Page images
PDF
EPUB

I

are religion and government, are make observations upon the conowing merely to priestcraft, and duct of the professors of religion. that they are but a delusion; And I have found some, who liva they who think and conclude fo, ed in the total neglect of family are under a great and dreadful prayer, paid little attention to the deception and will sooner, or scriptures, profaned in many ways, later, find themselves to be de- the holy fabbath, neglected the ceived. PHILALETHES

public worship of God, unless in

very pleasant weather, were often The labor of persons, divinely en

absent upon facramental occalightened, illustrated, and the fub- intruction of their families, upon

fions, negligent in the religious jed applied to the conscience, in sabbath days, and upon all other four letters, from VIATOR to occasions. I have found their CHRISTIANUS.

examples bad, in several other ref(Continued from p. 102.) pects: I have seen some to be light LETTER III.

and vain, and in a degree pro

fane in their conversation, Nack Dear CHRISTIAN Friend, in paying their debts, worldly N my two former letters I en-minded and covetous !-I have

deavored to take a brief view feen others idle, profuse, fond of of that, for which, those per taverns and places of public resort, fons labor, who have been divine- fond of ardent spirits, and of loose ly enlightened.

and unprofitable company !! My present object is to help Many perfons conduct, as tho' you and myself wisely to improve, they imagined nothing more newhat was then written. It is ceffary to conflitute a Christian, therefore worthy of remark, that than to belong to the church ! if the observations which have How many who profess relibeen made, are just, those per- gion, discover no relentings of sons, who neither possess the heart for fin, make no preten. Christian spirit, embrace the gof- fions to communion with God, pel doctrines, nor perform the lay no special restraint upon their common duties required of the appetites or passions, and rarely saints, in the word of God, have or never speak about religion, never been savingly enlightened, unless it is to cavil at some of its although they may have had the most essential doctrines ? How common influences of the Holy many, instead of letting their light Spirit, been the subjects of great shine around them, so that others by awakenings and comforts, thought Seeing their good works, might be themselves Christians, joined to led to glorify their father, who is the visible church, and for many in heaven, wound religion in the years, statedly attended the Lord's moft fenfible manner, giving great supper !

occasion by their deeds, to the enThere is, my dear friend, great encies of God to blafpheme? And reason to fear, that many persons do it with impunity? For in this who profess religion, have not the day of declension it is next to imgrace of God in their hearts ! possible, so far as I am acquainted,

In my travels, I have had con to support that strict discipline, siderable opportunity, in different which would be for the honor of refates, towns, and societies, to ligion !

It is with extreme pain, I have our first love, and wander far mentioned the foregoing failings! from the path of duty, and beI should never have done it, if they come for a season blind guides to were of a private nature, but they our fellow-finners ! We ought are generally known, and in the carefully to guard against a spirit mouth of every infidel. If it of apathy, and labor to keep our were poffible I would gladly hide hearts glowing with love to God them from the world! But it is and good will to men. Imtead utterly impossible ! It appears of indulging ourselves in irregulartherefore to me, to be lawful and ities, we ought to walk circumexpedient, to mention them in this spectly, not as fools but as wise. letter, for our warning, in as Redeeming the time, because the much as the apostle has said • let days are evil ::—to possess that us not sleep as do others : but let faith which is not dead-to have us watch and be sober. For they a hope different from that of the that sleep, seep in the night, and hypocrite's : which, fhortly will be they that be drunken, are drun • as the giving up of the ghoft!' ken in the night. But let us who we ought to be looking for that are of the day be fober, putting blessed hope, and the glorious apon the breait-plate of faith, and pearing of that great God and our love, and for an helmet the hope Saviour Jesus Chrift ; who gave of falvation.'

himself for us that he might reWe are always in danger, my deem us from all iniquity and puChristian friend, of being injured rify unto himself a peculiar people, by bad examples : Evil commu zealous of good works. nications corrupt good manners :' True religion, we may be afAnd • One finner destroyeth fured, has no tendency to make much good.' We are particular persons trust in an old experience, ly in danger, from the bad exam nor carelefs in their manner of liv. ples of the professors of religion, ing ; but defirous of fresh anointthe light of the world, and ing from the Lord, of breathing ought to be on our guard. Were the spirit of real piety, of conit once to become fashionable for tending earnestly for the faith profeffing Christians to have noth once delivered to the faints; and ing but their profeffion, and oc of adding to their faith virtue, cafional attendance upon the and to virtue knowldge. And to Lord's table, to distinguish them knowledge temperance and to from the world, we fould be in temperance patience, and to padanger ourfelves, of growing cold / tience godliness.

tience godliness. And to godlicareless, and of giving a deep nefs brotherly kindness, and to wound to that blessed caufe, we, brotherly kindness charity. profefTedly, with above all things Those persons who are satisfied to advance! I hope we should not with their present attainments in finally apoftatize! I know we religion, it may be prefumed want should not, if the special grace of religion, only as a traveller does a God has ever taken poffeffion of boat, to carry him over a river our hearts, for Chrift hath said which he cannot ford, and if they • And I give unto them eternal, could only be safe, they would life ; and they shall never perish, not trouble themselves about it! neither shall any pluck them out | Christ and his cause would have of my hand.' But we might lose Do Thare of their affection hor ser

vice. Though they may now which I think all who love hope to be saved by his merit, Christ ought to do, but appeared they have no friendship to him. to understand the holy nature of We may fafely conclude there religion, and confcientiously to enfore that their • hope,' is not sure ter into the practice of it. They and stedfaft.' Those who have have said, and appeared to say it, this hope, always love the object in the fincerity of their hearts : of their hope for his own fake ; Wisdom's ways are ways of * whom have I in heaven but pleasantnels and all her paths are thee? and there is none upon peace. The statutes of the Lord earth that I defire befides thee;' are right, rejoicing the heart : the and they labor to purify them- commandment of the Lord is felves as he is pure.'

pure, enlightening the eyes. The Religion is not a thing which fear of the Lord is clean, enduring les dormant, but a living opera- forever : the judgments of the tive principle in the hearts of those Lord are true, and righteous alin whom God hath shined to together. More to be defired are give the light of the knowledge they than gold, yea, than much of the glory of God in the face fine gold : sweeter also than honof Jesus Christ ;' or it consists in ey, and the honey comb.' holy exercises, and a correspond

I am yours, &c. ing conduct : «He that believeth

VIATOR. on me, as the scriptures have (To be continued.) faid, out of his belly fall flow rivers of living water.' It is totally in vain for persons A Narrative of a Revival of Res

ligion in the South Parifle of to pretend, that they profess re

KILlingLr, in the years

1800 ligion, if they are destitute of all

and 1801, communicated to the the graces of the Holy Spirit, de

Editors by the Rev. ISRABL ny the distinguishing doctrines of

Dar, pastor of the church in grace, and allowedly walk like

Said Parish. the enemies of the cross of Christ !" "Ye shall know them by

GENTLEMEN, their fruits. Do men gather

HAVE read, with pleasure, grapes of thorns or figs of this the various accounts of the tles? Even so every good tree revivals of religion, in a number bringeth forth good fruit, but a of towns, in this state published corrupt tree bringcth forth evil in your useful magazine. fruit: A good tfde cannot bring When I reflect on the moral forth evil fruit : neiner can a cor state of man, and the treatment rupt tree bring forth good fruit.' which the gospel of our blessed

Notwithstanding the imperfec-Redeemer has met with, in our tions, which I have mentioned, churches and congregations, I feel of some of the professors of reli- dispofed to join with my brethren, gion, I must say, I have generally in devout admiration ; that God found more or less wherever í should look upon us, and make have travelled, who appeared not us so gracious a visit : on the to love in word and tongue, but other hand, when I call to mind in deed and in truth : they have the covenant between the Father not only carefully attended to and the Son, the revealed mode the ordinances of the gospel, of God's supporting his church, VOL. III, No. 6.

Ff

I

by bringing those who are of used, in such a manner, that dry to build the old waste places, and bones began to shake, and many to repair the breaches of former were hopefully made alive, as apgenerations; that this is effected peared, by their after walk and by the fpirit of the Lord, being conversation.

At this period, poured out on the feed of his about forty persons were added to people, and his blefling on their the church. offspring ; the promise

of success I would here note, that, from to the gospel, that the gates of the first mentioned time, of the hell shall not prevail against the revival of the work of God, there church of Christ ; that her sons has been a conference meeting are to come from far and her kept up, in the middle of the sodaughters from the ends of the ciety, for the most part, weekly, earth; that Christ is to have a till the present time. In which, feed that shall serve him, which the children of God have had shall be accounted to the Lord comfort, in praying for the peace for a generation ;, and as God has of Jerusalem, and have found that told his people that he will never they do prosper who love her. leave Zion till all things which he For a number of years, after the has promised her be fulfilled.last mentioned revival of religion, These things bring us to look for there was great harmony both in those displays which God is now the church and congregation ; till making with reference to Zion: an unhappy dispute arose, about and, also to long and pray for removing the meeting house ; greater things than have yet taken which was very prejudicial to the place, which tend to encourage peace and harmony of both. This the friends of Zion and confound dispute lasted for a number of infidels. From a conviction of years : and it is to be feared that, these things I am induced to give with some individuals, it will laft, a narrative of the late work of God as long as they live. It is likely in the south parish, in Killingly. that prejudices in such things,

In the year 1776, it plealed are, in many instances, a means God to send down the divine Spi- of Satan's making the bands of rit, on the people, like gentle linn s strong ; and, that they rain, which latted, by its con- never find out their fatal miitake, vincing and converting influence, till they are loft. As there were though not in any extraordinary many removals, from the church, degree, for more than two years. by death, and some to distant In

which time, there were about parts of the country, it was greatfifty perfons received into the ly reduced in numbers, and thofe church. From this time, the who remained, had in some mearfriends of Zion gained ground, ure, left their firit love. Thus, which was not wholly loft, for from the foregoing unhappy cirtwelve years. In the year 1788, cumstances, it seemed, for a seait pleased God, once more, to son, that the church and conlook, in mercy, on a people who gregation were like a ship, at fea, had abused his kindness, and were tofled in a storm. At the same ripening fast for divine judgments.time, while these contentions openBy the sovereign influence of the ed a door for the increase of vice, Holy Spirit, he set home his finners were not backward to imword preached and means enjoy. prove their opportunity. But a

mnerciful God, in fome degree, , further on the important subjeci. calmed the tumult of the people ; | In the course of the same week, the body of the church became I called at a house, to converse comfortably united, our meeting with

a young woman, whom house decently repaired, and

repaired, and I found before, under some there was a little more prospect awakening. When I came to of enjoying a degree of peace and converse with her, I found her order among us. But, after all, under deep impressions of soul : it was painful to observe the low her mother, coming into the room, ftate of vital piety, family religion was somewhat affected, knowing and practical godliness.

that something affected her daughHowever, natwithstanding all ter, but did not know that it was these embarrassments, God waś a concern for her soul. I found the pleased to appear on the fide of mother was in the like cafe. On truth. In the beginning of Oc- Friday, thetime for our conference, tober 1800, there were some ap- instead of a few, as formerly, my pearances which began to encou- house was filled ; and folemnity rage the praying faint. About fat on the countenances of many; the same time, we were favored while a few were pricked in their with a visit, from a young man, hearts. It soon began to appear in the ministry, from the state of that many hađ been under serious New Hampshire, who was form- impressions, for some time, and erly from this parish, and was kept it to themselves ; but now, one, who appeared to be a subject were under neceffity of making of religion, among us, in the fore it known. mentioned revival, in the year From this time, our meetings 5788 ; having been absent almost for preaching and conference were twelve years. At the close of a crouded and folemn. We were sermon, he gave the people an under necessity, for want of room, account of the work of God, of leaving a private house and the among the people, where he re. school house, and of repairing to sided. He then addressed those the meeting house. For a number who were his former companions, of months, in the winter season, it by enquiring of them, the state feemed that eternal things engrosof their souls, &c. This seemed sed almost the whole attention of to be a means of rendering the the congregation. All appeared whole assembly very solemn. In to be interested in the truths, doc. the evening a conference was at triges and duties of religion.tended and a larger number of Thus, they were anxious to hear young people were present, than and know what they should do to usually met, on such occasions. be saved. At the close, the people were in

My house was frequently reformed, that our weekly confer- forted to, by enquirers, and the ences, would be attended, at my scenes were truly affecting: Perhouse : and as there appeared to sons, from twelve years of age, to be a degree of thoughtfulness ta- forty, and so on to fixty, just beking place, on the minds of some; /*ginning to know that they were they were admonished not to itille finners, against God. They, who the motions of the Holy Spirit, had often heard of their dreadful but to meet with their Christian ftate, while itupid, now began to fieds, the next Friday, to confer confeis, with tears, that they were

« PreviousContinue »