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complaint. During his last sickness the enemy was not al. lowed to buffet him at all. His sufferings at times were very intense, but he would not acknowledge that he suffered. “I can easily bear this,” he would say ; " it is nothing ; I joice that my time is likely to be shorter than I expected. I can not be thankful enough for the goodness of God, and your kindness.”
Thus this servant of God ended a life of labor, privation, and disappointment; and entered, we trust, upon that state of holiness and perfection, in the presence of God, which he had so long and ardently desired to enjoy. He died at Men. don, Monroe Co., N. Y., Dec. 26, 1828, in the 64th year
But few individuals, under all the circumstances which attended his life and character, have been more generally known in this State, and in a considerable portion of New England, than the one whose name is placed at the head of this article. He lived in a peculiar age of the country and of the church, to both of which his habits and manners seem. ed peculiarly adapted; and hence his popularity and usefulness were unquestionably great, in the different fields of labor to which he was called in the course of his ministerial duties.
The subject of this memoir was born February 11, 1747, at Swansey, Mass., where he continued to reside with his father, Mr. Elisha Cornell, until he was about twenty-five years of age. He then married to Mary Mason, and removed with her, and settled in business, in Lanesborough, Mass., where he remained until the year 1780, when he was ordained to the work of the ministry.
Eld. Cornell was made the subject of grace, as he supposed, when he was about nineteen years of age ; but for some reason did not connect himself with the church until about two years after. He was then baptized by Eld. Russel Ma. son, and united with the Baptist church in Swansey, his native place. Almost immediately after his connection with the people of God, his mind was deeply exercised with a sense of his duty in reference to the ministry. On the one
hand, he felt almost irresistibly impelled to commence preach. ing the gospel for the salvation of sinners; and on the other, he felt weighed down with a sense of his insufficiency, espe. cially in reference to the education necessary to qualify him "rightly to divide the word, and give to each his portion in due season.” In this state of mind he continued his walk with the church, exercising his gifts in prayer and exhorta. tion, on all suitable occasions, for about twelve years, when having determined his future course, and having passed the ordeal of examination and admission, he was ordained at Lanesborough, in 1780.
Immediately after his ordination he removed to Manchester, Vt., then a frontier settlement, where many people remained during the eventful period of the American revolu. tion, and where there was a “ Baptist Conference,” which had invited him to come and labor with them. Soon after the commencement of his ministry in this place, a church was regularly constituted, and he became their first pastor.
At this time when Eld. Cornell went to Manchester, there was a revival of religion in that place, and the church is understood to have received very considerable additions ; but at the close of the war many of the inhabitants, who had resided there but temporarily, removed to different places ; which materially affected the permanent growth of the church under his ministration.
It is understood, however, to have flourished under his preaching; and his labors in that place gave evidence of Divine acceptance, and satisfaction to the public. After remaining at Manchester about fourteen years, he accepted an invitation to take the pastoral charge of the second Baptist church in Galway, N. Y. This church had been recently constituted, and Dea., since Eld., Abijah Peck, had officiated in its public exercises ; but as yet there had been no regular pastor until Eld. Cornell was settled there, in 1794. Here he continued for five years, laboring faithfully and acceptably, the church prospering under his ministry.
At this time Dr. John Manro, a member of his church, having been ordained to the ministry, Eld. Cornell resigned the pastoral charge into his hands, and commenced a series of missionary labors under the patronage of the Massachu. setts Missionary Society, which he continued for three years, The first year he spent in what is usually called the Black River country, and Upper Canada; the second year princi. pally in Chenango county, N. Y.; and the third year in the western part of New York, and Upper Canada. In the course of these ministrations he formed an extensive circle of acquaintances, of a very dear and interesting character, which will long be remembered.
At the close of this period, in the year 1802, his health having become impaired, he went to Providence, R. I., for the purpose of regaining it. At that time the first Baptist church at Providence was in a flourishing condition, under the pastoral charge of Eld. Stephen Gano; and the Congre. gational church in that place had recently been left destitute by the death of its pastor, the Rev. Mr. Snow. The latter invited Eld. Cornell to preach for them, which he did for about a year ; at which time, a revival taking place, and most of the subjects of it receiving gospel baptism, the second Baptist church of Providence was finally constituted, from these and former members of the Baptist church, and some of the members of the Congregational church, where Eld. Cornell had been preaching. Over this church, thus formed, Eld. Cornell was again settled as pastor, it being the third instance of his being settled as pastor over churches newly constituted.
This church erected a large and commodious meeting. house, in which Eld. Cornell preached the first sermon, and, by a singular coincidence, the last, also, happening to be in Providence on a visit about thirteen years afterwards, when he preached, and the next day the house was carried away by a flood, in a terrible storm. The Bible belonging to the church was found floating in the river, and though drenched with water, and although it must have changed positions repeatedly after leaving the desk, when found it was said to remain open at the place from which the text had last been taken by Eld. Cornell.
After remaining at Providence about ten years, he return. ed, and resumed his labors as pastor of the second Baptist church in Galway, in which he succeeded Eld. Samuel Ro. gers. Here he continued about nine years, and then resigned the pastoral charge to Eld. Eugenio Kincaid, now a successful missionary in Burmah.
From this period to that of his death, between four and five years, Eld. Cornell was employed by the Hamilton Baptist Missionary Society, a part of the time as a missionary, and a part of the time as an agent for the Oneida missionary station. His missionary labors were principally performed in Columbia county, N. Y.; his travels as an agent in the western part of New York, and in New England. In this last service closed the labors of this pious, devoted, and in. teresting, servant of Jesus Christ, in the eightieth year of his age, and the forty-sixth of his ministry.
There was something singular and apparently providential in the time and manner of his death, which happened in strict accordance with his previously expressed wishes, at his residence in Galway, July 26, 1826. He had, contrary to his previous arrangements, unexpectedly returned home from Oneida county, on Monday evening, in good health. On Tuesday he complained of a slight indisposition, which, however, did not confine him to his house. On Wednesday morning he remained about the same: he had walked out and returned, and at about 10 o'clock, A. M., he was sitting and conversing upon some common topic with his son, Dea. Asa Cornell, when the latter, perceiving a sudden change come over his father's countenance, sprang forward, and caught him to prevent his falling from his chair; and thus he expired instantly, in the arms of his son, without a struggle, a word, or a groan, and slept with the saints of the Most High God! Such is the brief and imperfect history of the life and ministerial labors of Eld. Joseph Cornell the duration, variety, and extent, of which, alone, is deemed to be of sufficient importance to entitle him to this notice.
But there are other considerations which render his mem. ory peculiarly interesting. He was wholly self-taught. So illiterate, indeed, was he, at the time he commenced in the ministry, that it was difficult for him to read a sentence in. telligibly. Notwithstanding this, his language was general. ly well-selected, his arrangements systematic, and his illus. trations clear and lucid. He possessed a strong mind, and a discriminating judgment, which enabled him to steer clear of many of the troubles and difficulties which frequently dis. turb the placidity of the pastoral office. He seemed to be thoroughly acquainted with the avenues to the human heart, which enabled him frequently, in the course of his preaching, to make the most deep and lasting impressions, with the most familiar language and the most unlabored argument.
In a word, his entire devotion, fervent piety, and unremit. ting zeal, were apparent at all times in his daily walk and conversation, and secured to him the entire confidence of the Christian community. Unlike many of his age and circum. stances, in reference to literary acquirements, he was a warm and decided friend of education, and of those institutions, es. pecially that at Hamilton, which have in view the education of persons for the ministry. The writer of this article rec. ollects perfectly well being present at a ministerial confer. ance, nearly twenty years ago, when Eld. Cornell was also present, and warmly espoused the cause of education ; rendering, as one reason for his so doing, his own experience of the want of it, and the privation and embarrassment he had suffered as a consequence.
Eld. DAVID Irish was born in Paulingstown, Dutchess Co., N. Y., Dec. 21, 1757. He lived, until he was about seventeen years of age, in almost total ignorance of divine things. At that age, hearing that there was a reformation in an adjacent town, and having obtained leave, he went to meeting there on a certain day, to learn what a reformation
When he came to the place, the solemn appearance of the people most sensibly struck him, and he was even afraid of them. However, urged by curiosity, he ventured in, but was soon overwhelmed with conscious guilt, and went home con. vinced that he must be reformed, or sink to hell. He there. fore set about the work of reformation with such zeal, that, in a few days, he thought himself as good as any one.
But being provoked to anger by the unruly conduct of a beast with which he was at work, his tongue portrayed the mad. ness of his heart; a sense of his sinfulness rolled upon him to such a degree, that it brought him to the ground in des. pair. His good opinion of himself left him ; his anguish increased, until, slain by the law and made alive by divine