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people who belong to the congre-religious occasions in Connecticut. gation where the meeting is, all Mr. Speer preached in the fore. keep open houses for any that noon, after which they attended come. On Thursday preceding to the administration of the ordithe sacrament they had a fast, nance, which lasted three hours agreeably to their custom. A and a half. Mr. Porter fenced candidate belonging to the Pres- the tables, which is done as fol. bytery performed the first exercise, lows. Every communicant preI did the second.
viously receives a token, which is The sacramental occasion was a small piece of lead. This they get the most folemn scene I ever wit, by applying to any elders present Deffed. I shall not attempt the who know them. None may come description. But could you, fir, to the tables without'their tokens. be present at such a scene as I In fencing the tables, the minifter there faw, however much you Thews from scripture who have have heard, I doubt not you and who have not a right to that would have such feelings and im holy ordinance. It is an address pressions as you never had before. to the consciences of those who Tlie folemnity, the impreffion, the have received tokens. That they evidence of the divine presence, may then absent, if they do not were such as is not to be told. I feel clear to come to the table. never conceived any thing which But the principal object in fencing appeared so much, as some parts the tables is to let the world know, of the solemnities, like the judg if wicked men do come to that ment day. But you will remem- | ordinance, the scriptures do not ber that the present is not an or authorise it, nor does the church dinary but a very extraordinary allow it.--The number of comtime. The exercises began Sat. municants was about three hunurday, at noon, in the meeting-dred. There were five tables. house. Mr. Swan preached. Af-Mr. Porter asked the blessing upter which there were some baptisms on the elements, and administered of persons newly admitted to the at the firit table. Mr. Swan church, and Mr. Porter gave an served at the second, Mr. Woods exhortation and dismissed. An the third, Mr. Speer the fourth, exhortation is a very common ex- I did it at the fifth, and gave ercise among them, which they thanks. After a short intermisare very fond of. In all their ex- fion Mr. Porter preached, and ercises the ministers are about closed the exercises about fun. twice the time of the ministers in down. At evening they met in Connecticut. Saturday evening the meeting-house for society. the people again convened, and Their society is a common meet. Mr. Woods preached. The peo. ing with them, particularly at this ple dispersed at a late hour. Sab. time, answering to conferences in bath morning we met for public New England. The exercises are worship, in a place provided, in a alternate singing and prayi 3. pleasant oak prove, near the meet. They sing the old tunes by read. ing house. As to the number of ing the lines, which is very solemn. the people, I don't know how to If they have a minister in their guess, but I should suppose there focicties, he generally gives an ex- • were as many as I have ever seen hortation. But the elders comon the greatest and most public monly pray. The evening meet
ing was peculiarly folemn, a great accurate ideas. I do not suppose deal of that kind of falling which I can inform you of any thing has been common in the revival in essentially new. But may pera this country. After a number of haps mention some particulars, prayers, I spoke upon the temper which will not be wholly useless of the returning prodigal, prayed or unentertaining. and gave the blessing, near eleven 1 I have not much knowledge of o'clock. The ministers and some the present state of this work, exothers then left the house, but cept in Pennsylvania. I believe the people generally appeared un. there has not been an instance of willing to go. Mr. Woods and its appearance on the east side of a young man, a candidate, re the Alleghany mountains, but on mained and continued the exer- this fide it is universal. Of all cises till two o'clock. And some the congregations under the care Itayed till four in the morning.-- | of the Synod of Pittsburgh, a. We met on Monday at eleven mounting to 80 or go, there are o'clock at the grove. The num not more than five vor six which ber of people almost equal to the have not been visited with divine day preceding. I preached from grace. I conceive this work in Jer, viii. 20. The people appear many respects to resemble the ing unwilling to retire, Mr. Woods great revival of religion in New preached. After which Mr. Por. England in 1740, 41 and '42. ter said a little, and dismissed the In extent of territory it exceeds people near four o'clock. At that. In its diffusion to almost about sun-down, the last left a every town and society it also explace which I shall ever contem. ceeds that. With respect to the plate with reverence.
number of subjects in the several I feel it incumbent upon me to societies where the work is, I bemake some remarks upon the ex lieve the present hardly equals the traordinary work of divine grace former. I am persuaded there in these western countries ; but I are not so many fubjets as in molt hardly know what to write. You l of the societies in the late revivals once observed to me, you wished in Connecticut, according to the to have an account of this work, number. But in most or all of from one who had been an eye the focicties which are visited, I witness, and who was acquainted trust there is a good number dewith Connecticut ideas, modes of livered from the reign of fin, who thinking and expression. Your will adore the riches of sovereign with has probably been gratified grace forever. The oppoliti in a measure by communications the ridicule and reproach which from Mr. Badger and others. I the present work receives, is not suppose you have had nothing less than did the work of the same more particular than a letter which fpirit fixty years ago. The only you received from Mr. Badger difference is, opposition is not now last summer, which I saw. But conducted with the same external from that, and all which I had violence; it not being the custom heard, I liad got a very inade of the day. The manner of the quate conception. Accounts of ministers’ preaching is also much things at such a distance, com. | as it was then ; Calvinistic in senmonly, are general; but it is from timent, serious, carnest and pa. particulars that we usually obtain thetis. The state of society in
these bạck counties is in some subjects of the work of the spirit, respects similar to what it then and have deep and powerful con was in New England. In the victions, who do not fall, and are general attention and commotion | not at all affected that way. They, which is produced among all claf. generally, first tall, under a conses of people, the two cases are vidion of fin. And they fome. quite similar. If there were any times obtain comfort the first time excesses among ministers who were they fall, but not generally. I great instruments in that work, it have never heard of any falling doubtless was owing to the violent once only. It is commonly repeatopposition they experienced. In ed many times. If they obtain a the present revival I have not hope and give good evidence of a known any thing of the kind. reconciliation to God, they ftill But they appear to conduct continue to fall. Good people with great moderation and pro. fall in many instances. Several priety. People at a distance may minifters have, who appear to be lay what they will, but when they men of piety. Many people, who come to be eye witnesses, every have been professors of religion reasonable man is effectually re- for years, and who have given Atrained from declaring it to be good evidence of a Christian life any thing but the mighty power and character, have fallen. El. of God.
ders of the churches, serious men, It is proper to remark, that have fallen, and in some instances, this work is in many respects in the exercise of public prayer. mysterious and extraordinary. Many young professors, who apAnd after the most careful obser- peared to become Christians before vation, long experience and inqui- the present work took place, have ry, there are some things which fallen like others, but still have cannot be understood. Is this an never given up their former hope. evidence that it is not the work of There are probably many who God ? It is, if the creation of fall, who will not finally be bro't matter from nothing, which is a to a saving union with Chrift, mystery, be an evidence that God who will hereafter return to vicious did not make the world. But courses, and become more hardenthere are things to be seen, which ed in wickedness; as is the case are not to be described. After with fome in all religious revivals, all that could be told or written, who have powerful convictions. your conceptions would be far There are some few, but a small short of the reality ; or of what | number however, who fall, and they would be, if you could be still pursue vicious courses. This an eye witness. With regard to l is a matter of great triumph with the number who fall, my ideas the enemies of the work. They were very incorrect. By far the know no better. But they might greater part of those who are sub have known, that it is not uncomjects of the work, fall. Of those mon for persons in the ways of who have been made the subjects vice to have sudden and pungent of grace, or who have had real, convictions of their fim and dan. genuine conviction, fo far as I l ger, but still continue the chained have seen at lcast, two thirds or prisoners of Satan, and in the ferthree quarters fall. But there vice of their lufts.--Persons fall are many, who are evidently made' on all occalions. Most generally at public worship and at their fo. I ly still, excepting sometimes foba cieties. Frequently at family bing and fighing. But, at times, prayer, sometimes alone, fome apparently, almost lifeless. In the times in merry company, being latter case, they generally make a suddenly Itruck by the truth. noise, in proportion to the height Sometimes they fall when they of the affection. The deepest are in their ordinary business. fobs and fighs, and the loudelt Perhaps if private religious meet. groans. They generally make ings in Connecticut were con great exertions to suppress their ducted more in the way they are noise; but it seems like damming in this part of the country, and up a torrent, after a little restraint less for speculation, they would it bursts with still greater violence. find more evidence of the divine -The duration of the affection presence. In the places where is very diverse. In some cases, it the work is, there is scarcely a is but a few minutes. In others, time of public worship, without an hour or two; and sometimes some persons falling.' The first twenty four hours, or several days. instance I ever saw, was at the Though they continue this time evening lecture I preached during without fuitenance, they feel no the fefsion of the Presbytery. At inconvenience afterwards, and on the close, and after the exercise, their recovei y, are able to attend three persons fell. The next day, to any business. In their affecat the faft, preparatory to the fac- tions, though they appear to a rament, ten or twelve fell. On Sa. beholder to be in the greatest bo. turday before the sacrament, there dily distress, they are not fenfible. were perhaps 25. On the Sab- of any pain, or any other than bath, I imagine there were 50 ; mental distress. There is very perhaps 80. Sabbath evening | rarely an instance of any one beand Monday, nearly as many.-- ! ing sensible, at the time or afterYou observe I use the word fall wards, of any injury from the fall, indiscriminately. I know of no however severe. And when they other word so proper. But it are so agitated, that two or three must be remembered, that the de- perfons have to make the greatest grees of bodily affection are in. / exertions to hold one, and of definitely various. From the leait course are held by violence, they nervous agitation, every grade to feel no foreness or inconvenience the most violent you can conceive; afterwards. The philofopher and or to a death-like weakness and the cold professor may say what inaction. Some can fit who can. they will, these things are facts. not stand. Some can fit in a And these are some of the char. corner, who could not otherwise. acteristics which render the work · Some can sit with a little ailitance a mystery.- Persons of all ages from another. Some must be held are subjects of this work. Old, as much as infants, some as much middle aged, youth and children.. a3 persons in high convulsions. Some children quite young. So The bodily affection is of two are all characters. Infidels, phi. kinde. A loss of the strength and losophers, physicians, many reärimal powers ; or nervous affec-markable instances, li clefs protions and convulsions. The latter feffors, the stupid, the thoughtless is much the most common. In and the gay. But, as in other the former case, they are general revivals, young persons and thofe
who have had a religious educa- rious work of man's redemption, tion, constitute the greater pro- opens to them with such clearness, portion.
that they can no more bear it than The great inquiry in New En. Moses could a sight of God's gland is, why do they fall? For glory. Sometimes a confidera. five weeks that I was in that tion of the danger of finners, their quarter, I took great pains to infinite hardness and stupidity, enable myself to answer this in- and the certainty of their being quiry. I can say a little, but brought into judgment, is more perhaps it will not be satisfactory. than their natures can bear. You observe there are tiro kinds Sometimes they fall instantaneof characters who are subjects of ously.--However those who fall this affection. Those who are may be affected, they never loso Chriftians, and those who are not. | their senses. Their minds appear It will be presumed, of course, to be more active than ever, and that their views and feelings are | all their powers seem intent upon very different. Unrenewed fin. the things of religion and the in. ners, when they fall, generally are terests of eternity. They are impreffed merely with a sense of never in so good a situation to retheir fin and danger. A sense of ceive instruction. Their minds the weight of fin, the wrath of are fixed, and their memories unGod, the certainty of his ven- commonly retentive. Many of geauce, and the pains of hell, them speak in broken accents when brought feelingly to their and half expressions, in their af. view, come upon them with a load fection. Generally according to too great to be borne. They the nature of their feelings. Beghrink, and link under its weight. ging for mercy, deprecating Is this a matter of surprise ? Is it wrath, groaning under fin, calling not rather to be wondered that upon perishing finners, or giving awakened finners ever can support glory to God. Those who are themselves ? Sometimes however | still, when they recover sufficiently they are struck down as if with a to be able to speak, commonly stroke of divine power, without speak then. It makes very little much previous reflection. Chrif. difference what is the time or octians, when they are led to a feel. cafion. The impulse appears to ing sense of the goodness and be irresistible. And some persons mercy of God, of his long fuffer- will speak for some time, and speak ing and patience, of their extreme to admiration. It seems almost, ingratitude, their great abuse of not from the manner, but from privileges, the danger of their be the truths they utter, as if they ing deceived in their hope, the had been to the invisible world. folemn account which they must |--The ministers uniformly incul. render to an omniscient Judge, cate the idea that there is no re. and their just exposure to eternal ligion in merely falling down. death, they find theirfelves unable Indeed it appears to be nothing to futtain the prejure of truth, more or less than the effect of the but muft yield to its weight. affection of the mind.--. Many, Sometimes a view of the glories | very many have been the attempts of the divine character, the won to account for this extraordinary ders of sovereign grace, the riches work, on natural principles ; but of the Saviour's love, and the glo. I all have been ja vain. All agree,