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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.
TO DEACON E. ATKINS.
Rutland, Feb. 17, 1817.
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 have 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
may we all be ready. I wish once more to see you on this side of the grave-but life is uncertain! Yours affectionately,
TO THE SAME.
Rutland, Jan. 16, 1818.
* You inform me of the state of Mrs. A.; I am glad to hear that she is in some measure recovered, and I would join with you in giving thanks to God for his goodness. I often send my imagination to Gand see the havoc death has made there. I travel from lane to lane, and I find but few alive. My contemporaries are mainly gone. We may say with great propriety, that the time of our departure is at hand. As to the fruit of our awakening, which you ask me about, I lament to say that the harvest was short, and our hopes not fully answered. We had but only twenty-seven added to our church. There appears to be a great degree of stupidity among us. and sinners bold in sin. But the Lord reigns. Some young people have lately died among us, which has excited some seriousness; I hope it will not be in vain. I feel sometimes discouraged and worn out with fatigue. I tell my people I wish they would release me, at least for a time, and employ some other preacher, that I may journey abroad. You know we are too apt to be uneasy.
I thank you over and over again for you.
ATTENDANCE AT THE MEETING OF THE GENERAL ASSOCIATION OF CONNECTICUT.
IN 1814 Mr. Haynes attended the session of the General Association of Connecticut, as a delegate from the General Convention of ministers in Vermont. On his way to Fairfield, the place of meeting, he visited the city of New-Haven, where he lingered a day or two, to enjoy an interview with the Rev. Dr. Dwight, the highly distinguished president of Yale College.
On his arrival, it was announced that the Rev. Mr. Haynes, of Vermont, would preach in the Blue Church; and at an early hour the house was filled. Mr. Haynes was introduced into the pulpit, and being very desirous to see Dr. Dwight, he carefully watched every person who entered in the garb of a clergyman, to see if he might be Dr. Dwight, whom he had then never seen. One came in, and another, and another, and he asked himself Can that man be Dr. Dwight? and he mentally answered-no, no—for several in succession. At length there entered a gentleman whom he pronounced unhesitatingly to be Dr. Dwight, and when he saw him ascend the pulpit stairs he was sure he was right. "How did you feel," said one to him afterward, "when you found you were to preach before Dr. Dwight?" "Oh," said he, "I learned long ago not to fear the face of clay."
"That sermon," says Professor Silliman, of Yale