Imágenes de páginas

wrap myself up in a small piece of paper, and have agreed with Deacon H. to carry me, post free, in his pocket. The main thing you want to hear about is the state of religion among us. Although, for the most part, stupidity reigns triumphant, yet there are hopeful appearances in some places. Deacon H. will tell you the good news from Swanton. There seems to be considerable attention in a great number of towns to the northward. Perhaps God has yet mercy in store for poor Vermont. The missionaries from Conn. have been of singular service. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him. We have, of late, a little inquiry among some young people about religion. A number sent for me last Sabbath to converse about their soul's concern. Five or six children and youth are crying out, "What shall we do to be saved?" take a little courage that these few drops may presage a shower. Pray for us that the Lord would carry on his work. We sensibly feel the frowns of Divine providence in removing Dr. Edwards from Union College. The prospects were promising. But the Lord reigns.


It has been a time of mortality for months past in the east parish in Rutland. A young man was thrown from his horse the other evening, and was killed almost instantly.

I am preparing another political discourse for the press, delivered on the 4th of July. I feel an aversion to preach, and especially to print, on the subject, but I find it unavoidable without giving offence.

I thank you for your correspondence. Pray write every opportunity. I hear from you with joy. What is the meaning of Zech., chap. v., 5-11 verses?

Yours, in the fellowship of the gospel, &c.



Rutland, Oct. 3, 1802.


Finding that the bearer had no letter for me was attended with some disappointment. However, I suppose you did not consider yourself indebted. We love to work for wages, and the sentiment will abide with us till we get to heaven. Mr. B. informs me that 'tis a time of coldness among you. This makes it hard studying and preaching. But, after all, perhaps it will be found at the day of judgment that he is most faithful who, out of right views, has done the most to prepare matters for that day. Yet the conversion of souls is pleasing to the benevolent mind, and will be a subordinate object of attention. We have nothing very special. A few individuals are serious. Let us prize even the day of small things. At Castleton there has been considerable attention to religion for months past. About twenty-six have been added to the church. In Ira, about three miles from here, a family is visited of late with the influences of the spirit, who have always neglected meeting and things of a religious nature. "Tis best God should so work as to make it evident that 'tis all of him.

The missionaries have been peculiarly useful among us; and, generally, met with a kind reception. I think that the missionary spirit that has appeared of late is an omen of good.

I have this day finished reading a fourth volume of Mr. Fuller, an ingenious European writer. You have doubtless read his "Letters to the Calvinists,""The Gospel its own Witness,""The Gospel a Faithful Saying," and the "Backslider." They are admired by the serious; and, I think, are worthy of a place in every minister's library,

I intended to have been at G. the second Sabbath in this month, but sickness I think will prevent. One of

my children, a daughter of fourteen, is very sick. God is correcting us. I have doubts of her ever recovering. I find I deserve chastisements.

I intended to have written more, especially more to the purpose, but weariness of body and mind prevents. 'Tis Sabbath evening-the fatigue of the pulpit and of my distressed family must apologize.

We live at a great distance, but would it be too much boldness for me to suggest, that, should we spend one quarter of an hour every Saturday evening at the Throne of Grace, to intercede for our own souls and the souls of our people, and for Zion in general, we might thereby be peculiarly present in spirit?

Yours sincerely,




THROUGH the instrumentality of Whitefield and his fellow-labourers, our own country was blessed with extensive revivals a little before the middle of the last cen tury. Owing to various causes, the fruits were in some measure blasted, and the churches were covered with a cloud of portentous darkness. In many parts of NewEngland, "religious awakenings," as they were styled, were regarded with a suspicious eye. The special influences of the Spirit were in a great measure withheld, and for half a century the church was enlarged chiefly by gradual additions.

But, near the commencement of the present century, copious showers of Divine grace began to be more fre

quent. Through the tender mercy of the Lord, these seasons of refreshing continued with increased frequency and power, till now a very large proportion of those who are members of the church seem to have been turned from darkness to light in revivals of religion. Respecting the operations of the Holy Spirit, Mr. Haynes had adopted the same principles as Edwards and Whitefield. His preaching from the commencement of his labours was distinguished for directness and unction, and was calculated to quicken the believer in his course, to rouse the impenitent sinner from his dangerous slumber, and to guide him to the Lamb of God as the only hope of salvation. He entered with all his heart upon the work of promoting revivals of religion. He possessed the talent of so dividing divine truth as to strip the sinner of all his vain pleas, and present vividly to view both his entire dependance and his obligation to obedience. One third of the term of his ministerial life had passed away previous to the commencement of these remarkable religious revivals, which, in this latter age, have been the glory of the American churches. In that period of lukewarmness and declension, he was not without seals of his ministry. From year to year he occasionally met anxious inquirers after salvation, who were aided by his counsels and prayers.

The church in West Rutland, when he was invested with the pastoral care, consisted of forty-two members, most of whom were advanced in life. The first year twenty-six joined by profession, and few additions were made in subsequent years. It was not, however, till the year 1803, that his labours were blessed with what is now regarded as a revival of religion. This was

ruly "a year of the right hand of the Most High." It will be remembered by many favoured churches-it will be remembered in other worlds. The Holy Spirit came down like a mighty rushing wind, bearing away all opposition. An account of this work of grace is given in the following letter to the pastor of the first church in Granville :

Rutland, April 5, 1803.


I have never taken up my pen with more satisfaction than now, as I am able to inform you of the prosperity of Zion. Since I have been in this place, for the most part of the time it has been a time of stupidity. Only about thirty have been added to the church for fifteen years. We have kept up prayermeetings once a week or fortnight during the whole time. The spirits of God's people have been sunk; but very few attended; our harps were hung upon the willows. Matters grew more and more gloomy till some time in November last. I was almost determined in my own mind to ask for a dismission, when it pleased God to arrest the attention of a very thoughtless youth, who on Sabbath evening opened his distress to me. We appointed a conference-meeting that week, and, to our astonishment, the house was crowded, and a great number appeared to be under deep impressions. The work spread from week to week, till it was difficult to find any dwelling-house that would hold the people. In one instance a large house was so crowded that the sleepers gave way and threw the people into the cellar. None received much harm. Not a day nor night in a week but people would crowd to meetings. The great inquiry among the youth and others was, "What shall we do to be saved?" Children of eleven and twelve years of age seemed to be more engaged about religion than they were before about their play. The minds of the people in general were attentive. My house has been often thronged with people who desired

« AnteriorContinuar »