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“ Litchfield, Ct., Dec. 23, 1815. "Another reason why I wish your visit to Charlestown may not take place immediately, if health does not imperatively demand it, is that the Atlantic States need exploring, just as Messrs. Mills and Smith have explored the country west of the Alleghany mountains. You, and Mills, (if he will go,) are just the persons needed. God has fitted you eminently for this service. If you could get the patronage of any respectable, able society, you might make this tour without expense to yourself, while you would receive the same compensation as young candidates for the ministry ordinarily do, for your trouble. You would acquire the same kind of public character as Mr. Mills has done, and this would give you a leading influence in all our public societies, such as he already has. A most interesting object would fall in your way in this tour, and that is the thousand poor, hapless children of Africa. We are, to a great extent, ignorant of their miseries. You would be able in this way to inform us what those miseries are. Besides, Mills can show you a plan already projected for their good.
“But after all, you are the best judge on this subject. Your health must be watched with an eagle's eye, and at present every other consideration must bow to that. Go to your Lord and Master and ask him what to do, and while you cast your all on his arm, choose what seems to be the will of Providence, and turn neither to the right hand nor to the left. I think, however, too much care on your mind will be injurious, and I am afraid I shall do you more hurt than good by my letter. Endeavor to get above depression. I verily believe you have God on your side, and therefore “rejoice always, and again I say rejoice. You will do good, and you have been instrumental of doing much already. Let your motto be, 'I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.' God has given you a large share of gifts, as all your friends, who best know you, believe. It is no part of humility to underrate what God has given you.
"I came to Litchfield on the 29th or 30th of November. I have written one dissertation of four sheets on the Existence of God, and another, of nearly the same length, on the Necessity of Revelation. I think I study as much as consists with my health. I attend religious meetings two or three times in a week, and have several little projects all the time in agitation. My feelings have been much excited in behalf of the female academy. There is evidence that the revival of religion continues. There are three or four instances of recent awakening, and two, perhaps, of conversion. Our Hawaiian affairs are prospering. T. came to visit me a few days since. The grace of God towards him and Obookiah has been most wonderful. They are at Mr. Prentice's house." ;
The subsequent letter is dated December 11th.
“ Mr. Beecher calls upon me to attend religious meetings two and three times in a week. His sermons are very interesting and useful to me. I take notes from them. Yesterday in the afternoon his text was Isaiah lv. 6, and the sentiment deduced was that, the appropriate scriptural sense of seeking God is, that it is a holy exercise of the heart.' This, I think, was satisfactorily proved by a long series of texts. I only mention it that you may think of it, if you have not already. It completely explains Matthew vii. 7, Luke xiii. 24, &c. I wish I had time to say more on this subject. It is fearful to a sinner. It shows him at once what is the reason his seeking does not succeed. One head of the sermon, proving the efforts of sinners to be unholy, was thus expressed. Those who keep on in a course of unre
generate seeking, and hold out to the end of life in that way, will certainly be lost.' You will see it is a twoedged sword.
"I congratulate you on the animating prospects which God is giving us relative to our dear Hawaiians.
“I wish you would come and pay us a visit, praying all the way for a revival of religion in the school here.”
In January, 1816, he communicates the following:
“Mr. Beecher has written a long letter to Dr. Green, on the subject of a National Bible Society. And, agreeably to Mr. Mills's request, I shall write to him immediately, and acquaint him of the fact, as possibly he may be able to make a happy use of it. It gave Mr. Beecher, as well as myself, great satisfaction to learn the change of sentiment in the New York Bible Society on this subject. It is a most favorable omen. We have no doubt of the ultimate success of the society,
“Last Tuesday I rode from Litchfield to Kent, to attend a ministers' monthly meeting of · Litchfield North,' as it is called. There saw Messrs. H.. and P. Mr. H. has lately written to Mr. Evarts, on the subject of the heathen school, requesting the prudential committee to appoint a number of persons to draw up a plan to be submitted to the committee immediately. Mr. P. says the boys are doing well, and learning fast. In Salisbury, there have been two hundred hopeful conversions. In Colebrook, one hundred and fifty. In all that district, the work of the Lord still goes on. In Farmington, a revival of religion has just commenced. At Norwalk there is a powerful work of grace.”
To the same correspondent he thus unfolded the feelings of his heart.
“ Litchfield, March 3, 1816. - The Sabbath after I saw you, I spent in New Haven. It was sweet to worship God in company with so many precious old friends. You know how sweet. I had also the satisfaction of seeing my own dear people among whom I labored last summer, and was comforted. Oh, my brother, how rich a reward in this world do those enjoy, who have any reason to hope they have been instrumental of saving souls. No matter how much toil has been sustained; one soul is enough to pay for toil infinitely greater. Blessed Jesus, strengthen our weak faith. Fill our hearts with the spirit of heaven, and make us burn as flaming fires in thy service. Does not your soul respond ' amen, even so, Lord Jesus'?
“ The Lord be with you and give you great success in the wide vineyard where you now are. Lay down your life in Jesus' service. How delightful it will be to go to heaven amid the prayers and penitential tears of those whom you have just been instrumental in saving from death;—to carry as it were the tidings of their repentance. It is enough to make one's soul leap for joy.
“Brother S., what a time it is in heaven now! What rejoicing! In the dark ages of the church, ministering spirits could find but here and there a solitary instance of conversion with which to reanimate the heavenly hosts, if indeed they can be reanimated. But now myriads of such instances are daily celebrated with anthems of praise.
“Mr. Beecher has just received most enlivening intelligence from Long Island. You remember he paid the people of his former charge a visit last fall, and God made him instrumental of great good. There are now hundreds converted to God; seventy in Sag Harbor, seventy in East Hampton, and several in Bridgehampton. On Shelter Island, God has come down gloriously.
“I have just had a letter from Mr. N. of Weston. He mentions revivals of religion in Norwalk, where seventytwo have already joined the church; in Wilton, one hundred are awakened and the whole town apparently shaken. Some tokens of good in his own society; some in Ridgefield, and a blessed work in New Canaan. On Litchfield Hill, and especially near the boundaries of the society, the Spirit is continually descending. It may be said with truth, that God is blessing us with a perpetual revival. In Kent to the west, and New Preston to the southwest, God is pouring out his Spirit. Oh, what a time we live in! Rejoice ye heavens and earth, for the day of his power and glory and grace is come, and who will not bow before him ?”
The correspondent of Mr. Cornelius, to whom many of the foregoing letters were addressed, was at that time residing in New York, engaged in labors of a highly important character in that city. This circumstance will explain some of the allusions in the following paragraphs.
“ Litchfield, March 17, 1816. “We weep and rejoice on your account. Could you be witness, you would hear many prayers put up to God, in the social concert, at the family altar, and in the closet, for that great city where thousands are perishing in a mass—for those dear ministers of Christ who are spending their strength in his cause. It would exceedingly gratify you, dear brother, if you could witness the interest which is excited in the breasts of Christians in this place for New York. I do not now remember to have heard a family prayer offered for some days, in which special inention was not made of New York, and often it is the principal part of the prayer. I received your letter on Friday evening. It gave greạt joy in the first place to .