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“ Mark the perfect man and behold the upright!" Calm--submissive-satisfied with the government of providence-with the vicissi. tudes through which he has passed, in all his pilgrimage of labor and difficulty, of temptation and infirmity, perhaps of disaster and afflictionand animated by the grace of God, he hath met his trials with a dignified composure, he has maintained his steadfastness with firmness, and lived uniformly a life of faith in the Son of God. He arrives at the close of his warfare, cheered with the smile of Heaven--conscious of an unfeigned conformity to the will of God, of a mind formed on the principles of the gospel, and framed for the enjoyment of celestial pleasures, he is not afraid to die. The recollection of a life of faith and patience, and the fear of God, a firm persuasion of his interest in the approving grace of Heaven, and a confident expectation of final admission, through the merits of his Saviour, into glory, have disarmed death of his terrors; and with pleasure he welcomes the moment, of dissolution, as the best and happiest of his existence. Well he remembers, it is true, and he acknowledges the truth with humiliation, that once he walked according to the course of this world, and was subject to the spirit that worketh in the children of disobedience: lle recollects with sorrowful emotion, also, his numerous imperfections, since his entrance on a Christian course, and feels how justly he might often have been condemned, even in his correctest days, for sin and folly. But he recollects with no less impression, the mighty change that passed on him, when the word of life became effectual in turning him from the error of his ways, in reconciling him to the purposes of grace, and transforming him into the image of Christ. He reviews with gratitude the instances of his recovery, and re-establishment, when he had wandered out of the way, and of seasonable comfort and support, when his soul was almost sinking. He can say with truth, even in a dying hour; “ Hitherto the Lord hath helped me.”
With what pleasure may a good man in these circumstances, anticipate the joys of a future state!
It is no doubtful conjecture, with him, whether an eternity of happiness is prepared for the godly. The Scriptures have authorised him
“We know that if our earthly "house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.”. His faith has taught him long to consider Jesus the great high priest of his profession, as already passed into glory: And already possessing the kingdom prepared
for his saints, from before the foundation of the world! Cheering thought! It has often raised his drooping spirits in this thorny valley, and reinspired his courage in the most feeble hours of despondency. It sooths him now in his last conflict, in directing his eye to scenes of interminable bliss, into which he is sure to enter, whenever he takes a final leave of mortality.
Human conception falls infinitely short of the felicity of heaven. The veil is sufficiently turned aside however, to inspire our hope, to awaken our activity, or to reanimate our faultering courage, in the season of deepest, depression.
To attain to an immortality of purity and perfection, to be admitted into the immediate presence of infinite majesty,and numbered with the general assembly of the first born above, to join the immortal throng that surrounds the throne of heaven, with unceasing praises, and with celestial rapture cast their crowns at the feet of the Redeemer, form the imperfect representations of the bliss of saints in glory. On earth they performed the parts assigned them by infinité wisdom; either they passed their course in the valley of humiliation, or rose to stations of eminence and dignity; they explored the fields of science and shone with burning lustre the lights of human nature; or with babes and sucklings in respect to mortal wisdom, have only been instructed to know the true God, and Jesus Christ whom he hath sent. In every condition, they have experienced their conflicts with fresh and blood, and principalities and powers, and have obtained the victory. From every condition, having washed their garments and made them white in the blood of the Lamb, they have ascended to seats in paradise, are enthroned with Jesus and join the seraphic song-Amen, Hallelujah! Glory to God, and to him that hath redeemed us by his blood.
Among them, permit me to say, without waiting at present for other application, I think I behold the men, your worthy ancestors, and your cotemporaries who lived and died in the faith of the Son of God. Adorned, improved, ennobled by the graces of Christianity, rich in works of piety and goodness, happy instruments of promoting the kingdom of God in their day, and according to their station, of turning many to righteousness, they shine as the brightness of the firmament, and as the stars forever and ever. Blessed souls! With what pleasure have they assembled on those shores of immortality! Kindred in temper, in joys, in interests and pursuits, what raptures expand their bosoms, and lighten up their countenances, while the
look back upon the path through which they ascended to these realms of day, and recount the wonders of that grace which wrought effectually in them, in preparing them and bringing them to glory! The mysteries of inexplicable providence, that formerly obscured the sunshine of their pilgrimage, and sometimes wrung their hearts with sorrow, now lie before them transparent and resplendent. The solicitous inquiry, the anxious wish to interpret the will of heaven, in his unsearchable proceedings are now perfectly satisfied. They know now, wherefore it was needful for them to experience affliction and the cross in a state of trial. They perceive the benefits in which all things have issued; and adore the wisdom, which in most intricate circumstances, “Led them by a right way to a city of habitation, whose maker and builder is God.”
Among these happy circles is admitted to his reward, the excellent and worthy man, whom on this occasion we are called to mourn. He shone on earth with distinguished eminence among the faithful servants of Christ-Some of those who from this place passed into glory before him, were the fruits of his ministry_They have hailed him welcome to the blissful seats in heaven where every virtue is perfected and crowned. “ This is the man, they testify, the chosen instrument, whose doctrines first impressed our hearts, and taught us the way to God-- This is the man whose fervent prayers were answered in our conversion--whose luminous example, pathetic instructions, and skilful application of the word of God, inspired our hearts with the love of Jesus, confirmed our fortitude, comforted us on the way and pointed our feet in the road to heaven.”
From these considerations, my brethren, let us derive our consolation! I feel with pungency the stroke that has divided from me the companion of my youth, the partner in my early studies, and the friend of my heart. You cannot overrate his worth as a faithful and able steward of the mysteries of God to you. We shall see his face, and enjoy his usefulness no more. He is gone however to receive his reward-His soul has passed into glory-His flesh shall only rest in the grave, till the morning of the resurrection. Let us be ready also, and we shall meet him again where hallowed friendship burns, with unvarying perpetual flame, and death and disappointment never enter.
In the mean time, it is a tribute of respect justly due to his merit, and to your affection for him, to dedicate a moment to the commemoration of his virtues.
Dr. M'CALLA was born at Neshaminy, in Pennsylvania, on the 11th of July, 1748. Blessed with most excellent and pious parents, he was early instructed by them in the principles of the Christian Religion, and attended on this species of instruction, with uncommon expansion of mind and great seriousness of reflection.
He received the rudiments of his education at the grammar school in Fagg's Manor, in his native state, under the direction of the Rev. John Blair, where he acquired a taste for classical learning, which did honor to his preceptor, and displayed the opening of a refined and manly genius. At this place he was also distinguished for early piety, and was admitted to the communion of the church, in the thirteenth year of his age.
When properly qualified he was removed to Princeton, where by intense application, his constitution was endangered, and parental interference became necessary to prevent his falling a sacrifice to the ardor of his mind.
In 1766 he finished his course at College, and was honored with the degree of Batchelor of Arts, with the reputation of extraordinary attainments. Being now only in his 19th year, Mr. M'Calla was prevailed upon, by the solicitation of several respectable and literary characters in Philadelphia, to open an Academy in that place, for the instruetion of youth in languages and sciences. In this useful employment he acquitted himself with honor and with general approba. tion. In the mean time, in addition to his favorite studies of TheoJogy and Belles Lettres, he made himself acquainted with the science of Medicine, and the collateral branches of literature, and obtained a critical knowledge of the French, Spanish and Italian languages.
On the 29th July, 1772, he was licensed to preach the gospel, and received testimonials of their high approbation from the Rev. First Presbytery of Philadelphia.
His popular talents soon attracted the attention of several vacant congregations, who wished to obtain his residence amongst them as their pastor. He gave the preference to the united churches of New Providence and Charleston, in Pennsylvania, and was ordained their minister in 1774. In this situation he preached to great acceptance, till the commencement of the American Revolution; when a new field opened for the exercise of his eloquence, and he became peculiarly useful, in directing the views, and inspiring the patriotism of many others, as well as those of his own congregations.
After the commencement of hostilities, when the troops under the command of General Thompson were ordered to Canada, at the solicitation of several of the officers, he was appointed by Congress* to a chaplaincy to attend that corps. His opportunities for ministerial usefulness, however, were not equal to his wishes-For soon after his arrival in Canada, he was made prisoner in company with Thompson and several of his officers at Trois Rivieres.
After several months confinement on board of a loathsome prisonship,t he was permitted to return to his friends on parole, and was restored to his congregations in the latter end of 1776. But the tranquility he enjoyed here, was not long till it was interrupted by an order issued by the commander of the British army then in Philadelphia, for apprehending him on a pretence of his having violated his parole, in praying for his country. had timely notice of this order, and retired to Virginia. Here having received information of his release from parole by an exchange of prisoners, he returned to the uncontrouled exercise of his ministry, and at the same time took charge of a respectable Academy in Hanover county
But it pleased the head of the church, by a train of providences, to remove him once more to a station better suited to his inclinations in Christ's Church where in undisturbed retirement he pursued his beloved studies, and indulged his ample mind in inquisitive research. It has often been a subject of regret by Dr. M'CALLA's admirers, that his useful talents were confined to so limited a sphere. He was himself of a different opinion. His predilection for solitude, for the sake of study was such, that nothing but a strong conviction of impe
* He was the only chaplain appointed by Congress--By a subsequent arrange., nent, aplaincies were supplied by the commanding officer of each regiment.
† The prisoners on board of this ship were put to a scanty allowance of bad bread, and seldom a morsel of meat. Mr. M.Caila kept a shank bone of a ham for some weeks, which he scraped and shaved with his knife, long after it was stripped of every particle of flesh, and ate the scrapings to give a relish to his spoiled and worm-eaten bread.
While in Virginia Mr. M‘Calla married Miss Eliza Todd, second daughter of the Rev. John Todd, of the county of Louisa. By this marriage he had only one child to live, who afterwards became the wife of Dr. John R. Witherspoon, and died in the 27th year of her age, leaving one son.