Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

Paul's epistle to the Hebrews, the the wants of our churches; and it is 171h verse, where the apostle, in my duty to make to you a report of speaking of Esau, says, " he found my official transactions during the last no place of repentance, though he two years ; and to add such remarks sought it carefully with tears." It and suggest such measures

as may has been argued from this, that Esau, seem just and expedient. being judicially hardened, never re. Soon after our last biennial convenpented of his wickedness, although he tion, held in Newport, in 1820, I comearnestly attempted so to do. The menced a journey and visitation of words are thus understood by Cooper, our churches in the eastern parts of in a sermon upon the subject, and, this diocese. Though in a feeble also, by the late excellent bishop De- state of health, I was able through hon, in an allusion to it in one of his the Lord's goodness, October 12, to discourses. But there is an evident travel from Boston to Portsmouth, and absurdity, froin the very form of ex. to preach in the afternoon. Sunday, pression, in applying the word ustavoia the 15th, in Portland I preached twice, to Esau. This term signifies a change and administered baptism and confirof mind, purpose, or conduct, and as mation. The commencement of very such, it was what Esau sought with beavy rains in the evening, prevented tears from his father, crying, “ Hast a third service. The small society thou but one blessing, my father of Episcopalians in that place, had bless me, even me, also, O my fath- made, and were then still making er.” But it was all in vain, for the great and generous exertions, almost blessing had fallen upon him for whom beyond their means, to meet the exit was destined by the God of Isaac. penses of their new organ, and the Thus Esau μετανοίας τόπον ουχ εύρε, salary of their minister. Since that found no room for a change of pur- time, in August, 1821, a few pious pose, that is, he was not able, by any ladies formed themselves into a someans, to induce his father to recall ciety for the promotion of the most and reverse the blessing which he had excellent and useful of all charities, pronounced, “ although he sought it denominated, “ The Female Domes. carefully with tears."

S. tick Episcopal Missionary Society."

They soon after transmitted to me

twenty-five dollars, to be applied to An Address to the seventh Convention missionary purposes.*

How noble of the Eastern Diocese, asseinbled and blessed would be the effect, should at Portsmouth, in New Hampshire, all our churches, according to their on the 25tlı day of September, in ability, follow this example. the year of our Lord, 1822. Ву The next day, with difficuliy and the Right Reverend A. V. Gris- some peril, by reason of the abun.

wold, D. D. Bishop of the Diocese. dant rains, swollen streams, and loss Reverend Brethren and Friends, highly and of bridges, we reached Gardiner. On justly esteemed :

the 18th, the new, commodious, and THROUGH the indulgence of a kind very beautiful edifice, called Christ Providence, we are here assembled church, was dedicated to the wor. as watchmen in Zion, and constituted ship of almighty God. The morning guardians of that portion of God's vine- service was performed by the reveyard committed to our care; to con

rend Mr. Morss; and the reverend sult respecting its interests; and, as Dr. Jarvis delivered an appropriate

On the 191h was a confirThe Lord shall give us means and wis- discourse. dom, to promote its prosperity. It is

* A few days after this address was denecessary, to the good result of our livered, that society paid to bishop Griswold deliberations, to know the state and above thirty-three dollars more.

mation, and other services.* My in- politeness and hospitality of its memtention is, with divine. permission, bers, we all have the pleasure of seeing. again to visit those two churches in The 24th, I preached and confirmed Maine, immediately after the adjourn. in Newburyport. In the evening we had ment of the present convention. It is a second service, when the reverend decidedly my opinion, that the spiri- Dr. Jarvis preached to a large and tual interest and prosperity of our very attentive congregation. The sochurches require that every parish lemnity of the services, and, in all hushould be annually visited by its dio- man appearance, their good effect, cesan : but the very limited and scan- evinced more forcibly than many arty funds of this diocese, and the ex- guments, the expedience and utility of tent of country over which our few occasionally opening our churches in churches are scattered, render such the evening; and, when practicable, frequent visitations, at present, im- of doing it at regular and stated seapracticable. My intention is, and sons. In towns, and large villages with few exceptions, my practice has especially, where the people may been, to visit all the parishes at least easily assemble, the salutary effect of once in two years; and a large pro- such extra services is very manifest. portion of them twice, or oftener. It Many will attend these meetings, who requires no great wisdom to foresee, cannot, with convenience, and some what experience will probably soon who cannot consistently with what verify ; that our present practice of they suppose their duty, attend our making a state, however large, but religious worship at other times. A one diocese, may be very pernicious third service is peculiarly beneficial to the cause of true godliness, and the on Sunday evenings, when the minds best interest of our churches. Thirty, of people are less engaged with temor at most forty parishes are enough poral cares, and more disposed to for one diocese; unless their location spiritual things. Very many, of is very compact. And though the young people, especially, who would number in ihis diocese, excepting otherwise spend the evening of the some very small, does not much ex- Lord's day in idle parties and vain ceed forty, it is desirable that as soon conversation, are thus drawn to the as it can with propriety be effected, house of God, and their attention callthis diocese should be divided. Ver- ed to things which concern their immont, especially, however reluctantly mortal welfare. I rnight relinquish the happiness of In the same tour I visited Salem, my preseut very interesting connexion Marblehead, and Lynn. Sunday, the with its churches, ought, as soon as 29th, in the morning, I preached and circumstances will admit, to have a confirmed in Trinity church, Bosbishop wholly its own.

ton. In the afternoon, performed On my return from Maine, I pass- the same services in Christ church. ed Sunday, the 22d, in Portsmouth, And in the latter church we had a where I preached three times, and third service, and a very crowded confirmed thirty persons.

What the and attentive audience. I continucd state of this church is, and what the my visitation to Quincy, Hanover,

Marshfield, and Bridgewater. April The church in Gardiner is in a flourish- the 8th, 1821, 1 visited St. Paul's ing state. Their church is furnished with a church, in Boston ; and confirmed good organ, and an excellent bell. For the thirty-three. The prosperity of this erection of that beautiful, and very com church has thus far more than equalled modious edifice, we are very much indebted to the generous efforts of an individual whose our most sanguine expectations. pious liberality is above praise.

On the 28ih of May, 1821, I com

menced a long journey, in which were In Sandgate, a town adjoining, a few visited the churches in Vermont, and Episcopalians have organized a parish, in the western parts of Massachu- with not unfavorable prospects. The setts and New Hampshire. The parish in Manchester has built a church, church in Great Barrington was still and is in a flourishing condition. in an unsettled state. In consequence It was no small comfort to find in of some disagreement with their minis- Rutland, a few names yet steadfast, ter, a large and respectable part of the under all their discouragements, and society had, many months before, with- very desirous that a missionary should drawn from the church, and attached be sent them. Painful are a parent's themselves to some other denomina- feelings, when his children ask for tion of Christians. Those, however, bread, and he has none to give them. .who continued their connexion with May God in his mercy open our hearts the church, appeared to be unanimous and fill our hands to contribute to their in their regard for its welfare, and in relief. their desire that another clergyman The parish in Middlebury continues might take charge of the parish. The very much as it has been for years past, reverend Mr. Blakesley,from Connecti- “ faint, yet pursuing ;" suffering much cut, has since been elected their rece under the deprivation of the Christian tor, and the parish is united and in- ordinances ; wishing, and asking, and creasing.

striving, to obtain a minister; but reThe little flock in Lenox was found maining destitute. In Vergennes, on still continuing to " stand fast in one the contrary, they seem to have re. spirit, with one mind, striving together linquished all effort, and to have abanfor the faith of the Gospel.” In con- doned the church in despair. Yet I sideration of the great efforts they met there a serious and very attentive had made, and were then making, to congregation ; and even yet, the laclear off the debts incurred by build- bours of a faithful missionary would ing their church, and other necessary probably be blessed among them. expenses, the reverend Mr. Humphrey In Shelburne, the state and prospects was engaged to officiate as a missiona- are happily very different. Through ry in Lenox, one fourth of the time, the blessing of God, we succeeded in beginning on the 10th of June, 1821. finding a clergyman to labour there,

In Lanesborough, the church is now and his labours have been greatly happily united, and in a prosperous blessed. The little society, wbich, state. By a generous donation from two years before, contained but eight one gentleman, of $1000, and a liberal or ten families, was now increased to a subscription by the rest of the parish, respectable congregation. I preached $3000 have been added to their fund. in Burlington, and was much obliged

In Bennington, Vermont, I preach- by polite attentions there received. ed; but such is the prejudice against By setting off from Burlington at the Episcopal church, in that part of an early hour, and hard travelling in the state, that no preaching of its heavy roads, we arrived in St. Alban's ministers among them is likely at pre- in season for services in the afternoon. sents to have much good effect. From In the evening again we had prayers, one respectable family, attached to its and a sermon. A pious, active minisworship and interests, I experienced, ter, stationed in that place, and officiatas on several former occasions, very ing alternately there, and at Swanton, much kindness and hospitality. might apparently labour to much profit.

In Arlington, the church continues The churches in Sheldon and Fairfield to profit by the zealous labours of its were likewise in a thriving state. But pious pastor.

an unhappy state of things commenced

about that time, and still continues. mortal well-being might, in some deSome reports and accusations, affecting gree, depend on my knowledge and the moral character of their rector, fidelity, feelings were excited, which have rendered a discontinuance of his language cannot easily express. On labours expedient, till the cause shall such occasions, and to the preacher of have a canonical investigation. the gospel similar occasions often uc

On the 15th, I visited a new parish cur, well may we exclaim, " who is in Berkshire, and was highly gratified sufficient for these things !" It is in finding there much piety and zeal, among the wonderful counsels of God's and attachment to the Episcopal unerring wisdom, that his strength church. Its friends were then mak- should be manifest in weakness ; that ing preparation for erecting a house of such a “ treasure” as the gospel minprayer; and manifested a desire and istry should be given us “ in earthen willingness, to the utmost of their vessels :" that sinful creatures, themabilities, to procure and support, an selves“ scarcely saved," and some of apostolick ministration of the Christian them, we may well fear, not saved, ordinances. The services of that day should be made the instruments of were unusually interesting and impres- saving others. Divine wisdom, howsive. There being no building suffi- ever, is sure to adapt the means to the ciently capacious to contain the con- end ; and, in the hands of omnipogregation expected, with the timber tence, any means are effectual. The collected for the new church, on a Lord “ can satisfy men with bread” in beautiful rising ground, where it is to the most dreary wilderness. What be erected, shaded by a small and seems to us impossible, with bim is very pleasant grove of sugar maples, without difficulty : by the foolishness the people prepared seats and other of preaching, be can save them that accommodations for divine service. believe. I was assisted in the services Our altar was built as it were with un. by my reverend brethren Leonard and hewn stones : we consecrated those Clapp, who, to my great comfort, and materials by anticipating their use. on small assistance, accompanied me The thought that they were to be “fit- more than two hundred miles of this ly joined together,” in one beautiful journey. After the second lesson, temple, dedicated to God, naturally seven young persons, with the apcaused the very interesting and serious pearance of much piety and sincere reflections, that the congregation pre- devotion, presented themselves to be sent were, or ought to be, materials in baptized. The sermon was heard with preparation “as lively stones," to be attention worthy of a better discourse; "a spiritual house," a "building not and it being ended, thirty-five persons made with hands, eternal in the hea- received confirmation ; and they revens.” Many circumstances conspired ceived it, there was good reason to 10 heighten the interest of the scene believe, with a just and deep sense of and the occasion, and make impressions its nature and design. And, finally, the upon a serious mind not soon to be for- Lord's supper was administered to a gotten. Surveying the one, and re- respectable number of communicants. flecting upon the other ; beholding a The next morning, we proceeded to large assembly, collected from many Montgomery, where we had the pleamiles of the country around, waiting, sure of meeting with another newly like Cornelius and his friends, and forined society, and where the serseeming to say, we are all here pre- vices were very similar, and not less sent before God, to hear all things that interesting. The tears of many, evincare commanded thee of God;"' with the ed how much awakened was their sense additional consideration, that their im- that the Lord is good, and they sinners.

Montgomery is a town but recently Montgomery was the farthest extent settled. The Rev. Mr. Clapp, yet a of my tour in that direction. In the young man, was the first child (sava. afternoon of the same day we returned ges excepted) born within its limits. back through Berkshire to Sheldon. The soil in that part of the state is The next day, Trinity Sunday, we rich and productive, and the country spent in Fairfield, where I preached rapidly rising into importance. A new but twice ; so long were our services, stage road, from Boston to Montreal, was and so far from their homes were the expected soon to pass through Mont- most of the people, that a third service gomery and Berkshire ; which, with was not convenient. It was pleasing, their vicinity to the lake Champlain, and an evidence of their sincere desire and easy access to a good and sure to hear the word, and receive the ordimarket for their abundant and valuable nances of Christ, to observe the distance productions, must render that,at no dis- which the people, in that and other parts tant period, a wealthy part of the state. of Vermont, will travel, and many of But, to the pious mind, it is far more them walk, to attend publick worship, pleasing to find them increasing in and share in the ministrations of the " the true riches." I have been in sanctuary. How unfai hful and without no place where there appeared a more excuse would be the stewards of God's serious and awakened desire to know mysteries—the pastors of his fold, if and do the will of God; nor where they who thus hunger and thirst after the people are so generally disposed righteousness, should ever, unnecessato receive the doctrines of our church, rily, be " sent empty away.” Such and to delight in its worship. In no zeal in the people, was felt as a strong, part of this diocese, and, I verily be- though silent reproof of my own relieve, in no part of the United States, missness in the Saviour's cause. can our missionaries labour more pro On the morning of the 18th, we fitably, than in Franklin county, and took our leave of kind and much besome of the towns adjoining, eastward. loved friends, and shaped our course Our young clergymen, whose circum- for crossing the mountain to the eastern stances will reasonably admit of it,who side of the state, by a route which I desire to do good in the service of their had never before taken. In Richmond, divine Master, rather than to honour we were joined by a respectable genthemselves, and live at ease, can no tleman, a lay delegate from Shelburne, where bestow their labours more pro- wbo, in company with his daugbter, fitably than in the northwest part of was on his way to the convention ;Vermont. My last information from an acquisition to our little company those parts, which is quite recent, wbicb rendered the journey inore pleastates,that the prospects are still bright- sant. ening. Since my visit there, a parish On the 20th, we reached Randolph, has been formed in Enosburgh. : Mr. where we were received with much Gray, the minister now officiating in politeness, and were entertained by a those new parishes, has preached in gentleman of high respectability. The several other towns in the vicinity. church has some valuable friends, Large congregations assemble to hear though no parish in that town. Being the word ; many are desirous to obtain in a very friendly manner invited by prayer books ; and, in all human pro- the congregational minister and others bability, several other societies might of his society, we had divine service easily be formed. There are already and a sermon in their meeting house. between sixty and seventy communi- There, too, I had the pleasure of becants, where, a short time since, we coming acquainted with a worthy preshad none.

The call there for mis- byterian minister, and a part of his insionary labours is still increasing. teresting fainily. One or two of his

« PoprzedniaDalej »