 1814 and spring of 1815, when he was incapable of writing with his own hand, and could only walk when assisted, he considered it his duty to comply with their request. A neighbouring brother attended as often as he could conveniently, and acted as his amanuensis. From the account thus received all the facts

respecting his private exercises and private conduct in the preceding narrative are selected; and whenever he is introduced as speaking, the very words are retained which he then uttered.

The narrative closes with these words:-") -"During these two years I have spent a good deal of time in reflection. When I look back as far as my joining myself to the church in full communion, I do not accuse myself of much outward vicious conduct. I do not recollect ever wronging a man out of a shilling, either by cheating him in a bargain, or by withholding from him his due when in my power to pay. When I had money which I owed, I always viewed it not as my own property, but as my creditors. I never indulged myself in lying-never was a profane swearer-was never drunk but once, and that was occasioned by my following an injudicious advice to assist the operation of medicine. I never gambled with any man. I never invent ed and spread false reports of others, though I have too often ignorantly propagated them when told by others. I do not remember that I ever envied a minister of the gospel for his talents and usefulness, or wished to bring him down on a level with myself. But on reflection conclude, that a man may experience as much and perhaps much more than I have done, and yet be a great sinner. Hence I feel a great reluctance that any thing that might appear amiable in me, or in my character, should be set off partially, lest some ministers or private christians should think if they are just as good as I have

"In this season of serious reflection, I recollect much sinful deficiency, much highly aggravated guilt in my intercourse with God and in my dealings with my fellow men. I lament my want of deep humility, reverence, and holy love, in my most fervent acts of devotion. My addresses to my fellow creatures have also lacked that tenderness, that compassion, that love to their souls, which are proper. I lament also my backwardness to introduce spiritual conversation among my fellow men, or to turn common conversation into a spiritual channel. I have too often neglected addressing families where I have lodged, or which I have visited, on the solemn things which make for their everlasting peace, and on those relative duties of life on which the honour of God and the prosperity of religion greatly depend. I have too often neglected to instruct the children and youth, and to urge upon them the necessity of early piety; which neglect in ministers and heads of families is very pernicious to both religious and civil society. I have too much participated in the criminal and great neglect of the souls of slaves. Though we live at the expense of these unfortunate creatures, yet we withhold from them a great part of the means of instruction and grace.Many indeed deprive them of all, so far as they can. This, added to that of depriving them of their unalienable rights of liberty, is the crying sin of our country; and for this I believe our country is now bleeding at a thousand veins.

"I have too often neglected to visit the fatherless and the widow in their affliction, and to relieve and comfort. my fellow creatures under the various calamities of life;

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