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py to state, that infidelity appears to be declining; and that · there are few errors prevalent. In a few sections, Socinianism and Universalism do exist, but gain little ground.
We have thus far given you in detail the circumstances we deem favourable. We must now unfold to you some of an opposite character.
With pain we have heard that in some parts of our Church the disposition to support the gospel ministry is becoming cold. We lament this appearance the more, because we learn that there is no backwardness to advance money for objects, which, though laudable in themselves, are subordinate in importance to the preaching of the Word. We trust that our people possess too much good sense, and too much respect for the God who made and redeemed them, to listen to the dreams of men who neither know what they say nor whereof they affirm. These do not hesitate to libel an ordinance of the living God, to promote their selfish views, their degrading prejudices. God has said, whosoever serveth at the altar, shall live of the altar. But these say, no_ihe ministry must be kept in want, that they may be kept humble. We fervently wish that the men who thus act towards the ministry would, to be consistent, apply their reasonings to themselves. We do not hesitate to say, that the profession of religion which is connected with a disposition to abridge the means of supporting the gospel, is at best suspicious. Men who do so, practically say, we love our bodies more than our souls; our temporal substance, more than an eter. nal inheritance. It is among the foulest blots on the Christian name, that in so many instances, the confession is made, of the heart being open to receive the truth in the love of it, whilst at the same time great reluctance is displayed in giying worldly substance, for the service of Him who alone changes the heart. One of the best evidences of the power of religion, is an increase of liberality in relation to all those objects, which regard the salvation of souls and the prospe. rity of Zion. We hope that they who have in this respect gone back, will without delay retrace their steps, and redeem their name from reproach or suspicion.
We are ashamed, but constrained to say, that we have heard of the sin of drunkenness prevailing-prevailing to a great degree-prevailing even amongst some of the visible members of the household of faith. What a reflection on the Christian character is this, that they who profess to be bought with a price, and thus redeemed from iniquity, should debase themselves by the gratification of appetite, to a level with the beasts which perish!
Another unfavourable circumstance of which we have heard, is the prevalence of Sabbath-breaking. For this indeed our whole land doth mourn ; for this we desire to be humbled before God. The profanation of the Sabbath is as incompatible with morality, as with religion. It leads directly to consequences of the most fatal and ruinous kind. We rejoice that it is a crime with which but few professing believers are directly chargeable : but they are indirectly, by quietly suffering others to commit it, without endeavouring to prevent it, or to bring the offenders to punishment. We hope that associations for the suppression of vice and the promotion of morals, will be generally established, so as to arrest the wicked, and support faithful Magistrates in enforcing the laws.
From our sister Churches, the accounts we have received are similar in their general tenor, to those we have given in detail of our own Church,
In Connecticut nothing of singular importance has occurred during the past year. But few of the Churches have been favoured with times of special refreshing from the presence of the Lord. They, who have in former years been made to bow to the sceptre of mercy, seem still to walk worthy of their vocation. The ministry display the pleasing spectacle of a band of brethren with one heart and one mind, enga. ged in their arduous work.
Vermont has been favoured with reyivals in many of her towns. Several hundreds have been added to the Church, and still the rain of righteousness is descending. May it continue to descend, till the vallies and mountains shall respond to each other, the high praises of our God. Infidelity is not so audacious, nor immorality so prevalent, as formerly. Ministers are continually settling in places where the messages of mercy have never before been delivered.
In the upper part of New Hampshire, there have been more revivals than usual. In Newport not less than 200 have been hopefully converted. Romney, Croydon, Hebron, and Grotton, have also been visited. In the lower part there has been no general revival. Faithful ministers are however increasing : efforts are making to introduce praying societies in many congregations. A concert of prayer between ministers, held once in two or three weeks, has been established. Appearances thus are favourable. We noted one circumstance in the accounts from this State, with great interest: A school of small children, awakened to a sense of their situation, and eight or ten of them made hopeful converts, through the means of religious instruction.
· Massachusetts at present exhibits a scene worthy of the sons of those pilgrims who left their country for the sake of religion, and settled in a howling waste. The line of distinction between the sound and the unsound, those who adhere to the doctrines of the reformation, and those who do not, is more clearly marked than heretofore. Ministers and Churches are more than usually awake to the interests of Zion; the friends of evangelical doctrines are uniting their influence ; and the cause of truth and of sound religion is advancing. Very recently, pleasing revivals have been witnessed in the counties of Worcester, Essex, and Middlesex, issuing in large additions to the Churches ; and in other parts of the State the fruits of less recent revivals are still extensively visible. Many societies have been instituted for promoting the diffusion of evangelical knowledge; and to give them extensive and lasting effects, uncommon liberality and activity are displayed.
On the whole, in New-England at large, increased exertions appear to be making for the advancement of the Redeemer's cause, and many indications are presented whick * should fill the hearts of all the friends of Zion with joy.
We conclude with exhorting all our people to be watchful -guarding their hearts-resisting temptations-living by faith, and trusting with unshaken confidence in God. Thus far, through the good hand of our God upon us, we are sustained; and we cheerfully commit ourselves and all our Church to Him who is able to keep us from falling—to whom be glory for ever. Amen.
Eleazer Williams, the writer of the following letter, is a descendant of Eunice, a daughter of the Rev. John Wile liams, Minister of the Gospel in Deerfield, Massachusetts; who with all his family, was taken captive by the Indians, the 29th February, 1703-4. She was then about 7 years of age--and was the only one of the family who remained amongst the Indians ; and very soon entirely lost her native language. Great efforts and much interest were used to redeem the daughter ; but an over-ruling Providence rendered them ineffectual, no doubt for wise purposes; which, perhaps may be made evident in this young man, who, with his brother, was taken into the family of Deacon Ely, of Longmeadow. When very young, the Deacon married a descendant of Mr. Williams. He was a very pious man, and his family uncommonly exemplary in the Christian walk. He was ardent in the Missionary cause, and hoped, by the blessing of God, to be instrumental in bringing up these boys in the Christian Religion, and making them useful amongst
their Heathen kindred. Misfortunes reduced the tempo. ral circumstances of Mr. Ely; and he died before he saw much of the effects of the education and examples he gave the boys. They were at the same time put to work on the farm; and after his death, they were obliged to seek another asylum. One of them returned to his own family--the other became a serious young man, and discovered an ardent wish to acquire an education. Some pious people and ministers have encouraged and assisted him. But he is very poor, and has had great difficulties to encounter.
The following extracts from letters in our possession, will make the public fully acquainted with the history and state of this young man.
The Rev. Mr. Storrs, from Long-Meadow, writes thus, March 28, 1811:
« Eleazer Williams is now, and for a year has been, with the Rev. E. Hale, of West Hampton, in this county ; approving himself to him, to his family, and to all his literary, and Christian acquaintance in that vicinity, as a youth of unquestionable piety, and uncommon talents.
“ Col. Dwight, of East Springfield, Justin Ely, Esq. of West Springfield, and myself, constitute at present a Committee, appointed by the trustees of the Hampshire Missionary Society, to superintend the education of this youth, and in their names, to solicit pecuniary supplies for that purpose. Grants from time to time have been made by the Legislature of the Commonwealth, by our own and other Missionary institutions, in his favour. But all monies hitherto received have been expended, and we are now in debt not much less than $100. I know of no source from which we can derive immediate supplies. We have made application to the Board of the Connecticut Missionary Society, but have received no returns.
“ It is our wish, that he may be supported in his present situation some months to come. Whether it be best that he should pursue the study of the languages, and complete a collegiate education, is not a question upon which his friends have thought themselves warranted to decide ; especially as they have not known that it would be possible for them to defray the expense. But leaving this to a future decision, I hesitate not to say, that you, sir, and the friends of whom you speak, as disposed to aid the youth, will not find your kindness abused. Whatever is advanced, will be conscientiously, and I trust not injudiciously, appropriated to the purpose of preparing him to preach the Gospel, and administer the ordinances of the kingdom of God amongst the aboriginals of this Continent.
.* I have been acquainted with the youth, from the time that he arrived from Cashnowagher, in this town; and in no in-stance has he, so far as I have known, conducted improperly. About two years after his arrival, his friends took up a hope, that he had experienced real religion, and his appearance since that period, has by no means diminished their confidence.”
The 6th of April following, he gives the following parti. cular detail :
« Eleazer Williams came to this town A. D. 1800, January 18th; the May following he was 12 years old. The friends here, have never known his family to have any other name than that of Williams, and have supposed that it was the custom of that, if not of other tribes, whenever an Indian married a woman, who descended from English or French pa. rents, for the family to take the maiden name of the woman. Eleazer was baptized in infancy, and as is probable, by a Catholic priest ; his mother being a member of that communion, though his Father has never made a public profession of any religion. He told me that his son was named after his great uncle, Eleazer Williams, first minister in Mansfield, Connecticut.
« Eleazer's great grand father, on his mother's side, was an Englishman ; his great grand mother, on his father's side, was Eunice Williams. Though she lost her native language, she never lost a knowledge of her native friends and country. Through the instigation of some Papists, and for the purpose of securing her residence among them, she was married in very early life, to an Indian, whose name was Turroger. She had eight children. But two daughters, viz: Catharine and Mary, lived to grow up and be married. Mary had one son, viz. Thomas, (this is Eleazer's father,) and died. On the bed of death, she gave her son in her sister Catharine, who never had any children of her own.
• The Rev. John Williams, after his return from captivity, and re-settlement in Deerfield, never ceased to labour, hope, and pray for the redemption of his daughter Eunice; but heli. ved not to witness the success of his exertions, and of the exertions and prayers of all his relations and acquaintances. After his death, his son Stephen, (Dr. Williams, first minister of this town, and my immediate predecessor,) through the agency of Gen. Schuyler, and some other gentlemen in Albany, was so happy, after numerous attempts, as to obtain an interview with this long lost, dear sister. The interview took place in Albany, New York, in the year 1740, where he had waited 3 weeks for her arrival. His brother, Eleazer Williams of Mansfield, and Rev. Mr. Meacham of Coventry, Connecti.