« PreviousContinue »
I conclude, by inserting the recollect that your observation following lines of an approved particularly respected the reviwriter.
vals of religion in Connecticut,
in which there appeared nothing Support in God's Covenant under troubles. strange, disorderly, or visionary. 2 Sam. xxiii. 5.
But judging from the narratives,
every thing was conducted with “ My God, the Covenant of thy love decency and regularity ; so that Abides forever sure ;
the enemies of the work could And, in its matchless grace, I feel My happiness secure,
say nothing against it, but what
was equally against the religion
Pray now, sister, inquire what
is implied in your observation, Thy servants all aspire.
and what it is that you so much 3.
dread! Permit me to assist you Since thou, the everlasting God,
in this inquiry, and lay open My Father art become ;
the subject before your mind. Jesus my guardian and my friend,
Doubtless, you will remember, And heaven my final home;
that the narratives above menI welcome all thy sov'reign will;
tioned assured us, that the effects For all that will is love :
of these revivais were of such And when I know not what thou dost, a happy nature, as to furnish inI wait the light above.
dubitable evidence that they 5. Thy Covenant the last accent claims
were the work of the divine spirOf this poor falt'ring tongue ;
it. The vain became serious, And that shall the first notes employ
the vicious were reformed, the Of my celestial song."
negligent were disposed to social C. A. and religious duties, and those
who were the subjects of the
work, became more orderly and LETTER III.
useful members of society, and From Shaphan to his Sister. entertained a humble hope of Belfast, August 26, 1804. future happiness and glory.
These are the natural fruits of DEAR SISTER,
true religion. In things of this
you received my last in pear when implanted in the good part, I am induced to write heart. Then what you so much you again. You once observed, dread, and are determined so when speaking of the Connecti-strenuously to oppose, is the cut Evangelical Magazine, that work of God's spirit in alarmyou was very much displeased ing, convincing, reforming, and with the narratives given in it of renewing sinners to the knowlreligious revivals. You added, edge and obedience of the truth. “I expect there will be a revival From the above statement, in amongst us before long, the peo- connection with your observaple have become so abominably tion, it seems that there is nothwicked; but there is nothing ing you so much dread, as to that I more dread, or would so have vicious men become virtustrenuously oppose.” You will For instance; to have the
drunkard become a sober man, have sinners repent of their the liar a man of truth, the knave transgressions and believe in an honest man, the profane Christ :-You dread to have a swearer a man of decent and so- man love his neighbor as himber language, and unkind, slan-self, to receive and suffer wrong derous, and quarrelsome neigh- with meekness, to forgive injubors to amicably settle all their ries, and wish well to all men. disputes, and live in friendship You dread to have sinners and mutual kindness.
freed from the condemnation of There is nothing you more
God's law and the dominion of dread than to have people faith- sin : You dread to have them ful in the discharge of all rela- enjoy the blessedness of a partive duties. For example ; to doned state and the hopes of have masters lenient and ser- heaven : You dread to have them vants faithful, parents attentive escape the perdition of the unto the spiritual and best good of godly and obtain a crown of untheir children, and children du- fading glory in the world to tiful and kind to their parents:
You say the is nothNothing you more dread than to ing you so much dread as these see husbands and wives live in things, when you declare that peace, and be mutual helps and you dread a revival of religion comforts in their way through more than any thing else ; for life; or rulers to rule in right- these things are the happy efeousness and in the fear of the fects of a genuine revival of reLord, and people to lead quiet ligion ; they are either implied and peaceable lives.
in it, or directly flow from it. There is nothing you more You not only dread, but are dedread' than to have irreligious termined most strenuously to men become attentive to the du- oppose these things ; that is, to ties of religion. To particular- oppose virtue, the present welize ; you dread to have sinners | fare of mankind, their eternal become prayerful, to read the salvation, and the glory of God. scriptures, and constantly attend As you are resolved to oppose public worship :-You dread to the cause of virtue and happihave the sabbath observed by ness, you must of course lend those who have profaned it, and your assistance to build up the the worship of God to be set up kingdom of sin and misery. in the houses of your prayerless Since you are determined to use neighbors.
your influence to prevent men There is nothing you more from becoming holy, you rejoice dread than to have persons who in their sinfulness. Since there are destitute of all moral good- is no other way to future happiness, enriched with the graces ness and glory but by being reof the gospel. To be particular ; newed unto holiness, you can you dread to have sinners love rejoice in the shame and endless God,' to have them thankful for ruin of your fellow-creatures. his mercies, patient under his You are strenuously opposed to frowns, submissive to his will, the advancement of Christ's rejoicing in his government, kingdom, you are therefore trusting his faithfulness, and pleased with seeing the kingdom obeying his laws:-You dread to l of Satan prosper, and can cheerfully lend your assistance for its than an increase of genuine repromotion.
ligion. When God builds up You say, there is nothing you his kingdom amongst men, we so much dread as a revival of are to expect that he will make religion. Not the most distres- sinners to see their danger and sing famine through the land- tremble, before they are brought Not the prevalence of the most to hope in his mercy. Instead loathsome and mortal pestilence of its being inconsistent with a -Not all the horrors of a wast- work of God's spirit, for sinners ing and bloody war-Not the to inquire with anxious solicitmost melancholy and shameful ude, “what shall we do to be death of all your kindred and saved?” it is no more than what friends—Not the sorest judg- we have reason to expect in evements of God imaginable-No, ry place where God is building not even the endless miseries of up Zion. This took place unmankind. According to your der the ministry of the apostles; own voluntary declaration, you men whom Christ sent forth to would choose that any one, or all preach his gospel ; and instead of these evils should happen, in of considering serious inquiry preference to a religious revival, and distressing solicitude in the or which is the same thing, in minds of an assembly about their preference to an increase of so- salvation, as an evidence that briety, truth, righteousness, mer- God was not there ; they recy, faithfulness, piety, and all joiced in the thing as an evident the fruits of God's spirit. display of divine power and
Are these your feelings, sis- grace and a prelude to a happy ter? Is this a just picture of change. And though many are your heart?
Is it possible ! disposed to believe that all is enAbiding by your declaration, you thusiasm and the work of an cannot deny it; unless you say, evil spirit ; when wicked men that by a revival of religion you
are convinced of their sinfulness, do not mean an increase of so- alarmed at their danger, and briety, righteousness and godli- through repentance and faith
But this you cannot say, come to hope in God's favor ; since your observation particu- yet this is wide from the truth, Jarly respected those revivals of if we are permitted to judge eiwhich we have a narrative in the ther from observation or scripmagazine. The uniform repre- ture. When people think themsentation there given us of these selves righteous and safe withreligious attentions is according out ever feeling their vileness, to the statement I have made. without self-loathing and selfNeither the accounts we have condemnation, without beholdhad attested by eye-witnesses of ing their danger from a sight of what passed where these revivals God's holiness and justice, we
took place, nor the permanent have reason to fear that they are effects they produced upon the settled upon their lees, that they minds and practice of people, have never seen their hearts in can possibly lead us to suppose the eye of the divine law, and that they consisted in noise, en- that their hope is the hope of the thuyiasm, disorder, fear, wild hypocrite. fire, or, any thing, more or less, I intreat you seriously to cena VOL. V. No. 6.
sider the import of the expres- | preached in many vacant towns sion which has been the subject and plantations, and had considof this epistle, and if it imply erable assemblies on week-days, the sentiments now stated, it as well as upon the sabbath. might be supposed, that your The scattered inhabitants geneown heart would be an object of rally evidenced a desirable enterror to yourself. Awful re- gagedness to attend their minisflection ! that the heart is oppo- trations. They also visited sed to every thing that is moral schools, catechised children, disly good ; to all that is suited to coursed on religious subjects render God's rational creatures with people in their families, permanently happy. And this conversed and prayed with the is the miserable and alarming sick, dispersed the Society's state of every person who is op- books, and as occasions present. posed to a work of divine grace ed, administered baptism and upon the hearts of sinners, in the Lord's supper. They formbringing them to repentance and ed three churches ; one in the the hope of glory. And I would state of New-York at Verona, in beseech you, with all who enter-| Oneida county ; two in Maine, tain the same feelings toward one of them at Albany, in the religion, I say, I would beseech county of York, and one at you, by the many solemn and Rumford, in the county of Cuminteresting things of the gospel, berland. to cease your opposition to right- Rev. Timothy M. Cooley and eousness and piety, lest you be Rev. Peter Fish labored in the found to fight even against God. state of New-York. Their mis. SHAPHAN. sions were limited mostly to the
counties of Oneida, Chenango
and Onondago, and continued i Report of the Trustees of the eighteen weeks. They united Hampshire Missionary Society. their counsels and either acted
together, or took different routs, T the last annual meeting as they judged would render
of the Society measures their services most beneficial. were adopted to obtain a legal | Mr. Cooley travelled thro' the incorporation. Those measures settlements on Black river to have been carried into effect ; lake Ontario, preached at conand an Act of incorporation ob- venient places as he passed, and tained confirming without alter made appointments, which he ation the Constitution of the fulfilled on his return. He then Society, and giving all the pow-visited the counties of Chenaners needful for its operations. go and Onondago, in which he
The last year four missiona- spent abont one half of the time ries were employed by the So- of his mission. Mr. Fish laciety. They performed their bored one third of his time in missions, two of them, in the these counties, and two thirds District of Maine ; the other of it in Oneida. tvo, in the new settlements of Rev. Joseph Strong and Rev. New-York. They were kindly Joshua Crosby performed their received and cordially welcomed missions in the District of by the friends of Jesus. They Maine, principally in the coun
ties of York and Cumberland.-, pidly formed as those in many Mr. Crosby labored several parts of the state of New-York ; weeks in the new settlements of of consequence require a greatKennebeck. His mission was er number of years to grow to for eighteen weeks, two of which such maturity as to be able to he employed Mr. Samuel Se provide for themselves the statwall to serve the Society in his ed administrations of Christiania stead. Mr. Strong's tour was ty. This circumstance increasfourteen weeks.
es the danger of their becoming During their missions, Mr. indifferent toward preaching and Cooley preached 108 times; other divine ordinances, or dibaptized 53 persons, of whom vided into different denominathree were aduits, and five times tions, so as never to unite in sethe administered the Lord's sup- tling and supporting gospel per. Mr. Fish baptized six per- ministers. But it is pleasing to
The number of sermons notice that the first attempts of he preached is not ascertained. the Society, in that part of the Mr. Strong preached 60 times, great missionary field, encouradministered the Lord's supper age the hope of successfully four times, baptized 15 persons, counteracting the threatening visited 8 sick persons and 4 tendency of their situation. Not schools. Mr. Crosby preached only have the people in those 84 sermons, baptized 28, chil- settlements manifested an indren and 2 adults, and adminis- creased attention to the labors tered the Lord's supper to 7 of our missionaries, on having a churches. Mr. Sewall preach- second or third opportunity to ed 17 sermons.
enjoy them; but in several inThe new settlements, under stances they have been induced many different circumstances, to maintain public worship reinvite the attention of missiona- gularly on the sabbath where it ries. Some are just commen
was before neglected. cing, having only here and Strong in concluding his Jourthere a lonely family, remote nal observes, “It is the general from neighborhood andesociety. opinion of the better part, where Others have twenty, forty, sixty I went, that the missionaries or an hundred families ; or even have done a great deal of good a greater number ; yet these so amongst them. In many places unconnected, so divided into dif- where religion was wholly negferent sects, the pious few a- lected, and the Sabbath profanmong them so irresolute and dis- ed, they now meet together on couraged, and others so indiffer- the Lord's day, when they have ent, as to enjoying regular gospelno preaching, and read and pray worship, as to be in no hopeful and sing God's praise. The way to obtain it, without assist- conduct of their brethren in this ance to unite and quicken them, part of the state in sending misto make proper attempts to ob- sionaries and usesul books atain the important privileges mongst them, is frequently which Christ has appointed for spoken of with great admirahis church.
tion and applause. They are The new seitlements in the astonished that the people here District of Maine are not so 12- should exercise such care an!