Imágenes de páginas

The preacher, now nearly eighty years of age, f«tained something of the intellectual vigour of better days. The descendants of his early friends regarded him as a relic, handed down from a generation which had gone to eternity. They hung upon his lips with unwonted pleasure. Now he might have adopted the remarkable words of the apostle (though his humble spirit would blush at the suggestion); "My temptation, which was in my flesh, they despised not nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Jesus Christ."

This was his last visit to the place of his earliest recollections, and a premonition of this was evidently on his mind. "I was led to notice," says his friend who entertained him, "that his mind was most constantly on the subject of death and the day of judgment. Not one hour passed without some express allusions to these events."

The preaching of Mr. Haynes was always distinguished for its appropriateness to the occasion. On meeting the congregation in Granville, whose fathers, his coevals, were nearly all of them in the habitations of the dead, he arose and addressed them from the following most appropriate passage. *' Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day/' Acts xxvi,, 22.


"All creatures are effects which declare a first causer. All finite existence, whether natural or moral, is the product of omnipotent power. The great wheels of Divine providence are turned round by the hand of God. The motions of our souls and bodies are alike directed by the agency of him who rolls the stars along. For 'tis a sentiment acknowledged even by heathen,—by Homer, Hesiod, and especially by Aratus, that'we are the offspring of God.'* With how much propriety, therefore, might St. Paul adopt the sentiment in the text!

"The points before us are these:—

"L Our continuance in this world is wholly owing to the help of God.

"1. Keeping people alive is ascribed to God- Deut. xxxii., 39: 'I kill, and I make alive.' Psal. Ixviii,, 20: 'Unto God the Lord belong the issues from death.'

"3. We cannot keep ourselves alive any more than •We can begin to live.

"3. Others cannot—physicians cannot—Asa's could not.

"4. None of the springs of nature commence without God. Every pulse, every breath the effect of Divine agency.

"5; God cannot communicate independent power to men.

"6. 'Tis not owing to what some call fortune, luck, or chance. Such things have no power, nor even existence.

"7. That it is by God's help we continue is evident from the many dangers to which we are exposed.

"II. We ought to be deeply sensible of this,

"1. This is an important* trait in the character of God's people,—Paul, Jacob, Caleb, David.

"2. 'Tis God's due. Not to acknowledge it is robbing him.

"3. Not to acknowledge God is practical atheism.

"4. God has given us the requisite faculties—eyes, ears, reason—and is calling us to take notice,"


"1. We should often take a review of past acts of God's goodness.

"2. We should not place our ultimate dependance on second causes.

* "n yap tat yaiaa tdjitv. Hemistic or half verse."— Ouut.


"3. God must help for time to come, or we must die. 'Boast not of to-morrow?

"4. How vile to take that help which God is giving us, and consume it on our lusts.

"5. We cannot expect God to help us much longer.

"6. Comfort in trials—God's help is sufficient.

"7. People live just as long as God chooses—then die.

"8. Goodness of God that has helped us to live so long."

The several heads of this discourse were sustained by apt illustrations, and affecting allusions to past arid passing events, with appropriateness to the occasion, and greatly to the delight and satisfaction of the assembly. This was the morning service. In the afternoon an agent addressed the congregation on " Home Missions." Mr. Haynes listened with deep interest till the preacher had finished his discourse. He then arose, and with great earnestness commended the cause of missions to the congregation, concluding his remarks with an amusing and characteristic anecdote. "A few days ago," said he, "I was expressing my astonishment at the progress made in the benevolent efforts of the day, and the amount of good accomplished by the American Bible, Missionary, Sabbath School, Tract, and Temperance Societies. A skeptic who was present interrupted me, and remarked, with some earnestness, that he believed the devil had got up all these societies. 'What!' said I to him, 'What! the devil in favour of the Bible,!—and missions !—and temperance] Has the devil met with a change of heart 1 He didn't use to favour such things, and I am sure he would not now if he had not met with a change. He must have been very lately converted.'"

The short time which he could spend there was actively employed in labours of love. He preached almost daily, either there or in the contiguous parishes. He spent several days in visiting from house to house, and thus renewed the recollections of early life. This was a service mingled with many painful emotions.

"'Twas sad to see the wonted seat of friends
Removed by death, and sad to visil scenes
When old, where, in the smiling morn of life,
Lived many who both knew and loved us much;
And they all gone, dead, or dispersed abroad.
And stranger faces seen among the hills."

There were certain places which he could not visit without awakening peculiar associations. In company with N. Cooley, Esq., he visited the old mansion where his master lived and died. It is understood that it was the first framed house erected within the bounds of the parish. Opposite to it there had previously been a dwelling-house adapted to the condition of settlers in the forest; the first story being built with stones, as a defence from the attacks of the Indians, and the second of durable logs. Mr. Haynes said to his attendant, "It Was The Intention Of My MisTress AND MYSELF TO RAISE THE HOUSE ON THE PRINCIPLES OF TEMPERANCE, WITHOUT STRONG DRINK."

Pointing to a huge stone in the chimney, he said, "I assisted in raising that stone, and in placing it where it now lies." He adverted to the broad, antique fireplace, where he plied his evening studies by firelight. He took a last look into the chamber which he occupied as his study after he commenced preaching the gospel. He walked over the fields which he had cleared, and ploughed, and reaped for many successive years.

The next object of affecting interest was the buryingground, where

"The rude forefather! of the hamlet sleep."

It cannot fail to attract the notice of the traveller by its elevated and retired location, and by its tombstones of purest white.

"I had a very interesting time with him," remarks his attendant, "in the graveyard. He pointed out to me, by the tombstones, many that experienced religion during the short time in which he laboured in the ministry in this place. He also pointed out many of the tombstones on which I could read the epitaphs of his own composition. One in particular attracted my attention; it was the first opened grave in the whole field. A child three years old is the tenant; and the epitaph, composed by Mr. Haynes in his youth, is as follows :—

11 was the first came here to He:
Children and youth prepare to die.'"

There is another sacred spot of ground—it is the place of the apple-tree, where, in early life, he found the Saviour to be precious to his soul. Though some of its limbs are decayed, the tree itself is yet alive, after enduring the blasts of more than eighty winters. It stands behind a gentle elevation of ground, and near it a granite rock rises a little above the surface. Hither he often came during his distressing conviction of sin;—here he found relief and hope in Christ;—and while in Granville he always made this the place of his private devotion and prayer. It was like Bethel, where Jacob lay down to sleep, and dreamed, "And behold, a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold, the angels of God ascending and descend

« AnteriorContinuar »