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convinces the understanding, and wins the affections of the heart. . ..,
He used to write his discourses ; and, by constant practice, obtained such a facility of committing them to memory, that he wanted but a few minutes for this purpose : yet he never confined himself strictly to his notes; .. but was very successful in making alterations in the pulpit, suitable to time and circumstances. A chief part of his attention was devoted to the large flock oforphan-children, to whom he shewed the most tender regard and affectionate carè. He possessed a talent of conversing with children in an eminent degree, condescending to their very lowest capacities, and knowing how to keep alive their attention, to occupy their understanding and to make a deep impression upon their tender hearts. But still a larger 'field of useful activity was opened to him, when he was chosen, in 1778, to be deacon, or as. sistant minister, at the large parish of St. Peter, in Zurich, which contained about five thousand people. But few ministers can be found, who more constantly and conscientiously officiated, except a few weeks in sunimer: when the delicate state of his health rendered it ne. cessary for him to take a little excursion into the country. To the instruction of young people and the visitation of the sick, he devoted a considerable portion of his time, Under these circumstances, it is difficult to conceive how it was possible for him to keep up the most extensive correspondence, and to compose so many literary and religious works, by which he obtained celebrity, even in foreign parts : but it must be observed, that his time was exceedingly precious to him ; so that he was continually employed, wishing to redeem the very smallest particle, and not to lose a single moment. Even when at table, some books or papers used to lie near him'; and when taking a walk, which was his constant practice every day, he was always seen reading or writing. In his short excursions to the country, and even when he went to see some friends in town, his pockets were full of papers ; and he used to sit down at the very first table, and continue his writing. , He had, however, the happy talent to Euffer himself continually to be interrupted, and to keep up the most cheerful, conversation ; and yet, at the first Leisure moment, he could take up his subject, like one
who had not experienced the least interruption. In summer, strangers crowded to see him from every quarter, Though there was a considerable number whose only object was to gaze at him ; yet, on the other hand, many visitors afforded him no less pleasure than real instruction. Never, therefore, did he suffer his patience to be exhausted ; nor did he ever cease to treat strangers of every Tank and description in the most polite and respectful manner. Scarcely any one ever saw him in an ill humour, even when he happened to be deeply depressed ; he had such a command over himself, that suppressing his grief, he could most cheerfully receive and usefully entertain visiting friends or foreigners.
At the end of 1786, he was unanimously chosen to the rectory of St. Peter's Parish, in Zurich.'
Miri Lavater was exceedingly grieved at the vain ob. jections of late years so commonly made against the
inspiration of the Scriptures ; and especially against the 1 person, the character, and the work of our blessed Lord.
Some of the modern anti-christian writers took great pains to draw him over to their party ; but their united endeavours proved in vain ; he stood firm like a rock; neither flattering promises, nor frowning threatenings could move him ; and all his sermons, letters, and writings may serve as indisputable proofs, that, to the last, he continued to avow, in the most open and positive manner, his unshaken belief in Christ, and his most sincere and fervent attachment to the system of the Bible. In a letter, dated Nov. 24, 1794, he thus declares some of his religious principles to a friend, in contradiction to a report, that he had adopted the modern rational system of divinity: “I assure you, in the most solemn manner, that I entertain, to this very moment, the fullest conviction that the Bible contains a true record of the revelations of God. More especially, I believe in the supreme divinity of Jesus of Nazareth. Him I regard daily with renewed satisfaction and joy, as the immediate object of our religious worship: Him į revere as the utmost perfection which human nature can exhibit, and as the express image of the Godhead. I believe, with increasing intuitive knowledge, that no man can come unto the Father, but by and through him. I believe, that, through his person and mediation only, the human race can be
conducted to its proper destination, restored to its original dignity, and attain to the complete purpose of eternal love. It is he on whom I am daily more and more constrained 10 place an entire dependence. As a mortal man, as a helpless sinner, as a philosopher, I stand in need of
him. The more I examine all the different systems of | philosophy, the more I am led to adore Jesus Christ as
my Lord and my God. . Christ, or despair, is my only alternative, His incarnation,-his sufferings, death, and resurrection,-his close affinity to mankind, serve to dispel all my darkness, to supply all my defects." : .
At the commencement of the French revolution, Mr. Lavater, in common with multitudes, rejoiced at the pleasing prospect that the numerous abuses prevalent under the former government, would have an end ; that the rights of the people would be more respected, and genuine liberty established: but no sooner did he observe Liberty degenerating into licentiousness; no sooner did an account of the revolutionary atrocities reach' his ear, than he spoke most loudly and decidedly against it; and more especially, he denounced it as the grossest violation, both of divine and human laws, when the French put to death their late unhappy monarch.
When, in 1795, the first revolutionary movements appeared in the canton of Zurich, Mr. Lavater employed all the talents of his mind, and exerted all the powers of his eloquence, to assuage the fury of an unruly passion, to advise the mildest and most conciliatory measures on the part of the government, and to exhort the people, in the most impressive language, to the strictest observance of due respect and obedience towards their lawful magis.
When the total subversion of the Swiss constitution took place, in 1798 ; and soon afterwards that free and happy country, which, for centuries, had enjoyed the blessings of peace, was inyolved in all the dreadful calamities of war, Mr. Lavater's character shone forth with particular lustre. Without attaching himself to any party whatever, his constant aim appeared to be to lessen, as much as possible, the sum of human misery at this aweful period; to proniote, by all the means in his power, mutual union, concord, and peace; to prevent still greater mischief; to instruct and comfort his VOL. III.No. 59.
people from the word of God ; to impress their minds with the necessity of genuine repentance, of a firm and unshaken belief in the gracious promises of the Gospel, of fervent and unremitting prayer, and of a due improvement of their present afflictions. Los
ni pin · Meek and gentle as Mr. Lavater's general disposition was, he opposed, with the boldness and fortitude of a lion, all the acts of injustice and cruelty, which were committed, either by his revolutionary country men, or by the French invaders.: Nobly disregarding all fear of man, and trusting in divine protection, he addressed a letter to M. Reubel, who was then President of the French Directory. remonstrating, in the most spirited manner, against the lawless violence and shameful robberies perpetrated amongst a free, independent, and harmless people ; and it is remarkable, that Reubel dared not commit any personal violence against Mr. Lavater ; but condescended to send him a long answer, full of sophistical argument. Soon afterwards, when he had the mortification to see that some of the inhabitants of Zurich were suddenly carried away from their families, by order of the new Swiss government, he thought it neccessary to enter his protest against such proceedings. This so enraged his enemies, that they resolved upon his deportation likewise.
Mr. Lavater was so fully aware of this event, that some time before it took place, he prepared the following letter to his family and friends : «l'expect shortly to meet with the same treatment which others, more worthy than myself, have experienced. A system of terror once introduced, spreads like a fame driven by the wind. I expect every thing; and being prepared for the worst, fear nothing. That which is evil shall turn out for good ; and the worst for the best. God will give me tranquillity and fortitude to bear every thing. I shall suffer innocently. Be fully assured, that whatever they bring against me, they will be able to prove nothing. I expect, that I shall soon be privately arrested. In this case, let me intreat you to remain as tranquil as myself. God will not suffer me to be destroyed. I shall not, at least on this occasion, become the victim of Despotism; yea, I fully trust, my deportation shall be rendered a blessing to myself, to you, and to my native country! Let me, therefore, request you to attempt nothing for me, how
erer natural or needful it may appear to you. God will
What Mr. Lavater foresaw, soon came to pass. He was at Baden, for the benefit of his health, which had been much impaired. He had spent but a few days at that place before he was apprehended. On the morning of the isth of May, he was torn from the arms of his afflicted wife, and carried, by an armed force, to Basil ; where he was detained as a prisoner, in the house of the prefect. In this distressing situation he manifested the most manly and Christian character. His enemies accused him of having betrayed the interests of his country to the Russian government, for the sum of one hundred pounds; but, providentially, at the very time of his trial, a letter from Petersburgh arrived, which being opened by the prefect, demonstrated, in the clearest manner, that the sum in question was merely the price of some paintings, which the empress had purchased of Mr. Lavater : his enemies were thus constrained to set him at liberty. When he returned to Zurich, after a banishment of three months, he was received, as it were, in triumph, not only, by his friends, but by his fellow citizens in general.
Soon afterwards, however, a far greater calamity befel bim, which ultimately proved fatal: On Sept. 26, 1799, after a most bloody battle with the combined forces of Austria and Russia, the victorious French army retook the city of Zurich. At this crisis, Mr. Lavater was humanely relieving some 'poor neighbouring widows from the importunities of the French soldiery, whom he accommo. dated in his own house with meat and drink, when one of these ungrateful wretches discharged his gun at his benefactor. The ball entered his body a little below his heart, and went out on the right side. The blood rushed out from each aperture. His wife, children, friends, and beighbours surrounded him, tetrihed, lamenting, weeping, and loudly exclaiming against the perpetrator of this abominable deed; but he was resigned ; freely forgave his cruel enemy s. and, in the midst of excruciating pains, adored the chastening band of his Heavenly Father, whose unchangeable love he acknowledged even in this painful