« PreviousContinue »
and dear friends, concerning whom you have told us so much already ; and that you will mention particularly, every one of your dear little children, and say something about them, that will be gratifying to our feelings, and encouraging to our hopes. May our blessed, and dear Lord and Saviour, who gathers the lambs in bis arms, and carries them in his bosom, take them into the arms of his mercy, press them to the bosom of bis love, and bless them with his grace and salvation, and thus prepare them for bis kingdom of glory ; to which he has already removed their excellent father, and where their amiable mother, will in the time appointed, be admitted to join with him, and all the redeened and the sanctified, to behold the glory of the Lord, their Sa. viour, to triumpb in the praises of the triune God, and to partake of that fulness of joy, which is in his presence for ever !
It was indeed, painful to my feelings, to leave you on board the brig, before the other passengers had But you know the imperious circumstances which required my returning home. And I am now pleased with the very circumstances which then gave me pain : as the solitary hour which you spent in that unpleasant situation, furnished you with the opportunity of begioning your journal letter, and of expressing the feelings of your heart, in reflecting on the parting scene, which we find were in unison with our own, gloomy and depressed, in the prospect of the voyage before you, , which in many points of view, would naturally be anticipated by you with anxiety and apprehension ; and also, from the experience of our own great and deeply regretted loss, when we were thus deprived of the presence of a most valuable, and bighly esteemed friend,
whose countenance, conversation, and society, were daily bringing her nearer and nearer to our hearts, from the first evening, to the last morning of her residence in our family, “which seemed unto us but a few days, for the lore we had for her."* It was some consolation to find so many sharing in our love and regret, and best wishes for you. All your intimate acquaintance, seem to have become in a greater or less degree, your real friends : they felicitated us, on the pleasure and the improvement, which your company was adapted to afford ; they have sympathized with us, on account of the necessary separation, when it took place; and they have rejoiced with us, for your own sake, and that of your family, &c. when they were informed of
your having proceeded so far, and so comfortably, on your way homeward. Let not these observations, make your pride or vanity, “rise and swell :" but remembering who has made you to differ from, and to excel others, either in the qualifications of nature, education, or grace, be humble and thankful, and act as it becomes one who knows, that of them, to whom much has been given, the more will be required, by the great Lord of all, who distributes at his sovereign pleasure, to one servant, one talent, to another two, to another five, &c. and who will judge and recompense them, according to their neglect or improvement, of the trust reposed in them.
Your sea sickness, was, we hope, ultimately favourable to your bodily health, as all unpleasant circumstances, and painful events are, or are adapted to be, medicinal and salutary to the soul. While that sickness, and your distance from the ordinances of the sanctuary, prevented your enjoying much pleasure on the sabbath; it is to be hoped, that your kind christian remembrance of the church in which you had been lately a worshipper, and the pious ejaculations of your heart, which ascended to God on our behalf, and on the particular occasion of our dedicating our new house of worship to his service, were graciously accepted, and happily instrumental, through the intercession of our divine Mediator, in drawing down the blessings of heaven upon us. After being providentially detained with us, till the day preceding that sabbath, many other friends, with ourselves, very much regretted, that you were not allowed to enjoy that sabbath with us, on the first occasion of our assembling in that edifice. But so the Lord ordered it; and as he doth all things well, your and we should ever feel it, as our duty, and our interest, and our happiness, to say from the heart, the will of the Lord be done ! On the solemn and interesting occasion of our opening for public worship, that new, spacious, and handsome house, which we have builded for the Lord, we encourage the hope, that his presence was with us, that his blessing was upon us, that his peace was to that house, and that in the view of a number at least, of the genuine worshippers there, it appeared to be filled with his glory. The building is estimat. ed, to accommodate with seats, including those in the gallery, about 1400 or 1500 people ; and it is supposed, that on the day on which the church was opened, there were nearly 2000 persons present; and very many, who came to the house, went away for want of room. From the circular form of the church, when filled with worshippers, the audience appears, especially from the
* Gen. xxix, 20.
pulpit, to very great advantage; although the inconvenience of an echo, is felt in some parts of the building. On the occasion of opening this church, the subject of Dr. H's discourse, was “ Mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all nations."* The subject of my discourse, was, “ I will fill this house with glory.”+ As the church has requested copies of these discours. es for the press, you may in due time, have an opportunity of seeing, and reading them in print. They are to be harmoniously associated in the same pamphlet, prefaced with an historical sketch of the church, and some account of its former ministers. You, I doubt not, will cordially concur, with the friends of Zion here, in the pious prayer,' that this house may long stand as a monument, to the praise of God our Saviour, through whose good hand upon us, the work has been carried forward to the state, in which it is now fit for our use, at an expense of $50,000; and it cannot be completed for less than $10,000 more : and that in this house, the power and glory of Divine grace, may be richly displayed, in the conversion of sinners, and the edification of believers, through a long succession of generations. We should be gratified in hearing that the prospect for your bereaved church in Farmington, is brightening, and encouraging. When I began this sheet, I thought of resigning a large portion of it to my dear Jane, who could easily have filled it up, more agreeably perhaps, than it has been done by my tedious scrawling. But she has been rather indisposed, and suffered a good deal from a severe headache, for a few days past, and says she does not yet feel in a letter
* Isaiah lyi. 7.
Haggai ii. 7.
writing frame. She therefore begs that she may be allowed to reserve her intended communications, till we receive your promised letter from Farmington, which we now expect within a very few days. As I observed to you, while you were with us, so I have found it since you left us, that it seems as if a thousand things more should have been said to you, and by you, which were omitted wbile the opportunity was enjoyed. And so it is, in respect to this letter : lengthy as it is, I seem to have communicated almost nothing of what I wished to write.. But after all that can be written and said, it is only in eternity, that the redeemed will bave time for telling all their minds to each other, and shewing forth all the praises of the adorable Author of their being, and God of their salvation, and of all their mercies. In the mean time, let us,
“ Cheerful advance with growing strength,
Pray for us, our dear friend. We endeavour to pray for you and yours, and you may rest assured, that you continue, and I believe ever will, to hold as bigh a place, in the esteem and affection of our hearts, as you could wish. That He who justly claims the supreme and eternal love of all our hearts, may bless you, our very dear friend, abundantly and for ever, is the sincere language of the united hearts of your truly affectionate,
1. S. AND J. KEITH