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tween ninety and one hundred are to be added to the church in North Killingworth, on the next Sabbath.
“ In Wethersfield, we learn also, that a revival has become quite extensive ; some are rejoicing, and others, particularly among the youth, are anxiously inquiring what they shall do to be saved.”
February 10, 1821. “In North Killingworth, on the last Sabbath, one hundred and seven were added to the Congregational church, under the care of Rev. Mr. King. The whole number of hopeful subjects of the revival in that place is about one hundred and fifty.
“The revival in Wethersfield has become quite extensive. There are already more than one hundred hopeful subjects of renewing grace. In Newington, an adjoining society, many are inquiring the way of life, and a number are rejoicing in hope. In the city of Hartford, a revival of much promise has recently commenced ; and also in Bristol the good work is going on. In Plymoạth, upwards of seventy have been hopefully converted to the Lord within a few weeks. We hear of revivals also in Goshen, Cornwall, and Warren. In Woodbridge, the work is continued. In North Haven, a number are anxiously inquiring; and in several of our neighboring towns the prospect is animating.”
Toward the close of the same year, the North Consociation of Hartford county reported, that nineteen of the twenty churches in their connection had en
joyed a gracious visitation from on high in the preceding twelve months, and that about fourteen hundred souls had been hopefully converted, more than one thousand of whom had united with the churches.
The Rev. Joab Brace, pastor of the church in Newington, (a parish of Wethersfield,) in an account of the revival in that place, says, “the religious concern may be traced to Wethersfield, and thence to New Haven, where the present series of revivals appears to have commenced.”
Most of the revivals referred to above might be traced to the same source; and it will appear presently, that Mr. Dwight had an agency in several of them. They are mentioned here as interesting items in the religious history of Connecticut. Verily these were " the years of the right hand of the Most High.”
The General Association in its Report on the state of religion, in 1821, says, “ Upon eighty-four of our churches, God has, during the past year, poured out his Spirit, and hopefully translated about five thousand souls out of darkness into his marvellous light. This abundant shower of divine grace began to descend nearly a year ago; some of the first drops of which fell upon the favored city of New Haven. The cloud which was at first no bigger than a man's hand, shading and refreshing the souls of a few Christians mourning their own barrenness, and the widespread waste around them, soon expanded over the
whole town, reached the neighboring villages, overshadowed counties, and is now making its progress to the utmost borders, resting over us in majesty and mercy.”
The Report specifies the following characteristics of this revival, viz: its “unity,” its “ power and rapidity,” its “purity,” its “continuance," and its “influence in elevating the Christian character both of ministers and churches."
It is much to be desired that a history of this revival should be written before those who remember its remarkable incidents and thrilling scenes have passed away. It would stand by the side of the history of the great awakening in 1740. In fact the Report referred to says in view of it, “The days of 1740 have returned with brighter luster. There remain among us here and there a Simeon and an Anna of that glorious day, who have waited from that time to this for the consolation of Israel. The hour has come ; they are giving a rapid and exulting glance at the flying clouds, and hastening away to carry the glad tidings to the upper world. Shout, oh inhabitants of Zion: Sing a new song. The Lord hath triumphed gloriously."
It is hoped that the distinguished clergyman who is preparing a memoir of the Rev. Dr. Nettleton, who acted a conspicuous part in these memorable scenes, will favor the Christian public with a more detailed account of them than has yet appeared.
One of the most interesting features of this revival was the missionary zeal which it awakened among the brethren of the churches, especially in New Haven. In the early stages of the work, an association comprising several of the brethren of the two Congregational churches of this city, was formed for the purpose of sustaining neighborhood meetings in the city and vicinity. An arrangement was made by this association to hold meetings for prayer and religious conference, in various parts of the city, every week; and on every Sabbath evening, in some of the adjacent villages. About twenty individuals pledged themselves to attend these meetings according to appointment. In these labors Mr. Dwight always bore a conspicuous part. He would often walk from two to four miles in the evening, without regard to the weather, to fulfil such an appointment. For a long time he, in conjunction with others, held religious meetings on Sabbath evenings in Fair Haven and Westville. This was prior to the organization of Congregational churches in these villages, when the people had to come into the city, a distance of two or three miles, to worship God. It was a great convenience to persons thus situated, to have religious privileges brought to their very doors. Many were induced to attend the place of prayer who seldom visited the distant sanctuary. Mr. Dwight's addresses, on these occasions, are said to have well supplied the place of a sermon, and to have produced at times remarka
ble effects. Is any one so scrupulous in regard to lay-preaching as to disapprove such labors ? Is there not more reason to say, “Would God that all the Lord's people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his Spirit upon them.” Would, especially, that our Western churches had many such members to carry the Gospel into the desolate regions around them ; to widen the influence of the ministry, and prepare the way for the organization of new churches whenever the increase of population may demand it. What pastor, burdened with the care of a great moral waste, would not rejoice in such aid ?
These labors were remarkably fruitful. At the several stations where meetings were conducted, almost exclusively by the brethren of this association, there were about one hundred hopeful conversions. The association met at the house of one of their number every Saturday evening, when the brethren reported their labors for the past week, and made their appointments for the next. For this meeting Mr. Dwight's house was always open, and such was the interest felt in it that a spacious parlor was generally crowded. Here originated the plan of visiting sister churches by lay-delegates. The members of the association went out two by two, by invitation, to visit almost all the churches in this section of the State, and even extended their visits to churches sixty or seventy miles distant. Mr. Dwight made many of these visits in person; and when he could not go