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under the curse of God's holy creased, they were driven from law : that, all their lives, they their hiding places, and obtained had despised Christ and his reli- more clear and distinct views of gion. Some seemed to awake, as the extensive nature of the divine from a dream, and wondered that commands; and found their hearts these things had never been seen to be a fountain of iniquity, from by them before. One expressed whence flowed all their actual herself thus, “ When I was first sins. Those, who were brought awakened, I thought my life muft to receive the light of divine truth be. reformed, and I would set thining in the face of Jesus, preabout the work of reformation, in vious thereto, were made sensible, earnest; but I soon found that my that in heart, they were so oppoheart was fo wicked there was no fed to holiness, that they lay reforming it.' I found that God wholly at the merey of God; must change this heart of mine, that God would be just to catt or I was undone forever." Oth-them off forever ; and that his ers, when first awakened, had declaration, “I will have mercy views of their sins of omiffion and on whom I will have mercy,” was some actual sins which they had their only ground of hope ; that committed ; but by being follow- it would be just in God to leave ed, by the spirit of God, they them to be vessels of wrath, fitted soon found that their hearts were for destruction ; or, if it should at enmity with God: and, in please him, to bring them to a some instances, persons have faid, cordial submission and make them that their unhappiness was, that veffels of mercy, prepared for they felt fenfible enntity against glory, it would be all grace; and God. It gave them pain to see that they, of all the saved race, what God was, and what he was should be most indebted to fove, : doing and would do. God made reign mercy. . As to those, who use of various means to awaken are viewed hopefully converted; the careless, besides the preaching with respect to the manner and of the gospel. Sometimes paffa- circumstances of obtaining comges of scripture came like arrows fort, and the degree of joy and to the heart. Such as these ; peace, there has been a difference. " The axe is laid to the root of the In a few instances, their convictree, every tree that bringeth not tion has been short and their joy forth good fruit is hewn down, and sudden, being filled with admi. cast into the fire. The Lord is a ring views of God, discovered in God of knowledge, and by him at- his law, in his gospel, and in tions are weigbed.” One, who his righteous government. The had religious parents and ancel words of the Pfalmift were sweet tors, was ftruck with the thought, to them.-" The Lord reignetb, let that the piety of the family should the earth rejoice.” Also, the natcease in him. Some, that their ural world appeared to shine with husbands, or wives, or their young divine luftre, and in its varicompanions were setting out in re-ous ways, to praise God; and, ligion and that they were like to they said, they longed to join in be left. The thought of being praising him forever. But, it left of God would often strike was the case with many, that their them to the heart.
convictions were long. Some As the work of conviction in-persons, who were brought up in
families, where religion had been whole families, as well as by inmaintained, had been under condividuals ; but when God began victions, at seasons, from their to work, how comforting to Zi. childhood. By the Spirit of on's friends, to see them flocking God, such were, often, brought to hear the word preached, on the gradually to hope that their hearts fabbath and at other seasons ! It were brought into submission to appeared, that they felt themhim. It was often the case, that selves interested in the things this was effected, by a reflex view which they heard. We had no of the working of the Spirit of disorder, or outcries, so as to God on their hearts.. In some make any disturbance in our pubinftances, such, on receiving light, lic meetings; yet the folemnity concluded that their convictions was like going to the grave, or to were gone and God had left them judgment. No one, but those to a hard heart ; for, before this who know by experience, can change, they had thought, if conceive the joy which has taken God should convert them, they place among the people of God. should not only look on themselves in regard to family prayer ; in as very holy and good, but they some instances, where there were should know that God had renew but very few, who called upon ed their hearts, by his grace. the name of the Lord, formerly, But, now, to see themselves fuch now almost whole neighborhoods wicked, ill-deserving and hell-de- have engaged in this duty ; that serving wretches, as much fo and if one were to pass among them, if pollible more so, than they at certain seasons, he would be were before the time of their constrained to say, surely God is awakening, it could not be that in this place. Parents, in a pub. their hearts were renewed by lic manner, devoting themselves, grace, tho' they sensibly felt the their little ones, and all that they contention between God and their have to the Lord. own hearts to be at an end. But, How pleasing the seasons, to by being often bro't to give up behold the aged and the young themselves, and all that was dear of both sexes leaving the follies, to them, into the hands of a sove- peculiar to their age, and becomreign God, without any reserve ; ing followers of the lowly Jesus. by beholding the beauty and ex The pious parents' heart, in a cellency of the divine law, which number of instances, partook of condemned them ; the glory of joy inexpreslible to see the divine Christ as the end of the law to all blessing poured on them, agreeawho love and believe on him, they bly to the promise, in Isaiah, “I could not refrain from believing, will pour my Spirit upon thy feed, trusting and committing their souls and my bleffing upon thine off to him. Some have said, that spring ;" to see those, who were their views of the sufficiency of of themselves, arising and builChrist were such, that if they ding the old waste places, and rehad many souls, they would trust pairing the breaches of former them all in his hand, and hope for generations. In a few instances, salvation in his name.
almoft whole families have been Previous to the religious atten- affected, and they have espoused tion among us, public worship the cause of Christ, before a vain was greatly neglected by many and deluded world.
Since the work of God revived, their souls with the fins of his proin this place, fixty-four persons feffing people. While the finners' have been united to the church; hearts are hardening and preparand ninety have been baptized, ing for destruction, God calls the on their own, or on their parents' backsider, he returns, condemas account. On one fabbath, fix his shameful apoftacy,and by makhousholds were presented and bap- ing confession, he brings glory to tized, containing twenty-three God and fame upon finners. children. This circumstance, ac- Sinners, in a day of divine grace, companied with a fermon, on the should fear, left while they are duty of parents to their children, watching others and neglecting under the divine agency, was made their own souls, the Spirit should a mean of. good to many. It be quenched, and that come on was noticed by children. In one them spoken by the prophet to instance a child asked her mother, Israel in their rebellion ; “ that who made no profession of reli- they might go, and fall backward, gion, “ Mamma, why am not I and be broken, and snared, and baptized ?" This went to the taken.” Though we fear that mother's heart. We hope the some who have appeared to rm wound was healed by the blood of well, for a season, will apoftatize, Jefus, and the enabled to give her and thereby grieve the generafelf, her children and all that the tion of God's children ; yet we had into the hands of God. hope better things of many, who
Those who have made a profef- have appeared to embrace the fion of religion, in this time of at- truth, in this joyful season, and tention, have appeared to adorn things that accompany falvation. their profeflion, by their obferv. We have raised expectations, that ance of the commands of Christ ; God who has exerted the power but should it be the case, that in of sovereign grace, in changing a fhort time we should have ex- their hearts, will put forth the ceptions to make, because fome fame exertions, in keeping them, return, like the “dog to his own through faith, to eternal life, vomit again ; and the fow that There are many, who cavil at was washed, to her wallowing in the fimilarity of the accounts givthe mire,” it ought not to be no- en of the work of God, in various ticed as any thing against religion ; places, and the likeness of individbut an evidence of the depravity wal narratives ; and would fain and treachery of the human heart. fuggest that these things were Tares are often found among learned from each other; but if wheat, and false professors among such persons would call to mind, real Christians. God has seen it and carefully attend to the folneedful to leave fome of his own lowing things, they would be con. children to fall, to try them, strained to say, that their likeness thereby to make them more fit was an evidence of the truth of for their master's use and service. them, viz. The natural hearts of And if some poor hardened fin- all men are alike, in the same ners are wishing that those who ftate of total moral depravityhave deserted their company may All men have to do with the same turn back ; God may according God. All men have a fimilar to his word send them this delu- monitor or conscience within fion, and let them try to feed them ; are under the same law :
hear the same gospel ; enjoy the | felves, but to him who died for fame bible, and means of religion. them and rose again.” The piAll men are called, or moved by ous psalmist says, “ Whom have the same spirit ; are in the same I in heaven but thee? and there world and are bound to the fame is none upon earth that I desire eternity. From these considera- besides thee”_" God is the tions it is not ftrange, that per- ftrength of my heart, and my sons who never saw or heard of portion for ever.” The psalmist each other, when born again by also addressing his own soul, says, the spirit of God, should speak “Return unto thy rest O my soul” the same things; and when met, - Cleave unto the Lord your should converse as though they God"-0 taste and see that the had been born of the fame parents Lord is good”—“ In thy prefand educated under the same ence is fulness of joy, and at thy means. This, instead of being right hand there are pleasures an argument against religion is a forever more.” It is also asserted clear proof that it is from God. in Gai. vi. 16.
“ As many as And now, may the God of walk according to this rule, peace hope fill us with all joy, and be on them.” The word of God, peace in believing ; and grant my dear son, is the rule to direct us that we, who have named the in all our walks in life. And that name of Christ, may depart from person who chalks out a rule for iniquity. Amen.
himself by fabricating a theoretic From yours, &c.
scheme, founded on his paifions, ISRAEL DAY. or on some visionary phantom, Killingly, August, 1802. existing no where but in his own
distorted imagination, must float Letter from a Father to his Son. very loosely, and precarioully on
the tide of life. « In vain will August 2, 1801.
you search for happiness,” as you “ Dear Son,
express it, “by plowing the trackOUR
ultimo, now lies before wilds.” No person can be happy me I have perused it with some in this world when he avoids his conflict of feelings. You well duty, and no one is so wretched know my sentiments in moral as he who takes liimself out of things. “In the name of com the divine protection. You furmon sense, with confidence, with ther say, in your letter, “ Can boldness and assurance,” you ask, we enjoy this life without strict« what we were made for, if not ly adhering to this principle of to live to ourselves ?” I shall not felf-love ? Certainly we carri." search for arguments, a priori, I Alas! my for!, what an interfhall take for granted what is par-ence ! what a concluion !~i acticularly asserted in the holy ferip- knowledge a person is to regard tures. 1 Cor. x. 31. “ Wheth himself and to ieex his own happier therefore ye eat, or drink, or ness; but he is to do all his in whatever ye do, do all to the glo- God's appointed barGud is ry of God.”—In another place it the chief good in the 2015:fc, is said, “ the love of Christ con and the happines of all criated straineth us, that they who live intelligencies cons in the enhould not henceforth live to them. joyment of this jou mal,
in fcripture, is represented, as conclusions in matters of infinite “ seeking not his own.” I Cor.
moment denote an obftinate, and vi. 19, 20. “ Ye are not your perverse temper of mind, or a own for ye are bought with a heart totally opposed to holiness price---therefore glorify God in and all moral good ? Pause a moyour body, and in your spirit, ment, and ponder, fift your sentiwhich are God's.”--Now, my ments-retire alone in your closet, fon, put your trust in God, and submit yourfelf to God, through submit on gospel terms, and your the merits of Christ, and ask the mind will be calm ; the rugged divine aid and direction. To be road of life will appear to be really virtuous is the great lesion smooth and delightsome in the before us, and every accomplishdischarge of duty.
ment, and every acquirement to “ Those doctrines which you the exclusion of moral goodness, mostly oppose, are, the decrees, are comparatively less than no. election, and the divine sovereignty. thing and altogether vanity. But permit me to assure you, that “You also remark, that the they are connected with the atone passage which I quoted concerne ment by Christ, and are the most ing the ancient Hebrews, “ does comforting and consoling doc. not apply in the present case, betrines in the bible ; in Mort, they cause mankind (you say) at the are the only hope of the true prefent day are totally different child of God.
from what they were centuries “ I now proceed to take no ago.” Why, my son, does it tice of another sentence in your not apply ; the human heart has letter. “ I do not wish by argu
been the fame in all ages. Envy ment to convince you that I am and malice were conspicuous in right, but it muit be more than Cain-intrigue and fycophancy human wisdom and forefight to in Abfalom--blasphemy in Rabconvince me that I am wrong, hekah-murderin Hazaelenorthe reason is, I don't intend to mous pride in Haman, and cruelty be convinced.” Omy son, what in Herod. What can be the difan astonishing determination is ference? Surely nothing, only this ! Bring arguments as many mankind in the present period of as you please, but don't make al- declension, are more refined in fertions—I am always willing to wickedness. But the divine govlay myself open to conviction, byernment is the same, and God coolly and candidly discuffing a will not deviate from his ordinary subject, and why had you not bet- course, in the dispensations of his ter fufpend your opinion, for a providence, and in his dealings towhile, in things that you cannot wards mankind because of their comprehend, than to make a raih refinement in fin. I consider you, conclusion at the age of fixteen. now, my dear fon, in that dangerWhen you speak on political sub ous period of life, when you are jects, you totally turn the tables; moft exposed to the allurements
“ But before we form of temptation ; I have many an our judgment, we ought to exam anxious hour, fearing that you ine it more minutely." Why, my will indulge habits of thinking, fon, ought we not in our moral that will lead you to infidelity. concerns to examine the subject | In
my remarks to
from time ftill more minutely? Do not raih to time, on the subject, you have