Imagens da página

rous instances, most sweetly distilled. Infant voices have sung Immanuel's praise. Sorrow for sin has penetrated the youthful heart, and extorted the cry, 6. What must I do to be saved ?" These gracious effects have not been confined to the learner ; the teacher too has felt the weight of truths unfelt before, and, while teaching others, has learned a lesson till then unknown. No tices of such examples occur frequently in the reports sent up to the Union, which also state, that many thus awakened and renewed, have united themselves to different branches of the Christian church. These facts have encouraged and animated the teachers and managers of our Sunday Schools, and have inspired them with a purpose stronger than ever, to be steadfast, immove. able, always abounding in the work of the Lord; forasmuch as they know from what they witness and experience, that their labour is not in vain in the Lord.”

OH10.-EDUCATION. A society has been formed in the central part of Ohio, called the Ohio Baptist Economical Education Society, the design of which is to establish a public seminary, in wbich literary and scientific shall be combined with agricultural instruction. It is confidently believed, that such a system of education has not yet had a fair experiment, and that it possesses decided and important advantages over the common system, as it respects health, a habit of industry and exertion, and the acquisition of practical knowledge. In these particulars, it is thought, it will be eminently calculated to prepare men for real usefulness in life.

Another important advantage anticipated is, that, on this plan, the expense of a liberal education will be materially diminished. A principal design of the Association is to give a classical and scientific education to pious men set apart by any Christian church to the work of the ministry. The seminary is to be located on a farm of not less than 300 acres, within 25 miles of Columbus.

Chillicothe Recorder.

SOUTH CAROLINA. The Female Domestic Missionary Society, Of South Carolina, have employed the Rev. Jonas King as their missionary the past year. In his Report of May, 1820, he narrates the various successes which have attended his labours. The situation of the Seamen has engaged his special attention. To these he has preached once, and in some instances twice, every Lord's day. His audience has been from 50 to 150.“They have, almost without exception, appeared as decent in behaviour, and as serious and attentive as any congregation in the city." He

He says the noble qualities of this class of men are greatly overlooked. He relates the following pleasing instances, which came within his own knowledge, of the happy influence of divine truth on the minds of several.

A sailor who was considerably advanced in years, came to me one evening, and requested a private interview. He said that two years ago he knew not how to read ; that about that time he attended a religious meeting, where he received impressions which could never be effaced ; that ever since he “ had been trying to get rid of sin, but could not.” Said he, “ I have been learning io read the Bible; I pray every morning and every evening; I strive to do right, still I cannot get rid of my wicked heart; and I should be very glad indeed to find some one who could tell me what to do to get rid of it." In order to effect this, he said he “ should be willing to do any thing in the world.”

I endeavoured to point out to him the means of overcoming a wicked heart, and he seemed resolved to follow my directions. A few days after I found him at one of the boarding houses, engaged in reproving his wicked companions, and praying with one whose soul was about to take its flight into the invisible world.

To the seamen in the Marine IIospital, I have preached every Sabbath in the afternoon, when I have not been called to preach in other places. There my audience consisted of the poor, the maimed, the halt, the blind, and those who had rendered themselves wretched by their vices.

One about fifty years of age, who had been a seaman from his youth, told me that he had never received any religious instrucrion, till he came to the Hospital; that he had always been a hardened sinner, and he feared that it was now too late to receive mercy. Though he indulged no hope for himself, he gave me evidence that he was a real penitent. It was a sense of sin which seemed to fill his soul with distress, and not the fear of punishment.

He readily embraced all the distinguished doctrines of the gospel, because he felt that they must be true.

I am also informed, by the Superintendent, that as many as eight or ten others, during the winter past, have gone out of the Hospital with very serious religious impressions; and that they had expressed a high degree of gratitude to your missionary for the religious instruction which he had given them.

Mr. Řing has occasionally visited Sabbath schools, and addressed the children and their teachers. He has also held meetings for the blacks; but cautiously avoided saying any thing about slavery, judging it his business to endeavour to make men better, rather than to render them discontented in their situations. He has visited soine families of Jews, and reasoned with themi: om their scriptures respecting the Messiah.


From the Religious Intelligencer. A Narratite of the late Revival of Religion in Ballston. Ballston lies directly west of Malta and Stillwater, about twelve miles from the last and adjoining the former. It is southVOL. vii.


east from Galway, north-east from Amsterdam, and north of Schenectady ; thus occupying a position nearly central in this large field of the Spirit's effusions. The revival commenced among us in the order of our geographical relation to the places just mentioned. We had heard of the work in Stillwater for some months : in the latter part of autumn we witnessed something of its progress in Malta, and with the commencement of winter felt it among ourselves.

It was on the 12th day of December, that four or five menibers of the church, being together after one of our evening exercises in a private house, felt, in an unusual degree, the necessity of a revival of religion both in their own hearts and through the church and congregation; and they solemnly covenanted together, to observe a special concert in secret prayer for this object, at a particular hour of the day.

This was the first visible movement among Christians : but could we look further into the secret instrumentality nade use of by the Great Head of the church in these operations, we might perhaps trace their origin to more remote and less ostensible causes. It ought to be said, for the encouragement of others, that there had existed in this place, for several years, a small female praying society, who had made it an article in their constitution, "never, while the society lasied, to cease praying for a revival of religion.”

The session of the church were next excited : on the day appointed by our state authority to be observed as a day of thanksgiving, after attending on the public services, they held a spe. cial conference among themselves. They inquired into each other's official faithfulness, the state of experimental religion in their own hearts, and compared their views and feelings in relation to the state of our church and society. Much tenderness of feeling was manifested in this meeting of the session, and it was agreed before they separated, to call a special meeting of all the members of the church for a similar object. This meeting was held on the first Monday of January, and was a solemn and melting season. After spending some time in the usual exercises, (it being the season of the monthly concert) several exhortations were given; and we then began a free conversation with all the members of the church, on the state of their personal experience, as well as their views ia relation to our religious prospects. Almost all were found to be either indulging a strong confidence in prayer for God's special blessing upon us, or mourning, to an unusual degree, their darkness, coldness, and backslidings. Some of our most devoted and circumspect professors were wholly, without the light of God's countenance, and panting after it, “as the hart panteth after the water brooks."

The excitement among professors of religion was now general, and our hopes in God's designs of mercy towards the society

rose in proportion : nor did we wait long for our expectations to be realized. At a Saturday evening's prayer meeting, held un the 6th of January, the first decided appearances of impressions made on the minds of the impenitent were manifested. Five or six young persous appeared remarkably affected, and, in conversation had with them after the close of the meeting, discovered a vivid apprehension of their sinfulness and danger, and a strong determination to seek favour with God. Most of these subjects have since given hopeful evidence of having " passed from death unto life.”

Our first meeting for persons in a state of concern for their souls, was appointed within a few days after this : and though it was distinctly made known that the meeting was to be for such only, we found, to our surprise, not less than 60 persons in the rooin. A part of these, however, had assembled from another society. Here was a scene novel to many of us, and interesting beyond expression. We saw one whole mass of rational beings, bowed down with the same awful sense of guilt and condemnaLion, some to such a degree as not to be able to rise from their seats, bewailing their case with bitter weeping, and asking, with one voice, the directions and prayers of Christians.

It may be proper to remark here, that meetings of this kind, called anrious meetings, by us, have usually been conducted with very little formality. We do not usually either read or exhort; but converse, in a low voice, with each individual, keeping the room as silent as possible, and conclude by praying for the souls in distress. Occasional meetings of this kind have been found highly profitable.

After this, instances of conviction became numerous ; we heard of them daily, and in every part of the town. It was this week also that the first instances of hopeful conversion occurred in two young persons, who found deliverance and comfort. Almost every one now became convinced that a work of special revival was beginning to be experienced: the church were fired, and the session, dividing the society into districts, resolved on a general religious visit in all its families. This important undertaking they were enabled to carry into effect, and found it highly encouraging. It seemed as if many persons, of whose religious seriousness we might otherwise have remained ignorant, were, so to speak, predisposed to solemn impressions, and needed only to be touched by personal conversation to cause the notes of penitence to flow freely.

All the usual means of furthering a revival of religion were now employed. Besides the exercises of the Sabbath, and other sermons and lectures from the pastor, we had conference meetings, prayer meetings, and anxious meetings, so as to occupy every evening of the week, and frequently several in the same evening at differer: places. The people seemed never weary of attending meetings wherever appointed. The multitude would flock, during all the inclemencies of the season, to the places of worship, and listen, when assembled, with that deep and silent solemnity, that, in a room crowded to overflowing, you migh: have heard the heating of a watch. The stillness and order appeared on many occasions really mysterious : you felt that you was no longer among material objects--it was eternity-it was sublimely awful ! Strangers, who were occasionally in these meetings, have expresscd and seemed to feel somewhat such a sentiment as that of Eliphaz the Ternanite, when“a spirit passed before his face,” and the voice of a mysterious visitant challenged "mortal man" to a comparison with his Maker.

It has been in moments of silent and awful solemnity like these, we think, that the greatest number of spiritual convictions have been made. We have known the sacred influence seem to descend at particular moments, and numbers have been afterwards hopefully converted, who dated their first impressions from these simultaneous effusions.

These things notwithstanding, it will be a mistake to suppose that any thing like enthusiasm has made its appearance in this work. No visions, or supernatural impressions have ever been imagined. No efforts were made to excite the noise of passion, but rather to repress it. Convictions have usually been rational convictions. Plain and conscience-exciting truths are what have been principally aimed at in , preaching, and these too have been most obviously and signally blessed. All who have borne a part in the active duties of this revival, have been forcibly convinced, that pointed, plain, and, for the most part, practical truths, were those best calculated to awaken convictions in the carnal heart. Much has been insisted on the stubbornness of the will, the sinner's guilt, and his need of divine assistance to save him from self-destruction. These, however, have been only general principles. Instances of conviction, and conversion have taken place in modes and circumstances altogether aside from human calculation. More than once have human wisdom and foresight been baffled, and the management taken entirely into the hands of the Almighty. The church has been taught to believe, and it is hoped sweetly to acquiesce in this lesson, that the best way to carry on God's work in a revival of religion, is to keep in the dust, and let him carry it on himself. This maxim does by no means preclude the instrumentality of Christians in such a work; but, it will teach them, at such a season, that the principal duties, especially in cases of unhappy collision among different denominations, are the duties of prayer, patience, and forbearance ; and that while these are faithfully observed, God will never fail to give all desirable prosperity.

On Feb. 21st, we held our communion ; preceded on the Satyrday previous, by a season of solemn fasting and prayer. I

« AnteriorContinuar »