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Full text of "Boston revival, 1842 : a brief history of the Evangelical churches of Boston, together with a more particular account of the revival of 1842"

B S T N R EYI Yd|« ' 

1842. 



•'\ 



a 



y 



V' 



BRIEF HISTORY 



OF THE 



EU.NGELIGAL CHURCBES OF BOSTON, 



TUGETilLU WITH 



A MORE PARTICULAR ACCOUNT OF THE 



HE'^lV^ArJ. OV 1842. . 



BOSTON: 

PUBLISHED BY JOHN PUTNAM, 

81 Cornhill. 



\ 



A 



1843. 




BR 560 .B7 MG-TlS 
Moore, Martin, 1790-1866 
Boston revival, 1842 



I 



BOSTON n^ilY'^p ^951 



1842. 



A BRIEF HISTORY 

OF THE 



EVANGELICAL CHURCHES OF BOSTON, 



TOGETHER AVITH 



"X MORE PARTICULAR ACCOUNT OF THE 



REVIVAL OF 1842. 



BY MARTIN MOORE, 



"Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons; 
but in every nation, he that feareth him, and worketh right- 
eousness, is accepted with him." — Apostle Peter. 



BOSTON: 
PUBLISHED BY JOHN PUTNx\]M, 

81 Cornhill. 

1842. 



Entered ac-cording to act of Coiig^ress, in tlie year 1842, 

BY JOHN PUTNAM, 

in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of JMassacliusetts. 



CONTENTS. 



Introduction, 7 

CHAPTER I. 

The Churclies around MnssachuseUs Bay founded in the 
spirit of Revival — Apostacy of the second ^feneration of 
the New England fathers lamented by Dr. Increase 
Mather, President of Harvard College— Revival of 1740, 13 

CHAPTER H. 

Hopes respecting the Revival of 17+0 — Causes of the de- 
clension of religion — Commencement of its revival soon 
after the begiiniing of the present century — Old South 
Church — Park street Church — Union Church, Essex 
street, 25 

CHAPTER HI. 

Green street Church — Philip's Church, South Boston — 
Bowdoin street Church — Salem Church — Pine street 
Church — Maverick Church, East Boston, - - - 33 

CHAPTER IV. 

Mariners' Church — Central Church — Marlboro' Chape! — 
Garden street Church — New Congregatiowal Church — 
Concluding remarks — Statistical table, - - - 56 

CHAPTER V. 

First Baptist Church — Baldwin place Church — Charles 
street Baptist Church — Federal street Baptist Church, 68 



Vi CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER VI. 

South Boston Baptist Cliurch — Harvard street Church — 
First Free Baptist Church — Bowdoin square Baptist 
Church — First liidopendeiit Baptist Church — Conchid- 
iiig remarks upon this denomination — Statistical view of 
the Baptist Churches, ----.. 81 

CHAPTER VH. 

Christ Church— Trinity Church— St. Paul's Church— St. 
Matthew's Church, South Boston — Grace Church — 
Free Church of the Episcopal City Mission Society — 
Concluding remarks — Statistics, - - - - 97 

CHAPTER Vm. 

North Bennett street Church — Bromfield street Church — 
South Boston Church, - - - - - - 105 

CHAPTER IX. 

Church street Church — North Russell street Church — 
Fifth M. E. Church — May street Church — Conclusion 
of M. E. Churches, 116 

CHAPTER X. 

Seamen's Bethel (church — Freewill Baptist Church — Ger- 
man Lutheran Church — German Reformed Lutheran 
Church — African M. E. Church — VVesleyan M. E. Zioii's 
Church, 125 

CHAPTER XL 
Vicinity of Boston, - 132 

Note, 145 

Boston Revival, 1S42, 147 



INTRODtJCf ION. 

tt Was a remark of President Edwards, that, " nothing 
tended more to promote the work of grace among his? 
people at Northampton, than to tell them what Cod was 
doing in other places." If oral narratives produced this 
effect, then may we expect that written narratives will 
accomplish the same purpose. With a desire to honor 
God, and advance the interests of his kingdom, Edwards 
Wrote and published a work entitled *' Surprising Conver- 
sions at Northampton," Mr. VVliitefield, before he came 
to this country, read this narrative, and was deeply inter-- 
ested in it. This induced him to visit Edwards^, that 
he might see and converse With the man by whom (jod 
had wrought such wonders. If Edwards judged it expe- 
dient in his day, to collect and publish facts concerning 
the revival at Northampton, We shall not be thought to 
undertake a needless work, if we shall attempt to gather 
Up the history of the revival that took place in this city 
during the last winter and spring. 

It will be seen by the facts recorded in this little vol- 
ume, that God does not conftne his Spirit to one denom- 
ination, or to one mode of worship. Wherever the doc- 
trines of the Cross are preached, accompanied with prayer, 
they are the power of God and the wisdom of God unto 
Salvation. 

I hope that one effect of gathering the facts respecting 
the late revival in this city, will be to break down secta- 
rian bigotry, and lead God's people to feel towards each 
Other as God hiniself feels towards them. God loves 
and blesses them, and they should love and bless each 
other. I shall not enter into a discussion of the mooted 
question respecting evangelists, but shall state the results 
of the labors of pastors and evangelists. If God wag 
pleased to bless the labors of pastors or evangelists, we 
will record the Facts and give him the glory* In many 



till tNTRODrCTlON. 

cases I have allowed individuals to speak for themselves; 
in others, I have used printed documents as authorities; 
and in others still, responsible individuals have stated 
facts, and 1 have clothed them in my own language. 
But after all, it may be possible that I have not stated 
some of the most important facts that have taken place 
in some congregations. If it should prove to be the case, 
it will not be the fault of the editor of this work. Cir- 
culars* were sent to each of the congregations, making 
inquiries respecting the revival; and such facts as have 
been furnished, have been incorporated into this work. 
I feel under particular obligations to the brethren who 
have furnished materials for this history. Should ano- 
ther edition be called for, and should any new and im- 
portant facts come to light, they will be inserted. It is 
the wish of the editor to make this as complete a history 
of the late revival as possible. 

My desire and prayer to God is, that he will bless this 
effort to record the wonders of his grace. 

M. M. 

Boston, Dec, 1842. 

*As frequent allusions, in the course of" tliis work, are made 
to questions proposed, I <ieem it proper to slate, tlinl in July 
last I sent circulars to the pastor or some responsible individ- 
ual in each evang^elical congreg'alion in the city, making cer- 
tain Inquiries. 'J'he facts contained in this little book are the 
results of those inquiries. This circular asked the following 
questions: 

1. At what time did the revival commence in your congre- 
gation ? 

2. What number were hopefully converted, or have pro- 
fessed religion ? 

3. What instrumentalities were principally blessed in the 
progress of the work ? 

4. What special incidents occurred worthy of particular no- 
tice? 

3. Has the revival partially or wholly subsided? If so, 
•what apparently were the csuses of the withdrawing of the 
Holy fSpiril ? 

It was supposed that if these questions were answered, all 
the information desired would be obtained. Such information 
as 1 have obtained I shall proceed to lay before the reader. 



BOSTON REVIVAL. 



CHAPTER I. 

The churches around Massachusetts Bay founded in the spirit 
of revival — Apostacy of the second generation of the New 
England fathers lamented by Dr. Increase Mather, Presi- 
dent of Harvard College — Revival of 1740. 

Some, at the present day, have spoken of revi- 
vals of religion as though they were new things 
imder the sun. Such intimations discover either a 
wilful blindness, or an ignorance of the past his- 
tory of the church. I do not intend to call the at- 
tention of my readers to those numerous and pow- 
erful revivals that took place under the Jewish 
dispensation, nor to those that occurred under 
apostolic preaching; God has caused these to be re- 
corded for the benefit of his church in all coming 
time. A careful study of these portions of sacred 
history must enforce this truth, that God has been 
accustomed to build up his kingdom in the world 
mostly by the instrumentality of revivals of reli- 
. 1 



14 BOSTON REVIVAL. 

gion. I shall not now dwell on these topics; but 
shall present evidence to prove that the churches 
of New England were, from the beginning, revival 
churches. The facts recorded by Gov. Winthrop 
in his journal, prove this. 

He says, that soon after Mr. Cotton was installed 
over the Boston church, " it pleased the Lord to 
give his special testimony to this church after Mr. 
Cotton was called to office here. More were add- 
ed to that church, than to all the other churches 
in the bay. Divers profane and notoriously evil 
persons came and confessed their sins, and were 
comfortably received into the bosom of the church. 
Yea, the Lord gave witness to the exercise of 
prophecying, [as the exhortations of the brethren 
were then called] so as thereby some were con- 
verted and others greatly edified." He gives an 
experience of a youth, supposed to be his own son. 

"Among other testimonies of the Lord's gracious 
presence with his own ordinances, there was a 
youth of fourteen years of age (being a son of one 
of the magistrates) so wrought upon by the minis- 
try of the word, as for divers months he was held 
under great affliction of mind, as he could not be 
brought to apprehend any comfort in God, being 
much troubled and broken for his sins .(though he 
had been a dutiful child, and not given up to the 
lusts of youth) especially for his blasj)Jiemous and 
wicked tlioughts, whereby satan buffeted, so that 
he went mourning and languishing daily; yet at- 
tending to the means of grace, and not giving over 



CONGREGATIONAL CHURCHES. 15 

prayer and seeking counsel, &c./he came at length 
to be freed from snch temptation, and to find com- 
fort in God's promises ; and so being received into 
the congregation npon good proof of his under- 
standing of the things of God, he went on 
cheerfully in a christian course, falling daily to la- 
bor as a servant, and as a younger brother of his 
did, who was not a whit short of him in a know- 
ledge of God's will, though his youth kept him 
from offering himself to tlie congregation." The 
Boston church, under the ministry of Mr. Cotton, 
enjoyed such a season of special grace, as is, in 
modern times, termed revival. Under the minis- 
try of Mr. Phillips, (the ancestor of most of those 
who have since borne that name in this common- 
wealth) the church in Watertown was blessed with 
seasons of revival. Says Cotton Mather, " About 
fourteen years continued he his ministry in Water- 
town ; in which time his ministry was blessed 
unto the conversion of many unto God, and for 
the confirmation and edification of those who were 
converted." Mr. Sheperd of Cambridge was em- 
inently a revival preacher. It was on account of 
his searching preaching, and skill in detecting 
errors, that the college was located at Cambridge. 
It was the desire of the founders of this college to 
raise up a generation of ministers to carry forward 
the work of revivals in these churches, that they 
had begun. Mr. Prince, in his chronology, says of 
Sheperd of Cambridge, "I was told when a youth, 
by elderly people, that he scarce ever preached a 



16 BOSTON REVIVAL. 

sermon, but that some one or other of his congre- 
gation were struck with great distress of soul, and 
cried aloud in agony, what shall 1 do to be saved? 
Though his voice was low, yet so searching was 
his preaching, and so great a j30vver attending, as 
an hypocrite could not easily hear, and it seemed 
almost irresistible." This effect was not produced 
upon his hearers by an impassioned eloquence ; it 
was the same blessed agent that attends the 
preaching of the word, in revivals at the present 
day, that caused it to be quick and powerful upon 
the hearts of Sheperd's hearers. Persons that 
stayed at home on the Sabbath, were accustomed 
to ask those who had attended public worship, 
when they returned from meeting, "upon ichose 
heart has the word of God taken effect to-day ?" Capt. 
Clapp, one of the first settlers in Dorchester, gives 
the following account of the state of things in that 
town. "The Lord Jesus Christ was so plainly 
held up, in the preaching of the gospel unto poor, 
lost sinners, and the absolute necessity of the new 
birth ; and God's Holy Spirit, in those days, was 
blessed to the accompanying the word with such 
efficacy upon the hearts of many, that our hearts 
were taken oiffroni old England and placed upon 
heaven. The discourse, not only of the aged, but 
of the youth also, was not. How shall we go to 
England, (though some did not only so discourse, 
but also went back airain) but how shall we go to 
heaven? Have I true grace in my heart? Havel 
Christ or no? Oh, how did men and women. 



CONGREGATIONAL. CHURCHES. 17 

young and old, pray for grace, beg for Christ in 
those days; and it was not in vain; many were 
converted, and others established in believing • 
many joined unto the several churches where they 
live, confessing their faith publicly, and showing 
before all the assembly, their experiences of the 
work of God's Spirit in their hearts to bring them 
unto Christ. Oh, the many tears that were shed 
in Dorchester meeting-house, at such times, both 
by those who have declared God's work upon their 
souls, and also bv them that heard them ! In those 
days, God, even our God, did bless New England. 
In those days, God manifested his presence among 
us, in converting many souls, in gathering dear 
ones into church fellowship by solemn covenants, 
wherein they gave up themselves and their seed to 
the Lord." 

I might multiply witnesses to prove that the 
churches of New England were at first Revival 
Churches. But in the mouth of two or three wit- 
nesses every word is established. I am entirely 
willing to rest the truth of the fact that 1 set out to 
prove, upon the strength of the testimony already 
adduced. Neither the com{)etency, nor veracity of 
these witnesses, can be called in question. Said 
one of the early fathers of New England, " God 
sifted three kingdoms, that he might send over 
choice grain into this wilderness." The seed was 
wholly of the right kind. The spirit of revival 
planted these churches. Things of religion vvere 
the most prominent objects of their atten^' 



18 BOSTOJV REVIVAl*. 

The venerable John liigginson, the first minister 
of Salem, says, "let merchants and such as are in- 
creasing cent per cent remember this; let others 
that come over since, at several times, understand 
this, that worldly gain was not the end and design 
of the people of New England, but religion. And 
if any man among us make religion as twelve, and 
the world as thirteen, let such an one know that 
he has neither the spirit of a true New England 
man nor yet of a sincere christian." Such were 
the men that planted the churches around Massa- 
chusetts bay. They laid the foundation of these 
churches in the spirit of revivals. The Holy Ghost 
overshadowed them. God, even our God, did bless 
them. In those days there were none that denied 
the Lord that bought them. With one voice, the 
pilgrim churches crowned the Saviour Lord of all. 
During the first thirty years of their existence, 
they enjoyed the continued influences of the Holy 
Ghost. In the second generation, there began to 
be a decay of vital godliness. This was deeply 
lamented by Increase Mather, and other ministers 
of that age. President Mather, in 1678, thus re- 
marks: " Praver is needful on this account, in that 
conversions are become rare in this age of the 
world. They that have had their thoughts -exer- 
cised in discovering things of this nature, have had 
sad apprehensions with reference unto this matter, 
that the work of conversions is not frequent in 
some congregations. The body of the rising gen- 
eration is a poor, perishing, unconverted, and, ex- 



CONGREGATIONAL CHUKCHES. 19 

cept^the Lord pour down his Spirit, an undone 
generation. Many are profane, drunkards, lasciv- 
ious, scoffers at the power of godliness, despisers 
of those that are good, disobedient ; others are only 
civil and outwardly conformed to good order, by 
reason of their education ; but never knew what 
the new birth means. Look into our pulpits, and 
see if there is such glory there, as there once was; 
New England has had teachers eminent for holi- 
ness and ministerial accomplishments. When will 
Boston see a Cotton, and a Norton again ? When 
will New England see a Hooker, a Sheperd, a 
Mitchel? not to mention others. How many 
churches, how many towns are there in New Eng- 
land, that we may sigh over them and s.iy, the glory 
is departed." Arminianism had gradually stolen 
into our churches. The half-way covenant had 
been adopted, and the tone of piety lowered down. 
Before the revival of 1740, the sentiment that con- 
version was not essential to the ministry, found 
numerous advocates. 

Mr. Whitefield's preaching was blessed to mul- 
titudes in Boston, as well as in other parts of the 
land. After Mr. Whitefield's departure, Mr. Gil- 
bert Tennent came and watered what he had 
planted. Dr. Prince has given us a particular ac- 
count of this revival : "And now," says he, "there 
was such a time as we never knew. The Rev. Mr. 
Cooper was wont to say, that more came to him in 
one week, in deep concern about their souls, than 
in the whole twenty-four years of his preceding 



'20 BOSTON REVIVAL, 

ministry. I can also say tlie same as to the num- 
bers that repaired to me. By Mr. Cooper's letters 
to Scotland, it appears he has had about 600 dif- 
ferent persons in three months' time; and Mr. 
Webb informs me that he has had in the same 
space, above 1,000. Agreeable to the numerous 
bills of the awakened, put up in public, sometimes 
rising to the number of sixty at once, there re- 
paired to us both boys and girls, young men and 
women, Indians and negroes, heads of families, 
aged persons ; those who had been in full com- 
munion, and going on in a course of religion many 
years. And their cases represented, were a blind 
mind, a vile, and hard heart; and some under a 
deep sense thereof; some under great temptations; 
some in great concern for their souls ; some in 
great distress of mind for fear of being uncon- 
verted ; others for fear they had been all along 
building on a righteousness of their own, and were 
still in the gall of bitterness and bond of iniquity. 
Some under flighty, and others under strong con- 
victions of their sins and sinfulness, guilt and con- 
demnation, the wrath and curse of God upon them, 
their impotence and misery ; some for a long time, 
even several months, under these convictions; 
so\ne fearing lest the Holy Spirit should withdraw; 
others having quenched his operations, were in 
great distress, lest he should leave them forever ; 
persons far advanced in years, afraid of being left 
behind, while others were hastening to their great 
Retfeemer. Nor were the same persons satisfied 



CONGREGATIONAL CHURCHES. 21 

with corning once or twice, as formerly, but again 
and again, I know not how often, complaining of 
their evil and cursed hearts, &c. The people 
seemed to love us more than ever. Public and 
private lectures were greatly multiplied. Nor 
were the people satisfied with all their lectures. 
But private societies for religious exercises, both 
for younger and elder persons, both of males and 
females, by themselves, in several parts of the town, 
now increased to a much greater number than 
ever, viz., to the number of thirty ; meetings on 
Lord's day, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday 
evenings ; so the people were constantly employ- 
ing their ministers to pray and preach at those so- 
cieties, as also at many private houses where no 
formed society met ; and such numbers flocked to 
hear us, as greatly crowded them, as well as more 
than usually filled our houses of public worship, 
both on Lord's days and lecture days, especially 
evening lectures, for about a twelve-month after. 

"Some of our ministers, to oblige the people, 
have sometimes preached in public and private, at 
one house or another, even every evening, except 
after Saturday, for a week together ; and the more 
we prayed and preached, the more enlarged were 
our hearts, and the more delightful the employment. 
And O, how many, how serious and attentive were 
our hearers! how many awakened and hopefully 
converted by their ministers ! And how many of 
such added to our churches, as we hope will be 
saved eternally ! Scarce a sermon seemed to be 
preached without some good impressions. 



22 BOSTON REVIVAL. 

" As to the church to which I belonged, within 
six months from the end of January, 1741, were 
threescore joined to our communicants, the greater 
■part of whom gave a more exact account of the 
work of the Spirit of God on their souls in effectual 
calling, as described in the Westminster Assem- 
bly's Shorter Catechism, than I was wont to meet 
with before ; besides many others I could not but 
have charity for, who refrained from coming to the 
table of the Lord, for want of a satisfying view of 
the work of conversion." 

By Dr. Colman's letter of June 8, 1741, it ap- 
pears that in 1741, in April, there were nine or 
ten, and in May, nineteen added to the church ; 
"among whom" (says the Doctor) "were many of 
the rich and polite of our sons and daughters." 
And JR,ev. Mr. Weld, senior pastor of the new 
North, just now informs me, with respect to his 
church and people, in the following words: "Ad- 
missions to full communion, of those hopefully 
wrought upon in the late day of grace, about 160 ; 
of which 102 from January 1741 to 1742. Of the 
above mentioned, by far the greater part have 
since given hoi)eful signs of saving conversion. 
And many more give good evidence of grace ; but 
cannot be prevailed upon to come to the table of 
the Lord." 

The reason why many in this and other con- 
gregations kept back frouj professing religion, was 
that Mr. Tennent, who followed Whitefield, had 
cautioned people against taking covenant vows and 



CONGREGATIONAL CHURCHES. 2JJ 

obligations upon them without evidence of regen- 
eration. In view of these cautions, many, of whom 
their pastors thought favorably, were kept back 
from the table of the Lord. Mr. Tennent did not 
wish to encourage either hypocrites, or the impen- 
itent to come into the visible church. In this re- 
vival, persons were not hastily, nor without much 
pains-taking, admitted to the table of the Lord. 

"In the year 1741, the very face of the town 
seemed strangely altered, Some who had not 
been here since the fall before, have told me their 
surprise at the change in the general look and 
carriage of the people, as soon as they landed. 
Even the negroes and boys in the streets surpri- 
singly left their usual rudeness. I knew many of 
these had been greatly affected, and now were 
formed into religious societies. And one of our 
worthy gentlemen expressing his wonder at the 
remarkable change, informed me, that whereas he 
used with others on Saturday evenings to visit the 
taverns, in order to clear them of the town inhab- 
itants, they were wont to find many there, and 
meet with trouble to get them away; but now, 
having gone at these seasons again, he found them 
empty of all but lodgers. And thus successfully 
did this divine work, as above described, go on in 
town, without any lisp, as I remember, of a sepa- 
ration, either in this town or province, for above a 
year and a half after Mr. Whitefield left us." 

Large additions were made to the eight Congre- 
gational and the two Presbyterian societies then in 



24 BOSTON REVIVAL. 

town ; " the greater part of them gave their pastors 
a more exact account of the work of the Spirit of 
God on their hearts than they were wont to do be- 
fore." Nor was their righteousness like the early 
cloud, or morning dew that passeth away. Of 
those who were received into the church in Brat- 
tle street, Mr. Colman remarked more than three 
vears after the commencement of the revival, " the 
good fruits of their abiding profession unto this 
day, in a meek, discreet, virtuous and pious con- 
versation, give ,me pleasure and satisfaction in 
them from day to day." 

Mr. Prince testifies at still a later period, "of 
our numerous additions, with one exception, the 
convereation as far as I know, is as becomes the 
gospel. Nor do I hear of any in any of the other 
churches in town, that have fallen into censurable 
evil, except a few at the New North." 

This revival affected the great mass of the pop- 
ulation, young and old, high and low, bond and 
free. The town was in a great measure brought 
back to the state of the first age of New England* 
It was no new spirit infused into the churches. It 
was the revival of the same spirit in which they 
had been planted. It was a return of the same 
spirit that anitnated Cotton, Winthrop, Wilson and 
Sheperd. Tlie same IJoly Spirit that planted, 
watered the churches in Boston. The Holy Spirit 
was in the midst of these churches in the first age 
of New England, and now he returned to take up 
his abode with them again. 



CONGUEGATIONAL CHURCHES. 25 



CHAPTER IL 

tiopes respecting the Revival of 1740-^Causes of the declen* 
sion of Religion— The commencement of its Revival soon 
after the beginning of the present century— Old South Church 
^Park Street Church— Union Church, Essex street. 

The hopes of niany^ at the commencement of the 
revival of 1740, were highly raised. It was said by 
one who was well qualified to judge of its charac- 
ter, that, "at its commencement, it appears to have 
been in an imiisual degree, a silent, powerful and 
glorious work of the Spirit of God— the simple ef- 
fect of the truth applied to the conscience, accom- 
panied by his converting grace. So auspicious, in- 
deed, was the opening of the memorable work of 
God, and so rapid its progress, that the promised 
teign of Christ was believed by many to be actually 
beffun. Had it continued of this unmixed charac- 
ter, so extensive was its prevalence, and so power- 
ful its operation, it would seem that in no great 
length of time it would have pervaded this western 
world." It was, however, begun to be opposed by 
the enemies of vital religion, and that with a vio- 
lence proportioned to its prevalence and power* 
But open, virulent opposition, did not do it so much 
injury as its professed friends. After it had sue- 
2 



28 BOSTON REViVAL* 

cessfully progressed for a time, some of its profess* 
ed friends thought that some new measures would 
advance it with a greater rapidity. Davenport and 
others committed the greatest extravagances con- 
ceivable. They were accustomed to address the 
Supreme Being in such language as this : "Thou, 
O Lord God, knowest as well as we know, that 
such a man is. converted, or unconverted," as the 
case might be. They cotild also determine the 
character of individuals at first sight. Dr. Colman 
of this city says, in a letter dated Nov. 23, 1741, 
" We haVe seen little of those extremes or supposed 
blemishes of this work in Boston ; but much of the 
blessed fruits have fallen to our share. God has 
spoken unto us in a more soft and calm mind ; and 
we have neither had those outcries and faintings 
in our assemblies which have disturbed the wor- 
ship in many places, nor yet those manifestations 
of joy inexpressible which now fill sonje of our 
eastern parts." These extravagances furnished 
the opposers of the work with occasion to bring 
it into disrepute. In Connecticut, they resorted to 
open persecution ; and by prosecution, imprison- 
ment and transportation out of the colony, sought 
to put a stop to the work. This procedure revo- 
lutionized the state ultimately, and brought the 
friends of the revival into greater favor than ever. 
The work was also assailed by sneers, reproaches, 
unfavorable insinuations and slanderous reports. 
The abuses of it were much insisted on and exag- 
gerated ; and its friends were treated with scorn 



CONGREGATIONAL CHURCHES. 27 

and contempt. The result was, that the work 
soon almost universally ceased. A considerable 
number of ministers and laymen settled down, 
either into avowed erroneous opinions, or into 
strange indifference in regard to religious doc- 
trine; warmth and engagedness in religion were 
condemned as things of "a bad and dangerous 
tendency;" a denial of the fundamental doctrines 
of the gospel as things of small importance; and 
by many, all serious religion was looked upon as 
enthusiasm. 

In addition to this, the political condition of the 
country was such as constantly to agitate the pub- 
lic mind, and divert the attention from spiritual 
things. A war between France and Spain and 
England, lasted from 1744, to '48. War again 
broke out in 1755, and continued until 1760. Soon 
after this, the controversy commenced between 
the colonies and the mother country, and contin- 
ued until it finally broke out into open war. Du- 
ring the eight years of the revolutionary war, every 
nerve of the country was strained to maintain the 
national conflict. From '44 to '83, during a period 
of almost 40 years, the public mind was continu- 
ally agitated by political questions. These suc- 
cessive wars did much to break down the sanctity 
of the Sabbath and corrupt the morals of the com- 
munity. This was one reason why religion so 
greatly declined in this city of the pilgrims. The 
churches that had been distinguished for their or- 
thodox faith and strict practice, gradually became 
lax in sentiment and careless in morals. 



28 BOSTON REVIVAL. 

At the beginning of the present century, all the 
Congregational churches in Boston, with a single 
exception, had renounced the faith of the Puritans. 
The Old South Church still stood upon the plat- 
form of the fathers, though her pastor was a semi- 
Arian. But when the enemy came in like a flood} 
the Lord lifted up a standard against him. In the 
year 3803, the Baptist churches in the city were 
visited with a precious revival, in which the Old 
South shared to some extent. This church voted 
to have a weekly lecture ; but the pew proprietors 
refused to open the house for that purpose. The 
brethren who felt the influence of the revival, 
were greatly grieved at this refusal, and began to 
inquire what they could do to enjoy gospel privi- 
leges. Eight brethren formed a. ^^ Society for Reli- 
gious Improvement,^^ not judging it prudent to term 
it a Conference Meeting. They agreed to meet at 
stated seasons and read the bible, and converse on 
its truths; but at the commencement there Vv'as 
none of their number that could pray. After a few 
meetings were held, they acquired sufficient con- 
fidence to open their meetings with prayer. In 
this prayer meeting originated the purpose to build 
Park street Church. Their purpose was carried 
into execution irw- 1809, and a church gathered, 
consisting of 13 male and 13 female members. 
The meeting-house was dedicated Jan. 13, 1810. 
This little church and their first pastor were as- 
sailed with torrents of ridicule and reproach; but 
in the name of the pilgrim's God they maintained 



CONGREGATIONAL. CHURCHES. 29 

the fight. In 1819, Essex street Church was 
erected and dedicated to the Father, Son and Holy 
Ghost. In the years 1823 and '4, the God of the 
pilgrims returned and visited those churches where 
the primitive gospel was preached. It resulted in 
gathering into Park street Church, 120 members ; 
to the Old South, 101 ; and to Essex street, 62. In 
1825, a church was erected for the accommoda- 
liou of the inhabitants in South Boston, and a 
church gathered on the foundation of the Puritans. 
The friends of evangelical religion now began to 
bless God and take courage. He had been far 
better to them than their fears. He had given 
them enlargement far beyond their expectations. 
In 1826, two more new houses of worship were 
built in Hanover and Green streets. In the years 
1826 and '7, God was graciously pleased to give 
these churches a finther enlargement. The whole 
nimiber added to these several churches, was 735. 
Dr. Beecher was at this time pastor of the church 
in Hanover street, and was greatly instrumental in 
advancing the cause of evangelical religion in the 
city. God had so greatly blessed the efforts of 
his friends to raise up the fallen standard of piety, 
that in 1827 they resolved to erect two more 
houses for the worship of God. This resolution 
resulted in building Salem street and Pine street 
Churches. Since that period, churches have been 
gathered in Purchase street, in East Boston, in 
Winter street, in Garden street, and a new church 

under Mr. Kirk's ministry. ^ 

2* 



30 ' BOSTON REVIVAL. 

The declension in the Congregational churches 
was not the work of a day. They at first em- 
braced the Arminian error; but that was not a 
stopping place ; they still proceeded in the down- 
ward road. When charged with holding to the 
error of Unitarianism, they for sometime denied 
the charge. In 1815 they first admitted the fact 
that they had embraced this system. Since that 
time they have openly advocated the Unitarian 
doctrine. Harvard University was under the con- 
trol of the pastors of the Congregational churches 
in Boston and the six neighboring towns. When 
these original churches went over to Unitarianism, 
the college went with them. About this j)eriod, 
the charter of the college was altered, placing it 
in the hands of clergymen and laymen mostly of 
Unitarian sentiment, and giving them power to fill 
their own vacancies. 

Such was the state of religion in 1809, when 
Park street Church was organized — and such is 
the progress which true religion has made up to 
the present time. It is such a progress as has 
greatly encouraged the hearts of Ziou's friends and 
has redounded to the glory of God. 

Since the meeting of those eight brethren who 
had not sufficient confidence to lead in social 
prayer, what wonders hath God wrought ! 

The Old South Church 

Was the third Congregational church gathered in 
this city. This church was organized, May 16th, 



CONGREGATIONAL CHURCHES. 31 

1669. The history of the origin and progress of this 
church has been ably written by the late Dr. Wisner. 
She of all the original churches in the city, had not 
wholly departed from the faith of the pilgrims. " In 
the development made of the state of things in 
1815," says Wisner, "among the Congregational 
ministers and churches of the metropolis, it ap- 
peared that all the other ancient churches, with the 
ministers, had chosen to depart from the faith of their 
fathers ; and that this church of all its old associates, 
with its pastor, stood firm upon the ancient founda- 
tion, which we believe to be that • of the apostles and 
prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cor- 
ner stone.' And from that time to the present, we 
have, we trust, by the grace of God, been built up 
continually on this foundation ; while others, who 
with us once rested upon it, have in the exercise 
of their christian liberty, — for their use of which 
they are responsible only to God, — been continually 
removing from it more and more." During Rev. 
Mr. Huntington's ministry, the "American Educa- 
tion Society" and the "Boston Society for the Re- 
ligious and Moral Improvement of the Poor," were 
established principally by his influence. These 
societies have exerted a salutary influence; the 
one in raising up ministers for the church at large, 
and the other in preaching the gospel to the seamen 
and destitute poor of the city. This church has 
ever been distinguished for its liberality to benevo- 
lent objects. More than a hundred years ago, the 
following votes were entered on the records : — 



32 BOSTON REVIVAL. 

" Voted, that twenty pounds be delivered to Dea. 
Henclinian, for the purchasing of bibles, to be dis- 
tributed to the proper objects, as there may be oc- 
casion ; that ten pounds be distributed in other 
books, at the discretion of the trustees; that twenty 
pounds be given to Mr. Josiah Cotton to encourage 
liis settlement at Providence ^ that fifteen pounds 
be given to the Rev. JMr. Matthew Short of Easton, 
for his encouragement in the work of the ministry ; 
that fifteen pounds be given to Rev. James Hale of 
Ashford, for his encouragement in the work of the 
ministry, and the same sum given to Mr. Prentice 
of Dunstable. And about the same time fifteen 
pounds were given to Joseph Lecombe towards his 
sup})ort at college." Here was a Bible, 3Iissionary, 
Tract and Education Societv, all combined in the 
Old South. A church that has honored the Lord 
with her substance, could not fail of receiving his 
blessing. The whole number admitted to her com- 
munion up to 1842, is 2477. The present number 
of the church is 502. 

This ancient church sliared in the revival of last 
winter and spring, though not so largely as some of 
lier younger sisters. The attention commenced 
later than in some of the other churches. There 
was no marked seriousness in this congregation 
until February. God was then graciously pleased 
to visit them with a time of sj^ecial refreshing. The 
kingdom of God did not, however, come with obser- 
vation. It was through the ordinary means of 
grace. There was an increased spirit of prayer, a 



CONGREGATIONAL CHURCHES. 33 

greater frequency of meetings, and more individual 
effort for the salvation of souls. As the result of 
this season of mercy, 42 persons have been received 
into the church. The graces of this elder sister in 
Zion were revived. This church has now attained 
to the age of 173, and has still all the freshness and 
vigor of youth. May she hold on her way with in- 
creasing zeal, until the Lord shall come in the 
clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. Rev. 
George W. Blagden pastor. 

Park Street Church. 

This church was gathered, Feb. 27, 1809. At its 
formation it consisted of 26 members, 21 of whom 
came from other churches. Dr. Griffin was its 
first pastor. He was bold and fearless in declaring 
the doctrines, as they were held by the fathers of 
New England. The ears of Bostonians had so long 
been accustomed to smoother things, that they tin- 
gled when they heard the gospel in its primitive 
simplicity and purity. But the return of evangeli- 
cal religion to Boston was greatly promoted by his 
labors. The character of this infant church was 
formed under his ministry. The influence which 
she has exerted upon the city, country, and the 
heathen world, was principally owing to the im- 
pression made upon her by Griffin. He was in- 
stalled July 31, 1811; dismissed April 27, 1815. 
Rev. S. E. Dwight was ordained Sept. 3, 1817, and 
dismissed April 10, 1826. Rev. E. Beecher was 



34 BOSTON REVIVAL. 

ordained Dec. 27, 182G, and dismissed Oct. 98, 
1830. Rev. Joel H. Linsley was installed Dec. 5, 
1832, and dismissed Sept. 28, 1835. Rev. Silas 
Aiken was installed March 22, 1837. The whole 
number admitted to this church since its organiza- 
tion is 1180, of whom 101 have been received since 
the commencement of the present year. This 
church has enjoyed repeated times of refreshing 
from the presence of the Lord. During the years 
1812 and '13, the Holy Spirit was specially present 
with the word. Again in the years 1822, and '23, the 
Holy Spirit returned, and 144 were gathered into 
this church. In the years 1827, and '8, 134 were 
added to their number. Since the present pastor 
has been settled, 337 have united with them. 

This church has largely participated in the re- 
vival of the present year. The instrumentalities 
used were various. Rev. Mr. Kirk labored in con- 
nection with the pastor for a few weeks, with much 
fidelity, and was apparently instrumental in ad- 
vancing the cause. Meetings were multiplied as 
the exigencies of the people seemed to demand. 
Various means seemed to be specially blessed. 
Whatever was done in simple dependence on God 
was succeeded. The interest felt last spring has 
partially declined ; but still much of the fruit of that 
blessed work remains. The number of praying 
people has been multiplied, and most of the young 
converts still aj^pear interested in the cause that 
they have publicly espoused. One of the most in- 
teresting features of the recent work of grace con- 



CONGREGATIONAL CHlTRCHES. 35 

sista in the religious interest awakened among the 
young) especially among the children of the church. 
Many young men have become hopefully subjects 
of divine grace, and give promise of much present 
and future usefulness. 



Union Church, Essex Street. 

This church was originally gathered by Rev. 
James Sabine, and the house dedicated in 1819. 
A difficulty arose between some members of the 
church and their pastor, and a majority of the 
church and the pastor left the house. After this, 
the minority of the church was organized, June 10, 
1822. It then consisted only of twelve members. 
This infant church made application to the Old 
South and Park Street Churches for assistance. 
"Several members, after very serious deliberation, 
consented to a separation from iheir beloved pas- 
tors and brethren, and were united with the church 
on the the 26th of August, 1822; on which occasion, 
to mark the transaction, and for the })urpose of a dis- 
tinct designation, the name of Union Church was 
adopted. At the same time, Deacon Nathan Parker, 
by whose pecuniary aid, chiefly, the meeting-house 
in Essex Street had been erected, conveyed by 
deed the house, and land upon which it was built, 
to a Board of Trustees, for the use of the Union 
Church ; to be occupied for the worship of God the 
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. 

On the 12th of November 1822, the church unan- 



36 BOSTON- REVIVAL, 

imously made choice of the Rev. Samuel Green, of 
Reading, to become their pastor; who signified his 
acceptance, by letter Feb. 8th, 1823, and was in-^ 
stalled March 26th. During the years 1823, and '24, 
the Evangelical Congregational Churches in this 
city were favored with the special effusions of the 
Holy Ghost, in which this church participated* 
During those two years between 80 and 90 were ad- 
mitted to the church. In the vear 1827 and '28* 
this church was again visited with the reviving in- 
fluences of the Holy S{)irit. As the fruits of this 
season of revival, 118 were gathered into the 
church. 

This church was among the earliest that acted 
officially upon the subject of temperance. The 
church unanimously resolved, on the 28th of March, 
1827, "that we will not use ardent spirit ourselves, 
nor permit its use in our families, except for medi- 
cal purposes." 

By vote of the church, one-third of the collec- 
tions at the communion seasons is appropriated to 
constitute a fund for the support of such families 
of the pastors of this church as may need charita- 
ble assistance ; and the other two-thirds, for the use 
of the poor of the church. Since this church was 
organized, 940 have been admitted to its commu- 
nion. Its present number is 572. Since the com- 
mencement of the year 1842, 52 persons have been 
received. 

In the revival ofthe present year, this church has 
not shared so largely as some others; but still she 



CONGREGAtiONAL CHURCHES. 37 

has not been left unblessed. As far back as last 
autumn sonle of her members were revived, and 
felt in an unusual degree the spirit of prayer. They 
cried continually for God to revive his work. Thife 
•try entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabbaoth, 
and he heard their cry. God sent down gracious an- 
swers from his throne. Individual cases of con- 
viction and conversion soon began to appear. The 
work was not so extensive as the praying people, at 
times, hoped that it would be; but still this church 
has real cause for gratitude for the conversion of 
50 souls. Those that have professed religion thus 
far appear well. They have not been hastily re-^ 
ceived. In most cases, some time has been per- 
mitted to elapse between the hopeful conversion of 
individuals and their reception into the communion 
of the church. 

The instrumentalities used in carrying on the 
work, were the stated labors of the pastor and the 
prayers and personal efforts of the brethren. This 
church felt to some extent her responsibility. She 
did not feel as though the whole work of convert- 
ing souls rested upon the shoulders of her pastor. 
He must indeed have his a[)propriate work, as the 
leader of the "sacramental host of God's elect." 
But he could not do his own work and theirs too. 
Many of the members of the church by their 
prayers and efforts sustained the hands of the\t 
])astor. Had there been more prayer and greater" 
efforts, this church would undoubtedly have seen 
more of the work of the Lord tlj^an they did. May 
3 



38 BOSTON REVIVAL. 

Ihe Lord speedily revive them again, and lead 
them to consecrate themselves renewedly to his 
service. 



CHAPTER III. 

Green street Church — Philips's Church, South Boston — Bow- 
doiii street ('hurch — Salem Church — Pine street Church- 
Maverick Church, East Boston. 

Green Street Church. 

Rev. Wm. Jenks, D. D., pastor of this church, 
commenced his labors among seamen and among 
the poor in 1818. Meetings were held at a hall 
over the stores on Central wharf, and in a mission 
house, erected on Butolph street. Dr. Jenks 
preached halfof the Sabbath in each of these places. 
The church in Green street grew out of his mis- 
sionary labors. The church was gathered Dec. 30, 
1823. At its organization, it consisted of 18 mem- 
bers. Nearly 400 persons have been received since 
that time. The most that have ever been admitted 
in one year was in 1827, which was 99. The meel- 
ing-house was erected in 1826. 

In a letter to the writer of this work, the pastor 
gives the following account of the revival of the 



CONGREGATIONAL CHURCHES. 39 

present year: "In reply to your inquiries respecting 
the recent work of grace in our religious society, I 
feel it necessary to look back to a previous period. 
For there had been, as you are doubtless aware, an 
unusual attention to religion in the preceding year, 
manifesting itself in several of our churches. This 
had led to the institution of the morning meeting 
for prayer at Park street vestry — a meeting that 
called forth much of the spirit of piety, and of ar- 
dent desire for the salvation of souls. Several 
members of our church and society frequented these 
meetings, and appeared to derive from them a great 
benefit. The spirit of prayer, too, was perceptible 
in our own vestry, and its increase was apparent in 
1840. Such, indeed, had been the power of divine 
grace in a few conversions of that year, that the 
memory of them was exceedingly felt, and excited 
no little engagedness in the minds of the brethren. 
The preaching of the Rev. Mr. Kirk in Park street, 
which was attended by a large number of people, 
seemed at least to give vigor to the attention to 
which I now allude, and to add to it solemnity and 
interest. Twenty-two were admitted to our com- 
munion during that year. Towards the close of 1841, 
very decided cases of serious inquiry were apparent. 
Many attended the preaching of Rev. Mr. Knapp, 
and listened with increasing seriousness to his 
warm and energetic appeals, and stirring represen- 
tations. A young couple resolved on the first day 
of the year, that they would seek in earnest an in- 
terest in the great salvation. Not long after, I trust. 



40 ^ BOSTON REVIVAL. 

it was found. Our meetings became more and 
more deeply solemn, until, at length, when the 
number who professed to have found the peace of 
the gospel, had amounted to about 40, as I judge, 
the church voted to invite Rev. Mr. Knapp to come 
and hold a series of meetings with us. He came 
and labored with us one week. During a part of 
the following week, Rev. Mr. Kirk, whom, author- 
ized by a vote of the church, I had previously in- 
vited, labored with us, until the meetings were re- 
moved to the meeting-house in Bowdoin street, and 
continued there for a considerable time. From the 
time of commencing the series of meetings to their 
close, out of the number of apparent conversions, 
which I have no means of specifying, ten have been 
reckoned of such as have usually worshipped with 
us. Hence it has been judged that the number of 
instances, which in the judgment of charity, may 
be accounted conversions, in persons attached to 
Green street society, was about 50. 41 have sinccj 
at different times, been added to our communion. 
Eight or ten beside these have expressed religious 
hopes. In one family five, in another six, and in 
another four instances of happy renewal of heart 
was rejoiced in. Husbands and wives, parents and 
children, found a new satisfaction in the ties that 
united them, and could bend the knee together be- 
fore the throne of grace. The subjects of the work 
were of various ages, and thus far, no instance has 
occurred in which church censure has appeared 
necessary." Present number of church members 
256. 



congrega-tionali churches. 41 

Philips's Church, South Boston. 

This church was organized in J823. Rev. Prince 
Havves was its first pastor. Rev. J. H. Fairchild 
was installed in 1827. During Iiis ministry, there 
have been several seasons of special interest. His 
health began to fail last autumn ; from Oct. to May 
he was unable to preacii more than half of the day. 
"The state of religion," says a member of that 
church, " was at alow ebb, till about the first of 
February, when some tokens of the presence of the 
Spirit of God began to appear. Some of the mem- 
bers of the church had attended in the city, and had 
their hearts warmed by seeing and hearing what 
the Lord was there doing. The prayer-meetings 
held on Sabbath and Friday evenings, became 
places of deep and solemn interest; the brethren 
began to find liberty to speak of their coldness and 
backslidings ; to mourn over the state of their own 
hearts, and that of their impenitent friends; and 
were ready to pour out their feelings in fervent 
prayer for the quickening and converting influences 
of God's spirit. As soon as God's children began 
earnestly to plead for impenitent sinners, they be- 
gan to attend on religious meetings, and to exhibit 
anxiety for their own salvation. The number of re- 
ligious meetings was increased, and occasionally 
the voice of new converts was heard in them, 
praising the Lord for what he had done for their 
souls, and exhorting their impenitent friends to flee 
to Christ for salvation. About 35 have connected 
3* 



42 BOSTON REVIVAIi. 

themselves with this church by profession ; 30 of 
these on the first Sabbath in May, on which day the 
labors of our late beloved pastor closed. Among 
these were eleven male heads of families. The in- 
teresting relations given by new converts, show 
that while God makes use of various means to fas- 
ten divine truth upon the soul, the great leading 
results are the same. These results are a change of 
feeling towards God, Christians, the bible, the Sab- 
bath, and religious meetings. The young converts 
were filled with adoring wonder and gratitude. 

"A young man who joined the church in March, 
was awakened by the reading of a letter from a 
former companion, which gave an account of his 
conversion. He rose in one of our meetings, and 
after stating in a few words what God had done for 
his soul, requested prayers for his impenitent pa- 
rents. At the next communion in May, both of 
them were found sitting with their son at the same 
table of the Lord. A man who had formerly' been 
a Universalist, and who had for a long time resisted 
the claims of religion, as presented by a pious and 
praying wife, was brought to repentance by her 
death. His appeals made in our religious meetings 
to others who had pious companions, were instru- 
mental, we believe, of good to several souls. The 
reviving of t!ie graces of those who have been a 
long time professors, was not among the least im- 
portant of facts of the special visitation of the Spirit 
of God. 

" There are others, who, in the judgment of char- 



CONGREGATIONAL CHURCHES, 43 

ity, have passed from death unto life, that have not 
yet united themselves with the visible church. In 
answer to the question, * Has the revival ceased?' 
it is answered, 'it has.' 'What were the apparent 
causes?' Amon^ these mav be named the want of 
a pastor, the occurrence of the season of the year 
when our church members have less energy and 
time for religious meetings for prayer and for re- 
ligious conference, and above all, the want of watch- 
fulness, faith and prayer. The great adversary of 
souls seemed for a time to draw off from his open 
attacks, while the Spirit of God was present. We 
have occasion to bless God for what he has done. 
Good fruit, fruit of the Spirit remains; and while 
we have reason to fear that some, who were 
aroused to more than ordinary faithfulness, have 
returned to their ease in Zion, others are resolved 
in the strength of the Lord, by patient continuance 
in well doing, to ' seek for glory, honor, and eter- 
nal life.'" 

The number of chin'ch members at the time of 
Mr. Faircliild's installation, was 37. He received 
358 during his fifteen years' ministry; its present 
number is 251. 



BowDoiN Street Church. 

This church was gathered and house erected in 
Hanover street. The church was organized July 
18, J 825. The corner stone of the meeting-house 
was laid June 20, by Rev. Dr. Wisner, and an ad- 



44 BOSTON REVIVAL. 

dress delivered by Rev. S. Green. On tlie 19th of 
Jan. 1826, Rev. Lyman Beecher, D. D., was in- 
stalled pastor. This house was destroyed by fire 
Feb. 1, 1830. The new house was erected in Bovv- 
doin street, and the name of the church was changed 
from Hanover to Bowdoin street church. Dr. 
Beecher was dismissed Sept. 183"2. The present 
pastor at the close of his tenth years' ministry, gave 
a brief history of this church, from which some ex- 
tracts are permitted to be taken. 

"The statistics of this church show," the pastor 
says, "a remarkable uniformity of growth down to 
this present moment. During the six and a half 
years of Dr. Beecher's ministry, the church received 
485 members, 330 by profession, and 155 by letter, 
making an average of 70 per year, two thirds of 
whom were received by profession. During the 
ten years' ministry of his successor, the church has 
received 700 members, averaging just 70 a year, and 
just two thirds of them also by profession. It hence 
appears, that the average number received into the 
church annually under the first, and under the sec- 
ond ministers, and the proportion received by pro- 
fession, are about the same. The reception under 
the present minister has been more uniform than 
under the preceding. Under the ministry of Dr. 
Beecher, in the general and extensive revival of '27, 
there were received into the church 187 members, 
most of them by profession, and at the communion 
seasons. During the two or three following years, 
the number received was not one third as great, 



CONGREGATIONAL CHURCHES. 45 

%k\'dX in 1829 being only 38 in all, 19 on profession. 
Whereas the greatest number received in any one 
3'«ar under the present pastor is 160, and the least 
43. The year of greatest accessions to the church 
under the former pastor was 1827, under the present, 
1836; the least ^under the former pastor that of 
1829, under the present, that of 1839. That the ac- 
cessions to the church under the present ministry 
have not residted from extraordinary means and 
measures within, or excitements around it, is evi- 
dent not only from the great uniformity, year to 
year ; but from the fact that the greatest revival, or 
the most numerous additions were in 1836, when 
there was a general sCupidity in most of the sur- 
rounding churches, and when this church and pas- 
tor did their own work in their own plain, unex- 
citing, uniform way. Through that whole year no 
foreign help was called in, and the pastor very sel- 
dom exchanged pulpits; but followed up from Sab- 
bath to Sabbath a consecutive course of subjects, 
with direct reference to the exigencies of his peo- 
ple and the conversion of souls. The Tuesday 
evening meeting was a continuous course of doc- 
trinal lectures — the Sabbath evening, a season of 
prayer, remarks, addresses, and conversations with 
Inquirers— the Friday evening, a season of prayer. 
All these meetings were fully attended. Besides 
these were no others, excepting occasional little 
circles in private families, and social religious in- 
terviews at the pastor's house. There was very 
Sittle excitement ; but strojig grapplings of truth 



46 BOSTON REVIVAL. 

with the understandings and consciences of men, 
and the snbduinggrace of tiie Spirit on their hearts. 
In purity and depth, in freedom from any thing ob- 
jectionable in the character of the persons received, 
or in the permanent influence on this church, and 
the cause of Christ in this city add in the commu- 
nity at large, the work of 183G has seldom been 
equalled. 

"It is a very remarkable fact, for which the most 
devout gratitude is due, that out of 700 members re- 
ceived during the period of ten years, only three in- 
stances of discipline have as yet occurred. This 
must be ascribed, under God, not more to the free- 
dom of the work of grace among us from blind and 
fanatical impulses, than to the great prudence and 
care of our committee. 

"This church is now 17 years old, and numbers 
1222 children. Of these 65 have died ; 17 have for- 
feited church confidence ; more than 500 have gone 
out to strengthen and build other churches. Of the 
great numbers that have gone out from this church, 
have been many of its most active and important 
members, including all its original and part of its 
more subsequent officers. The churches planted and 
strengthened by colonies from this church, are Sa- 
lem and Pine street churches. The Central church, 
in Winter street, was organized in this house, and 
mostly a colony from this church — the Eliot in 
lloxbury — the Winthrop church in Charlestown — 
the evangelical church in Cambridgeport — the Mar- 
iner's church — the Free church — the church in East 



CONGREG A.TIONAL CHURCHES. 47 

Boston — tlie church in Chelsea, and the recent 
church formed for Mr, Kirk. All of which have 
received, by far, more members and strength from 
this church than any other. Many have, moreover, 
gone from this to numerous churches near and re- 
mote, in various parts of our country, and some to 
the heathen nations. The benign influence of this 
church has been felt not only in this city, and vi- 
cinity, but on those at a distance, and on the great 
and general cause of Zion at large. The average 
number received into this church, and sent out 
from it during the 17 years of her existence, far 
surpass those of any other church in thecity during 
the same, or proportionate period ; and the annual 
reception of 70 members from year to year for 17 
years, is without a parrallel in the New England 
churches of our denomination. These remarks are 
made, especially those in reference to the church 
nnder the present ministry, not in the spirit of 
boasting, but to honor the established ordinances, 
and magnify the grace of God. 

"The instrumentalities have been the stated 
preaching of the gospel, with the devotional exer- 
cises of prayer and singing, by which the general 
influence of divine truth has been kept upon the 
minds of the congregation — the instructions of the 
Sabbath school and Bible classes — and meetings of 
prayer and remarks, which have often been much 
favored — social and personal religious interviews — 
all these means united to carry forward the work. 
These we believe are the divinely appointed means 
for building up the kingdom of God." 



4S Boston revival.. 

This review of ten years' ministry, shows wfial 
may be done by a church in its organized capaci- 
ty, that keeps constantly at work for God. They 
have used those instrumentalities that God has ap- 
pointed. He has given them almost an uninter- 
rupted revival of religion of 17 year's duration. 

During the present year 135 have been admitted 
to the church. 

The revival commenced in this church in Dec^ 
1841. It first appeared by individuals of the church 
humbling themselves before God for their past sins 
In many instances, there were great searchings of 
heart, and renewed self-consecrations to Christ, 
Meetings were held in the vestry from evening la 
evening. Through several successive weeks, a 
united inquiry meeting for Park, Green and Bowdoin 
street churches were held at the vestry, on three af- 
ternoons in the week. The work in this congre- 
gation was one 6f great interest and power. Hub- 
bard Winslow, Pastor. 

Salem Church. 

The Lord having succeeded every attempt to en- 
large his kingdom, a meeting was held March 21sty 
1827, to consider whether it was not expedient to 
erect another house of worship. It being doubtful 
whether it was njost needed at the north, or the. 
south part of the city, it was resolved to erect two, 
one on Pine street, and the other on Salem street. 
The corner stone of Salem church was laid, July 



CONGREGATIONAL CHURCHES- 49 

17, 18*27. Ninety-seven persons were organized 
into a church Sept. 1, 1827. Rev. Justin Edwards, 
D. D., was installed pastor, Jan. 1, 1828; dismissed 
Aug. 20, 1829. Rev. George W. Blagden was in- 
stalled, Nov. 3, 1830; dismissed Aug. 1836. Rev. 
Joseph H. Towne, the present pastor, was installed 
June 2, 1837. 

An officer of the church has given the following 
account of the revival of the past winter and 
spring : 

"During the latter part of the summer and most 
of the autumn of 1841, the state of our church and 
society was such as to cause a depression of feel- 
, ing in the lieart of Zion's friends. Our pastor re- 
turned to us early in September, after an absence of 
six weeks. An attempt was made to resuscitate 
the Tuesday evening lecture, but the attendance 
was so very small, that after a few weeks' experi- 
ment, it was thought best to give it up. Our week- 
ly church meeting was continued, but many seats 
were vacant, and it became a matter of deep so- 
licitude what should be done. At length, at a 
business meeting in Dec, a brother was appointed 
to prepare a circular to be printed, and delivered to 
each individual member of the church, calling upon 
them to consider their covenant obligations, and 
awake to duty. This circular was prepared in 
manuscript, and presented to the church ; but the 
Lord had rendered its distribution unnecessary. 
Previous to its presentation to the church, things 
began to assume a new aspect. The discussion of 
4 



50 BOSTON REVIVAL 

the subject had awakened an interest, find our 
meetings began to increase in numbers, if not in 
deep religious feeling. At a meeting for devotion- 
al exercises, Dec. 24, the third chapter of Malachi 
was made the theme of discussion. It excited 
much interest, and we felt that there was an un-, 
usual spirit of prayer for the outpouring of the 
Holy Spirit. At another meeting the subject of 
foreign missions was taken up, and most of the 
brethren present subscribed 50 or 100 per cent 
more than in former years. This seemed to be the 
beginning of the revival ; we hailed the spirit of 
the meeting as a token for good. We had brought 
' tithes into the store house, and the offering was 
pleasant to the Lord, as in the days of old ;' and we 
l)egan to anticipate that he would pour us out a 
blessing, corresponding with the interest he had ex- 
cited in the hearts of his people for the cause of 
Zion. The next Sabbath was the first in the year, 
and communion day. Our pastor preached in the 
morning from II. Kings 20, J, last clause. It was 
a solemn, melting sermon, and deeply felt. The 
Lord had prepared the way for this sermon ; one 
young couple had the very evening previous taken 
up the same subject in conversation with each 
other — lamented their irreligious life, arHl resolved 
to commence the new year by leading new lives. 
They went to the sanctuary next morning with 
subdued feeling and tender consciences. The word 
was made i)ovverful ; they were deeply convicted of 
sin, and soon drawn to the Saviour. On this Sab- 



CONGREGATIONAL CHURCHES. 51 

bath, it was ascertained that a young man who had 
been several days in an anxious state, had ob- 
tained a hope. In the evening our vestry was full. 
It was evident that the Holy Spirit was there. The 
pastor at the close inquired of those present, if they 
would sustain the Tuesday evening lecture if it 
should again be resumed. The assembly signified 
their assent by rising. Tuesday evening came, and 
it was a precious season. After sermon, an invita- 
tion was given to such as felt the need of special 
prayer to remain. About 20 came up to the desk, 
and with them one who had for years been sus- 
pended from the fellowship of the church. There 
was a very deep feeling. The Lord had come sud- 
denly into his temple, and it was evident that many 
had been brought under deep conviction of sin. 
From this time it became necessary to increase 
meetings, and for four months a meeting was held 
every evening in the week. The blessing of the 
Holy Spirit descended upon us mostly through the 
regular means of grace. These were the instru- 
ments by which he chose to accomplish his de- 
signs, both in the commencement and progress of 
the work. Rev. Edward Beecher was providential- 
ly with us two or three weeks during the most in- 
teresting part of the revival, and rendered much as- 
sistance to our pastor under his accumulated labori*. 
On examination of candidates for admission into 
the church, even in the season of coldness before 
alluded to, some had been brought to feel their need 
of a Saviour; and while the church was apparently 



52 BOSTON REVIVAL. 

asleep, the influence of the Holy Spirit had not en- 
tirely ceased. As the fruits of the revival, 133 have 
been added to the church. We trust that there are 
still many others who have been more or less af- 
fected by the influence of the Spirit on their hearts. 
How many of them have passed from death unto 
life, time must determine. Several very young 
persons have expressed hopes, but their cases have 
been deferred on account of their youth. In gen- 
eral, there was little to be noticed in this revival 
which does not apply to those in other places, ex- 
cept that it was somewhat sudden in its commence- 
ment, and rapid in its progress. One of the early 
converts considered his conversion as the direct re- 
sult of the prayers of a circle of wives, (of which his 
own wife was one) who united together to pray es- 
pecially for their impenitent husbands. Thirty 
husbands and wives professed religion on the first 
Sabbath in May. The revival has partially sub- 
sided. The cause of 4:he withdrawing of the Holy 
Spirit is the diminished interest of the people of 
God, perhaps in the presumption in supposing that 
the work would go on, whether prayers and efibrts 
were continued or not. We still hope, however, 
that the church does feel much interest in the 
cause of Christ among us. Our meetings have 
been better attended this summer than thev were 
ever before in the warm season, and I trust tliat we 
shall be further visited with the outpouring of God's 
Spirit. It was remarked during the latter part of 
the revival, that nearly all who had habitually at- 



CONGREGATIONAL CHURCHES. 53 

tended the vestry meetings were brought in. A 
considerable class of those who are with us on the 
Sabbath, but are never with us in the vestry, have 
remained unaffected. This class are not easily ap- 
proached. The church are arranging a system of 
visiting, which it is hoped will reach them." 
Present number of the church, 577. 

Pine Street Church. 

The corner-stone of this meeting-house was laid 
June 20, 1827. The church was gathered Sept. 2, 
1827, consisting of 45 members. Rev. Thomas A. 
Skinner, D. D., was installed April 10, 1828, dis- 
missed, Aug, 27, 1828. John Brown, D. D., was in- 
stalled March 4, 1829, dismissed Feb. 1831. Rev. 
A. A. Phelps was installed Sept. 1832, dismissed 
March, 1834. Rev. Artemas Boies was installed, 
Dec. 1834, dismissed Oct. 1840. Rev. Austin 
Phelps, present pastor, was ordained March, 31, 
1842. Says a member of this chui'ch, "As far 
back as the month of Dec. there were indications 
of more than usual seriousness on the part of the 
church, although there was nothing of a very de- 
cided character so early as that. The deep religious 
interest that was felt at the north part of the city, 
seemed to react upon us at the south, and many 
members of our church -seemed to have imparted 
to them new vigor and new life in their spiritual 
feelings by attendance upon the meetings in the 
churches where the revival had already com- 
4* 



54 ' BOSTOW REVIVALr 

raenced. About this time a powerful work of 
grace was in progress at the Methodist Church in 
Church street. The meetings held there were also 
attended by many members of our church, and the 
accounts that reached us, from day to day and from 
week to week, of what God was doing there in the 
conversion of sinners, tended much to deepen re- 
ligious feeling generally, and lead us to feel that if 
we would share the blessing which God was pour- 
ing out all around us, we were called upon to hum- 
ble ourselves before him. Perhaps the first decided 
indications of a revival of religion, were mani- 
fested early in the month of January in the young 
men's prayer meeting. This meeting had been 
held for some years in a private house, and the 
average attendance was not more than from 8 to 12. 
Without any unusual effort being made, the num- 
ber was increased to 25. It became a meeting of 
much solemnity. The numbers attending this meet- 
ing continued to increase, so that the rooms where 
they were accustomad to meet, were too strait for 
them, and the meeting was adjourned to the vestry. 
It has been continued until the present time, is well 
attended, and open for all who may wish to come. 
It is conducted by the young men, and has, we have 
reason to believe, been productive of much good. 
In the month of January our house was closed 
for repairs, and was not opened again until April ; 
our only place of meeting was the vestry, and our 
congregation was very much scattered ; the church 
>V'as also destitute of a pastor. Under these cir- 



CONGREGATIONAL CHURCHES. 55 

cumstances, it seemed almost hopeless to expect a 
revival. Laboring under these discouragements, 
the hand of God was the more strikingly manifest. 
Under the labors of Rev. G. D. Abbott, who preached 
with us two or three months, the religious interest 
increased. Meetings were held every evening in 
the week, with the exception of Saturday, for sev- 
eral weeks. At the close of the meetings, anxious 
persons were invited to remain for conversation. 
The first time the invitation was given, only one 
stopped ; at the second three, at the third six. The 
number of inquirers increased to 75 or 100. A day 
of fasting and prayer was observed, which tended 
to humble christians before God, and lead ns to 
feel our dependence more upon the Holy Spirit. 
The season of the deepest interest with us was 
from the middle of January to the middle of March. 
The number of those that have indulged hopes in 
Christ, is about 75. Many of the converts are 
young men and women, and about half are from 
the Sabbath school. On the first Sabbath in July, 
forty were admitted to the church. The Holy 
Spirit is now partially withdrawn from us. This 
must be attributed to the relaxing of prayer and 
personal efforts. 

Present number of church members, 278. 

Maverick Chttrch, East Boston. 

The Maverick church was instituted May 31, 
1836. Early in this year, several persons were im- 
pressed with the importance of having the preached 



56 BOSTON REVIVAL. 

gospel established in this place. A meeting was 
held to consult on the subject, which was attended 
by only four persons. A vestry was built by these 
four individuals. The congregation consisted only 
of about 30 persons. The meeting-house was ded- 
icated July 19, 1837, and Rev. William W. Newell 
was installed pastor. Mr. Newell was dismissed in 
1841. Rev. A. A. Phelps is the present pastor. He 
devotes part of the time to city missions. A revival 
•commenced in this congregation in March. About 
twenty have expressed hopes, a part of whom have 
professed religion. The present prospects of this 
church are better than they have ever been at any 
former period of its history. The church numbers 
-about 80 members. 



CHAPTER IV. 

Mariners' Church — Central Church — Marlboro' Chapel — Gar- 
den street Church — New Congregational Church — Conclu- 
ding remarks — Statistical table. 



"O 



Mariners' Church. 

In 1818, Rev. Dr. Jenks commenced his labors 
among seamen, under the patronage of the "Boston 
Society fqr the Religious and 3Ioral Instruction of 
the Poor." He preached half of the Sabbath at a 
hall over the arch on Central wharf. lie contin- 



CONGREGATIONAL CHURCHES. 57 

ued his labors until 1826. In 1828, the Boston 
Seaman's Friend Society was formed. On Jan. I, 
1830, the Mariners' Church was dedicated, and on 
the 20th of the same month, a church of nine mem- 
bers was gathered. Rev. Stephen Bailey officiated 
as seaman's preacher from 1826 to 1828 ; Rev. Jon- 
athan Greenleaf from 1828 to 1833; Rev. D. M. 
Lord from 1834 to the present time. The whole 
number that has been admitted to this church, is 
about 250. This church has shared in the revival 
of the present year. Several interesting cases of 
conversion took place among the sons of the ocean. 
About 30 have been admitted to the church. It is 
difficult to tell the precise number of conversions 
in a congregation so fluctuating as that of seamen. 
Impressions are often made that result in conver- 
sion, when the individual is on the ocean or in a 
foreign port. The full results of preaching the 
gospel to seamen will never be known until the 
sea shall give up its dead. 

The present " Sailors' Home" is far too small 
to accommodate all who wish to be received as - 
boarders. It is now contemplated to erect a new, 
more spacious and convenient house in the course 
of the next season. 

The present number of church members is 173. 



Central Church. 

The congregation now worshipping in Central 
Church, in Winter street, was originally gathered 



58 * BOSTON REVIVAL. 

with a view to occupy the Odeon, which for a 
number of years was used as a theatre. Seve- 
ral members of the Evangelical Congregational 
Churches in the cit)^, made arrangements with the 
Academy of Music, (who had obtained a lease of 
the building) to occupy it as a place of worship 
on the Sabbath. A meeting was held May 6th, 
1835, at which, after mature deliberation, it was 
judged to be expedient to form a new church. On 
the 11th of May, an ecclesiastical council con- 
' vened at the vestry of Bowdoin street meeting- 
house, and organized the Franklin street Church, 
consisting of 63 members. Rev. William M. 
Rogers was installed pastor, Aug. 6, 1835. 

On the 27th of May, 1841, the corner stone of a 
church in Winter street, for the use of the congre- 
gation worshipping at the Odeon, was laid with 
appropriate religious services. The Central Con- 
gregational Society was organized under the gen- 
eral statute of the commonwealth, on the 7th of 
December, 1841, and recognized the Franklin street 
Church as associated with them in the worship of 
God. On the 24th of Dec. the Franklin street 
Church assumed the name of the Central Congre- 
gational Church, and on the 31st of Dec. 1841, the 
church edifice, erected in Winter street, was dedi- 
cated to the worship of God. 

Before the church left the Odeon, a deep solici- 
tude was felt that they might enter the new house 
with right feelings. They wished not only to con- 
secrate the house to the worship of the only living 



CONGREGATIONAL CHURCHES. 59 

and true God, but to consecrate themselves and 
their families to his service. They ardently de- 
sired that the glory of God should fill the house. 
There is reason to believe that God had accepted 
of this consecration, even before they had entered 
the house that they had builded unto the Lord. 
The commencement of the revival may be dated 
back to the time when this solicitude to enter the 
new house with a right state of feeling, was awa- 
kened. This was a revival in the hearts of the 
church. God prepared their hearts to enter into 
his house with thanksgiving and into his gates 
with praise. Soon after the church was open, the 
pastor commenced a series of Sabbath evening lec- 
tures, on the subject of the death of Christ. These 
were continued six or seven weeks, and then a se- 
ries of evening meetings were continued through 
several successive weeks. The pastor and the 
church performed nearly all the labor. God was 
pleased to bless the ordinary means of grace. 
Many thrilling incidents occurred in the progress 
of the work. They were such as glorified Godj 
and edified his people. The enterprise of erecting 
the new house was succeeded beyond their most 
sanguine expectation. Pews were sold for sufii- 
cient to pay for the house. All the sittings are 
occupied. The number of church members when 
they entered the new house was 280; '^03 have 
been received during the present year, so that the 
chiu-ch now numbers 483. 

In looking at the history of the revival, as it was 



60 BOSTON REVIVAL. 

manifested in this congregation, it is important to 
remark, that it commenced before there was any 
general religious movement in the city. It was 
still and noiseless, but steady and onward. The 
means principally blessed were the plain, direct 
preacliing of the word, and the prayers, exhorta- 
tions and private conversation of the brethren. 

Marlboro' Chapel. 

First Free Congregational Church. 

The free church system, as pursued in New 
York and other places, having proved eminently 
successful, it was deemed desirable by several in- 
dividuals that it should be introduced into this city. 
A meeting was called for that purpose, when a 
covenant and a code of by-laws were adopted and 
signed by 56 individuals, belonging to the Pine 
street, Salem and Bowdoin street churches, who 
were recognized as the "First Free Congregational 
Church" in Boston, by an ecclesiastical council 
convened at the Essex street Church, July 16lh, 
1835. The church commenced their meetings for 
worship in Richie hall; at^er a few months they 
removed to Congress hall; and subsequently to 
Amory hall. The Marlboro' Chapel was after- 
wards built for their accommodation. Rev. Charles 
Fitch was installed their pastor, May 24th, 1836. 
Rev. A. A. Phelps was for one year their minister. 
Rev. Mr. Russell is the present officiating minister. 
Mr. Russell gives the following account of the re- 
vival of the past year. 



CONGREGATIONAL CHURCHES. 61 

The revival in this congregation commenced in 
Oct. 1841. Previous to that time the congregation 
was small, and the interest was not great. Some 
of the people of God felt deeply interested in having 
a different state of things. Many christians had 
left their first love, and sinners were slumbering 
under the wrath of God. 

At this time and in such a state of things, Rev. 
C. G. Finney was invited to come and labor a few 
weeks in promoting the work of the Lord. Owing 
to the state of br. Firfney's healtii, and to previous 
engagements of the chapel for other purposes, the 
church were unable to hold meetings more than 
three or four evenings in a week. But labors 
were not in vain ; the congregations rapidly in- 
creased and the truth went with the searching 
power of the Spirit to the heart. Some professors 
came to the conclusion that their hearts never had 
been right in the sight of God ; hence they gave up 
their hopes and humbled themselves for the first 
time at the foot of the cross. Others who had 
wandered from God by wicked works, repented, 
confessed, came to the throne of grace and were 
filled with the fulness of God. As multitudes came 
into the meetings who were connected with other 
churches, and who were in a dark state of mind, 
the most of the jjreaching was directed to profes- 
sors of religion and was adapted to search their 
hearts and lead them to Christ as a Saviour from 
all sin. A part of the i)reaching, however, was di- 
rected to the impenitent, and it was made the 
5 



62 BOSTOJV REVIVAIi. 

power of God to the salvation of some who have 
since been bright arid shining lights. I commenced 
laboring with the church in Dec. About that time 
br. Finney left, and br. Knapp came into the city» 
While br. Knapp was laboring in the north part of 
the city, the work continued to move on. The 
meetings were well attended and sinners fre- 
quently came into the liberty of the children of 
God. 

During the latter part of Mr. Knapp's labors in 
the city he preached a few times in the chapel. 
Some of the converts feel that the preaching of 
this faithfid servant of Christ was blessed of God 
to the conviction and conversion of their souls. 
Some of the converts were from the lowest grades 
of infamy and vice, who, since their conversion, 
have given evidence that "old things are passed 
away and all things are become new." 

Though the interest has not been so great du- 
ring the summer as it was during the winter and 
spring, yet there have been pleasing evidences that 
the Lord has been with us. We have had weekly 
inquiry meetings during the whole year, at which 
the repenting backslider and the penitent sinner 
have frequently been blessed. I know of nothing 
that caused the interest to subside during the sum- 
mer except a want of a spirit of i)rayer and of ac- 
tive efforts to save those who were out of the ark 
of safety. Within a few weeks past the spirit of 
the Lord has been poured out with increasing 
power, and some twenty or thirty have hopefully 



CONGREGATIONAL CHURCHES. G3 

submitted their hearts to the Lord. We have had 
preaching four or five evenings during the week, 
together with inquiry and prayer meetings. Br. 
George Clark has been assisting me in these la- 
bors. During the past year 105 have connected 
themselves with our church. Of this number 33 
have joined by letter from other churches, and 72 
have joined on profession of their faith. The work, 
which is now intei*esting in our midst, we trust 
will go on with increasing power until great mul- 
titudes are brought into the liberty of the sons of 
God, to whom be glory for all that has been done 
for us during the past year, both now and forever, 
Amen. Number in the church, 210. 

Garden Street Church. 

The Garden street Church was organized July 
2lst, 1841. The number at its organization was 
56. They were dismissed from the church wor- 
shipping at the Marlboro' Chapel. Rev. William 
R. Chapman, the pastor, was ordained Sept. 8th, 
1841. The building occupied by this church as a 
place of worship, is what was formerly known as 
the Mission House. It has been enlarged and re- 
paired so as to make a very convenient place of 
worship. When this enterprise commenced, this 
church was a feeble band. Well might they say? 
" By whom shall Jacob arise, for he is small ?'^ 
They felt to some extent, that if their enterprise 
succeeded, it must be by the mighty arm of the 



64 BOSTON REVIVAL. 

God of Jacob. They cast themselves upon his arm 
and relied upon his strength. He has not disap- 
pointed their hopes. He has indeed done for 
them more than they ever expected. The Holy 
Spirit has been in their midst, from the beginning 
up to the present time. God has blessed the or- 
dinary means of grace. Efforts have been made 
to some extent, to induce those who had neglected 
public worship to attend. Teachers have gone 
out into the streets and lanes of the city to compel 
children to come to the Sabbath school. God has 
given success to these efforts. At no time since its 
existence, has the congregation been without anx- 
ious souls. The admissions to the church have 
been 126. Total number, 182. The individuals 
are of various ages and conditions in life. Some 
have come from Unitarian, some from Universal- 
ist, and others from no congregation at all. There 
is evidence that the Holy Spirit is still with this 
people. 

TJie success of this enterprise shows what might 
be done in this city by the chapel system. Were 
there erected three or five chapels in different and 
the most destitute parts of the city, a small church 
of working members gathered, and a devoted pas- 
tor placed over them, much good might be done. 
Four or five chapels could be built with the 
money that is expended in erecting a large church 
edifice. 



CONGREGATIONAIi CHURCHES. 65 



« 



New Congregational Church. 

During the year 1840 and 41, several brethren 
of the Orthodox Congregational Churches in Bos- 
ton, were impressed with the importance of form- 
ing a new church in this city, with a view of ob- 
taining the services of Rev. Edward N. Kirk as its 
pastor. These impressions having been strength- 
ened in the latter part of the year 1841, during a 
season of special religious interest in the churches, 
a meeting of pastors and lay brethren was called 
to consider the subject, Dec. 16, 1841. The breth- 
ren were unanimously of the opinion that it was 
expedient to organize anew church, provided the 
services of Mr. Kirk could be secured, and assur- 
ances given that funds could be obtained sufficient 
to erect a new house of worship. A committee of 
nine was chosen to consider the subject, and to 
take such measures for the accomplishment of the 
object as they should deem expedient. This com- 
mittee held various meetings for consultation and 
prayer between Dec. 16 and March 29th; after ob- 
taining the names of twenty-five brethren who 
were willing to embark in the enterprise, they dis- 
solved, transferring to these brethren all their 
powers and instructions, and commending them to 
the great Head of the church. During the months 
of April and May, the brethren who had thus as- 
sociated themselves, met frequently to promote the 
object which they had in view and hold a weekly 
prayer meeting. These twenty-five brethren and 
5* 



^6 o fiOSTON REVIVAL. 

twenty-two sisters, were organized into a church, 
at the vestry of Park street meeting-house, June 1, 
1842, and at the same time Rev. Edward N. Kirk 
was invited by them to become their pastor; and 
having accepted the invitation, he was installed in 
the afternoon by the ecclesiastical council called 
to organize the church. The church now wor- 
ships in the lecture room of the Masonic Temple. 
Since its organization it has received 35 members. 
Present number 82. We hope that this enterprise, 
which was begun in prayer, will be prospered by 
the great Head of the church, and in numbers and 
strength equal her elder sisters in Zion. 

I have now closed my history of the Orthodox 
Congregational churches of Boston and of the re- 
cent revival. The churches are fourteen in num- 
ber, contain an aggregate of 5004 members, of 
which 1102 have been added as the fruits of the 
late revival. If we look back thirty years, when 
the Old South, of all the original Congregational 
churches of Boston, stood alone upon the platform 
of the fathers, well may we exclaim. What hath 
God wrought! She has now thirteen younger sis- 
ters. The increase of Orthodox churches in this 
city, under God, has been in a great degree owing 
to the colonizing system. To advance the cause 
of evangelical religion, brethren of different 
churches have vohmteered to go out and form new 
churches. God has greatly blessed these eflbrts. 
The same Holy Spirit that was poured out upon 
the churches around Blassachusetts bay, wlien 



CONGREGATIONAL CHURCHES. Q7 

they were first planted, has returned, and is turn- 
ing back the captivity of this portion of Zion. 

Within the last quarter of a century more than 
100 new Orthodox churches have been gathered 
in this ancient commonwealth. Many of these 
churches are located in places that have for a 
long time been overrun with error. 

Those that adhere to the faith of the pilgrims, 
Lave been so blessed of God that they have abun- 
dant encouragement to persevere. He that has 
multiplied in Boston one church into fourteen, will 
not now abandon them. If the legitimate sons and 
daughters of the pilgrims are faithful to their God, , 
he will reclaim this whole city to himself 

The following is a summary view of the present 
state of the churches. 



Churches. Admissions 


ml842. 


WRole No. 


Old South, 


42 


502 


Park Street, 


101 


671 


Essex Street, 


52 


572 


Bovvdoin Street, 


135 


671 


Green Street, 


41 


256 


South Boston, 


40 


251 


Pine Street, 


35 


278 


Salem Street, 


137 


587 


Central Church, 


203 


489 


East Boston, 


20 


80 


Mariners' Church, 


30 


173 


Marlboro' Chapel, 


105 


210 


Garden Street, 


126 


182 


New Church, 


35 


82 



1102 5004 



<j8 boston revival. 



CHAPTER V. 
BAPTIST CHURCHES.. 

First Baptist Church — Baldwin Place Church — Charles street 
Baptist Church — Federal street Baptist Church. 

The first Baptist church was gathered May, 1665. 
This was at a time when the nature of religious 
liberty was very imperfectly understood. Our fa- 
thers that ])lanted the Congregational churches, 
thought that no other religious denomination had a 
right to come here and set up any otlier modes of 
worship^ or introduce any other religious ceremo- 
nies than those practised by thenjselves. A rem- 
nant of popery was left even among those who 
supposed tliat they had planted their churches on 
the primitive foundation. 

The individuals who founded this church had 
held meetings several years on the Sabbath be- 
fore they were an organized body. For holding 
these meetings they were severely fined, and other- 
wise afflicted by the civil authorities. They tiien 
retreated to a private dwelling on Noddle's Island. 
Here they for a considerable length of time con- 
tinued their meetings, when they resolved to build 
themselves a meeting-house. In this they suc- 
ceeded in avoiding the suspicions of their opposers, 



BAPTIST CHURCHES. 69 

until their house was publicly dedicated, Feb. 15, 
1679. The opening of this house so offended the 
civil authorities that they nailed up the doors, and 
the following notice was posted upon the door. 
" All persons are to take notice, that by order of the 
court, the doors of this house are shut up, and that 
they are inhibited to hold any meeting, or to open 
the doors thereof without license from authority, 
till the General Court take further order, as they 
shall answer the controversy at their peril." Dated 
at Boston, 8th of March, 1680. Edward Rawson, 
Secretary. 

On the following Sabbath, they held public wor- 
ship in the yard front of the meeting-house ; soon 
after, the government ordered the doors to be 
opened again. But they resolved to take more ef- 
fectual means to crush the church. Many of its 
members were harrassed, fined and imprisoned. 
Three of its first pastors were at different times put 
into close confinement. One of them was im- 
prisoned for nearly three years. But after a time, 
the spirit of toleration began to be better under- 
stood. In 1718 several of the Congregational clergy 
of Boston assisted in the ordination of Mr. EHsha 
Callender. I mention these facts to show how very 
imperfectly our fathers understood the nature of 
religious liberty, and not to cast reproaches upon 
their memory. Vital religion was maintained in 
this church. It shared in common with the other 
churches of Boston in the " great awakening" of 
1740. Dr. Stillraan, whose praise is still in the 



'70 BOSTON RETIVAl.. 

churches, became its pastor in 1765, and continued 
such until 1807. His was a long and successful 
ministry. During some of the last years of his 
ministry, he was permitted to witness a revival of 
religion of greater extent and power than had 
blessed this town since the memorable period of 
1740. As this was the first season of special mercy 
that this town enjoyed in the early i)art of the 
present century, and as it was the first in the series 
of revivals that hav€ since followed, its history is 
now become a matter of deep interest. In the Bap- 
tist Magazine of 1804 and 5, this work is described^ 
" A special seriousness made its appearance in 
both Baptist churches early in 1803. Its first indi- 
cations were a solemn stillness, and a deep fixed 
attention on the Sabbath. The work gradually 
continued to extend from week to week, through 
two or three years. "What are now known as inquiry 
meetings, were not then instituted. But there was 
what amounted to the same thing. " It has been 
usual during the fall, winter and spring months,'* 
says the Magazine, "while the evenings were suf- 
ficiently long, for the people to tarry after the bles- 
sing, and frequently some minister present has 
again addressed them. Sometimes two or three 
have spoken and prayed. This custom seemed to 
arise out ol" the feelings of the people. They ap- 
peared loath to leave the place. There is no doubt 
but they would have tarried until midnight, had the 
exhortations been continued." The number gath- 
ered into the First church was 127 ; into the Second 



BAFTIST CHURCHES. 71 

185. "Although these two societies Ijave been the 
principal sharers in the work," says the Magazine, 
" it has not been confined to them. Persons from 
almost every society in town, and numbers from 
the adjacent towns, have frequently attended on 
our lectures ; and we have reason to believe that 
many have reaped saving advantages. 

"The church under the pastoral care of Rev. Dr. 
Eckley has received considerable additions since 
the work began. This good man's heart had been 
much engaged in the work, and would, we believe, 
have rejoiced to have saen it among his people. 
He has frequently attended, and assisted in the 
public lectures, in both of the Baptist meetings. 
It has afforded much pleasure to the friends of vital 
godliness, to see this friendly connection. We 
earnestly hope that it may ever continue." 

The work was still, and without confusion. The 
gospel preached was principally blessed. Almost 
evenj thing seemed to preach. The converts generally 
had a deep sense of the depravity of their own 
hearts; of the infinite evil of sin, as committed 
against an holy God. It reclaimed the profane 
swearer, the gambler, and the Sabbath breaker. 
It made the young men " sober minded." 

Rev. Mr. Clay succeeded Dr. Still man. He had 
a ministry of about two years. Rev. James M. 
Winchell was ordained in 1814, and continued his 
pastoral relation until his death in 1820. Dr. 
Wayland was pastor from 1821 to 26. Rev. C. P, 
Grosvenor was minister four years. Rev. William 



72 ■ BOSTON REVIVAL. 

Hague was Installed Feb. 5, 1831 ; dismissed June^ 
1837. During his ministry 190 were received to 
the cjjurch by baptism, and 51 by letter. Rev. R. 
H. Neale was installed Sept. 1837. During his 
ministry the Holy Spirit has frequently descended 
upon this church. The firs^t year after his installa- 
tion, 127 persons were admitted to the church. The 
year ending Sept. 1840, 75 were added to their 
number. This is the mother of all the Baptist 
churches in Boston. She has from time to time 
sent forth her numbers to assist in forming new 
churches. Her present number of members is 725, 
of these 27 were received by Dr. Stillman ; 3 when 
the church was destitute of a pastor; 27 by Mr. 
Winchell ; 14 by Mr. Grosvenor ; 134 by Mr. Hague ; 
and 508 by Mr. Neale. 266 have been received 
the present year. The pastor says, that " a majori- 
ty of the converts are heads of families, business 
men in the vigor of life, strong, active and enter- 
prising. Our society men, the ' Broad aisle pevv 
proprietors,' who are generally gospel hardened, 
and the last to be converted, are, with scarcely an 
exception, subjects of the work. The members of 
the singing choir (60 or 70 in number) are nearly 
all converted. In the Sabbath school many of the 
children have learned to sing hosannas to the Son 
of David. 

"The instrumentalities employed in the promo- 
lion of this work," says Mr. Neale, " have been such 
as were employed in the great revival on the day . 
of Pentecost — the preaching the gospel and prayer. 



BAPTIST CHURCHES. 73 

The protracted meeting that continued during the 
period of nearly three months, and in which Elder 
Knapp chiefly officiated, is doubtless the cliief 
agency to which, under God, this work of grace is 
to be attributed, and from personal acquaintance 
with Mr. Knapp, and a constant attendance on his 
ministry while in this city, I am not surprised at 
the results. If there is power in truth plainly and 
fearlessly expressed ; if there is efficiency in prayer 
offered up in secret and in public, constantly and 
earnestly to God ; and if a life of entire consecra- 
tion to our divine Master's will, contributes to the 
power of the pulpit and the prevalence of prayer, 
the success that attends the ministry of Mr. Knapp 
is not a matter of wonder; but is in accordance 
with the most reasonable expectations." 

" The distinguishing peculiarity of Mr. Knapp's 
character and ministry is faith. He has no peculiar 
philosophy, no peculiar religious sentiments. He 
lias no peculiar means, and measures. But the 
truths which other christians admit in theory, are 
with him living realities. Hence he is deeply and 
habitually in earnest, preaching and praying like 
one who believes what he says, and knows the 
things whereof he affirms. He goes to his work 
with the most perfect confidence of success, seem- 
ing to say with the apostle, ' I run not as uncertain- 
ly; so fight I not as one that beateth the air.'" 

These are the views of one who had full opportu- 
nity to see and hear much of Mr. Knapp. But 
all good people have not the same views of his 
6 



74 BOSTON REVIVAL. 

mode of preaching, or his method of conducting 
inquiry meetings. Many feel strong objections to 
them both. But I think that there is wisdom in 
the reply made by a certain minister to a parish- 
ioner who asked him what he thought about his 
going to hear Mr. Knapp, ' Oh,' said he, ' if he 
casts out devils in the name of the Lord, we must 
not forbid him, if he does not follow us." 

Particular cases of conversion connected with 
the First Baptist church. 

One man had for a series of years been a drunk- 
ard, in the city of New York. Two years ago last 
winter, his landlord warned him out of his house in 
the midst of the cold season, because he had failed 
to pay his rent. His wife told the landlord that it 
was impossible for them to go; that they had no 
place to which they could flee. She was then ex- 
pecting to be confined within a week. Her land- 
lord had some compassioii on her, and told her 
that they might go into the building over his ice 
house, a sort of shanty place. Here they passed 
the winter. The husband frequently came home 
drunk. In the spring they came on to Boston. 
The husband joined the total abstinence society. 
She attended meeting and was converted. She 
soon brought her husband with her. It was not 
long before he was convicted of sin, arose in a 
prayer meeting and solicited the prayers of God's 
people. In a little while he gaVe up his heart to 
the Saviour, was baptized, and thus far has main^ 
tained a life of visible piety* 



BAPTIST CHURCHES. 75 

In another case, a man of respectable family be- 
came dissipated, abandoned his family, and was ab- 
sent from the country a considerable length of time. 
On his return, his wife received him again ; she still 
hoped that he would reform. He came into the 
meeting where he had not been for years, and 
went home deeply affected. He was so distressed 
that he could not sleep during the silent watches 
of the night. He had before this been into an in- 
fidel meeting, heard the bible and the Holy Ghost 
ridiculed. Even this tended to fasten conviction 
more deeply on his mind. He felt that he was so 
wicked, that there was nothing but the Holy Ghost 
that could subdue such a heart as his. This was 
his only hope. He is now a member of the church, 
restored to his family as a husband and a father. 

Three brothers, all rumsellers, have renounced 
the traffic, and embraced the religion that doeth no 
ill to its neighbor. 

During the progress of this work, eight rumsel- 
lers in this congregation have given, up the traffic. 
The consciences of others have been disturbed for 
a time, who finally have not abandoned the work of 
death. 

Baldwin Place Church. 

This church was formerly known by the name 
of" Second Baptist Church." Six brethren entered 
into covenant, and constituted this church, July 27, 
1743. Additions were made to their number, and 
in a short time they increased to 40. Their first 



76 BOSTON REVIVAL. 

pastor was Mr. Ephraim Bound, who was selected 
from among themselves, was ordained Sept. 7, of the 
same year. This ordination took place at East 
Greenwich, R. 1., "for the sake," as the record sa3's, 
"of those elders, who were invited by us to assist, 
and who lived remote and at a great distance from 
Boston." Additions were made to their numbers 
from most of the towns within 20 miles round. In 
1746 they numbered 120, and erected a meeting- 
house 45 by 33 feet. 

Between 1743 and '90, Rev. Messrs. Bound, Da- 
vis, Stillman and Gair were successively pastors. 
Rev. Dr. Baldwin was installed Nov. 11, 1790. A 
precious revival soon followed his settlement. 
About 200 were added to this church in the re- 
vival of 1804 and '5, a partial account of which was 
given in the history of the First church. Between 
1790 and 1814, Dr. B. baptized 664 persons ; 90 
were the number of the church when his labors 
commenced, and 450 when they closed. 

Dr. Baldwin, during the latter part of his life, was 
the patriarch of the denomination to which he be- 
longed. His memory is still held in grateful re- 
membrance by the christian community at large. 

Rev. James D. Knowles was the next pastor of 
this church. He was ordained Dec. 28, 1825. He 
continued their pastor nearly seven years, and was 
then dismissed to enter upon the duties of profes- 
sor in the Newton Seminary. 260 persons joined 
the church under his ministry. The installation of 
Rev. Baron Stow, the present pastor, took place 



BAPTIST CHURCHES. 77 

Nov. 15, 1832. Since Iiis settlement, 857 have 
been baptized, and the church numbers 861. It is 
supposed that this is the largest church in New 
England of any denomination. About 80 were 
dismissed to aid in forming the church at Bowdoin 
Square, and a large number previously to consti- 
tute the church at Chelsea, the Boylston church, and 
the church under the care of Rev. Mr. Colver. 
The church at Charlestown, the two churches at 
Cambridge, tlie church at Watertown, South Boston, 
and Federal street, are all indebted to this church 
for many of their members. She has been a fruit- 
ful vine that hath sent forth her branches in various 
directions. "This church is characterized by its 
enlarged benevolence, its uniform harmony, the so- 
ciality and mutual confidence of its members, the 
attachment existing between the people and its 
pastor, and its interest in the religious instruc- 
tion and education of the young. It has connected 
with it the largest Baptist Sabbath school in the 
city." 

This church has largely participated in the re- 
vival of the present year ; 187 have been baptized. 
A number of individuals attribute their conversion, 
under God, to the preaching of Mr. Knapp. Others 
were awakened some by one means, and others by 
others. " We have not discovered," says the asso- 
ciational letter, "any difference between these con- 
verts, and those received at other times and in 
other circumstances." The revival commenced in 
the autumn, and continued through the winter and 
6* 



78 BOSTON REVIVAL. 

spring. The meeting-house is now undergoing ex- 
tensive repairs, and the congregation is much scat- 
tered. 

This church has now attained to its 99th year. It 
is not enfeebled by old age, but has more strength 
and vigor, at the present time, than it ever had in 
any past period of its history. The greatest fault 
to be found with it is, that its numbers are too 
large. There is not room for them all to work. 
They stand in each other's way. Were the church 
divided, and did it occupy two houses, they would 
feel their individual responsibility more, and they 
would accomplish more for the cause of Zion. I 
hope that ere long they will send forth an infant 
colony that will soon have the vigor and strength 
of a full grown man. 

Charles Street Baptist Church. 

This church was organized in 1807. It then 
numbered 24 members. Rev. Mr. Blood was its 
first pastor. Rev. D. Sharp, D. D., present pastor, 
was installed April, 1S]2. Thischurch has enjoyed 
several seasons of special interest, particularly in 
1827, '8 and '9. Year after year there have been 
moderate ingatherings. More than 400 members 
have at different times been dismissed to aid in 
organizing other churches. In the letter to the 
last association, this church says, " we have nothing 
new, or surprising to relate. We have embraced 
no new doctrines, nor have we resorted to any new 



BAPTIST CHURCHES. 79 

measures. We still hold fast ' the form of sound 
words;' nor is the preaching of our pastor, either 
as to doctrine, or practice, <lifferent from what it 
was when he came among us 31 years ago." 

The pastor has remiiined a longer period in his 
office than any of his brethren of the same denom- 
ination. Neither the pastor or church are given to 
change. They are not carried away with novelties 
in doctrines, or novelties in measures. They hold 
on to the good old way. Present number of the 
church, 370; added the last year, 17. 

Federal Street Baptist Church. 

This church originated in the "Boston Baptist 
Evangelical Society." Meetings were first held in 
a hall in Purchase street. In 1827 they removed 
to Julien hall, in Milk street. The church was 
constituted of 65 members, July 16th, 1827; and 
the meeting-house was opened on the 18th of the 
same month. Rev. Howard Malcom was installed 
Nov. 15, 1827. He was dismissed Sept. 1835. 
Rev. Messrs. Ide and Nott have each been pastors 
for a short period. Rev. William Hague, the pres- 
ent pastor, was installed July, 1840. "For some 
years previous to this," says the printed record, 
"accessions of families to the congregation had 
been very few ; while large draughts had been 
made on it by removals from the city, and by new 
churches formed in the city about this time." In 
March, 1839, 31 members, many of them heads of 



80 BOSTON REVIVAL. 

families, were dismissed to unite with otiiers in 
forming the Boylston church ; and in the following 
April, 31 were dismissed at the formation of the 
Free Baptist church ; nineteen were soon after 
dismissed to Bowdoin Square. A large portion of 
the church in South Boston went out from this. 

The associational letter says, "during the past 
year the labors of their pastor have been twice sus- 
pended by disease, and many of their numbers 
have, from various causes, been absent from the 
city. They have, however, enjoyed an interesting 
revival, in which the Sabbath school has particu- 
larly shared. They have been making an effort to 
rid themselves of a debt of $15,000, on which ac- 
count they have been able to do less than usual for 
benevolent objects." 

This revival was carried on by the church in its 
organized capacity. The pastor, deacons, and 
private christians, labored in their several spheres 
to promote it. The number added to the church 
has been 85; the present number of church mem- 
bers 476. 



BAPTIST CHURCHES. 81 



CHAPTER VI. 

South Boston Baptist Church — Boylston Street Church — First 
Free Baptist Church — Bowdoiii Square Baptist Church — 
First Independent Baptist Church — Conchjding remarkn 
upon this denomination — Statistical view of the Baptist 
churches. 

South Boston Baptist Church. 

This church was gathered in 1831. The pastor 
says, that "the church was revived some months 
before the reformation commenced. No conver- 
sions occurred till some time in January, 1842. 
There have been received into the church upon 
the profession of their faith, 133. Some of these 
had indulged hopes before the revival, and some 
are indulging hopes, that have not yet professed 
religion. Of those who have joined the church 
about one fifth have alluded to br. Knapp as 
arousing their old hope, or being directly or indi- 
rectly, the instrument of their conviction and con- 
version. A few have spoken of br. Miller as the 
cause of their thougtfulness which ended in sub- 
mission to God, though not believing in the theory 
of 1843. 

"I should think that fasting and prayer, exhorta- 
tions and individual efforts of both old and young 
christians and young converts, have had a large 
filiare in the instrumentality visibly seen. We 



82 BOSTON REVIAVL. 

have had several fast davs, one of which will never 
be forgotten by the members of this church. Nine 
thought that they became reconciled to God before 
the meeting closed. One, in the bitterness of his 
soul, cried out for mercy, while prayer was offering 
to God, so loud and in accents so heart-touching, 
that a thrill of indescribable feeling passed through 
the whole assembly. He is now an exemplary 
Christian. 

"We had regular prayer meetings on Saturday 
evening for all who should be named either ver- 
bally or by note, as subjects of prayer. Thia 
meeting was much blessed. Thirteen husbands 
of pious wives, who were among those named in 
this meeting, to all human appearance were con- 
verted. Pious wives held meetings to pray for 
their impenitent husbands. The Holy Spirit's 
operations were most manifest and sovereign 
through the whole work. One female who had 
not been to meeting but once in five years, whose 
husband said that she must obtain religion at home, 
was struck under conviction at home before she 
saw either meeting-house or minister, and was ap- 
parently converted to God. Another female about 
sixty-five years of age, had her attention arrested 
by an infidel's saying to her several times, (for the 
purpose of ridicule,) "Prepare to meet thy God." 
She is now a member of this church. A man who 
Jiad commenced life with a large fortune, and run 
the whole round of dissipation, was converted at 
the eleventh hour. Having spent a large fortune: 



BAPTIST CHURCHES. 83 

in vice, he was asked by a friend, "How do you 
feel when you think of what you have done?" 
" Think" si/id he, " do you think that 1 am such a 
d dfool as to stop to think f He was finally ta- 
ken sick, and when he recovered he tried to re- 
turn to one of his old vices, drinking spirit, but 
found that his head was too weak. He then re- 
sorted to wine, but this was too strong for him ; 
even cider and beer used him no better. The con- 
sequence was that he began to think, and soon 
found his M'ay to the house of God, which he had 
seldom visited for twenty years. His convictions 
increased, and for twelve months he might l)e 
found every day upon his knees in his stable. His 
friends thought him beside himself. At length he 
was brought into the liberty of the gospel, the 
standing marvel of drunkards, gamblers and debau- 
chees. He is now ^^fool enough to thinks Another 
individual, who on the anniversary of Tom Paine's 
birth day, 1841, dined with a company of infidels 
at a private house and drank with others the fol- 
lowing toast, "The bible and jDriestcraft, may we 
live to see them both trampled in the mud under 
our feet," was of the number converted. He had 
been made the subject of special prayer by several 
of his friends a number of years before his conver- 
sion. The individual who gave the toast at the Tom 
Paine dinner, was deprived of health and in a fit of 
derangement killed himself He was confined by 
his sufferings in the fourth story of a boarding 
house, and in his delirium thought that the devil was 



84 BOSTON REVIVAL. 

after him and to escape his grasp phinged out ot" 
the window, and falling upon the curb-stone 
dashed his brains out. This occurrence led his 
acquaintance to reflect upon his life. He became 
a temperance man. His convictions still increased j 
he however formed a determination that he would 
not be converted in the vestry of the South Baptist 
Church. But God's will or ways are not as man's 
will or ways. On the anniversary of Tom Paine's 
birth day, 1842, he came into the evening meeting 
in a state little short of despair. He asked prayers, 
in broken accents, that God would have mercy on 
his soul for Christ's sake, and before he left the 
vestry he found peace with God through our Lord 
Jesus Christ. 

"There was one more case of an individual who 
had agreed to go to meeting in company with ano- 
ther opposer (who a short time before had chal- 
lenged all God's people to pray for him, a Universal' 
ist) to give the second challenge. His hatred was ^o 
great to the truth, that he took his companion out 
of the house of God in service time; but now is an 
humble, penitent worship[»er in the same house.'* 

Present number of the church, 317. Thomas 
Driver, Pastor. 



baptist churches. 85 

Harvard Street Church, 
(Formerly Boylston Street Church.) 

This church was organized March 27th, 1839. 
It has used the "Melodeou" as a place of worship, 
but now occupies their meeting-house at the 
corner of Harvard street and Harrison avenue. 
"The history of this church," says their associa- 
tional letter, " for the past year, has been one of 
unusual interest. They have received a mighty 
impulse from the late revjval of religion, and 
scarcely a month has passed without considerable 
addition of numbers to the church, while at the 
same time their gifts and graces have been brought 
into lively and frequent exercise. They admit 
that much imperfection attaches to them all ; at 
the same time they gratefully acknowledge the 
manifold tokens of their Heavenly Father's love, 
by which they trust that beside external prosper- 
ity, they have been able to make some advance 
with respect to interior purity and excellence. So 
far as they can judge, the steadfastness of the con- 
verts is exceedingly encouraging. Indications ap- 
pear among them of still greater enlargement and 
prosperity. Their Sabbath school is in a state of 
great interest." A spacious edifice for the wor- 
ship of God is just finished. 

In 1840, 122 were added to the church ; 1841, 45. 

1842,240; in all, 407,-127 males and 280 females ; 

making the number that have belonged to the 

church, in all, about 558; so that the church has 

7 



86 BosTaN nfiviVAr.. 

more than quadrupled its original number of mem- 
bers. It is a curious and interesting fact, that the 
present number of males bear precisely the same 
proportion to that of tire females, that it did when 
the church was constituted. The church is now in 
a highly prosperous condition. Rev. R. Turnbully 
pastor. 

The pastor of this church has published a de- 
tailed account of individual conversions. "Three 
Universalists," says the pastor, "one a young marr 
%vith a clear, vigorous mind, another in middle 
life, sober and industrious, and the third some- 
what advanced in 3'ears all convinced of the 
utter hoUowness and heartlessness of Univer- 
salism, were brought to the Saviour's feet and are 
all very happy in the God of their salvation. 

" Six members of one family, none of whom had 
known any thing of re.igion, the father and 
mother, two boys, a daughter and her husband. 
The father had read Thomas Paine and was some- 
thing of an infidel, very worldly and self-righteous, 
had neglected the Sabbath, the word of God and 
the means of grace. To use his own expression, 
he was " lackered all over with self-righteousness,* 
doubted the insi)iration of the scriptures and the 
immortality of the soul. They were all brought 
to see themselves perishing sinners, and found 
peace and joy in believing. The voice of prayer 
and praise is now heard in thoir habitation. 

"A young man, a decided infidel, hard and i)re-' 



BAPTIST CHURCHES. 87 

judiced. But he discovered his guilt and groaned 
under its pressure. This scattered all infidel 
cavils and prepared him to receive and appreciate 
the gospel. 

"Another man, an infidel, intelligent and agree- 
iihle as a man, was present at the celebration of 
Paiiie's birth day. Had previously sent br. Knapp 
an invitation to attend the celebration. Worked in 
the office of the Investigator, the infidel paper of 
this city. He heard Mr. Knapp preach a few 
times. After he left the city he began, almost im- 
perceptibly to himself, to feel dissatisfied with his 
infidelity and especially with the state of his heart. 
Tried to pray and went to meeting. Felt the 
power of God, saw the glory of the gospel, and his 
infidelity was scattered to the winds. He then 
acknowledged that his skepticism, though cher- 
ished with apparent honesty, was the result of dis- 
ordered afi:ections ; and hence the moment that he 
began to feel right towards God, his doubts were 
dissipated like mist before the rising sun. 

" Several Unitarians, or persons who were accus- 
tomed to sit under Unitarian preaching and had 
imbibed their sentiments, all had relied upon their 
goodness as they termed it, that is, upon their mo- 
rality, as a ground of justification before God. 
But they were convinced of sin and of an utter 
destitution of real inward purity of heart, of true 
and living love to God, of genuine affection to 
Jesus Christ as ' God manifest in the flesh.' They 
were hence humbled in the dust and brought 



88 BOSTON REVIVAL. 

to embrace an almighty and atoning Saviour. 

"A family group of seven, most of whom had at- 
tended the preaching of one of our smoothest and 
most polished Unitarian clergymen, all baptized 
together and uncommonly happy. 

" A young man on a visit from the city of New 
York, well-informed, gay and worldly, heard br. 
Knapp once or twice, but disliked him and de- 
spised the work of God. But he was warned in 
the visions of the night to prepare to meet God 
in judgment. This he attempted to 'wear off,' 
as he expressed it, and the warning was repeated 

• 

He saw the heavens and earth wrapped in flames 
and awoke with terror and alarm. He became 
thoughtful, sought the conversation of pious 
friends, and prayed for enlightening and saving 
grace. After a short and painful struggle, he was 
converted, transformed and blest. I never saw a 
happier man. He seemed to overflow with love 
and joy. Heaven beamed from his countenance. 

"A skeptic, a young man of intelligence and re- 
finement, who doubted the truth of Christianity 
and the existence of a future state, opposed liis 
wife two years ago in seeking the salvation of her 
soul, and took no sort of interest, as he himself 
confessed, in religion, nor even in the bible as a 
mere composition. 'But,' said he 'I am com- 
])]etely turned round, entirely changed in my views 
and feelings, and all within a few days and with- 
out any external occasion. AVhat then has done 
it.^' He added 'nothing but the power of God! 



BAPTIST CHURCHES. 89 

Nothing but this can account for a revolution so 
sudden.' 

"A man in middle life, a Sabbath breaker and a 
lover of pleasure, was arrested, convinced, convert- 
ed, almost before he knew it, as he said himself. He 
was out gunning one day and shot a pigeon on the 
wing. 'There,' said he to himself, 'how quick 
that creature went out of existence !' And I may 
go as suddenly and unexpectedly, and where will 
rny spirit be ? was the natural reflection. He gave 
his heart to God and is now one of the most devo- 
ted and happy converts; prays in his family, reads 
his bible, and praises God for his goodness. 

"An interesting group from the choir, the leading 
singers, with other young men and maidens, now 
' making melody to the Lord' with their hearts as 
well as lips." 

I shall here add an account of several conver- 
sions that do not belong to this congregation. 

A journeyman printer, the father of a family, 
while setting the types for a piece of religious po- 
etry for a secular newspaper, which poetry alluded 
to the w^orkofGod among the South Sea Island- 
ers, was so affected with it and the thought of his 
own indifference, that he could not for a tinie pro- 
ceed in his work. This led to his conversion. He 
proved his sincerity by leaving the situation where 
he was required to work on the Sabbath. 

Another man visited the Supreme Court room; 
his attention was directed to the vibration-^ oi the 
7* 



'90 BOSTON REVIVAL. 

pendulum of the clock. The thought occurred, 
" every vibration is bringing time to a close and 
hastening on eternity. Eternity! I am not pre- 
pared to enter eternity. I will begin this moment 
to prepare for it." This resulted in his hopeful 
conversion. 

One man was converted by observing his dog. 
After feeding him one day, he seemed grateful. 
The thought came over his mind, "I am not so 
good as my dog. He is grateful to me for kindness. 
But God has always fed, clothed and taken care 
of me, but I have never been grateful at all." This 
thought discovered to him the wickedness of his 
heart. It brought him to rei)entance. 

A superintendent of one of our Sabbath schools 
went into the infant department to open it. He 
observed a stranger sitting in the room, who, after 
prayer had closed, went immediately out. On tlie 
next Sabbath morning he observed the stranger 
present again. As soon as the morning prayer 
had been offered, he came up and introduced him- 
self to the superintendent. "Sir," said the stran- 
ger, "did you not observe me the last Sabbath 
morning?" "Yes." "I came here with a deter- 
mination to take my little boy away from this 
Orthodox school, and put him into a Unitarian. 
But one expression in your prayer went right 
through my heart. If a bullet had pierced it I 
should not have felt it more sensibly. I thought 
I should not have lived until you closed your 
prayer. As soon as you had done I went out into 



BAPTIST CHURCHES. 91 

the air to get breath, and I have been very wretched 
all the week. What shall I do ?" The superin- 
tendent directed him to the Saviour of sinners and 
invited him to call upon him the next evening. 
He came to his house, was directed to the Lamb 
of God that taketh away the sin of the world, and 
commended to him in prayer. He went away 
from the superintendent's house rejoicing in a 
newly found Saviour. 

During the revival, one neighbor met another 
and asked, "What news this morning?" "Glo- 
rious news," was the reply, " God sent salvation to 
my house last night." " How was that ?" " My Son 
came home from the meeting in great distress. 
I talked and prayed with him, and he prayed ; but 
still he felt a burden of sin ; he said that he could 
not go to bed feeling as he did. I prayed with him 
again ; still his distress continued. It had then got 
to be midnight. I told him that we would go 
down and see our minister. We went, rang the 

bell, and immediately Mr. opened the door 

and invited us to walk in. Without speaking a 
word he fell upon his knees and prayed; called 
upon me to pray and my son followed. When we 
arose from our knees, my son's burden was gone. 
Said the minister, " Perhaps you wondered that I 
did not ask you why you came here at this hour of 
the night; but I had no need to do it, for at the 
close of the meeting I saw the condition of your 
son, and had been praying for him for an hour 
when you rang the bell. I knew that God had 



92 BOSTON REVIVAL. 

sent him here and I had no need to ask you. I 
know that God is a prayer-hearing God.' " 

A young lady belonging to a family who at- 
tended meeting where the fundamental doctrines 
of the gospel are not preached, became anxious for 
the salvation of her soul. She was one evening 
preparing to go to a lecture, and her father said, 
"My daughter, you may go to the lecture, but you 
must not stop at the inquiry meeting. Just as sure 
as you stop at the inquiry meeting I shall lock you 
out of the house ; this house shall not be your 
home." She went to the lecture and the father 
sent a spy to watch the daughter to see if she re- 
garded his threats. The spy returned and re- 
ported to the father that she had stopped at the 
inquiry meeting. After the inquiry meeting was 
over, the daughter returned and found the door 
locked against her. Slie went to a neighbor's, who 
took her in. She retired to her chamber, but not 
to sleep. The night was spent in prayer for her 
ft^ther. The father went to his bed, but it was not 
one of down but of thorns. He could not sleej); 
his cruel conduct towards his daughter led him to 
see the wickedness of his lieart and to cry for 
mercy. As soon as it was light, he arose and went 
to the house where he supposed that his daughter 
was gone, rang the bell and inquired whether his 
daughter was there. He was answered in the af- 
firmative. He said that he wished to see her quick. 
She came down. " My daughter," said the father, 
" will you forgive me and come home and pray for 



BAPTIST CHURCHES. 93 

me ?" She accompanied him home, went into a 
room with her father, knelt down and prayed, and 
her father prayed. During these prayers the heart 
of the father broke. He became reconciled to God 
and reconciled to his daughter. 

First Free Baptist Church. 

"This church has shared," says the associational 
letter, in common with sister churches in the city, 
in the extensive and powerful revival of the last 
winter and spring." They are " deeply impressed 
with the goodness of God for so kind remem- 
brance of his people, and of poor perishing souls;" 
and while they say, " to God be all the glory, they 
praise him not only for the direct agency of his 
Spirit upon the hearts of both saints and sinners, 
but also for the instrumentality with which he was 
pleased to favor them and other churches in this 
city. While winds of doctrine are sweeping over 
the land, they deem it peculiarly necessary that 
the flock of Christ should be fed with knowledge, 
the doctrine of the cross plainly stated, and the 
order and discipline of the church faithfully urged. 
They are united and interested in missions and 
kindred eflTorta for the good of suflTering humanity." 

This church was gathered 1839, and worships in 
the chapel under the Museum. The number bap- 
tized the present year is 98, and the whole num- 
ber of church members, 309. Rev. N. Colver Pas- 
tor. 



94 BOSTON REVIVAL. 

BowDoiN Square Baptist ChuAch. 

" Tliis church," says the minutes of the Boston 
Baptist Association, " coming as they did, but two 
years since, from various churches, and accustomed 
to the instruction of different ministerial gifts, few 
in number and with heavy responsibilities for the 
erection of their house of worship, and congrega- 
tion yet to be gathered, felt themselves peculiarly 
called upon for the exercise of faith, brotherly 
kindness, vigilance, activity and prayer, as indis- 
pensable to the success of their enterprise." In 
the exercise of these graces, though not /or them, 
they have been blessed. They have enjoyed great 
harmony and a refreshing from the presence of 
the Lord. The pastor says, "I found an improv- 
ing religious feeling among my people throughout 
the autumn, which gave me full confidence that 
the winter would develope results of the most an- 
imating character. When the Rev. Mr. Knapj) 
began his labors in the city, it appeared to me that 
nothing was wanting but some such extra occa- 
sion to 'give free course' to the success of the gos- 
pel among them. 

" ]38 have been added to this church by baptism 
and 48 by letter. The work does not appear to 
have wholly subsided, and we have less of the lan- 
guor of reaction than I apprehended ; our devo- 
tional meetings continue interesting and the con- 
verts walk well. As to the instrumentality most 
blessed, 1 have the impression that nearly if not 



BAPTIST CHURCHES. 95 

quite half, date their awakening from the preach- 
ing of Mr. Knapp, and he was the means of quick- 
ening many who had before been awakened." 
Present number of the church, 325. 

This church was gathered in 1840. Rev. R. W. 
Cushman, Pastor. 

First Independez^t Baptist Church. 

This church was gathered in 1805. It was 
at first called "African Baptist Church." Rev. 
Thomas Paul was for many years the worthy and 
beloved pastor of this church. In 1838 the name 
of this church was changed from African Baptist 
to Independent Baptist Church. In 1841, a division 
took place in the church. One part worship in 
the meeting-house and the other in a school-house. 
Those that worship in the meeting-house number 
158, of whom 98 were received during the present 
year. Those that meet in the school-house count 
109, of whom 26 have been received during the 
present year. The whole number of the church 
is 267 — received this year 126. Rev. John T. Ray- 
mond, minister at the meeting-house. 

I have now given a summary view of the Bap- 
tist churches in this city. Next to Congregation- 
alists, they are the oldest denomination of Chris- 
tians in Boston. Their first church was organized 
in 1665, 177 years ago. Since the commencement 
of the present century they have done much 
towards bringing back evangelical religion into 



96 BOSTON REVIVAL. 

this city. The revival, in the First and Second Bap- 
tist churches in 1804 and 5, was the first in that 
series of revivals wherewith God has blessed Bos- 
ton in the present generation. The tide of error 
with which this city had been for half a century 
flooded, then began to turn. God has poured out 
his Spirit upon this denomination of Christians, 
multiplied their churches and enlarged their num- 
bers. God has been with them of a truth. In 
common with other denominations who preach the 
doctrines of the Cross, God has given them his seal 
of approbation. 

The following is a statistical view of the Baptist 
churches in Boston. 



Received from Sept. 


1841 to Sept. 1842. 


Whole No 


First Baptist, 


266 


72.5 


Baldwin Place, 


187 


861 


Independent Baptist, 


126 


• 267 


Charles Street, 


17 


370 


Federal Street, 


85 


476 


South Boston, 


130 


311 


Harvard Street, 


197 


500 


Free Church, 


98 


326 


Bowdoin Square, 


138 


325 



Total, 1244 4161 



EPISCOPAL CHURCHES. 97 

CHAPTER VII. 
EPISCOPAL CHURCHES. 

Christ Church— Trinity Church— St. Paul's Church— St. Mat- 
thew's Church, South Boston — Grace Church — Free Church 
of the Episcopal City Mission Societ}' Boston — Concluding 
remarks — Statistics. 

Christ Church. 

This church is situated in Salem street. The 
corner-stone was laid with religious ceremonies by 
Rev. xMr. .Myles, April 22, 1723, and the house was 
dedicated on the 29th of December, the same year. 

This church is furnished with a peal of bells, and 
Js the only peal in this city. It was customary in 
former times to chime them several nights before 
Christmas, and to ring the old year out and the new- 
year in, most merrily upon them. They are in- 
scribed with the following mottoes and devices. 

1st Bell — "This peal of eight bells is the gift of a 
number of generous persons to Christ Church in 
Boston, N. E. anno, 1744, A. R." 

2d Bell — '• This church was founded in the year* 
1723. Timothy Cutler, D. D., the first rector A. R. 
1744." 

3d Bell — " We are the first ring of bells cast for 
the British Empire in North America, A. R. 1744." 

4th Bell — "God preserve the church of England, 
1744." 

8 



98 BOStON REVIVAL. 

5tli Bell — "William Shirley, Esq., Governor of 
the Massachusetts Bay, in New England, 1744." 

6th Bell — "The subscription of these bells was 
begun by John Hammond and Robert Temple, 
church Wardens, anno, 1743 ; completed by Rob- 
ert Jenkins and John Gould, church Wardens, 
anno, 1744." 

7th Bell—-" Since generosity has opened our 
mouths, our tongues will ring aloud his praise, 
J 744." 

8th Bell — "Abel Rudhall of Gloucester, cast us 
all, anno, 1744." 

Connected with this church is a Sunday school, 
commenced in June 1815. The average attendance 
is about 200. 

The doctrines of the Church of England are ad- 
vocated in this church without material alteration. 

Christ church is 70 feet long, 50 wide, and 35 
high ; the walls are two feet and a half thick, the 
steeple's area is 24 feet square. The brick tower 
is 78 feet high ; the spire is above 97 feet ; in all 
175 feet. When the battle was fought on Bunker 
Hill, several individuals were inside of this tower as 
spectators of the scene. Some of these persons 
were loyalists, and others " Sons of liberty." Both 
parties were deeply anxious for the result. Both 
wished their respective friends to be victorious. 
This ancient church shared in the reviv;».l of last 
winter and spring. 45 communicants were added 
to the church. Its present number is 220. J. 
Woart, Rector. 



EPISCOPAL. CHURCHES. 99 



Trinity Church. 

The ninnbers that adhered to the forms and doc- 
trines of the Episcopal church, greatly increased 
after the introduction of the Royal Government in 
the colony under the charter of 1691. The first 
steps taken towards the erection of Trinity church 
was in 1728. The building was not erected and 
occupied until Sept. 1735. This stood until 1828. 
The Trinitarian doctrines have always been 
preached here. The corner-stone of the new edi- 
fice (which occupies the site of the ancient building) 
at the corner of Hawley and Summer streets, was 
laid September 15, 1828, by the Rev. Dr. Gardner, 
the rector of the church, with appropriate ceremo- 
nies. This house is built of Quincy granite. The 
number added to this church the last year was 41. 

Communicants 350. Rev. Dr. Eastman, rector 
elect. John L. Watson, assistant minister. 

St. Paul's Church. 

St. Paul's church was proposed to be erected by 
subscription, which was commenced March, 1819. 
The corner-stone was laid Sept. 4th, with appro- 
priate religious ceremonies. The church was con- 
secrated June 30, 1820. Dr. S. F. Jarvis was in- 
stituted rector July 7, 1820; dismissed Aug. J 825. 
Rev. Alonzo Potter, D. D., was settled Aug. 29, 1826 ; 
dismissed Aug. 27, 1831. John Stone, D. D., was 
instituted rector June 19, 1832. Rev. Mr. Vinton, 



100 BOSTON REVIVAL.. 

the present rector, commenced his labors in this 
church in February, 1842. Since the settlement of 
the present pastor, a season of special religious in- 
terest has been enjoyed. The work was one of 
great solemnity and deep feeling. The pastor did 
not hold inquiry meetings; but saw individuals 
alone, either at his study or at their own houses. 
He had full opportunity to become acquainted with 
individual character, and give such instruction 
as the varying circumstances of young converts de- 
manded. The season of the greatest interest was 
during the months of April and May. It resulted 
in the hopeful conversion of 60 or 70 persons. 
The converts were of all ages ; some in the morn- 
ing, some in the meridian, and others in the decline 
of life. The Sabbath school scholar and the man 
of grey hairs were both subdued by the power of 
the cross. It is hoped that what the new pastor 
has seen of the work of the Lord since he came 
among his flock, is only the first fruits of a more 
plentiful and glorious harvest yet to be reaped. 

"It has pleased God," says the annual report to 
the convention, "to pour out the dew of his bles- 
sing upon this parish; making fruitful, in a signal 
way, the seed so amply sown by its former most 
faithful minister. 

" While there have been marked and unusual 
demonstration of life, in tiie awakening of many to 
a first interest in religious things, there has been 
likewise, among elder christians, evidence of the 
settled vigor which denotes increasing piety ; so 



EPISCOPAL CHURCHES. 101 

that the spiritual prosperity which was reported as 
characterizing the state of this parish at the last 
convention, does not seem to have abated." 

Communicants added, 49. Whole number, 310. 
Alexander H. Vinton, Rector. 



St. Matthew's Church, South Boston. 

Tlie services of the Protestant Episcopal church 
were celebrated for the first time in that part of the 
town called South Boston, on Sunday, March 31, 
1816. For more than two years the congregation 
met in a school-house, and services were conducted 
by different clergymen and lay-readers. St. Mat- 
thew's Church was consecrated, 24th of June, 1818. 
The expenses of its erection were chiefly defrayed 
by benevolent members of Trinity and Christ 
churches, with a view to the future wants of that 
section of the city. Rev. J. L. Blake became its 
rector June, 1824, and continued until 1833. 

Joseph H. Clinch is the present rector. Com- 
municants: added, 7; present number, 44. 

The last report to the convention says: "This 
parish has suflfered more than on any former year 
by death and removals. The number of funerals is 
double of any previously reported ; while several 
large families have removed, some to other parts 
of the city, and some to other towns. The parish 
on the whole, therefore, has been rather weakened 
than strengthened during the last conventional 
year." 

8* 



102 boston revival. 

Grace Church. 

This church was consecrated June 14, 1836. 
Rev. Thomas M. Clarke was at this time instituted 
rector. At that time the communicants were 40;' 
in 1837, 100 reported; in 1838, 150; in 1839, 190; 
in 1840, 272; in 1841, 311: in 1842, 337. The 
number received last year was 46. The whole 
ij umber added b}' confirmation since the church 
was organized is 257. In the year 1840, 70 were 
confirmed. A more decided interest was mani- 
fested during that year, than at any other period. 
The increase has been stated and regular. At no 
season has there been any peculiar attention to re- 
ligion. The church is almost entirely composed of 
young persons. Ten young men that are already 
in the ministry, or preparing to enter it, have been 
connected with the communion of this church. 

The services in addition to those of the Lord's 
day, are a weekly lecture, a monthly meeting of the 
communicants preparatory to the communion, a 
monthly missionary meeting, and a series of public 
services during the season of Lent. These latter 
services have been much blessed. 

This church manifests a laudable benevolence. 
They contributed for the various purposes of re- 
ligious charities last year $1360. In addition to 
this, eleven hundred dollars have been subscribed 
towards the erection of a free mission chapel. 

A number of the young people of the parish have 
recently organized a branch Sunday school, which 



EPISCOPAL CHURCHES. 103 

is held in the Bedford street chapel, where, twelve 
years since, the congregation of Grace church as- 
sembled for worship. 

The result of our efforts to interest those con- 
nected with the Sunday school in missionary ope- 
rations, is truly gratifying. Through the weekly 
contributions of the teachers and scholars, we now 
support fifteen children in the mission schools at 
Cape Palmas, at an expense of three hundred dol- 
lars yearly. 

Free Church of the Episcopal City Mission 

Society. 

The regular services of the church have been 
held three times on each Sunday. An interesting 
Bible class of adults is connected with the Sunday 
school; and a meeting of the teachers has been 
kept up with spirit, beside a weekly meeting of a 
more general character. An important part of the 
missionary's labor is in visiting; in which much 
assistance has been rendered, the last winter, by a 
circle of ladies from St. Paul's church. A sewing 
school, interesting and useful, has been kept in 
connection with the mission, by a number of ladies. 
The services of morning and afternoon are uni- 
formly well attended ; the number of persons aver- 
aging from 150 to 200. 

We have cause of thankfulness in the knowledge 
that good, much good has been done by the mis- 
sion, but have still to lament that no more ample, 



104 BOSTON REVIVAL. 

convenient, or inviting accommodations and facili- 
ties have yet been, or are likely soon to be, provi- 
ded for carrvinof on this labor of love. We are in- 
vited to occupy a field of extended usefulness, long 
white to harvest. But the means are not applied. 
Communicants added, 9: whole number, 75. 
Samuel McBurney, minister. 

God has not withheld his blessing from the Epis- 
copal churches in this city. While this church 
strictly adheres to the 39 articles in faith and prac- 
tice, she cannot fail to secure the blessing of God. 
These articles embody the doctrines of tlie Refor- 
mation, those doctrines that have, in every age, 
been the life-blood of the church. At the era of the 
Reformation many of her members sealed these 
truths with their blood. Let this ancient church 
cleave fast to these doctrines and she will not die, 
but live. Not merely live, but live full of animating 
hope and strong faith. 

Statistics of the Episcopal churches of Boston. 





Received in 1842, 


Whole No. 


Christ Church, 




53 


220 


Trinity Church, 




41 


850 


St. Matthew's, 




7 


44 


St. Paul's, 




49 


310 


Grace Church, 




46 


337 


Free Clnu'ch, 




9 


75 



Total, 205 1336 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCHES. 105 



CHAPTER VIII. 

METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCHES. 

North Bennett street Chnrch — Bromfield street Church — South 

Boston Church. 

* North Bennett Street Church. 

In 1784, Rev. William Black, a Methodist minis- 
ter from England, preached at the Sandaminian 
meeting-house in Middle street. After laboring 
here more than three months, he returned to Hali- 
fax, Nova Scotia. During the next five years no 
preacher of this denomination appeared in Boston. 

In 1790, Rev. Jesse Lee visited Boston, and 
preached under the great tree on the common. 
Dr. Bangs, in his history of Methodism says, 
" when he commenced, there were only four per- 
sons present ; but before he concluded, there had 
collected, as he thought, not less than three thou- 
sand. The word preached had an effect upon the 
minds of a few who attended, so that on the next 

* For the facts that relate to the early introduction of IMelh- 
odism to Boston, I am mostly indebted to the report of a 
committee appointed in the year 1800, by the Trustees of the 
3Iethodisi church, " to collect from the best information they 
could obtain, a concise history of the gathering of the Metho- 
dist Episcopal Church in Boston, with the various circumstan- 
ces incident thereto." 



106 BOSTON REVIVAL. 

Sabbath, at the same place, the number of hearers 
was greatly increased ; and the way was open for 
the establishment of a small society in Boston. It 
is an evidence, however, of the determined opposi- 
tion that was felt to Methodism, that Mr. Lee was 
in the city about a week, using every means in his 
power to procure a house to preach in, but was de- 
nied in every instance in which he made application 
either publicly or privately, and finally was forced 
to abandon the place without preaching at all, or 
to go on to the Common. Here, therefore, he set 
lip his banner in the name of the Lord, and many 
have since, though not without much hard toil and 
many privations, flocked around it." 

He then passed on to Lynn, and labored, occa- 
sionally returning and holding meetings at the 
house of Mr. Samuel Burrell, until 1792. After 
this they held meetingsfora time at a school-house, 
until it was demolished by the authority of the 
town. 

The first society was formed at the house of Mr. 
Samuel Burrell's, Aug. 1792, consisting of twelve 
members. They found a very great difiiculty in 
obtaining a place to hold their meetings. They at 
length resolved to build a meeting-house. " To aid 
them in their pious design, money was begged for 
them on the eastern shore of Maryland, in the state 
of Delaware, Philadeli)hia, and New York." 

By the aid thus afforded, they were encouraged 
to proceed in their labors ; and on the 28th of Aug. 
1795, the corner-stone of the first Methodist meet- 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHtTRCHES. 107 

iilg-house was laid in Boston. It was a wooden 
building, 46 by 36. At that time the church con- 
tained 42 members. 

This house was situated on Methodist Alley, so 
called, North Boston. It was occupied by the First 
church until 1828. In that year a new chapel was 
built in North Bennett street. At the laying of the 
corner-stone of the new house, the floor gave way 
and 200 persons were precipitated into the cellar. 
A considerable number of persons were very se- 
riously injured. Between 1790 and 1800 the fol- 
lowing ministers were stationed here, viz : Jesse 
Lee, Daniel Smith, Jeremiah Cosden, Amos G. 
Thomson, Christopher Sprague, Evan Rogers, John 
Harper, Joshua Hale, George Pickering, EliasHull, 
Daniel Ortander, William Beauchamp, Joshua 
Wells, and 'J'homas F. Sargent. 

During the last fall, winter and spring, this church 
was visited with a powerful work of grace. 

It appears from the records of this church, that 
530 were received on probation last year.* 

The work commenced the first of October. It 
was for a considerable length of time one of great 
power. Some have supposed that as many as eight 

* For the information of those who are not acquainted with 
usages of Methodist churches, I would say, that they at first 
receive persons on six months' probation. If at the close of 
that period they are found worthy, they are received into full 
communion. The increase of this denomination is the number 
received on probation. How many have been received into 
full communion; I do not know. 



108 BOSTON REVIVAL. 

liundred were converted. It is impossible to obtaitt 
the precise numbers. Amidst the throngs who 
came forward from night to night for prayers, and 
professed to be converted, many were strangers 
who have gone to other congregations. An indi- 
vidual who was engaged in the work says, " there 
was a large number of busbands converted, whose 
wives were professors before. A large number of 
seamen, several of whom were captains and mates 
of vessels, were interested in this great salvation. 
Many intemperate persons were sharers in this 
work." 

The instrumentalities were such as are common 
in the denomination. 

Tiiis church is the mother of all the other 
churches in the city. She is a fruitful vine, that 
has from time to time sent out her branches. She 
has sent out her children to aid in planting young 
churches. While she lias watered others, she has 
been liberally watered of God. She has scattered 
and yet increased more and more. 

Present number, 86G. 

Bromfield Street Church. 

In the year 1806, the Methodist society on the od 
of March, "resolved that it was expedient to build 
another chapel for the worship of Almighty God." 
On the ]5th of April, the corner-stone of Bromfield 
street was laid by Rev. Peter Jayne, and it was 
completed and dedicated on the 9th of November 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCHES. 109 

following. Rev. Samuel Mervin preached on the 
occasion. In the wall is a block of the stone on 
which our forefathers landed at Plymouth. 

" The earliest revival developments in my congre- 
gation, was, I think," says the pastor, " in the latter 
part of Aug. or first of Sept. J841, immediately suc- 
ceeding the camp-meeting at Eastham. I recognize, 
with many others, in that meeting the primary instru- 
mentality, under God, of the glorious work of grace 
in all the Methodist churches in this city. The Rev. 
Mr. Maffit spent a few weeks with us between Sept. 
and Nov., and a few I believe, date their first re- 
ligious impressions from his labors. The revival 
with us was gradual, there being seldom more than 
20 or 30 inquirers at any one time. The Rev. Mr. 
Greenhalge, of Maine, spent two or three weeks 
with us in January, 1842, to very considerable 
profit, especially to the church. We had occasional 
assistance from other clerical brethren. As to the 
doctrines preached, which appeared most eflTectual in 
promoting the revival, that of the direct ivitness of 
the Spirit — and of entire sanctijication, or salvation 
from all sin in this life, together with the Spirit's 
witness to the fact of such salvation, were recog- 
nized as having exerted a most salutary influence. 
The repeated administration of baptism in the 
house of God, was also, I think, with the divine bles- 
sing, made to subserve the gracious work. It should 
be recorded, to the praise of God, that several mem- 
bers of the church (male and female) who gave sat- 
isfactory evidence, in their lives, of enjoying the 
9 



110 BOSTON REVIVAL. 

blessing of entire sanctification, were among the 
most efficient instruments in promoting the revival. 

"As to the number of conversions resulting from 
the labors of this church, an approximation to ac- 
curacy is all that should be attempted. I think it 
may be safely stated at 200. About 350 were re- 
ceived into the classes as probationers for church 
membership. 

"The revival was especially interesting in the Sab- 
bath school. A large number of the scholars, it is 
believed, were made the subjects of renewing grace. 
The steadfastness and improvement of the converts 
has been in general highly gratifying, especially as 
respects those received into the classes as proba- 
tioners, very few cases of defection having trans- 
pired. 

" As to the })resent state of the church, 1 am happy 
to say it is such as to call for devout gratitude. 
Though the revival influence (particularly among 
the unconverted) has somewhat abated, u'e have de- 
lightful evidence, almost constantlv, that it has not 
been utterly withdrawn. We think our prospect 
for a general revival the ensuing winter is highly 
encouraging. ' The Lord of Hosts is ivith us, the 
God of Jacob is our refuge.'' To Him belongs all 
THE glory. Blessed be His Holy Name." 

150 received on probation. J. B. Ilusted, Pastor. 

South Boston. 

The Methodist Episcopal Church in South Bos- 
ton, originated in the summer of 1834, under the 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCHES. Ill 

labors of Rev. Abel Stevens, then ])astor of the 
Methodist congregation in Church street. He com- 
menced occasional preaching in a private room, 
which had been procured b}' a few pious individuals 
for the purpose of holding a public prayer meeting. 
The numbers attracted by the interesting and elo- 
quent address of Mr. Stevens, soon rendered it 
necessary to seek a more ample place of worship. 
"Harding's Hall," corner of Fourth and Turnpike 
streets, was procured for their use, which they en- 
tered Oct. 30, 1834. About this time the first reli- 
gious class was formed by Mr. Stevens, consisting of 
16 members, as a branch of the Methodist society 
in Church street. May 7th, 1836, they removed to 
Franklin Hall with 17 members, and left it June, 
1840, with 103. Previous to the reception of their 
first regular pastor, 1836, they derived much aid 
from that useful class of men styled in the Metho- 
dist denomination, "Local ministers." 

The pastor gives the following account respect- 
ing the late revival. 

" In answer to your inquiries, permit me to say, 1 
took charge of the Methodist Episcopal church in 
South Boston, in Aug. 1841. I found a church of 
110 members, generally young, enterprising and 
enjoying a good degree of piety. During the fall, 
we had some symptoms of a revival, a few cases of 
penitence, the return of a few backsliders, and a 
few conversions. During the month of December, 
the number increased ; and after the first of January 
we were ready to term it a revival. The spirit of 



112 BOSTON REVIVAL. 

revival, and the number of penitents continued to 
increase for a time, and then to subside ; again the 
flame revived, and finally subsided in the month of 
April. As the result of those gentle showers of re- 
freshing, 76 were added to the church, of whom 
about 50 had professed conversion. 20 had been 
reclaimed, and the remainder, though not wholly 
destitute of religious enjoyment, had been revived 
and gathered in. Such is a brief history of the 
work of God among us during the past winter. 
But to confine myself more specifically to the ques- 
tions proposed. I could say, it is diflScult fixing the 
time when our revival commenced. Its beginning 
and progress were emphatically gradual. 

" It was commenced and carried forward by the 
Spirit of God, given in answer to prayer. No ex- 
traordinary instrumentalities or eflforts were used. 
A few refer their awakening to particular discour- 
ses delivered in our own place of worship ; a few 
others, to the preaching of the distinguished revival- 
ists then laboring in the city ; but the attention of 
most was called up by the silent operations of the 
Holy Spirit. A gradual work of grace is rarely at- 
tended with remarkable incidents. It is only when 
the tide of excitement runs high, and the feelings 
and passions are up to an unwonted pitch, that we 
witness striking cases of awakening and conver- 
sion. As such a state of feeling did not exist 
among us, we are necessarily destitute of its usual 
fruits. Two cases, however, I might notice for the 
encouragement of the desponding. The one was that 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCHES. 113 

of a young lady who was the first to present herself 
as a subject of prayer. She manifested the utmost 
sincerity, and no small degree of earnestness; but 
her efforts seemed wholly unavailing. Others who 
commenced seeking the Lord long after she did, 
were converted on her right hand and left, and 
went from the altar of prayer rejoicing in the God 
of their salvation, while she was still held in the 
strong bands of unbelief. Sometimes through dis- 
couragement, she would refuse to present herself 
among the penitent; but generally she persevered 
steadfastly in the use of the means, neglecting no 
opportunity of placing herself 'by the wayside.' 
At length, after having sought the Saviour sorrow- 
ing for the space of six mouths, and presented her- 
self at the altar of prayer more than a score of 
times, she obtained a very clear evidence of pardon. 
Another case is that of a young man who com- 
menced seeking religion with little of what is usual- 
ly termed conviction. He acted from the cool and 
sober dictates of judgment. The first manifestation 
of the divine favor to his mind was like the faint 
gleaming of the early dawn. Possessed of a spec- 
ulative turn of mind, he was disposed to philoso- 
phize on every slight change of feeling, and if pos- 
sible, account for it on natural principles. Hence, 
for months after he received the first slight tokens 
of a Saviour's love, he walked in darkness and 
doubt. He was unwilling to give up his hope, yet 
he feared to reckon himself in the number of 
christians. He is now one of the most decided, 
9* 



114 BOSTON REVIVAL. 

persevering and useful young men in the church. 
His evidence of conversion is clear and undoubted. 
To him the ' path of the just' has been emphatical- 
ly 'as the shining light that shineth more and 
more.' Such cases are full of encouragement. 

"The cessation of the work of revival among us 
must be traced to a number of causes. One of 
these was, in my judgment, the substituting in 
many cases, of public labors for private duties. 
Brethren who are engaged from day to day, and 
from evening to evening, in exhorting sinners 
to repent, and in praying for, and comfort- 
the penitent, are very liable to excuse themselves 
from the duties of self examination, and family and 
private prayer. They thus lose their spirituality, 
and consequently their energy and efficiency. 
Those who were chiefly instrumental in commenc- 
ing the revival, partially backslided during its pro- 
gress. Having with a giant's strength put the car 
in motion, they leap on, and it ceases to move. 
Another hindrance among us was an unwillingness 
on the part of the church to make the necessary 
sacrifice of time and effort, without which the 
work of revival cannot be carried forward. 

" But the great cause of a cessation of the work 
was the usual one — unbelief. It has been found by 
universal experience, that just in proportion as this 
prevails, the sinews of moral effort are severed. 
Let doubt and unbelief take the place of faith, and 
the Spirit is gone, courage is gone ; men beat the 
air, or sit down in indifference, and the work 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL. CHURCHES. 115 

ceases. Let the idea prevail through the church 
that after a few weeks or months the work is to 
cease, and they will talk about its stopping, make 
their arrangements accordingly, and retire from the 
field. The cause is fully adequate to the effect. 

"x\ll the opposition in the world could not have 
stopped the progress of the work, had faith, the 
soul of moral action, been kept in lively exercise ; 
and all the angels in heaven cannot carry it for- 
ward while bound by the strong cords of unbelief. 

"May the time soon come, when the church shall 
be properly instructed on this subject. When she 
shall feel no more the chills of spiritual winter ; 
when revivals shall no longer be like the periodi- 
cal freshets of autumn or spring time ; but when 
that faith, at whose bidding the little cloud spread 
out ' o'er all the sky, and watered the thirsty hills 
of Judea,' shall command the ceaseless showers of 
refreshing, and spread over the whole moral vine- 
yard the bloom and beauty of perpetual summer, 
causing it to flourish as the garden of the Lord." 

The church contains 200 members; 76 received 
the present year. J. A. Savage, Pastor. 



116 BOSTON REVIVAL. 



CHAPTER IX. 

Church street— North Russell street— Fifth M. E. Church— 
Ocleon — East Boston — Way street Church — Conclusion of 
M. E. Churches. 

Church Street. 

This society purchased the house formerly oc- 
cupied by the Grace Church society. The open- 
ing services were performed by the Rev. A. Ste- 
vens, on the 4th of July, 1834. The house is 
pleasantly situated in Piedmont square, built of 
brick, with portico in front, with cupola and bell. 
There are 113 pews on the lower floor. The revi- 
val commenced the latter part of 1841. It was one 
of great interest and power. It was carried for- 
ward by the prayers and efforts of the church with- 
out any foreign aid. The efforts of some private 
brethren were remarkably blessed. 125 persons 
were received on probation. The church numbers 
* 320 members. 

North Russell Street M. E. Church. 

The Methodist Episcopal Chiu'ch in North Rus- 
sell street, was gathered in 1837, under the pastoral 
care of Rev. Moses L. Scudder, and consisted of 
about 60 members. The first public meeting on 
the Sabbath, was held at the Wells school-house 
in Blossom street. The chapel in North Russell 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL. CHURCHES. .117 

Street was dedicated to the worship of God in 
1838 by a prayer meeting. Several ministers en- 
gaged in prayer and offered voUintary remarks, 
without any formal discourse. The first sermon 
was preached in the evening of the same day, by 
Rev. C. K. True. A protracted meeting ensued, in 
which a number of persons embraced religion. 

During the last sixteen months, scarcely a Sab- 
bath has passed without witnessing at the altar 
some contrite souls seeking salvation. 

The camp meeting held a year ago last summer 
at Eastham and East Kingston, threw a refreshing 
influence over the church, and a happy impulse 
was given to the work through the labors of Rev. 
Mr. Thvving from Maine, who visited the city in 
January and subsequently preached every evening 
for a fortnight. Meetings of various kinds were 
held every evening in the week besides the Sab- 
bath, until late in the spring. Five o'clock meet- 
ings were held in the morning during a part of 
the season, at which, from time to time, the stationed 
minister. Rev. C. K. True, preached a short sermon. 

Nothing appeared to cause the abatement of the 
interest of the work so much as the coming on of 
the summer season, with its relaxing weather, long 
days and short evenings, and fatiguing business. 
150 persons were received on probation into the 
church, the greater part of whom have proved wor- 
thy of christian fellowship. More than half as 
many more professed to be converted at our altars, 
who have (it is supposed) joined other evangelical 
churches with which they have been associated. 



118 BOSTON REVIVAL. 

We are indebted to the general influence of the 
labors of distinguished evangelists who preached 
in the city, and especially Mr. Knapp. 

The doctrines preached upon the most, were 
justification and sanctification through the Lord 
Jesus Christ, and the witness of the Spirit. C. K. 
True, Pastor. 

Fifth M. E. Church. 

This church originated in connection with the 
appointment of Rev. Jacob Sanborn of the New 
England Conference, as city missionary. His la- 
bors commenced July, 1841. After a few months, 
it was deemed advisable to secure a place of wor- 
ship where the missionary could labor statedly on 
the Sabbath. 

To sustain this mean of grace, a small company 
of brethren and sisters from adjacent churches^ 
volunteered to forego the privileges of their seve- 
ral places of worship, and united together under 
the pastoral charge of Rev. Jacob Sanborn. They 
numbered in all 42 persons, worshipping in a hall 
on Merrimack street. 

During the winter following their organization, 
they enjoyed a good degree of revival, and 15 souls 
at least, professed to experience the pardoning 
love of God. Their number increased slowly, so 
that by the session of the conference ensuing, in 
July, 1842, the nuniber reported was 65, including: 
30 probationers. 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCHES. 119 

At the conference then held, the writer of this 
narrative was appointed to the pastoral charge of 
the society. The congregation was less than a 
hundred for a few Sabbaths. A good state of 
things spiritually prevailed however, and was soon 
developed in the awakening and conversion of 
souls who were added to the church. The con- 
gregation was enlarged, and now fills the hall, 
which will accommodate perhaps 250 persons. 
The church during the fiv^ months since the last 
conference has increased so that it now numbers 
69 in full membership, and beside these, 23 on pro- 
bation. Being an increase in that time of one 
half its number. Many of tliese were added from 
other churchecs by letter or certificates of member- 
ship. 

There have been during the last five months 10 
persons who profess to have been justified by faith 
in Christ. Most of these have become united to 
the church as probationers. 

Not being an observer during the last winter, I 
cannot state the particulars pertaining to the revi- 
val, nor give any interesting incidents that occurred. 
There is one fact, however, that augurs well for the 
genuine character of the work and the careful su- 
pervision of the previous })astor of this society. 
Of the 30 probationers left on the records, but two 
have been discontinued as unworthy of christian 
confidence. The others retain their probationary 
relation or have been received in full membership. 

We have now in progress of building, a house 



120 BOSTON RKVIVAtr. 

of worship on Richmond street, between Salem 
and Hanover streets, which we expect to occupy 
early in the spring, perhaps before. It is designed 
to seat from G to 700 persons, and will be a mod- 
est, plain, wooden fabric, not exceeding $5000 for 
its erection. 

The present condition of this church is good, 
its future prospects flattering; and an earnest de- 
sire is evident on the part of its members to be de- 
votedly pious, , 

4 

" Little and unknown, 

Loved and prized by God alone." 

Lucius C. Matlack, Pastor. 



Sixth M. E. Church, Odeon. 

The society that now occupies the Odeon com- 
menced worship there on the second Sabbath in 
January, 1842. Rev. A. Stevens was the first min- 
ister. The church was gathered in February, con- 
sisting of 60 members. These members were 
gathered from the several Methodist churches in 
the city. During the winter and spring, this infant 
church was blessed with a time of refreshing from 
the presence of the Lord. It has resulted in the 
ingathering of 60 to the church. 

Rev. B. F. Teft is the present minister. Since 
he has taken charge of this station there have been 
12 or 15 cases of hopeful conversion. The present 
prospects of this young sister in Zion are highly 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCHES. 121 

encouraging. We sincerely hope that this house, 
which was for many years devoted to destrovincr 
the souls of men, will be the place where multi- 
tudes will be saved. 

While occupied as a theatre, this house was un- 
doubtedly the highway of great numbers to ruin. 
We hope that it will be yet recorded of thousands, 
that they were here born into the kingdom of 
Christ. 

East Boston. 

The Methodist Episcopal church, in this place, 
was considered a branch of the Bennett street 
church, till July, 184'2, when it was recognized by 
the conference as a distinct station. Forsix months 
anterior to the session of the conference, in July, 
1842, they were favored with the labors of Rev. 
John W. Merrill, late president of Makendice col- 
legCi His labors in this place were instrumental 
of much good, and a number were led to seek and 
obtain " salvation by grace through faith in our 
Lord Jesus Christ." We have hitherto worshipped 
in the city Ward room, but are now erecting a 
house of worship, which, though not large, will be 
sufficiently commodious, considering the youth of 
the society and the population of the place. There 
is but one church in the place which we can recog- 
nize as evangelical, (Rev. Mr. Phelps's) with which 
we cordially unite in all, essential points, and cheer- 
fully labor with them, not so much to extend the 
influence and augment the interests of the cJiurch 
10 



V22 BOSTOW REVIVAJ.. 

of our choice, as to j)roinote the caiise of genuine 
])iety, and be instrmnental of rescninjr souls from 
spiritual death and an eternal liell. The doctrine 
preached to the linpardoned and unsanctified soul 
is, that salvation is possible ; but it can only be se- 
cured by looking through the use of the means to 
Christ, the meritorious and procuring cause of sal- 
vation, — teaching that we are not blest because we 
pray, because we speak, or because we believe, but 
because Christ died. We believe the salvation of 
the gospel to be pre-eminently a salvation by faith, 
obtained by faith, retained by faith, — a faith v/hich 
is the only source of "good works;" a faith which 
works by love and purifies the heart; — we are jus- 
tified b:j faith onhj^ and our justification originates 
solely in tlie grace of God. 

I have deemed it just to make these remarks, for 
two reasons. 1. Because our church in ihis part 
of the city is in its infant stages; 2. To disabuse 
the ufmds of those who have erred in their views 
concerning us, in consequence of certain misrepre- 
sentations, identifying oiu' doctrines, in some de- 
gree, with the errors of Pelagius; whereas we have 
no fellowship whatever with Pelagian, or semi-Pela- 
gian errors. 

Some interestinff cases of the conversion of indi- 
viduals who were looking for salvation through the 
(sui)posed) unconditionulity of the gospel might be 
narrated, who now ieel that the heart nuist be 
changed by the efticient agency of the Holy Spuit 
of God. We rejoice in the conversion of souls? 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCHES. J 23 

through whatsoever instrumentalities, and pray God 
to hasten the day of millennial glory. 

Present number of trie church, GO. Daniel Rich- 
ards, Pastor. 

May Street Church. 

This is a colored church. It was gathered in 
1818 with 23 members. In 1836 it was visited 
with a special revival of religion. During the last 
winter, the Lord, who is no respecter of persons, 
visited this colored church equally with the white. 
The revival began in January. " The instrumen- 
talities used," says the pastor, "were short preach- 
ing and prayer meetings. After preaching, invi- 
ting the mourners to the altar, urging them to give 
all up and believe on Christ. During the revival 
two great fiddlers were, converted, and one of them 
burnt his fiddle. Several seamen found peace with 
God. The work has subsided in a great measure. 
The ap|)arent cau.<es were different winds of doc- 
trines; such as the second coming of Christ in 
1843. It divided the minds of the people. In- 
stead of attending to present duty, the attention 
was diverted by the disputes." The number of 
hopeful converts in this congregation was 60. 
The present number of the chm-ch, is 130. Sam- 
uel Snowden, Pastor. 

* 

The Methodist Episcopal church has now nine 
churches and 2613 members. 1201 have been add- 
ed the past year. It is now little more than half a 
century since Methodism first obtained a perma- 



124 BOSTON REVIVAL. 

nent footing in this city. Its beginning was very 
feeble. But from time to time God lias poured 
out his Spirit, and enlarged their borders. TUey 
have performed an important part in the great 
work of restoring evangelical religion to this city. 
They shared largely in the blessing bestowed on 
us during the last winter and spring. It is but 
justice to say of this branch of the great family of 
evangelical churches, that they are enterprising, 
laborious and self-denying. More might be said, 
but it is not the object of this work to exalt one 
denomination above another, or to promote secta- 
rian or party views. It is rather to make the sev- 
eral evangelical churches in this city better ac- 
quainted with each other; to bring them to see 
that God is no respecter of denominations any 
more than of persons. The true church of God 
that he owns and blesses now, and will array in 
linen clean and white hereafter, is not confined to 
one denomination. It is found amons: those who 
believe in the doctrine of atonement and the ageu- 
cy of the Holy Ghost, in renewing and sanctifying 
the hearts of men. God owns these several branch- 
es of his church. Why should they not own each 
other? God loves and blesses tliem. Why should 
they not love and bless each other? These are 
questions that we could not well refrain from ask- 
ing, in view of what God has done for the different 
denominations in this city. We have looked at 
these churches as so many sisters of the same fam- 
ily, as so niany branches of the same vine. We 



METHODIST EPISCOPAIi CHURCHES- 125 

Lope that the facts contained in this little volume 
will do much to destroy a higoted, sectarian spirit, 
and enlarge the heart with genuine benevolence. 
If it shall, in any good degree, promote a truly 
christian catholic sj)irit, one great design of the 
editor will be accomplished. 

Received in 1842. Whole No. 

North Bennett Street, 530 866 

Bromfield Street, 150 412 

Church Street, 125 320 

South Boston, 76 200 

North Russell Street, 150 430 

Fifth M. E. Church, 50 92 

Odeon, 60 120 

East Boston, 60 

Mr. Snowden's, 60 130 



Total, 1201 2630 



CHAPTER X. 

Seamen's Bethel Churcli — Freewill Baptist Church — German 
Lutheran Church — German Reformed Lutheran Church- 
African M. E. Church— Wesleyan M. E. Zion's Church. 

Seamen's Bethel Church. 

This society was formed in 1829, by the exertions 
of Rev. E. T. Taylor, a Methodist minister. He 
first preached in the old Methodist meeting-house 
in Methodist alley, xq seamen, He conliuued here 



126 BOSTON REVIVAL. 

until 1832, when the present edifice was erectecT. 
A blue flag is displayed here on the Sabbath, with 
the word "Bethel"' inscribed on it. 

A church was gathered in 1836. It does not 
stand connected with any particular denomination. 
It profe:^sedIy receives the Bible, as its articles of 
faith and covenant. This society is under the pat- 
ronage of the "Boston Port Society." Connected 
with this establishment, is the "Bethel Reading 
Room," nnder the charge of a superintendent, for 
the special benefit of seamen. There is also a 
^^ Bethel Temperance Society" for the benefit of sai- 
lors, formed on the principle of total abstinence* 
Mr. Taylor has exerted a salutary influence upon 
the sailors. Since the church was organized, they 
have received ICO members. Its present number is 
118; received the last year 12. 

The good that is accomplished by a preacher to 
seamen, is not so visible as where a congregation is 
stationary. The impression made upon a station- 
ary congregation is manifested at different times. 
A congregation of sailors is continually changing. 
Truth may take hold of a mind in Boston and re- 
sult in his conversion at sea, or in a foreign port. 
A seamen's preacher may have spiritual children 
that he will never know in this world. He may 
not see so much of the results of his labor as the 
minister of a stationary congregation ; still if he is 
faithful to his Master, he will receive his reward. 
Undoubtedly, in the day when the secrets of all 
hearts shall be revealed, it will appear that many 



FREEWILL BAPTIST CHURCH. 127 

sons of the ocean have received impressions, at the 
Bethel church, that resulted in their conversion. 

We regret to learn that the health of Mr. Taylor 
has failed, and that his physicians have directed 
him to take a voyage to China for its restoration. 
May the Lord bless this temporary rest from his 
labors, and in his own time return him to his peo- 
ple with invigorated health and renewed consecra- 
tion to his work among the tribe of Zebulon. 

Freewill Baptist Church in Causeway Street. 

This church was organized Dec. 1838, with 11 
members. "No particular seriousness," says the 
pastor, " was visible earlier than the first of Novem- 
ber. About this time there was an increase of zeal 
in the prayers and testimonies of the metnbers of 
the church in the vestry meetings. This resulted 
in an increase of numbers at our evening worship, 
and in fact, at all our meetings. By the first of 
December it was plain to be seen that God was 
among us. There was a solemn inquiry among the 
members of the church into the doctrine of j)erson- 
al holiness, or entire consecration to God. Indeed, 
I have since thought that the meetings that were 
held by a few of the niembers of the church with 
special reference to this subject, were blest of God 
by a preparation of the hearts of those for the work 
that followed. By the middle of December a num- 
ber had been converted, and the spirit of revival was 
upon the church and many of the congregation. 



128 BOSTON REVIVAL. 

Our first baptism, I think, was in February, when 
at one time I baptized 33, who, before this time, had 
obtained hope in Christ. The work was now gen- 
eral with us, and meetings for a long time were 
holden every night. I baptized in all about 80. 
As to agents and means, I will only say, we had no 
help but from heaven. The members of the church 
were the principal workmen, and prayer and testi- 
mony were the chief means. There was no visit- 
ing from house to house, and but very little run- 
ning to other meetings. We have no evidence that 
the preaching of Elder Knapp, of Mr. Kirk, of Mr. 
Maffit, or of any others that visited Boston at that 
time, was of any special aid in the work. Indeed, 
it was thought that inasmuch as their preaching did 
occasionally draw away some of our laborers, that 
it was rather a hindrance than a help to us. We 
have had but few cases of backsliding since the re- 
vival, and a holy influence is yet lingering upon our 
assembly. 

Present number of members, 160. Rev. Mr. Hol- 
tnan. Pastor. 

Gejiman Lutheran Church. 

During the last ten years a considerable number 
of Germans have collected in this city. In 1834, a 
German gentleman commenced holding meetings. 
Rev. Henry G. Smith came to Boston in 1836. He 
succeeded in gathering a considerable congregation. 
The two great divisions of Protestants, Lutheran and 
Reformed, were united. But about two years since 



GERMAN R. L. CHURCH AF. M. E. BETHEL. 129 

they divided. The Lutheran party worship in a 
hall at the corner of Washington and Castle streets^ 
They have commenced the erection of a church, 
and have completed their vestry. This church has 
125 communicants ; 27 have been received this year. 
Rev. George U. Brandau, the Pastor, is connected 
with the Lutheran Synod of Pennsylvania. 

German Reformed Lutheran Church. 

This portion of the German population separated 
from the other about two years since. They have 
attempted to unite with the other party, but they 
have not succeeded. They now worship in Boyls- 
ton Hall. They have purchased a piece of land on 
Suffolk street to erect an house of worship. They 
have subscribed among themselves $1200 for this 
purpose, and have appealed to the public for help. 
They have 200 communicants ; 30 conversions the 
last year. They have a Sabbath school of 40 or 
50 children. George G. Kempe, Pastor. 

Aerican M. E. Church, Bethel. 

This church has been in existence 12 or 14 
years. This branch of the Methodist family are 
composed entirely of people of color. No white 
men belong to their church. This church has no 
resident ordained minister. Rev. Mr. Campbell, of 
Providence, visits them quarterly. They have local 
preachers who exercise their gifts in the absence of 
the minister in charge. The chinch numbers 53 
members; 12 have been added the last year. 



130 boston revival. 

Wesleyan M. E. Zion's Church. 

This church was gathered June 13, 1838, con- 
sisting of 30 members. Mr. Jehiel C. Beman is the 
pastor. This church is composed entirely of col- 
ored people who have no connection with slavery. 
They enjoyed a season of refreshing from the pres- 
ence of the Lord during the last winter and spring. 
Since Dec. lust, 124 have been received into this 
church. It now contains 205 members. The pas- 
tor thus describes one of the scenes of the revival. 

A few weeks since, I received an invitation from 
a man who keeps a public boarding-house for sea- 
men, in Ann street, to come and hold a religious 
meeting. I accepted the invitation, and on arriving 
at the place, 1 found the room that was designed for 
the meeting, was one forn)erly occupied for dancing 
and gambling. The people gathered, in number 
about 75, of different ages, and the Spirit of the 
Lord was present to awaken the sinner. The cries 
for mercy were loud from many, which continued 
until tlie meeting closed. The invitation for ano- 
ther meeting was renewed, and they have been con- 
tinued for several weeks. The man of the house, 
and his wife, have both been hopeftilly converted; 
and a scene in one of the meetings was affecting, 
as the man of the house arose and commenced 
telling what the Lord had done for him, and 
thanking the God of all grace that his heart 
was changed, and that his house had become a 
house of prayer, and that the room that used to be 
devoted to dancing, drinking and gambling, now 



WESLEVAN M. E. ZION's CHURCH. 131 

was occupied for tlie worsliip of the Lord. While 
ninkinq: these remarks, he was interru[)ted by'one 
of his former associates, vvlio used to meet in the 
same room to dance. This man, however, a few 
weeks since, found peace in believing. The inter- 
ruption was this — "Did I not join you on Christmas 
night, in this i)lace, to serve tlie enemy? — and now 
we have met beneath this roof to pray," said he. 
"Thank the Lord, that we have been spared to 
meet here to worship the King of kings, and Lord 
of lords." They then shook hands, and praised the 
Lord, hand in hand. And while they were thus en- 
gaged in g4ving glory to him who died to save pin- 
ners, the effect was felt by all otiiers who were their 
associates in wickedness. 

Many who used to frequent this house, and have 
during the recent revival, found pardon, joined wiih 
them, saying, " Was not J here on Christmas," — and 
another and another, " W\-js I not here likewise." 
One njari, with grey hairs, who has seen the frosts 
of many winters, said — "And I was here too, and 
liave often been here; but the Lord be praised, I 
trust he has taken my feet out of the horrible pit, 
end put a new song in my mouilj, even praise to 
our God." 

Wliile this was tlie order of the meeting, and the 
ohl soldier of the cross was |)raising the Lord f(jr 
what he had done in Ann street, and in this j'amily, 
and the neighboring fatJiilies in this part of the ciiy, 
the unconverted who were present called aloud — 
" Lord, what shall I do to be saved ?" 



J32 KOSTON REVIVAL. 

CHAPTER XI. 

THE VICINITY OF BOSTON. 

It is not in the city only that God has, dnrinor the 
few past years, turned hack the captivity of Zion. 
The same spirit has been shed down upon the 
neighboring towns. Large accessions were made 
to nearly all the evangelical churches. 1 will briefly 
notice what God has done in the vicinity. 

Dorchester. — In 1808, John Codman, D. D., 
was ordained over the Second church in Dorches- 
ter. He very early refused to exchange with those 
who had departed from the faith of the gospel. 
His church numbers 340. The Village church in 
Dorchester, which is a colony sent forth from Dr. 
Cod man's, has over 200 members. The Baj)tists 
have a church near Ne[)onset bridge, that counts 
142 professors. The Methodists also have a church 
at the village. 

RoxBURY. — Twenty years ago, the number of 
evangelical professors in this town was very small. 
The Baptist church was gathered in 1821 ; now has 
385 members. The Orthodox chinch in the First 
parish, called the "Eliot church," has 147 members. 
The West Roxbury chiu-ch contains 69 members: 
and the Methodists have a church in the First parish, 
and the Baptists have recently gathered one at Ja- 
maica Plaius. 

Bkookline. — A Baptist church was organized in 
this town, inl827, and has 168 members. 



CHURCHES IN THE VICINITY. 133 

BaiGHTOiy. — An Orthodox church was gathered 
fit Brighton in 1828. Since its organization, 300 
have been admitted to its communion ; 158 are its 
present number. 

Cambridge. — As this was the site of the univer- 
sity that had forsaken the faith of the fathers, it was 
to be expected tljat it would exert a deleterious in- 
fluence upon the population of the town. Some 
12 or 15 years ago, tfje church connected with the 
First parish, was exiled from the house, where they 
and their fathers liad worshipped. This church 
has 160 members. There is also an Episcopal 
church at Old Cambridge. In 1817, the Baptist 
church was gathered at the Port. It now numbers 
380 communicants. The Baptists have a church 
likewise at East Cam.bridge, gathered 1827, 167 
members. The Trinitarian chinch at Cambridge- 
port was organized in 1828, has 224 members. 
Last spring a nutnber of persons went forth from 
this body and formed anew church: and a new 
Orthodox church has also lately been gathered at 
East Cambridge. During the past season the Meth- 
odists have erected a house at Cambridgeport, and 
have fair prospects of building up a good society. 

Charlestoavn. — The original church in Charles- 
town has always adhered to the faith of the fa- 
thers, and has about 300 communicants. Winthrop 
church was gathered in 1833, counts 250 members. 
The Baptist church has 394 communicants. The 
]\Iethodists and Episcopalians have churches here. 
11 



134 feOSTON REVIVAL. 

Chelsea. — About 1828, the Orthodox Congrega* 
lionalists srathered a small church at Chelsea cen- 
tre. Since the vil]ai:;e has been formed at Winne- 
ehnmet, the Baptists have gathered a church of 165 
members. The 3'IethodiBts and Eijiscopalians have 
also organized churches. Sept. 1841, an Orthodox 
church of 42 members was gathered, and now 
numbers 120. 

This is a brief sketch of the progress of evan- 
gelical religion in the suburbs of Boston. The 
tone of public sentiment has been changed. The 
city and its suburbs have, to a great extent, been 
bromrht back upon the ground of our Puritan 
fathers. Their memories are now revered, and 
not as in former years made the frequent sub- 
jects of ridicule. Nothing has made New England 
what it is, but the influence of evangelical religion. 
And it must be the influence of the same senti- 
ments that will maintain and perpetuate this char- 
acter. 

.lust as far as the spirit of the revival has ex- 
tended, just so far the primitive sj)irit of New Eng- 
. land is cherished. Could it be entirely diffusiid 
through the city and its suburbs, the very spirit that 
jdanted the churches around Massachusetts Bay 
would return. 

Boston would then becotne what it was in its 
early history when an Englishman resided here 
seven years, and " Neither heard an oath, nor saw a 
j)erso!J drunk." 



CONCLUSION. 135 



CONCLUSION. 



In reviewing the history of the revival, as it appeared 
in Boston, we remark that special prayer precedes a re- 
vival of religion. Some have erroneously supposed that 
the late revival in this city, did not commence until after 
the year 1842 began. But the facts that have been de- 
veloped in the statements made by several of the church- 
es in different denominations, prove that it commenced 
in the year 1341. The revival in Garden street Church 
commenced with her existence, which was in July, 1841. 
In Bowdoin street Church, a spirit of prayer was mani- 
fested early in the autumn. The same was true re- 
specting Marlboro' Chapel and Central Church. The 
pastor of the South Boston Baptist Church says, "that 
the church was revived some months before the reforma- 
tion commenced." In Mr. Stow's church, the revival 
commenced in the autumn. The pastor of the Bowdoin 
square Church says, " I found an improving religious 
feeling among my people throughout the autumn, which 
gave me full confidence that the winter would develope 
results of the most animating character." The same was 
also true in several of the Methodist churches. From a 
reference to these testimonies, it is evident that there 
was an awakened spirit of prayer considerably extensive 
in the city during the autumnal months. The world was 
not indeed aware of these weepings in secret places. 
Many professors of religion were in a profound sleep, and 
as busy about their worldly affairs as though they had 
never been bought with the price of atoning blood. But 
still the number was not small that cried, day and night, 
'< O Lord revive thy work. For Zion's sake I will not 
hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, 
until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness. 



136 BOSTON REVIVAL. 

and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth," The 
Lord heard and answered these prayers. This fact is 
nothing that is peculiar to this revival. God always has 
connected ends with means. When he restored the 
children of Israel from Babylonish captivity, " He would 
yet for this be inquired of before he would do it for them." 
Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah and others, prayed, fasted and 
wept. God heard their prayers, and restored them to 
the land of their fathers' sepulchres. 

Before the revival at the day of Pentecost, a ten days' 
prayer meeting was held in that upper room by the 
primitive disciples; and whenever the Holy Spirit has 
been poured out in our day, it has always been preceded 
by prayer. " Prayer moves the hand that moves the 
world." Tn answer to prayer, he that has all hearts in 
his hand and turns them as the rivers of water are turned, 
turns them unto himself. When his children cry, " O 
that thou wouldst rend the heavens, that thou wouldst 
come down and make the mountains flow down at thy 
presence," he does the things that they desire. The 
heavens are rent, God comes down to earth, and the 
mountains melt. He turns back again the captivity of 
Zion as streams of the south. Let not any church 
vainly imagine that God will visit them with a time of 
refreshing, if they are living in a prayerless state. 
Prayers must go up before blessings come down. This 
is the instituted ordinance of God. His injunction is 
*' Pray without ceasing." " Pray always and not fiint." 

2. We remark that it is essential to the purity of re- 
vivals that the tests of christian character be clearly 
stated. 

In conducting revivals, nothing is more important to 
the permanent prosperity of the church, than a distinct 
delineation of the traits of christian character. If more 
or less than the gospel terms of salvation are stated, 
sinners will take up with false hopes. They will be de- 
ceived and lost through erroneous instruction. There 
rests therefore a peculiar responsibility upon those that 
direct the inquiries of anxious souls. The terms of 



CONCLUSION. 137 

salvation should be stated clearly, — nothing kept back, 
nothing over stated. Nothing should be made essential 
to christian character that God has not made so. Per- 
haps it may impart some light on this subject, to show 
how inquiring sinners felt under the instructions of so 
pungent and discriminating a preacher as President Ed- 
wards. " In those in whom awakenings seem to have a 
saving issue,'" says Edwards, " commonly the first thing 
that appears after their legal trouble, is a conviction of 
the justice of God in their condemnation, a sense of their 
own exceeding sinfulness, and ihe vileness of all their 
performances. In giving an account of this they ex- 
pressed themselves very various; some, that they saw 
that God was a sovereign, and might receive others and 
reject them; some, that they were convinced that God 
might justly bestow mercy on every person in the town, 
and damn themselves to all eternity; some, that they see 
that God may justly have no regard to all the pains they 
have taken, and all the prayers they have made; some, 
that they see that if they should seek, and take the ut- 
most pains all their lives, God might justly cast them into 
hell at last, because all their labors, prayers and tears 
cannot make atonement for their least sin, nor merit any 
blessing at the hand of God ; some have declared them- 
selves to be in the hands of God, that he can and may 
dispose of them just as he pleases; some, that God may 
glorify himself in their damnation; and they wonder that 
God has suffered them to live so long, and has not cast 
them into hell long ago. 

*' Commonly persons' minds, immediately after the 
discovery of God's justice, are exceedingly restless, and 
in a kind of struggle and tumult, and sometimes in mere 
anguish; but generally as soon as they have this convic- 
tion it immediately brings their mind to a calm and a be- 
fore unexpected quietness and composure; and most 
frequently, though not always, then the pressing weight 
upon their spirit is taken away, and a general hope arises 
that some time or other God will be gracious, even be- 
ll* 



138 coNcrusiow. 

fore any distinct and particular discoveries of mercy; and 
often they then come to a conclusion with themseiveg 
that they will lie at God's feet and wait his time; and 
they rest in that, not being sensible that the Spirit of 
God has brought them to a frame whereby they are pre- 
pared for mercy; for it is remarkable that persons when 
they first have this sense of God's justice, rarely, in the 
time of it, think any thing of its being that liumiliation 
that they have often heard insisted on, and that others 
experience. 

" In some cases their sense of the excellency of God's 
justice in their condemnation, and their approbation of it, 
was such that they almost called it ' a willingness to be 
damned.' But Edwards thought that this language 
must have been used without any clear idea of its im- 
port, and must have meant only that salvation appeared 
too good for them; and that the glory of God's justice 
ought not to be sacrificed for their sakes. That calm of 
spirit that some persons have found after their legal dis- 
tresses, continues some time before any special and de- 
lightful manifestation is made to the soul, of the grace of 
God as revealed in the gospel; but very often some com- 
fortable and sweet view of a merciful God, of a sufficient 
Redeemer, or of some great and joyful things of the gos- 
pel, immediately foliov»^s, or in a very little tim.e; and in 
some the first sight of their desert of hell, and God's 
sovereignty with respect to their salvation, and a discov- 
ery of sufficient grace, are so near, that they seem to go 
as it were tosether. 

"It has more frequently been so among us that when 
persons have first had their gospel ground of relief for 
lost sirmers discovered to them, and have been entertain- 
ing their minds with sweet prospects, they have thought 
nothing at the time of their being converted. To see 
that there is such an all-sufficiency in God, and such 
plentiful provision made in Christ, after they have been 
borne down and sunk with a sense of their guilt and fears 
of wrath, exceedingly refreshes them. The view is joy- 
ful to them as it is in its own nature glorious, and gives 



BOSTON REVIVAL. 139 

them quite new and more delightful ideas of God and 
Christ, and greatly encourages them to seek conversion, 
and begets in them a strong resolution to give themselves 
up, and to devote their whole lives to God and his Son, 
•and patiently wait until God shall see fit to make all 
effectual ; and very often they entertain a strong persua- 
sion, that he will in his own time do it for them. 

There is wrought in them a holy repose of soul in God 
through Christ, and a secret disposition to fear and love 
Him, and to hope for blessings from Him in this way. 
And yet they have now no imagination that they are now 
converted ; it does not so much as come into their minds; 
and very often the reason is, that they do not see that 
they do accept of this sufficiency of salvation that they be- 
hold in Christ, having entertained a wrong notion of ac- 
ceptance, not being sensible of the obedient, and joyful 
entertainment which their hearts give to the discovery of 
grace, in a real acceptance of it. They know not that 
the sweet complacency that they feel in the mercy and 
complete salvation of God, as it includes pardon and sane- 
tsfication, and is held forth to them only through Christ, 
is a true receiving of his mercy or a plain evidence of 
receiving it. They expected, I know not what kind of 
act of the soul, and perhaps they had no distinct idea of 
it themselves." 

Such is Edwards' account of the religious experience of 
the converts of Northampton in the " Great awakening," 
or rather this took place before 1740. It is manifest that 
he preached the law in all its length and breadth. It had 
performed the work upon their souls. He had also held 
up Christ as an all-sufficient Saviour. These converts 
submitted entirely to God's will. They justified the law 
that condemned them, and ascribed their salvation to rich 
and free grace; and under such discriminating instructions 
as Edwards gave, the number that would rest in false 
hopes, would be few. 

Edwards' converts could say in the language of Watts, 



140 BOSTON REVIVA.L. 

" Should sudden vengeance seize my breath, 
I must pronounce lliee just in death 3 
And if my soul were sent to hell. 
Thy righteous law approves it well." 

Still they would add the petition contained in the next 
verse, 

" Yet save a trembling sinner, Lord, 
Whose hope, still hovering round thy word, 
Would light on some sweet promise there, 
Some sure support against despair." 

3. We remark, that it has been God's method in past 
ages to build up his church mostly by revivals of religion. 
Some in this era of light, pretend that revivals of reli- 
gion are new things under the sun; that they are got up for 
party purposes by craft and cunning. But such persons 
can never have studied the word of God with care, or 
they would have seen that under the old dispensation, 
God had set times to favor Zion. God poured out his 
Spirit upon the generation who were born in the wilder- 
ness. They served the Lord all the days of Joshua. In 
the days of Jehosaphat, Asa, Josiah and Hezekiah, there 
were great and glorious revivals of pure and undefiled re- 
ligion. The same also look place when the Jews were 
returned from Babylonish captivity. On these several 
occasions, the whole nation entered into covenant with 
God anew. At the commencement of the christian era, 
there was a great and glorious revival of genuine religion. 
These seasons constituted the glory of the primitive 
church. They lasted until the church was amalgamated 
with the state. When the church became secularized, 
worldly in her temper and spirit, revivals ceased. Little 
was heard of them from the sixth up to the sixteenth cen- 
tury. At the era of the Reformation, when the gospel 
was again preached in its primitive purity, the Holy Ghost 
returned once more upon the nations of Europe. The 
English Puritans were the zealous advocates of revivals. 
In the spirit of revivals, Winthrop and his company 
founded the churches around Massachusetts Bay. During 



CONCLUSION. 141 

the first thirty years of their existence, they enjoyed 
a continual revival. In 1740, the spirit of revival re- 
turned upon these churches. All the ministers of Boston, 
with the exception of Dr. Chauncy, were the decided 
friends of this revival. Thousands and thousands flocked 
to hear Mr. Whitefield and the Tennants preach. Early 
in the present century, the spirit of revival returned upon 
the two Baptist churches, and the Old South. Before 
this, almost the whole city had apostatized from the faith 
of the fathers. When the enemy came in like a flood, 
the Lord lifted up a standard against him. The Lord be- 
gan to turn back the captivity of Zion. 

The city has now forty-five congregations, where the 
fundamental doctrines of the gospel are preached. Du- 
ring the past year, more than 4000 individuals have been 
added to these churches. This is the most extensive 
revival that this city has ever witnessed, with the excep- 
tion of 1740. It is one of those special seasons of mercy 
with which God has always been accustomed to build up 
his church. It has made good people better, elevated 
their piety and increased all their christian graces. In 
the progress of the work, many Sabbath-breakers have 
been taught to " Remember the Sabbath day to keep it 
holy." Many that took the name of the Lord in vain, now 
bless and extol his holy name. A considerable num- 
ber of venders of "distilled damnation," (to use the 
words of Robert Hall,) hnve ceased to traffic in it, and 
have enlisted under the banner of temperance that waves 
high in the air. Some that had defrauded their neighbors, 
have confessed their sin and made restitution. Large 
number.? who are in the dew of their youth, have sub- 
scribed with their own hands unto the Lord. JMany that 
were resting in false systems of religion, have forsaken 
their refuges of lies, and i)uilt their hopes upon ihe stone, 
the tried stone, the chief corner-stone, elect, precious. 
In one word, the results of this revival have been such as 
to honor God and magnify the ri-hes of his grace. 

4. We remark that the church must not depend on 
men or measures to revive religion. 



14*-^ BOSTON REVIVAL.. 

At the present day, in some instances, there has been 
an improper reliance on men and measures. Some 
churches have supposed that if they could have such and 
such a man for their minister, that they should surely 
have a revival of religion ; or could a particular course 
of measures be adopted, they should infallibly secure the 
gift of the Holy Ghost. But it must be understood that 
no particular men, or any set of measures, will necessari- 
ly secure the Holy Spirit. It is written, " Cursed is he that 
trusteth in man." All the eloquence, learning and talent, 
in the whole church, cannot secure the conversion of a 
single soul. God has committed the work of converting 
souls to the church in her organized capacity. Every 
pastor, deacon, and church member, has his sphere 
assigned him. He is responsible for the duties of the 
station where he is placed. He cannot work by proxy. 
His own growth in grace and spiritual enjoyment depend 
upon his fidelity and activity. He cannot be watered 
himself, except he attempts to water others. All that is 
needful for a continual revival is, that every individual 
christian live near to God, and perform with fidelity the 
daily duties that devolve on him. The continual bless- 
ing that will come upon such a man is described in the 
first Psalm. ♦' Blessed is the man that walketh not in the 
counsel of *the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sin- 
ners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his de- 
light is in the law of the Lord ; and in his law doth he 
meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree 
planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his 
fruit in his season ; his leaf also shall not wither, and 
whatsoever he doeth shall prosper." A church and its 
officers composed of such men, avoiding every sin, and ac- 
tively engaged in doing good, will not labor in vain. God 
will not be unmindful of them. He will bless them and 
render them blessings to others. They will see the 
pleasure of the Lord prosper in their hands. Harlan 
Page continually saw the fruit of his labor. A church 
composed of such men, would see a constant ingathering 
of souls. But if this spirit of sacrifice and active engaged- 



CONCLUSION. ]43 

tiess be lacking in a church, nothing can be substituted in 
its place. No men coming from a distance, no new 
measures of human device, can infuse life into a dead 
church. No forms of godliness will necessarily give the 
power. Dependence, then, must not be placed upon men, 
or measures, but upon God through his own appointed 
institutions. Nothing can possibly be substituted for the 
holy living of the church. If dependence is placed upon 
men, or measures, independent of Him that uses men and 
measures as instruments, leanness will be sent into the 
soul; all hope of success, built on this foundation, will be 
blasted. 

5. We remark that in view of what God has done for 
the evangelical churches of Boston, they ought to conse- 
crate themselves anew to the work of converting souls. 

It is only a few years since, that almost the whole city 
had aBandoned the faith of the Puritan fathers. Another 
gospel had been introduced. All the original Congrega- 
tional churches but one, had embraced errors that the 
Puritans viewed subversive of the gospel. When eight 
of the most serious men in this congregation met and 
formed a society for their religious iniprovement, none of 
them had confidence sufficient to lead in social prayer. 
Now this denomination have 14 organized churches, and 
more than 5000 members. At that period the Baptists 
had three churches, now they have nine, and more than 
4000 members. At the same time the Episcopalians had 
two churches, and now they have six, and more than 1300 
members. The Methodists had then two churches, and 
now they have 9, and 2613 members. 

The Freewill Baptist church has also been organized 
since that period. Then there were eight evangelical 
places of worship, and now there are forty-five. These 
forty-five churches contain 14,029 members, and 4042 
have been added the past year. Such is a brief view of 
what God has done for evangelical religion in this city. 
May we not with propriety adopt the language of the 
pious Israelites that were returned from Babylonish cap- 
livity? " When the Lord turned a^ain the captivity 



144 BOSTON REVIVAL. 

of Zlon, we were like them that dream. Then was our 
mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with sing- 
ing; then they said among the heathen, the Lord hath 
done great things for them. The Lord hath done great 
things for us, whereof we are glad.'^ Since the meet- 
ing of these eight men that could not pray, the Lord hath 
done great things for this city. He has laid evangelical 
christians under very great and peculiar obligations. 
Their inquiry should be, " What shall we render unto the 
Lord for all his benefits? What can we do to shew forth 
his praise ?" Much remains yet to be done. There is 
very much land to be possessed. But He that has so far 
reclaimed the city is able to reclaim the whole. Satan 
has not a single strong hold that he is notable to demolish, 
nor a single high thing that he is not able to bring low. 
He can exalt every valley, make every mountaio and 
hill low, every crooked path straight, and every rough 
place plain. He can cause the banner of the Cross to 
wave high in the air, over this whole city, redeemed and 
renovated. In view of what God has done, we may 
justly entertain raised expectations of what he still pur- 
poses to do. He will yet make her walls salvation, and 
her gates praise. The motto of every friend of Zioii 
should be, " Expect great things, attempt great things." 
Why should not this be our motto ? Has not God prom- 
ised great and glorious things respecting Zion, the city of 
our God ? Does he raise our expectations only to disap- 
point them ? He is not man that he should lie, nor the 
son of man that he should repent. Hath he spoken it, 
he will also do it. Hath he promised it, he will also 
bring it to pass. No christian in this city should feel that 
his work is done, so long as any thing remains to be 
done. He is enlinsted during the war. The conflict will 
continue until death. In view of what God has already 
done, let every christian consecrate himself anew to ihe 
work, and never give over until the whole city is reno- 
vated. 



NOTE, 145 



NOTE. 

The meeting-house of which we have given a view on 
the first page, was erected in 1632. Towards tlie erec- 
tion of this house, and building of a parsonage, 120 
pounds were contributed. Its site was on State street, at 
the corner of Congress street. Its roof was thatched, 
and its walls were of mud. I suppose that at first it 
was a regular built log cabin, plastered with mud inside, 
and an embankment thrown up on the outside against the 
logs. Such was the humble temple in which our pilgrim 
fathers worshipped the God whom they came over to 
serve. It had none of the elegance of our modern 
churches. No rich and splendid drapery hung around its 
pulpit. No velvet cushions covered its seats. No deep 
toned organ discoursed eloquent music, when the praises 
of God were sung. It was such an house as fitted their 
humble circumstances. 

In 1639, the congregation meditated the rebuilding of 
the house of worship. It had become too small for the 
accommodation of the people. But there was some dif- 
ference of opinion among the brethren where it was to be 
located. Some were for placing it on what was called 
the Green, which was the lot that the Old South Church 
now owns, at the corner of Milk and Washington streets. 
Others, particularly the tradesmen, were inclined to 
build it still nearer the market than where the old one 
stood, lest in time it should divert the trade from thence. 
12 



146 NOTE. 

When the church met, the matter was debated with some 
earnestness, and at last Mr. Cotton thought proper to ex- 
press his opinion. He made it clear that it would be in- 
jurious to remove to the Green, as many persons had 
purchased and settled around the market in the expecta- 
tion of being accommodated in their nearness to the place 
of worship, whereas it would be no damage to most to 
have it by the market place. It was finally determined 
to erect the new church still nearer the market. 

The church standing on the site of the second house 
next the corner of Washington and court streets was ta- 
ken down in 1808. 

The First church now worships in Chauncy Place. 



POETRT. 147 



BOSTON REVIVAL, 1842. 

BY WM. B. TAPPAN. 

The Holy Dove hath spread its wings 

Around the mercy seat, where springs 

The penitential tear. 

And hearts that long resisted grace, 

Are melted at that awful place 

By salutary fear; 

And Love that can the vilest win, 

To hate of self and hale of sin. 

Unnumbered households gather round 

The spot where Bethel's God is found, — - 

Households that never knelt. 

The sinner of threescore, whose head 

Blossomed, accursed, for the dead, — 

Bosoms that never felt. 

Counting for Christ the world but loss. 

Subdued, are found beneath the cross. 

And yet rolls by Redemption's car, 

And yet burns brightly Mercy's star, 

And on the converts come ! 

Say, who are these, that as a cloud 

Fly past, and as a snowy crowd 

Of doves that seek their home, 

Come trooping through Salvation's gates. 

Where Love the happy pilgrim waits ? 



14S POETRY. 

These are the young men, fresh and strong, 

Grace their preserver, Grace their song; 

These are the maidens, fair, 

Whose early beauties bloom for God. 

And men, life's passage halfway trod, 

And children, too, are there. 

The rich and poor, the young and old, 

Are gathered in the shepherd's fold. 

Pass on, Redeemer ! take thine own, 

Assume thy crown and purchased throne; 

I,et Kirk's sweet numbers tell 

Of heaven, that stoops so low to save ; 

Let Knafh, undaunted, earnest, grave, 

Show up the depths of hell; — 

They both but trophies win for Thee ; 

Thine, only, shall the glory be. 

Pass on. Redeemer ! shield each flock 

Through burning wastes, Refreshing Rock, 

In this our weary land ! 

Let Pastors, by the Spirit blest, 

Lead converts up, till in thy rest 

Pastors and people stand ; — 

They all but trophies win for Thee ; 

Thine, only, shall the glory be. 



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HIGHSMITH m 


(5230 




Printed 
*nUSA 






BW4204.8.B7M8 

Boston Revival, 1842 : a brief history 



Princeton Theological Semmary-Speer Library 






1 1012 00052 9190 



Twenty-First Edition 36,000 Copies ! ! 

The publisher of the Revival Melodies, in issu- 
ing the twenty-first edition, would express his 
thanks to his friends and the religious community 
for their kind approbation and almost unexampled 
patronage. The present edition swells the whole 
number of copies already issued to 36,000, and the 
demand continues. 

Price 12 1-2 cents single — $9 per hundred. 



REVIVAL MELODIES. 

PART II. 

Fourth Edition, 7,000 Copies. 

t^rhe great popularity of the "Revival 3Ielodies" 
and its acknowlellged utility in the conference 
room, have indu^ied the pubiisiier to issue another 
work of a siujilar ch;tracter. It has been his aim 
to carry out more fully the plan of the first parr, 
and to meet existing wants in the ^OQial religious 
circle. 

Price 12 1-2 cents single — $9 per hundred. 

f'^7^ The above may be had in separate parts, or 
bound together. 

JOHN PUTNAM, 81 Cornhill. 

I'EH. 22, 1843. 



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