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FROM MR. HAYNES TO DEACON ELIHU ATKINS.
Rutland, July 7, 1816.
Very Dear Sir,
Your kind letter has been received, and would have been answered long ago had not sickness prevented. Soon after the receipt of your communication I was seized with a most distressing disorder, which brought me to the borders of the grave. Five or six Sabbaths I was unable to attend divine service. But God, who is rich in mercy, has so far recovered me that, through great infirmity of body, I have been able this day to preach and administer the holy supper. I am fast recovering my health. You will see by my writing that I am in a weak and trembling state; you will scarcely be able to read my writing. You inform me of the death of many among you, but at the same time of some who have been raised from the dead. This in a degree turns our mourning into joy. * * * Mr. A. J. Bogue called on me last week; complains bitterly against the clergy; he tells me he has joined another presbytery, viz., under James Madison, which he likes better.t * * * You inform me of your new connexion, in which I wish you God's blessing. * * * The season among us appears gloomy; it is cold and dry. God has evidently a controversy with us. Remember me to Mrs. B. and her mother. I remember the last interview I had with their dear deceased friend; may the Lord support them.
t Mr. B. had been deposed by the Presbytery, and was now chaplain in the army.
FROM MR. HAYNES TO THE PASTOR OF THE FIRST
CHURCH IN GRANVILLE.
Rutland, October 28, 1816.
* * My health is better than when I wrote to you last, though it is far from being confirmed—probably never will be. I am however able, in my poor way, to perform ministerial services. My late sickness has greatly impaired my constitution. It is time for us to realize that the time of our departure is at hand. There is nothing very favourable with respect to religion in this town, though there seems to be a greater attention to meeting than formerly. In the east parish there are some drops of Divine influence. In many places in this state God is doing wonders, particularly at Westminster, Putney, Bridgewater, and Salisbury; at Middlebury the work is great; at Cornwall, New-Haven, Charlotte, St. Albans, Sheldon, Benson, and many other places. We hear good news from the westward; also from Massachusetts. Some begin to predict that the millennium draws nigh. * * * I thank you for the pains you took in your former letter to inform me of a number who had obtained hope among you, and of the deaths. I wish you would give further like information. I can never be weaned from G., the place of my long residence. We are threatened here with a scarcity as to worldly things. The latter harvest is chiefly cut off; how is it among'you? God's judgments are abroad in the earth.
Faithfully yours. *
P. S. I have just been reading a sermon of Dr. Lathrop's, of West Springfield, on the sixtieth anniversary of his ministry. He is eighty-four or eighty-five years of age. He is truly a wonderful man.
Remember me at the throne of grace. • s
Rutland, November 27,1816.
Yours by Mr. H., bearing date the 7th instant, has been received, and read with pleasure and satisfaction. It informed of your health and prosperity, and that of your family; that you had one added to your church; of the wonderful work of God at Sandisfield and other places. You inform me that the latter harvest is cut off among you and in Connecticut in a great measure. But, at the same time, if the cause of God flourishes and prospers, it is more than to have corn, oil, or wine increase. In the east parish of Rutland there is considerable attention to religion, but among us there is nothing special except stupidity and irreligion. Near by us, God is at work in a wonderful manner. In Fairhaven many are inquiring, "What shall we do to be saved?" Those that are stout-hearted and far from righteousness are bowing to the sceptre of grace. The work is begun at Castleton, seven miles from us. We almost hope we shall not be passed by. Three or four, and sometimes five hundred meet at a time. A few days ago a number met in Fairhaven for prayer, as they have done for some time every morning. But the minister, Mr. Cushman, was sick, and could not attend, and none were there that could attempt the duty of prayer. They were in distress to know what they could do. One, who was in great distress, proposed that he would kneel down and say the Lord's prayer if the rest would join. Accordingly they did, and. it had a blessed effect. The church at Fairhaven had been reduced to three or four male members. But God has appeared in a needy time.
You mention two deaths, Mrs. P. and Mrs. H. Did Mrs. P. become any more rational before her death? I remember the many days and nights I spent in that family in the time of her husband's sickness and death. Was Mrs. H. insane, or was it suicide in the aggravated sense? * * * My health is rather on the gain, though it is not as formerly—'tis not likely it ever will be. I have just received a request to cross the Green Mountains, and preach a dedication sermon at a new meeting-house lately erected. I contemplate to go if my health will admit. I feel almost worn out. We cannot expect to continue long by reason of death. Mrs. A. wishes to know whether I ever expect to visit G. again. My answer is, 'tis what I even long for much, and, should Providence open the door, I intend to; but you see life is uncertain, and she and I have become old, and it will not do for us to depend much on future time. Oh that we could often reflect on the words of old Barzillai, 2d Sam. xix., 34—" How long have I to live?"
I think much of being dismissed from my people, should they be willing, and have more latitude to visit friends, but am not determined. Should I live, I hope within a year to visit you; but all is uncertain in this life but death. * * * *
Your sincere friend and servant.
, LETTER VI.
TO DEACON E. ATKINS.
Rutland, Feb. 17, 1817. Dear Sir,
* * * I am happy in letting you know that the work still goes On in those places I mentioned to you in my last. On the first Sabbath in this month, nearly one hundred came forward in Castleton, and made public profession. No instance like it has ever taken place in these parts. Never did I see a work so powerful as the one in that place. Perhaps nearly as many more have obtained hopes. The work goes on in other places—and, what is wonderful, the Lord has come among us, though unworthy. The attention of people is called up, and some are rejoicing in hope. We have conferences every day or night this week. Our meetings are crowded. My labours hare been more abundant lately than ever they were since I have been in the ministry. Oh, that I could do the work well! I feel unequal to the task. I ask your prayers. Some begin to predict that the millennium is at hand. I think Mr. Flavel somewhere says, " When doves fly to their windows, look out for a storm." Sinners should take warning. No doubt there will be a great destruction among the wicked before that day, and many will be called in. I preached yesterday from Rev. xii., 7. I think the battle will soon be decided. The many expressions of friendship I have received from you I can never forget. Your deceased companion I often remember—may we all be ready to follow her.
I remain, as usual, cordially yours, &c
TO THE SAME.
Rutland, Sept. 25, 1817.
* * * I feel thankful for your communications, although they often contain melancholy tidings—I mean the deaths of friends. It is a remarkable time of health with us, only one adult has died in our society for about twenty-one months—three or four infants have been taken away. We have some attention to religion of late—about thirty have been added to the church—but we are too stupid. I hear that Mrs. A. is dangerously sick; I fear what will be the next tidings. I long to hear from you.
A melancholy accident happened at Middlebury this week. Professor Allen, of the college, fell from the top of the building, and soon expired; was heard to say, "I am a dead man. The Lord reigneth—let the earth rejoice." Just before he died he was heard to repeat, "The Lord reigneth." So exposed are we to death—