Revivals of Religion in New England and Nova Scotia – 1798
This extremely rare pamphlet, comprised of thirteen letters written in late 1798 and the first six months of 1799, describes the effects of a glorious revival of religion in the states of New England and Nova Scotia. The only original of this work (known to the Revival Library) can be found at the Evangelical Library in London, England.
We have included the entire pamphlet here.
Mr. S_____W_____, of Windham, in Connecticut, thus writes to his friend in Boston.
Windham, Oct 2, 1798.
Rev, and dear Sir,
YOU will pardon me for troubling you with a line from so unworthy, though sincere a friend. It is a time of general health in these parts; but this is not the best news with which I shall acquaint you for “as cold water to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.” God is carrying on a glorious work in several towns in these parts. The work began in the first society at Mansfield, about five or six months ago, in a very gradual manner; but soon took a very rapid spread in the west part of the town. A sermon preached in that neighborhood at a funeral, by the Rev. Mr. Shearman, was greatly blessed. ‘The Spirit of the Lord seemed to sweep all before it like an overflowing flood, though with very little noise. It is wonderful to see the surprising alteration in the people in so short a time. I conclude there are not less than an hundred souls converted in that town since the work began. Soon after, it began in Hampton, but did not spread with the, same rapidity as it did in Mansfield. The like happy work has lately taken place in Ashford, in the Rev. Mr. Pond’s society, with a good degree of power. It has also spread into the second society in Mansfield, under the pastoral care of Rev. Mr. Welsh; also in the upper part of Canterbury, and lately in Abington in Pomfret.
Dear sir, we may say, in the midst of judgment God is showing himself marvelously good and kind; and though’ it seemed our land, a few months ago, was fully ripe for destruction, and the hot thunderbolts of divine wrath were hanging over our heads, yet God has made a rich display of his grace, in the conversion of many folk. One thing is remarkable in this reformation, there is such evidence carried in the work, that none, or but very few dare to oppose it. Bigotry, which was so common between the Standing Order, or the Congregationalists, and The Dissenters, is done away. —This work is chiefly among the Standing Order.
Containing a further account of the same work, in a letter from the Rev. E. _____ P_____, to his Parents, dated Ashford, September 24, 1798. Honored Parents,
I MUST inform you of the work of God, which is going on in these parts. Early in May, an attention to religion began in the first society in Mansfield, which increased to a great degree, so as to become general. It then began in Hampton, where it is as general as in Mansfield. About four weeks since, it began here, and, for the time, has spread very fast; so that about eighty have been under great concern: Of this number, nearly twenty have a good hope they have been “born again.” The work seems to be spreading. In one family of my people who have only three little daughters, the eldest fifteen years old, they all give evidence that they have been born again! The work has also begun in Mr. Welsh’s society in Mansfield; and the prospects are very favorable in Westford. — Do unite in prayer that God would pour out his Spirit upon you. If only two or three can be induced to engage don’t omit it, this seems to have been the beginning of the work in Mansfield.
Containing an account of the beginning of the reformation in Hartford, in a letter from the Rev. S_____S. N_____ of that City, to his friend in Boston, dated, January 14, 1799.
Rev, and dear Sir,
A GLORIOUS revival of religion has lately taken place among us. Two of my brothers-in-law, the youngest about 12 years old, and the other fourteen, had been under deep conviction at times, for several weeks before our last Thanksgiving; and on that day, while I was preaching, the youngest was blest with great peace in believing, and went home with his soul overflowing with joy. This affected the whole family; several of whom we trust, could rejoice with him; all the rest were much alarmed, and led to cry out under pungent conviction, “What shall we do to be saved?” From this time it has spread from house to house, and from heart to heart, till almost the whole City has got alarmed.
I think as many as 15 or 20 have been hopefully converted; many more are under painful convictions, and the work still spreading. It has also extended its happy influence among the other denominations, who have set up religious conferences, and welcome its approach.
We have meetings almost every evening in the week. Here is surely a Macedonian cry. “Do come over and help us.”
Containing a further account of the same work, in a letter from Rev. J_______ B______, dated at Trumbull, February 6, 1799, to his friend at Newbury Port.
My dear friend and brother,
THROUGH the kind hand of God, I arrived here yesterday. I slopped at Hartford, and preached five sermons.
The spirit of hearing at Hartford is greater than any representations that have been made. Young people of both sexes flock by hundreds, and the prospect is flattering in the extreme. Conference meetings are held every night in different private houses. In Mr. Strong’s society, 60 are thought to be under conviction, and 20 have been hopefully brought into gospel liberty. In Mr. Nelson’s 30, and some in Mr. Mint’s.
The youth hold correspondence one with another by letters, and with those of the neighboring towns. Hundreds are under some serious concern, while hundreds more stand astonished, and are ready to cry, “ What meaneth all this?”
The Lord seems to have stepped out of the usual path of ordinances, to effect this work more immediately in the displays of his almighty power, and the effusion of his Spirit, probably to show that the work is his own. It is not attended with noise, and confusion, but with solemnity and reverence. No fire; no ruffling wind; no earthquake: but a still small voice goes before this wonderful work; no doubt, to hide pride from man. The ministers are stirred up to uncommon diligence and labor, so that they have scarcely time to prepare for public exercises.
The sacred flame has spread into many neighboring towns (Footnote: It is mentioned in a letter of April 25, from a respectable character in Hartford, that it has spread into nearly one hundred towns) and the pious are flocking into Hartford to be eyewitnesses of this glorious work. I have felt myself so much engaged in preaching, visiting, and conversing with old and young that my attention has been literally taken off from Wife, Children, Flock, and bodily infirmities. O that my past time had been better employed and filled than it has been. Should my health be continued, I hope, by the grace of God to spend my strength wholly in the Lord’s cause, which carries its own reward with it.
Two hundred miles N. W. of Hartford on the border of the Indian nations, I am informed that the Lord is pouring out his Spirit plentifully. The Aborigines (Footnote: Or native Indians) flock to hear the Gospel, and fall under the word like Dagon before the Ark. I have seen a preacher from those parts, who gives the most flattering accounts, and informs me, that very large numbers have been added to the churches in that vicinity, the last year.
After the sermon was finished upon a late occasion in the woods, an Indian stood up with tears in his eyes, and thus addressed the audience: “I desire to bless God, that white people ever came into this country. White people brought the Bible, and the religion of Jesus with them. White people prayed for the conversion of the heathen, and I stand up this day as a living witness of the power of God’s converting grace in answer to their prayers. Continue to pray for the conversion of more heathens, that they also may be brought to the knowledge of Jesus.”
Rev. Caleb Blood, a Baptist Minister of Shaftsbury, in the State of Vermont, gives the following particulars of the reformation in that Town.
Feb. 21st, 1799.
I AM sensible that under too great a degree of animation, even Christians too often exaggerate their accounts of revivals of religion. But I will attempt a simple, but short narrative of the late wonderful work of God in this place.
In the month of April last, there appeared nothing among this people but the most rapid increase of every species of vice and immorality; and even professors bad grown cold as to religious exercises.
Towards the last of that month, it pleased God to visit my poor soul with some sense of my own vileness and shortcomings, and how little I had done for God and the good of souls. At this time I think I had a glimpse of the infinite character of Jehovah, which made me shrink into nothing in my own esteem; then, to my astonishment, my soul was strangely drawn forth, at particular times, in secret prayer, for the salvation of sinners. Repeated exercises of this kind gave me a strong confidence, that the Lord would soon work salvation in this place. There were, however, no favorable symptoms among the people until the month of July; then a young woman, who had been converted some years before, was stirred up, to propose herself for baptism. Her conversation was made the means of the awakening of a number of young people. Thus the work began in August, four persons more were baptized. In September I baptized seventeen. Many were awakened by the solemnity of this ordinance. (Indeed I think there was no one mean more blessed for the conviction of sinners, through the whole course of this work, than the administration of baptism.) But to return; we as yet held our church conferences, to hear the relations of candidates, but once a month. At the close of October we were obliged to attend two days, and then were not able to hear all that wished to relate. The next Lord’s-day was a severe storm; baptism was omitted: The church attended two days of that week also; to hear the young converts declare what the Lord had done for them. I was then under the necessity to call for assistance in administering baptism. Accordingly, brother Samuel Rogers attended the next Sabbath, and we baptized 46 that day. We then found it necessary to hold our church conferences to hear relations once a week. The next Sabbath I baptized 21; the next 16 the next 13; the next 9: and there have been but a few weeks since, that I have not been called to the precious work of baptizing. Zion’s gates were then truly thronged with converts!
The whole number added to this church, since last May, is 175; 25 by letter and other ways; and 150 by baptism. Our whole number is 346. Many of this number are removed into different parts of the country; there are, however, nearly 300 that live in this vicinity, the remotest of them not more than six miles from our meeting-house.
There have also been 70 added to the West church in this town since the work began, and 13 to the East church.
As to the principal means by which this work has been carried on, I must say, that no one’s little or great preaching can justly lay any claim to the honors of it. Several brethren in the ministry have visited us in the time, and all of them were blessed in their labors. A brother Jones, from England, was an instrument of awakening some.
I have been filled with wonder and astonishment, to see how the Lord has been pleased to succeed some of almost all the preaching that has been in this town since I have been here. Even when I had mourned and thought I had labored in vain, and that my preaching was as water spilt upon a rock; the Lord has now made it manifest that he designed it for the good of souls. O my brother let us never be discouraged; we cannot always tell when our labors are blessed. I cannot say how many, but the Lord has made my poor weak efforts the means of awakening a considerable number. But the greatest part of the people have been awakened by attending the solemnity of baptism, and by conversation one with another. —Indeed, the most that I can say is, it is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes.
There has not, in years past been the most cordial fellowship between the three Baptist churches in Shaftsbury; but the Lord has now effected a happy union between us. On the last Lord’s-day in January, we all met at one communion table. That happy day my soul had desired for years. Nothing but experience could have made me believe it possible, that I could have felt so much solid delight, anticipated so much trouble, and rejoiced with so much trembling, at one and the same time. That day I trust will never be forgotten by me.
The north part of Bennington, which lies south of us, has shared considerably in this grace, several from thence have joined the churches in this town, and some few members from the town north of us; but the greatest part that have been wrought upon are within this town which is six miles square.
In about two months after the work began, the whole town seemed to be affected. Conference meetings were attended two or three times in a week in almost every neighborhood; and it was surprising to me, that scarcely a single instance appeared of any over-heated zeal, or flight of passion! Both sinners under conviction, and those newly brought into the liberty of the gospel, converted in their meetings with the greatest freedom; they spake one at a time a few words, in the most solemn manner I ever heard people in my life. And in general they spake so low, that their assemblies must be perfectly still, or they could not hear them: Yet a remarkable power attended their conversation. Sinners would tremble as though they felt themselves in the immediate presence of the great Jehovah.
Some of all ranks and characters among us have been taken, from the most respectable members of society, to the vilest in the place. Some of our most noted Deists have bowed the knee to King Jesus. And a number of Universalists have forsaken their delusions, and embraced the truth.
In the revival four years ago last summer, we then received ten children into the church, aged from nine to thirteen years, with a number of other young people; all of them remain in good standing with us, and are now able to help others; excepting one, who, I trust, is gone to the church triumphant. In this revival we have received sixteen whose ages are from nine to fifteen years. From nine, I have baptized some of almost every age up to seventy I
We have now upwards of one hundred unmarried persons in this church. There are also a large number of youths who have joined the other churches in this town. O my God! Keep them in the love of the truth! My very soul trembles when I think of them. There are not a sufficient number of young people now left in the town (who can unite) to carry on their merry meetings. Every company of them is broken up.
I lately enjoyed the happiness of having upwards of seventy youths and children that were professors, to visit and hold a conference at my house in one evening. You may guess, but it would be difficult to tell, with what a mixture of joy and trembling I was then filled.
The severest cold, snow and ice we have had this tedious winter, I have not heard once mentioned as any terror to the most delicate ladies, young or old, we have in the place; but they have cheerfully followed their Divine Redeemer into the liquid grave, without the least intimidation.
As to myself, I think if ever I knew what it was to have extraordinary strength, it has been within a few months past. My lungs, which I had thought were on the decay, now, seemed to renew their youth. Preaching three and four times a week, besides attending other meetings almost every day for months together, seemed very little if any to exhaust my strength. I think, of all men in the world, I have the greatest cause to be humble before God, for his abundant goodness bellowed upon a most unworthy wretch.
When I think upon my weakness and insufficiency, and the great number of young, inexperienced Christians committed to my charge, my heart shrinks within me; and I am ready to wish they had a more able and pious watchman to go before them. But all the hope I have is, that He who leadeth Joseph like a flock will gather the lambs in his arms, and gently lead his flock into the flowery fields of gospel truth, and beside the still waters of eternal life.
I sometimes anticipate so much trouble, that it quite absorbs my spirits, and drowns my joy. Then I think it best to rejoice when I can, and let to-morrow take thought for itself.
It is, however, a very interesting crisis with us; if we are faithful, and make a right improvement of the great mercies bestowed upon us, we may continue to be a happy people: if not, a series of trouble and sorrow awaits us. Dear brother, pray for us that we may be kept in the love of the truth; that the God of love and peace may ever dwell with us.
I must not indulge my feelings; I shall intrude upon your patience.
A Gentleman in Pembroke thus writes to his Friend in Boston.
Pembroke April 2, 1799
GOD has been pleased to begin a glorious work in the first parish in Marshfeld, and a few scattering drops in towns adjoining, although but a few as yet. O may we all be enabled to wrestle like Jacob and prevail like Israel. We need the prayers of all who have an interest at the throne of grace that we may be kept from error and delusion. O may the time soon come, when the knowledge of God shall cover the earth, as the waters do the seas.
As to the present state of the reformation among us, there are between 30 and 40, in a judgment of charity, brought to the knowledge of the truth; and more than that number appear to be under serious impressions of mind.
The Rev. P_____P_____, of Deer-Isle, writes thus in a Letter to his Friend in Newbury-Port.
Deer-Isle, March 20, 1799.
IN your last letter to me, you wrote you had heard there was a revival of religion somewhere in these parts; and desired me to give you an account of it.
In the beginning of June last, I was called to Mount Desert to administer sacraments to a church that have not a stated Pastor, and tarried with them about nine days; when, in the preaching of my second Sermon, the glory of the Lord came down in a wonderful manner. One convicted, and hopefully converted under that Sermon, was added to the Church about two days after, and three others who had before obtained a hope. Three months after this, I went again to administer the Lord’s Supper, at which time I admitted twenty-eight who had hopefully been brought home in the interval. The work of conviction was then going on powerfully in that town, and spreading into those adjoining on the same island. (Footnote: Mount Desert is an Island in Penobscott Bay.) Our association had licensed dear Mr. Ebenezer Eaton to preach, who improved his talent, laboring night and day among them, whom the Lord remarkably owned. How many have been brought out since I was there, I am not informed; but according to the best accounts, there are many. The Lord multiplies the number, and adds to the Church such as shall be saved.
I now come a little nearer home. In the beginning of winter, this glorious work began in Sedgwick, under the pastoral care of the Rev. Daniel Merrill. Perhaps there hath not been a work so powerful, and so much like the work fifty-eight years ago. In a time of such extraordinariness’, it could not reasonably be expected but some things would be a little wild and incoherent, considering the various tempers, infirmities, and dispositions of mankind: But I believe my young and dear brother Merrill with other experienced Christians were very careful to distinguish the precious from the vile —to correct errors, “to set the people in the way of his steps,” so that there appears to be no prevalence of enthusiasm among them, according to the best information. How great the number of those who have been brought to hope, I am not able to give any tolerable good account: Some say there are about an hundred, others about double that number: I believe they are all very uncertain. Blessed be God, the work is still going on there, though not with equal rapidity.
And now, dear Sir, let your imagination paint to your view the striking scene of an hundred souls, men, women, and children, at the same time under the work of the law. The tears, sobs, groans, and cries issuing from scores at a time! All the terrors of the law crowding and pressing in upon them; their sins, in infinite numbers and aggravations, staring them in the face; all their old vain hopes gone, and cut off; and every refuge failing! Hear them freely confessing their old abominations, their former enmity to the great doctrines of original sin, election, the sovereignty of divine, free grace, the power of God displayed in effectual vocation; above all, the justice of God in their damnation! How often are fools brought out into the peace and comfort of the love of God, and the sweet consolations of the Holy Spirit. The dead hear the voice of the Son of God, and live. Children are brought to cry “Hosanna to the Son of David.” Indeed this glorious work has been wonderful among children; and God has made instruments of them to perfect his praise in carrying on his work.
This blessed work of God has begun in Blue-Hill; but as yet has not gained the ascendancy, I shall therefore come to my own dear people of Deer-Isle. And here, perhaps the work is as remarkable as at Sedgwick, but not to rapid. Not more than eight months ago it appeared to me that religion was near expiring among us, except in a very handful of professors. Deism had taken an unaccountable stride, and spread itself over a great number of the inhabitants. And now, No Bible, no Christ! The Christian religions, and Christians, were the song of the drunkard; and drunkenness and every vice was deemed harmless, and inoffensive to God. I had no reason to think but by the next annual meeting of the town, they would vote the Gospel out from them. When the aforementioned work at Penobsot and Mount Desert was going on, it seemed to have no influence on our people. This, you may be sure, was very grievous to me. However, I think I was enabled to bear witness to the truth with great freedom. In October, I perceived a more close attention to the word, but nothing special as yet. After I was confined to my house, the work began to appear; and though I could not go abroad, nor preach at the Meetinghouse, there was seldom a day but more or less visited me under their trouble, and I preached in my own house when I was not able to stand on my feet. At length we had the assistance of Mr. B. Eaton, whom God remarkably owns. I believe there are about forty men, women, and children, who have obtained a hope; and great numbers are under pressing conviction. The work is now on the increase. May the Lord continue and still increase it till they are all brought in. The mouth of deism is at present stopped, and against the children of Israel not so much as a dog is suffered to move his tongue. O may the Lord go on from conquering to conquer, till the whole earth shall be filled with his glory.
Thus, dear Sir, I have complied with your desire. If you think proper, you may cause the foregoing Narrative to be printed in the newspapers. Such accounts may be a mean of putting a careless people under consideration.
A Letter from a person in Deer-Isle, to a Society with which he is connected in Newbury-Port, dated March 15, 1799.
Dear Friends and Brethren.
WHILE I am partaking a rich repast, I heartily desire my friends may have a share of a feast indeed. It is in vain for me to attempt to describe the wonders of the love and grace of God manifested in a marvelous manner among us, and in the adjacent parts. It has pleased God to visit us by the out-pouring of his blessed Spirit, so that even opposers acknowledge it to be the work of God, of whom some of the greatest have been (I hope) savingly wrought upon.
This blessed and glorious work first began in a small neighborhood that have lived in a careless and negligent manner as to their attendance on the means of grace: The head of the first family that was wrought upon, is a man of about sixty years of age: I never saw him at meeting but twice since I lived on the Island, before this winter: God has been pleased to visit him and his wife, and they both appear to be humble Christians, with several others of that family. The work is daily increasing and spreading through the town; there were 4 or 5 brought into the light under one sermon this week; there have been 19 persons come forward and made a public profession of religion, and joined the Church already, and nearly as many more profess to have a hope.
This work has been more extensive in Sedgwick: I am credibly informed it has visited every house for 14 miles, and about one hundred souls are hopefully converted. What shall we say to these things? Let us adore the free grace of our blessed God and Savior. I think there is great encouragement for all that love our Lord, and have an interest at the throne of grace, to plead with God to spread this glorious work. Let us all adore and praise his name for his wonderful works to the sons of men. I bless God that he has given me to see such glorious days of the Son of Man. It has been a Sabbath to me all this winter; I have enjoyed a continual feast, and find it good to wait on God. I had rather be a doorkeeper in his house, than to dwell in the tents of sin.
O that it would please God to cause a glorious shower of divine grace to descend upon you. My soul longs for your salvation, that every member of your little society may be a partaker of the heavenly grace; may this be a mean of stirring you up, and engaging your hearts in the things of God. Let not worldly cares turn your attention from this most important concern: Not only our present but everlasting happiness lies here.
A Letter written by Mrs. A_____ S_____, in the District of Maine, to the Rev. Isaac Backus, at Middleborough.
Litchfield, April 6,1799
THERE has been a wonderful out-pouring of God’s Spirit in these parts this winter, especially among the youth. As many as 25 have joined this church this winter, who are not more than 20 years old; and one lad who was but nine. I believe there is not one house missed for seven or eight miles, but what the Lord has taken some out of every family. And one family, who but a few years ago were in open opposition to this cause, 7 out of 11 have now professed to know Jesus Christ and the power of his resurrection; one of whom was baptized last Lord’s-day. And while we were by the waterside, the power of the Lord came down like the rushing of a mighty wind. One young woman was so struck with a sense of her duty that she could not stand on her feet. The people seeing her falter, thought she was faint; but she said No, no; her friends were in such opposition to the Baptists, that she had never said any thing openly about religion. — In the afternoon instead of a sermon she told her exercises, and two more who were baptized the same clay. We thought the reformation was almost over in this place; but we find the Lord has not forsaken us; blessed be his name, he is still giving us a taste of his Love.
Another Letter, dated Bowdoinham, April 29, 1799, from the Rev. Job Macomber, to the same, contains the following.
SINCE our last association, elder William Stinson, who is ordained over the first church in Litchfield, has baptized 118. The greatest part of them belongs to that town. The winter before last there was the most powerful work in Bowdoin that I ever saw since I came into these parts. It prevailed through the town. Elder Potter baptized 22 in one day. And it was as powerful in Litchfield last winter; Elder Stinson baptized 13 there in one day. These were two as cold winters as were ever known here. The work has now begun in this town. Six persons have lately manifested a change of heart; two of them are my children. The work still prevails.
From the Rev. J_____ D_____, in NOVA-SCOTIA, to his Friend in Boston, dated Halifax, May 25, 1799.
NOTWITHSTANDING much complaint as to the state of religion in some parts; yet God is marvelously visiting several townships with the showers of his grace. In Annapolis County the following places have shared largely, viz. Granville, Willmouth, Nictau, and Aylesford. In King’s County, Horton and Cornwaliis, have been wonderfully visited. Sinners have been converted to God, and Christians to their duty. Two Pedo-baptist Ministers have been baptized, and a great many young converts. The three last sacramental occasions, I think there were baptized, the 1st. thirteen—the 2nd twenty-seven—the 3rd twenty-eight.
There are also favorable symptoms among the Dutch people at Lunenburgh. Many of them who had been violent opposers of religion, having spent all their arrows, say they will fight no more. Some are under very serious impressions, and a few hopefully converted.
Containing a further account of the same work, in a Letter from the Rev. T_____ H_____. C_____ to his Friend in Boston dated Annapolis in Nova-Scotia, July 15, 1799. (Footnote: In 1794, there were four Baptist Churches in Nova-Scotia, the principal Minister was Henry Chipman. See Asplund’s Register.)
I AM confident you will be glad to hear of the advancement of Christ’s Kingdom, though by an unskillful hand. Therefore shall attempt to give you some account of what God has done among us. The fall after I was last at Boston, it pleased God to visit our Society, at the lower part of Granville; it was a blessed time of God’s power, and additions were made to the Church. A year ago last January; God began to visit us here, and in our Society at Willmouth, where I preach a third part of my time. It has been a most astonishing time of God’s power, such as I never knew before. I cannot give you a full description of it. I have frequently been called out of my bed at night to visit distressed souls. They have sometimes been brought from the deepest distress to shout the praises of the living God: My four eldest children, I doubt not are made partakers of grace divine. Two of them are baptized. Since the work began, I have baptized 173 persons (in about thirteen months) but not all in our church. Cornwallis and Horton have shared largely with us. I have baptized two of our Ministers last summer, and am to baptize another as soon as I can go where he lives.
Our Congregations have increased greatly. Last year we built a new Meetinghouse at the upper end of Granville, where I preach a third part of my time, and this summer we have enlarged it twenty feet. O that we may never be high-minded but fear.
From a Minister in Connecticut, to his Friend in Boston
Dear Brother in Christ. Lyme June 30, 1799.
ACCORDING to your desire, I will endeavor to describe some of the effects of the glorious work of God in this place, the preceding fall and winter. Previous to which, I must inform you, there was a great stupidity on the minds of our brethren, who appeared to dwell in their ceiled houses while the house of God lay waste. There were a few drops in the month of August; but on the first Lord’s-day in September, many began to be alarmed; we therefore thought it our duty to appoint a day of fasting and prayer, which was on the seventh day of the same month. —There was a universal solemnity, and profound attention observed on the face of the assembly, which exceeded any thing I ever saw before. —It was a fast day indeed. The saints arose by confession of the infinite evil of sin, —with fixed resolution to lead a new life. —And in the close of the day (like St. Paul) they thanked God, and took courage. After this our meetings increased, and the blessed effusions of the Holy Spirit were distilled upon us. It was affecting to behold the saints exhorting; backsliders returning; and poor sinners crying for mercy. On the first Lord’s-day in October we attended on the ordinance of baptism. My poor soul was warmed with the love of God, which made me speak from the heart, and it reached the hearts of my brethren and the dear assembly; and we enjoyed communion with the Father, Son, and Spirit, at the Lord’s Table.
After this, conferences increased. My brethren were much engaged in prayer to God for the effusion of his Spirit. At some of our conferences there was a great solemnity upon the youth and children; one of whom mourned that she had lived in sin twelve years, till she thought she become an old sinner; but it pleased God at this time to reveal Christ to her and many others, and to give them the hope of glory.
On the first Lord’s-day in November, I baptized two. — It was a good season. The ninth of this month was a memorable night! The Lord gloriously manifested his power and love in bringing three persons into the full liberty of the Gospel; one of whom was my fifth child, who I trust is brought into the Kingdom of Christ. Another in agony of soul cried out, “If I do go to hell, I will go begging for mercy!” and her distress increased to such a degree, that she left her chamber the latter part of the night, and went into a burying yard, and fell on her knees in great distress, till the kind Lord revealed himself to her in a wonderful manner. The third was a woman near forty years of age, who gave a clear relation of the love of God to her soul. We now saw both in the house of God and in our own houses, the sweet influences of the blessed Spirit bowing stouthearted sinners to the scepter of Emanuel.
The first of December was our Covenant Meeting preceding the Lords-day, which was taken up in hearing the relations of candidates. A number more related their exercises the day following; and notwithstanding it was a very severe snowstorm, twelve were baptized, and a number of whom were youths from ten to fifteen years of age. The saints in general were animated with the love of God, and were mighty in prayer for precious souls, triumphing over the united powers of darkness. Indeed it is almost beyond my power to give a full description of this wonderful scene. It is also to be remarked that our brethren of the Presbyterian order and other denominations joined with us in promoting the cause of our blessed Redeemer. About this time meetings on weekdays were appointed, for receiving candidates, and attending to baptism; and through the severity of this tedious winter, I never heard any one complain or shrink at the cross, on account of tile coldness of the weather.
This work has been gloriously carried on in the spirit of love. In the full part of it, there was great out crying, but it gradually subsided into a free deliberate conversation on the dreadful situation they were in by nature, and their full determination to continue seeking till they should find him of whom Moses and the Prophets did write. I never saw less opposition to the work of God.
The principal part of this work was in our Society; but it has spread into others in the neighboring towns. More than a hundred we hope have received the grace of God; and more than eighty have joined the church under my care.
When I consider the great number of souls committed to my charge, and my own insufficiency, my heart shrinks within me; but all my hope is in the great Head of the Church. My daily prayer is, that he would grant me his grace as an. under Shepherd, to discharge my duty towards God and my dear Flock, during my few remaining days.
The number of members under my care at present is three hundred and thirty six.
INFORMATION, though not very correct has also been received from a number of towns in Cheshire County, in New Hampshire, of a very pleasing and extensive reformation.
The following towns are said to have shared largely in it. viz. Unity, Marlow, Lemster, Alstead, Ackworth, Cornish, and Plainfeld, with some others in that neighborhood. The towns of Stratham and New-Market, in New-Hampshire, are favored at this time with like revivals; but for want of accurate documents, a particular account cannot be given.
If the repentance of one sinner causes joy in heaven among the angels of God, what shouts of immortal praise must have echoed through all the realms of bliss, upon the accession of such numbers to the Redeemer’s Kingdom!
O Lord, may thy Kingdom come, and thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven, for Christ’s sake. Am