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while despair and anguish seemed | was also very ignorant of the ef. settled on every feature ; all which, | sential nature of true religion, in. united, produced sensations in the sensible of the deceitfulness of her affected hearers not easily describ- heart, and in full confidence of ed.
her good estate. Another, accufThe power of the almighty spi-tomed to contemplate moral truth, rit has prostrated the stoutness of a in the light of a clear and peneconsiderable number, who were the trating intellect, had mistaken the Jast that human expectation would | assent of the understanding for afhave fixed on to be the subjects of fections of the heart. Another such a change. One man who had been the subject of some exlives at a distance from the fanc- ercises in early life, which had in. tuary, and who perhaps seldom, duced the hope that he was within if ever, visited it in his life ; and the embraces of the gracious cov. who, as might be expected, was enant. But he had become a extremely ignorant and stupid ; worldling; and lived in the omilhas been visited in bis own house, fion of family prayer. Still, while and in the view of charity, bro't | under his late conflicts, he would into the kingdom. His heart reach back, and fasten anew on his feems now for the first time to be former hope, (which he had made towards the fanctuary, though ill | little account of in the days of his health prevents him from enjoying | carelessness) until the power of the bleslings and privileges of it. | the divine spirit broke his hold. Avother old man, in the same | Another had formerly relted her neighborhood, who had not been hop: on some suggestion to her into our house of worship, and mind (somewhat like a voice) afprobably not in any other, for suring her in time of sickness and more than twenty years, has been anxiety, that her fins were forgiyarrested, in his retirement, by the en. Another had been introduced divine fpirit, and still remains | into a hoping state in a season of « like the troubled sea when it | awakening several years ago; since cannot rest.”
which, nothing special had occur. It has been a remarkable seafon red as a ground of self-distrust, for the destruction of faise hopes. except that she had sometimes, for Nearly twenty of those who have a considerable season, neglected lately appeared to build “ on the I prayer and spiritual contemplations rock” have been plucked off from for worldly objects. Ano her was the sandy foundation. As a cau. | first put upon suspecting and searchtion to others, it may perhaps noring himself by finding in his heart be improper briefly to state the pre 1 an undue appetite for the gaieties vious situation of some of these. and vanities of youth. He had One had fupposed that she loved I just returned from a party of pleafthe God of providence because ure when his conflict began. she had some sense of his daily Another was the man mentioned kindness to her and her family. in my former letter as having been She was the one mentioned in my fo opposed to the fovereignty of former letter, who was brought to God, in the dispensations of his see and acknowledge that she ha grace. The rest, for ought that ted the real character of God appeared, were as hopeful candiwith all her heart. Another, hav. | dates for heaven as many fi ofefing been brought up in gay life, 'fors. From obferying the cffects
which the light of God's presence | instances, the enemy has attempthad upon false hopes, a trembling ed to divert people from their anxreflection arose, How many such iety with premature hopes. hopes will probably be chased away We have met with little or no by the opening light of eternity!'open opposition to the work; the The Lord seemed come to “search corruptions of those who were Jerusalem with .candles” and to not drawn into it, having been find out those who were “ settled held in awe by a present God. It on their lees.” The church felt is apprehended there has scarcely the shock. No less than three con. been a person in town, of suffiversed with me in one week on the cient age for serious thought, who expediency of withdrawing from has not felt an unusual solemnity the facrament. That same pref- on his mind. A general reformaence which at Sinai made all the tion of morals and sobriety of church and even Moses, "exceed- conduct are observable through the ingly fear and quake” rendered it town. Family prayer has been now a time of trembling with pro- remarkably revived. On the day fessors in general. Nevertheless it of the general election of state ofwas, in respect to most of them, a ficers, (a day usually devoted to season of great quickening and a festivity) the young people, of remarkable day of prayer. Two their own accord, assembled in the persons have been for several fanctuary ; where, by their parmonths under deep dejection, | ticular desire, a sermon was deliv. which at times bordered on def- ered to them; and they went home pair ; one, being extremely weak- generally agreed that one day spent ened by ill health ; the other, hav- in the courts of the Lord was beting experienced such dreadful ter than a thousand wasted in van. heart-rilings against God as to be ity. Upon the whole, it is a give terrified into the apprehension that en point among the candid that her condemnation is fealed. much good and no hurt has been Some, after having had, so far as produced by this religious revival, we can judge, a saving change and that it would be a matter of pass upon their hearts, have had exceeding joy and gratitude, if seasons of thick darkness. One such a revival should be extended person, after the dawn of a joyful through the world. morning, was for two or three In this work, the divine spirit months overshadowed with a cloud, seems to have borne strong testiand by turns appeared in almost to-mony to the truth of those doctal despair, and notwithstanding he trines which are generally embrahad such apprehensions of guilt ced by our churches, and which and danger that sleepless and are often distinguished by the ap“ wearisome nights” were “ ap pellation of Calvinism. These pointed” to him ; yet he verily doctrines appear to have been thought, (to use his own frequent “ the sword of the spirit” by expression) that he was as stupid which finners have been "pricked as the beasts, and that his stupidity in their hearts,” and to have been was daily increasing; though to " like as a fire and like a hamothers it was evident that what he mer that breaketh the rock in pie. considered the increase of his stu- ces.” It is under the weekly difpidity, was only the increase of play of these that the work has his anxiety about it. In other been carried on in all our towns, These have been the truths which religion, in such a distinguishing the awakened have deeply felt, and manner, as to convince serious, these the prominent objects in view attentive observers, that the fame of which the young converts have mighty power of the Holy Ghost, been transported. The scenes which wrought so efficaciously on which have been opened before us the day of Pentecost, is still dishave brought into view what played in the building up of his to many is convincing evidence church, in the world. In this that there is such a thing as experi- | extensive work of grace, he has mental religion ; and that mere out confounded and silenced many of ward morality is not the qualifica the enemies of the gospel, espetion which fits the soul for the en- / cially that class of them, who, joyment of God. People, who while they professedly believed the before were of inoffensive conduct | sacred scriptures, denied the necefand of engaging social affections, fity of the special agency of the have been brought to see that their | Holy Ghost in the regeneration of hearts were full of enmity to God; sinners. For such has been the and now give charitable evidence | peculiar and glorious nature of the of possessing tempers, to which work, that it has been evidently before they were utter strangers. seen to be the work of God, and It may be added, that some of the not of man : That, when a Paul subjects of the work now acknowl- has planted, and an Apollos waedge that they lived many years tered, God has given all the inin dependence on a moral life, crease ; so that all has eventually de. (and one of them, driven from pended on the blessing of the divine this ground, tried to rest on the spirit, in making the gospel effecUniversal plan ;) but they are tual, in the calling of finners to now brought to see that they were repentance. Such extraordinary « leaning on a broken reed,” and seasons of the out-pouring of the no longer rest on supposed inno- divine spirit are, therefore, worthy cence or good works, but on HIM of remembrance, since they serve who came to save the chicf of fin- | | to destroy the strong holds of er. ners. I am, &c.
ror and vain philofophy ; and to E. D. GRIFFIN. bring a backsliding people to the New-Hartford, Sept. 1800. real knowledge of God. They
prove, beyond a doubt, that the LETTER XII. Holy Ghost operates in the hearts . From the Rev. William F. Mil
of men as a convincer and a comLER, of Windsor, Wintonbury |
forter ; and that, since our Sa. Paris.
viour's afcenfion to glory, he has
been sent down to convince the GENTLEMEN,
world of sin, because they have not TXT E have reason to rejoice truly believed in the name of the
V that the Lord reigns ; for only begotten Son of God. As, as a gracious God, he is wonder therefore, in the course of the past fully visiting many parts of our and of the present year, there has, Zion, with his salvation. In his in the judgment of charity, appeargreat mercy, he has poured out ed to be such a glorious work aupon many of our towns the spirit mong the people of whom I have of grace and of supplication. He the ministerial care, it may be usehas carried on a blessed revival of 'ful to follow the example of others,
in laying an account of it before I appointed a weekly conference, the public.
in the latter part of the month of Previous to this uncommon se- | Feb. 1799, for this purpose, beriousness, which there has been a lieving that the prevailing wickedmong us, the cause of religion, ness of the day called for extraorfor many years, had been in a low dinary prayer to God. This apand lamentably declining state. pointment was succeeded far beyond But here and there one had been what had been expected in bringunder an awakening influence of ing many people together to unite the divine spirit, and brought to a in prayer to God, and in seeking saving knowledge of the truth. the precious blessings of his grace. For several past years, not more In the latter part of March and than two or three persons had, in the beginning of April, of the any one year, joined the church. same year, there appeared the Deism and other corrupt opinions small beginnings of more than orwere prevailing, and, as the natural dinary attention to the things of consequence, the morals of the God's kingdom. Some were struck people had greatly degenerated. with a deep conviction of their sin Family prayer—the Christian fab. and danger, and others were alarboth--public worship and divine med. This attention to religion ordinances were greatly neglected. continued to increase for several The rising generation, more efpe- weeks, till it had become so genecially, treated things of this nature ral in the parish, that it was judged with great coldness and indiffer- expedient to set up, in various parts ence. A few of the children of of the society, several religious God with us, at this period, were meetings. At these meetings, deeply affected and alarmed, at which were three and sometimes these threatening appearances of a- four in a week, a sermon was bounding wickedness. It seemed preached ; and in this way three as if a righteous God were about and generally four sermons were to forsake us altogether to give us preached in a week, besides those up to hardness of beart and blind- preached on the Sabbath, for more ness of mind. And what seemed than six months together, during peculiarly to alarm our fears, at this revival. This seemed necefthis time, in respect to our local sary to prevent disorder among the condition was, the pleasing news people, and to enlighten their minds we heard of the powerful work in the knowledge of the gospel, of God, in other towns, while and the way of salvation by the there was such a growing neglect Lord Jesus Christ. From this of religion among ourselves. This time, the house of God was filled gave us reason to fear, that while on the Sabbath ; and these weekly other parts of Zion were so highly lectures, in various parts of the parish blessed with the presence of God, were attended by from two hunand the work of his grace, we dred and fifty, up to three and 1hould be left to our own destruc-four hundred people. The attention. We therefore then felt the tion to religion soon became greatgreat need of abundant prayerful. er than was ever before known in ness, and were brought to cry to this parish. There was no longer the Moft*High, for his holy spirit to a cold and formal attendance upon be shed down for the awakening of divine worship. The countenansinners and quickening of his faints.ces of crouded assemblies were fixed and solemn ; their eyes were hardened, wicked hearts, as to be upon the speaker ; their ears were convinced that no power was suf. open to the truth, and they were ficient to change them, but the Al. pricked in their hearts. No pains mighty power of God; and that, were spared to hear the gospel | unless they were renewed by the preached. All was solemn and lic spirit of his grace, they must for. lent. Nothing appeared like noise ever perish is. their sins. These and enthusiasm. Many might be deep convictions of foul made them seen, from time to time, melted irin sensible, that however much their to tears, from the impressive force hearts had been opposed to the docof truth, fet home upon their trines of divine sovereignty, total hearts, by adivine influence. Such depravity and salvation by grace, had been the opposition to experi. yet, that they were thus depraved mental religion, that persons thus in heart; and that it was wholly affected, with a sense of their fin 1 in vain to hope for salvation in any and danger, were, at first, afraid other way. They now faw, that that they should be noticed and de- if they were faved at all, it would rided for these impressions. Many be owing to the uncovenanted merof them, therefore, resolved to cy of God; and, therefore, were keep from meeting, where they brought to lift up their hearts in found their hearts so deeply affect-strong cries to him in the expres. ed. But, they were so powerfully live language of David, Pfal. xxv. impressed with this conviction, as 1. “ For thy name's fake, O to be compelled to resort to the Lord, pardon mine iniquity ; for places of worship; and the cry it is great” In the midst of these was, “ What shall we do to be fa- | distresling fears and sorrows of soul, • ved? Is there any hope—any in many instances, they were, at • encouragement for such hardened once, relieved, by an instantaneous o sinners to seek for salvation ? Is change of their views, when a o not our day of grace for ever new apprehenfion of the character
past? Does God offer salvation of God, or of Christ, broke in . to such hardened, guilty and un- upon their minds in a moll: sweet * grateful finners upon any terms ?” and glorious manner, in confe. For they were now awakened out quence of which they felt their of their long sleep of carnal secu- enmity and opposition to the charrity, and brought to examine into acter of God, and of the Lord Jethe guilt and pollution of their own sus—to the law and gospel, and hearts. They were convinced that to the way of salvation therein they were truly wretched, and mis- taught, taken away ; and they erable, and unholy, in the sight of beheld such purity and goodnessGod. They saw that they were such sweetness, beauty and glory in and always had been the enemies divine things as filled their hearts of God in practice, and that the with unspeakable joy. Overpowtemper of their hearts was oppo-ered with the greai nessof the change sed to his law and government. under the view which they then They were convinced that they had of God and religion, they had been living, and were now liv. I cried out, “ What have we been ing such a life, as must inevitably about, that we have not been end in their everlalting destruction, praiâng God before? Oh! we if perlisted in. They had such a never knew what happiness was, sense of the depravity of their own till now. What a feast are the