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preacher very pertinently deduced the fundamental doctrines of the Gospel; the fall and corruption of our nature, and our consequent need of a Saviour, together with the operations of the Holy Spirit on the heart, and the visible means of grace in order to obtain future glory.
After divine service, the Convention was opened, and proceeded to the usual routine of business, which was conducted with that spirit of candour and conciliation which should ever mark the proceedings of a body professedly assembled for the purpose of promoting the peaceful religion of Jesus Christ.
ANECDOTE OF DR. BAYLY. IN the time of the civil war in England, between the King and Parliament, a board of visitors was sent by the latter to reform, as they would have it thought, the University of Oxford. On which occasion, among others turned out of office, was one Dr. Bayly, President of St. John's College. The Doctor, in the heat of discourse under these oppressions, had said, By my faith! At which the godly Sir William Cobbe cried out in astonishment, Blasphemy! O horrible Blasphemy! Whereupon the old gentleman desired to know what was the matter? what it was that he had said? Why, saith Cobbe, he hath sworn by his faith, when faith is not his own. Say you so, Sir William, replied the Doctor? But, with your good leave, I do not know what is my own, if faith be not; and I doubt, Sir William, you will come but lamely off when you are to be sav. ed, if you depend upon another's faith. No, said Cobbe, faith is not your own; it is the gift of God. Alas, Sir William, returned the old gentleman, how much a wise man may be mistaken ! For that very reason it is my own : for what gives a man a fuller and more unquestionable right to any thing, than a free gift?”
A TRUE ANECDOTE. NOT long since a gentleman was standing at the door of a public Inn in the western part of Connecticut, when the stage drove up, and a passenger of a genteel appearance alighted, who by his speech seemed to be an European. After some little discourse he addressed the other thus: “Pray sir, did all the people in a town to the westward here, through which I passed, hang themselves?”To which, getting no answer but looks of surprize, he added, " I thought it might be so, for I observed they are buried in the high
Query-Would not many other towns in Connecticut, as well as the one alluded to, do well to take the hint, and no longer expose themselves to the ridicule of observant foreigners?
ORDINATIONS. IN Trinity Church, in this city, on Sunday the 8th. inst. the Bishop of Connecticut promoted to the order of Priesthood, the Rev. Lynn Blackburn, A. B. of Queen's College, Oxford, Rector of St. John's Church, Providence (R. I.) and Rev. Roger Searle, Rector of Christ Church, Berlin, and Church, Durham, in this State.
OBITUARY. DIED, at North-Guilford, on Sunday the 1st of instant June, Mr. George Bartlett, Æt. 76. On Monday following his funeral was attended, and a sermon preached by the Rev. Mr. Searle, of Durham, from 1st Peter, chap. i. v. 4.- To whom coming as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious. An unusual degree of solemnity and attention was observable throughout a numerous concourse of friends and acquaintance, mani. festing that they entertained a sincere veneration for the deceased, and were deeply affected by his removal from their society and intercourse, And few instances of mortality deserve to be more interesting; for all who knew Mr. Bartlett will testify, that in his life and character there was every thing amiable and instructive. Though educated in a plain style, and without pretensions to science, yet he had read and better understood the history, nature and constitution of the Christian Church, than most professed scholars. All the emi. nent divines of the English Church were familiar in his conversation. But his religion rested not here : It reached his heart, and brought forth the peacea. ble fruits of righteousness. He was a living picture of the amiable spirit of the gospel. His peaceful dwelling could not be frequented without receiving instruction, and a lively impression of what a Christian ought to be. Modest to an extreme, he seemed altogether insensible of his own worth. Hospitable and kind, no one could retire from his unostentatious 1:ansion, dissatisfied with his treatment. In primitive simplicity and godly sincerity he had his conversation; a Christian by profession-a Christian in practice.
That his title to sonship might be more manifest, it pleased God to afflict bim with heavy calamities. Just as he was entering the decline of life, he was deprived by death of an only child, and all hope of posterity; and soon after from the enjoyment of a worldly estate, adequate to his desires; and which he had never sought to increase, having more important cares upon his mind, those of becoming rich towards God; he was plunged into complete poverty and want : yet in all this he sinned not, nor charged God foolishly; but patiently endured, trusting in him wbo is righteous and merciful. But, a few months since, by the death of a brother, he again came into the possession of a comfortable estate ; one thousand dollars of which he has bequeathed to the Episco. pal Church in North-Guilford; that Church of which he was an ornament, and to which he was sincerely attached. • As he lived, so he died an unshaken believer in the great things of eternity, looking forward to the glories of immortality. On being visited by his parish Minister a few days before his death, he repeatedly expressed the most lively faith and hope in the merits of his Saviour, saying, that to him alone he looked for the pardon of his sins, and admission to the blessedness of heaven.-Thus calm and unruffled he continued, and at length fell asleep, we have full reason to believe, in the arms of his God and Saviour. Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his.
At Hartford, on Wednesday morning the 18th instant, Mr. Timothy Steele, of that city, Æt. 70.
THE burning heat of summer has now gained its full power. The earth is parched and dry. The grass withers. The flowe er thereof falleth away; and every vegetable of the field is losing its verdure; it droops and dies. The rills have 'ceased to flow, and streams of broader current scarce trickle along their beds. A brazen' sky above, and barren sand beneath, seem almost to foreclose from the husbandman every hope of a latter crop. His fields are becoming a waste, a desart void of herbage. But' amid this dreary prospect, the soul in which piety dwells, will not despair; for God who made and sustains all things, still reigns; 6P'his kingdom there shall be no end. He gives and he withholds, as seems good to his wisdom. If he but open his hand, the rain shall again pour down, and the clouds shall yield their treasures. When the heavens grow black with clouds portending storm, they shall no more, as of late, vanish into thin air, disappointing our hopes, and rendering the prospect still more dreary. Bearing this in mind, true piety looks stedfastly unto God, and relies upon his wisdom and goodness, amid the threatened scarceness and dearth upon the land.
He hiinself tells us that he maketh a fruitful land barren, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein. Let each one remember this, and examine well his own ways ; let him search and look, by what sin and iniquity he is contributing to the threatened general calamity; let him purge bimself by repentance; let him turn unto God with all his heart, and call upon the mercy of our God that he may abun. dantly pardon the sin of his people. It becomes us not, to point the judgments of God to one or another prevailing sin; but when we see the evil, which we know to be immediately from the hand of God, we are warranted in thinking and saying it is for some sin that prevails, for some neglect of duty, or some direct violation of God's righteous laws. And here may we not expostulate and ask, is it not for ingratitude towards God, and insensibility for his favors ? May we not say as of Jeshurun of old, we have waren fat and kicked. For years past the earth hath yielded her fruits in abundance ; there hath been enough and to spare. There hath been no crying, and no complaining in our streets. Have we not forgotten God, from
whom this abundance came? Have we not said, mine own arm hath gotten me all this wealth ? Have not our goods been hoarded from a love of possessing, or squandered on our lusts and pleasures? Is it not too true, that the sound of the viol and harp have been heard in our feasts, but God hath not been in all our thoughts? Is there not too much unconcern visible in the conduct of almost all, about the operations of God's hand? Do we not think and act as though we believed there were no God ruling over the affairs of men ? And have we not now reason to think he is about bringing us to our senses, and making us see and feel that we cannot live without him? That the earth will not bring forth her fruits without his licence, that we may sow and plant, but vain will be our toil if he withholds the rain of heaven?
However severe may be the natural drouth, by which the earth is parched and made barren, we have reason to fear that a much greater spiritual drouth prevails. If this be not the case, why is there so much deadness to things of a spiritual nature? Why so much concern for things present and so little for those of eternity? Why so little devotion even in the house of God, and so much heedless frivolity, or utter inattention to the business we come about? If there be not a spiritual drouth, why is it that so few, compara. tively speaking, manifest any zeal for religion, any serious concern for the honour of God and the prosperity of Zion? Why is it that so few give themselves any serious concern or trouble to acquire, or disseminate religious knowledge? Why is religion so little the subject of their conversation, or in their thoughts? Why, in short, is it that so many seem altogether to forget that in God they live, and move, and have their being; and that of course it becomes them to live in the daily habit of expressing their dependence, by acts of worship, in the exercises of piety, and soberness of manners and conversation.
If this coldness and indifference to religion, this want of vital piety and holiness, which should be displayed in our conversation, be not the cause why God is inflicting his judgments upon the land, in cutting off the fruits of the earth, it is at least a great fault with many, which needs reforming. And let it be remarked, how utterly unworthy it is of a reasonable being to live unmindful of the God that made him, that daily sustains him in life, and shall finally bring him to a strict account for the use he has made of his opportunities. Be then awakened, ye sons of men, ye perishing mortals, to a sense of that power on which you depend for life and breath, and all things. While the favour of God's countenance is withdrawn, and the very land mourneth, you can but see and feel your need of his power to sustain your feeble natures. Why then will you live unmindful of him? If he should put a stop to the calamity that seems so much to threaten ; if before you read this he should open his hand and pour down the rain in abundance; why will you forget your sense of what you now need, and fall into ingratitude! The elements will be still in his power: He may command, and the heavens shall be shut, for three years and six months, as once they were in Israel. If such should be his high will, who may abide the calamity of that day?
But we know that his arm is not shortened that it cannot save, nor his ear heavy that it cannot hear. He will still listen to the devout pray ers of his humble servants. Let then such cry unto him, and say, spare thy people, O Lord, and give not thine heritage to reproach. Let them take occasion from the present dreary prospect of worldly good, to strengthen their faith, to increase their piety, and learn submission to God's will. Being thus rooted deep and strong in the Lord, they will grow and flourish, and bring forth more abundantly the fruits of godliness : They will stand, like the oak, drawing nourishment from a deeper source than the parched surface of the ground. Like the oak which loses not its verdure, nor abates of its growth, while feebler plants around are drooping and withering, they will lift up their heads and rejoice. Though the calamity should increase even until the flocks should be cut off from the field, and there should be no herd in the stall, yet will they joy in God, they will rejoice in the God of their salvation. What a refuge from evil ; what a retreat from cale and anxiety about present things, is true and undissembled piety! A possession worth worlds, is that intimate practical sense of God's presence, in which piety consists. It will convert a barren desert into a smiling garden. Considering God as everywhere present in the natural world, and the doer of whatsoever is done ; it must of course be right; it must be good. Real piety hesitates not at these truths; they are thoroughly believed, and present temporary calamity is quietly endured ; it is submitted unto without corrod. ing anxiety, murmuring, and complaint.
I cannot dismiss this subject without adding a thought or two more, which seem naturally to arise. We cannot well survey the fields, late so green, without being reminded of the Apostle's perti. nent comparison, All flesh is as gruss, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower there of falleth away. The parching winds have long blown over the fields, and the burning sun has poured down his rays; their verdure is gone : the herbage is dry and lifeless. So is it with man when overtaken by sorrow and afliction; when pain and sickness seize upon his perishing constitution ; his beauty departs; his strength and activity flee away; he droops and dies. Such is our lot; and of this we now be. hold a lively emblem in the parched fields. Go then and learn wis. down from the passing scene ; learn to be mindful of thy own mortality; of the coming hour of affliction which none may escape, however high they may now stand; that hour which shall cause their beauty to fade, and their strength to fail.
On the other hand, let the husbandman gratefully rejoice in God, that his early crops have yielded abundance; that there is no want of bread, the staff of life. Let him remember that God is the same God he ever was ; in the midst of judgment, remembering mercy. Let him call to mind all his former mercies, and still rely on his power and goodness; still go on to cultivate the earth, to do his part, and resign the issue to God, who reigneth over all; and who yet can make the hills and vallies stand so thick with com, that they shall laugh and sing; who yet, before the season close, can cause the grass to grow for catile, and herbs for the service of man. . If he say, the