« AnteriorContinuar »
Ox the second of September the Rev. Martin Powel of Westford, Vt. was ordained at Moores, the town adjoining Champlain on the west. Rev. Mr. Pettengill of Champlain made the introductory prayer, and gave the charge and the right hand of fellowship; the Rev. Mr. Morgan of Essex, Vt. preached a sermon on Acts xxvii. 31, and made the ordaining and concluding prayers. The scene was peculiarly solemn and affecting. Assembled in the open air, in a field surrounded by a wilderness, the friends of the gospel beheld the servant of Jesus inducted into the pastoral office. The town is new, containing only about 30 families. Last spring 13 persons were united into a church; since then God has made this desert to rejoice. In this wilderness the waters have burst forth. About 30 persons, it is hoped, have recently experienced the saving influences of the Holy Spirit. A man of considerable influence and respectability in this town, who had vehemently opposed the reformation from hatred to the doctrines of grace, has of late been impressed by the truths of God, and yields to that which he formerly resisted.
In 4 towns to the west of Moores, along the Canada line, the Lord is reviving his work, and bringing sinners out of darkness into light. A letter from Mr. Weeks states that the church in Madrid has received accessions equal to its number, when
it was formed last spring, that one infidel has lately been converted through the instrumentality of mis sionaries, and that many are under a conviction of their sin. In Stockholm many perceive themselves condemned by the law, and some have obtained a hope of salvation through the blood of Jesus. In Hopkinton, where the inhabitants were very stu pid, there is now but little said, except about religion. In Malone a serious attention to divine things prevails in every part of the town.
We have been informed that in several towns in the state of Connec tient the blessed gospel of salvation has impressed the minds of many. This is the case particularly with Litchfield and Goshen. To the church in the latter town one hundred persons have been added within a few months.
On the 16th Sept. Mr. Levi Parsons was ordained pastor of the east church and society in Marcellus, (N. Y.) Rev. Mr. Pomeroy of Brutus made the introductory prayer; Rev. Mr. Hyde of Lee, (Mass.) preached the sermon; Rev. Mr. Leonard of Cazenovia made the.com. secrating prayer; Rev. Mr. Higgins of Aurelius gave the charge; Rev. Mr. Wallis of Pompey gave the right hand of fellowship; Rev. Mr. Woodruff of Scipio addressed the church and people; and Rev. Mr. Clark of Milton made the concluding prayer.
On the eighth of July the Rev. Amos Pettengill of Salem, N. H. was installed at Champlain (Clinton County, New York.) Rev. Mr. Wooster of Fairfield, Vt. made the introductory prayer and preached a sermon on 1 Thes. 2 ch. 4th verse. Rev. Mr. Bogue of Georgia, Vt. made the consecrating prayer and delivered the charge. The right hand of fellowship was given by Rev. Mr. Weeks, a missionary, and the concluding prayer made by the Rev. Mr. Page, also a missionary.
The solemnities were attended on a small island in the Chazi river,
which empties into lake Champlain, where five hundred persons assembled, apparently devout and rejoicing in this interesting occasion. Before this time no minister of the Congregational order had been settled in any part of the widely extended region, which lies west of the lake. The society contains a hundred and forty men, many of whom are unusually engaged in the cause of the Redeemer. The church at the time of the instal lation of Rev. Mr. P. consisted of but five individuals; of late about twenty have made a public profession of religion.
Biographical Sketch of RICHARD DEVENS, Esq.
Who died Sept. 20, 1807, aged 86 years.
Good men, though dead, speak to the living by their example, when it is exhibited for their instruction and imitation. With this view we write the following sketch:
RICHARD DEVENS, Esq. was born in Charlestown, Sept. 1721. Of his ancestors, and the early part of his life, we have little information, except what we derive from his last will and testament. In this instrument he informs us, that he had to struggle with "great and unspeakable troubles," and that he was left in a peculiar sense a child of Providence, and dependent on his care. By the blessing of God, however, on his industry, he soon rose from his de presse circumstances, first to a state of comfort, and afterward to a state of affluence; and his prosperity continued till his death.
From a native strength of mind, quick discernment, careful observation, uprightness of character, and commendable industry, Mr. Devens, without the advantages of educa tion, became qualified to fill, with usefulness and reputation, many of fices of honour and trust in the town and commonwealth. Previous to the American revolution, and at different periods afterward, he sustained the offices of Selectman, Overseer of the Poor, Justice of the Peace, Treasurer and Representative of the Town, and President and Director of Bridge and other Corporations and Societies. He was a member of the general court at that critical and anxious period of public affairs in 1774, in those "times which tried men's souls," when they resolved themselves into a provincial congress: was an active member of that confidential body of men, the Committee of Safety; and after ward was appointed Commissary General of the state of Massachu
sctts, in the year 1775, and was annually rechosen to that responsible office so long as it was continued.
As a husband, parent and friend, he was affectionate and kind; as a counsellor in difficulties, wise and faithful; as a patriot, ardent, intrepid and active, especially in the early part of our revolution; as a public officer, upright and useful; as a Christian and a father to the poor, eminent and distinguished. As a Christian, Mr. Devens was a pillar in the church of which he was a member; a cheerful and liberal supporter of the gospel ministry; a constant and devout attendant on public worship, and the ordinances of religion. In faith he was a disciple of the old school. He embraced, as the truth of God, the doctrines of grace, as they are summed up in the Assembly's Catechism for these doctrines he was ever a firm advocate. He walked in the "old paths," which he deemed "the good-way." The doctrines, which he so firmly believed, and the efficacy of which we trust he felt in* the renewal and sanctification of his own heart, formed the basis of all his hopes of future happiness, and prompted him in the discharge of his Christian duties of piety and benevolence. His good works were the fruit and evidence of his faith; not the ground of his justification before God. No man ever appeared to have a deeper sense of the de pravity of his own heart, of the defects in his Christian life, and of the worthlessness of his own righteous. ness, than he entertained. His own striking words, which are copied from that solemn instrument, his last will and testament, follow: "I recommend my soul to Him who gave its having no one recommending qualification of my own, all my righteousness being but filthy
rags," through a total moral depravity of heart, the whole of my conduct being stained with spiritual pollution. I rest my hope of justification and resurrection to eternal life wholly on the mercy of God, through the merit and intercession of a glo. rious Saviour, Jesus Christ." This precious Saviour, we trust, he embraced in the arms of faith, with lively joy; and being spared, as was the pious Simeon, to a very advanced age, he could no doubt on good grounds say with him, "Now, Lord, lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, for mine eyes have seen thy salvation."
The other distinguishing feature in his character, his beneficence to the poor, which appears to have been the fruit of his Christian faith, is particularly worthy of our notice and imitation. In respect to his feelings and conduct towards the poor generally, and to the widows and fatherless particularly, he appears to have taken for his pattern, that eminent servant of the Lord, Job, in the days of his prosperity. Like him, he "delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and him that had none to help him. The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon him, and he . caused the widow's heart to sing for joy. He was eyes to the blind, and feet to the lame. He was a father to the poor, and the cause which he knew not he searched out." In consequence, "when the ear heard him, then it blessed him, and when the eve saw him, it gave witness to him." His known charities to the poor and unfortunate, and his contributions to various religious and other useful purposes, were remarkably liberal; and as he was anxious that his left hand should not know what his right hand did, we have reason to conclude that his private charities, which will never be known till proclaimed at the day of judg ment, were not inconsiderable.
There was one species of charity, the most valuable and fruitful of
benefit to the souls of men, of al most any other, and which he pursued to a great extent; and that is the purchase and dispersion of Bibles, and religious books and tracts, among the poor in various parts of New England, particularly in the frontier settlements. The number of books thus distributed at his expense can never probably be esti mated. It is presumed, from what is known, that the number would much exceed 100,000. God gave him the means to do good, and with the means a heart to employ them in his service, for the benefit I of his fellow men. His active benevolence continued to the day of his death. Rarely has a man died, at his advanced age, whose loss is so extensively and sensibly felt. But he ceases not to be useful now that he is in his grave. A liberal portion of the means he employed in doing good while he lived, are left in his will to operate in the same way now that he is gone. Eight bank shares of the United States Bank are bequeathed to the use of the poor of his native town, and an handsome sum to four religious so- ' cieties, for the purpose of aiding in propagating the gospel.*
Such a noble example of industry in business, of fidelity in office, of Christian piety and beneficence, it is hoped, will animate others whom God hath blessed with talents and wealth, to "go and do likewise."
"Blessed are the dead, who die in the Lord; from henceforth they rest from their labours, and their works do follow them."
To the fund of the Baptist Education Society, for the purpose of edu cating pious, indigent youth for the gospel ministry, ten shares in the Fire and Marine Insurance Corporation in Boston. To the Connecticut Missionary Society, ten shares. To the Massachusetts Missionary Society, ten shares. To the Hampshire Missionary Society, ten shares of the same stock.
PASTOR, and several other communications on hand, are postponed to give room for recent and interesting intelligence.
THE CHRISTIAN'S ARMORY.
MEMOIR OF THE
NOVEMBER, 1807. [No. 6. VOL. III.
REV. C. F. SCHWARTZ, LATE MISSIONARY IN
From the London Evangelical Magazine.
THE Rev. Christian Frederic Schwartz was born the 26th of October, 1726, at Sonnenburgh, in the New Mark. His father's name was George Schwartz; and his mother's maiden name, Gruner. The latter, who died during his early childhood, declared on her deathbed, both to his father and to the clergyman who attended her, that she had dedicated her son to the Lord; and exacted a promise from both, that they would at least lay no obstacle in his way, in case he should express a desire to be educated for the church.
At the age of eight years, Schwartz was sent to the town school, where he received many good impressions under the then rector, Mr. Helm; who, in his instructions in religion, affectionately recommended prayer to his scholars, and shewed how they might, in their own words, lay their concerns before God. Schwartz relates, in an account Vol. III. No. 6.
When the above mentioned rector was advanced to the situation of minister, and his successors paid little attention to the culture of the hearts of the youth under their care, Schwartz became again light minded. received confirmation from a clergyman, who was contented if his catechumens could answer his questions; but was not anxious to perceive in them a real change of heart. Although at partaking, for the first time, of the holy communion, Schwartz experienced some serious impressions, they were soon oblite rated.
He was afterwards removed to the school at Custrin, where God raised him many benefactors. But as he lodged with light minded scholars, his heart became more and more estranged from God, although he was not inattentive to external decorum in his conduct. However, even here, God did not leave himself without witness to him; for the discourses of the Rev. Mr. Stegmann, of Custrin, made strong impressions upon his mind; only he imagined it was not possible there to lead a religious life. He was also still destitute of a right notion of what true ligion is; besides which, he did not perceive the necessity of trusting in the Divine Strength, to enable him to per
He was afterwards entrusted with the tuition of the daughter of a magistrate, who had studied at Halle, and who expressed a great love and veneration for the teachers of that place. He lent him also some books, especially the "Blessed Footsteps of the ever living God," by A. H. Franke; which he read not without emotion, and which first -excited in him a wish to go to Halle.
He further observes, in the above mentioned account, that he had been diligent, but merely for the sake of vainglory; that, in a dangerous disorder, with which he was twice attacked, he had formed a resolution to devote himself wholly to the Lord; which, however, he soon forgot to carry into execution.
In the year 1746, he went to Halle, with a view to attend the Latin School of the Orphan
House; but his countryman, the Rev. Benjamin Schultze, who had been an English missionary at Madras till the year 1743, and now resided at Halle, advised him to enter immediately at the college, as he was already 20 years of age, and sufficiently grounded in elementary knowledge. He took his advice; and diligently attended the lectures of the Professors at the University, Baumgarten, Michaelis, Knapp, Freylinghausen, &c. while he lodged and boarded at the Orphan House. He was soon employed in the instruction of youth, and was likewise appointed to hold the evening prayer meeting with the servants belonging to the farm of the Orphan House. Both the instruction of the children and his prayer meeting were beneficial to himself. Also, by his intercourse with a pious countryman of his, and by faithfully digesting what he heard in the meetings for edification, which were held at that time, he was more and more confirmed in Christian sentiments. They had both been first awakened in the prayermeetings held by the Rev. G. F. Weisse, then inspector of the German Schools of the Orphan House.
It was at that time in contemplation to print the Bible in the Talmul language at Halle, under the superintendance of the above mentioned missionary Schultze. Schwartz, together with another student of this place, was commissioned to learn the Talmul language, in order to be employed in correcting the press. Although the printing of the Bible here was not carried