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fion. But at the same time, we of heart, divide fovereignty, dehave reason to fear, that while the crees, election, and :he special inSon of Man hath been sowing fluences of the spirit of God in good feed in his field, the evil one regeneration. At the time of their hath been also busy, in sowing supposed reconciliation to God, tares, and that the present appar- they felt themselves satisfied with
ent goodness of fome, like the ear. these doctrines, which before, they ·ly cloud, and the morning dew, had greatly opposed. After a lively will soon vanish away.
sense and conviction, of their help. Thus the Lord, in his infinitely less, ruined ftate, and their abso. free and sovereign grace, hath re- lute dependence on free, fovereign membered us in our low estate, when grace, the only confort and relief iniquity was abounding, and the they could find, was a view of the love of many waxing cold. When | gospel method of salvation. A the enemy was coming in among us belief that there was falvation in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord Christ for the chief of fingers, and hath set up a standard against him. that God could have mercy on
This is the Lord's doings, and it is | whom he pleased, encouraged them marvellous in our eyes.
to hope, that there was a poflibility, With reference to the foregoing that they might be saved. Many account, I would observe, that of them profess to have been bro't hitherto the work hath been re- to an unconditional submission, to markably free from every thing like the sovereignty of a foly God, or enthusiasm, or extravagance. It a willingness to be in his hands, seemed more like a small fill voice, and at his difpofal ; being fatisfied than like the rushing of any mighty that he would be just, should be wind. The minds of the 'con. cast them off for ever. With these cerned were apparently borne views and feelings, they enjoyed a down, with a lively sense, that calmness and serenity of mind, their hearts and practices had | which they never enjoyed before ; not been right with God; and and from this period, they date that there was a controversy sub- their hopes, of having experienced lifting between their Maker and a faving conversion. themselves, which, if not speedily Another circumftance of the settled, would issue in their de- work, which I think favors of its struction. Many, when aked | being genuine, in many instances, what troubled them? Would re is this, most of those, who pro. ply, · The fears of future punish | fess that they have obtained hopes, ment are not so much the cause of are not by any means very confiour concern, as a consciousness, dent and positive, that their state that our hearts are opposed to is good. They appear to be senGod, and the gospel method of Gible that their hearts are deceitful, salvation."
and so desperately wicked, that • Another circumstance which at- | they dare not trust them. Their tended the work, and which I religious joy seems to be accompathink is a token for good, is this ; nied with fear and trembling. most of those, who have obtained
I am, hopes of a saying conversion, profeffedly come into the Calvinistic
Yours, &c. sentiments of religion. They be
Peter STARR. lieve in the finner's total depravity
LETTER V. was attended at the meeting-house; From the Rev. Rufus Hawler,
and in the evening, another at my
house. The people'appeared anxPastor of the Church in Nor
ious to hear the word. The day thington, town of Farmington.
following, a sermon was delivered GentleMEN,
| at another house; where a large A BOUT fifteen years past, number of people were gathered
there was a confiderable se. | together, and appeared more atriousness upon the minds of a num. tentive than usual. It began to be ber of people in this place ; but it evident, about this time, that the lasted not long, and the fruits of it Lord was with us of a truth.were small; but very few being Some began to be alarmed, and brought into the glorious liberty of enqu re, What they should do to the sons of God.
| be saved? The next Monday For several years, before the (March 25) a neighbouring minpresent extraordinary out-pouring ister preached in the day time, and of the divine spirit, there had another in the evening, to a croudbeen repeated instances of persons, ed and listening assembly. In Awho were awakened to attend to pril, the religious attention increalthe all-important concerns of their ed greatly ; new instances of consouls ; and a few from time to viction were frequent, and some time, were, in a judgment of char began to obtain comfort and hope. ity, renewed, and became experi- In some instances, the people atmentally acquainted with Jesus, tended fix or seven sermons a week. and his religion. But nothing -Old, middle aged, and young very remarkable took place a. people were the subjects of God's mongst us, till the beginning of the work. There was now a great year past; when it pleased God, Thaking among the dry bones. of his abundant mercy, to rain Conferences were set up in evdown his holy spirit upon us, ar- ery quarter of the parish; and rest the attention of many from were attended every night in the vain and carnal things, and fix it week, at one place or another, ex. upon divine and eternal concerns. | cept Saturday night. And at two And we trust it may be said a or three different places twice in a goodly number are born again. week. Neighbouring ministers,
The eighth of March, 1799, frequently came, and preached some young people sent to me, re- and conversed with the people. questing I would attend a confer- | And when they had opportunity ence the ensuing evening : I at- to hear preaching, or conversation, tended, and found a considerable they seemed to hang upon the speanumber of people collected of va- | ker's lips. Our assemblies became rious ages. We prayed and at- | crouded upon the Sabbath, at lectended to the important truths of tures and conferences. Balls, all the gospel. It was evident, some merry meetings, and public diver- · minds were impressed. The Sab- fions were laid aside : and the peobath evening following, there was ple were more engaged, to attend a conference attended; many peo- , religious meetings, than they had ple were present. The meeting been heretofore for carnal diverwas folemn.
fions. The hearts of the people The next Tuesday, a number were moved, as the trees of the of ministers came, and a lecture I wood are moved, when they are
fhaken with a mighty wind. In | shipping him, I have enjoyed more two or three instances, perfons real happiness in religion, than evgave up their old hopes, and ob er I enjoyed in all other things, tained new ones. The people of through my whole past life. All God were confirmed in the faith. the mirth, and carnal pleasures in Their hearts leaped for joy, and the world, he said, were nothing, their mou:hs were filled with praise. compared with the sweets of true
People of all ages, from fifteen religion. Some others were asked to upwards of fixty, were deeply the same question, who said, what impressed. The distress of some, had been observed, corresponded was so great, that it deprived them, with their real feelings. They in a great measure of their food now found by their own experiand seep, for a season.
rience, that “ wisdom's ways are Many confessed their fins, com- ways of pleasantness, and all her plained of the hardness of their paths are peace.” hearts, the abounding wickedness | A considerable number, who in of their lives ; and appeared very time past, did not pray in their fensibly to feel that it would be families, have now set up family just in God to cast them off forev- , religion, and are constant, and to er. And every person, who, in appearance devout, in their pera judgment of charity, is a subject formance of this duty. And of the regenerating power of the those, who heretofore did not divine fpirit, appears full in the | worship God in their houses, now belief of divine fovereignty, de- plead fervently with God, that crees, election, and all the essen- there may be no prayerless famitial doctrines of the gospel. lies. In this small society, there
A young man, who had obtain are thirty or forty men, who pray ed a hope that he was a subject of at conferences, not only in my abthe new birth, said, he might be fence, but the most of them, (updeceived with regard to the state of on being requested) when I am his soul, and perish at laft; but he present. Some, who years ago, believed God would do right, and had openly violated the laws of he was willing to be at his dispo- Christ, and purposed never to confal. Others have expressed them- fess their faults, have freely made selves in much the same manner. a public confession of their fins Justification and falvation by works, against the Most High ; and have are exploded. Free grace, and said, that although, it was what the atonement and merits of Christ their hearts once totally opposed; extolled by those who are hopeful. yet now they could do it, as freely ly the subjects of a renovating as ever they did any thing in their change of heart. Numbers, at lives : And indeed, that they. times, have such nearness to, and could not rest easy without. Now communion with God, that they | they see, and feel the past stubhave great foretastes of heaven, bornness of their wills, and the and joy unspeakable.
hardness of their hearts. And At a conference one evening, a their fins being fet in order before man being asked if he found any their eyes, and their wills bowed, happiness in religion ? He replied, they acknowledge with the periyes; since I have been attending tent Psalmist, “ Against thee, thee the present meeting, and uniting only have we linned, and done with the people of God, in wor. ! this evil in thy fight." And they
plead, “ Have mercy upon us, O, to have been stirred up, to pray God, according to thy loving kind more fervently than usual, for them. ness : according unto the multi. selves, and for the prosperity of tude of thy tender mercies blot out Zion. Those, who were in Chrift our transgressions. Wash us tho before ; and likewise those, who roughly from our iniquity, and haye lately professed faith in him, cleanfe us from our lin.”
have, in general, exhibited a good Some persons, when they have degree of evidence, that they are come to converse upon entering in- I joined to the Lord, and have his to covenant, and joining with the spirit. They delight in the duties church, bave said, they did not of religion. The service of God think, in time part, they should | is now sweet and pleasant to them, ever have any defire to join with in all its branches. They love to the church, and partake of the | read God's word. Many have Lord's supper : they did not think said, the bible is entirely a new they should desire to have so much book to them. The perusal of it, concern with religion : but now which afforded them no satisfac. they wished to be joined to the tion before, now yields them the visible family of God; and had highest delight. Now they search earnest longings of mind, to com- the scriptures daily, and say with memorate the dying love of the the Psalmist, О how love I thy dear Redeemer.
law : it is daily my delight.-The work of God in this parish, Those that rarely came to the I conceive has not been so great house of God, are constant and as in some other places ; yet con- diligent attendants. They love the sidering the smallness of the socie. | fanctuary of God, the place where ty, which consists of but little more his honor dwells : and delight in than one hundred families, it must the ordinances of the gospel. And be confessed, the work is truly their soul is satisfied as with mar. glorious. There is reason to hope | row and fatness. And they praise and believe, many persons will re. God with joyful lips. member this happy day, with joy But we fear that some, who and praise, not only whilst they profess to hope that they have now live, but through eternity. made their peace with God, will
Through the whole awakening, fo apostatize from their profeflion, it has been most apparently evi that it will appear, that their relident, that the work was the effect | gion is like the morning cloud, and of the divine spirit. It has been the early dew, which foon goeth pecularly free from noisy, blind away. Though we are ready to zeal, and frenzy. The convictions hope better things of them, and of finners have been regular, fol. things that accompany salvation emn, and pungent. And there is And notwithstanding the profpe& reason to hope, a considerable num- have been so promising and th ber have been born of the spirit. minds of nearly all the people
Since the awakening began a were turned upon religious subject mong my people, between forty yet at present we have reason and fifty have made a profession of fear, that the attention of mar religion, and joined the church. has declined, and that many a Those who have long been in dead in trespasses and fins. V Christ, appear to have had fresh fear they will finally perish, al anointings of the divine fpirit, and their condemnation in that case w
be awfully aggravated, by the un- / reject the whole use of phyfic, on common and powerful means which account of those different opinions God has now been using with them. among physicians. There have How dreadful, after having been also been many different and oppoexalted to heaven, to be thrust | lite sentiments respecting. morality, down to hell! Yours, natural philofophy, agriculture and
Rufus HAWLEY. ocher important subjects. But is (To be Continued.) this any proof, that there is no
truth or utility in any of these On difference of opinions among things ; or is it a just reason, why Christians.
they should be wholly neglected? T H E great variety of fenci- | If not, then it must be equally un
ments, which prevail among reasonable to conclude, that there those who professedly hold to the is no truth in the Christian religion, Chriftian religion, is by many or that it may be safely neglected, made an excuse for disbelieving because there may be different senand neglecting it altogether. They | timents about its doctrines. Yea, plead that no dependence can be | it is much more unreasonable and placed upon the bible ; since those dangerous to neglect religion on who profess to believe it, even this account, as it is a concern of men of great learning and abilities, infinite moment, and by neglecting are so divided in their opinions it we risk eternal conséquences. respecting its doctrines. Such con-1 If the difference of opinions afiderations undoubtedly have great mong Christians is an evidence as influence in quieting the conscien | gainst Christianity ; then the great ces of many and encouraging them variety of sentiments, with respect in their neglect of the important to religion and morality among inconcerns of religion : which is the fidels, must afford equal evidence broad road to destruction. For the against infidelity, or deism and truths, duties, and restraints of the atheism. Thus upon this principle Christian religion being offensive we can believe nothing at all. and irksome to the depraved taste Besides, it may be observed, that and desires of the wicked, they are Christianity comprehends a great pleased with a plausible excuse for variety of truths and duties, some begleding or rejecting it and thus more and some less important ; ridding themselves of its painful some more and some less plainly duties, fears and restraints. But revealed. And many of the difis it reasonable or safe to disbelieve ferences among Christians respect or neglect Christianity on account those truths and duties which are of difference of opinions among less important, or less plainly rethose, called Christians ? Have vealed. --Therefore many of the not mankind generally had very | fects, tho' differing in some things, different sentiments about subjects yet agree in the most effential truths of the highest importance ? There of the Christian religion. Consehas been a great variety of differ- quently there is not so much different, contradictory opinions among ence in opinion among Christians, the most learned physicians about | as at first view might be imagined the science and practice of physic, | from the various names and feets, a subject of great use and import- into which the Christian world is ance. But certainly it would be divideda very unreasonable to disbelieve or Further, it is expressly foretold
VOL. I. No. 3.