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The interview was short, and no opportunity given to awaken a spirit of controversy. He called again and again with a "Thus saith the Lord," till at length he gained his point, and the man was won to the love of evangelical truth, and shone bright for years as a member and an officer in the church, and was a friend and correspondent of Mr. Haynes to the day of his death. And from the papers in his possession at the time of his decease, some of the most interesting materials for this volume were collected.
An event now took place which greatly affected his condition. Among the pious youth in Granville was Elizabeth Babbit, who, in her deep religious anxiety, was greatly aided in her search after salvation by the counsels arid prayers of Mr. Haynes. She possessed a refined education for that day, and was employed as a teacher of youth in the centre of the town. After days and weeks of distressing darkness, she was led to embrace a cheering hope unto salvation. Now she was ready to inquire what she should render to the Lord for all his benefits. She could not but inquire what she should render to him who had thus been the humble and happy instrument of such an unspeakable blessing. Reverence for Mr. Haynes as her spiritual father seems to have laid a foundation for a connexion both honourable and sacred for life. Looking to Heaven for guidance, she was led, with a consistent and justifiable delicacy, to make him the overture of her heart and hand as his companion for life. By such a proposal he regarded himself as highly honoured. He commended the subject to God in prayer, imploring the guidance of his spirit. He consulted a number of ministers, and it is understood that he received their unanimous advice and sanction.
September 22d, 1783, his marriage with Miss Elizabeth Babbit was solemnized at Hartland, Connecticut, by the Rev. Samuel Woodbridge.*
ORDINATION OF MR. HATNES, AND HIS MINISTRY AT TORRINGTON.
In this place, where the early days of Mr. Haynes were spent, the question has been often proposed to his most familiar acquaintances, "Did you ever hear the slightest fault alleged against him?" The inquiry has been answered by various individuals—some his early schoolmates, others the connexions of the family which brought him up. The uniform answer has been " No." Not a fault on which the eye of recollection could rest as a visible stain upon his fair and lovely character. Such is the testimony of all who knew him during his residence in Granville, comprising the first thirty-two years of his lifeAfter preaching in' that place for the term of five years with very favourable reception, it was judged expedient that he should receive ordination as an evangelist. Accordingly the church, by unanimous vote, applied in the following manner to the Association of Ministers in Litchfield county, Connecticut, to ordain him.
* Mrs. Haynes was bom at Dighton, Mass., February 28,1763. Died February 8, 1836. She possessed an amiable character as a wife, a mother, and a Christian. Nine children survive. One, a daughter, has deceased. All the children are hopefully pious except one, and all but two have made a public profession of religion. The eldest daughter, Mrs. C., is settied in Rutland, and is a member of the English church. There are three sons. One is a farmer; Samuel is settled as a physician in the State of New-York; William has been engaged in a law office in Massachusetts. Three of the children are married, it is said respectably.
"We, the second church of Christ in Granville, having been acquainted with Mr. Lemuel Haynes from a child, would recommend him as a man of sober life and conversation, and in good standing in the church. And having employed him for several years past as a preacher among us to general satisfaction, we think he is, in some good measure, qualified to preach the gospel. It Is our earnest and unanimous request that this reverend . association would set him apart to the work of the ministry, by the imposition of hands, or by ordination at large, if they should think proper; as we think it would render him more serviceable to the church, and to the cause of the adorable Redeemer in the world.
"Per order of the church.
"Timothy Robinson, ) Church
"Granville, Oct. 12th, 1785."
The ordination of Mr. Haynes was solemnized November 9th, 1785. On this occasion his venerable instructer, the Reverend Daniel Farrand, preached a discourse from 1 Chron. xvii., 16, "Who am I, 0 Lord God, or what is my house, that thou hast brought me hitherto?" Reverend Mr. Knapp, of Winsted, offered the introductory prayer, and gave the right hand of fellowship; Reverend Mr. Thompson gave the charge; Reverend Mr. Hallock, of Canton, offered the concluding prayer.
Hitherto we have seen him move in a small retired parish, among the companions of his childhood and youth. Now he is sent forth an accredited minister of Christ. A door was soon opened for his usefulness in Torrington, Connecticut; Where he continued about, two years, preaching the gospel and administering the sacramental seals. Possessing peculiar talents to rouse attention to public worship, the assembly increased from Sabbath to Sabbath, till the house was filled. The congregation continued large during the whole term of his residence in that place. Several of the most respectable families from adjoining towns, particularly from Goshen, were his warmest friends, and constantly attended on his ministry. What number became the subjects of renewing grace, cannot at this remote period be even conjectured. The last great day will make the disclosure. The aged refer to his ministry with many delightful recollections. He was held in high estimation, especially by the church, and was esteemed by all classes as "an apt and very ready man in the pulpit." The mere mention of his name even now, after the lapse of half a century, seems to renew in their minds interesting associations. The church and society were strengthened by his labours, and many wished to retain him as their permanent pastor. The sensibility of a few individuals prevented, it is said, the accomplishment of their desires.
In reference to his labours here a president of one of the New-England colleges says:—" I had heard much of Mr. Haynes from my earliest remembrance, especially from my mother, who was a great admirer of his preaching." How many other pious mothers enjoyed his stated or occasional preaching during his short residence in Litchfield county, and how much they were influenced thereby in training up their son§ to.become luminaries in the church, "we know not now, but we shall know hereafter!"
Respecting his ministry here there is a striking fact, which I will relate in the language of a correspondent.* "There is a man of my acquaintance who feels that he owes much, under God, to the preaching of Mr. Haynes while at Torrington. He was disaffected that the church should employ him, and neglected meeting for a time. At length curiosity conquered prejudice so far that he went to the house of God. He took his seat in the crowded assembly, and, from designed disrespect, sat with his hat on. Mr. Haynes gave out his text, and began with his usual impassioned earnestness, as if unconscious of any thing amiss in the congregation. 'The preacher had not proceeded far in his sermon,' said the man, 'before I thought him the whitest man I ever saw. My hat was instantly taken off and thrown under the seat, and I found myself listening with the most profound attention.' That day was a memorable era in the life of this scorner, and the sermon was memorable for its piercing effects upon his conscience. Through the influences of the spirit of God, he was roused from his stupidity—convinced of his guilt and ruin—and led to look to Christ Jesus for salvation. He became a man of prayer and unexceptionable piety; and is now, if living, an elder in the church at the west."
Brief sketch of a Tour into the State of Vermont.
"Torrington, "July 26, 1785. Set out on my journey to the Stale of Vermont, accompanied by Mr. I*.
* Rev. Milton Huxley.