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readily objected. Mr. Haynes then returned the question, 'What do you think it is ?'—'I believe,' he replied, 'that the essence of true virtue is natural affection} He proceeded immediately to expatiate on its importance in promoting the happiness of beings. 'Natural affection virtue T (Mr. H. repeated)—' Natural affection virtue? Then my old swine is full of virtue. She is so full of it, that, if I attempt to catch one of her pigs, she will tear me in pieces if she can.'"
March 28,1788, he went to Rutland, having received a call to the pastoral office in the west parish.
Rutland is a pleasant and fertile town, situate on Otter Creek, and is the county seat. The west parish, comprising an intelligent, industrious population, were harmonious in their invitation to him to become their spiritual guide. Being now in the meridian of his days, he brought forth to this people the fruits of a mind enriched with divine science, and imbued with the spirit of his Master. He had a deep sense of the awful responsibilities of the ministry, and was "determined not to know any thing among his people save Jesus Christ and him crucified."
Having, by patient and critical investigation, formed for himself a system of divine truth as he understood the Scriptures, he clearly and fearlessly taught this system to his congregation. Never did he wait to inquire whether a particular doctrine was popular. His only inquiries were, "Is it true? Is it profitable? Is it seasonable?" He seldom if ever preached a merely doctrinal sermon. The essential, humbling doctrines of grace were the seasoning of all his sermons. Often by a happy illustration he would place some great truth in a convincing light only by a few sentences. The Divine goodness in the eternal decree of election he thus illustrated:—" Does God give a sinner a new heart to-day? All say that he is good for this act. A sinner is plucked as a brand from the burnings, and a precious soul is saved from eternal death. If God formed the design of saving that sinner one day beforehand, he was good during a whole day for such a design. If it was the purpose of God a month or a year beforehand to renew that sinner's heart, he was good for a month or a year for his benevolent purpose. What if God determined from eternity to sanctify that sinner? Then he was eternally good for such a determination. This is God's decree of election; therefore his eternal electing love, instead of proving that he is a hard master, unanswerably proves his eternal, unchangeable goodness."
"Some say it is no matter what men believe. Is it no matter if men are damned?"—2d Thess. ii., 12. Such illustrations were as common almost as his attempt to preach.
He was singularly successful in filling the house of God with attentive and deeply-interested hearers. On Sabbath morning you might see nearly the whole population moving with solemn stillness to the place of worship. Neither the feebleness of age, nor the levity of childhood and youth, nor even the stupidity of inveterate wickedness, prevented attendance in the house of God.
One Sabbath morning, as he was passing by a devout woman of threescore years and ten, who had walked two miles or more on her way to the sanctuary, he thus accosted her after a brief salutation—" Why, Mrs. , you come constantly to meeting. You are
so aged and infirm, I wonder how you dare to set out on foot."—" O, Mr. Haynes," said the good lady, "I have but few more Sabbaths to enjoy here. I expect every one that I attend will be the last. I take so much comfort that I cannot lose one Sabbath, and that is the reason why I go. And besides, I know that He who gives me strength to set out is able to strengthen me on the way." One of the deacons in his church was never absent from the sacramental lecture except in one instance, and he was free to confess that even one solitary instance was a faulty neglect. He used to say, "I never heard a sermon from my minister without gaining something new."
Mr. Haynes was decided in requiring his own family to attend public worship, and to attend both parts of the day. If any one proposed staying at home one half of the day, he would reply, "If the devil can make one stay away in the forenoon, he is almost sure to detain him in the afternoon."
During the greatest part of his ministry in Rutland, the attachment of his hearers was unanimous and ardent. It was a disappointment to see a stranger in the pulpit. Some emulation existed between the two parishes in the town^ in respect to their ministers. Although Mr. Haynes was cordially welcomed by the people in the old parish, both to their families and to the pulpit, yet the young men, by way of pleasantry, would often remind the youth in the West Parish of their coloured minister! The latter would strenuously reply:—
"His soul is pure!—all white!
Mr. Haynes had but few correspondents, and his letters were evidently written in great haste. They cannot fail, however, to be highly appreciated, as they exhibit, in some instances, great originality; and especially as they manifest the humble, devoted Christian, and the faithful, persevering pastor.
Extracts from his Letters.
FROM MR. HAYNES TO DEACON ELIOT ATKINS, GRANVILLE, MASS.
Rutland, October 19th, 1795.
* * * We are well; for which we have reason to admire distinguishing goodness. It has been a very dying time, especially among children, the summer past.
My ministerial labours have been almost insupportable. We have but few ministers in this vicinity. I find that my strength begins to fail. I hope I shall be able to finish my course with joy, though infinitely unworthy. I am happy among the people of my charge as to union. I fear we have but little religion. We have lately procured a library in the society, and there is considerable attention to reading. I think sometimes, with pleasing satisfaction mingled with gloom, of the many happy hours I have spent under your roof. Whether they will ever be repeated God only knows, in whose hands are the lives of men. May we meet in a better world!
Yours sincerely, &c.
FROM MR. HAYNES TO THE PASTOR OF THE FIRST CHURCH IN GRANVILLE.
Rutland, October 1st, 1796.
* * * Experience alone can teach us the great difficulties that attend the gospel ministry. If we are faithful we shall have Divine approbation. With respect to religion in these parts, although the year past some towns have been remarkably visited with Divine influence, yet it is in general a very stupid time. I think I never knew infidelity more prevalent. As you observe, Paine has advocates. I have attended to all his writings on theology, and can find little else but invective and the lowest kind of burlesque. No candid reader will own him as reasoning fairly. We may rest satisfied that the Lord omnipotent reigneth. I find it more and more necessary to study divinity, and to obtain clear ideas. I attend more to reasoning on the subjects than formerly. The truth of Divine revelation is called in question. The doctrine of God's electing love is disputed—which tends to enervate [undermine] the foundation of rational religion. We have but few regular ministers ampng us, but we are happily united. I wish to hear from you every opportunity. Should Providence concur, I expect to be at
G next winter; but 'tis more than possible that I
may exchange worlds before that time. Remember me at the Throne of Grace. My heart wishes you success. The Lord make you faithful.
Yours sincerely, &c.
Rutland, September 15th, 1797.
* * * It has been a very dying time in this society and the places adjacent. Since last spring we
have buried about fifteen, chiefly children I
have mentioned it to the people in public, that perhaps God is correcting us for our neglect of family religion —that we take so little care to instruct our children in religion. I have just returned from a proposed ordination, at Granville, State of New York. The pastor elect was Mr. Nathaniel Hall, of Sutton, who had previously made a journey there, and was to return a week before the time of ordination. The council met, but the candidate did not appear, to our great disappointment, but much more so to the people. Mr. Hall is a