« AnteriorContinuar »
was, for us, a great day. Fifty-nine were added to the church on examination, in the midst of an immense crowd of solemn spectators; not less, it was thought, than two thousand; after which between four and five hundred communicants sat down at the Lord's table. The week following, the revival seemed to have increased; husbands and wives, who had been separated at the communion table were trembling; our evening meetings were thronged, and notwithstanding the inclemency of the weather, many who could not obtain admission to the room have been seen io raise the windows, and stand at them during the evening in the snow, rather than forego the privilege of hearing the word of God. Oiten on witnessing these animating spectacles, has the scriptural representation occurred to the mind, associated perhaps by the similarity of expression, if not of sentiment, “ These, whence come they ; who are these that fly as a cloud, and as doves to their windows ?" The house of God was equally crowded and solemn on the Sabbath ; even the intermission seasons were usually spent in religious exercises; and we were under the necessity of enlarging our accommodations in seats to provide for the crowds of anxious worshippers. From this season the revival might be considered as at its height, and as it was observed at the time, that for three certainly, and perhaps four weeks, there was not one day, in which we did not hear of some one person, and often of two or three, who were made for the first time to rejoice in hope. All our usual meetings continued; and at the end of six weeks from the former, we again enjoyed our season of sacramental communion. Fifty-seven communicants were now added on examination, and the scason was, if possible, more solemn than before.
Two additional circumstances may be mentioned as remarkable in the history of this revival. It has prevailed to an unusual de grec among persons advanced in life, and it has been singularly destructive to doctrinal errors. The doctrines of Socinianism, and that of Universal Salvation, are to be understood as particularly included in the last remark. Socinianism has not been otherwise attacked than by simply preaching the truth; and Universalism has not been attacked ai all. It seemed as the Spirit of God itself, by its silent influences, had blighted it. Many professed believers in this doctrine have been hopefully converted, and it is not known that more than two or three, at most, remain in this whole region.
The excitement might be considered as continuing until the second Sabbath of May, the time of our third communion from its commencement. Since the former, most of our outward exertions have been kept up. The session undertook a second visit through the congregation, and weekly meetings were regularly attended. But ihe opening of the spring brought a bad state of the roads, the evenings became shori, and the busy season of the
year operated, as might be expected, unfavourably to the extension of the revival. Some other apparent causes it might be instructive to mention. The church in this place is situated, as many other churches are, in the midst of different denominations of Christians. It was not to be expected that unhappy collisions with these could for a long time be avoided, though it was distinctly foreseen, that any thing like controversy would prove fatal 10 the progress of the revival. With this belicf, it was early determined and announced that we would not, on any consideration whatever, suffer ourselves to be drawn into such a collision. It is natural for us to say we think we have observed this resolution, and to wish it had been equally attended to by others. But we wish to throw a veil over this part of our subject; and have mentioned thus much only in the hope that our experience may prove profitable to others.
The particular excitement is now evidently on the decline. Ai our third communion 26 were added on examination, making the whole number, within about three months, 142.
On the whole, no people, perhaps, have ever had greater occasion of gratitude to Almighty God for spiritual mercies. Our church is enlarged, we believe, in part, at least, of such “ as shall be saved.” Our bounds are extended, our strength increased, the moral and religious state of many parts of the society evidently improved. Our rising generation, in particular, present an exhilirating spectacle. Our galleries are no longer filled with listless and frivolous triflers, but with a majority of devout and humble worshippers ; and in a meeting appointed exclusively for this interesting class of community, you may sometimes face as many as a hundred smiling youth at once mingling sweet and harmonious voices in the elevated praises of their Redeemer. For all these mercies our hearts should swell with gratitude, and our hands be ever active in the service of their Sovereign Author. We dare not promise much, however, and we know that we shall often lack wisdom rightly io manage those difficult duties, which so extensive a charge will devolve upon us. But whatever our trials may be, they will not diminish our obligation, and under whatever disappointments we may hereafter grieve, it will still be true, and we trust ever to feel disposed to acknowledge it, “The Lord hath done great things for us, whereof we are glad."
REUBEN SMITH. Ballston, May 16, 1820.
NEW-YORK SUNDAY SCHOOLS.
(Concluded from p. 127.) It does not fall within our present plan to extract the account given of Sunday Schools in the different parts of the United States, but the important suggestion with which they close that
account we shall present and recommend to the attention of our readers. They say
“ Your Committee cannot forbear intimating the great benefit which would result from a Union embracing all the Sunday Schools of the United States, on a plan in some respects similar to the AMERICAN Bible Society. Equally catholic in its principles and simple in its design, ihe Sunday School system would be equally benefited by such a union. The vast amount of facts and information which could then be embodied with precision, and presented annually to the public, would afford a powerful and irresistible appeal to their patronage and support. Your Commit. tee do not perceive that any serious obstacle exists to prevent the prosecution of this enlarged plan, and they would rejoice if bis hint should lead to the opening of an immediate correspondence with the principal societies of the United States for this purpose. If the attempt should end merely in effecting a general correspondence, much good would resuli."
On the same subject in another part of the work, they add
“ The more the principle of Union has been examined, the more forcible has it appeared. Oljections to its influence have been answered by the inost decisive facts. While it has removed unfounded prejudices and destroyed unchristian jealousies, it has drawn into one generous effort the zealous co-operation of nien of very various opinions in promoting the great interests of humanity. “So liberal is the principle,' says a report,
upon which this institution is established, that Christians of every denomination may aid it without sacrificing a shade of their peculiarities; and so various are its operations, that it may embrace every degree and diversity of talents. The man of influence and property may advance its interests and contribute to its finances. The literary character to its publications and reviews. The man of business and activity to its visitations, and the Sunday School teacher to the most laborious and efficacious duties of the whole.'
“ In addition to the strength and consequent superior efficacy, of combined efforts, your Committee will add one other result, which they hope will have its full weight upon all such as have hitherto, with the most upright intentions, opposed a general Union ; that is, the great saving of expense. On the disjointed plan the expenditure is twice, in many cases three times as much as it would be, were the funds of all united. The cost of books, it is well known, is proportionably less as the number of copies is increased. That which would cost six cents in a single society, may be had for two, or at most three cents in a large edition, such as a general Union would require. And when we consider the increased power which this gives for extending the blessings of the system, it is believed no other argument will be wanting to convince the candid, liberal, and humane mind, of the utility of such a union as your Commitee have deemned it their duty to recommend."
We close our notices of the Sunday Schools of our city, by the following important suggestions and observations from the last mentioned report :
The Committee "would particularly present to the consideration of the society and of the public, the numerous children of the AlmsHouse, and the tenants of our prisons, as neglected, though very proper objects of Sunday School instruction. But your Committee state, with deep regret, that a want of means has prevented the extension of the benign influence of your charity to these places.
“Your Committee, in closing this report, would suggest to the consideration of the rich, whether there is any institution which, with so small an amount of funds, can accomplish so much good, and that good so entirely unmixed with any possible evil. If it was not that Sunday Schools aim a deadly blow at that long train of evils growing out of vice and ignorance in the lower classes—if they did not give a virtuous and happy direction to their views and habits—if by aiding the hand of the magistrate in the most effectual manner ihey did not add to the safety of property and the good order of society-your Committee would not so confidently urge their claims to patronage.
“Let it be considered, that while no nation has been so bless. ed in the enjoyment of rational liberty and general prosperity -and while the call for gratitude to the author of these distin guished blessings is loud and powerful-sp, the exertions which, under the impulse of this gratitude, we may make for the moral and religious improvement of our fellow citizens, will be the best means of prescrving and perpetuating our free and happy govcrnment."
Mezu-York Marine Bible Society. The fourth Anniversary of this society was held on Monday evening, the 19th June, in the MarineRS' Church, in Roosevelt-street. After the Annual Report of the Board of Managers was read, several appropriate addresses were delivered, on oifering and receiving the usual resolutions. The meeting was animated and pleased with the excellent performance of a number of suitable pieces of music by the choir.
United Foreign Missionary Society. The Mission to the Osage Indians left Cincinnati on the 3th June, to continue their journey, having about 1000 miles more to travel, before they arrive at their place of destination. Our brethren at Cincinnati received them in the most cordial manner, and contributed to their comfort by every attention in their power.
THE CHRISTIAN HERALD.
Saturday, July 15, 1820.
Some account of the Life and Adventures of Brother John Gilek,
an emigrant from Bohemia. It will be recollected that we some time ago presented to our readers the
translation of a letter addressed to the Association of Ministers at Herrnhuth, in Upper Lusatia. Our correspondent has now favoured us with a translation of a very interesting nature, respecting the sufferings and faith of an eminent persecuted saint. At a time when the church is blessed with unexampled prosperity, and we ourselves are enjoying the highest privileges without the least molestation, it will do us much good to consider the case of the suffering saint of less favoured times, and incline us to adopt the language of the Apostle concerning the old Jewish sufferers. “Wherefore, seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us." Heb. xii. 1.
NorwITHSTANDING that the church constitution of all the evangelically disposed inhabitants of Bohemia and Moravia had been annulled in the year 1620 ; still the predilection for the purer doctrines of the gospel could not be effaced from every mind. Many, although they outwardly kept to the established church, remained faithful to their inner conviction, and also implanted their religious sentiments into their posterity. To effect this, however, required, like their general conduct, a great deal of pru. dence; for the church kept a vigilant eye upon them, and some. times a mere suspicion sufficed to involve a man in many difficul. ties. Thus for instance, a report was raised in the year 1707, that some of the inhabitants of the Circle of Leutmeritz, in Bohemia, were about sending a message to Charles XI. king of Sweden, who was returning with his then yet victorious army, from Saxony to Poland, praying him to assist them in procuring the free exercise of their religion, as only lately he had effected the same for the Austrian subjects in Silesia.
Just about this period, John Gilek was born at Lubny. His father was one of those who had been impeached, on account of the above suspicion; and every moment he expected to be put under arrest. This, however, did not ensue: they educaa led this son, like the rest of their children, with care, and.