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and had a juft Value for their Writings: but an equal Refpect for many of the Divines of the Reformation, and in Truth to thefe he rather gave the Preference in his Judgment, on fome Accounts. He had a peculiar Efteem for the famous CALVIN, among the firft Refor mers; and among the more modern English Divines, hé had a diftinguishing Value for the learned Dr. OWEN, and for the great Mr. Howe, whom he feem'd in fome Regards to prefer above all: Though at the fame Time he used to express an Affection and Refpect for many others, as Dr. BATES, Mr. CHARNOCK, Mr. FLAVEL, Mr. RICHARD TAYLOR, &c. He very much approved the Affembly of Divines CONFESSION of Faith, and CATECHISMS; and in particular greatly priz'd the Affembly's shorter Catechism. However, ftill he had not fo learned CHRIST, as to take any Man or Sett of Men for his Standard, and to fubject his Faith to any Scheme of Divinity, or his Confcience to any Model of Religion, whatever, of meer human Contrivance. No; but Divine Revelation, as it is contain'd in the facred Scriptures, was what he repair'd to as the Fountain of Theological Truth, and made that the only Rule of his Judgment, in Matters of Faith and Worship; ever efteeming that a Rule fufficient, obliging, and limiting, both as to Principles and Practices in Religion. Guided by the Light of Scripture, he embraced those great and important Doctrines of the Reformation; the fame that are contain'd in the 39 Articles of the Church of England, and the fame that have been commonly profess'd and preach'd in the Churches of New England. Nevertheless he carefully avoided all Extreams; and in particular, equally oppofed Arminianifm on the one Hand, and Antinomianifm on the other, always wishing the Churches and Ministry of New England might be exempted from both: Yet he would peak charitably of fome Divines, that leaned to either of the Extreams, and always took Care to preserve à'Diftinction between Perfons and Opinions; being very fparing in his Cenfures upon the former, while he readily bore his Teftimony against the latter.
With fuch a happy Temper and Furniture of Mind, with a Judgment thus poiz'd and fixed, and with an establifh'd Character of Piety, he at first fet out in the World as a Candidate for the Miniftry; his Pulpit-Performances meeting with uncommon Acceptance.-There feems to have been a fpecial Interpofition of divine Providence, in his first Introduction into Roxbury Pulpit; which perhaps may be worth relating. And it was thus, as the Fat lies in the Memory of one of us, that heard the Account of it long fince. Mr. Walter had entertain'd Thoughts of travelling abroad; it's fuppofed, with a View partly to making further Improvements in Knowledge; and had actually bespoke his Paffage in a Ship for Ireland, or England. But it fo happen'd in Providence, that when the Veffel only waited for a Wind, he on a Saturday Afternoon receiv'd a Meffage from Roxbury defiring of him a Sermon on the Morrow. Accordingly, he then went, and preach'd there (as it was faid) for the first Time; greatly to the Satisfaction, both of Minifter and People. They had for a confiderable while been feeking a Colleague for their aged Paftor, the famous and venerable Mr. JOHN ELIOT (the fame who has ufually been celebrated as the American Apoftle) and among feveral very worthy Candidates, whom they had often heard, their Inclinations were fo divided, as to retard their Proceedings. But upon hearing Mr. Walter,they were inftantly very much united in him, and haftned to invite him to conftant Preaching among them, with a Profpect of Settlement in due Time; which, it was faid, occafion'd the putting off his intended Voyage. The good old Minifter was fo charm'd with this young Gentleman's Preaching, that on the first Day of hearing him, he ftay'd the Church after Evening Service, and was for putting it immediately to Vote, whether they would give him a Call. But the Honble JOSEPH DUDLEY Efq; (afterwards Governor) then prefent, notwithstanding he had conceiv'd a high Opinion of Mr. VValter, yet appeared in Oppofition to fo fudden a Motion, and perfuaded Mr.
Eliot to defer it for a while.-After a fhort Delay, he receiv'd an unanimous Call; the Brethren of the Church making their Choice on Lord's Day, July 15. 1688. and the Inhabitants of the Town, in publick Assembly, on Lord's Day, Sept. 9. approving and confirming it. Mr. VValter upon the Call given him, though it was then a dark and threatning Seafon, in the Reign of K. JAMES II. a profefs'd Papift, and in the Adminiftration of Sir EDMUND ANDROSS, Governor of New England, a Tool of the Court, and grievoudly tyrannizing over the poor People here, yet had the Courage to enter into the Miniftry, at fuch a critical Juncture, and devote himself to the Service of Chrift in these Churches.
On Wednesday, OЯaber 17. 1688. (in the 25th Year of his Age) he was publickly and folemnly ordained, with the laying on of the Hands of the Prefbytery. Mr. VValter himself (purfuant to the former Ufage among us) preached the Sermon on that Occafion; which was from 2 Cor. iv. 7. But we have this Treafure in earthen Veffels, that the Excellency of the Power may be of GOD, and not of us.Mr. ELIOT (then in his 84th Year) prefided in his Ordination, and gave the Charge. And though a Diftinction was wont to be made between the Characters of Paftor and Teacher, when two Minifters were together in the fame Church (one of them being ordain'd under the former Name, and the other under the Jatter) Mr. Eliot notwithstanding faw fit to join both Names or Characters in Mr. VValter's Ordination. And on their Return from the Solemnity, he took Occafion pleafantly to fay to Mr. VValter," Brother, I've ordain'd "you a Teaching Paftor: but don't be proud of it; for I always ordain my Indians fo."
After this, Mr. Eliot did not long furvive for on the 20th of May 1690, he died; having been Minister of Roxbury from Sept. 1632. and being worn out with Age, and with abundant Labours, in the Service of Chrift and Souls, as well among the Indians as English: But it was a great Satisfaction to him, that he faw his
People, before his Death, fo peaceably and happily fettled under Mr. Walter's Miniftry. And it is well known, how for the Year or two they were together, Mr. VValter ferved in the Gospel with his venerable Colleague,even as a Son with a Father, full of filial Duty and Affection; and what a vaft Efteem and Parental Love that ancient Gentleman had for his young Colleague, how he honoured him before his People, and almost intirely devolv'd upon him all "publick Offices of the Miniftry, from a Senfe of his fuperior Abilities. Mr. Eliot wou'd often make the Remark, that well beaten Oil was required for the Service of the Sanctuary; and to that, he used to compare Mr. VValter's Sermons. He would therefore feldom preach; that fo he might not hinder his People from the Benefit of his defirable Colleague's Labours, and might himself enjoy the Privilege of hearing him. This we find taken Notice of in the Memoirs of Mr. Eliot's Life, written above fifty Years ago, by the late very excellent Dr. COTTON MATHER; where we have the Pleasure of seeing Mr. WALTER thus characterised ;
"A Perfon young in Years, but old in DISCRETION, "GRAVITY, and EXPERIENCE; and one, whom the "Church of Roxbury hopes to find a Paftor after GOD's "own Heart." It follows, "Who being, by the una-, "nimous Vote and Choice of the Church there, become "the Pastor of Roxbury, immediately found the venerable ELIOT embracing and cherishing of him, with "the tender Affections of a Father. The good old "Man, like Aaron, as it were difrobed himself, with an unfpeakable Satisfaction, when he beheld his Garments "fpread upon a Son fo dear to him. After this, he for "a Year or two before his Tranflation, cou'd scarce be "perfuaded unto any publick Service; but humbly
pleaded, It would be a VVrong to the Sauls of the People, "for him to do any Thing among them, when they were Supply'd fo much to their Advantage, otherwife. And it's faid, the good old Gentleman, when he preach'd at any Time in the Morning, would excufe the Meanness
and Brokenness (as he call'd it) of his Performance, but would conclude with faying, My dear Brother bere will by'n'by mend all.".
Thus, Mr. VValter gave early Prefages of his future Eminence; and he has all along, from Youth to advanced Age, fhewed himself a VVorkman that needed not to be ashamed; a burning and shining Light, both in the Pulpit and out of it; and through a long Life, abundantly answering the high Expectations he had raised in his younger Days. He was Owner of all the valuable Qualifications, intellectual and moral, neceffary to confti. tute an eminent Character, whether as a Chriftian, or a Divine.
He certainly exhibited a bright Example of perfonal Holiness; which is of the firft Confideration, and the grand Requifite in the Chriftian Profeffor, much more in the Chriftian Minifter. He gave very convincing Evidences of vital Experience in Religion, to a high Degree. He liv'd the Chriftianity he preach'd; fhewing bis Faith by his VVorks, and having bis Fruit unto Holiness, in all its various Exercises. He was moft exemplary for Hatred of every Sin; and an Inftance of the correcteft Morals: appear'd ever devoted to the Service and Honour of Chrift; exprefs'd a deep Concern for the Advancement of his Kingdom and Intereft: manifefted an ardent Love to God, and warm Benevolence to Men; a great Mortification to the World, and Abstraction from earthly Concerns; an habitual Equanimity, and Contentment with his outward Condition; Refignation in Adverfity, and Moderation in Profperity; Freedom from Envy at others rifing Reputation, or flourishing Circumftances, and from all undue Elation with the peculiar Refpects univerfally paid to himself; was remarkable for his domeftick Tenderness, and Endearingness towards his People; for his Humility, and Modefty, which made him decline fome publick Honours that were offer'd him, and very much to avoid publick Appearances; was remarkable for an habitual, conftant Serioufnefs, Solidity, Veracity, and Up