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spirit with our distant brethren, we are uniting with them in one request, visiting one throne of grace, and asking of one God, even our Father, such blessings as our souls desire, through one Mediator and Saviour Jesus Christ. At such a time, a thousand fond reflections on scenes and events which are past, rush into the mind, and afford us the rarest pleasure. And although your distance from me might possibly have caused you to forget me, which I must confess your neglecting to write gives some ground to believe, yet distance cannot obliterate the remembrance of you from my mind. Had my acquaintance with you been only of a worldly nature, I confess that might have been the case. But, dear H., are we not united by ties stronger than this world can make? If we are not, how am I deceived ! No doubt, my friend, you would know how my
in this barren wilderness, where sin abounds, and vice reigns almost universally. What shall I tell you ? The truth I hope. Little did I know when I parted from you, what a stormy sea I was about to navigate, how many narrow escapes I was to experience, how often to be saved from almost shipwreck, how many days I had to spend, when the sun could not be seen for a long time for the clouds which completely obscured him from my sight, how often I should lose my anchor, my hope, and then be driven about by the mountain waves ; but these things, if I mistake not, I have experienced. I find I am comparatively nothing, and my greatest strength but weakness. The Christian course is beset by a thousand snares, artfully laid by a thousand foes.
“I hope, dear H., you are not that faithless servant which I must acknowledge myself to be. I have beheld, though not without severe regret, the fervency of my affection abate, my love grow cold, my zeal relax into stupidity in the cause of Jesus. I have been often stung by the poison of the world. I have looked inwardly, and beheld all manner of wickedness, pollution complete, and what has caused me to be in bitterness, I have often found myself so hardened, that what would once cause me to burst into tears of joy and gratitude, I mean the love of our Saviour, now could not affect my rocky heart; and how cold at such seasons, all affection of love to the divine character, the Redeemer and his chosen ones, the precious of the earth.
And can you wonder, dear brother, if indeed I am entitled thus to call you, when I tell you that I have doubted—ah, and most solemnly too, that I have almost, if not wholly given up my hope.
But God who hath been abundant in mercy, hath been gracious, and not rewarded me according to my desert. I am what I am by his sovereign grace alone; every step of the Christian in his course, proves the necessity of the continual operations of the Spirit. I have, though utterly unworthy, been permitted to enjoy other scenes, and I trust that I am not wholly forsaken as I deserve. I think I learn from experience, the truth of that saying of our Saviour, " Without me, ye can do nothing ;” and what glorious condescension in our Redeemer to lend a sovereign hand of mercy, to one who is so faithless and ungrateful. May the good Lord pardon us freely for his own name's sake.
“ I could write all night, in recounting what I have felt, seen, and heard, what I hope I have experienced of the loving kindness of the Lord, but I have already taken up, I am afraid, too much of your time in speaking of my experiences, which I confess, savors much of ostentation, were I not writing to a tender, beloved, and sympathizing friend. What I most fear is my own traitorous heart. I may be deceived, and yet dishonor the Christian cause.
“Since last commencement, I have been engaged in theological studies, principally such as the Bible, church history, some of Edwards's works, &c. Local duties, such as catechising children, attending to prayer and con ference meetings, on secular days, Sabbath evenings, &c. I have, for almost five months past, had a small private school under my tuition, consisting of four or five individuals. I have also devoted considerable time to making myself acquainted with the subject of missions to the poor heathen, and have, I hope, been profited thereby. O how highly are we exalted! How encouraging the view, which, even amid the noise and tumult of war in which the world at the present day is involved, a Christian must take of the dispensations of God. You will no doubt justify this assertion, if you have read Dr. Dwight's sermon before the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. But I confess I do desire to see greater exertions made to Christianize the poor Indians at the West, who reside so much nearer us than the inhabitants of Hindoostan. I feel for those poor creatures. But who feels it not to be a most solemn trust committed to these United States, to send the gospel to the multitudes bordering on us? What supports one missionary in Hindoostan, would support two or three in Louisiana, or Illinois, or other places on our western frontier. In going to them we have no Atlantic and Indian oceans to cross. Missionaries would travel through our own country, which would greatly diminish expense. Who must perform this work? The Christians in Great Britain ? What answer does economy give?”.
The two following letters were addressed to the same individual,
" New Haven, May 29, 1814. “I trust you have not forgotten us, and the pleasant scenes through which our heavenly Father led us the last year. Here you first found the great Physician of souls; you have made, you hope, your peace with God. Oh come and let us together converse on those things which we once experienced, and on what our eyes have
since seen, our ears heard, and our hearts felt of the loving kindness of our God. Dear H., how sweet is the remembrance of our prayers and our songs, which we have mutually offered; how pleasing the reflection upon the affectionate conversation, retired walks, and many evening mee which we once enjoyed. Have we not now a hope of our union to the blessed Redeemer? Believe me, I think I am confident I feel something of the unity of the Spirit with you ; we are engaging in the same service, we have a common Lord and Redeemer. Oh may we not once more meet this side the grave, and renew that pleasure we once enjoyed together. Let us provoke each other to love and good works. Let us once more unite our prayers, and tell what God hath done for us. I do wish exceedingly to see you."
“New Haven, June 11, 1819. “ You have by this time, dear brother, it is presumed, gained some acquaintance with the nature of that calling, in which God, by his grace, has placed you. You, no doubt, feel that it is solemn as eternity itself. A messenger from God, the sovereign of all worlds, the governor of the universe; an ambassador from heaven to guilty rebels ; a servant and minister of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ. How solemn, how holy, how interesting such a character! What a fearful responsibility is attached to an office of the King of kings and Lord of lords.' How necessary that "holiness to the Lord,' be written on his heart and manifested in his life. Oh H., who is sufficient for these things?' None, indeed, but those who with Paul can say, 'I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.' I hope
I and doubt not but you are enabled to use this language of faith through the grace given to you from above. Will you then remember your unworthy friend and brother in
your supplications at the throne of your divine Master and heavenly Father? At present I am very low in religion ; the world is striving for my affections. I hoped when I reached this place to renew all those pleasing scenes through which I had passed one year before. But alas, things appear widely different in college now, from what they did then; a general stupidity prevails among professors of religion; and no one, perhaps, is more completely under its influence than myself. I do, however, experience some quickening at times. This was particularly the case last Sabbath, it being communion, and also the anniversary of my admission to the church. These circumstances rendered it more pleasing and interesting. But with me such scenes are of short duration ; before another setting
I am fast in the icy fetters of stupidity and indiffer
I can wish these things were not so. When I reflect on my situation, I not unfrequently doubt seriously whether I ought to assume that profession on which you have entered. I need more light, and vastly more grace than I now have evidence of possessing. I trust God will effectually decide, and if he place me in that calling, ' his grace shall be sufficient for me.'
Of what consequence is beloved friend, where we receive our education, if we be properly fitted for our work. What though we are removed very far from each other, yet if we are one in spirit, one in respect to our ends, and ultimate hopes, and prospects, the short space of time allotted us in this vale of tears will soon be gone, and we, if indeed we are Christians, shall meet in the kingdom of our heavenly Father, perfect in love, and holiness-never more to separate-in the enjoyment of God, our Redeemer and Sanctifier-in the company of angels and saints
Where streams of pleasure ever flow
And every heart is love.'