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whether you shall be satisfied therewith. We hope that you will not reject these principles, till you have given them a eandid and careful examination. This is an age of novelty and of innovation in religion. But we wish to adhere to the old way, and walk in the old paths. It is true, Methodism is a modern name, but we stand ready to vindicate the principles here laid down, as the principles maintained in the orthodox chureh, in all ages. Principles, in the preaching and practising of which, thousands have been saved. And we hope those who worship in this house, will be added to the number. It is for this purpose it has been erected. And we hope this will be the aim and design of all who assemble here. If any assemble here for any other purpose, we expect they will be disappointed. We have no splendid forms, to gratify the pride or please the fancy of our hearers. We cannot entertain you long with mere theoretical divinity, which only gives exercise to the intellect, without affecting the heart. We cannot encourage you, that the deadness of the form, and the coldness of the manner, will make our chapel a comfortable place, in which to doze away an indolent hour, on the Lord's day. In short, we enter into no engagements, on the score of splendid sermons, and learned harangues; but we promise to do what we can to follow the heart through all its deceptive windings, and drive it from all its lurking places. We wish to tear away all your vain excuses; to invite you to action, by all the terrors of the Lord; and allure you by all the promises of the gospel. We would “set before you, life and death, blessing and cursing;" and urge you, by every consideration, to choose life that you may live.”. And if, as we confidently hope, any or all of you should become true and spiritual worshippers, we will endeavour to aid you, together with all who may now be of that character, through all the course of true and spiritual devotionto help you to higher and still higher attainments in grace, till
present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.” Finally ; in the name of that God, to whose worship we now dedicate this house, and whose aid we humbly supplieate, here we erect the standard of Christ crucified; and, by the grace of God, while we occupy this consecrated pulpit it shall never be removed.
MEMOIR OF THE REV, LOUIS R. FECHTIG.
BY THE REV. JAMES M. HANSON. Louis R. Fechtig, the subject of this brief memoir, was born October 23, 1787, in the city of Philadelphia. His parents were respectable members of the Lutheran Chureh. While in his child
hood, the family removed to Hagerstown, Washington county, Maryland. At a suitable age, Louis was put to school, where he acquired all the rudiments of a good English education. Like youth in general, he was carried forward in the career of vice by the impulse of corrupt nature; seeking pleasure in the deceitful and seductive objects and scenes of a wicked world. His youthful sports
and follies, however, were not permitted to pass without occasional and timely interruption from the Spirit of God. He was repeatedly and powerfully convicted for his sins, and induced to form resolutions of amendment. But being ignorant of God's method of saving sinners, or of the true nature of gospel salvation, his firmest resolutions were broken almost as soon as formed. Thus held under the empire of the prince of darkness, did our brother remain until in the sixteenth year of his age, when God caused the light of his glorious gospel to break in upon his youthful mind, delivered him from the bondage of corruption, and translated him into the kingdom of his dear Son. It was on a Sunday afternoon, when he and several of his companions had set out upon a thoughtless excursion into the country, that he was met by the merciful Friend of sinners, and an effectual cbeck given to his further progress in vice. In passing along the street, their attention was arrested by the sound of preaching.* They mutually agreed to turn in and listen for a few ininutes, and then proceed on their way into the country. But God had other designs in regard to young Fechtig; the word was carried home to his conscience, by the power of the Divine Spirit. It exposed to his view the horrible turpitude of the very thoughts and intents of his heart. While he felt that he was a lost sinner, he saw that the precious blood of Christ held out the only means of escape from the insulted justice of God; and that there was no time to lose in resorting to the means thus presented. He left his companions to pursue their contemplated excursion, while he returned home, to weep in secret before his God, on account of his sins.
For some time he remained in deep distress of mind, pouring out his soul at a throne of grace, in strong cries and tears. He read the word of God, and availed himself of every opportunity he could, of attending the preaching and prayer meetings of the Methodists; but found not the peace he so ardently sought. The light of divine truth continued to shine upon his mind with increasing evidence, but seemed only to lead him into fuller discoveries of the depth of his corruptions, the enormity of his guilt, and the imminency of his danger. He read that by grace he must be saved through faith. He was told to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and he should be saved; but that peculiar act of the mind which he saw the Scriptures required, to which he had been frequently exhorted, and which he acknowledged to be indispensably
* The preacher was Rev. Robert R. Roberts, now one of the Bishops of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
necessary, he could not comprehend. He at length began to pray to God to show him what was implied in believing with the heart unto righteousness, and it was not long before his prayers were answered. Under the preaching of the word by the Rev. Wm. RYLAND, the scales were removed from his eyes, and he saw that Christ was willing to save him—to save him even now; and in this view he was enabled to throw himself into the extended arms of Divine Mercy.
Having thus obtained redemption in the blood of Jesus, even the forgiveness of sins, our beloved brother conferred not with flesh and blood as to the most proper and effectual means, by which to retain and perfect the work of God in his soul, but as a dutiful child of grace, immediately attached himself to that religious denomination, through whose instrumentality he had been brought to the knowledge of the truth, and whose members were in possession of like precious faith with himself. The members of the Methodist Church, were at that time in Hagerstown, few in number, and feeble in influence. Vanity held them in contempt-bigotry_cast out their names as evil, and blind malice persecuted them. They had no house of worship, but like the primitive Christians, they assembled in each others private dwellings, where they prayed and sang praises to God, and strengthened each others hands in the good cause in which they had embarked. While they were thus employed, Satan and his agents were not idle. Their meetings were much thronged with curious spectators; some merely to gratify an idle curiosity, some to laugh and mock, and others to gain the greater credit to the slanderous tales which they were in the habit of propagating: nor were there wanting sons of Belial, to annoy and threaten those unoffending professors of religion, who were striving to worship their God in the beauty of holiness, and to walk before Him in simplicity and truth. For a youth at the time of life when the world is rising to his view in all the freshness of its charms, and before his heart has been assailed by the arrows of adversity, to forsake at once all the sinful pleasures and enjoyments within his reach, and to attach himself to a people despised for the purity of their principles, and the strictness of their lives, argues that he must be in possession of a large portion of that Spirit that moved the leader of God's ancient people to choose rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. When the deceitful attractions of the world were the most powerful, and most fitly calculated to draw him into the habitual practice of every vice, he gave
all for Christ, and rejoiced that he was accounted worthy to suffer reproach for His name. It was not long after he attached himself to the little Society in Hagerstown, before he was appointed their leader; in which capacity he acted until the Great Head of the church called him to act in a sphere of more extended usefulness to his fellow creatures.
While attending to his duties as a Class leader, he was suitably exercising and maturing those gifts and graces which were afterwards to be employed in the awakening of many, and to the edification and comfort of thousands. , Such was the correctness of his deportment, the steadiness of his habits, the devotedness of his life, and the zeal which he manifested for the glory of God, that while he secured the highest confidence and esteem of his class mates, he induced some of his bitterest enemies to respect his Christianity. His brethren witnessing in the effects of his zealous efforts, encouraging signs of future usefulness, applied and obtained for him from the preacher in charge, a license to exhort; and not long after he was recommended to the Quarterly Meeting Conference, as a proper person to be licensed to preach the gospel of Christ. The recommendation was received unanimously, and he was licensed accordingly, March 16, 1811.
Being now at liberty to extend his labours, he soon evinced that loving ardour for the salvation of souls, by which he was afterwards distinguished. His Sabbaths, with every hour he could conveniently spare from the duties of his secular calling, were taken up in holding prayer meetings, meeting class, and dispensing the precious word of life to the people of different neighbourhoods. Alike indifferent both to the applause and the censures of the world, he, like his Divine Master, went about doing good. He set his face against vice in all its forms, and reproved it both in public and in private, in a tone which, while it showed the deep abhorrence in which he held it, sometimes provoked the resentment of the ungodly, and drew from them threats which they never were permitted to execute. Thus did our brother continue for about twelve months, labouring with his own hands-ministering to his own wants-contributing a liberal share of pecuniary support to the cause of Christ, and publishing the glad tidings himself without money and without price. But becoming fully persuaded in his own mind, that he could be much more useful by giving himself up exclusively to the work of the ministry; and being strongly urged to that course by some of his ministerial brethren, he offered himself to the Baltimore Annual Conference, held in Leesburg, March 20, 1812; and was received, and appointed to labour that year on Connelsville Circuit.
From the year 1812, until the year 1819, he was appointed to labour in the following places :-Connelsville, Pittsburg, Baltimore and Annapolis. His active spirit, his deep piety, his burning zeal, and indefatigable industry, not only secured for him the lasting friendship and esteem of the friends of Zion, but rendered him a most useful instrument in extending the interests of the Redeemer's Kingdom. As a proof of the high consideration in which his talents for usefulness were held by the Conference, during the first seven years of his labours as a travelling preacher,
we have only to reflect that those seven years were devoted to four places, three of which were equal in importance and respectability, to any within the gift of the Conference. In March 1819, He was appointed to the charge of Greenbrier (now Winchester) district. With his usual zeal and industry, he entered upon the duties of his laborious appointment. On this district be spent four years of excessive labour and toil. Not satisfied with performing the labours expected from him at his regular appointments, he would often employ the intermediate days in assisting the Circuit preachers at their appointments, or in making and filling appointments for himself. How he acquitted himself as a Christian, a Minister, and a Presiding Elder during the above four years, thousands who still deeply mourn his death, could now be called to testify. Well does the writer of this imperfect sketch remember how forcibly he was struck with an observation made by a young preacher, concerning our departed brother, while his character was passing the ordinary course of examination before the Conference. “Brother Fechtig's zeal and industry” said he, “know no bounds; he goes like a burning torch around the district." In 1821, making up his mind to exchange a single for a married relation, he paid his addresses to Miss ALUNDA HARRIS, living in the neighbourhood of Shepherdstown, Jefferson county, Virginia, a respectable young lady, and member of our church, to whom he was joined in matrimony, February 26, 1822. Theirs was an union of hearts, and of interest, an union productive of the highest state of connubial happiness; but it was also of short duration. It was but a little over eighteen months after their marriage when death severed the cord which bound them together, and thus deprived the church of one of her brightest ornaments, and left a widow to mourn the loss of the best of husbands.
At the Conference in 1823, he was appointed to succeed Brother S. G. Roszell in the charge of Baltimore district. To this appointment he had serious objections; but regarding the voice of the Conference as the voice of God, he consented. Immediately after Conference, he removed Mrs. Fechtig to Baltimore city, and with firmness and zeal, entered upon the duties and labours of the most weighty and important district belong. ing to the Conference. As on former occasions, bis labours were in most places crowned with success—bis zeal appeared to increase with the increasing demands which were upon him. His labours were such as a constitution less vigorous than his own could not have sustained, and to which a mind less determined on its object would not have submitted. His camp meetings, of which he held several during the summer, were made a peculiar blessing to the district. His pious and zealous efforts on those occasions, were particularly owned and blessed by the Great Head of the Church; and while he was eminently contributing to the joy and comfort of thousands, the Head of the Church did not neglect