« PreviousContinue »
heart; which alas ! under the best means of culture, is often found as hard as the beaten high way, and as un. productive, as the thorny ground. - On! that it were inore tenderly inipressed, and suitably affected, by the expressions and evidences, of an higher degree of life and fervor in the hearts of my christian friends ; and that it may be effectually softened and fertilized, by the dew of heavenly grace, the influences of the spirit of grace, descending upon it, in rich supplies, according to its pressing wants ! As you feel for your dear children, I think I have often felt for the souls of my dear pastoral charge, over whom I am called to watch, as one that must give an account ; and for whom it becomes me to cherish the most tender solicitude, that I may give up my acconnt of my ministry among them, not with grief, but with joy. But ah! in how small a degree do my warmest feelings correspond with the unspeakable importance of the trust, committed to me : how soon are those feelings checked and cooled, if not dissipated and lost, by a thousand vanities and little objects of earth and time, which are scarcely worthy of a moments attention, or a serious thought : and when they have their greatest influence, how feeble are the exertions to which they prompt, how small the good effects which they produce! Who? Oh wbo, is sufficient for these things ? What a consolation, that the humbled and the penitent, may in faith, come to a throne of grace, and 10 the God of all grace, by Jesus Christ, and hope to find mercy, and obtain grace in every time of need, and according to all their necessities ! May you and I more and more feel, how empty and how poor we are ; and find all our need, more and more abundantly supplied, according to the glorious riches of the grace of God in his beloved Son, and from that fulness, which dwells in Jesus Christ our Lord !
For a week past, we have had the Rev. Mr. B. of Tennessee, in our city. A leading object of his visit, is to collect money for carrying on the benevolent, design in which he has been for some time deeply engag. ed, of educating the children of the Indians, of the Cherokee nation, and of civilizing and evangelizing, those poor savages. On the same errand, he took Savannah on his way, where he met with very considerable success. Before he leaves us, which he expects will be in the course of next week, I hope he will be so far successful as to make it worth bis while to have called upon us ; though he will probably receive much less aid from us than he would have done at some seasons, and in circumstances different from the present. The times are now hard, irom the uncertainty of the state of things in Europe, and the stagnation of the sales of cotton, &c. here; yet we have to shen away in all the dissipating scenes of vanity and indulgences of luxury, at an undiminished expense; while the calls of private, and public charity, are daily pressing upon us.
Just before Mr. B. came among us, Dr. F. and myself, in compliance with the earnest request and recommendation of the clergy of Philadelphia, had undertaken to collect what we could for the purpose of assisting in the accomplishment of that noble object of charity, the translation of the scriptures into the languages of India; an account of which you have no doubt seen in our newspapers; and we bad received several bundred dollars. Some additional contributions we might have received; but a considerable part of what we might have expected, will now, probably, be given to Mr. B. and much good may be do with it!
I was speaking of Mr. B. and the object of his visit. He expects to leave town on Saturday for Dorchester, and on his way back to Tennessee. While in our city, he has been instant in season, and out of season, not only in receiving the free gifts of the benevolent and generous, and the forced contributions of the selfish and the stingy, but in preaching the gospel to the white and the black, the free and the bond, the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the Independent Con. gregationalists, the Scotish Presbyterians, the OrphanHouse, congregation of all religions, and nothingarian principles, the Episcopal Methodists, the Antipædobaptists, &c. &c. &c. He appears to be a truly pious and very zealous man, and so far from sparing himself, he seems to be determined to spend and be spent, in the work and service of the Lord, and for the salvation of precious immortal souls. His preaching is on the extempore form, and very much in the manner of the Methodists. His delivery is fervent indeed, I may say, vehement; and though his discourses reach from an hour and ten mioutes, to an hour and twenty minutes, &c. yet after a few introductory sentences, his words flow with a rapidity, far surpassing what I have ever witnessed in any public speaker, and of which they who have not heard him, might for perhaps a tolerably just idea, if they have ever seen and heard the falls of Niagara. In the course of this torrent of eloquence, many expressions occur, marked with pathos and energy, and conveying ideas highly sublime, and deeply interesting and impressive ; but they pass so quickly, that the mind is left to regrét, that it is not allowed more time to perceive their beauty, and feel
their force, I wish that he and our worthy, good friend, (I shall not now name him, but you know him, and I believe we both esteem him as one of the most deserving, and modest, and diffident of the young clergymen of our acquaintance,) could meet, on middle ground, and there settle their wide differences, about pauses, and resting places, in the course of a sermon. But I suppose that if Mr. B. were to attempt, to rein in his imagination, his feelings, and his utterance, he would be in danger of making a baulk, or of turning entirely ont of his way ; and I suppose that the greater number of those to whom he generally preaches, and among whom he appears to have been eminently useful, would not be gratified by any change in this respect, which in their view, might seem to be indicative of a declension of life and fervor! On the whole, I cannot but view him, as one of the best qualified, that I have yet met with, for sustaining the character, and fulfilling the duties of a missionary, in those spheres, where the labours of missionaries are chiefly employed. It is however; but a part of his time, that he employs in missionary services ; for he has the charge of two Congregations, in Tennessee, bordering on the Cherokee nation : while he has been instrumental in collecting, and organizing several other churches in that country. His health has already been greatly impaired by his exertions, and exposures, insomuch, that at the age of 33, he looks like a man of 45 : and if his labours, &c. are continued, as heretofore, his constitution must, ere long, sink under the pressure.
But he seems to think that a man may do as much work in a few years, as he might do in many ; and that if he acconplishes the work, which his Master has given him to do, it is no matter how soon he finishes it, and goes to his rest. So much for the master :'I must not now allow myself, to omit mention. ing his servant, John : a young black man, who is al. 80 a preacher ; and who has been preaching every day, and sonetimes more than once in the day, to numbers of his colour here ; among whom there are promising appearances of his doing much good. I invited him to address the black people, who usually assemble at my house, at morning prayer, and in great numbers on Sabbath mornings. He accordingly did so, yesterday, (Sunday) morning; and as notice had been communicated, before hand, a great crowd attended ; to whom he spoke on the subject of the wedding garment, it being Sacramental Sabbath, in a manner, very solemn and impressive. His language was generally good, and correct ; his pronunciation scarcely marked with any peculiarity, such as might be expected, in one of bis colour and station, and his voice remarkably clear, strong, and pleasant. His discourse, though not strictly methodical, or connected, was well adapted to his audience, and contained important doctrines and sentiments, delivered with earnestness and propriety. It attracted great attention, and seemed to reach the hearts of many. He makes an excellent prayer ; and sings admirably well. In short, he appears to be a very sensible, well informed, modest, pious, zealous christian ; and well qualified, to be the minister of much good, to many, and especially, to those of his own colour. He at present belongs to Mr. B. who has the highest opinion of his character, in every point of view; and who, with the assistance of some friends, purchased him, for upwards of five hundred dollars, with a view of giving him shortly, bis freedom. His former owner would not have parted with him, for double the above sum; if it had not been, with this view, to bis ul