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No. II. Votes of the Trujlees of the Mifswnary Society of Connecticut re. sered to in the preceding Letter.
At a meeting of the Trustees of the Missionary Society of Conned a ut at Hartford May 11, 1803,
Mr. Thomas Robbins, a Candidate for the ministry, was apappointed a Missionary for the Term of one year, unless sooner recalled by the Board, to labor in the County of Trumbull, State of Ohio.
Voted, That if the faid Mr. Robbins should accept of his appointment, the North Consociation of Litchsield County, be requested to ordain him previous to his entering on the mission, to the work of the gospel ministry; particularly as an Evangelist, to itinerate as a Missionary.
Voted, That in case faid Consociation ssiould consent to ordain the faid Mr. Robbins, if upon Examination he should be judged qualisied for the work, the Hon. Aaron Austin, the Rev. Doctor Perkins, and the Rev. Abel Flint be requested to attend as a Delegation from this Board to assist in the ordination. A true Copy, Attest, Aael Flixt, Secretary.
Mr. Thomas Robbins' answer of acceptance of his appointment as Missionary.
Norfolk, June 21, 1803. Rev Sir,
After maturely and prayersully deliberating on the subject of my appointment, by the Trustees of the Missionary Society of Connecticut to take a mission to the County of Trumbull, State of
Ohio, and aster consulting m^ Parents and other friends, I have thought it my duty to accept the fame. The task I am sensible is an arduous one, and I am ready to fay, "Who is sussicient for these things." But when I reflect on the encouraging promise, "Lo I am with you always," I feel emboldened to enter on the work. I desire to commit myself to .the dispofal of an holy Providence, and hope to be made a feeble instrument in the advancement of the Redeemer's Kingdom. I hope for the prayers of the Trustees, and all friends of missions, that I may be faithsul, and that my labors in the new and destitute Settlements, in the wilderness, may not be wholly in vain. —Agreeably to the request of the Trustees, I consent to receive ordination previous to entering on. the missian.
Wishing that the honorable and reverend Board of Trustees may have a divine blessing to attend all their labors and exertions in the missionary cause, I subscribe myself their most obedient servant,
Thomas Roaains. To the Rev. Abel Flint, Secretary to Trustees of the Missionary Society of Connnecticut.
The Honorable Aaron Austin, the Rev. Doctor Perkins and the Rev. Abel Flint, Delegates from the Board of Trustees were invited to join the Council.
Also the Rev. Nathan Strong, D.D. and the Rev. Messrs. Hyde, Shepherd, Cleveland and Turner being present, were requested to sit with the Council.
The Council then proceeded to examine Mr. Robbins respecting his knowledge of the doctrines of Christianity ; his belies in these doctrines, his ability to teach them to others, his experimental acquaintance with the truth, his views in entering on the work of the ministry, his qualisication for a missionary, and his motives for entering into that service ; and gaining sull fatisfaction on these points,—Voted unanimously, to consecrate him to the work of the ministry, with peculiar reserence to his laboring as a missionary in the new settlements in the county of Trumbull, state of Ohio ; and that jthe solemnity of his ordination be attended at the meeting house in this place tomorrow at eleven o'clock A. M.
Voted, That the several parts of the ordination service be performed by the following Pastors:
The Rev. Abel Flint to make the introductory Prayer; the Rev. Nathan Strong, D. D. to preach the Sermon; the Rev. Samuel J. Mills to make the consecrating Prayer; during which the Rev. Messrs. Robbirft, Mills, Perkins and Hooker to lay on hands.
The Rev. Ammi R. Robbins to give the Charge; the Rev. Nathan Perkins, D. D. to give the Right Hand of Fellowship; the Rev. Afahel Hooker to make the concluding prayer, i! Passed in Council, f ,- • Attest
Peter Starr, Scribe.
On Wednesday July 20, 1803, the Rev. Thomas Robbins, in pursuance of the above vote, was solemnly consecrated to the work of the ministry in the presence of a serious and attentive audience.,
After the minutes of the Council were read, the questions usual on such occasions were proposed, and the customary religious services were performed. Doctor Strong preached from Matthew xxviii. 19, 20.
COMMUNICATED AS ORIGINAL.
the Afal'fly of God, and Faith in him. Habakkuk, chap. iii.
KEEP .silence all ! Behold the Lord,
The pestilence besore him walks,
He stands and circumscribes the earth,
The trembling rocks behold and riv'n,
The sinking fun delays its beams,
I faw—and terror feiz'd my soul!
Now tho' the sig no more shall bloom,
Yet in the Lord will I reloice,
Donations to the Missionary Society. From a Friend of Missions, Do. M Da.
Sailing faith distinguished from those exercises, 'which men are in danger of mistaking fur it.
(Continued from p. 94.)
TPIE description which has been given ofthe nature and effects of saving faith, it is conceived, will go far towards enabling serious minds to distinguish it from all other schemes and exercises, which mankind are liable to mistake for it. But because, from the deceitsulness of our hearts, and a natural disposition prevailing in us, to judge favorably of ourselves, the description giv. en may not be sufficient to prevent fatal mistakes, we shall now notice the nature and cffcEls of several kinds 1 j faith, which men are liable to mijlaie, and have in fad mistaken, fur that -which is saving.
The first kind of faith, which I (hall here mention, is sometimes called historical faith. This is a speculative belief of some* or all ofthe doctrines of the gospel. It exists more especially in the understanding. The heart is not interested in it. The notions which such, as have only this faith, entertain of the doctrines of the
Vex.. IV. No. 4.
5 gospel, are more or less according to truth. Men may be great pro* sicients in speculative theology, and may be able to exhibit, in a clear and correct manner, the na* ture and obligation of the law> the fallen state and depravity of man, the character and work of Christ, and the office of the HolyGhost, and may possess a much larger (hare of knowledge in their understandings, than ordinaryChristians, and yet have no other faith but that which is merely speculative. They may give clear and abundant evidence, from the holy scriptures, in proof of their system of doctrines, and yet hold the truth in unrighteousness. Our Savio ur said of the scribes and phar. isces, "Theysitin Moses'feat: All therefore, whatloever they command you to observe, that observe anddo:butdonotaftertheirworks, for they fay anddonot." Thisis an excellent description ofmerely speculative believers. They were carnal, and destitute of any religion at heart. They loved to be seen of men, and to be called Rabbi. It should also be observed, that those who have this faith, tho' they are destitute of any sincer? approbation of heart, and conformity to Christ, and the doctrines of the gospel, often verily think that they do approve and rejoice in them. They are often zealous in maintaining them, and are in great danger of being deceived in this way. They are wholly blind to the spiritual beauty and excellency of the gospel, they know nothing what it is, and are therefore in imminent danger of mistaking a natural discovery of the system, harmony and conijstency of the doctrines and duties of the gospel, for their moral beauty, and for an holy delight in them. There is a natural beauty in the adjustment of all the parts of a complicated machine, in such proportion and connexion, as to have it answer the purpose designed. There is also a similar beauty in the subordination, regularity and mutual dependencies of a well disciplined army, under the direction of an able commander. This an enemy can discover and admire, while he hates the cause in which it is employed, wishes the destruction of the army and its commander, and is zealoufly engaged in the opposite interest. This beauty, a well informed unbeliever, and an enemy to God may fee in the doctrines, connexion and symmetry of gospel truths, and take a kind of philosophical pleasure in viewing them, while he does not in the least delight in the cause of holiness ; but is wholly selfish, and lives in the gratification of his carnal affections. This is the beauty which one, who has but a speculative faith, discovers in the gospel, and mistakes for that beauty and delight, which a true believer fees and enjoys in the cause of God.and in the fitness of the gospel scheme to advance this cause. Here is danger indeed,
because those, who have only this faith, do not know of any other beauty, or delight, which is to be seen or taken in the gospel but this, which is but the mere amusement of a contemplative mind, and falls unspeakably below his, whose heart is engaged in the cause of God.
That this is not the gospel faith is evident from several considerations. It needs no change of heart in a natural man to have this faith, and this contemplative pleasure in it, any more than it does in an enemy to admire the military arrangements of an array. Even the devils believe, and the stony ground hearers rejoiced in the word.
Speculative believers are also deficient in this. Their faith does not work by love, and purify the heart. It is a dead faith. « Faith without worksisdead, being alone.'
Nor have such believers any delight in the good promised to Christians in the coming world. They indeed wish for deliverance from misery, and desire happiness. But it is the happiness which suits a sinful heart that they desire. They have no delight in holiness, in the service of God ; in obedience, dependence, self-denial and spiritual exercises. Such an heaven they do npt pant after. But their hearts go after their idols, they live in sin, and refuse all obedience and submiffion of heart to God- And being opposed now, to the good things promised to true believers hereafter, it is but a vain delusion, for them to conceive, that they desire them, or that they depend and wait upon God that they may be given them in the world to come. Besides: This faith produces no humility and self abasement before God or man. * Knowledge puffeth up.'
Such men often manifest a want of humility, in the manner in which they converse on the doctrines of the gospel, they often love discussions and disputes, but manifest no reverence for sacred things in their examination of them. They appear vain of their attainments and superiority, and they manifest it in the same way, that natural men manifest their pride in literary attainments. They do not appear fike men, under a deep impression, that all they have received, is from the distinguishing grace of God. Nor have such believers the substance of things hoped'for by humble spiritual Christians, nor nW~ evidence of things not seen. They have not holiness, conformity to God, self denial, nor a sense, by which they can enjoy God and his government; but are felfi/h, ungodly, and opposite in heart to the nature of heaven. And hence their faith is no evidence of heavenly things. There is nothing wrought in them, which shows by example or experience, that there is, or can be any holy happiness or benevolent blessedness: nor any thing that is an evidence that they shall ever partake of it: for they have no preparation of heart for such enjoyments. But their unholy hearts prepare them for eternal opposition to God, and everlasting misery, by having all their carnal desires ungratified, and the just penalties of the law inflicted upon them. Such a faith is indeed the evidence of seme things which are unseen—it is an evidence of disappointment and wrath upon themselves. And the fitness of the doctrines of the gospel, which they discern, is an evidence, that so far as they respect unbelievers, they will be executed; and executed against them, unless they soon believe, not only
with the understanding, but the heart.
Let men of information in the doctrines of the gospel, take heed lest they be fatally deceived, by a mere historical faith. It is altogether deficient in the great essentials of saving faith—in humility, dependence, obedience and holiness of heart and life. By our fruits we shall be judged, and by them our faith will be approved or condemned.
There is another false faith with which many deceive themselves, which ought to be here considered and pointed out, that people may be cautioned against it. It may be called an Antinom'mn faith. It may take place in the following manner. A sinner, after being more or lessexercised with the fears of wrath to come, and with some fense of the wickedness of his life, obtains comfort. This may arise from any thing which persuades him that his sins are forgiven, from dreaming, from impulses, sudden suggestion of scripture passages, from having the imagination wro't up, so as to think he fees lights, or objects, or hears voices. None of these are any evidences of true conversion. All, who build their hopes on such things, are on a foundation unsupported by the scriptures. It is often the case with such as have something of the faith now to be described, that their notions of things are obscure, and they think little of the divine law, of the holiness of God—his justice, and of the real state of the human heart. But so far as they have any distinct ideas of their own scheme and feelings, they are these. They believe that God made a law, which was suitable to the state in which Adam was created, and a good law for him, and for those who arc per