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this he may be considered particularly an example; and his attention to the improvement of his powers in oratory, may be prominently exhibited to the imitation of youth preparing themselves not only for the pulpit, but also for

any

other department of life. In our country, every youth of talent and correct deportment, has all the avenues of usefulness and influence opened before him; and no employment, even in the lowest mechanic arts, should be allowed to divert from the proper cultivation of the mind and address, those who have been endowed with powers which may be made productive of good to others. But especially in the case of young men preparing for the pulpit, is attention to the habit and ability of public speaking indispensable. Whatever may be the improvement of the mind, and the acquisition of knowledge, it becomes in the pulpit almost useless, without a reasonable facility of expression, and a distinct, intelligible, and impressive enunciation. The peculiar attributes of Dr. Bedell's oratory will be noticed in the proper place. The subject is here referred to simply that it may be seen how early he commenced that attention to its claims which resulted in such ripeness of excellence in the fulfilment of his ministry of the Gospel.

Soon after his graduation at college, in 1811, he commenced his preparation for holy orders under the direction of Dr. How, one of the assistant ministers of Trinity Church, New-York. At this interesting crisis of his life, it would be highly satisfactory to have had some adequate evidence of the development of that religious character which is so essential to a proper entrance on this holy work. But of this testimony we are entirely destitute. There is reason to believe that his own views had been turned towards the ministry from his childhood, and it is very certain that the wishes of his family were concentrated upon the same point. But at the time of his actual commencement of his preparation for it, there was no especial expectation of it in their minds, nor were they aware of any particular impressions of religion upon his own. His first attendance with them at the Lord's table, of which he had given them no previous notice, and which accordingly, in some degree, surprised them, was the first evidence which they received of any actual determination of his mind upon the subject of personal religion. He was remarkably averse through his whole life to the communication of his own feelings. Even with the most intimate companions and friends he abstained from conversation referring to himself, and it was only as they were drawn from him with some degree of skill and perseverance, that such statements were ever made at all. The knowledge of this accounts to us, for this ignorance of his state of mind and plans of conduct at this period of his history, even in those who were the most intimately connected with him in life. Destitute as we are of adequate information, in reference to the state of

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his mind as connected with these new circumstances of life, we have abundant reason to fear, from the very great change which subsequently occurred in the whole system of his views in regard to religious subjects, as well as from his habits of life after he had entered upon a preparation for the ministry, that there was a great deficiency in him of proper seriousness of character and principle in reference to this important step. And we cannot but adore the forbearing providence of that God who wisely and mercifully guided him through unexpected paths, to the adequate preparation for that high sphere of duty and usefulness which he ultimately attained, exhibiting thus his unsearchable riches of mercy to this individual soul, and his kindness and bounty to the many hundreds to whom this one was made the effectual messenger of grace and salvation.

His buoyant and animated temperament, and his graceful and agreeable manners at the period of life which we are now considering, made society attractive to him, and himself attractive to others. He was thus led into much of that gaiety of habit and amusement, which so generally marks the associations of the young in the higher classes of society in large cities. He was never at any period immoral in his habits, according to the standard of men, but he was very destitute of a serious mind, and of what he would have himself subsequently considered as satisfactory evidence of religious character. Much as it ought to surprise us, that a young man should ever be encouraged to present himself as a candidate for the ministry without manifest evidence of a renewed and spiritual mind, such, it must be confessed, was at the time in which he was thus received, far too generally the fact in the Church. His own views upon this great subject, it is well known, became entirely corrected, and he looked back with sorrow and shame, to consider the inconsistent state of mind and character with which he had approached the sacred office. During his course of preparatory studies, all that can be said of him is, that his standard of religious character and responsibility was not lower than that of many other young men at the same time under his circumstances, a time at which, it must be acknowledged with much sorrow, that worldly conformity was but too generally tolerated in Christian professors, and both communicants and ministers of the Church were allowed, without discredit, to mingle in amusements injurious in their tendency and positively sinful in themselves. Happy was it for Mr. Bedell, and happy for many souls beside, that the Spirit of the Lord brought him subsequently to a knowledge of his sin, and a total change in his character and habits! Happy will it be for his younger brethren, if, in looking forward to the same high office, they will receive the benefit of his later experience, and avoid the early course of folly, by which he purchased it so painfully for himself. There can be but little danger of the attainment of too much spirituality of affection, and too great

separation from the frivolities and corrupting influence of the world, for those who have professed to give themselves up to God, and especially for those who have separated themselves for the ministry of the Gospel of Christ.

Mr. Bedell resided in the city of New-York until he was prepared for orders. He was allowed here to enjoy the particular kindness and friendship of the Right Reverend Bishop Hobart, for whom, at this time, he entertained an affection and respect amounting, in his own expression, to adoration. The views in which he was educated for the ministry, were especially those with which Bishop Hobart's name has become so identified in the American Church, and of the justice of which, he had at this time no doubt. So great was his veneration for the judgment of this distinguished man, and so certainly true did he consider his views of doctrine, that he was accustomed, subsequently, to say in reference to his early ministry, that for its first years he "preached Bishop Hobart.” Circumstances afterwards led him, through the providence of God, to an examination of these views, and to the assumption of the very different ground which, in his useful ministry, he was known to occupy. But though he honestly followed out his own convictions of duty, in this important matter, no circumstances ever changed the affectionate kindness with which he regarded the friend by whose judgment he was guided in his early life.

He was ordained Deacon by Bishop Hobart on the

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