« AnteriorContinuar »
bere but a part of the time; people were much scattered; some attending one meeting, and some another; but many spent the Sabbath in idleness, or in going from house to house, in open contempt of divine authority. The church was mach diminished; as some, who were the hopeful subjects of divine grace, united with neighboring churches.
Under Mr. Heywood's ministry, there was some special attention in 1803, vheo 11 were added to the church; and in 1813, when 13 were added. Mr. Heywood's ministry was closed by his death, Nov. 11, 1814 The whole number admitted by him, was 97 by profession, and 3 by letter.
After Mr. Heywood's removal, religion was in a low state. For three years, there were only eighit admitted to communion. Mirth and vain amusements much engrossed the attention of young people. Others, more advanced in life, were anconcerned for their souls. In this trying situation, the friends of the Redeemer repaired to the throne of grace. On the first Monday in January, 1816, the monthly concert of prayer began to be observed by the church; and has been attended ever since. There soon appeared some fervency in prayer, but still the ways of Zion mourned. The communicants were reduced to 10 males and about 27 females, when the Rev. Jabez P. Fisher began his labors here, the latter part of August, 1817. By his advice, the church soon appointed i weekly meeting for prayer, that God would pour out his Spirit here and in other places. But nothing unusual appeared, except the fervor of Christians in prayer, until the first of October. Then special attention began to be manifest. It soon increased; and some appeared to be brought into God's marvellous light. On Nov. 30, four were admitted to communion; one of whom had foriner hopes revived, the other three had been recently awakened. After this the work made greater progress; meetings were multiplied and well attended. New cases of conviction, or of hopeful conversion, were frequent. The work was not confined to age or sex. Persons from eight to sixty years of age have been the hopeful subjects. The revival appeared at its height in January and February. When most powerful, it was like a still small voice. No enthusiasm or disorder was seen. All the hopeful converts have been brought to see and freely confess the total sinfulness of their hearts, and their entire dependence on the sovereign mercy of God. They have professed to receive the doctrines of grace as the only foundation of their hope; and to glory in nothing, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. In some instances, opposition arose high against the work. But the Lord appeared, in great mercy, to subdue the hearts of some who were warmly opposed, and to bring them to the feet of Inmanuel. Some had peculiar trials; but found no peace, till they gave up all for Christ, and resolved to follow him.
One of the hopeful subjects has given in substance the following relation; which may be considered as a specimen of the work.
“I know not that I ever had any thing more than slight conviction of sin, till about five years ago. In time of mortal sickness, my mind became seriously impressed with the importance of being prepared to meet my God. I saw that I was a sinner; and that without pardoning mercy, I must perish. With this view of my condition, I begged that God would have mercy on me. But still I was not reconciled to the doctrines of grace. I could not consent to the doctrine of total depravity. It was too hurabling to my proud heart. I knew that I had sinned; but I was unwilling to admit that I was by nature a child of wrath. Such was the state of my mind that I was little disposed to converse on religious subjects. When under conviction, I was deeply impressed with the duty of family prayer. I knew that I ought to pray in my family; but this was to me a great trial. I often resolved to attend to the duty, and as often broke my resolution. So that this neglect seemed to be the great obstacle in the way of my obtaining
peace. When I cried, What shall I do to be saved? the thought would return, Pray in your family. I often wished there might be a revival of religion, so that I mighi perform this duty, and appear on the Lord's side. I thought I could part with one of my children by death, as a reason for commencing the worship of God in my family. Thus unhappily I lived for several years. I read the Bible more, and was more constant in attending public worship; but remained unbumbled, and often felt dejected and ready to despair of mercy. After the late revival, there was for some time little alteration in my feelings. But at length I was more sensibly impressed with the necessity of attending to every known VOL. XV.
duty, in order to enjoy peace of mind. Still I had not a freedom of conversation with any; and few knew the state of my mind, until God was pleased to reveal himself as a merciful God in Christ Jesus. This was at a Sabbath evening conference. I saw myself altogether depraved and wholly lost, so that nothing but the mercy of God in Christ could ever save me. I thought it a wonder of mercy that I had been spared. I felt reconciled to the Gospel method of salvation; willing that God's counsel should stand, and that he should do all his pleasure. I thought I couid pray in my family; and that evening I called them together, and, for the first time, presented them with my self before the throne of grace, and was enabled to pour out my heart before Goil. I have since attended this duty, with delight, as a great privilege. After finding relief to my burdened mind, I was much affected with the sin of ingratitude. God appeared not only good, but infinitely good; and the love of Christ to be boundless. But what returns of love have I made! How has my life been spent in sin! How great is my guilt! O how I longed to sit, like Mary, at the feet of Jesus. I felt as though I must be there, and freely confess my former ingratitude. As I was b.rne down with a sense of this sin, these words of the Savior came to my mind, Son, be of good cheer; thy sins are forgiven thee. My heart dissolved in thankfulness and joy, which I cannot describe. I soon after professed the religion of Christ. I have since had abundant experience of the mercy of God through Jusus my Redeemer. I discover more and more my whole dependence on sovereign grace for salvation. It is my earnest desire that to God all the glory shall be given, and that by his grace I may glorify him in soul and body, forever and ever:
During this revival, 58 have been added to the church. Thirty-two were added on the first Sabbath in February. It was both a joyful and solemn day; and will long be remembered with peculiar emotions. Thirty-seven heads of families have been added. The major part of these have children under their care, who have been devoted to God in baptism. In a number of instances, children have been the hopeful subjects of grace, and admitted to sit down with their parents at the table of the Lord. What a joyful sight. Five have been admitted between 11 and 14 years of age.
It is hoped there are about fifteen subjects of renewing grace, who have not yet united with the church. About half of these are under 12 years of age. How many of them are real converts, is known only to God. This is to be remarked of those who have professed their faith in Christ. They have given to the church a satisfactory relation of their religious exercises; but still, some of them may be no more than almost Christians. The day of decisive trial is yet to come.
This revival has been in answer to prayer. Before it commenced, saints were called to unite in prayer for the effusion of the Holy Spirit. The Lord will be inquired of by his people to build up Zion.
The means used in this awakening were the plain exhibition of the doctrines of grace in preaching and in conferences. Religious narratives were also useful. God has also blessed particular attention to the youth in schools. A Sabbath school, which has been established here the summer past, has been attended with a blessing. We have found great encouragement to train up children in the way they should go. Parents and teachers too little feel their vast responsibility; or consider how much the salvation of children depends on their faithful endeavors to lead them into the paths of heavenly wisdom. The administration of baptism, both to adult believers and their households, we trust, has been attended with a blessing. It has been solemn and affecting to see parents dedicating themselves and their children to God in this divine ordinance. “The promise is to you and to your children.
The number of hopeful converts in this revival may not seem large, to those who are not acquainted with the place. But according to the last census, the inhabitants in this town were but 475; the hopeful converts in the late revival are therefore a little more than one seventh, and the communicants in this church are nearly one fifth of the inhabitants.
The Lord hath done great things for us, whereof we are glad. Let his name be praised that he hath remembered us in mercy, and given us to rejoice in him as the Rock of our salvation. In him, we would trust for the continuance of his favors; and that he would give us a Pastor after his own heart. With Christian salutations to the saints, we ask a remembrance in their prayers. By order of the Church.
ZEBEDEE KENDALL, Moderator. Dunstable, Mass. December 30, 1818.
DEATH OF MR. WARREN.
From the notice in our last number, our readers must have been led to anticipate the death of Mr. Warren, at the Cape of Good Hope. Intelligence of this afficring event came to hand, by the way of England, early in this month. Our dear fried and brother died on the morning of August 11th, at the age of 32. He was greatly beloved by all, who had opportunity to know his character. Among many other qualifications for the work of a missionary, he possessed uncom non sweetness of temper, and amiableness of manners. The Rev. Mr. Thom, who communicated the account of his death to his correspondent in London, says, that his last words were, "Is this death? Is this death? Yes, it is death. It is death. Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly. Today, I shall be with Christ. Tell brother Richards; tell the brethren at Jaffna, to be faithful unto death."
The following letter from Mr. Richards was received in season for our last
number, but our limits would not permit its insertion. BEV. AND VERY DEAR SIR,
Cape-Town, July 17, 1818. I shall now endeavor to give you some little account of the manner, in which the Lord has dealt with brother Warren and myself, since we left Columbo.
We sailed from that place on the 26th of April last, and experienced very mild and warm weather for about ten days; but notwithstanding the heat, brother Warren began to be better immediately. My symptoms continued nearly the same, as they had been previously to our sailing, for about four weeks; at which time the weather became quite cool, I began to be better, and brother Warren gained strength faster than before; and during the next four weeks brother Warren's prospects continued to become more and more favorable. I becarne quite strong, and gained considerable flesh.
A little before the close of this period, the weather became very boisterous, the wind blew from an unfavorable direction, and the degree of cold was uncomfortable. Our provisions were not fit for any one, who did not enjoy good health. Under these circumstances, we came in sight of land, and hoped to enter Simon's Bay in one or two days; but Infinite Wisdom had determined otherwise. It was not till fourteen days after we saw the land, that our ship was anchored in Si. mon's Bay. During this last fortnight we experienced a number of severe and sudden, but mercifully short, gales of wind from the N. W. which drove us directly out to sea; and thus were we prevented, for many days, from entering our desired haven. It was expected we should be less than eight weeks in our pas sage, instead of which we were sixty-eight days; and you may well suppose, that we received no benefit from being at sea the last two weeks. But though we suffered a little from the roughness of the weather, we have great reason to be thankful that we suffered no more. When we arrived in port, we found a vessel which came in a few days before, and which had lost her main-mast: while in distress she saw another vessel entirely dismașted, and which has not since been heard of. What shall we render to the Lord for his mercy in pre. serving us.
Very near the time of our landing; both of us took severe colds. The consequence in brother Warren's case was, that he experienced considerable difficulty ie breathing, and had some uneasiness in his breast, which, together with other symptoms, led him to fear that he sbould again bleed from the lungs; but by the immediate use of remedies, and the blessing of Him who has never forsaken us, the unpleasant appearances were all removed in four days. Seven days after I landed, I lost my appetite, which had previously been very good. This appeared in consequence of my vjolent cough, and very copious expectoration. We both left Simon's Town on the 14th in a coach, and arrived here the same day, a distance of 24 miles. The ride was pleasant, and I believe useful in each of our cases. Our present state of health is nearly the same as when we came to this place. But the opinion of our physicians respecting us you will learn from the Rev. Mr. Thom, who has kindly engaged to write to you.
Though we find ourselves among strangers, without brother, or sister, or wife, to anticipate and supply our wants, yet we have no cause to fear that we shall be forsaken. The Lord will provide.
With ardent desires for the prosperity of the Board, and for your own personal health and comfort, I subscribe myself, Your friend in Christ,
Extract of a Letter from the Rev. George Thom, to the Rev. Dr. Worcester. REV, SIR,
Cape Town, Cape of Good Hope, July 18, 1818. At the request of the Rev. Messrs. Warren and Richards, I now address you. At first Mr. R. thought his strength unequal to the task of writing a letter; but he has mustered strength, and has sent the enclosed.
I cannot describe to you the pain I have felt, on seeing these dear brethren; pain, indeed, of a different kind from that which many of us have been called to experience in Africa. Though worn down by disease, particularly Mr. Warren, yet the heart is on the right object. "If I am so ill, that it would be a great risque to undertake another voyage, then let me die in the blessed work." Mr. Richards seems to afford some hope of recovery; but the three medical men, who have met to consider their case, say, that they can hold out but little hope of the recovery of Mr. Warren. Both are in a consumption; but the case of the last is more forward, and accompanied with very bad symptoms. It is hoped, that Mr. Richards has but a small part of his lungs affected.
As to my own opinion, I think there is very little hope of recovery of either. We have procured them a lodging at the most reasonable rate, and I shall do my utmost in their behalf. Permission has been granted by the Colonial Gov. ernment for their residence, and several of our pious friends express great sympathy on their account. The early death of missionaries should, and we pray that it may, have a powerful effect on us, who labor in the field; and in candidates for this glorious work it should produce more ardent and holy zeal; for the work must go on. The cause is Christ's; and whether we live or die, we are His servants. The trials, to which your Board have been called, have been uncommon, but not so great as others; and the painful trial, in the present instance, of two holy and prudent brethren being driven by disease from the sphere of their missionary labors, will no doubt be felt; and if it should please their Lord and Master to remove them from his church on earth, great will be the affliction. One thing gives me infioite delight; that is to behold the dear brethren entirely resigned to the will of their Heavenly Father, and with comfortable views of their interest in his love. Last night we talked a good deal of Mr. Brainerd, wbo, though long since gone above, yet by his life and death affords much encouragement to missionaries. Please to give my most affectionate regards to all the brethren at Andover, and tell them from me, that I trust they will not be discouraged; and that after six years of labor in this colony, and after drinking of the cup of affliction, and experiencing almost every kind of opposition in my work; yet missionary enjoyments are of the highest order, and our prospects on earth, and beyond it, are most glorious. We labor for eternity. Immortal souls are our object, and nothing is worth the living for but this.
The Rev. Arch deacon Twistleton, of Columbo, says, in his letter of introduc. tion to me, "The American missionaries, Messrs. Richards and Warren, I recommend to your brotherly love. . Men of more amiable manners and purer piety I never saw; to these qualities may be added others, amongst which are gratitude, discretion, and benevolence. May it please the Eternal God to restore them to health and renewed exertion in his service." For this testimony the Board will give God praise.
[Toward the close of his letter Mr. Thom gives the following items of missionary intelligence.]
The Methodists have a mission at Kleine (Little) Namqualand, and I hear the two brethren are useful and successful. The Moravians have three, one is just commenced. I believe many souls have been saved by their means. They are the oldest laborers in the South African field.
Our missions are in various parts, in .some still blessed. The converts at Griqua Town are numerous and well informed. Mr. Anderson has long labored
and has been successful. In Namqualand there are several real converts, so far as men can know the heart. Mr. Pacalt at High Krall has been most successful of late. On a late tour I visited him. Many hundreds of Hottentot children can read the Scriptures in South Africa. In Caffraria, Mr. Williams continues, by God's help, at his post; but he has many difficulties. The Caffres are continually making inroads on the eastern frontier, murdering the poor shepherds, and often the colonists, and carrying off the cattle.
In the Dutch church, there are twelve ministers, several of whom preach inost faithfully and zealously; and a young minister who was educated at Dr. Bogue's and in Holland, is just arrived from Europe. He is pious and zealous.
My labors are very various. I preach in English and Dutch five times a week. At different times, I have travelled about 8000 miles in the colony, and many thousands of all classes have heard the Gospel. Some nominal Christians, and some heathen, I trust have been awakened to a sense of their sin. The sale and distribution of Bibles, &c. in various languages; also tracts, occupy much of my time. This station, though difficult, affords much pleasure, as it gives an opporkunity of assisting missionaries of all denominations arriving for the interior, or passing on to India. About 48 missionaries have touched or arrived here, in the course of the last six years.
(Mr. Thom in the course of his letter, very kindly expresses the result of his observations, as to the missionary character; and mentions the following general rules, in sending out missionaries; rules, which have always been observed by the A. B. C.F. M. viz.
1. To follow the example of our Lord, in sending out his disciples two and two
2. A regard to that institution, which God gave from the beginningmarriage.
3. Equality among all ministers, employed as missionaries. 4. The apostolic injunction, to "ay hands suddenly on no man." 5. An education suitable to missionaries, particularly as to theology. 6. That the term missionaries should be applied only to regularly ordained ministers.)
Please present my respectful compliments to the Board, and to all the friends of missions. Asking your prayers, I am, Rev. Sir, Your affectionate brother,
LETTER FROM MRS. NEWELL.
Ix our last we gave an extract of a letter from the present Mrs. Newell to a female friend
The following is an extract of another letter from the same person. It was dated in July. “When I look into this and that pious circle,* this and that Christian assembly, I say, o did these friends know what they were enjoying, how would they prize it. I have sometimes thought that could I be transported from this benighted wilderness, to the assembly of devout worshippers, I should be almost ready to conclude I had reached a little heaven. Othat these little heavens would multiply and spread over the whole earth. Millions and millions of souls are perishing. Could ye, who know the worth of prayer;-ye, who are sitting under the full splendor of the Gospel, in possession of all its social privileges, have one glance at the misery and degradation with which we are surrounded, how constantly would your mingled eries ascend, and how sincerely would you anite all your powers, in devising means for the relief of a perishing world. No sacrifice,'no suffering, would be thought too great.-Rather would you mourn over your selfish indolence, and be amazed that you had done no more.
"Tell me particularly respecting the progress of religion in Boston. I bave long felt a very particular interest for that place. Tell me all about the religious female societies: and O, my friend, be fervent, be importunate for us, a solitary few, and for these poor heathens.- Theʻshadows will soon flee away; and eter. nity burst upon our astonished view."
* Referring to religious privileges and enjoyments in her native country,