« AnteriorContinuar »
and many hearts, though pained and grieved at the neglect you had received and the sufferings you had experienced for the want of attendance, were still made glad by the evidence that God had been with you, and kept you. Most devoutly do we hope that your extremity will prove to have been of lasting benefit.
It is now beginning to be time for us to hear again, and we are all interested to know the tidings you will send us. In my last, directed to New Orleans, you learned that the church had appointed a day of fasting and prayer on your account. Since that time, the quarterly church fast has occurred, and we had another precious day, in which you, dear sir, were borne on our hearts with all the faith and all the fervor which we could express.
Your journey is long and must be tedious. We feel deeply concerned to know how you will endure it. But if ever we have committed a friend to God, we must think we have borne you unitedly, again and again, to the throne of grace. We commend you to God, reverend and dear sir, and we believe he will keep you and bless you, in life or in death, henceforth and forever."
“ April 8, 1821. “ Rev. and very dear Sir,
“ It seems a long time since I wrote to you. My last was directed to Elliot, and as your residence there would probably be short, I concluded to send my next to Brainerd. Your letters from New Orleans relieved and refreshed our sympathizing hearts exceedingly. At the same time we can hardly refrain from weeping for the sufferings you must have undergone before you reached that city. I doubt not but you found the kindest friends there. Of this your letter affords delightful proof. Often have I transported myself in imagination to New Orleans, and beheld the kind attentions of the little band of Chris
tian friends who have so often ministered to my necessities, exercised now towards my revered colleague. I ahall have many questions to ask you on this subject, on your return to us, and will not therefore anticipate them Iow.
I will only say, it has been a source of great delight to have been able, through such a friend as yourself, to renew my affectionate salutations to my dear friends in
“ The popularity and patronage of the Missionary Herald is increasing daily. There is the fairest prospect of a large subscription, and as one proof of it, I will mention that I am agent for two hundred copies for the town of Salem alone; one hundred and eighty of which are already taken up, and about one hundred in our society."
“ April 17, 1821. " Being prevented by a severe snow-storm from going out this evening, I improve the moment of leisure it affords me, in adding a few lines to what I communicated in my last letter sent to Brainerd. From some conversation which I have had to-day with captain H., who returned two of the days ago, I am led to think you have not yet with choctaw mation, I mourn to think you have been palmatut an not to be able to recover your health so plly as well, and our fears for your safety have bem a little excited. We rejoice, however, that you
w domu a present help in all your emergencies. As we uw probably encountering the fatigue and
of the wilderness, I often feel for you a sympaWhy, the more anxious and tender, from having once
by experience what you will probably pass through. May almighty God send his angel to guide and support you on your way, and bring you back to us restored to strength and health. Will you, dear sir, have the good
ness to favor us with more particulars relative to your health. You write in fine spirits as all say, but we cannot be satisfied, so fully as we wish, in regard to your bodily state. Captain H. has given us a poor account of your general health, and we fear you are much weaker than when you left us.
“In my last, I mentioned the prospect that God was about to visit us with a revival of religion. The prospect has greatly increased since that time. A deep and solemn attention pervades all our assemblies, and many of the meetings are full to overflowing. Probably as many as six persons have been hopefully converted, and numbers are now awakened. The attention to religion as yet is greater among Mr. Bolles's people; but as all the churches have united in prayer, I think there is reason to believe that God will grant us a common blessing. Of one thing I am sure; I have not seen any thing since my acquaintance with this place, which promised so much as appearances now do."
In the sermon which Mr. Cornelius preached on occasion of the death of Dr. Worcester,* and which was afterwards published, we find the following passage, conveying a sentiment as creditable to both parties, as it is rare.
“ You will doubtless expect that I should say something of the character of Dr. Worcester as an associate pastor. On this subject I scarcely dare trust my own feelings. I may, however, be permitted to say, that I shall ever regard the period of my connection with him, as one of the happiest portions of my life. And whatever may have been the history of other relations of a similar nature,
* It is gratifying to learn that a Memoir of Dr. Worcester is now in a course of preparation, by an individual who will doubtless do justice to the subject. Are we not to have a biography of Mr. Evarts ?
with heart-felt gratitude to God, I desire to record of this, that no incident ever occurred, which was known to interrupt its peace, or mar its enjoyment for a moment. I weep while I think its endearments are at an end ; and that I shall sit at his feet, and receive his paternal instructions, no more.”
It is gratifying to state in this place, that, like the daughter-in-law of her, who sojourned in Moab, the kind*ness which he had manifested towards the dead, extended also to the living. His attentions to the respected family of his deceased colleague, were continued as long as his own life, and were of the most delicate and honorable character. Were it entirely decorous, it would be pleasant to record them minutely. The interest which he felt in the widows of ministers, was uncommon. He often remarked that the change in their situation was in some respects more painful than in that of other persons who had been deprived of their husbands. When he returned from his journies, he frequently remarked, that, during his absence, he had visited the widows of his former friends in the ministry; that recollecting the change in their circumstances, he had made a special effort to secure an opportunity to call upon them. Just before he left home, for the last time, he saw a gentleman belonging to à distant part of the country, who informed him that Mrs. was left nearly destitute of property, in consequence of the liberal manner in which her husband had expended his estate in establishing an important public institution. Mr. Cornelius immediately determined, that on his return, he would make an effort to relieve his friend from her necessities. The following little incident will further illustrate this trait in his character. In his congregation in Salem, owing to their connection in many instances with a sea-faring life, there was a large number of widows. On a cold winter day, he attended a religious meeting at the house of a widow in humble circumstances. She had made a large fire, and had otherwise been subjected to considerable trouble in accommodating the company. As she followed him to the door, at the close of the meeting, he placed in her hand a liberal gift, because he was not willing that she should be deprived of a single comfort, in consequence of having opened her doors for the worship of God.
While at Salem, Mr. Cornelius was called upon to perform services of a more public character, and which were somewhat remarkable, as being without the sphere of his previous studies and course of life. He was for a number of months earnestly engaged in a Unitarian controversy. While his views on the subject of Christian liberty and diversity of sects were catholic and candid, he could not but regard Unitarianism as a fatal heresy.' Among its adherents he numbered some of his personal friends, and many enlightened and respected townsmen and fellowcitizens. Towards them as individuals, he was never considered as deficient in the courtesy which the gospel requires, or the rules of cultivated society spontaneously suggest. Still, he could not embrace them as “in the communion of saints.” He honestly regarded them as - aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise.” He built his own hopes of eternal life wholly on the atonement accomplished by the sufferings and death of an omnipotent Saviour. How then could he avoid protesting against those interpretations of the Bible, which degraded the nature of his Redeemer to that of an human or angelic order, and his expiatory death to the heroism of a common martyr? The departure from truth of the sect in question, was in his view fundamental. Of course, considering the elevation of his Christian principle, and the ardor of his natural feelings, he embarked with decision and earnestness in the cause. The period