« PreviousContinue »
throughout the country in general. In the great cities, the white people feel for their red brethren, and are forming societies to send them help. The Great Spirit has come, not only on the old men, but also on the little children. In Baltimore there is a society formed for the purpose of sending help to educate your children. If you will stand by us, we will stand by you. We will unite with you in prayer for your success, and for the conversion of your brethren who have backslidden and left you; and if you continue faithful God will conyince them, and they will return to you again. But in all this let us look up to God for success."
Our school is doing finely. About forty children are now at the Mission-house. and learn fast. The society still stands firm, and is increasing. No doubt busuccess will be on the Lord's side. I am, with every sentiment of love,
J. B. FINLEY.
PROGRESS OF THE WORK OF GOD IN BROOKLYN, LONG-ISLAND.
To the Editors of the Methodist Magazine. RESPECTED BRETHREN,
Influenced by a sense of obligation to strive to aid the cause of truth, and feeling bound by a partial promise in my last communication, to acknowledge the great things God hath wrought for us in this Village, I send you the following for publication, if you think proper.
Every part of God's work, whether in the kingdom of nature, providence, or grace, when duly considered, is most admirably calculated to unfold the glory and wisdom of its author, and to enliven and captivate the mind of the humble follower of Christ.
The work of reformation which commenced with us in August, 1821, went on much to our satisfaction during the time of the greatest 'attention, which lasted several months. Our congregations through the winter and spring following, were large, serious and attentive, and we had frequent cases of awakenings and conversions in that time.
The Society in general, and the young converts in particular, (with few excep. tions) retained the fire of reformation, a glowing zeal for the prosperity of the cause, and a preparation of heart to enter more fully into the work, should the more abundant out-pouring of the Spirit of God call for such services. This is a most happy and desirable state to be found in, when visited by the dispensationsof God's inercy and grace; for it is too frequently the case that professors ot' religion are too much like the heath of the desert, not knowing when good cometh, and thus many remain barren and unfruitful in times of prosperity and general revival.
In June last, I received my appointment in this station for the second year. Immediately after the Conference I took a journey to the north, when I returned I found my health much repaired by reason of the journey. The first Sabbath in July I resumed my labours with a degree of satisfaction, arising from a hope that God would visit us again with a general shower of divine grace. At the Musqueto cove camp.meeting in August, our people were much blessed, and several of our company professed to obtain the pardon of sin. We returned on the eleventh with songs of thanksgiving and praise to our heavenly father for the wonders he had wrought. The work now spread with increasing rapidity. The cries of the wounded, and shouts of praise from the new-born child of grace, were heard in different parts of the village-convictions increased, and conversions were multiplied among us. In two weeks we received forty into society, the most of whom professed to obtain peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. In the forepart of September we collected our forces, and with raised expectations, repaired to the tenied grove at Haverstraw. On our way night overtook us, early in the evening we collected for prayer meeting in the cabin, by permission of the Master, Capt. Green, of Nigh, who treated the company with civility, and the worship oi God with attention and reverence. During the meeting all was solemn; professors were melted into tenderness, and convictions increased. We arrived on the ground early on Thursday morning, pitched our tents and collected for the pur
pose of dedicating our temporary dwellings to the service of the God of the armies of Israel ; every soldier of the cross was at his post, and heaven was propitious to our prayers. In the course of the day, and evening, several mourners were comforted with peace and consolation in Christ. Friday morning we came together for meeting in the Brooklyn tent, and the glory of God shone upon us; many rejoiced in his love, while the work of conviction became general among us. The preaching of the word was attended with the unction of the Holy Spirit.
Some cases of conversion were extraordinary; among which was a young woman, who had been educated a Roman Catholic. During the day her convicviction increased, and in the evening she became incessant in prayer for salvation. The sensible and affecting manner in which she addressed the throne of grace for pardon, evidently manifested to all who heard her cries and saw her agony, that it was the work of God. About eleven o'clock at night, quick as a flash of lightning, the brighter beams of glory from the Sun of Righteousness, darted a kind and quickening ray into her soul; the cloud broke; peace and joy sprung up within her heart. This young woman instantly began to pray for her female friend, whose distress of mind was great. Soon after she lost her burden of guilt; but did not receive the witness of the Spirit until the next morning, while we were singing for family prayer, the following words,
« Brightest and best of the morning,
Shine on our darkness and lend us thine aid,” &c. She caught the sound as she was rising from the slumbers of the night, and instantly her soul was filled with unspeakable joy in believing.
Our people struck their tents and left the ground on Monday afternoon, taking with them between twenty aud thirty, who had professed to find peace with God during the meeting. The last of the week, Camp-Meeting commenced on StatenIsland-many went, and a number who were under deep conviction, to the praise of God be it spoken, returned the Tuesday following bringing home with them the pearl of great price. Others returned fully convinced of their lost and undone state without an interest in Christ, who soon after experienced the blessed change; old things passed away, and all things became new. Our congregations were large; the prayer meetings much thronged, and crowned with the blessing of God in delivering souls from mourning and captivity.
We must acknowledge the Lord hath done great things for us, whereof we are glad. Between eighty and ninety persons have joined the society since July last, the greater part of whom give good evidence of a real change of heart. At present, we have general peace and harmony in the Church, and though the present prospect is not very flattering, it is by no means discouraging.* * A few observations on some particular points connected with the above, I would hope may be of some use to your readers. Generally speaking, the youth of our land are the most numerous as subjects of the different revivals that take place in our day. This is the case with us, yet the work has not been wholly confined to that class of our citizens. Persons from sixty and upwards, down to the child of twelve years, have been brought to participate in the blessings of the gospel of peace. Hence we have seen the parent with gray locks bringing the child of tender years, uniting with the husband and wife of middle age, and joined with the blooming youth of both sexes, crowding to the altars of our God with broken hearts, and streaming eyes, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. And wherefore are the youth of our land the most numerous among the subjects of recent revivals of religion in almost every part of our country? In the conversion of our youth, the wisdom of God is particularly displayed. They are the strength of our nation, and the future hope of the church of God. While, therefore, we duly appreciate the gifts of aged men in council, yet, even in a religious sense, we may adopt the saying, young men for war. Hence saith John, “I have written unto you young men because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one." If the strength of the nation is becoming the salt of the earth, how savoury is its influence! How soon will those whose limbs tremble with infirmity be gone from the stage of action! Who then will bear the burden and heat of the day if our youth are not converted, and brought under the yoke of Christ ?
* In addition to the glorious work wrought by the hand of God in this village, through the instru. mentality of brother E. Raymond (and other local brethren,) a society of nearly twenty members has been formed about six miles from this place, at a place called Yellow-book, where the work is still going on with increasing prospects.
Though the youth be the most numerous who receive the comforts of the gospel in our recent revivals, yet the work of the Holy Spirit is not confined to them. The subjects of the divine influence are of all ages, sexes, conditions, and characters; and it affords a delightful view of the infinite variety and unbounded ful. ness there is in the gospel of Christ to meet all cases, and abundantly to supply the wants of all those who call upon him in faith.
Nor would we limit the Holy One of Israel to any particular means of grace or mode of operation, in spreading and perfecting the work of man's salvation. By whatever means sinners are brought from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, let us give God the praise.
Yours in the bonds of peace, Brooklyn, Jan. 14, 1823.
· L. PEASE.
STATE OF RELIGION ON NEW-HAVEN DISTRICT.
New-Haven, Jan. 16, 1823. DLAR BRETHREN,
You are always delighted with accounts bearing information favourable to the cause of Zion. Many and powerful are the enemies to the sacred cause of holiness and truth on this district. Sometimes they appear with open bate, and show a bold front, determined on opposition; but more frequently under the guise of religious friends they mar the truth of God, and hinder the growth of the precious seed.
Great and mighty exertions are making to keep the old hierarchy in countenance, and prevent the growth and spread of the pure gospel which offers a present, free and full salvation from all sin. But notwithstanding the strength that is put forth to keep up the prejudices of the people against our holy blessed cause, the truth continues to gain ground. The people leap the mounds set about them by lordly teachers, and come to hear the word. The preachers on the circuits and stations within this district, are diligent and faithful in the spirit of gospel missionaries, and are determined on victory in the name of truth, and the Captain of our salvation.
The Quarterly Meetings have been well attended and graciously owned and honoured by the Master of assemblies. We all are fully persuaded that ours is the cause of God, and that it will and must prevail. We enter the field with naked sword, and feel resolved never to quit the field or return the sword to its scabbard, until victory is proclaimed on the side of truth and holiness.
Four meeting houses have been erected on the district this season, and more are wanted. Our God and Saviour is with us in truth. Reading circuit has been and now is, highly favoured of the Lord. The work of conviction and justification by faith has been powerful and clear. I know not how many have professed to experience the power of religion, but the number is respectable." Amenia circuit continues to be blessed with the presence and power of God. The word takes effect, sinners are awakened and brought home to Christ. The divine blessing is coming upon the city of Hartford. Many are under serious concern for their souls salvation, and numbers have lately been brought into gospel liberty. Quite a number on Burlington circuit have found the pearl of great price, in the course of the year past. But there we have had to stem the torrent of tenfold opposition. But, bless God! the enemy has had to retreat, and his retreat bas been shameful to himself, and as honourable to the cause of our holy religion.
I am persuaded that we are gaining ground in every part of our work; and I am as fully persuaded that we have no well-grounded hope of success but in abiding by the truth as it is in Jesus. We must remain an entire and distinct people, in doctrine and discipline, in holiness both of heart and life. Whenever we seek or even accept the friendship of the world, or of the modish professors of religion, we shall offend God, and he will take his departure from us.
We often hear much said about union among the professors of religion, but in this part of the country the thing appears to me utterly impossible under present circumstances. And I am satisfied that the offer is never made to us, but with a view to weaken our influence, and to give them the benefit of our labours. I hope we shall ever be awake to a sense of our danger, and be on our guard against the machinations of ungodly and wicked men.
The gospel of Christ, which is the power of God, will scatter the darkness which hangs over this moral wilderness. That system of truth will be the only means of saving this region from ruin; for if the world and the church are blended together in transacting the affairs of religion, anarchy and confusion must be the inevitable consequence."
Gospel truths and gospel discipline preached and enforced in the spirit of the gospel, will conquer, will triumph. I am happy in having the opportunity to say, that among the labourers in our Lord's vineyard in these parts, there appears no disposition to temporize, to bring down the gospel, to accommodate the pride or prejudice of the people. It is God's gospel, and God will support and honour it. "Hosannah to the Son of David !
In consequence of the imposition practised upon the people in this quarter, in respect to education and missionary societies, I found very strong prejudices existing against missionary societies in any shape or for any purpose ; nevertheless, after having made clear and distinct and impartial statements to them in reference to the Methodist Missionary Society, we have succeeded in forming three auxiliary societies; one on Goshen, one on Burlington, and another on Stratford circuits.
DEATH OF MR. SOLOMON FOWLER.
În the year 1788 or 89, our deceased bed by sickness. But in the midst of friend, through the instrumentality of these severe dispensations of the provithe Methodist ministry, became a sub- dence of God, he exhibited the fullest ject of the pardoning grace of God, and acquiescence in the will of heaven, not soon after united himself to the church a murmur escaping his lips. in Yorktown, in which he has been a But at no period of his life did his class-leader for many years. He was faith appear so strong, his confidence so firmly attached to the doctrines and firm, or his love to God so great, as at discipline of the Methodist Episcopal the approach of his own dissolution. At Church, to which he was united by prin- the commencement of his illness I visited ciple, and not merely by the impulse of him; he appeared to be sensible that the the moment. Although his neighbour- period of his departure was at hand. I hood became, for a time, the theatre of interrogated him with regard to his acthe operations of those who were disaf- ceptance in Christ, when he gave me fected with our church, yet he retained the most explicit assurances that his to the last his attachment to the people peace was made with God. During his of his choice.
illness he was much engaged in exhortAs a class-leader he watched over the ing his neighbours who came to see him, little flock entrusted to his care, with the and taking leave of his family and friends, utmost assiduity; attentive to the con- assuring them, " that although his body dition of every individual, he laboured was weak, yet his confidence in God was to advance their spiritual interest ; such strong, and that he felt assured that he was bis diligence in the discharge of these should conquer though he died." He duties, that he was never known to be would frequently exult in the prospect absent from his class when it was possi- of uniting with the happy spirits in hea. ble for him to attend.
ven, in praising God. The piety of our brother was deep and He has left a wife and three children, uniform; and his resignation to the di- and an extensive circle of friends to devine will remarkable. Death was per- plore his loss. matca, Tor some wise purpose, to make "Our dying friends come o'er us like a cloud, terrible ravages in his family ; in the To danip our brainless ardours; and abate course of a few years, he followed eight That glare of life which often blinds the wise. children to the grave, three of whom
Our dying friends are pioneers to smooth
Our rugged pass to death, to break those bars had arrived at mature age ; but the “in
of terror ! and abhorrent nature tbrows satiate archer," not content with robbing 'Cross our obstructed way, and thus to make him of his children, added to his afflic Welcome as safe our port from ev'ry storm." fions the loss of an affectionate wife,
John J. MATTHIAS. when he himself was confined to his
FOR APRIL, 1823.
From the Wesleyan Methodist Magazine. THE SPIRIT'S PROPHETIC TESTIMONY CONCERNING THE SUF: FERINGS AND THE GLORY OF CHRIST :"
: 1 PETER 1. 11. Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.
It was the observation of the Angel to John, that “the Spirit of Prophecy is the testimony of Jesus.” (Rev. xix. 10:) He referred not so much, we presume, to the Spirit of Prophecy speaking in Jesus, as to the Spirit of Prophecy speaking of Jesus: and hence it is that all the Prophets are said to have given witness to him. (Acts x. 43.) And because the Spirit bare witness to him so often, and in language so diversified, impressive, and majestic, the Prophets were led, as it were irresistibly, to the study of these reiterated and wonderful predictions. It is true, the study was rendered somewhat difficult by the delivery of this testimony “ beforehand;" that is to say, long before the accomplishment of the event. But if this circumstance added to the difficulty of the study, it also excited a proportionate ardour in the students to master that difficulty; and therefore the text informs us, that they “searched diligently what, and what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow."
In discoursing on this portion of Holy Writ, we might collect from it some strong proofs of the Saviour's true and proper divinity, of the distinct personality and divinity of the Holy Spirit, and , VOL. VI.